Body Shaming is Not About Health Concerns, it's About Aesthetics: My Journey from Fat to Fit

I used to be fat. I lost a lot of weight since past 2 years and I am in a better shape now. I am at my healthiest best in my life. I do have a way to go to reach my goal weight but I came this far.

I didn't realize how differently people treated me when I was fat, until I lost weight.

The reason I decided to lose weight was mostly aesthetic. I didn't like the way I looked. I started working out and then I got more focused on being healthier. When I lost my weight, everything changed a lot. Guys started approaching me, people took me more seriously and we're friendlier with me. I couldn't help but wonder..

I was just the same person before I lost all that weight. So why the different treatment?

I have a lot of loose skin. When I started having guys approach me, I obviously said yes to a few. We went on dates and somehow the topic of my weight loss came up. A guy said that it was really amazing how I lost my weight and didn't give up. Now, he's all nice and gentle. We make out and go to the third base. I am nervous about taking my clothes off because of my loose skin and stretch marks. I did anyway and we had sex. I thought he was okay with it.

He wasn't. Slowly, contact lessened. With that, he ghosted me. More or less, the same thing happened with two other guys I went out with. One of them said "you can get surgery to remove that skin, can't you?". I was put off. I felt so sad and ashamed of my body. I got myself on line and explained to him how I didn't have money to do it.

This is when I realized that, when most people body shame fat people, they aren't concerned about their health at all. They are concerned JUST about the way a person looks.

Even if they say "well its for health reasons, you should lose weight" etc. Now I've come to the conclusion that it's bull.

It is actually translated as, y

ou don't fit into the aesthetic standards of society, so yeah, you better make yourself fit into that standard. If you don't, you are nothing but a subhuman to me.

This attitude is truly terrible.

Now, I have decided that I will not get surgery to remove my skin. If a guy has to like me truly, he will like me the way I am.

I am much more than my loose skin and stretch marks

It may sound cocky, but I am a driven, smart woman who refused to give up against many odds.

I don't regret losing weight just because of that excess skin. I am fit, I can climb a flight of stairs without getting tired, can run for long distance. I am full of energy most of the times and I love that feeling.



Most Helpful Guy

  • All through middle school into high school I was teased for being skinny... this is because I had a ton of growth spurts that made me tall before I filled out with muscle.

    After university, a succession of desk jobs and stress/depression induced self-medicating with alcohol meant I eventually was just shy of 200lbs (6'2") and what for a while was called 'skinnyfat' online - I wasn't fat, but I had more in places than I should and I wasn't exactly fit or strong.

    After my LTR ended I hit the trails hard on my mountain bike, started going rock climbing and hiking and joined the gym. I lost a ton of body fat and weight and, newly single, the people I dated told me I was too skinny and didn't need to lose any more.

    So that left me with the dilemma. I felt better and more attractive as I was, and also suspected that having lost this weight and trimmed up had helped me get those dates. But they were telling me I was too skinny again, like it was two decades ago all over again.

    I've resolved to be happy as I am, to want to look the way *I* want myself to in the mirror.

    You're absolutely right that it's about aesthetics. The whole 'I want to look good naked' thing is huge and you see a lot of people who've turned their lives around themselves and lost the weight to remove all the health concerns, but are now stuck with scars or excess skin to make them worry about that instead.

    What can I say? We idolise people who LOOK strong as opposed to who are strong:

    • True that. It is good that you decide to accept the way you are. It is easy to love others, but much difficult to love yourself
      About pic
      The later group usually trains in lower rep range and higher weights while former trains in higher rep range and lighter weights.
      Best thing is to pick best of both 😀

    • ... except FAR more women would go for the strongman than for the bodybuilder (if he's **anywhere close** to "Mr Universe" level as shown in the cartoon).

      Not even close. Not even sorta kinda close.

Most Helpful Girl

  • This is the best myTake I've ever seen. The quality of your writing--this could be in a major magazine. And what you're saying actually matters.

    I had already figured out it's not about health. You know why? I don't know what country you live in, but I live in the US... and in the US, people seem to assume everyone drinks and everyone has smoked pot. If you try to tell people you have never been drunk or have never smoked pot, or if you say you don't like to drink alcohol or think it's nasty, you get criticized, laughed at and/or called a liar. A lot of people here smoke cigarettes, despite the fact that when I was growing up you could not watch a TV show without an anti-smoking commercial coming on. Nowadays, you barely even see those commercials.

    I often see all this sympathy for people who are alcoholics or drug addicts, or have been, and people always argue "it's an illness." People feel MORE sympathy for or see more acceptable about being alkies and druggies and smokers than they do for overweight people, despite the fact that drinking, drugs and smoking are all at least as unhealthy and usually have more devastating consequences to people's lives (and not just the person doing it).

