Fuck Being Healthy

“I don’t care what you look like as long as you’re healthy”

We’ve all heard it. Many of us have nodded along in agreement, quietly disengaging from the well-intentioned person saying it. I wonder how many of you stay quiet, like myself. I feel the words bubbling up in my chest every time, but they never escape. “I’m not healthy, can I still love my body?”. I know the answer. I know it deep down inside of me, but I still question it.

Many of you reading this may also understand the concept that health is subjective and can’t be decided or determined by your body size, your BMI, or even how much you work out. Many of us know that health is different for everyone. The battle lies in not looking at health as an end goal, or as a goal at all, and ending the belief that someone’s health determines their goodness, their wholeness as a human being.

I am not healthy. I have not been healthy for a long time. I love the hell out of my unhealthy body.

I stopped striving for health about a year ago. I started questioning what I thought about people who were in outwardly presenting “unhealthy” bodies. I thought about my grandfather before he died, I thought about friends in wheelchairs, I thought about people with chronic illnesses. I realized, I have not been a patient person, and perhaps I have not been kind. I can vividly think of many times that I have judged someone for “not doing enough to better themselves”. There were several times that I chose to not love someone because they were not working hard enough to be their “best”. I’m not telling you this as some admission of guilt, I’m telling you this because it’s real. Because it’s where I chose to start healing.

Often times when we work toward self love we see things we do to ourselves reflected in how we treat others. A long time ago I quit commenting on how people dressed, because I knew that it was manifesting itself as judgement against my own personal style (I mean I also did it so I would be less of a dick, but the self love part was pretty important). When I realized the pattern I had developed toward other people and their perceived “best” selves, I knew something had to change. Just as I did when I wanted to stop being so harsh about my own style, I started by practicing a new attitude toward others. While it may be easy for some of you to see where I was failing, it was difficult for me. I began by challenging my idea of what someone’s “best” is. I started by realizing that someone’s “best” can change every day, and then I recognized that it doesn’t matter if I deem what someone else is doing as their “best”. Why have we decided that someone must want to be be “better” to be worthy of our love? What within ourselves can’t accept and love people as they are?

A person is not obligated to me or anyone else to be healthy. I am not obligated to be healthy. In fact, I may never be “healthy”. I may never overcome my disordered eating. I may never be “better”. And maybe you never will either. And that’s ok. We’re ok. In fact, we’re perfect. Right now.

My abilities, our abilities, do not determine our worth, and never have. They have been placed before us by others as a scapegoat for judgement. Recognizing this has created a new level of self acceptance and body positivity for me.

I am unhealthy. I am whole.

EDIT: I have received a lot of feedback on this article and I would like to challenge you to consider what I am and am NOT saying in this piece. I do not believe in black and white dichotomous thinking. I do not believe that being healthy is better than being unhealthy, just as I don’t believe that being unhealthy is better than being healthy. I believe that ALL WAYS OF BEING are valid, and worthy of praise, and self love, and acceptance, and respect. I believe that many of us fight hard for a level of health that may not be attainable for ourselves and then mentally beat ourselves up because we can’t reach it. I believe that no matter what my past, present, or future may look like I want to love myself NOW. As I am. And my unhealthy body is part of that.

Fat Girl Flow

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  • J.S.
    March 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

    “I don’t care what you look like as long as you’re healthy”

    Do they say this to thin people? Do they question every thin people’s health?

    Nope. Sure don’t. Funny, that.

    • L.
      April 4, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Actually, I’ve heard it said to a few thin people but maybe it’s the exception? I’ve lost a lot of weight and people rave about it! What did you do?? I got laid off and watched my mother die of breast cancer. But i rarely say that. People, they suck. And now that I’m the “acceptable” weight, I know I’m still not healthy. I don’t exercise and I don’t always eat right. But as for not having to be healthy for someone else, there I disagree. After watching my mom die of cancer after she neglected her health, I’m more determined to try to be healthy for my boyfriend. He loves me and I don’t want to put him through the pain of watching me die of something i could have prevented.

