I’m Not “Curvy”; I’m Fat: How I Got Over My Fear of the F-word
By whitneythore January 30, 2014

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Misty Felde Photography - Images by Misty

Misty Felde Photography – Images by Misty

Like most women in every corner of the earth, I grew up knowing there were two insults that caused immediate and irreparable damage to one’s ego and one’s reputation. The first: fat. The second: whore. Pair the two together and good Lord…chances of recovery are all but non-existent. My first encounters with the F-word are cemented in my memory and occurred when I was just 10 years old. For those of you currently with a mental picture of an overweight, homely child with Doritos residue on her fingers, I have news for you. I looked like this:

Image

Of course, I have a t-shirt draped over my body because I was ashamed. Ashamed at 10 years old. Ashamed to be existing in my perfectly healthy, thin by all standards -including the BMI- body. Ashamed to have to wear a swimsuit to compete in a sport I loved. Where did this shame originate? The only answer I can come up with is my peers, and more specifically, my male peers. I was a bit taller (5’2″ at 10 years old, and I never grew another inch after that!) and thicker than all of my best childhood friends, who were of most definitely of the skinny variety. And as early as 5th grade, this difference was paramount. It was this difference that meant my friends had “boyfriends” and I didn’t (even though those boys called me every night on the phone. We’d talk and laugh and play each other our favorite songs off our Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Weezer, and Green Day cassette tapes, guessing at what the lyrics meant.) It was this difference that allowed the boys to sing “Baby Beluga” at me on the soccer field. But don’t go feeling sorry for me, either. I’m well aware that I’m lucky. I was not unattractive and I was smart. Always the teacher’s pet, I was on student council, the Editor of our school newspaper, and always front and center in dance performances. But by the tender age of 10, I had already acquired haters. And now at 29 years old, with no shortage of haters and the end of said haters nowhere in sight, I’ve also realized that for a woman (especially a white woman – whose thinness is especially coveted), if she is not obviously stick-skinny, the go-to insult is to call her fat. And we, as women, are conditioned as early as elementary school to swallow this insult, let it seep into our thoughts, influence what we think of our reflections, and allow us to feel shameful.

I carried that shame with me when I was 10. I carried it when I was 12 and 117 pounds and hunched over a toilet throwing up my food for the first time. I carried it in dance class as my eyes scrutinized every body in the studio, comparing them to my own. I carried it on the soccer field when I felt disgusted at the way my shorts bunched up around the inside of thighs. I carried it in high school every time my mother told me to “suck in.” I carried it when I was 18, getting my belly button pierced – I was 130 pounds and I said sorry to the male piercer at the tattoo studio when I lifted up my shirt to expose my belly. I apologized for subjecting him to my “less-than-perfect” stomach. He took my money all the same. I carried this shame when the effects of PCOS caused my body to swell and stretch and I found myself in bed with my high school boyfriend who was unaccustomed to the extra weight. I apologized then, too, but he made love to me all the same. And in the years that followed, I began to break underneath the weight of my shame. It finally became a burden too heavy for me to carry. I felt apologetic for even being alive. I felt sorry for my parents, for my boyfriends, for anyone who had to look at me or claim me. And any time I felt a little strength churning somewhere deep inside – any time I dared to let it out – I let the F-word stifle it. So many times I let the shame envelope me and silence me just to avoid the inevitable: I just wanted to avoid being called fat.

Once, when I was 21, I was dating my then-fiance whose roommate had an inside cat that often escaped outside. One night, as I was coming in, he bolted for the door and ran out before I could grab him. Later that evening, I saw the roommate (who was also my “friend”) had posted an away message on AIM (this was before Facebook, and passive-aggressiveness was not as far-reaching) that said, Due to obesity, my cat ran away. I was incensed at this. That damn cat got out all the time. My stomach rolls and flabby arms didn’t have a fucking thing to do with why his cat hadn’t come home – but attributing it to my fatness was easy, so he did. This was also one of the first times I’d ever worked up the courage to defend myself. I told my fiance, the most non-confrontational man on the planet at the time, that he needed to confront his roommate. I could do it myself, but I thought it may have more credence man-to-man, roommate-to-roommate. Hours later, the roommate softly knocked at the bedroom door, and I opened it a few inches, I’m sure using the door both as a physical and metaphorical shield to protect my fatness and my feelings. He apologized.

The next year, over Christmas break, the fiance and I drove down to Florida to visit his father who is physically disabled. His disability is not strikingly obvious, and some idiot in the parking lot was convinced that we were parking in a handicapped space illegally, even though we clearly had a handicapped tag hanging from the rear view mirror. He shouted some asinine things, and continued to harass us as we entered the Wal-Mart. When my fiance’s father was out of ear shot, I felt some courage welling up in me again. I was angry at this dude’s blatant ignorance. I turned on my heel and raised my voice. “He IS disabled, if you must know. Leave him alone!” I hissed. Without missing a beat, the man shot back, “Shut up, you fat fuckin’ whore!” When you’re a fat woman, experiences like these are par for the course. It’s a debilitating feeling – paralyzing – to know that every talent you have, the intelligence you possess, the good point you just made – none of it matters when you’re fat. It’s completely invalidated when you’re fat. Those who disagree with you, those who want to shut you up, know that all they have to do is utter the word fat and you’re sure to slink back into your cave of shame, becoming a little less inclined to stand up for yourself each time after that.

But, almost a decade later, I’ve realized that the word F-word holds zero power over me. In fact, I embrace it. I am fat. Of course, I’m a lot of other things too. I’m brunette, I’m short, I’m smart…I’m fabulous! Fat is just another adjective that someone can use to describe me and it is accurate. It’s certainly possible to disagree over the definitive word for a woman’s body (and there are so many to choose from)! What’s curvy to some is chubby to others. What’s skinny to some is bony to others. What’s athletic to some is masculine to others, and so on. But let’s be real, 350 pounds is no one’s definition of skinny, so I feel confident that everyone can I agree that I’m fat. Well-meaning men and women constantly dance around the word, afraid to offend. I’ve been called everything from “curvy” to “big-boned” to “fluffy.” These words make me cringe. Let’s get something straight – I am NOT big-boned. I’m 5’2″ and actually quite petite under all my weight. I’m not even sure what “fluffy” means in terms of a body. My body isn’t “fluffy.” It’s fat; it’s thick – and yes, it’s strong.

