My general practitioner is from Yugoslavia. She also speaks fluent Serbian. This makes me think that she grew up not in Belgrade, but somewhere closer to the border. And by that, I mean to say that being a doctor in America is probably a lifetime away from where she grew up.
So when she said "So...you know you're fat, right?" I think there were a variety of things at play: English being her third or fourt language; obesity being a "first-world" problem; and her being the inspiration for the don't give a shit attitude of the honey badger.
Language and attitude aside... she was right.
At 5'9" and 240lbs, I wasn't just fat, I was obese.
I love that she didn't phrase it as a statement -- i.e., "You are fat." -- but as a question about whether I knew I had a problem or not. Cause believe it or not, people think they're way healthier than they actually are. For all the years of people saying it was "baby fat" or that I would "grow out of it after puberty" there was finally a person with the balls to stop sugar coating it, who was willing to risk offending me in order to help me save my life.
We talked about what I ate, my exercise patterns, and some other things. Her recommendation? A dietitian and a therapist. She could see the tears well up in my eyes after she asked me "How long have you been overweight?" I could barely get out the story about my dysfunctional relationship with food and my family. She knew I needed to address those issues before I would be ready to lose the weight.
My opinion is that "FAT" is only derogatory if you are unaware of who you are at the core (that is, it didn't hurt me to be called fat because I knew that deep down, the body I was in was holding back who I was meant to be).
My opinion is that "FAT" can't hurt you anymore if you have truly turned your back on your former lifestyle and have dealt with all the psychological issues that got you there in the first place.
My opinion is that being called out for being FAT changed my life for the better versus all the times people tried to protect my feelings by saying "oh, you're not fat, here... have some fries."
My opinion is that my FAT is really FUEL. My wiggles and jiggles mean that I can run long runs without having to carbo load before. I have little fat cells lying in wait to help support my muscles.
I also know the reality of how fat people are viewed in this world -- which is why my blog name is FAT GIRL versus WORLD. By sharing my awesomeness with the world (and the fact that I don't eat Twinkies 24/7), I want to show people that just because I have said wiggles and jiggles, that it won't prevent me from kicking ass at life. I will fight for the same rights and respect that naturally thin people get just by showing up.
But do bear in mind that I'm not advocating blind fat acceptance. My core belief that the journey and how we should view ourselves is not through size/weight but rather through health/fitness. Be whatever size or shape you want to be, but have a healthy lifestyle, a healthy attitude, and be able to outrun a ninja.
So when someone gets their panties in a twist over someone else using the word fat, I just wonder if they haven't fully faced their fears about going back to the way they were, or if they will continually be victimized by a three letter word.
I really like @TheAntiJared's take on the word "fat" and I love the conversation going on at @MizFitOnline's blog.
I think at some point everyone needs to make a choice as to whether they're going to let that word define them, or whether they're going to let their actions speak louder than that one word.