      • fatgirlflow
        April 4, 2016 at 11:01 pm

        It’s definitely said to thin people as well. I know that when I was struggling with my eating disorder people would constantly tell me I looked great, not knowing that I was really struggling. I was not healthy then. I am not healthy now even though I’m dealing with a new set of problems.

        It’s your choice to do what you want with your body, and I would never say that people shouldn’t do whatever the hell they want with their body. They absolutely should. My point here is that I should not be beholden to anyone in regards to my health. And that people should respect that I get to do whatever I want with my body while simultaneously loving it.

        • Michelle
          April 4, 2016 at 11:57 pm

          I agree with you. I just lost my dad to cancer. It’s heartbreaking to see someone who was healthy suffer. It’s not funny and it’s not empowering. I think she is going too far.

  • Awura
    March 31, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I sat in taxi on my way to the bus station from on city to another yesterday. As I ate a doughnut and drank some juice, the taxi driver said to me ‘at this rate you’re going to be bloated by the time you reach your destination’ I wanted so bad to insult him but I asked ‘why is that?’ And he replied ‘ at your size you are still eating and I’m sure u have more food in your bag to eat till you get home!’ It was only God’s grace that kept me from punching him! And you know what? I live in Africa! Fat shaming is everywhere . The only people who don’t do that to me r my boss and hubby. Even my mother, until recently when I shut her up angrily. It’s only Since I stumbled on this blog in December last year have I gotten any confidence in myself. God bless you corrisa

    • fatgirlflow
      April 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      So much love to you Awura <3

  • Sarah
    April 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I love this and I feel it deep in my heart. I make decisions to do healthy things for myself every day, not because I want to be healthy, but because I love doing them. I also make decisions to do unhealthy things for myself every day too, not because I want to be unhealthy, but because I love doing them. I think most people would look at me and think I was not very healthy based on my size, but at the same time, I feel so strong and capable in this body. I can hike miles uphill, I can feel the sun on my skin, I can take a deep breath and smell the fresh air. I can swim and laugh and feel pleasure at someone I love’s touch. And I can run if you chase me (just not very fast). Those things matter more to me than what others think of my health or lack thereof. I think everyone of us who gets a body is blessed to have it, regardless of what the body looks like. I wish people would see their bodies as blessings and not determinations of their self worth. I know it took my about 30 years to realize this, and I still have moments when I falter. But whenever I hate my body or feel like I need to change to please someone, I remind myself of what this body does for me and gives me and soon enough I come to love it again.

    “What within ourselves can’t accept and love people as they are?”

    I think it’s the projection of our own inability to accept and love ourselves as we are.

    You’re so fucking awesome and I so look forward to your posts!

  • Kelly
    April 1, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    This is something I have struggled with for many, many years. I was taught at a very young age how to hide certain aspects of my body so that I wouldn’t draw attention to them. (“You really have to cover that up, dear.” ) Over time I began to hate those parts of me…..which very soon because all of me. I look in the mirror and see the little, fat girl I was and the older fat girl she’s become and I cry. I cry because of the hurt I felt from childhood on. Not only from my own family, but from strangers and people I once thought were friends. I look in the mirror and think, “well, at least I have great eyes.” In all my 45 years I have never once loved who I was. I wasn’t taught to. I was taught to look in the mirror and judge, then hide it all. Now all these years later I am struggling to understand why. Struggling to try and move past all the hurt and be proud of who I am regardless of what the tags on my jeans say.

    I look at other people and think, wow, I wish I could pull that off and feel that good; or gee, wish I had the balls to leave the house in that and be that happy and confident. I am trying to put that wishful thinking into reality for myself, and it’s hard. So many insecurities festered because I’m “too hippy”, or “too short waisted”, or my “shoulders are just too broad”. Sometimes all those words keep me from leaving the house because I don’t have anything in my closet to “hide my ass” that day and it just SUCKS!