    Not to mention there are plenty of thin unhealthy people... nobody cares, and they're stunned when these people have heart attacks or die suddenly.

    I don't know if you've ever heard of this reality show "My Big Fat Fabulous Life," but I watch it... and a season or two ago, the main character Whitney (very overweight) got picked on by this thin comedian who admitted on the show to being a smoker and, I think, being some sort of recovering addict. Whitney never once threw it back in this b! tch's face that she smoked and was an addict, but I absolutely would have. I'm tellin' ya, people have way more sensitivity towards and sympathy for addicts, who are also doing something very unhealthy BY CHOICE. You may get hooked and can't control the addiction, but it's always a choice to START despite knowing better.

    For me, I would much rather date someone who is overweight or has extra skin from losing weight than date someone who drinks too much, smokes or does drugs. But I suspect the latter has an easier time finding someone.

    • I completely agree. People defend addiction as "that person must be depressed". But if someone binge eats because of the same and puts on weight, he's piece of shit. Because you are thrown out of conventional standards.

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What Guys Said 10

  • I went under the knife at 350 pounds; I now weigh, five years later, about 165 pounds. There were lots of girls at first who wouldn't even look at me when I was big, but when I lost weight, they came to me and were like..."Hey..." Sorry, plz? I'm the same guy. Maybe I'm smaller physically, but emotionally I'm the same person. I wouldn't even give them the time of day. Congrats on your weight loss. The right person is out there for you, you just haven't found them yet. It'll happen. :)

  • But the fact remains that no healthy person is usually subject to fat shaming.
    Infact its the other way around, fat people tend to blame their insecurities on people they feel other people find attractive.
    Being fit and self disciplined is a fundamental part of living. Not because of social standards, because one must learn to rely on oneself. The weak always drag down the strong. Never the other way around.

    • Well I never did that but I can understand if they do it. It is their defense mechanism. Not defending them but when you are constantly treated as a subhuman, people do react that way.
      I know skinny women who are really fragile (anaemic and totally lacking strength) but they aren't ever shamed for their wrong eating habits. Because they fit the societal standard of being skinny. Rest is irrelevant to most.

    • You know why this happens? Its because of socioreligious conditioning. The bible preaches gluttony is a sin, that a person with too much fat in them represents the grotesque.
      The society makes fun or worse, takes pity on any it perceives weak. It shuns cripples, handicaps, those with disability, those who cannot properly live upto its expectations. Being fat, out of shape is a handicap, at the very least to yourself. You must cultivate strength, expectations or not. It is you who has to live not them.

  • You've pretty well nailed it. If people cared about others' health, and truly believed shaming was the answer, then everyone who engages in any unhealthy behaviors or suffers from any unhealthy condition (smoking, addiction, fast food diet) would face the same shame as fat girls. Obviously they don't, and any argument otherwise is naive.

    Love your take and thank you for being equally awesome whether fat or thin.

    • ^^^ like, if we really care about people's health so much, why aren't we getting on them about flossing their teeth every night-- I mean, do you have any idea what gum disease does to a person?
      Awesome MyTake!

    • @powerwoman @OP
      Thanks for support

  • It's true, if it was about health people would be promoting fitness and diet and instead of insulting them.

  • OK, first off, congrats for getting healthy. Your My Take was thought provoking and no, we shouldn't treat others as sub human no matter how they look. But I think it is totally acceptable to reject someone on account of looks, including extra loose skin. Nobody is physically perfect, but anyone should have the right to not find someone else attractive. I've heard of studies that when people lose weight they are often disappointed, because, while it changes some things, it doesn't change other things.
    By the way, I've heard of people donating excess skin to burn victims, etc. Just a thought.

  • Don't try this #EndBodyShaming nonsense on me. I'm allowed to think whatever I want, if i want to think of fat as ugly I will. Thank you.

    • I'm not telling you to call me beautiful. Its just that you can't treat a thicker person like piece of shit because they are thick. Body shaming is about that

    • Show All
    • It is about treating a thicker person less than a human in general and not in just romantic matters.

      If you read my take properly, I already did that and lost a massive amount of weight.
      But I have excess skin from it. And guess what? None of the 3 guys I went out with were okay with that.
      I mean they tell us to become skinny and then we have some stretch marks and loose skin in the process, you are still a piece of shit. Great. Because we still don't fit the standard of women having taut and toned skin.

    • I'm not sure what secluded corner of the world you live in where fat people are treated less than human, but I've yet to personally see this.

      I did read your take and it looks like you're calling guys losing romantic interest in you "pieces of shit" and "treating you less than human". That's ridiculous...
      If guys don't want to be with someone with loose skin, they have the right to choose that, stop shaming them.

