There has been a lot of chatter and argument within the body acceptance circle as of late surrounding the issue of weight loss surgery (WLS). Namely over at Shapely Prose and such. Now, I understand the views I am encountering. I felt that way myself once...But I would like to provide another point of view.
July 1, 2005, I had gastric banding surgery, otherwise known as the Lap Band. I am going to leave my previous and post eating disorders (everything diagnosable pretty much) out of this conversation for the mere fact that they do not happen to everyone or anywhere near the majority.
Now, the primary differences between the lap band and Bypass is that Lap Band is a simple surgery, done in under an hour with relatively low risks. Nothing is anatomically altered and once the healing has taken place, the internal components are adjustable with a simple needle insertion.
Before I had surgery I contemplated what it meant, as someone who had always been fat, as a staunch feminist, as someone who believed in equality for all people, all body types. I thought about what it meant to say "Im not okay fat" or "I need to change." But the truth was, I was 367 lbs and not naturally. I wasnt that heavy because I was big boned. I wasnt eating normally and I had no ability to stop it on my own or with therapy. I had tried all my life and after being on diets from 6 months of age, everything in my head was so damned screwed up that I had no ability to sort and untangle things.
Im sure youre saying "Oh great... so tie her stomach off and that will solve the problem"
Well... As the weight flew off, I was forced to deal with my issues... issues I didnt know where there. Issues that went far deeper than the depth of my fat.
When I was fat, I was always trying to live it down." "Make it a non issue." "Be like everyone else."
Now, I consider myself part of the body acceptance movement. I believe that we need to accept all people's bodies and journeys.
My band is losened now. It is as if it does not exist. I do not maintain my weight by any unnatural means. I eat normally. I eat what I want. I move when I want.
Saying that there is no room for WLS in the fat acceptance movement is an uninformed knee jerk reaction, causing seperatism when in fact, many of those who have undergone WLS are the biggest body acceptance advocates.
Its simply the difference between being naturally big and being big because you have a problem.
I dont encourage people to say it is okay to be fat if you are that way because you cannot stop eating.
If that is how you naturally are, more power to you, shake that thang and go on with your bad self...
But if you are covering up emotions and pain with food, then who is to say you should stay that way?
I think people of all sizes are beautiful. I stand up to bigots and sizeists more than almost anyone I have ever met. Im the thin girl who WILL NOT stand to hear a fat joke. I WILL NOT talk about others bodies and their flaws, whether with them or with others. I KNOW first hand how these things are negitive and just plain wrong and I have NO tolerance for them.
So is there no place for me in this movement? Simply because I chose the only way for me to work through my past trauma?
It was once said that "If I cant dance, I dont want to be a part of your movement"
Well Im in this movement, and Im dancing...
Since when is health, whether mental or physical, so damn devisive?