    You’re an awesome person. Reading your words and what you’ve been through resonates with so many of my own struggles. <3

    • Francesca Etheart
      April 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Hello kelly!
      I feel so sad reading your comment. Please don’t worry about what other people say. Its not worth it. They don’t truly know you. You only have one life and one body learn to love them both!

      It took me 33 years to learn that myself! I’m learning to love all of me and I’m a better person for it.
      There’s is nothing to hide you’re beautiful!

    • fatgirlflow
      April 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      I think so many people are where you are, Kelly. I know I have been. I think that participating in discussions like these, and exposing yourself to new, more positive, ways of thinking is some times the best we can do. No matter where you are on your journey to self love it is never ever too late to love yourself. As I’ve said before, I would rather spend my entire life TRYING to love myself, than spend one more day hating myself. Welcome to this safe space. <3

  • Lala
    April 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve been a long-time reader and usually love your posts, particularly the self-confidence and self-love you exude in them, but I have to admit that this one left me a little baffled. I am all for self-love, as you are, but I don’t see how that fits with stopping striving for health. I guess my thinking is that loving something/someone/yourself means taking care of that something/someone/yourself–and thus, striving for health. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being fat and embracing it, but being unhealthy is a different thing altogether (caveat: when you can do something to BE healthy instead). That’s not self-love, that’s being lazy and settling, which your body does not deserve.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      I don’t believe I am settling when I say that in this moment, how I am exactly right now, is worth every ounce of love and respect and positivity that any future version of myself may also receive. I have never said that I don’t strive to work on myself (in many different ways), all I’ve said is that I will not keep adhering to the idea that unhealthy bodies are bad.

      • April
        April 4, 2016 at 9:13 pm

        Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.

  • Fiona
    April 4, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I very much dislike the assumption that a fat body is an “unhealthy” body! I’m fat despite cycling 80 km a week and doing a high intensity boot camp twice a week. I love being active. My DNA wants me to be fat! I don’t know or care if I am considered healthy because I do loads of activity or plain old fat and detestable? Oh well, who cares? 🙂

  • Mizserious
    April 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I decided this year, that NOBODY gets to have anything to say about my body, my choices or my decisions. Went to brunch with my mom and sister and I ordered a hot chocolate. My mother tells me, “You don’t need that. Think of the calories.” I told her,calmly, “You worry about YOUR calories.” I’m almost 30 and and if I want to have water with lemon or a hot chocolate, I will. If I order a grilled chicken salad, I’m applauded. For what? I like grilled chicken and arugula is my jam. When you’re fat, the world thinks they get a say in what we eat, drink, wear, even if we’re happy or not. At this point my motto is Fuck the comments. Even those back handed compliments : That makes you look slimmer, You look like you’re losing weight, You’re pretty for a big girl… Anyway, I needed to vent. And thanks for your post, I loved it!

  • Michelle
    April 4, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    so loving yourself mean not giving a fuck about your body? I think this is going too far. Loving yourself means that at whatever state your are in you show love and compassion to yourself. That love and compassion also means doing what’s best for you. The level of health and wellness that best helps you do what you need to do. That varies for individuals. What’s not ok is to say, “you might never be healthy,” or “get over did-preferred eating.” What you really want to say is I don’t want to… If you don’t that’s fine. We all have to come to terms with what we want. I recently lost my dad, had a stressful year and gained weight. I don’t like not fitting in my clothes but you know what? I don’t feel like working ou. I don’t want a strict diet and rigorous exercise regimen right now. So I’ll be happy with where I am until I’m ready. But what I’m not going to say is maybe I’ll never….That’s not self love that’s self defeating.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 5, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      When did I ever say I would “never” do something??? I haven’t. In fact, you have no idea what I value or how I treat my body.

      You are actually practicing exactly what I’m preaching by not working out right now because you’re not ready. You’re saying “I’m ok with my body RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT and I don’t have to change because I don’t want to”. That doesn’t mean you’re saying that you will never do something different… it just means that you accept yourself in all forms. healthy, unhealthy, able, or otherwise.

      Just because I say that I believe being unhealthy is a valid way of being doesn’t mean I think that being healthy is not.

      • Joan Thomas
        December 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        There’s NOTHING healthy (or constructive) about being critical or negative.about yourself! To be healthy you have to accept yourself. It is so hard but I keep trying!

  • Michelle
    April 5, 2016 at 12:16 am

    This article really upsets me. Im not thin. By medical standards I’m obese. I love myself. I’m sassy and sexy. I get compliments on shape from men and I still have a stomach and sometimes a double chin. But what upsets me about this article is the resolve to not be healthy. Our bodies house our spirits and our souls. Our bodies are what allow us to carry out compassion that comes from our souls and spirits. It’s not just a matter judging our bodies. Body-shaming isn’t healthy either. But to dismiss being healthy can every ally have devistating affects. It’s easy to say Fuck being healthy in your 20’s and 30’s. When you can smile and move and where cute clothes. But what about when you can’t walk up the stairs or you can’t go for a walk with you kids because you are too tired or your back hurts. I’m not even talking about life-threatening diseases. I’m talking about quality of life. Say fuck healthy when you turn 50 or 60. Have you every heard someone in their 70’s say fuck being healthy? How many of your grandparents say take care of your bodies while you are young? I’m sure they aren’t talking about strict diets and over exercising. But they do know a little something about living a good life. I understand living free from labeled and judgment. But we only have one body and we have to take care of it.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Michelle, I think it is perfectly acceptable for all people to strive for whatever they value in life. If you value health and want to strive for what you believe that is, then I applaud you. I think that’s lovely.

      What I will no longer submit to is the idea that unhealthy is in some way BAD. Because it is not. And if a person is unhealthy their whole life, they can still love and appreciate their unhealthy body, and not hate it or curse it for being what it is.

      Some people will not ever have a healthy body, and they are just as worthy of love and acceptance as the people who do.

      • Lala
        April 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm

        Actually, I get what Michelle is saying. It’s a lot easier to say fuck being healthy when you are young, but you know, at some point, we have to pay for all the junk that went into our bodies at a time when we were not giving any fucks about our bodies. And when that point comes, it’s rarely the case that the body-owner is the only one affected–a family member who is unhealthy and sick is usually cared for by the family. Imagine saying fuck being healthy then.

  • Ruth Adar
    April 5, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for a great article.

    Health is largely chance. If my DNA were slightly different, I might have MS. I might have died of cancer already. I might have developed alcoholism. I might be completely healthy and fat. I might be completely healthy and thin. I might be different in a million other ways.

    Instead, I am a 61 year old lesbian with my mother’s gout, a touch of psoriasis, borderline blood pressure, osteoarthritis and bunions, courtesy of my paternal grandmother. I have no idea who had the little genetic thingie that gave me blood that clots too easily, but at least it didn’t kill me last fall when I had the pulmonary embolism. Seriously, it’s the DNA, at least for me.

    I also have injuries from life events, from the two (healthy) births, from falls from a horse, and other things. The worst in terms of effect on my general health was ironically enough, from a botched up surgery that mangled one of my feet past saving, even after subsequent surgeries to fix it. So, um, thanks, Doc, but don’t tell me THAT was fat, ’cause it wasn’t.

    Some people want to tell me that everything bad is the result of my fat. That’s their problem.

    The fat is just fat.

  • Karen hillyer
    April 5, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    More ppl should read your blogs, fat or thin, healthy or unhealthy if the world had your attitude ppl would be happier and less judgemental of other. Your a great person inside and out. Karen from UK

  • Heather
    April 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I wish and I hope that people read this article and take something positive from it. Especially those people who will read it and think ‘Oh yeah she’s just fat and fat is super unhealthy ew gross her opinion doesn’t matter.’ ?

    I’ve heard this so often. I’ve only ever heard of a couple of instances in my case where thin friends heard it. I’d wager that the majority of people who hear this statement are fat, because people STILL don’t realize that fat is not automatically unhealthy (as skinny isn’t automatically healthy and so on). Regardless of that though, people need to realize that correlation does not always equal causation. I’ve never seen any definitive proof that fat equals healthy or skinny equals unhealthy. I doubt we’ll ever see definitive proof. Until that happens… And even if it does… I will stand by what I said. Correlation doesn’t always equal causation.

