Limitless Living

I Weigh 235lbs & I’m NOT Fat

My husband loves to run. He’s highly active, taking and teaching marital arts, dabbling with archery, newly converted to Wild Movement philosophy, and he runs – all the time, any weather, barefoot.

He doesn’t just like to run he loves it; he’s passionate about it. So, it makes sense that he’s built himself up a following. He runs twice a week at work and he has a growing band of guys whom he’s evangelized, converted, and brought into his lunchtime running fold.

Bliss.

This summer he determined to hit one of his targets, he ran 50km in one day (and then did it again – 51k – a month or so later). His running posse were so impressed – 8+ hours of non-stop running – they started bragging about him at work.

Enter Fit Runner. Fit Runner had heard about the group, but he was more a solo runner so he never joined in. Until inspired by my husband’s awesomeness, he decided to give it a try. But where my husband (and therefore his band of Merry Runners) ran for the love of it: the joy, the thrill, the Life of it, Fit Runner ran for the time, speed, and prowess. The group vibe was foreign to him.

So, one day my Lover Man is talking to his Buddy – Buddy is a rock hard body builder just learning to run – Buddy is highly Fit, but he also has asthma and My Man is teaching him stride and breathing tips to enable him to keep running despite it.

He says, as they lace up their shoes, “Run with me today.”

Fit Runner interjects, looks my Lover over (finds him wanting) and asks Buddy, “Why would you listen to him? You should run with me.”

There is a collective intake of breath that Fit Runner is oblivious to and he sets out. (He just never gets this group thing, maybe he sees them as something to prove himself against rather than prove himself with.)

My Love tells his peeps he’s sorry, but he feels he needs to run at his own pace today. They nod, concurr, agree they will encourage each other just fine.

And he’s off.

My runner man who runs for joy and prayer and laughs with bliss fast or slow, who competes only with himself easily passes Fit Runner reveling in the run itself. Freedom is his catchphrase and running feels like that to him, I think.

Then he lies on the grass to wait, breathing easy.

Fit Runner is shocked, and out of breath, to find My Man casually pondering the sky. He’s forced to nod in recognition; my runner man outpaced him without even trying.

His mistake was, that looking at my husband he assumed he was Fat.

What Does Fat Mean Anyway?

Photo From & Copyrighted to Plus Model Magazine (see link below)

I weigh 235 lbs and I do not consider myself Fat.

I am not Fat when I wake up in the morning. And I don’t see Fat when I do my hair in the morning (but there is this one suprememly annoying cowlick).

And I have no Fat moments when I write and when I paint. And Fat never comes into the picture when I laugh and when I hug.

And I don’t think of myself as Fat when I stand up to teach and I never even consider Fat when a client lights up in front of me.

And no Fat goes with me when I clip my dog to the leash for a walk in the woods or on the beach.

And I definitely don’t feel Fat when my husband’s eyes magnetically follow my naked body.

I Do Not Think of Myself as Fat

(because I’m not.)

So, why should anyone else have the power to judge me as such or try to make me feel that way?

Because there are only two times when I ever even consider that I might be Fat:
1) When other people tell me so with their eyes, and sneers and words.
2) When buying clothing.

And you know what? Neither of those has anything to do with me, and everything to do with others.

Did you Know that “Lose Weight” is the Most Common Goal on my Client Intake Form?

And there’s really no rhyme or reason to who will tell me this. Underweight, Overweight, On Weight, Fit or Not – Boy and Girl.

Which is why I know that Fat has no basis in reality. None.

So I don’t want to hear it; I don’t want to talk about: Dieting, Waistline, Thin, 10lbs, Watching, Should Eat, Shouldn’t Eat, When I…

That’s not my life, consumed by pounds and food and self-flagellation. I choose to live as me – not as Fat. What are you choosing?

