Fat Shaming Is A Thing, But It’s Not A Helpful Thing

Fat shaming has never made anyone healthy…ever. I doubt that it has ever made anyone skinny either, and before I go any further, I want to highlight the fact that these adjectives are not synonymous with each other.

Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy, and being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, resting heart rate, etc. is all excellent now. There are a lot of risk factors associated with someone my  size, but you can’t judge a person’s health based on how they look.

You can’t look at me and know that I significantly reduced my chances of having a heart attack or stroke by dropping a significant amount of weight or that I exercised today, nor can you know that I’ve struggled to keep a lot of it off because of thoughts that swirl around in my mind. You can’t know the reasons why.

One of a few significant reasons is that I allowed an airline’s perception of me to take up space in my mind. I allowed one seemingly disgruntled gate agent’s blanket prejudice to define me long after his hurtful comments were an old headline in the news, and it didn’t cause me to lose weight. I didn’t thrive off of the negative attention that followed his comments either; I caved.

I take responsibility for that. I am the only one who can make a decision to change or to let others define me, and I accept that. It’s all on me to change what I need to change for myself, but if fat shaming worked I’d be skinny by now.

On of the reasons that I stopped blogging as much is that I no longer wished to put myself on a chopping block for trolls who think I shouldn’t exist or that I don’t have a right to share my story because I’m obese. That’s nonsense, of course, but eradicating that negativity has been good for me.

I’ve been quiet here for quite some time. I’ve shared opinions, pissed people off and taken a break, but that break is over because it’s time to stand with other voices and to say, Hey, it’s none of your beeswax if I’m fat or not. Your opinion of me doesn’t define me; it defines you.”

kenlie

I’m not skinny…not even close, but I love myself.

I’m lucky to have a supportive group of people in my life who love me and accept me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to undo the damage that I allowed to take root in my heart and mind when I allowed society’s opinions to define who I was.

I gained a significant amount of weight that I had lost, and I’ve felt a lot of shame as a result. Never has that led to a lower number on the scale. It doesn’t work that way, nor should it.

The last few weeks have been healthier and more successful for me because I’m enjoying my life. I’m reclaiming a lot of the confidence I lost thanks to my friends and family, a significant other who loves to remind me that I’m brilliant and sexy, and I’m making healthier decisions because it makes me feel good (not because people think I should feel bad.)

I don’t hate myself, so that will never be a driving force in my fight for better health. I exercised today because I value my life. I shopped for groceries and prepared for a healthy week of meals because I want to be around for a long time to love people, and I can only hope (and assume) that these small positive steps will lead to other positive steps.

If you truly care about my health go for a walk in the park with me, or take me to lunch and order something healthy and delicious. There are people in my life who do that. There are people who want me around for a long time, and they offer support, not criticism.

I’m not going to link to that newest fat shaming video that’s making its way around the internet  because plenty of others are doing that. I don’t know when it became acceptable to spew hatred on social media, but I do know that there’s no end in sight.

I do know that the responsibility for my life falls on me, not on a skinny girl who could benefit from some acting classes or a gate agent who was probably having a really crappy day. I get to decide what I’m worth. I’m just sorry that I didn’t always know that.

At our core, we’re all the same. We desire to be loved and accepted (even the jerks who spew hatred…especially the jerks who spew hatred.) One important lesson I’ve learned is that I’m lovable, and I don’t have to care if others agree with that or not.

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole
    September 7, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Nicely said and welcome back!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Nicole. I’m still active on Instagram…just not blogging as much, but it’s nice to be welcomed back anyway. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 7, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Those trolls just wish they could be half as awesome as you!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Eh, I don’t think they want to be like me, but the feeling is mutual. LOL

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  • Reply
    Mrs. O
    September 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    “Your opinion of me doesn’t define me; it defines you.” So so true!

    Great post! Ignore those who are so bitter about their lives that they can only feel better when they bring others down. Be happy about yourself for yourself and don’t let anyone bring you to their pathetic level.

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  • Reply
    Nadia
    September 8, 2015 at 1:07 am

    So, so right! My body is for me and my health, not someone else’s viewing pleasure.
    i love kickboxing because it lets me fight through the hate while keeping me in shape! http://www.ufcgym.com has amazing kickboxing,cardio, and weight training programs and I try to go everyday to blow off steam!

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  • Reply
    Roxanne
    September 25, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Kenlie! When I first watched the video I was really depressed about how they degraded the “fat” people like we are criminals that have committed a heinous crime in the society. But I later realized that it’s not worth it. She’s not worth it. She’s not the captain of my life, I am. I don’t care what she says and I will never let myself bring down because of that video. Thank you for reminding us again about our true worth!

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  • Reply
    Michael
    October 9, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    It’s all about your mental state. You can actually use the pain for fuel for change. When I was 21 I weighed about 330 lbs(6’3″). A co-worker one day said something about how massive I was. It hurt, it made me mad, but he was right. Because of that I worked insanely hard and was down to about 220lbs in 4 months. I have no idea how much fat weight I actually lost because of all the muscle I gained. It’s the most motivated I have ever been in my life.

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