Content note for discussion of eating disorders and associated behaviors.

By eleven I’d learned to be disgusted by foods I perceived as too high calorie. Vanilla ice cream was just bleached lard to my mind, and it was easy to not want bleached lard.

If I’d never been surrounded by a culture that shames and mocks fat bodies, fear of fatness would not have consumed me. I wonder what might have instead. Would I have engaged more in my studies, exercised for the joy of movement,  or simply been more attentive to the rest of my life?

I think of the wasted potential of my eleven year old self, squandered on worry over weight and never feeling safe enough to simply relax and be in my body. And I think of the all the other people who waste time and energy and self-respect on this cultural obsession with thinness.

I’ve never been fat, never been overweight.  But I have feared fatness for more than two-thirds of my life because I could tell how fatness and fat people were regarded.

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