An Open Letter from a Fat Positive Daughter

Dear Mom,

It’s me, your fat adult daughter. I have been varying degrees of fat since I was in elementary school. You know me, sort of.

I have seen you weight cycle through dieting over and over again. I’ve seen you fit into and out of your aspirational wardrobe. I’ve loved you through all of your sizes, even while it hurt to see you work so hard to change your body away from being like mine.

Of course, I’ve weight cycled, too. For so long, I participated in diet culture, mistakenly believing that I was obligated to lose weight before being happy.

I’m not a thin person hidden inside the folds of flesh of my body. I’m a fat person, choosing to embrace life as I am.

I’ve dropped out of diet culture, because I’ve learned that it’s a scam. It’s a massive industry selling a product that doesn’t work for a large percentage of the people who buy into it, then fail, then keep buying into it believing they are to blame for their failure, when they were destined to fail and perpetuate the cycle to keep the profit flowing, because diets don’t work.

I know you say your love is unconditional. I know you think I’m beautiful. I wonder, though, if there’s an asterisk there. Do you think I’m beautiful, but I’d be more beautiful if I lost weight? Do you love me, but think I’d be happier if I lost weight? Those asterisks are hurting me, and I need you to let go of them.

I need you to love me exactly as I am. I need you to see me exactly as I am. I’m not waiting anymore to live my life. I’m actually living.

I’m setting some boundaries for my own well-being. No more diet or weight loss talk. No unsolicited body comments. No body policing. No talking badly about your own body when I’m around. I know this might be difficult, but I believe you want the best for me.

I’m finally capable of knowing what’s best for me, and it’s living a life as free of these behaviors as possible. It’s dressing my body and moving my body in ways that feel good. It’s knowing that I deserve respect and dignity because I’m a human being; I am worthy of love and happiness.

You are, too, Mom. We weren’t meant to live our lives defined by numbers on a scale.

Thank you for your support.

Love,

Your daughter

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