We can’t win a war against fat.
Why not? Our fat is part of us, it’s in us, we are fat and to wage a war on fat is to wage a war on ourselves. Like it or not, that’s not a war that’s possible to win. Fat is essential; it cannot and will not be eradicated.
And fat is not the enemy.
When you realise that this is your body, that it’s you, hopefully – with time, awareness, self-investigation and no small degree of hard work – you’ll come to realise that no part of it is worthy of hatred.
Fat-hatred is self-hatred, with the added bonus that you get to hate other people, too.
Respect and love yourself for who you are. Then you’re free to do what’s truly good for yourself without preconception. It’s the very essence of Zen: pure experience without concepts.
You become (hopefully) immune to exploitation. You cease to care about that fitness product, that system, that Number One Fat Burning Exercise. You can train free from prejudice about what method is ‘best’, which leaves you free to actually train. It’ll give you an opportunity to enjoy exercise for the simple joy of movement.
Exercise is good for you, in the amount that feels satisfying, nourishing, and stimulating. It’s a bit like food.
You become free to do what feels right for you on the day, at the time, based on a deeper understanding of yourself and your needs. You're free to work on what you want to work on, for your own reasons.
But will that give me the body I want? The fact that you don’t like your body has nothing to do with whether or not there’s anything wrong with it. I don’t care how fat you are, your body isn’t wrong and its shape can’t make you a bad person.
Fat acceptance does not mean giving up on bettering yourself; quite the opposite in fact. It means liberation and doing what’s actually good for you, rather than pandering to society’s expectations.
It means putting what other people say and think to the side, and serving your own good opinion and that of nobody else.
And that can be really, really hard.
It’s much easier to be hard on ourselves, to indulge in negative self-talk and use that to get ourselves to the gym. To suck it the fuck up, Cinderella. But that won’t last – it might get you in the door, but what do you really think you’ll achieve? How often do you think you’ll get to the gym with that approach? And what about self-discovery – can you really change your body without that? To really seek inside yourself for the respect and courage to truly pursue your best interests, to pause every day and really think about what you feel like eating and how you feel like moving, and all the positive and negative effects that has on the way you feel – that’s tough. To be honest is harder than it is to lie.
It means pursuing self-discovery, awareness, and dedicating yourself to kindness.
Is the gym a place you go to for punishment, or for self-discovery and growth?
Do you want your training to be fueled by hate or by love?
Do you think love won’t inspire you to excel?