So WHY are we so afraid of the F-word? It’s because he word fat encompasses so much more than a physical description. Everyone knows that fat also means ugly, lazy, undesirable, stupid, and a host of other negative words, but I beg to differ with this implication. I truly believe that I’m beautiful and sexy and totally desirable. Of course, this is subjective, but I know for a fact that I’m not lazy or stupid. I’m active and I’m intelligent. These are qualities that the F-word cannot take away from me. When people see positive things in you, they refuse to call you fat because they see an incongruity there. Fat and positive aren’t supposed to go together. If I had a penny for the number of times I’ve heard the following, I’d be rich.

  • You’re not fat; you’re beautiful!
  • Don’t call yourself fat! You should love yourself!
  • You don’t act like a fat girl.
  • You sure can dance for a big girl.
  • Did you meet your boyfriend when you were thin?

Statements like these show that people have a deep-seated belief that FAT cannot coexist with any other positive adjective, but I’m here to tell you that it can. Do other fat people a favor.: don’t bother telling them they’re “not fat,” as you simultaneously complain about your OWN body which is smaller. Don’t tell them they have a beautiful face, or that they’re not fat (“You’re not fat; you’re beautiful!”) All you’re doing is proving that you think fat people can’t be beautiful, but fat and beautiful are NOT mutually exclusive. You can be both! I know people have good intentions when they shy away from the F-word, but you’re doing all of us fat people a disservice. Instead, drop the F-word all together and just give them the damn compliment, but if a fat person does refer to themselves that way, don’t feel as though you have to disagree with their assessment.

ImageWhen I was younger, I was an avid dancer. I taught professionally and choreographed locally. In the top photo I’m 140 pounds. In the bottom, over 300. In both: a dancer.

I have a series of videos on YouTube called “A Fat Girl Dancing” (you can see these videos here) and I chose this name for a reason. No one else chose it for me to shame me or make fun of me. I chose it because I’m OWNING it. I’m making a point – I’m fat AND I can dance. I’m juxtaposing the two things together in a way that people think is not possible. And hopefully, I’m changing some minds about what fat people are capable of. 19 years after I first internalized my fat shame, I’m finally learning to let it go. I’ve learned how to be fat, beautiful, smart and fucking fabulous ALL at the same time. I don’t have to be one or the other. I don’t have to let F-word define my capabilities and you don’t either.

I’m a bad-ass and a fat-ass and that is perfectly all right with me.

ImageNO SHAME.


Share on:

Comments (206)

lovemarriagesex 30 Jan, 2014 at 07:27 pm | Reply

You inspired me to post on my own blog about my past issues with body image and more specifically, how it affected my view of sex. My first comments about my weight were about the same age as you, from males, and I weighed about the same (I was not at all fat by any standards). I went through the whole depression, eating disorder, miserable self-critical period as well. Good for you for standing up and speaking out for women and their bodies. Two children later, I’ve learned that sexy is not about a number on a scale but about the person you are and the positive energy you exhibit. I don’t care who you are–you are a beautiful person made in the image of God and worthy of love and respect. You GO Whitney!

Melissa 06 Feb, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply

love this! it has taken me time to get over the infamous f word too!

Fiona 11 Feb, 2014 at 12:22 am | Reply

I learned many things reading this!! Thank you for sharing this with us!! I am 5’5″ and weigh 165lbs. When I admit to people/friends that I am fat and I can’t do something, or to date somebody (which has happened) they do say “you’re not fat, you’re beautiful” and I finally know why it hurts more than being called fat. I have a response now: yes I am fat but I am beautiful too. When I am at birthdays, clubs or social events, men don’t look at me like they do my friends. I am okay with it (I am working on my weight) but when my friends say “he was looking at you” I say “no they weren’t, it was you girl!!” My friends say “stop thinking you’re to fat for men” or “get some confidence”. They really have no idea… I don’t think its impossible for me to get a boyfriend being the way I am. But my friends make up excuses like the ones you listed, when it’s OBVIOUS that I am bigger than the other girls. That’s something people don’t understand. Being fat and having beauty CAN and DOES happen, and I didn’t know it very well before reading your story!! Thank you for this lesson… you are an inspiration. ♡ :)

Rebecca 18 Apr, 2014 at 07:52 am | Reply

165 at 5’5″ isnt really big. Im 5’2″ and at 175, I’m a size 8. It’s more about body composition.

Madi 18 Apr, 2014 at 06:25 pm | Reply

Actually, you’re not fat. The average woman in this country over the age of 20 is 5’4″ and 166 lbs. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/bodymeas.htm

Leslie (@talldrnkofwater) 30 Jan, 2014 at 08:49 pm | Reply

You should be able to admit that it still hurts. It’s OK. Maybe you’re used to the criticism and it doesn’t bother you as much as it did as a child, but you know IT STILL hurts. Your life sounds a lot like mine, except it was my father who humiliated me the most. Some people, especially him, just can’t fathom that a woman can have model good looks (like me, like you) but not a model’s body. God, I know what you mean when you say you felt like you had to apologize to people for being heavy. You felt like anyone who was seen with you was doing you a favor. Once I went on a date with a guy and we had a fabulous time, laughing and going out. He e-mailed me after and said “you are the coolest chick I have ever met in my life, but you are just too big for me.” I cried. If someone said that to me now (and it happens on occasion), it doesn’t upset me like when I was younger, but it still stings. From what I have observed of you, I think you try too hard to make people THINK you have confidence (with the photos and videos), but surely if you could wave a magic wand and wake up skinny, you would. And it’s OK. It’s NOT OK for people to be cruel and it’s OK to be hurt by it. I guess what I am saying is, your behavior puzzles me somewhat. In some ways I admire you, but other times I wonder why you spend so much time composing your well thought out responses to assholes on OK CUPID and whathaveyou, because they are not worth your time. In my experience, when bullies do their thing, what they want is to get a response. They want to hurt you. Responding to it and defending yourself makes it appear as if they succeeded. But that’s me. I ignore them. I barely speak to my own father. Whatever the case, I have taken interest to your approach the whole thing,
. I just keep wondering if it’s a front, or are you REALLY OK with it?

whitneyway 30 Jan, 2014 at 08:58 pm | Reply

Hey Leslie! Thanks for your comment and sharing your insight. There are two things you said that strike a chord – one is that if I could wave a magic wand and be skinny, wouldn’t I? And the other is am I REALLY OK with it. I have another post in the works that will speak exactly on these two things, but the short answer is yes. I really am. I can admit that as recent as 6 months ago I was not. It’s been a decade of a journey, and the reason I can finally speak out about my life and have this blog is because I finally am okay. All these revelations and things I’m writing about are new for me – like in the last year new. Anyhow, thanks again and please just be on the lookout for that post! <3

ThalionNahawen 06 Feb, 2014 at 02:43 pm | Reply

Maybe I’ve missed something here, but it seems as though, Leslie, you are doing to Whitney exactly what she’s talked about other people doing, and exactly what you talk about people doing to you… and that’s underestimating. At least, that’s how it’s coming across. It seems as though you’re thinking she can’t possibly be okay with things now because she’s still not a “perfect size 0″. But it’s so very obvious that she is okay with it… if only for the reason that she’s created this blog, and the entire campaign. Fake confidence will NOT allow you to show whatever aspect is going to bring you ridicule. It’s just never strong enough for that. So just the fact that she’s putting all of this out into the world, well, it at least shows me that she’s REALLY OK with it. ;) Blessed Be.

Claudia 01 Feb, 2014 at 07:37 am | Reply

When i was younger i would get depressed when a guy i was crushing on rejected me for a thinner girl then one day a friend said “you don’t like everyone that likes you” . Its ok when a guy doesn’t like fat girls, there’s other guys that don’t like skinny ones.

-J- 08 Feb, 2014 at 06:19 pm | Reply

It’s one more thing that’s important: Some times the rejection comes because of your personality – not because of (how you see) your body.

Skinny, thin, normal, fat, or obese – if you are miserable, it often shines through. Nothing is more beautiful than people who are comfortable in their own body.

notsureaboutme 17 Apr, 2014 at 06:42 pm | Reply

Well its different if you married a guy who obviously liked skinny girls then decided to have babies and you know even though he says you’re fine after gaining weight that he’s lying because how do you become attracted to a body type that you never was attracted to before. I mean I gained 50 lbs and became fat 150lbs 5’4. I lost some of that weight but still looked fat at 124 lbs. i just don’t see how he can lie and say you’re not fat? But when he gets mad at me he makes fun of me. I am pregnant again with his 6 baby 4 child that has lived and I have to deal with an eating disorder this time around and I am not gaining weight like I should he says. He says I’m too skinny to be 7 months pregnant. Its so hard because if I gain anymore weight I’m afraid I won’t be able to lose it this time. Also all my friends and family say I look better with weight on me that I’m healthy. I mean come on I am not healthy at all. i have fat on me that is not healthy. bmi says i am overweight studies show that being overweight causes heart problems and diabetes. I don’t have them yet but i will if i can’t lose weight. My mother always told me to never get fat like her. I am sorry but i am now fat like you mama. I know I have disappointed you. I look in the mirror and I am disgusted by how I have let myself become. I wish i could be like people who can be happy with their bodies. i don’t think I’ll ever be that way. How do I deal with knowing in my heart that no one not even my husband could say he’d be proud to be seen with me out in public even if he says different? Why does he lie to me and say I am beautiful and sexy? When I see a ton of people in public stare at me grossed out. My sister in law had 2 babies and she is still in a size 0. how? I mean i tried really hard and i can’t get back to a 0 no matter how hard i try.

Rachael 30 Jan, 2014 at 08:56 pm | Reply

You my dear are AMAZING! I loved this blog and will be following. I also LOVE your dancing vids! You are so talented. I really needed to read this tonight. I am struggling something awful with my weight and lack of confidence an totally needed this. Thank you. God bless.

whitneyway 30 Jan, 2014 at 08:59 pm | Reply

Thank you, Rachael! Please follow and know that you’re not alone in any of this. And change really can come! <3

stuatkent 06 Mar, 2014 at 01:32 pm | Reply

Hi whitney hows u doing? I just want to say u r a very beautiful woman and very sexy. Im a big admirer of bbw women big is definitely beautiful and u r amazing xxxx good luck in the future and keep up the good work with your video’s xxxx

3J 30 Jan, 2014 at 09:08 pm | Reply

Thank you for this whit. I love it. So inspiring. More people need to love themselves regardless of what and how the outside world sees you.

whitneyway 30 Jan, 2014 at 09:09 pm | Reply

Thank you for reading! <3

Alola 06 Feb, 2014 at 05:34 pm | Reply

I just read this and I’m at all . I’m going to the doctor so I can have this test done,my hair is thinning in the front I do had acne,I’ve picked up a lot of weight it explains all of it,you are my Hero, I’ve fell in love with you

Nomi Siegelman 30 Jan, 2014 at 09:34 pm | Reply

Thank you so much for this article. It really speaks to me. You are an inspiration. I can only hope that I can some day learn to accept and love myself and my body the way you do yours. It is a beautiful thing. <3

Lauren 30 Jan, 2014 at 09:43 pm | Reply

I love this so much . It takes so much strength to rise above all of the horrible things people feel like they can say to one another and not feel remorse for their words. You are a true talent and you are incredibly beautiful. Such an inspiration to women everywhere .

jessacook 30 Jan, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply

Whitney, I’ve decided to follow suit, with a journey documented by an online diary. Thank you.

Rhonda 30 Jan, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Reply

Love, love, love this! I think you’ve just become my new girl crush. ;)

Julie 30 Jan, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Reply

This is awesome!!! I wish I felt that way about myself.

Itsallgood 30 Jan, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Reply

You are an amazing dancer. You really should try out for “you think you can dance”. Keep working it!

Samantha 31 Jan, 2014 at 12:18 am | Reply

I LOVED this. I can’t agree more with what you wrote! Your story was perfect and I saw my story in it too. Being a “fat girl” myself I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard those same lines out of peoples mouths. My personal favorite being “You’re so pretty, just big” :- (well thanks for that I guess..) It’s amazing when you flat out announce “Im Fat” people (even friends) lock up as if it is some surprise. The funny thing is they make it out like you talking down on your self and the truth is it is that honesty with ourselves that makes us stronger and more confident. Thank you!

Bob 31 Jan, 2014 at 12:23 am | Reply

As a fan of your show, I’m glad you are happy. But do you not agree that there are serious health risks? Not to mention studies showing the affect obesity has on the cost of healthcare for Americans.

Casey Armstrong 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:08 am | Reply

It doesn’t matter your weight, fat or skinny. Any one can have health issues! My best friend is skinny and has high blood pressure and is diabetic. I however am fat and have a clean bill of health and so does my husband. Fat doesn’t mean unhealthy by any means!

Susan Corkran 07 Feb, 2014 at 02:21 am | Reply

Bob, Duh, She HAS a “serious” health problem! It is called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and it runs away with a woman’s metabolism, her fertility, and if she’s really unlucky her mood stability. Thanks heavens for ALL of us Whitney dances her (an our) blues away! And since WHEN is it one woman’s job to decrease the cost of health care for “Americans” — of which she is one, and one deserving of the best care as one who has a chronic illness? Not to mention there are serious health risks to self-hatred and depression (heard of suicide? but yes, that is cheaper for the health care system). Skinny people get diabetes and high blood pressure. Skinny people get cancer and degenerative joint disease and osteoporosis. Skinny people get kidney failure. My skinny sister just had a thyroid the size of her hand removed. Please, your “but” negates everything nice that comes before it. This woman ROCKS!

Merridee 07 Feb, 2014 at 05:27 pm | Reply

Dear Bob,
Please pay attention to Casey’s reply. Sure, obesity can have health risks. But you’re still practicing shaming behavior. You completely over look the fact that Whitney is fat due to PCOS, which is an endocrinological disorder, thus treating her as though her weight is wholly voluntary and within her direct control with your demand that “do you not agree that there are serious health risks? Not to mention studies showing the affect obesity has on the cost of healthcare for Americans.”

Name (Required)Keli 19 Apr, 2014 at 07:13 pm | Reply

Bob,
I was of the opinion that I needed to lose weight for health reasons. I am 5’9, and struggling to drop below the 200 mark. I talked with my doctor about losing weight and he said that if I want to lose weight, he will support me, but there was no medical reason that I HAD to. he said “you are what we call ‘healthy at any weight’”. That was a WOW moment for me, where I realized that I can be larger than average and NOT feel bad about it. Now I embrace my curves and have started modelling again. And I am model gorgeous with a model body, but it is MY type of model’s body.

Danielle Larkins 31 Jan, 2014 at 08:57 am | Reply

This is truly inspirational on many levels. I don’t need to question of ” you’re really ok with it” like others have. I see it in this blog, the struggles you have went through in your life, I hear it in your voice on the radio, especially when they make a joke about your weight. I think you’re beautiful inside and out! The way you will make others feel with this blog its beautiful as well!

Anonymous 31 Jan, 2014 at 09:19 am | Reply

You are a beautiful woman very talented and you rocked that dance. Keep up the good fight. I myself like to use the words of big beautiful woman.

Anonymous 31 Jan, 2014 at 01:25 pm | Reply

You are empowering and inspirational. I am going through my own journey and find your story enlightening and motivational. I have never been a skinny chick always been fat since I could remember. As a teen I attempted suicide because I felt like I just didn’t fit in. I was the tallest and biggest in all my classrooms in grammar school and high school was the loneliest experience. I became such an introverted person. Around my family I was the clown the funny one you know smiling to hide the pain. I have always been the type of person that could pick up on anything taught to me, so I was always good at anything I did but felt like I shouldn’t of been . Let me explain: every time I would accomplish something I was called a goody goody and felt guilty for being so good at whatever it was. So I would dumb it down just so I didn’t feel guilt. I lived to make others feel good at my expense and was ok with it for most of my life. Until I moved out of Chicago to Arizona. Here I have no family, no one knows me and its a fresh start.. Im still learning to love me and I could honestly say that I have come a long way from that guilt filled person I was just 6yrs ago.. So I have to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story..
PS I have always loved to dance.. but thought I was to fat to do so.. not anymore.. :)

Love Beingme Mari 31 Jan, 2014 at 01:27 pm | Reply

Didnt mean for it to be anonymous.. lol ^^^^ that is me..

Michelle Van Balkom 31 Jan, 2014 at 02:51 pm | Reply

Hey Whit! I am so proud of you for shouting out and being who you are. We’ve had many conversations about how hard it is to be a fat girl (especially in Korea). While I have no reached the point where I claim the word fat as my own, I understand where you are coming from. Loves ya!

Martin van Nostren 31 Jan, 2014 at 03:33 pm | Reply

You are as big as you are wonderful! This blog and these posts should be an inspiration for those who are ashamed of their bodies as well as those who cannot grasp that society’s perfection ideal is not the same for everyone. Hopefully as society becomes more aware, we can accept people as they are and all preconceived notions of weight/appearance/etc will not be as rampant as they are today. If someone is healthy and happy, they should be able to come in all shapes and sizes and without ridicule or shame.

lauren 31 Jan, 2014 at 03:35 pm | Reply

I stumbled across your blog & This entry just brought tears to my eyes.. ive been a big girl all my life and it has had a serious effect on my self confidence.. I see sooooo many fat body positive advocates and dont understand why I cant love myself the way you ladies do.. I struggle every day to accept myself for who I am.. a lot of times I doubt that I even posses the qualities people tell me I have.. i dont feel smart, or beautiful and im missing out on a social life. .l im stuck in life cuz I cant really love myself the way I should.. and I dont know where to begin to change that. Its people like you and tess munster who make me want to fall in love with who I am. I just dont know how.. hopefull if I keep reading things will eventually get better. Im tired of putting on a facade for people and pretending to be happy.. I want to actually be happy

amy 31 Jan, 2014 at 03:55 pm | Reply

You are an amazing dancer! Im trying to be ok with me but its hard.but go you!

Linda S. Amundson 31 Jan, 2014 at 08:23 pm | Reply

I think you are a Fantastic Dancer, I wish I had Your Energy! ! I REALLY Love your Attitude and think you are an Awsome person!! :-)

Anonymous 31 Jan, 2014 at 09:13 pm | Reply

I can relate with you in so many ways, except for your fabulous recent confidence, I have none of that. You are so awesome and I cannot wait for your next post!!!

Carmen G 31 Jan, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Reply

Yup, you’re fat..me too. Funny how some people can’t get over it. That last pic with the red bra…gorgeous. You have amazing eyes. I actually watched one of your dance videos ( someone posted on fb), girl you can move. I wish I had half that flexibility. I like to dance even though I’m not good at it. Won’t let it stop me though. Keep being positive!! Thanks for sharing your story.

Shannon 01 Feb, 2014 at 12:31 am | Reply

I think your self-confidence is wonderful and I applaud you. However, I think you are making a mistake when you allow Jared to speak to you, on air, the way he does. While it may not bother you, have you or Jared ever stopped to think of how it may be hurting overweight listeners? Not everyone has your confidence. There are many that suffer with debilitating self-esteem due to weight issues that they cannot get control of. When Jared insults you or makes a joke about your weight, (really mean and cruel ones by the way), it feels like they are being delivered straight to all of your overweight listeners. It makes that listener think, “I guess it’s acceptable for a public figure to make fun of me. I guess I don’t deserve respect or for others to be courteous of my feelings. I’m fat, so I deserve it.” Not only can it make your overweight listeners feel this way, but it can also subtlety, or not so subtlety, influence others to be openly cruel to people for the sake of a laugh. I find it amazing that Jared thinks that God cares more about whether he has a drink than he cares about him spewing hateful and nasty comments. It is because of these comments that I rarely listen anymore. You and Jared and the rest of those involved in the show can try to justify it anyway you wish. But I’m here to tell you. I’ve struggled with my weight for years, and the comments on the show HURT ME. You are all good people. I know that…I really do. So what I ask you good people is, “was the cheap laugh you just got, worth hurting me?” I’m a good person. Why would you want to hurt me? I’m speaking for a lot of your listeners. Please reconsider this practice on your show. We are not all as secure as you, Whitney. I urge Jared to pray about this and ask God what the right thing to do is. I am making no threats or ranting and raving. From one nice person to another…please stop…you are hurting people.

Claudia 01 Feb, 2014 at 07:23 am | Reply

I love you girl, for writing this and for posting your videos. You’re Walmart story reminded me of something that happened to me as well, thank you for putting it in that perspective. You have also inspired me to practice my splits, i used to go dancing 3 times a week in my twenties and almost at dawn i would hear comments, always from other girls never guys, how that fat girl has stamina.

Olivia 01 Feb, 2014 at 02:09 pm | Reply

I think I just fell in love with you ! Haha keep it up! So inspiring to me and I’m sure many other girls out there. You’re beautiful !

boriqua 01 Feb, 2014 at 02:14 pm | Reply

Thank you.

michelle r. harris 01 Feb, 2014 at 02:32 pm | Reply

i give u big props..u go girl!!!. do u have videos for us big girls?? i wana gain the confidence u have n i wld love to learn to dance like u. can u help me learn ur moves???

Dee 01 Feb, 2014 at 02:40 pm | Reply

Thank you…that’s all…just Thank you!

Nae 01 Feb, 2014 at 02:58 pm | Reply

Thank you for sharing your testimony and being honest and transparent. I believe there is a misconception that these challenges are only applicable to big or fat girls. I’ve never been fat, by the standards of society, but I’ve felt the same way as you’ve described because of negative thinking and comparison to others. The mind is a battlefield where a person can lose to themselves before anyone else can even enter the battle if not overridden by accepting the facts and knowing you who truly are.

God Bless.

Lysa Rodgers 01 Feb, 2014 at 03:30 pm | Reply

Ive been reading your blog all morning! I am so happy someone shared! You are so inspiring

Sarah 01 Feb, 2014 at 03:34 pm | Reply

I am not fat, at all. I am heavier than I’d like to be, sure, and heavier than what Vicotoria’s Secret thinks I should be, but I am not fat. I thought I was for a longtime. I was rail thin until puberty hit and then I just started to fill out, but some people around me saw me gaining weight and freaked out because I wasn’t rail thin anymore. Surely gaining weight meant I was destined to turn into a fat cow, right? My self esteem went through the floor. I was thirteen and people who loved me were telling me to hit the gym and eat salads and stop eating so many Oreos. Thirteen!! It only got worse, and the older I got the more I started seeking attention from the wrong kind of men just to feel attractive. I wish more emphasis had been put on eating healthy and being active, instead of “pinch more than an inch and you need to lose”.

Katherine Hermann 01 Feb, 2014 at 03:42 pm | Reply

This literally brought me to tears. I’ve been dancing my whole life, and I’ve been teaching a color guard/winter guard/dance team for about 5 years now. I sometimes worry that my students see me as their “fat instructor,” and might minimize me for it. This is EXACTLY what I am, their fat instructor, but the ones that are truly dedicated to our art have never said a word about it. They respect me for my talent and my ability to coach them through a show, into the winners circle. I have to remind myself, far more often than I’d like, that my technique far outweighs theirs, and that I, the fat one, have something to teach THEM, body included. Can I do everything I ask them to do? Of course not. No one is lifting me the way I ask them to sometimes lift each other. But damn it, I can teach it, and I know how to choreograph it.

You, lady, are an inspiration. I’m sorry to say that I just recently discovered you, but now I’m hooked and I can’t wait to see what else you write in the future!

Elyse 01 Feb, 2014 at 03:49 pm | Reply

I have never read or heard such a perfect description of what it’s like when someone calls you fat. Everytime feels like the first time and your explanation is so spot on. Thank you for putting into words what so many women and men go through when they carry extra weight on thier bodies. I am also trying to get to a point in my life where that word doesn’t carry so much negative connotation and I don’t let it stifle my actions or words. It’s engrained into our society and we are exposed to this word at such a young age and made to believe that it’s a bad thing. It’s only a bad thing if you allow it to be and the sooner we stop giving the word fat so much power over us, the sooner we can start loving who we are and doing things that make us happy. Thank you for sharing your story.

Roselie 01 Feb, 2014 at 04:19 pm | Reply

You are amazing! I just turned 30 and have been fat my entire adult life. I’ve always been honest about it and accepting and loving of myself. I too have heard many times that I shouldn’t call myself fat and I could never explain to people why I was ok with it. I’m bookmarking this and sending it to anyone who try to avoid the f-word again. You rock!

Jackie 01 Feb, 2014 at 04:24 pm | Reply

Wow very insightful and powerful. Your words have helped to change my perspective of being fat. I have battled with my weight for a long time. Owning this word can definitely help to shift it’s destructive power over me and others. Thanks for your openness and ability to keep it real.

Nichol 01 Feb, 2014 at 05:14 pm | Reply

I just want to say that you are very beautiful! I am a bigger woman weighing in at 2190 I I still struggle to this day. My whole life I was called fat and put down. A lot of your story is mine as well. I hope one day I am able to embrace it like you do. I am 30 with 4 kids and I am so hard on myself to the point of depression. Its hard for me to accept myself and always has been. I hope I can grow the courage you have one day.

Nichol 01 Feb, 2014 at 05:15 pm | Reply

Sorry about my typos… I am 290 lbs.

Andre Truss 01 Feb, 2014 at 05:40 pm | Reply

Love the video…love the story. ..truly an inspiration to women and girls who worry about issues with their weight…hugs from me to you. …keep doing your thing.

laughinglee 01 Feb, 2014 at 06:23 pm | Reply

Marvellous….just fucking marvellous!

laughinglee 01 Feb, 2014 at 06:25 pm | Reply

Reblogged this on laughinglee's Bloggywoggy and commented:
This is just wonderful!

JoAnna Pearce 01 Feb, 2014 at 06:37 pm | Reply

I just showed this to my 14 yearold step daughter who has been a cheerleader all her life! Girls have bullied her for her size (140 pounds at 5’3) reminded me of your swim team photo. There was nothing i could say to help. Im petite myself and she pointed it out. I felt awful as a parent. She is now ready to try out for JV like a boss. Thank you! You are amazing! You haven’t 14 yearold the confidence I couldn’t!!!!

Lupe Torres 01 Feb, 2014 at 07:13 pm | Reply

Thank you for sharing your inspiration and for inspiring me to get out there and dance once again. I am not a professional…I just used to like to dance. I haven’t in years…but I plan on changing that now. Be it at home to help lose some pounds or out in the world….where ever the urge hits me to get up and dance!

phoenix924 01 Feb, 2014 at 07:47 pm | Reply

Well said. I posted something similar and, while it was uncomfortable to say it at first, I embrace it now. It cannot be an insult if you do not let it be. Also, as a fellow “cyster” I totally understand the extra crap that it does to you.

erin 01 Feb, 2014 at 07:58 pm | Reply

You are fucking awesome. That is all.

AllansAngel 01 Feb, 2014 at 08:23 pm | Reply

You are sooooooo awesome ! I had body image problems all the way through high school. I nearly starved my child and myself to death when I was pregnant with my first child. I suffered through anorexia and bulimia all through high school and into my early 20′s. Its people like you that make it easier to get through these things. Thank you so much.I have recently become more aware of just how awesome I feel as a person. Thank you for your wonderful attitude. I have five daughters and three son. I hope that they all enjoy there lies as much as you do. I also hope that they are able to appreciate the body and life that God has given them the way that you do.

Lori S 01 Feb, 2014 at 08:23 pm | Reply

You rock girl. U are an inspiration to many many many people. I for one love the body & skin I live in. Stay just as you are, lovely in every way. L.

Paula 01 Feb, 2014 at 08:36 pm | Reply

You are an amazing woman! I would like to start following your website.

Tewaner 01 Feb, 2014 at 09:30 pm | Reply

So i can’t say that I’m a big girl (5’9 185 lbs) but definitely not skinny. However watching one of your vids and reading this make me very proud of u and even a tiny bit envious. I don’t even like to look at my own stomach, let alone have to let anyone else see it. But u reinforce for me that it is OK that I don’t fit the mold that everyone else feels that I should (whether that is stick thin for white women or Jessica Rabbit with double the ass for black ones). I think that u probably inspire women of all shapes with your confidence. Even if someone else thinks it is a front because they cant understand where you are in your journey. Thanks for sharing your story and keep dancing.

Patty holt 01 Feb, 2014 at 09:50 pm | Reply

I am a 44 yr. old hairstylist, who is fat. That is the first time I have ever used the word “fat” to discribe myself. I am just in awe at the confidence that you have. I just got through watching one if your videos where you are dancing. I wish I could move like you. So free and loving yourself. It makes me want to embrace myself and be able to show my body. At this point I just want to cover it up. Did you ever poke fun if yourself before anyone else had the chance too? I do it all the time. Beat them to the punch! And I love to watch somebody squirm when I do it! They want to laugh but are afraid to. See I am from the south, so it’s all about “southern hospitality ” and our never ending, passive-aggressive politeness . I really don’t know why I responding to you, except for that everything I just read is how I feel I haven’t got to the point you are. Maybe one day.

TNC 01 Feb, 2014 at 09:56 pm | Reply

I am 5’3, 120 pounds and a size 4…. I WISH I HAD 1/2 THE CONFIDENCE YOU HAVE! You are freaking awesome and so inspriring! God bless you and keep being an inspiration !

Susan 01 Feb, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply

Whitney, you are awesome, and congratulations on the level of self-accptance for which you have fought so hard. I recognize myself in all of the photos on your pages, and even though I have been happily married for over 20 with two great kids, I still wrestle with body image issues. I’ve gotten a lot better at accepting the image in my reflection. I’m not there yet – still wrestle with feeling sexy for my hubby – but I’m still working on it.
I really appreciate that you have noticed and thought about the ‘helpful’ comments like, ‘you’re not fat, you’re beautiful’. You prompt me to have some more introspection on the issue. And to start dancing again!

Thanks for that.

[Side personal note: forgive me, but I can't figure out a way to send you a PM; while that red bra in the bottom photo is pretty, it's not doing your girls any favors! I've had a couple of professional fittings (I'm a 36H), and my favorite big girl sexy bra is from Elomi (http://www.elomilingerie.com), my favorite sports bra is from Enell. And for the record, you'd make a hell of model for them both :) ]

Susan 01 Feb, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply

Oh, well, duh, your email is on the site. Oh well ;)

Katie 01 Feb, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Reply

Wow that was awesome ! That helped me out so much!! I’m a size 14 and weight 225….Thank u an god bless u!

Christine webb 01 Feb, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Reply

Thank you!!!!! You touched a place in my heart and mind that I have buried. Thank you just doesn’t say enough!!!!

kaitlyn rounds 01 Feb, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply

Wow your so beautiful :)

Teresa Spurgeon 01 Feb, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Reply

Thank you. I cannot say more. I have struggled with my weight for most my teen and adult life. My daughters struggle with it more. Your story can show young girls that we are all beautiful no matter what our size.

tiffany 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:39 am | Reply

Beautiful on the inside and out! Only if we all had as much amazing confidence as you!

