Fatty Street Cred

So I’ve kind of been thinking lately about what puts someone in the category “fat”.  I don’t mean weight or BMI stipulations, or anything like that.  I mean what gives a person membership into this community where we have a collective understanding of the fat experience?  Like I know some people who I would definitely not consider fat, but they consider themselves legitimately fat and I do not want to throw the “Oh shut up, you’re not fat!” at them as this would invalidate their feelings and probably emphasize the marginalization of “fat.”

I have not come up with a solution to this conundrum, but it did bring me to come up with the idea of “fatty street cred”.  You know…like street cred where someone gains respect on the streets for the hardships they’ve faced and overcome?  It’s the hardships we have faced that solidify our credibility as a fatty.  haha I’m not trying to characterize “fat” as an exclusive community…it’s just kind of a funny way of thinking about it.  Take me for example…I think a lot of my fatty street cred comes from all the diets I was put on as a child (and I say ‘put on’ because I was pressured into them–I didn’t initiate diets myself)

Second and third grade- Weight Watchers

Fifth and sixth grade- Shapedown

Seventh Grade- After school exercise program where I was the only one there to lose weight…The other girls were just there for fun.  I also met regularly with a dietitian

Eighth Grade- Personal Trainer at the request of my school nurse.  And my doctor had me keep a food diary.

Ninth and Tenth grade- Jenny Craig.  I lost the most weight on this one.  But I was embarrassed to bring the food to school.  So I started to eat nothing all day and then pig out when I got home from school.  In the end, I gained it all back and then some.

Freshman year of college- My friend and I went on diets together.  I taught her how to diet because I’d gone through it so often.  I taught her things like “a serving is about the size of your fist” and “eat until you are satisfied…not until you are full.”  We also did dumb things like if we had something on our plate that we wanted to eat, but thought we shouldn’t, the other person would lick it so we wouldn’t want to eat it anymore.

haha that’s my weight loss history.  Although I think I also get fatty street cred points from how I’ve been treated by doctors, h0w I was teased when I was young, and how shopping has always been frustrating and sometimes next to impossible.

Where does your “fatty street cred” come from?

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sleepydumpling on December 23, 2009 at 8:18 am

    A gajillion diets. A lifetime of humiliation and cruelty at the hands of douchebags. A family that value boys over girls, girls are meant to be ornaments. A lifetime of depression and anxiety and chronically low self esteem. 25 years of being looked over by shallow men and “friends” pitying me.

    That’s how I earned my fat stars. And I wear every one of them proudly like a badge of courage and achievement.


  2. Posted by Katie on December 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I too have done a gajillion diets. After I started Medifast, a mom who asked me why I needed to have five shakes a day, wouldn’t I lose more weight if I cut back. A diet induced autoimmune disease that will last a lifetime (I have no scientific proof of this, but you will have a hard convincing me that they aren’t connected). And the instinct to hoard food after being put on so many diets as a child and not knowing if the next meal will actually fill me up.

    I can’t say I’m proud of my stars, right now I’m still angry.


  3. Posted by Fantine on December 23, 2009 at 10:57 am

    My family did not have the monetary privilege of putting me on a billion different commercial diets, but I did do Shapedown, which to me is most memorable for the “all fatties binge, so if you say you don’t, you’re lying to yourself” philosophy, in the summer between sixth and seventh grade.

    My fatty street cred comes from having starved myself on my own diet plan (which boiled down to “do not eat in public, ever”) until my teeth were loose and my hair was falling out, and still not losing any weight. (Thank you, PCOS, which according to some doctors is a figment of my imagination and would go away if I just lost some weight.) It comes from being teased for being fat since my first day of kindergarten. It comes from having taken phen-fen when I was 19. Mostly, though, it comes from being a short, fat, fatty fatty deathfat and still daring to walk around like I’m a normal person deserving of basic human dignity.


  4. From being teased mercilessly at primary school for 7 years about being fat
    For not fitting into girl’s size clothing since age 11 or 12
    For being on gazillion diets
    For taking something I suspect was phen-fen or something very similar when I was 15 and starving myself for 3 months while exercising for hours each day, in order to lose 18kg.
    And for a zillion other big fat reason ; )


  5. Just discovered your blog and its great… what is actually fat is such a conundrum. My fatty street cred comes from years of dieting as well (since 14) although rarely in formal settings like WW or Jenny Craig. And years of having to shop at Lane Bryant as a teenager in the 90s before Lane Bryant figured out how to actually make fashionable clothing. My family’s “you would be such a looker if you lost some weight” or “you have such a pretty face”.


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