    I’ll also stand behind anyone who needs it, because EVERYONE deserves love and respect regardless of health, body type, etc. I firmly believe in that now, I have for quite some time, and I learned it in part from you Corissa, thank you. ❤❤

    • Heather
      April 5, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Also idk why that super old picture of mine is up as my avatar, please ignore it. I need to try and update it perhaps.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 5, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      So much love to you Heather. Thank you for joining me here <3

  • Elizabeth
    April 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I didn’t know I needed this until I actually found it. I had an eating disorder from ages 12-19, and when I finally entered recovery (with the help of my amazing boyfriend) – I gained over 100 pounds in 8 months. I realized that I LOVE food. Like a lot. It’s soo good and there are so many different ways to experience it – I was amazed. I had held myself back for so long and now I will eat literally anything (at least once! hahah) but I knew my body size combined with my love of food caused people to view me as unhealthy. Even though I’m happy. Even though I get excited when I cook a good, savoury meal. This post made me realize I don’t WANT to be what everyone views as “healthy” because when I was sick, very very sick, nobody even noticed or cared because at least I was skinny.

    Thank you so much. I can’t say it enough. You have changed my perspective on myself. I relate to so much of your story and your struggles and it’s nice to have someone finally say FUCK being healthy.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 14, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Oh Elizabeth, your story resonates with me so deeply. I’m actually in tears reading it, because dang it… our stories are just so similar. So much love to you and your journey. Thank you for sharing this with me <3

  • Ellen Dayan
    April 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    This is such a fascinating article! I honestly don’t know quite what to make of it, except that it surprises me to hear someone be this honest and positive about a lack of physical health. We have been obsessed with working out, health food, plastic surgery, diets, vitamins, and thinness in this country for so long… sometimes I feel weary and overwhelmed by it all. And self-improvement, yes, that’s an interesting point, too, that you’re making! Maybe it was OK to be heavy if you were “working on it.” The base assumption there is that it’s not OK to just be who and what you are. Not if you’re overweight. I see the terrible problem there–it’s that the lack of acceptance and withheld love and respect from others (and ourselves) is so incredibly damaging. It just makes you feel hopeless and like there’s nothing to do but give up and hide out. I really applaud you for claiming your right to self-acceptance and self love NOW. You also said that you might never have a healthy body, but that you are going to love your body, anyway. This is the part that has me thinking, hard. Perhaps I will never be physically healthy again, either. I don’t think I want to spend 2 hours in the gym every day and eat like a bird for the rest of my life as part of a “lifestyle change.” Before I read this article, I was waiting for the motivation and inspiration to hit me so I could go get another gym membership. Now I’m wondering what would happen if that motivation and inspiration never came. I’m realizing that it’s my choice to make–do I want to be healthy or not? It never occurred to me that this was a real choice. How could anyone say they didn’t really want to be healthy? Maybe it’s not that exactly–maybe it’s that we might not choose to do all that’s necessary to become healthy. There’s a difference. But then to go that one, incredible step further, and say that you love your unhealthy body? Part of me rushes to embrace this unconditional self acceptance. Part of me fears what letting go of the pursuit of health would bring. But I thank you for putting this on the table for us to think about. Sincerely. Thank you.

    • fatgirlflow
      April 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      I think you completely and totally get it. It is YOUR choice. And you are valid and worthy no matter what your choice is. Everyone gets to decide for themselves what it is they value and why. And it might differ from the norm, and that’s OK. There are also people who do NOT have a choice. Some people will be in their unhealthy bodies forever. Some people face accidents in their lives that change their healthy bodies to unhealthy bodies. And they are worthy of self love too. We all are. Being unhealthy does not make anyone LESS THAN any other person. <3 xoxoxo Thank you for reading!

  • NP
    May 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    That’s a lot of words for saying, “I give up.”

