A lot of people have found my blog by searching for Emma Woolf. She is not me. I googled her, and apparently she is an anorexia survivor. I’m looking down my my chubby body, and I am most definitely a not survivor of anorexia.
Yeah, I think I’m fat. I just stopped caring. I’m heavy. I’m not fat and proud, but this is who I am. As long as I am healthy, I love my body. I know not everyone feels the same way about their bodies, so I wanted to write down a few things that led to my acceptance of my own weight in the hopes that maybe, if I ever feel self-loathing, I can come back to this post. Or maybe, if someone is less at peace with her body, this can help her.
Know that every body is a good body
My roommate freshman year of college was a nutrition major. She hate healthy most of the time and encouraged me to steal food from the dining hall because, duh, we are supposed to have small meals throughout the day. Which meant that she also had to steal plates and flatware from the dining hall because she had to have something to eat her small meals on.
As a part of a club she was in, she placed flyers on every table in the dining hall about body acceptance.The flyers gave tips on eating healthy and exercise, but if I recall correctly, the message behind the flyers were that as long as you were healthy, you had a good body. And it resonated with me as I looked at my friends ten sizes smaller than me. I was just as healthy as them.
Play a full contact sport
This idea of every body being a good body was enforced by rugby. In addition to just loving beating people up, I loved that in this sport, every body type is needed. I needs little people to run fast or to be thrown up in the air. It needs big people (me) to hit the little people and throw them up in the air. It needs medium people to pass the ball to in case you are a little person being chased by a big person in the hopes that the medium person will either be able to take a hit or outrun the big people. Playing rugby as a defensive player taught me that my body was just as good and useful as those of the offense.
Understand that no one is 100% happy with her body
In college I met a tall gorgeous student who was outgoing and smart and probably made everyone jealous just to look at her. And I remember one day hearing her bitch about her body. But before you roll your eyes at “oh, I hate skinny people who bitch about being fat,” know that she didn’t. She felt out of place in her family because they were so much shorter than her. She felt like she stuck out in every picture as the giant. She was frustrated that when people bought her clothes, they all thought, oh, she’s thin, so they got her size extra small that had sleeves that came only to her elbows.
Another time, I was upset about something, and a friend of mine took my arm and started rubbing it consolingly. She stopped suddenly and asked if I shaved today. I could not understand why she was asking me if I shaved my legs. It had nothing to do with anything. She explained “because your arms are so smooth.”
Until that moment, I had no idea that people shaved their arms. I told her I didn’t, and she looked at me with disgust. How could my arms be so hairless? She asked me if, when I looked at her, I was disgusted by her hairy arms. It was the most ridiculous thing I could have imagined. I had no idea someone could be that concerned about their arm hair.
Anyway, so that’s my wisdom about acceptance just the way you are. You can always try to be thinner, prettier, more perfect, or whatever. But I think that until you can be happy with who you are as you are, you won’t be happy even if you reach those elusive goals.