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Sarah Thompson, founder of Resilient Fat Goddess, writes about body positivity, body liberation, and fat liberation at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and eating disorders. 

How Shifting From Body Positivity to Body and Fat Liberation Changed My Life

I did not always believe that fat people had a right to eat regularly and enough food, every day.

 Photo by  Shoog McDaniel  about a year after I found body and fat liberation. In the creek behind my apartment.

Photo by Shoog McDaniel about a year after I found body and fat liberation. In the creek behind my apartment.

I did not always believe that fat people had a right to eat regularly and enough food, every day.

Nope. I had so much internalized fatphobia, weight stigma and bias that I very much bought into the idea that my fat body was a problem. A BIG problem.

Which meant that I shouldn't (read: didn't deserve to) eat regularly and enough food, every day.

It was impossible for me to feel much joy or pleasure, take up space, or gasp. . .feel sexy.

I discovered body positivity about 3 years ago when I finally decided to let go of going to Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings. Learning of body positivity let me know that there were fat people out there going all out with their outfits, feeling confident, and looking sexy. But that’s about as far as it took me. I never learned about what body or fat liberation was until about a year after this.

My discovery of body and fat liberation was through learning about Body Trust® from Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant. Body Trust has given me a way to move towards freedom in body. It has given me a way to redefine what is mine and what is not. It has given me the foundation to stop feeling like my body is something I have to escape. It has given me the framework to locate the problem outside of my body.

It has allowed me to stop living in a never ending cycle of body shame. It has allowed me to discover the world outside the box I kept trying to fit into. It has allowed me to start working with my body instead of against my body.

It has quite literally changed my life.

It feels as if I may never be able to capture the essence of how it changed me with words. It feels incredibly challenging to put something so life-changing into words.

When I say life-changing, this is what I mean. . .

I started wearing clothes with color again.
I started wearing clothes that I felt comfortable in.
I started wearing clothes that fit me.
So much of my depression lifted. 
This may have been the effect of not feeling suffocated by shame
I started wanting to take care of myself again.
I felt connected to my inner fire again.
I lost friends.

I had difficult conversations with people about my body when I would have avoided them previously.
I advocated for myself without shame. 
I made new friends. 
I argued with people on social media. 
I made mistakes arguing with people on social media.

I stopped putting moral judgement on food.
I stopped restricting my food.
I stopped binging on food.
I stopped defining my worth based on my size.
I stopped defining my worth based on how I felt about size.
I stopped defining my worth based on how others felt about size.
I stopped believing I was unhealthy because I was fat.

I started taking up space. Unapologetically.

I started accepting my body.
I started practicing self-compassion.
I started seeing clearly diet culture.
I started seeing clearly how rampant weight stigma and fatphobia were.
I started seeing systems of oppression more clearly.

I started finding more and more people to follow on social media.
I started practicing trusting my body.
I started craving time with people who believed these things. 
I started writing again.

Now, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe that fat people have a right to eat regularly and enough food, every day.


 

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