The dreaded: "You shouldn't call yourself fat, it's damaging" email.
While I know that emails and comments of this nature are sent with the upmost love and support, I need to really tackle the situation head on right now... rather than do it individually as they slowly start to flow in.
Yesterday, I received my first email since reviving my blog from a very concerned reader about the title of my blog...
I am writing to tell you that I found your blog today and I'm excited that you have started (again?) to try and lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. While I always get excited to find new weight loss blogs, I have to say I was a little disheartened when I saw the title of your blog. Referring to yourself as a "Mad, Fat Woman" sets you off in the wrong direction before you even start.
In my experience, people that constantly put themselves down and refer to themselves as "fat" are either on the road to straight failure or aren't even fat in the first place and are simply doing it for attention. For what I've seen of your pictures so far, it appears you may be one of those people that constantly degrade yourself and put yourself down. This is not a healthy approach. It's great that you've accepted you have a problem and want to do something about that problem, but being unkind to yourself in the process will only hurt you more in the long run.
Calling yourself fat just cuts you down, and makes you hate the person that you are. Instead, you should try and love the person you are on the inside, and commit to working on making the outside healthy rather than "skinny". I would like to continue reading your blog, and wish you the best of luck, but I really can't enjoy reading when the author does nothing but cuts themselves down or is losing weight for the wrong reasons. In your case to not be fat anymore. Weight loss is a health decision - or it should be.
In order to have a healthy body, you need a healthy mind. Calling yourself nasty names is not the way to go about doing that.
I wish you the best of luck, and hope that you will consider what I've said.
A concerned Reader
It brought back a lot of memories reading this email. If I had a dollar for every time I received a similar email or comment back in the old Mad, Fat Woman days... I'd have a nice chunk of change stored away.
First off, let me say this: I don't hate myself. I just don't. I'm a happy person living a happy life. I don't like being overweight... but I don't hate myself because of it.
Second, I want to lose weight for two reasons: To be more active and fit and to be able to shop in "normal" sized clothing stores for clothes that I enjoy wearing rather than finding clothes that cover the bulges. If those are the wrong reasons for losing weight, well...then so be it. I won't lie and say that I just want to be healthier. In fact, I've had doctors tell me they can't believe how healthy I am being that I'm so overweight. I don't have pre-diabetes or heart problems or blood pressure problems. The truth of the matter is, I want to wear smaller clothes and be able to run long distances. That's about it. But, if that's what motivates me, then that's what motivates me, right?
Third, I don't call myself "fat" to put myself down. It's a term that doesn't tear me up or make me loathe the person that I am. In fact, I often joke around about being fat...and I don't do it to cover up hurt or pain... I do it because I can laugh at myself. I'm the one that got me in this situation, and I can accept that. That being the case, I also have to be the one to accept what I did to myself and try and reverse it. Calling myself "fat" didn't put me in this situation... but history has shown that it can help change it.
Fourth, the politically correct term to use instead of fat is "morbidly obese". Because, in reality, I have 100lbs to lose to get to a "healthy weight" and so that's the category I fall under. I don't know about anybody else.. but referring to myself as morbidly obese sounds WAY worse than calling myself fat. Morbidly obese just screams sad and depressing. And, I don't think of myself that way. I don't think that I'm on death's door. I can still do a lot more activity than I could when I truly felt "morbidly obese" and I just know that if I started calling myself that... I'd just hate myself.
And finally, I'm not one of those people that will always look in the mirror and see a fat woman. Once a lot of the pounds have come off. How do I know that? Because I've been there. I've seen and felt what it's like to not think of myself as fat anymore. Even though I was still overweight, when I was 212lbs and rocking a size 16... I didn't feel "fat". I loved how my body was changing. I loved how my body was starting to feel. I loved how I was starting to feel about looking at myself in the mirror.
OK, I let that woman go. But, I know she's underneath the fat that has reappeared. I've seen her. I got to know and love her. And it was my stupidity that let her leave, again.
Regardless of what anyone says... I had the most success at this weight loss game when I was The Mad, Fat Woman. Referring to myself as "fat" didn't stop my progress...if anything it haltered it. Once I started to have a personality conflict and wanted to be someone else and blog about other things... she started to disappear. The woman I had grown to love, admire, and ultimately continue to get rid of.
I know it may sound crazy or stupid to some people. Living the life with an alter ego, if you will. But, The Mad, Fat Woman is who I am. I am a fat woman on a mission to not be a fat woman anymore. I got a really long way once before...but I quickly forgot that once she started to disappear, it was oh so easy for her to return.
At the end of the day, I appreciate the concern...really, I do. But, you have nothing to be concerned about. I'm a realist. And the reality is: I'm fat. But, I'm not fat and OK with it. Or should I say, I'm not one of those people that accepts that I'm fat and learns to love myself because of it. Or learns to accept it. Or even learns to deal with it. I'm OK with being fat..at the moment... because I know that it's my ultimate goal to not be fat anymore. Even when the fat is gone, I know that she's only a few cheeseburgers and fries away from coming back.
I can understand that there will be readers out there that just can't accept it. They may not want to read my blog because they think I'm too hard on myself by calling myself "fat". But, it's coming from the horse's mouth herself when I say: I'm OK with it. It is what it is... for now.
Maybe one day in the future, my blog will be called "Diary of a Previous Mad, Fat Woman That Doesn't Want to be Fat Again". But, until then... Mad, Fat Woman stays. Because it fits me in every shape of the word. And I enjoy being her. Or at least, enjoy being her in the sense that I'm trying to get rid of her.
That make sense?
Maybe not. But, there's no need to worry. I promise.
Till next time.
a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman