happy medium

I am almost done with this wonderful book by Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect. I referenced it a few posts back, but I just finished a chapter that made me feel like I needed to get up and write. The chapter is called Happy Medium.

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In it she writes about the expectations of the world and how we are expected to be “skinny and tired”.

I have had a few people come up to me and ask why I decided to give my blog it’s title. Some have said, “that sounds so harsh to call yourself fat” or “Allison, you’re not fat”.

I appreciate those thoughts and I understand, but the title means something different for me.

For so long I haven’t wanted to be different. Hang with me while I explain.

I have looked at my 20’s in regret as I allowed myself to get bigger and bigger. I have watched my pant size and weight on the scale get higher and higher and gave futile attempts to change it. It was always with the goal in mind of being smaller, skinnier and to look like the pictures of people I find beautiful within our culture and all of those people are skinny. Because skinny means happy, right?

Bottom line, I was internally shaming myself in an attempt to become something that I will never be.

Our culture is so crazy obsessed with being skinny and/or thin. The word is everywhere. Skinnytaste (even though I love that blog), skinnycow, skinnygirl, thinkthin, you get the point. The goal is to be smaller and strive to be something that we’re not right now and might never be.

I agree with Shauna when she says that she has nothing against skinny people. I have plenty in my life and I love them with all my heart, but it’s unhealthy for me to work to look like them just for sheer vanity purposes. God made me who I am for a reason and I want to seek to be content in that. Not just for me, but for my son and daughter and for those who struggle with their image.

That being said, I do think that there is something to be said to be healthy. As I have said before, I am changing my diet and life patterns to be healthy. The scale and sizes have been moving in a lesser direction, but the motivation is to strengthen my body and take care of it, not to punish it.

So that’s the reason for the blog name. I’m tired of being obsessed with being skinny or trying my hardest to get there. I want to be healthy and in the eyes of this skewed culture I will probably never be a societal norm of skinny and I’m ok with that. So my use of the word “fat” in my blog title is not an adjective of shame. It’s one of acceptance and my attempt at reclaiming and redefining fat from negative to positive. You can be fat in the eyes of culture and healthy within your actions and habits. The word fat does not have to be tied to unhappy, unhealthy, bad or shameful. You can take care of your body and still not be skinny.

I want to close with some words from Shauna Niequist that gave me the confidence to write this post.

“But I’m going to do me, and me is not skinny…And so at long last, I’m making peace with medium. And choosing to be happy. Rested, not exhausted, not afraid, not wired and panicky all the time. This is counter cultural. This is rebellious.”

My encouragement to all of you who struggle with this is to take care of yourself and strive to be healthy and happy in whatever shape or size.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Allison

 

Featured image courtesy of: quotesgram

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