My fat body is not weak


I want to talk about an aspect of being fat today that very few people talk about or even seem to acknowledge - the supposition that fat bodies are weak.

My fat body is a STRONG body.


Aged about 7, I was the stocky little kid pictured in the local newspaper holding the heavy crock pot gifted to the school headmistress on her retirement, as they wanted to make sure no one dropped it. (I must get a copy of that clipping from my mum, it's my only moment of 'fame'! Ha).

Aged about 10 I was the one who fronted up to my brother's teenage bullies (it's funny how bullies are often older than the kids they pick on, hmm?), often taking a beating for my troubles. I would never back down.

In my senior school years I walked miles every day. We didn't have a car so if I wanted to go anywhere, I took the Triple T (ten toes transport). I easily walked 3 miles a day to and from school, as well as to youth club and church and anywhere else I wanted to go.

At a size 18-20 in my early 20s I cleaned aircraft, bounding up the stairs to aircraft 2 at a time. I worked 12 hour days, lugging heavy gear on and off of aircraft, working fast and accurately whilst being bawled out by managers who were all ex-Army and military police, and they have their own special brand of neck-vein-bulging intensity fo' sho'. It was no place for weak people. I didn't want to be equal to the men I was working with, I wanted to be better and faster than them, and a lot of the time I was. And I walked an hour there and an hour back every day. I had a pretty sweet social life too.

Later in my twenties when I was a size 22-24 and an assistant manager (and later manager) of a busy shop at Gatwick airport again I walked an hour there and an hour back. When we had staffing issues, which was often, I did an 8-10 hour shift, went home for a few hours and came back again to work the rest of the day (the shop was open 17-18 hours a day in summer). I often walked for 4 HOURS A DAY on top of a looooooong working day on my feet. Does that sound weak to you? At this period of time I was having the time of my life going dancing every weekend I had off and spending a lot of my spare time on trains to London going to pubs or gigs, or seeing my friends in Manchester. Going to work on 2-3 hours sleep was no biggie. Oh, what a weakling I am! <all the sarcasm> (Admittedly the physical strain killed me after a year of this and I developed thyroid disease.)

In my early to mid 30s at about a size 22-24 I worked in retail sales, which often involved doing the warehouse job of escorting people's items to their cars, which meant moving huge big panel tvs, ovens, fridge freezers etc. You name it, I lugged it on a trolley, or by hand. When I went into retail admin there was slightly less grunt work than when I was in sales, but we were a small team who chipped in and job roles were very fluid. I was still on my feet for 90% of my working day, and walking at least 3 miles a day on top of that (and more on weekends.)

Basically from the age of 19 onwards until I had to give up work because of Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME I did work where there was always a very physical aspect to it. I had a desk job for the first 3 years of my working life - from 16 to about my 19th birthday. I'm not soft or unconditioned. I'm a fucking machine. I have a lot more padding than some people, but I'm not weak.

My calves are massive and rock hard with muscle from carrying around my abundance. Even now with my ridiculously useless Fibromyalgia hands, if I lock my arms behind a man's back I can lift him off the floor and twirl him around. I don't do physical work now (except housework, ha!) but I still have quite a lot of iceberg muscle - it's buried under the surface!

When you assume a fat person has no strength, you're doing them a disservice. You see softness and imagine weakness, when a lot of the time that fat person could probably whoop your arse. High 5 to all the big bodies out there doing amazing things every day. You are NOT a torso on the TV screaming about the 'OMFG obesity epidemic', you are strong and you are beautiful. Never let anyone make you feel less than.

Thanks for reading.

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