      & by the way, no one is telling you lose weight, you decided to do that on your own (regardless of what the motive behind it was). You have your own free will to decide to loose weight, the same way there are fat people everywhere who are deciding not too.

  • It's good you understand being fat is fat.

  • You got healthy because you felt bad about yourself for being fat... how is this a bad thing?

    Body shaming may be in part about aesthetics because people find fat repulsive and assume fat people are lazy and unclean. But it was also about health, you said it yourself.
    "I am fit, I can climb a flight of stairs without getting tired, can run for long distance. I am full of energy most of the times and I love that feeling."

    You couldn't do that before.

  • Im glad you understand the importance of fat shaming in society. It's not ok to be fat.

  • Good aesthethics originate from being healthy obviously.

    • Not always.
      You can get conventionally good aesthetics by steroid use too. But that doesn't mean such person is healthy.
      A skinny person who looks aesthetically good may have health problems as well. I know skinny people who look aesthetically good buy face health problems because of their shitty eating habits and lack of excercise.
      That's my point. You have to focus more on being fitter and healthier version of ourselves than being conventionally attractive.

    • Skinny does not equal healthy. Plenty of slim people are just as unhealthy or more so than someone who's slightly overweight.

What Girls Said 8

  • My younger sister, who is fucking 6 by the way.

    Claims she can't do the same as one of her friends athletically because she's "fat" (which is bull, my sister just so happens to be a bigger built girl). The friend is one of those girls who is simply petite. She has no excess weight on her at all.
    My sister? she's got some baby fat on her and is what i consider to be "big boned". she's becoming almost obsessed with becoming skinny, though hasn't clued in to how she needs to change her diet, not JUST exercise. Not looking forward to her suddenly chucking a hissy fit at dinner everytime we have any kind of meat on the table. If that happens then ALL our diets will change and I have low iron. I can't do any kind of diet that doesn't include red meats.

    But she thinks that its all about being skinny. She gets upset with me now and again because I've just always been a smaller girl, and then turns around and makes fun of her mum for being a fat pig.

    This whole emphasis on how people look seriously needs to stop.
    Im not a guy for having short hair.
    My sister isn't fat for not being anorexic.
    Its perfectly normal to have a bit of a belly, it just means you lack definition in your abdominal muscles.
    If you are living off junk food and doing no exercise? Thats unhealthy. You need to look after yourself.
    But simply not looking the current definition of "beauty" does not make someone fat, or unhealthy, or ugly. It just means you shut your face and keep your opinion to yourself because you dont know their life or lifestyle, so you have no reason to say anything.

  • Yep spot on. Nobody gives a shit about your health really. They may even think they do but the fact is that deep down it's all purely about aesthetic. I weight 110 pounds and I am the laziest, unhealthiest person on Earth. I have ligament and cholesterol problems and no one ever tells me to work out, because on the outside I look fine/fit the standard. I'm definitely not the only skinny unhealthy person out there and fat people who exercise and eat healthy will still get a lot of backlash for being 'unhealthy', which I almost never get, especially not from strangers or people who aren't close to me, as I've seen happen to my 'overweight' friends.

  • Well ya duh! Guys don't care about health, they care about looks

    Honestly I don't know why guys who do that think we are that stupid? But maybe they don't, it's really just to make themselves feel better about behavior they know is wrong. It has nothing to do with you

  • Besides the professional quality of writing, the thing I appreciate most about this is that you were simply blunt about the nature and intentions of others with this whole fatshaming/accepting spectrum. People care way more about how fat looks than what it's doing to somebody's health. People treat and think of fat people in a completely different light than they do thin people. Fat people are second class to thin people whether they are medically healthier or not.

  • Wish i could like this take way more than once 👏

  • You don't sound cocky. You sound comfortable with yourself and you seem as if you are above all this bullshit. You seem to know your worth and your place in this world. Congrats on your weight loss and congrats on your strength, girl. You are truly and inspiration.

    • Thank you for support 😇

  • During my college days I over ate like crazy my freshman and sophmore years and decided to finally do something my junior year so I went on this crazy diet that turned into an eating disorder. Suddenly, everyone was so in love with my weight loss. They would tell me how great I looked all the time, even perfect strangers. It was insane how much more attention I got from guys, and for like half a second it made me happy, but learning what people truly felt about me before when I was heavy---people would say really hurtful things as if now that I was thinner, it wouldn't affect me. Then I lost too much weight, and guess what, the body shaming started right back up but on the other end of the spectrum with the "eat a hamburger" or something comments. I was devastated. I just felt like there was no middle ground. There is just a lot that goes into making a body change and I'm glad you did it the healthy way and are not letting anyone try to mold you into something you don't want to be. Health is absolutely important, and we should all strive to be healthy as opposed to just aesthetically looking a certain way. Congrats on your healthy weight loss and for sticking up for yourself.

  • good