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An Act of Rebellion

I am 33 years old.

I have spent approximately 15 of those years locked in a battle over meeting the world’s “ideal” standard of size and beauty.

I’m done with that.

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When Jana and I started our first year of Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta, we knew we would both be reading on the stage. I combed through my archives trying to find something worthy of sharing the stage with such a legacy of storytellers. What I found as a common thread among my writing here made me incredibly sad.

So much of it focused on weight, weight loss, and being unhappy with my body. It was all so…shallow.

I can’t say that it was instant, but I can say that reading through those archives was a turning point for me in the way I relate to and appreciate my body. I had to. Something had to change.

I think that’s part of why my writing here started to diminish. When I cut out the posts about weight, stopped talking about it so publicly and openly and started brushing off the negative self-talk, I found there weren’t as many things to write about. Ultimately I’m okay with that because it means that I’m not contributing to a culture which tells women we’re only valuable if we meet what might be an unattainable standard of perfection.


At some point in the past year, maybe nearly a year ago now, I was having a conversation with some girl friends, and the common thread in the discussion was hate.

“I hate my thighs.”

“I hate my arms.”

“I hate my double chin.”

“I hate my stomach.”

“I can be okay with this part of my body, but I will always hate that one.”

I left that conversation feeling sad and pensive and angry and then more sad.

I won’t go so far as to say that I love my body in its never-been-this-heavy size, and I definitely don’t love the fact that my clothes don’t fit well right now. But I’m done with the sort of detailed examination of every bump and jiggle which leads me to a place of deep despair and treadmill-chasing just so I can be a size whatever.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-exercise. I’m not anti-diet or healthy eating or whatever you want to call it. I love and support those things. But I won’t kick myself for eating cookies and drinking wine or lounging on the couch in the evenings watching Netflix instead of going for a walk. I simply realize that I do not have it in me to dedicate hours a day to exercise nor do I want to have to watch every bite of food I put in my mouth for the rest of my life. As someone who has been above 170 for nearly 15 years now, that’s what “watching my weight” would mean. I’m not meant to be a size 2. I’m okay with that.

I’m not saying I’ll never diet or attempt to lose weight again. I’m certain I will. But I won’t let it come from a place of being unhappy with myself or hating my appearance. Instead it will come from a place of loving myself deeply, enough to take care of myself in the same way I would take care of my children.

I don’t begrudge people who make different choices than me. More power to you! But let’s let that be reciprocal.

That’s the crux of “fat shaming.” It comes from a place of “There but for the grace of Gold’s go I…”

I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want that for my son.

The desire to exercise and be healthy has to be an internal one. It cannot be sustained when it’s motivated solely by outside forces. A lot of people possess that internal motivation. A lot of other people don’t. (I’m not including people on either end of the spectrum with seriously disordered eating or medical issues which prevent them from working out and/or lead to weight gain. I’m talking strictly of the “normal” person here, whatever “normal” means.)

I want us all to understand that beauty is way more than skin deep. Beauty comes from the soul. It radiates outward and draws people in. It’s in how we treat other people and how we fulfill our purpose on this planet. Beauty isn’t a size and being a certain size isn’t inherently beautiful.


The simple definition of the word “ideal” is perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist.

It should not be an act of rebellion to love myself exactly as I am, but in today’s world, it often feels as if it is. As if loving myself, my “curves and edges” and “perfect imperfections” is something shameful and unhealthy and wrong.

It isn’t. Not at all. I’m done with that way of thinking.

Are you?

An Act of Rebellion

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John (Daddy Runs a Lot)

Friday 18th of September 2015

There is a very real part of me that thinks about becoming a personal trainer. I'm someone who has been just about every body size & shape . . . I know what works, I know what doesn't.

But, in the end, "what works" and "what doesn't work" all has to do with motivation. Everyone has their own agenda. Everyone has their own goals. Everyone does things for their own reasons. If I ever do step into "becoming a personal trainer," where people are actively paying me to help them achieve pre-defined goals, obviously, I have some vested interest in getting them there.

But for anyone else? Again, I live my life, they live theirs.

As someone who has lost a whole lot of weight, I can tell you that the hatred of one's body never really goes away. It just becomes more specific as there is less body to scrutinize.


Tuesday 6th of October 2015

I think you SHOULD become a personal trainer. I know that I would appreciate working out with someone who has been where I am and overcome some of the challenges I'm facing more than I would working out with someone who's never been there. Does that make sense? It's easy for a trainer who has always been interested in health and fitness to say "here's what you need to do." It's another thing to hear it from someone who says "I know this is hard. I also know you can do it."

And YESSSSSS to everyone having different goals. Maybe my goal is just to be able to walk for three miles without wanting to die. I don't have to have/be/look a certain way to do that. That's the thing that bothers me about fat-shaming and telling others what they SHOULD be doing. It's very often geared toward looking a certain way and not about how we feel.

I know the challenges of not hating one's body never really go away. They're always there. But I think that accepting and loving yourself can co-exist with not liking that extra pudge on my hip bone or the softness of my stomach. It's all about which thought we allow to take centerstage as our guiding force.

The Many Thoughts of a reader

Saturday 12th of September 2015

I was listening to a podcast the other day when the guy on it pissed me off. Well let's say he always pisses me off but this time it was because of fat talk. Clearly unable to live in someone elses life. Clearly unable to realize that some people think differently and some people value different things. Also annoyed me because if he was trying to be motivating he failed. Don't make fun of people who do a couch to 5k and say that they will be done working out when they get there. Don't say why did you get yourself to couch. THAT IS NOT HELPING.


Monday 14th of September 2015

You know? Maybe they WILL be done working out after they do a 5K. Maybe they just wanted to prove to themselves they could do a 5K. WHY DOES ANYONE ELSE CARE?

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