This post has been percolated with help and inspiration from two supplementary sources:

1. The Article: Plus Size Bodies, What Is Wrong With Them Anyway?

2. The Video:

Discuss.
Yours,
Megan


p.s. Forget Winter ~ Summer is coming. Summer of Money, that is. It'll be about money, but really, it will be about so much more than money!


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29 comments

1 Melissa { 01.09.12 at 3:23 pm }

Right on sister!! You made my day, Gorgeous!

2 Daniel { 01.09.12 at 3:37 pm }

Thick is sexy!

3 Leah { 01.09.12 at 3:59 pm }

I LOVE this posting. When I was younger I always felt chubby compared to my thinner, and “therefor prettier” friends. A clerk in a dress shop told me when I was fretting over my appearance at 17 “…women were not made to look like prepubescent boys. We have CURVES!” Even now, I remember her words and am encouraged to know that my femininity cannot be airbrushed or defined through the eyes of other people. Thanks for this amazing reminder!

4 amy zellmer { 01.09.12 at 4:00 pm }

I love you Megan!! Great story and fabulous point!!

5 Cynthia { 01.09.12 at 4:35 pm }

Awesome post, Megan! As women, we were meant to have “curves”…I love to eat health and have healthy habits, but would still consider myself somewhat with curves, but I AM NOT FAT, either…I am comfortable with who I am and I’m so happy you put this out there for other beautiful women to stand in who they are!

6 Denise Duffield-Thomas { 01.09.12 at 4:57 pm }

Great article Megan – self love is transformational and very sexy….

Great pic too!

7 Megan { 01.09.12 at 5:27 pm }

@Melissa – So honoured to have been a special part of your day – seeing as you make mine all the time :). Glad this spoke to you.

@Daniel – so true right? Just look at all those old master paintings!

@Leah – I’m overwhelmed with the desire to post a picture of you at that age so all the readers can see just how true my post is when they consider that YOU ever thought yourself overweight, my stunning and TINY sister!

@Amy – What a coincidence, I love you too!

@Denise – “Self-Love is Sexy” should be your new product line (or maybe mine if you aren’t running with it 😉 )

Yours,
Megan

8 Megan { 01.09.12 at 5:34 pm }

@Cynthia – This blog post went through a lot of conversations, rants, and permutations in my head before it took this form.

The truth is, I could be a little more active than I am, but I actually eat VERY well. Since my gallbladder’s interjection this Spring I’ve had almost all junk food removed from my diet. I eat a ton of fruit and veggies. I live off water (and dislike pop). I eat very little cheese or dairy (again, gallbladder).

I think a big problem is that we’ve confused “Thin” with “Healthy” – because they are absolutely not the same thing.

Yours,
Megan

9 Cynthia { 01.09.12 at 5:43 pm }

I totally agree that “Thin” and “Healthy” are not the same thing…they shouldn’t really be used in the same sentence…
It sounds like all is going for sure in the right direction and most of us could be “more” active, myself included.

10 Tess { 01.09.12 at 8:54 pm }

I’m 195. And I used to doubt my own beauty. But I learned to cultivate my strength, and inner light instead. Because for me, personal strength and inner light is a form of beauty far more enduring than a tiny waistline. A beautiful, welcoming smile and a warm embrace is far more important than looking right to Someone Else’s definition of femininity. And you know what? I’m hot to trot. I run. I kayak. I swim. I do kung fu. And I love it – I’m happy now.

It was so many years of hard work… I wish I had met someone like you when I was younger. I wouldn’t have had such a struggle… Thank you for sharing… For being a light in the darkness.

