Marinating in hate

TW: negative self-talk, diet crap, assholes, etc.

3 miles on my very tired legs this morning. I was super grumpy and set up camp on the farthest treadmill in the cardio room to get a little peace, and despite every other treadmill being unoccupied, one of the trainers came and took the treadmill next to me to run her fast intervals. Thanks for the boost of confidence there. I’m glad she can run faster than the fat lady. I hope she feels good about herself too.

It’s probably just periodic grump but I’ve been awfully rough on myself lately. The debacle with The Biggest Loser has been enormously triggering for me, especially the hordes of assholes saying how easy it is to lose weight and all them fatties are just sitting on their couches all day eating cookies and the TBL winner proves it.

Going about my daily routine in my somewhat small-fat body and generally-friendly surroundings, it can be easy to forget about the casual yet vicious hate out there, the pervasive belief that people owe it to the world to make sure their bodies are the correct size, controlled and inoffensive. "Health" makes a convenient club to swing, but I’m pretty sure that haters don’t actually care one bit about the health of their targets.

I struggle so hard not to internalize the hate directed at my body. The fitness world is constantly trying to convince me that I’m doing it wrong, because I look wrong. Hours and hours of intense exercise have failed to transform me into a buff, lean gym bunny– though I’ve become plenty stronger and faster. Then they say "well, you can’t out-train bad nutrition!" as if I just need to give up the cheeseburgers and fries and I’ll magically shrink. But I eat to sustain my activity, and I eat well (I know because I cook it all myself!) I haven’t "given up"– I’m working toward goals that you refuse to understand. And I don’t feel like I need to spend my precious time justifying myself to people who obviously don’t care about me.

I’m just so weary of the constant refrain that people need to be a certain size in order to be worthy of respect, as if our humanity was inversely proportional to our body size.

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7 Responses to Marinating in hate

  1. Alexis says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and just wanted to “de-lurk” and say thank you for expressing so concisely what I have been feeling lately. When my doctor asks if I “like RUN, run?” (as opposed to what I don’t even know) or people look at me funny when I mention the running…all of this makes me feel like they are writing off my efforts because they have failed to make me look a certain way. Somehow us not perfectly BMIed people must be doing it wrong or we can’t possibly be getting healthier if we are not also getting thinner. I too am weary, but not defeated.

    • G says:

      Thanks for de-lurking! :) I know there are plenty of us who love activity but don’t fit the physical stereotype of what active people look like. I don’t think we’re unusual or doing it wrong, but maybe we just aren’t selling enough self-hate and diet plans to make us marketable. And if I had a dollar for every time I got that “like RUN, run?” comment I could buy myself some new running shoes…

      By the way, I love your blog! I will definitely be stopping by more– running, knitting, gaming, these are many of my favorite things.

  2. lozette says:

    I think it’s something in the air at the moment – I’ve been marinating in self-hate too (I like that phrase!!). I avoided all of TBL – although I’m in the UK so it’s not on TV here – as I just find it too triggering too.

    At the moment I’m less about hating my size, and more about hating my performance (although I guess it’s related to my size – most of the people I’m envious of are far, far smaller than me yet bigger/stronger lifters). Although at conditioning today, I was a bit *too* aware of being the flabbiest person there.

    It’s hard. Just when we think we’re getting somewhere, we take a step back.

    • G says:

      I’ve always wondered… Bigger people naturally start out a little stronger and can theoretically lift the heaviest amounts, but are they expected to progress faster? For me, it still takes an awful lot of effort. You’re training hard and you have a great coach, you’ll get there! That’s the great thing about lifting, isn’t it? Work hard, get results. :)

  3. Gingerzingi says:

    “I struggle so hard not to internalize the hate directed at my body.” Oh man. I can’t deny how much I hate my body. I don’t want to, I want to be self-accepting and appreciate my body for all its amazing qualities, but decades of conditioning have defeated me. You know, on my own with no outside influence, I’m perfectly happy with my body. I’m grateful to be extraordinarily healthy, and the things I can’t do because of my size/weight, or can’t do to the extent that I’d like, are actually less than the things I can’t do because of my height :-) It’s shocking sometimes to be exposed to the truly ugly and hateful attitudes others have about fat people. You’re just going along living your life, minding your own business so to speak, and then someone says something really awful about you, directly or indirectly.

    Given how many people are considered overweight or obese these days, I always wonder where these rabid commenters come from. They can’t all be thin people hating on the fatties–at least some of them have to be fat themselves. There’s some fascinating psychology going on there…

    • G says:

      Just want to gently point out the contradiction in your comment… that you’re both happy with your body when no one’s pointing out that it’s wrong, and that you hate it. That’s exactly what I mean by internalizing hate. It’s hard to get away from, especially after you’ve been marinating in it for a while (and it definitely feels like it’s gotten worse lately).

      You know, I’m so grateful for fat acceptance on the internet, because it amazes me to see young girls coming up telling themselves, you know what? my body is okay! And they’re able to fight and let go of all the hate. That’s something I never could’ve imagined myself doing at their age. It gives me hope.

      • Gingerzingi says:

        I’m only too aware of the contradiction! :-) I imagine that’s what any marginalized person goes through, in some fashion.

        Yes, things are much more hopeful these days. Fat hatred has always been around, but in my day, there was no acceptance movement at all, and no internet to foster it. Young people today are exposed to incredibly virulent hatred on the internet, but at the same time they can find support and community there.

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