Lessons from the short and fat

I love Winnie the Pooh.  I won’t say that he really embodies a self-acceptance activist but who can watch his incredibly happy exercise song (which he does with fun and happiness and not as a slave to some loftier unattainable goal) and NOT feel a smile creeping onto their face?

I am short, fat,
And proud of that,
And so with all my might,
I up, down, up, down,
To my appetite’s delight.

While I up, down, touch the ground,
I think of things to chose…
Oh… like hunny and milk and chocolate…
With a hefty happy appetite,
I’m a hefty happy Pooh… (Emphasis mine)

(ETA: The first part of this movie is here below (the part with the exercise song is at minute 4:04))

And to see the attempt at getting honey as a rain cloud:

How refreshing to be sure of yourself; know when you’re hungry and listen to your body’s hunger cues, exercise for fun and with musical happiness and eat with pleasure.

Bear in mind, just as I am not striving to BE Santa Claus merely because I find the idea of such an individual to have happy meaning for many people, I’m also not interested in becoming a short, fat stuffed bear (or cookie munching monster)  However, many of the lessons that such simple and straightforward figures can offer us are not to be thrown to the wind.

Size does not deter Pooh’s efforts to try the impossible (like being a rain cloud to fool some honey bees) or to continue feeding his body the nutrients it needs and craves or to do exercises he LIKES to do.  Being a fat bear does not mean Pooh is less loved by his woodland friends or his human companion. It does not limit what he can set his mind to do.  He is what he is.  He knows it, accepts and loves it, and lives his life without imposing mental limitations on what he should or shouldn’t be doing just BECAUSE he is a short, fat bear.

And those lessons my dear reader, are what I take from this fun character to share with you today.  Don’t make mental limits on what you can do in life just because of who you are or the shape your body takes.  Don’t feel that you are somehow not allowed or do not deserve to listen to your body and treat it with fun and happiness.

I am tall,  fat,
and proud of that.
And so with all my might
I write down joyful words
to help and teach delight…

With a hefty mental appetite, I’m a hefty, happy me.


11 thoughts on “Lessons from the short and fat

  1. Thanks for sharing the smile & the sweetness. I LOVE Pooh, his innocent sweetness, loyalty to his friends, simple love of life, & unquestioning acceptance of not only his own body & being but of those around him. For me, he is often a reminder to relax & let go, stop trying so hard to control myself & the world around me, to stop pushing & constructing life & concentrate on living it & making the most of every moment & every simple pleasure. And Pooh’s movement, alone or with his friends, is not anxious or competitive or fraught with expectations & they DO quite a bit of traveling around on foot having adventures, skating, dancing, etc., but it just part of life, not some prescription or punishment. We could do worse than to be more like Pooh.

  2. Thanks so much for this! I love Pooh, and totally forgot the rest of that song. I knew I liked him when I was a little fat kid, and know I love him even more as a big fat kid!

  3. Oh man, this almost just makes me want to cry. All those years as a stout little girl I remember wishing I could be those characters who never seemed to worry about their weight like Pooh or Garfield. I wished I could BE them so I could escape the constant self-loathing I’d subjected myself to when instead I could have just chosen to be like them and save myself about 16 years of hating my body and about ten years of yo-yoing. *sigh*

    Thank you for so poignantly pointing out why we need more characters like this and why learning to embody them a bit might not be such a bad idea.

    Also, random spam here, but I’d like to point out that Garfield is fat and old and still doing just fine enough to still put one past Odie and come up with clever ways to outsmart John 🙂 (I know, I know, fictional character, but still)

  4. I also love Garfield &, overgrown kid that I am at nearly 60, recently got myself a couple of Garfield Halloween t-shirts (Halloween is my favorite day of the year; for many reasons, I had virtually no childhood & nightmarish early years, so I allow myself to be a child now in ways which harm no one & bring me joy.) I also have a Pooh ‘hunny’ shirt.

    I cannot find it since we moved a few months ago, but for several years I had a litle book I found at a used bookstore called the “The Tao of Pooh”, which explained why Pooh is the embodiment of Taoism. I always found it a comforting, pleasant little book to read when I wanted to calm & center myself.

  5. Little late I know, but rereading a post in my LJ reminded me that another great character to look to for self-acceptance inspiration would be Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl from his books Stargirl and Love, Stargirl. Nothing much about body acceptance really ever comes up in the books but it’s a heartwrenchingly wonderful book about a wonderfully inspirational girl determined to be herself no matter what anyone else wants or thinks. It was those books actually that got me to first be inspired enough by a character to realize I could be like them and employ some of their methods while still being myself.

    • Ostara I loved Stargirl too, thanks for the reminder! I’ve still never looked up and read the second one so I might do that again for the refreshing read 🙂

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