Morbidly Obese

Balancing a Sword on my Head

Death Fat Balances Pointy Objects

This is what it looks like.  Morbid Obesity.  Death Fat.  A BMI over the recommended 25 or heck even the mildly less horrifying “Overweight” category limit of 30.  This is woman at a BMI of 49.5.  That’s almost 50! TWICE the maximum “Normal” size!!!  Did you even know what it would look like?

I’m Sooo Fat that the media and all that water-cooler “Common Sense” talk would have you convinced that I am a stereotype.  That, despite stellar cholesterol, good long-lived and generally healthy genetics, fine blood work and a lifestyle that would fit well into any non-diet-crazed nutritionist’s “Good-Dooby” chart of Healthy Living*:  I must be poised on the brink of death; waiting for Heart Disease to sneak around that final corner and claim its rightful due on my Fat Life.  Well sorry, but I won’t apologize for who I am. I happen to have a lot of fat.  I dance.  I LIVE.  And, based on my family’s history, chances are that I’m going to be around for a long while so you’re going to have to deal with it!

So I want you to take a good hard look.  Look again. No, really. You don’t have to like me.  Or love me.  Hell I sure as heck ain’t asking you to find me attractive.  I don’t need your validation of my worth.  All of that is beyond the scope of this post, nay even this blog.  I am here to help you face your fear of others’ fat today.

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. ~BERTRAND RUSSELL: An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

Fear is the enemy of logic. ~ FRANK SINATRA: in The Way You Wear Your Hat

Maybe all that exposed adipose tissue in the picture above makes you cringe, fills you with fear, repulses you, grosses you out. This isn’t a flat, washboard ab on some tanned beach babe in a sparkle belly dance set lifting that hip in your general direction!  It’s…a fat woman!  You don’t want to touch her!  To THINK about her!  To acknowledge that she even exists, let alone has a right to do so with the same level of basic human respect owed to every person on this planet!  But I dare you to push those thoughts back for even a moment. I want you to look at this here specimen of Death Fat in the face.  After all, it has been proposed that facing your fears is the first step towards conquering them. And maybe by conquering the fear of fat in others, you can begin to appreciate or love your OWN body just the way it is and let each individual human being do the same.

By all means if you can not stomach the challenge, try to “Sway” me with inane jeers and “Oh so cleverly crafted slurs” against my lack of willpower or moderation.  Just remember that I’ve already stated that such things mean I’m winning.  And given the weekend I just had**; I’m totally up for some Win.

Me and my Cane of Win

Me and my Cane of Win

*To clarify:  even if NONE of that were true and I fit every single one of the preconceived notions of a Fat Woman that you might have, it still does not negate the truth that I have the same right to exist as I AM as does anyone else on this planet, regardless of size, shape, color, gender, sexuality, religion, etc.

**After 120,000 miles my Hyundai Accent needs a new transmission. Only they don’t MAKE new ones for my car so it is a very expensive used one that has to be ordered and installed.  Fun!

27 thoughts on “Morbidly Obese

  1. You do look beautiful &, I have to admit, that you also do not look like what I myself would have expected a woman with a BMI of almost 50 to look like, back in my more unenlightened days. And it isn’t really necessary to assert how ‘healthy’ your lifestyle is…it doesn’t really matter, the real science doesn’t indicate that how we eat or exercise has a huge impact on overall health or longevity, & those who want to hate us will not believe or be swayed by assertions of ‘healthy lifestyle’…been there, done that myself for many years. I do share the real good element which is on your side, long-lived genes, inherited from people who did not live ‘healthy’ at all. We both have a very good chance of outliving a lot of the bigots who believe that they are so much better than we are because, as you dig deeper for real answers, there is NO real evidence that fat causes anything…except needing to pay more for our clothes, & lots of hatred & discrimination directed at us. However, I guess we all know that pointing out the truth does not keep the trolls from attacking us or those who make a lot of money off the fat panic from lying about us & doing all they can to marginalize us & make life difficult for us.

    In my early days in the online fat community (I have been workng on self-acceptance & fat acceptance for 30 years, but got more deeply involved after I got a computer), I used to join with the others on the bulletin board where I posted bragging about great ‘numbers’, cutting back on ‘bad’ foods, how much I exercised (usually a compulsive 3 to 4 hours daily back then), & that I was not really all ‘that’ fat (my BMI has always ranged between 27 & 33, staying, as I approach 60, firmly around 33 these days). We hurt & alienated a lot of good people who posted on that board, who left because they felt that they were too fat, or too lazy, or didn’t eat ‘right’, didn’t exercise enough, or whatever, & didn’t belong. We do need to keep telling this fat-hating world in which we live that we are ALL…all sizes, shapes, lifestyles, health levels, ages, etc…worthwhile human beings who deserve rights, access, & protection under the law. I think it is great that you have the courage to put your pictures on the Net & admit what your BMI is & I think it is important to show the bigots what REAL fat people look like & that we are not straight out of those sensationalist, exploitive shows they do on TLC about people immobilized by & killing themselves with their fat. I just try hard not to unnecessarily hurt any fat people or give in to the societal pressure to ‘prove’ my worth anymore by asserting what a ‘good’ fatty I am.

    • Patsy I agree and well put. I did post a note at the end though (the * item) that I wasn’t trying to “prove” anything by listing some of what I do or the lucky genes I happen to have and that ALL people deserve basic human respect.

  2. Hey I have a sword performance coming up in two weeks! I just wanted to say that. I plan to look exactly like you only more tribal and also possibly not as good of a dancer (I’ve seen you on YouTube and you are great). According to the numbers I am smaller than you are, but I still think we are body twins, especially in the belly area.

