Fat Activism / Morris · 5 November 2021

Ace, nonbinary, over 50 and fat

Dancing with my morris side, dodgy knee and all

I’ve just been listening to The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce which is a collection of fat-positive essays from bloggers of all demographics who identify as fat.

I guess I should back up a bit. Back in March, I was on the Slimming World diet, trying desperately (and failing) to get myself below 11 and a half stone (161lb) while cycling 40 miles a week and dancing at least three nights a week. I had been trying to get to my target weight of 11 stone for a good six months, sticking religiously to the diet, and the comments I was getting at the weekly weigh in were beginning to slide from gently pitying and encouraging to accusatory, like maybe I had forgotten that I had eaten a couple of pizzas, or I wasn’t being honest.

I was being honest, and I was so discouraged with the failure of a diet that I had once succeeded with so wildly that I was voted my local chapter’s Slimmer of the Year, that I decided to call it a day. 11.5 stone wasn’t so bad after all.

I maintained 11.5 for another year, although it got increasingly difficult, and then gradually I started binging. I was genuinely disbelieving and frightened by this, because I had fucking amazing willpower, and I had thought the fat-free diet was the one that I had finally found that not only worked but I could live with forever.

But no, now I was scaring myself with my complete inability to stop eating. I had been on diets and off diets for 30 years and had never experienced this level of complete helplessness around my own eating. It was literally terrifying.

Slimming World had been my last hope as far as diets were concerned. Looking for a way to avoid developing an eating disorder, I discovered Intuitive Eating, and then The Fuck It Diet. These both claimed that if you just ate when you were hungry and stopped when you were full, your weight would level out at a set point that your body would regulate for you.

(I had been afraid that if I didn’t diet I would just get fatter and fatter forever until I died from it.)

By now I was desperate enough to take the risk. The idea of having a weight set point that I could get to, where I could just forget about obsessing about food, was amazing, and I gave it a go.

It works, it turns out.

I stopped weighing myself, so I can’t tell you what I weigh now. I am certainly two dress sizes larger than I was. I was a UK size 14-16. I went up to a 22, but just as the books had told me, after I’d hit my upper weight set point, I lost an inch around the waist and came down again to an 18-20, which has now held stable for at least four months without me consciously regulating it at all.

So this was a huge triumph and relief. But it also means that I am, by any stretch of the imagination, fat.

Hence why I am now reading books and listening to podcasts about fat activism.

Which are frankly great – very affirming. Although weirdly fixated on crop-tops and the wearing thereof. I have to say I have never harboured a secret desire to wear a crop top, and I can’t see myself, even in the most luxuriant flowering of self-love, ever wanting to wear a crop top.

In that vein, there is an awful lot about fashion, which is also something I have very little interest in. Maybe it’s because I’m non-binary and when I sized out of interesting women’s clothes I just started wearing men’s clothes instead? Maybe it’s because I just don’t have any style, and I buy all my clothes second hand from charity shops.

Or because I’m still privileged by being able to find anything at all to wear in the shops. I’ve got to say I was very happy to find Wicked Dragon Clothing on the internet, whose hippie dungarees are as close as I get to a signature look.

Anyway, what am I saying? IDK, just that the emphasis on being sexy and stylish from the fat female blogosphere is not landing well on this asexual, and the emphasis on physical appearance and clothes feels very gendered to this enbie.

It’s not even that you can’t get plus size clothes sold as being non-binary, it’s just that the emphasis on clothes feels… idk… not very me. If I could get away with it, I would dress in morris kit as in the video all the time. Why wear stylish clothes when I could look like a genderless forest spirit instead?

Are there any ace/enby fat bloggers out there I ought to know about? Ideally ones who are also interested in SF/Fantasy fandom? I don’t think of age as much of a thing, but finding other older ace/agender/fat people would be amazing. One of the first things they tell you is to find your people, but my people are pretty rare. I hope I don’t have to do this by myself.

This looks interesting, though: Charlotte’s Website – A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline Maybe my journey begins there?