Courtney 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:10 am | Reply

Dude. Your amazing. I’m 17. 5’10 and weigh 315. I’m ashamed. Just as you say you were I hope. One day I can have the confidence you have. I put on a show and act like I do. But behind closed doors. I’m so ashamed. And wish someone would offer to help me change. But like everything else I’m alone. But I know eventually I can do this. I don’t want to be skinny for society I want to be average for me !!

dawnjohnsonrealtor 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:39 am | Reply

Courtney, what part of the country do you live in?

whitneyway 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:45 am | Reply

I’m Whitney and I live in NC :)

Jo Baker 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:10 am | Reply

You are so gorgeous and intelligent.I enjoyed reading your story.my mum was very overweight and her kind loving heart was where her weight come from.I never knew my mum to have a bad word about anyone.everyone just loved my mum and all she had to give.it would break my heart to hear people call my mum names.now that’s she has past I wish she could have embraced herself as you have.god bless you and keep pushing forward

dawnjohnsonrealtor 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:34 am | Reply

This inspires me. We are not broken. We are who we are!! I hate the stereotyping that goes with it. Thank you for your bravery!!

Casey Armstrong 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:52 am | Reply

I don’t know where to begin! I love this! You are amazing! As a fat girl my whole life and my own mother drilling into my head that fat is ugly, it has taken me years to accept my own body. It took my husband years to undo all the damage that has been done to me. He loves me for who I am and I can finally stand naked in front of him with out sucking in or hiding. I’m 31 years old and I guess with age and my hubby’s voice in the back of my head saying “you are beautiful” I just flat out don’t give 2 shits what any one thinks. I was not put on this planet to please you, but to live my life and love every waking moment! I am 5’2″ and 247lbs of absolute fabulous! I AM BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT! I LOVE ME!

Lauren 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:28 am | Reply

I wish I was able to overcome my insecurities about my body and gain confidence like you did. It’s a constant struggle for me

Elizabeth 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:45 am | Reply

I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you for putting this story out here for girls like me, who are fat, and who need reassurance that it is okay to not be a size 2. So thank you.

Katie Addison 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:19 am | Reply

This is SO incredibly well written. THANK YOU! From one fat girl to another, this article is exactly what I needed to share with people. I will often refer to myself as a fat girl on fb and So, so many of my well intentioned friends will say “don’t call yourself that” or exactly what you wrote, “you’re not fat, you’re beautiful” to which I reply I am both! I hate that people think I’m insulting myself by refering to myself as fat. Its the same reaction when I refer to myself as a dyke as well. People gasp sometimes haha! Its a descripting word I like for myself! Keep writing! I love what you have to say and so do my fat friends!

trista 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:46 am | Reply

I’m 5′ even and weigh 275lbs… my confidence is no where even close to yours .. although I have an amazing fiance and 4 wonderful kids I am ashamed. of my body …you have helped me much more then you know thank you

Diane arrowsmith 02 Feb, 2014 at 06:11 am | Reply

You are a beautiful girl just beautiful and my god can you dance I have always had problems with my weight and it’s horrible now however I have lost some found Zumba and become a Zumba instructor still have weight and confidence issues but you inspire me you are fantastic wish I could move as well as you can xxxxx

Yvonne 02 Feb, 2014 at 06:45 am | Reply

You can move girl! Loved it… Great message… great dancer… inspiration :D

Rebecca Johnson 02 Feb, 2014 at 07:52 am | Reply

I love this, thank you for taking the time to explain to the world’s undesirable expectations of the world. People go out of their way to just be down right hateful, I think you are a fabulous dancer (kick ass) and absolutely beautiful. Have an awesome day.

Lakesha 02 Feb, 2014 at 07:58 am | Reply

Beautiful! I love the confidence and the fact that you are not sitting around feeling sad andd down. You are dancing and smiling. You Are Living! Keep is up!

Leora 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:00 am | Reply

You are beautiful! I love your attitude. I’m fat and fabulous as well!

Anonymous 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:03 am | Reply

You are my hero!!

Niknik 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:20 am | Reply

You are fabulous and amazing! That was so empowering! My body shame is crippling at times. I shall try to take on some of your positive attitude myself!

Valerie 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:33 am | Reply

Wow ladies…. I thought I had it going on. God bless your strength and beauty

Melinda 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:49 am | Reply

No matter big or small your beautiful and damn can you dance..teach me!

Rose 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:53 am | Reply

You made me smile. Thank you.

Loni 02 Feb, 2014 at 09:02 am | Reply

Whitney. You wonderful! Thank you! I’m proud of you and I don’t know you!

Rada 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply

I absolutely love you! Will you be my new best friend?

betty adorno 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:14 am | Reply

I am a fat burlesque/circus/fire dancer in nc. I have been dancing since i was a child but always considered too fat dance. I had a cousin ask me once how can you dance if your so fat when i was teen. I learned early on if i waited to lose weight to do the things i wanted to do id never get them done. I now have my own burlesque troop, and i have performed for the city or raleigh as well as other clubs and festivals… you are amazing!.

Marshell Williams 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply

Your girl are awesome. I went through everything you did and more and until I was about 25, I had zero confidence in myself. I was the heaviest i had ever been, mother of 2 boys and just miserable, in a horrible marriage where it was brought ot my attention every chance that was possible, how I would look better skinny-er, how I would be so much sexier, how then I would be worth better clothes ect. One day, I just woke up out of a daze, took my beautiful boys and left. I was a work in progress at best 4 months later when I met a man. My first thought was that he couldn’t think I was attractive, and that he must of thought I was a “whore”……He was first man who looked at me and said, ” you just don’t get it.” I am attracted to you…your brains, your body, your looks….everything….well, this was awkward. I had been beat down, I whole heartedly did not think this was possible. Now, 10 years later through his coaxing, and figuring out how to love myself, and knowing I am MUCH MUCH more than a word. I am the happiest I have ever been, and with someone who calls me Princess everyday. Yep, I’m fat, and I can dance, and I have a brain, I’m also creative, funny, loyal and charming. Thank you for putting what all of us go through out there for the world to see and showing everyone FAT is NOT the only thing we are or will be!

