Fitness, fatness, and other f words

I’m in the middle of a six-week programme with a personal trainer at my workplace gym, but last week I read Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby, and I agreed so vehemently with most of what it says that, even though I am not and have never been on a diet (I like cheese too much ever to consider a world in which I couldn’t eat as much of it as I like), I found myself reluctant to go back to the gym, even though I enjoy it, because it felt like giving in to the body fascists.

Nuts, I know. And I did go back, yesterday, and enjoyed it as much as ever.  And I don’t think it’s any saner to deliberately gain or keep weight than it is to try and lose it (though having read the book, I don’t think it’s any madder, either).

It’s a great book, by the way, and I don’t think you have to be fat or on a diet to get a lot from it. I like my round bottom very much, but I had started to feel a bit self-conscious about getting naked in the changing rooms in front of the skinny twentysomethings (and thirtysomethings, and fortysomethings) who are the biggest users of the gym. Yesterday, for the first time, I happily undressed without caring who was looking (not, of course, that anybody was). It may not be a gym bunny’s bottom, but it’s mine and if it weren’t round, all my clothes would fall off.

I am all about liking yourself the way you are, in any case. For a bit, I thought I wanted to get the gap between my two front teeth fixed, but this postcard, sent in to the always-wonderful PostSecret, convinced me otherwise: