Scales are the work of the devil if you ask me. The best thing I ever did was throw the scales out and stop dieting.
I stumbled across a copy of Shelley Bovey’s Being Fat Is Not A Sin (now republished as The Forbidden Body) while I was at Uni. I was floored, absolutely floored by the notion that being fat did not automatically mean I deserved to be treated with hatred and scorn. I mean, I knew I hated being treated like scum for my failure to be thin, but I felt like I somehow deserved that scorn. Hell, I heaped enough self-hatred and scorn on myself because I was fat, so why wouldn’t others do the same?
Yes, Bovey’s book was conflicted and angry and sometimes self-hating, but it was pitched to the level I needed right then. I, too, was conflicted and angry and self-hating and could therefore empathise with her. But hers was the only fat activist voice I had ever heard and her righteous anger lit a spark of fury within me and – eventually – inspired me to try and defy the weightloss police.
When I first experimented with “not dieting”, it was done with a great deal of anger, defiance and despair even, but not much self-love. I still believed that I should lose weight and that I could lose weight if I wanted to. But I didn’t want to, damn it! This is me, like me or lump me. So there. Up yours.
But I still weighed myself.