  3. So I want you to take a good hard look. Look again. No, really. You don’t have to like me. Or love me.

    I’m looking and I am amazed and jealous at what I see. As part of the FA movement, I don’t want to *comment* on your body as good or bad, but holy sweet cracker sandwich you look AMAZING. You are an inspiration to me: To wear an outfit like that, to flaunt myself like that, to enjoy my body in something like belly dance (other than just DDR, to which I am addicted, and yoga) and to look HAPPY and SELF-SATISFIED and GORGEOUS while doing it.

    I see nothing disgusting in those photos. I see someone courageous enough to tell socially-conditioned-judgments to fuck themselves. I WANT TO BE STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL AND UNAFRAID, LIKE YOU.

    (If any of my comments on your body are unwelcome or don’t belong here, feel free to delete/censor my response!)

    Looking up to you,
    Indie Goddess

    • :hugs: IndieGoddess I’m so glad that those positive things are what my image portray! 🙂 I don’t think it is much about being unafraid but perhaps it is so I appreciate being able to see how far I’ve actually come with my own body comfort when seen through others’ eyes.

  4. April thanks for this post. I love reading your blog and once again you’ve inspired me.

    I’m sticking with belly dance lessons and every Monday night I stand in front of that wall of mirrors. For the entire hour my brain screams that I should leave, that I’m too fat, too clumsy, that I’ll never get good. It takes everything I have to keep smiling and keeping up.

    Truthfully I am probably doing just fine. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and I’ve never taken dance before (well not as an adult).

    I’d love to get some information from you on where you shop for costumes and accessories. I think I’d enjoy class more if I sprung for a nicer coin scarf than the cheap one I have.

    • Lililan – Yay for another dancer 😀 Thanks for the costume love too. Seems like a spend most of my time trying to convince myself that I DON’T need to buy more fabric to make more costumes 😉

  5. Hey Corinna! Your post was shunted into the spam folder so I’m glad I saw it 🙂

    I am sure you are doing wonderful at the dancing. Remembering to smile is always good because I think smiling makes everything seem easier 😉

    As to costumes I end up sewing most of my items but for the hip scarves I look to a local-ish shop in Haverill, MA or renaissance faires. Ebay isn’t a bad source as long as you look for scarves with MANY coins 🙂 Not sure if that helps out!

  6. April, I love your photos and your willingness to post them. I threw away photos and even a poster of myself taken after my last karate rank test two years ago, before I had heard of HAES and fat acceptance, and now I wish I had them back. You make me realize they were awesome pictures and that it was my eyes that were broken at the time, there was nothing inherently wrong with my body.

  7. O.M.G.

    I love this post. but I need to ask – why is it that I can look at you (we have identical BMI’s by the way, so we’re probably of similar build) and see how gorgeous you are, but I am incapable of seeing myself in that way? I took bellydance once, a term’s worth of lessons, but now I’m far to shy of my size to try again. I feel so bad about showing myself, yet I can cheer someone else with that courage.

    Sigh. And to think I used to beat myself up about my weight when I was a third smaller. Silly really.

  8. wow.
    i stumbled onto your blog on accident and i am truely amazed. i’ve never seen anyone with so much self confidence, and it’s truely inspiring to me!
    you’re such a beautiful person!

  9. I am so in awe of your spirit! I am in the same boat, but in the opposite direction. I’m on the lean side. No, I’m not anorexic, I eat a lot, actually. I don’t throw up food, I like it too much. There’s nothing better to me than curling up to a big plate of french food or a big sushi lunch.
    But I catch crap from people all the time: “You know it looks like you’ve lost weight, have you been eating?” “Have you been sick?” “You must be working a lot, you look kind of thin.”
    Well, I’m OVER this stereotyping! I’m tired of it, and you gave me some moxie! I work hard and carry lunch to work with me in a cloth bag. By 10:30 a.m., I’ve eaten two meals.
    I just people would get off my back about it. I just want to scream, “Stop it!”
    Keep posting and turning people’s heads. You are gorgeous! And you have a beautiful writing style. I will return often because, as it was said: “There is nothing inherently wrong with my body.”
    I’ve never had a cleavage. I don’t know what its like to have one. I don’t work out or run; I’m just this way. I feel more like you than the “other side”, because I didn’t do anything to be this way. I just “am”.
    Thanks for validating my feelings, I so appreciate it.
    I hope I learn to have the guts to ignore people when they say things I don’t care to hear.
    Thank you,

    • ((Patricia)) Welcome and I know others too have addressed just how pervasive the need to examine, question and find faulty the female body….either too extreme one direction or the other so I certainly welcome your thoughts too. Indeed, no matter WHAT we look like “There is nothing inherently wrong with my body” is a fantastic mantra to cheer.

  10. Damn, you’re on youtube?! What’s your handle?? me want see dancing!

    And also, you do look fabulous. Me, I look flabulous in my home made outfits…ah well, so it goes.

    • Orodemniades don’t denigrate your looks! This is a blog to uplift the self esteem 🙂 If you are interested I have a video posted in the “About” section with me dancing that would take you to my youtube videos. I still have to upload some from this most recent show. Shout out to another fat bellydancer! 😀

  11. Great photos. I am so in awe of people who can create costumes, etc. They are amazing. Isn’t it funny how people have no actual connection between the numbers and what they actually look like? I’ve been a lurker for a long time–found you on the fatosphere. Keep up the great writing!

    • Thanks for lurking (and commenting) Becomingwhole! 🙂 And yeah I have to agree that the amount of disconnect between “Oh my goodness…not 200 POUNDS!” and visual associations of that sort of weight are kinda mind-boggling!

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