The phrase “You’re fat”, literally means “You have excess flesh on your body.”

Hey, I understand it’s easy to pack on the pounds during freshman year of college. It’s easy to hold onto that extra baby weight while taking care of a newborn. It’s easy to fill up on greasy fast foods because they’re cost and time efficient.

I also understand that it’s not always easy to manage your time and responsibilities. It’s not always easy to get yourself motivated to go to the gym when your baby has been up all night crying. It’s not always easy to prep nourishing lunches, or steer clear of greasy bar foods on Friday nights.

What you as an individual must realize, is that the easy route is not always the best route. That goes for everything in life.

If I were to say; “I don’t like fat people”, I would be lying. Quite frankly, if I like you as a person then I like you. Regardless of your weight, height, religion, sexuality, or looks, I’ll like you if you provide me with good conversation and laughter.

However, I can honestly say that obesity grosses me out.

Being obese and being fat are two different things, and neither is appealing to me. I won’t retract that statement, and I don’t feel bad about it. Now before you go calling me a heartless, narcissistic bitch, you should probably hear me out. I wholeheartedly understand the struggles of health problems. As a young adult, I constantly face physical struggles of both Lyme Disease and Hypothyroidism. Sometimes I feel wonderful and sometimes I don’t, such is life. I’m not oblivious to the many diseases and ailments that make it hard for people to lose weight, and maybe even the diseases that make it very hard for people to not gain weight. Quite a few people deal with health issues far worse than I can imagine on a daily basis, and their ailments make it hard for them to lose weight, many of them don’t even have energy to get out of bed. I feel for them and I truly hope that they get well, or that their symptoms lessen.

BUT, the 34.9% (78.6 million) of Americans that are obese, do not all have ailments that prohibit them from engaging in exercise or clean eating habits.

First of all, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The 2015 CDC statistics literally state that one third of the United States’ adult population is obese. Obesity is “a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems” (as defined by my pal Google). If you’re obese, your body is so much more susceptible to a plethora of health problems. Your chances of developing heart disease, having a stroke, and getting cancer are all escalated astronomically when you’re obese. Why are Americans so overweight? According to dosomething.org, 1 in 4 adults eat some form of fast food every day. Not only do Americans just grab for quick and easy food, but American food portions are completely fucked up. So many people just absentmindedly fill their stomachs with prepackaged, highly processed, and greasy foods in large amounts. I understand convenience, but we shouldn’t live in a country where people wrinkle their noses at my healthy dishes and say “What the fuck are you eating Bekkah?”

Hummus. I’m eating hummus.

Someone told me the other day over social media that I was judgemental, a bully, and that they hoped I would open my mind to other people’s perspectives. Excuse me please, I’m one of the most open minded, liberal people on this planet. In fact, I’m so open minded that even the least conservative members of my family are driven crazy with my liberal speeches. In addition, I have both experienced and observed opposite ends of the weight and body confidence spectrum. Don’t tell me that I don’t understand what it’s like to be picked on for my weight when you don’t personally know me. I’ve been called scrawny, ugly, anorexic, and even chunky at some points in time. I know what it’s like to have issues with how I look, but I chose to do something about it. Eating healthy and exercising regularly has given me self confidence that I never had before. I want people to be as confident as I am about my appearance and my overall health and personality. Next, I’m not a bully for speaking my mind. I’m such a huge advocate of loving your body, but to me, loving your body is treating your body to an overall healthy lifestyle. People are trying to start a movement to teach young girls and boys that appearances aren’t everything, but isn’t that what a lot of the body positive movement is doing? They’re teaching people to love their outside appearances of stretch marks and tummy rolls, but not appreciate the temple of a body they were given, and to nourish it daily. Sounds like bullshit. I’m not a bully for encouraging people to love themselves so much that they work towards keeping their health in check.

Someone tried telling me that I must not care about people’s health, I just care about their physique-also bullshit. I’m currently a second year student at Penn State, majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. My major is all about helping people with their diets, health, and overall wellness. You bet that I actually care about people’s health. For someone to even make such an argument against me is ludicrous. Yeah, I use the word ‘fat’. I’m a blunt person, I generally state the obvious. Sugar coating what you’re trying to say is kinda like giving someone a box of neatly wrapped shit. Is it still shit when you unwrap it? Yes. Is anyone happy getting a pile of shit as a present? Eh, pry not but some people have unique fetishes. What I’m trying to say is that no matter how you dress up the truth, people are still going to find ways to be offended. “Let me speak with your manager” type deal.

“Your situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s situation.” You’re right. I’m a second year college student, swamped with homework, RA duties, THON captain responsibilities, Blue and White Society Activities, Cheerleading, and a waitressing job at Perkins. I still focus on eating healthy and working out at least every other day, even if it’s just a quick ab session before bed. Time management is hard, but in the end we all make time for the things we care about. If someone is really determined to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle, they’ll make time for it and strive towards their goals. Three cheers to them. For someone to also assume that I haven’t met anyone else in my life, or read about on social media, someone who has overcome struggles to get to their current weight and health is ignorant. Newsflash, I know a good amount of people who’s situations are different than mine and I embrace them and encourage them with loving arms. To the people who think I live under a rock, fuck you.

“What makes you think that everyone wants to be thin?” I don’t think that everyone wants to be super duper tiny. I’m not saying every human on this planet has to have washboard abs and a firm squatter’s ass. Honestly though, I’ve never heard someone say “I’m really happy that I’m so obese that I’m developing health problems and my loved ones are going to have to take care of me because I won’t be able to take care of myself due to my weight.” or “I love that my rolls stick out in this dress/shirt.” I’ve never heard someone say that they enjoy health complications due to weight gain and/or an unhealthy diet, or that they’re proud of the fact that they’re out of breath by the time they walk up a flight of steps.

I am that annoying friend that begs my friends to split salads with me, or try my healthy concoctions. I encourage friends and acquaintances to go to the gym with myself or another person. I know what it’s like to overcome the anxiety of working out in front of other people, and I want other people to overcome that fear too. Few things make me happier than sharing random nutrition and science facts with anyone and everyone that I come in contact with. And nothing, absolutely nothing makes me happier than when people ask me for diet and exercise advice. I’m far from being a professional (okay, only a few years away), but knowing that people feel comfortable enough to ask me questions, and motivated enough to make a change fills my heart with happiness. I want people to love their bodies inside and out, and cherish themselves overall to live a long, qualitative life with the people they care about.

I’m so sick of people hearing the words “fat” and “obese” and being too offended to listen to what I actually have to say about them. I do think it’s gross when people don’t cherish their health. However, regardless of your weight, if you are willing to make healthy changes and strive for overall wellness, I support you 100%. Working on bettering yourself is always something to be proud of. Stop making excuses America, start making changes.

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