Why size inclusion matters to me
TW: Disordered eating
Before I start, I want to acknowledge that I experience tremendous size privilege in the knitting industry, in the accounting field, medically, socially, and beyond. My story is one of a medium-sized person grappling with diet-culture and the ways in which I've experienced marginalization and have also perpetuated a framework of marginalization, and I hope that sharing my story helps readers connect with additional resources to help them confront and heal from their own place in our fat-phobic culture.
Size inclusion is personal
You’ve seen my picture, you already know - I’m in the lower middle of my size range (which generally goes 30-62+” bust). And yet I DO GO ON about size inclusion. It's a justice-based core value for me, but I didn't start out here.
I never got a professional diagnosis for my disordered relationship with food and exercise, so I feel a little weird taking up space and writing about this. I’m gonna do it anyway.
As someone who was in a larger body (what we’d now call small-fat), I set out to lose a great deal of weight and got deeply lost. Eventually, I beat back my own stigma about seeking help, but orthorexia was just beginning to be recognized by professional therapists. As I laid out my panic and the way my life was distorted and utterly warped around eating and exercise, the professional I saw suggested I just ‘try to eat something tasty.’
I never went back.
Instead, I struggled for several more years with spreadsheets and food scales and carefully counted half-almonds and meal timers and relentless multiple-times-per-day gym schedules and digestive distress and endless overtraining injuries (including pushing myself into a mountain biking accident that landed me at UMBC’s Shock Trauma unit with a head injury and torso damage that would require two surgeries).
So, I guess I also feel okay taking up space here because someone’s got to take up space if we’re going to start offering help to the vulnerable.