11 Megan { 01.09.12 at 10:41 pm }

Oh I forgot! I wanted to share this link too:

Ads for Weight GAIN: http://www.retronaut.co/2011/11/vintage-weight-gain-ads/

Inspiration 😉

12 Leah Shapiro { 01.10.12 at 10:30 am }

You Rock Megan!!!
I can totally relate!
I am 5’10 and weigh 230……and buying cloths is when I feel fattest!
The weird thing for me is that my body is well proportioned. I have broad shoulders and have always been able to carry extra weight with out looking “fat”….but I could only buy “fat” cloths…which didn’t really work for me.
The sad part is that I’ve always felt fat. I grew up with a Nana who hated fat people and would make comments to my mother about how I looked like I had gained weight when I was 8 or 9!!!! From then on it was a constant disdain from her about not being thin enough.

13 Mel { 01.11.12 at 8:22 am }

Oh yes, I so know this… when people see me and then I tell them that I do yoga, they are like: but you are not thin… And this really has irritated me so many times before. I encourage everyone to first and foremost love themselves, how they are in the now and not postpone loving themselves to a fictional day in the future when all the ifs and whens are met.

14 Jessica { 01.11.12 at 10:15 am }

So true — and this can apply to more than “fat.” If I let myself, I can devolve into a whole mirror-monologue about “too short,” “not muscular enough,” “too much gray hair,” and the list goes on. But, you’re right Megan: NONE of it is truly about me. And — unless I let it get in my way — it has no bearing on what I can offer the world. Thanks for an inspiring post.

15 Sammi { 01.11.12 at 11:24 am }

You hit the nail on the head when you said – “Which is why I know that Fat has no basis in reality. None.”
I sat with my 9 year old daughter yesterday to watch a photoshop video about how much they change media images. None of what we are fed has much basis in reality really!

16 Marjory { 01.11.12 at 4:21 pm }

Beauty has no prescribed criteria. It has nothing to do with size. Beauty is exuded from within. A quality that radiates. Sadly our culture is obsessed with prescribed requirements that are so damaging. Thanks for showing up beautiful Megan and for raising awareness on this subject.

17 Angel { 01.11.12 at 4:58 pm }

Ok… I’m feeling so many things with reading this.

First, I want DESPERATELY to feel good in my own skin!! I’m 5’4″ and 148 lbs and I feel pretty disgusting most of the time. Before my last pregnancy I was walking all the time and doing yoga, and eating small portions.. and I weighed 124 lbs. One of the only times in my life I felt like I was mostly ok… and I want that feeling back.

If I can have the feeling at my current weight, fabulous!

So how do I get there… and how do I raise my 13 yo girl with healthier self-esteem when she’s super inactive and when I have all this crap that I feel about myself??

Anyone with daughters have any thoughts there?

Thanks for opening this up Megan <3

18 Megan { 01.11.12 at 5:49 pm }

@Leah @Mel Well, that’s part of the problem right? We can adjust our attitudes, but how do we then try to affect the way that others think and talk about the issue?

For me Mel, I’d be likely to just look that comment right in the face: “Yes, AND?”

Yours,
Megan

19 Megan { 01.11.12 at 5:54 pm }

@Jessica – it’s SO true, while the diet industry is HUGE the “beauty” industry is no slouch and so much of our corporate culture relies on us believing we aren’t enough. I’m not fat, and you ARE beautiful!

Yours,
Megan

20 Megan { 01.11.12 at 6:43 pm }

@Sammi -it’s so true – and it’s true in more than just how the media portrays things, but also in how we think about ourselves. My sister, who posted above (Leah) about feeling fat when she was young is, and always has been tiny. The models aren’t really as skinny and perfect as we think, but it doesn’t matter what you really look like even the skinniest healthiest of us can believe we are honestly fat and unattractive.

21 Megan { 01.11.12 at 6:43 pm }

Hear, Hear @Marjory.

22 Megan { 01.11.12 at 7:01 pm }

@Angel (((Hug))) – I totally understand. One thing jumps out at me, you said: “and I want that feeling back” – Maybe the mistake you are making is that you have tied “that feeling” to “that weight” – what if instead of standing on a scale and judging the response, what if you just start doing those things: walking, doing yoga… I suspect it was more your lifestyle that made you feel awesome, than your weight…

How can your daughter believe she is beautiful if you can’t believe you are beautiful? I think the most powerful thing you can do for your daughter is love and embrace the stunning, unique beauty that is you just as you are, and the stunning, unique beauty that is her, just as she is. THAT will transform both your lives.