    • fatgirlflow
      May 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      That’s a lot of words for saying “I don’t like to listen”

    • Ellen Dayan
      May 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Hi NP, I don’t think you really understand what giving up means.

      Giving up also means believing that you are not an acceptable human being because you are fat. It means hiding out in your house for years because you are ashamed and depressed about what you look like. Giving up means believing that fashion models are beautiful and you aren’t. It means denying yourself any measure of self-love, self-acceptance, or confidence until you’re skinny. That’s also giving up.

      What do you want to “give up” on? Your choice!

  • Monica
    June 1, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I think people are taking the phrase “fuck being healthy” a little too literally here. At no point did C say that she was giving up on her life or her own health. She’s simply done with the ATTITUDE that people have about fat people and “being healthy”. Some of the other replies gave some very good examples of this particular attitude – from mothers, friends, strangers, etc. The attitude that because a person is fat, it is alright to judge them by your individual conception of what healthy is or should be. I think C;s resolve is to live by her own standards and not anyone else’s. Period.

    I applaud her for that. Why should other people’s judgments turn every day experiences into torture? In my 42 years I’ve never seen a fat person do that to other people except for one particular co-worker. Think about it. When has a fat girl looked at the girl in the office with the “do-me” shoes and asked “Did you really wear those to work?” But that same girl has no problem looking at the fat girl in the office and asking “Are you really going to eat that piece of cake?”

    I say more power to you and F them if they can’t take a joke!

  • Jesus Morfa
    June 20, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Glad to see that there are people who think like me. As a personal trainer, I strugle trying to explain others in the industry that not all walking in a gym or hiring a PT, want to be slim. As I state that in my website: “Some people are overweight by a little, some by a lot, if that is who they want to be and feel happy about it…good (my modest opinion)”

  • Ti
    August 5, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I love this. This society makes it as if being healthy means you are worthy. As a chronically ill/disabled person i agree that some people will never be healthy & they still deserve to cherish their bodies!

  • Michelann
    September 11, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Just started reading your blog. It is brave and awesome. And yes, isn’t it weird that to just be okay with ourselves is “brave”? Patriarchy, man. Anyway, I think this post is great because it’s so challenging. We have a cultural norm that trying, or striving, or being your best self is virtuous. By extension, so is exhaustion and burnout. Calling this into question is super important. I had some major health issues this year. I couldn’t prevent them, and all I could do was endure them. I struggled a lot with “what did I do wrong” because I was taught to ascribe some kind of causality to misfortune. As I move through middle age and watch those around me also age and struggle with the attendant health problems, I realize something more fully: We will all get sick. We will all die. We can’t avoid this stuff, no matter how much we obsesses over health. Cancer doesn’t give a shit. So my goal is to continue to try to live fully in my body when it’s healthy, sick, sad, or just okay. My body is not something to be manipulated and punished and objectified. My body is me, for as long as I’m around. And contrary to popular belief (and companies that want you to buy shit), I don’t have that much say in how long I have, only how I choose to live in that time.

  • Becky
    November 6, 2016 at 9:02 am

    How I wish this kind of self-love and body-acceptance had been around 60 years ago. It might have changed the course of my life – I wouldn’t have settled for some guy just because he wanted me. I might have just enjoyed life more, without the dark cloud of “but I’m fat” hanging over my head. I’m a grandma now and no longer interested in wearing the latest fashions or dating, and age brings its own acceptance of what is, at least for me. I proudly show pictures of myself with my darling grandchildren, no longer concerned about my double chin or being photographed from the side, leaving my big belly out there for everyone on Facebook to see. I’m proud of the smile on my face and the twinkle in my eyes, the pretty colors I wear, and the little arms wrapped around my neck.
    I am so happy for the dialogue happening today, and so proud of the beautiful young ladies brave enough to strut their stuff and show the world just how stylish and amazing they are, with their middle fingers flying!
    I love you, you are beautiful, please please please keep doin’ what you do!

  • fatgirlflow
    November 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to read and connect with what I’m saying <3 I know so many of us have been there, and talking about it really helps <3