This is my very first post. I am in no way a professional writer nor claim to be one, so there may be grammatical errors that I am not aware of. That being said, I am going to talk about my journey to to FA. Here is some back round info:
I was always chubby as a child, was never put on a diet per say but if I wanted a second piece of cake or more ice cream, my mother said no, I know she meant well. I didn't have to worry about clothing until middle-school, prior to that I went to a private school and wore uniforms. I remember that I couldn't buy clothes at the "cool" stores such as the Limited Too, because none of the clothes there fit me. Middle-school and high-school were the usual horrible experience for the fat kid. During high school, I did diet occasionally and in 11th grade I took my first diet pill, don't remember the name of it, but it did contain the now banned ephedra. Lost a fair amount of weight, I think 20lbs, but stopped because I couldn't stand the side effects. Guess what happened when I stopped taking it? Yup I gained the weight back. The smallest size I have ever been was a 10 during my first year of college but that was due to a medical condition which made me lose my appetite. What a way to lose weight I thought. But I wasn't happy, I wanted to be a size 8. Once I got the condition under control, the weight was gained back. A few years after, I tried weight watchers and lost some weight, but I would ruin my diet because I was soooo hungry and would binge, feel guilty and try to be "good" again. That was the last "real" diet I was on. Occasionally I would try to eat healthier and exercise more, but I couldn't lose weight. I felt like a failure that I couldn't. I guess I had The Fantasy of Being Thin. I thought if I just lost the weight, I would have a great job, have more friends and find the perfect guy.
I think the thing that started to change my viewpoint was when I first started to study Wicca and paganism. Most but not all the people I met in the community were fat. And for the most part, they were OK with it and accepted and loved their bodies. There was no talk of constant dieting and weight loss. Now this is IMHO, but I believe it is due to the fact that they believed that this is the way the God and Goddess created them and that they accept that. Also another reason could be that in many depictions of the Goddess, she is also fat or at least rubenesque. Inadvertently, paganism also introduced me to Renaissance Faires, where I saw beautiful fat women in gorgeous garb flaunting their curves and loving it.
I still had my bad fat days, I still ate healthy and exercised, never losing weight. But most days I felt good about myself and beautiful. I recently went back to school and took Speech Communication. One of the first assignments was the Culture of Me, in which we had to write about ourselves. In one part, I mentioned that sometimes I am self-conscience about my weight. When I got the graded paper back, my professor wrote in the margins "www.kateharding.net. As they say, the rest is history. I have been part of the fat/body acceptance movement for 4 months now and I have never felt better about myself. I refuse to diet and obsess about what I eat. I practice HAES to the best that I can and advocate for fat acceptance. I know that I am only beginning this journey, but I am happy the way I am.