Yours,
Megan

23 Bri Saussy { 01.11.12 at 7:08 pm }

What a fantastic post Megan! It had never occurred to me that FAT is merely a concept, an idea, that has no objective reality. What is fat changes from person to person, place to place, culture to culture. Its a phantom-that gives no useful information whatsoever.

24 Megan { 01.11.12 at 7:15 pm }

So true @Bri – a friend once told me the most fabulous story. She once went on a trip to Africa with a troop of singers/actors for a missionary trip. She said they were all invited to dinner at some important (single) man’s house. They were all seated around the table and the man, making conversation, turned to one of my friend’s female compatriots and announced, “You are SO fat.”

The whole group froze. No one knew what to do. They couldn’t believe he would insult her like that – so loudly too. Eventually it came out that he meant it as a compliment, something along the lines of: “You are SO sexy!”

Damn, I’m sexy! (You too Bri!)

Yours,
Megan

25 ally { 01.25.12 at 10:12 am }

I LOVE THIS. I have recovered from being Anorexic and now am back to my ‘original’ weight – where i once thought i was ‘fat.’ This is such an inspiring video to make people realize our media & society are the ones with the problem!!!

26 Ginger { 01.31.12 at 7:11 pm }

WOW! Thank you for sharing this! What a fabulous reminder of how importance one’s personality is!! Just like everyone else here – I LOVE THIS!!

27 Megan { 02.29.12 at 3:30 pm }

@Ally – I’m so glad you came out to share. When I was young I was underweight, but I’d always known myself as 120lbs (at 5’10) – when I got pregnant and had my son I ended up 140lbs – I thought I was horribly fat. But in reality that was my ideal, healthy weight – I just didn’t know it. So many things can skew our image of this and the truth is that none of them are real. Love to you for being able to love yourself to health!

@Ginger – Thanks so much doll! You’re making me blush.

Yours,
Megan

28 pattie { 06.01.12 at 1:49 pm }

This article had me in tears. I am so envious of your feelings towards yourself; for as long as I can remember I have not liked my body. I judge myself more than others, and trust me they judge pretty hard. I have a condition called Lipedema and basically I gain weight about 80% faster than a healthy body and loose it 80% slower (if at all). I feel like the lady of the circus and have to fight back the fear to do things with friends/family in public, so I don’t stay in the house forever. I’m still winning that battle.

I too have a very athletic husband (who is a 2nd degree black belt in karate, an instructor in karate and crossfit and loves all things outdoors – camping, biking, etc.). He has always loved me for me, not my shape – but I have difficulty seeing how he can not see what I see and it effects our life together.

Lately I have felt on a pretty sad spiral down, seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, hard for me to get around, etc. so walking is tough and recently left my job for good reason (not health related) but also had to stop my pool membership for financial reasons – which was my last bit of exercise.

I love this article and think I will read it daily and check out all of your website offerings to turn this tunnel on it’s head. I am stubborn, too, so I need to work on feeling good now and believing it, your message has hit a chord. Thank you!

29 Megan { 06.01.12 at 1:54 pm }

Darling Pattie,

YOU are the most powerful person in your life. You get to choose whether or not you are beautiful, you get to choose whether or not you deserve to be ashamed, and YOU get to be the one to change all that simply by DECIDING that you aren’t going to go along with any of that anymore.

You are PERFECT and life loves you – what could be more delicious or worthy than that? Believe it. Own it. Let it seep out into the world through you.

Yours,
Megan

p.s. nothing will, or can, change darling until you can claim this power back. It’s the easiest and hardest thing you’ll ever do.

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