Fat & Happy, Thin & Happy

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We’re adding Whitney Thore to our growing list of women who are keeping us inspired.

One of my favorite new shows I’ve recently caught on to (being a TV grandma who’s always late to the television game) features “fat and fabulous” Whitney Thore, a gal from my beloved Greensboro, North Carolina who’s making some big waves. Take the pun if you want?I don’t think she’d care.

Whitney Thore, the 380-pound dancing star of TLC’s new hit reality series My Big Fat Fabulous Life has put polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, in the spotlight. She has attributed her rapid weight gain over a short period of time to the condition, one that may affect as much as 18% of women worldwide.

Whitney has the kind of attitude that every man, woman, child and living creature should have: whatever you are, be a good one. You don’t have to constantly put out the best, brightest version of yourself but you do need to be the version who is happiest with yourself when you lay your head at night. Everyone’s their own worst critic, but it’s likely that a fair share of that criticism is unfounded because…YOU ARE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m yelling at you. I’m yelling at you to stop with the body shaming of bone-thin people. I’m yelling at you to stop harassing the big and beautiful, the curvy, and the plus-size. I’m pleading with you to stop because it’s glaringly obvious that it’s likely yourself that you’re being so hard on. We allow retailers to tell us what size we are, the media to tell us what weight we should be, and well-meaning relatives to pinch us here and there without realizing their fingers are digging too deep.

Whitney (who was originally a producer for a local radio station) discussed her adventures in online dating in a segment that I couldn’t help but cry while listening to. One of her colleagues point blank asked her?with the kind of candor that can only come from a place of love, no doubt?if her date knew she was overweight (as if they would meet and she would catch him so off-guard that he might flee from the restaurant in terror, scarred for life from the traumatic event). Although she handled the question flawlessly like a true Southern diva, my heart hurt for her. Why did he have to ask that and not “do they know you’re kind of a local celebrity?”

Whitney, and many others like her, are trying to change the conversation we are having about our bodies. She is currently faced with many difficult decisions to make in regards to her health and I think we can all relate on some level. We all owe it to ourselves to be our healthiest and happiest, and whatever that means for you and your doctor is what matters. And if you need to, get a second opinion or a third. Find people who are supportive of your journey to lose, gain, or maintain without the glaring questions of “does he know you’re fat?” Because YOU ARE NOT FAT. You have fat. Fat is not who you are, thin is not who you are. You are you, and happy is what you should be.

And the man who said it best…

If you’re interested in learning more about Whitney and others like her, this might be a good place to start.

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