I use the f-word (not that one...duh) in my blog title because I think it is attention-getting and catchy. A few people have rightly complained about it, my husband not least among them. After all, during his long devotion to me he has been on the front lines of my battle with my weight. He continues the effort to help me love and honor myself; calling myself fat for all the world to read seems counter-intuitive to these efforts. Also, the title admittedly makes it a bit tough to tell all your friends about it. On the bus to a race starting line, a friend of mine enjoyed a conversation with a fellow-runner. She met a mom running her first half-marathon that day. She was, like me, not built like an olympic athlete. By the end of their conversation, my friend thought she might really enjoy my blog. But she couldn’t exactly say, “Check out my friend’s blog, “The Fat Marathoner!” It’s for runners just like you!”
Fat ain’t friendly. I get it. The word is ugly, and we still shy away from it. I suppose that is part of why I’m not yet ready to surrender it. I’m hoping to demystify it, decriminalize it, disempower its negative oomph.
Let’s put this in perspective. Fat is food. Fat is a macronutrient. Fat feeds our brains and gives us our curves. A healthy woman is 20 to 25% fat. How can we hate a quarter of ourselves and live whole, healthy lives? I am no longer willing to run from the word fat, nor from the innumerable fat cells in my body. They are not my enemy. Sometimes I have too many of them--and, truthfully, too many of them can be debilitating. I will remain an enemy of obesity, but I’m done confusing obesity with the fat the exists on my frame. Most of it belongs there.
Women, will you join me in taking a stand against all those messages we get out in the big, bad world that teach us to hate ourselves, to desperately want to change ourselves? Let’s take the energy we spend running from our own fat and use it for something else. Sign up for a Run for Congo Women 5k (July 31st in Denver) and raise some dough for a fiercely good cause: www.runforcongowomen.org. Find out how you can take a stand against female circumcision with The Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project: www.fgmnetwork.org. Inform and humble yourself by learning how rape still wrecks lives too damn much in this day and age: www.rapeis.org. Pick an enemy deserving of your wrath, ladies. Love yourself.