Tag Archives: care

How Long Do We Have to Hate Our Bodies?

It’s not new, but it recently surfaced in my Facebook feed–an article on CNN.com called What the Dying Really Regret.  In this article Kerry Egan, a hospice chaplain who has spent a lot of time consoling those with little time left on this earth, states:

There are many regrets and unfulfilled wishes that patients have shared with me in the months before they die. But the stories about the time they waste hating their bodies, abusing it or letting it be abused — the years people spend not appreciating their body until they are close to leaving it — are some of the saddest.

In this article, the chaplain talks about how, even as they are in hospice, nearing the end of their lives people have not learned to make peace with their bodies.  And how many people, close to losing or actively losing many of the wonderful things about their bodies regret that they never truly appreciated their bodies until they were nearly gone.  She talks about the sadness of it and the waste of it.

I have absolutely no doubt that this is true.  I’ve talked to quite a few women in their seventh and even eight decade that have never learned to make peace with their hips or their thighs or their bellies–hips that have shaken to music of many eras, bellies that have borne babies and thighs that have propelled them inevitably forward to a ripe old age.  And I see the part of them that has been carefully educated to be smaller, to be less than, to show no excess warring with the part of them that wants to stop worrying about it all and just eat the damn cookie.  And it makes me sad.

I say carefully educated, because this body hatred–this need to make ourselves smaller and less than–is something we learn.  In her brilliant piece, Egan states:

…unlike the foolish or best-intentioned mishaps, the terrible accidents, the slip-ups that irrevocably change a life, this regret is not a tragic mistake. It’s intentional. It’s something other people teach them to feel about their bodies; it’s something other people want them to believe.

But in this sad story, there is some good news.  Behavior that can be learned can be unlearned.  We can choose to love our bodies before it is too late.  We can choose not to spend years or decades or a lifetime not hating something so precious, so finite, so personal and so wondrous.  We can chose not to squander our lives and resources on something so unproductive.  We can choose to spend that time, loving ourselves, making ourselves bigger, making our lives better and making things better for everyone around us.

When people ask me why I do what I do, I tell them that this, this is why I do what I do.  Because we are all so precious and life is so precious we simply can’t waste any more of it agonizing about cellulite.  We need to be dancing with our children and our spouses.  We need to be writing our poems and righting the world’s wrongs.  We need to be teaching our children and our parents and everybody how to share this wonderful world before we lose our wonderful world.  And if I, in some tiny, tiny way can help a person get to that place–to the writing and righting a little bit sooner–even by one single day, then I am doing something worthwhile.  Because while one single day may not seem like much to me now, it can seem like forever to someone facing the end of their days.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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The Right Now Show Episode 009: Finding Support!

In episode 009 of The Right Now Show Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick) shares some tips for finding support in your journey towards loving the skin you’re in and assures you that you’ll get by with a little help from your friends!

Here are some additional resources:

Size Diversity Task Force
Association for Size Diversity and Health
Fit Fatties Forum

Fat Chick Sings Blog
Dances With Fat Blog
The Fat Chick Clique
Live Streamed Classes

Setting Boundaries to Get Through the Holidays

When Ragen Chastain put out the call to record this amazing new song she created, I just KNEW I had to do it. So I fired up the video camera, lit the fire, plugged in the tiny Christmas tree and got to it. It was so much fun!

I know that for many of us, the holidays are a scary time. Sometimes our family while meaning well, can inadvertently be extremely hurtful. And for many of us, holiday family gatherings can bring up a sense of dread.

I am very lucky that this is no longer the case for me. My family is extremely supportive of all that I do. (My Mom edited my book!) There was a time long ago when my family’s concern over my weight was hard for me. Ever since I learned to set boundaries and to clearly articulate what I needed, I haven’t really had a problem with them. Sometimes you have to help people understand how you’d like them to help you. Remember, it’s not your job to convince them that you are right and they are wrong. You can present evidence if you like, but people are allowed to believe what they wish. You can request that people talk to you or treat you differently. Then they can choose whether or not to honor your request, and you can choose how to react. I have found that even if people choose not to do what you ask, there is empowerment in the asking. And having planned and articulated consequences ahead of family events may help you approach the holidays a little more calmly.

I wish you a holiday season filled with light and peace.

Love,
The Fat Chick