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14 Ways I Learned To Be A Happy Plus-Size Woman

It is totally possible.

Hello! My name is Kaye and I've been fat my whole ding-dang life.

Here I am as a child, wearing a really cool sweatshirt.

It can be unbelievably difficult to live as a fat woman in America.

We are stigmatized, abused, told we're worthless and undesirable, stereotyped as lazy and stupid and unhygienic, given inadequate medical care, and not extended basic human decency. Despite the best efforts of bullies both physical and virtual, almost every TV show and movie ever made, and most women's magazines, I am totally at peace with being fat.

Getting here has been ~a journey~, however. Here's what that journey looked like for me.

1. I threw out my scale.

2. And I ask doctors not to tell me my weight.

3. I surround myself with people who do not make me feel like shit.

This was hard, because a lot of us don't realize we're making other people feel like shit, or we're doing it because we feel like shit and want to feel less like shit. I understand that everyone has a struggle and a path they're walking on and a burden to bear and a life as rich and full and complicated and painful as mine. And I am never ever going to be close friends with someone who asks if I'm really going to finish a cupcake ever again.

4. I have many orgasms.

Endorphins, fam. Endorphins.

More importantly: I got into the habit of letting myself feel good, and letting myself believe that I deserved to feel good.

Fat girls are told they do not deserve to feel good because their bodies are disgusting, immoral, symbolic of gluttony and laziness. The set of social assumptions associated with a fat body are basically those of indulgence to the point of sin, and the only way to atone for that is through self-punishment and self-flagellation.

But look: You deserve to feel good. You deserve a nice thing, like a very comfy blanket or a balloon shaped like a unicorn or a shirt you feel invincible in or to watch Magic Mike XXL 14 times in a single week and, yes, an orgasm. None of us deserve to live a daily existence that is a punishment. You deserve to feel good. You do! Let yourself feel good!

5. I never fuck anybody who treats my body like a compromise they need to make.

6. I refuse to participate in Performative Salad Olympics.

7. I exercise.

8. Sometimes I don't exercise.

That's fine, too. Not every day has to be a mad rush toward The Healthiest Bod. When my life changes, my habits change. Often my body changes along with them. I imagine this is a cycle that will continue until my soul is released from this mortal coil and my flesh fertilizes a tree I will demand be planted over my corpse.

9. I don't count calories.

10. I did a lot of research about food science and nutrition to understand how food actually works in my body.

11. I try very, very hard to be kind to myself when I think about my own body.

12. I try not to compare my body to anyone else's.

13. I found a community.

14. I remind myself very frequently that this is a process.

Body Positivity Week is a week of content devoted to exploring and celebrating our complicated relationships with our bodies. Check out more great Body Positivity Week content here.