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Sidelined

April 24, 2014

Themeless Thursday

Fat PoliticsFat HealthMy Boring-Ass Life

It’s been a long few years for me and Fat Acceptance. I first got involved way back in 2008 by simply reading and learning about the issues thanks to a friend linking through her LiveJournal (remember those?!). Fat Acceptance came to me at a time when I was hating my body pretty hard; not because it didn’t look the “right way,” but because it had gone and gotten pregnant when it really shouldn’t have been able too. IUD failure is a rare,but decidedly not-fun event and I just seem to be the person who gets these one-in-thousands odds against her popping up. During the brief five weeks I knew I was pregnant, I hated on my body like no other time in my life — I barely ate, I couldn’t sleep, and every time I got dressed or looked in the mirror I cursed my body for its sudden betrayal. Other than right now, it was the darkest time of my life.

After I put that behind me and had been reading the Fatosphere for about a year and a half, I decided to start my own blog. Maybe my own experiences and progress would be helpful to other average-sized women who had also been drinking the cultural Kool-Aid around fat and beauty. I was still plugging along, reading and melding in what I was learning about feminism with Fat and Body Acceptance writing. It couldn’t hurt to have another voice in the conversation, and if someone learned something, or felt less alone, so much the better. I’ve always liked writing as a form of self-expression and have kept multiple hard-copy journals and online spaces of the years. For me, getting things out of my head where I can see them and play with them is vital to my ability to process information and integrate it into the whole. Over the years at Fat and Not Afraid I’ve heard from friends and family, and even a few strangers, about their own self-acceptance journey, and have been with them taking baby steps here and there. It’s been very rewarding. It’s nice knowing people are out there.

The last year or so, however, I’ve found myself drifting away from Fat Acceptance as a focus. It’s been a rough time with several moves, a new baby, a lost job, and now living at my in-laws with only very part-time work to get us by. I tried expanding my blog to new interests, but I feel a little lost, floundering around looking for the passion I once shared with others on this particular topic. It feels like so much has been said that I have nothing else to say. How much more outrage can I summon up for yet another contemptuous news article exaggerating the supposed dangers of obesity? How many more flawed studies can I skewer? Lately I’m out of fucks to give but I can’t just give up altogether. I tell myself that it gets better, that every article we publish, every comment we leave, every Facebook post or tweet we share is another stone in the dam against the tide of fat hate. It’s worth it, even if I personally am sitting on the sidelines doing not much more than waving a small flag of encouragement for the rest of you.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn permalink
    April 24, 2014 1:15 pm

    Hang in there.

    • JeninCanada permalink
      April 24, 2014 9:17 pm

      Not much of a choice, but thanks.

  2. April 24, 2014 9:09 pm

    Nothing worse than having a broken give a damn and wishing you didn’t.

    • JeninCanada permalink
      April 24, 2014 9:18 pm

      Yup. My give a damn is pretty busted but I wish it wasn’t. Life is passing me by.

  3. April 25, 2014 1:57 pm

    Waving a flag of encouragement from the sidelines is actually more than a lot of other people manage to do.

    Some activists treat activism like they’re a priest or nun taking vows, but others come and go as the rigors of daily life permit. At least you have a choice regarding which kind you prefer to be.

    Burnout is part of being human, not to mention the trying times we live in. Sorry to hear about the shit time you’ve been having. I hope you can ride it out and that your circumstances will improve for you and your family soon.

  4. April 26, 2014 9:05 am

    My thought is that you’re simply burned out about everything after a move, which is always arduous, and while taking care of a baby to boot. It’s probably put you into a moderate state of depression, and it’s kind of hard to give a fuck about anything when you’re depressed.
    I’m not trying to compare my situation but for some time after I experienced a harrowing situation, I found myself unable to write about much of anything. Since writing is my therapy, this was quite distressing to me. I was angry at myself for dwelling on the PTSD triggered by having my car hammered by a wall of water and wondering if I was going to make it through or end up a casualty. (The floods in Colorado last year.)
    I think it will come back to you. Just give it time.

  5. April 27, 2014 4:19 pm

    I really believe that what ever you wind up focusing on that everything you have done up until this point will inform and contribute to what you will do. Your F,A. work and beliefs will be part of what ever your next step will be. And it sounds like you are honoring yourself by validating your feelings, not judging yourself, and giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are…that’s pretty Fat Acceptance-esque in my book!! Hugs and warm replenishing energy to you! xox

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