Cindy Rudrow 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading thru part three. So many similar experiences. Some for myself, some I recognize happening to clise friends. Although a heftier size I took tap dance lessons for several years. I was the one who practised my steps 30 minutes before leaving for the next lesson and would be one of the few who had it down. I could also goof up and get myself back into it on the beat, as I am sure you understand what I mean. I discontinued dance, but played fast pitch softball, bowled, and rode bike and my horse, snd hiked thru the woods. Flat feet and infant bouts with phnumonia and bronchitus limited lung capacity for running. Later I played some basketball and volleyball and coached girls softball, badketball, and volleyball. I spent jr year of college in Barcelona and list 40lbs. We walked everywhere! Coming back home and living out in the country ended that and the weight gradually came back and increased. Marriage changed my activities again and my knees are now shot. I used to line dance, polka, even clog a little. My knees won’t take it. I had this step that I could do to ‘Footloose’ that only one other person could do…she was also BBW but she had to really watch me to be able to do it herself. I can thinkof so many times that I wanted to dance becausr I knew I could do it, be one of the few who could do it correctly, but I didn’t because it would draw attention to the weight. I got to waltz with a stranger in Switzerland once because he realized I could do the steps ad opposed to my sleek vibrant companions. Anyway, keep up the good work. I will try to keep up with your posts.

Shane Cochran (female, thanks) 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply

You are so beautiful!! Bare it all out girl. I can’t dance worth shit, but you should come to yoga with me! You’re limber and I’m limber…. Together we can rock the yoga class. And teach me to dance for gods sake.

William Dale Lyle 02 Feb, 2014 at 11:14 am | Reply

A lot of people don’t know that a skinny person such as I have been in the past, feel the same way being told over and over how skinny you are. I think it actually feels the same way as overweight people being called fat. Trust me, I know.
Dale

camillia 02 Feb, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply

You go girl!

Nan 02 Feb, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply

You are many things, not just fat. You are one helluva dancer and choreographer. You are beautiful and fabulous. And you make fantastic role model for all women! Bless you, and rock on!

Doreen Harris 02 Feb, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply

What a wonderful dancer you are! I am very inspired by your story. I am 5′-0″ and have had a weigh issue all of my adult life. I would much rather have you as a role model for my daughters than some emaciated supermodel any day! Thank you for making me see myself in an entirely new and different light! Shine on!

Whitney Hatfield 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply

Girl, we share the same name, same body type, AND the same views on being fat. Rock it girl!! Ain’t no shame in our “bad-ass and fat-ass” bodies!

Lauren Grider 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply

Reblogged this on Weight, Evaporate! and commented:
This is exactly what it feels like to live day-to-day as an overweight woman. This blogger knows it because she has lived it.
I do all sorts of things to help myself lose weight- paleo/low carb, Zumba, Crossfit- but, I’m not doing those things to be skinny. I’m doing those things to be fit and as healthy as possible. I will never be a skinny person. It’s just not possible. In high school, I danced and played basketball for hours every day, and I starved myself until my hip bones protruded, but even then I was only able to get into a size 10. I was harassed at school because of my weight. I was captain of both the dance team and the basketball team, and I was harassed because of my weight!
I, too, have had my intelligence and capabilities discounted because I’m fat. I’ve had people see me in the hallway before a Zumba class, whisper, “that’s the teacher?” and leave without even giving me a chance, because of my size. If they hung around or asked, they would learn that I have lost a ton of weight and inspired many others along the way. Oh, and I can really move! When I went to get certified to teach Zumba, an all day event, I remember being terrified because I had to pack my own lunch, and I was worried that people would see me eating and say, well, there you see why she’s fat. Would they judge the choices I’d placed in my brown paper bag?
I’ve seen people come into Crossfit and sneer, judging me before they see what I can do.
There’s no reason for this reaction. Fat really isn’t the worst thing a person can be.

Alola 06 Feb, 2014 at 05:39 pm | Reply

I would love to ever see a fat Zumba instructor This would make me go on a regular

Lauren Grider 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Reply

I saw you dancing, and I think you are wonderful. I reblogged your post- hope that’s ok. We may actually be internet soul mates or something. I am overweight, dance, and have PCOS too!

Megan Estes 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply

I think you are beautiful and incredible. I wish I had half of your confidence!

Amanda Pabon 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:17 pm | Reply

This made me cry. I’m 200 lbs, 5’2″ and have been dancing for 16 years (I’m 21). I wasn’t a fat kid either – I gained a ton of weight over 3 months for seemingly no reason and have had a hard time losing it ever since. I have struggled with the name calling, the insensitivity, the back handed compliments, etc. I’m still struggling with learning to love myself as an adult, but you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for being beautiful and strong and for sharing that with everyone. You have helped give me a reason to keep going and to keep my head high.

Dayna 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:23 pm | Reply

Thank you thank you thank YOU!

amanda 02 Feb, 2014 at 01:57 pm | Reply

You are truly an inspiration. Thank you. Positive body image has always been hard for me but you’ve helped me see a little more light. :-)

Margaret 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:13 pm | Reply

I’ve heard and read stories like this before, but my brain hasn’t gotten there yet. When people who are suppose to love you say ugly things to and about you, both intentionally and unintentionally, it stings, it hurts, it sticks. I often wonder if I’ll ever get there.
I love your confidence and attitude. I wish I had it.

rita 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:35 pm | Reply

You are awesome…. Completely amazing! And I swear I hope to one day he able to have your confidence and embrace myself and my body the way you have. Thank you.

Jo 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:52 pm | Reply

Hey girl, u r AWESOME! I m 140lbs. And i wish i could dance like u! U r beautiful!
GOD BLESS!

Arleen Harris 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:20 pm | Reply

I wish I could be more like you! when I was little I always wanted to be a dancer, really all my life ! I came across your story and you have inspired me to learn how to try and Love myself agin. You are beautiful no matter what size you are and I have to remember that! tThanks for turning a light on inside of me because it has been lost for so long! May GOD bless you in everything you do.

Julia 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:14 pm | Reply

Your an awesome woman! Wish you would teach dance where I live!

nanasmuggy 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:45 pm | Reply

Your Absolutely Marvelous inspiration to us all! I’m 300+ lady who has struggle many years with my weight and also struggle with people comments, lost jobs & promotions cause of my size.

Mahina 02 Feb, 2014 at 03:57 pm | Reply

I love this blog. I am curvy. Even when I was small, I was curvy. I gots a BIG butt! And now due to certain circumstances in my life I am fat too. And I too am done with body shame and self hate. My hubby to be helped me with this hugely. I’d say I’m fat, n I’d hear myself say I’m gross and ugly and undesirable. He’d look at me n say yes you’re fat. You’re fat and beautiful and I totally want to do you! It took me a while to feel comfortable with him using fat AND beautiful in the same sentence!
Youre totally right about how much we load up this one particular adjective: fat. How did fat become the worst insult most people can conjure up? Fat is just a word, a descriptive word yes and yet it doesn’t sum me (or you) up. I know this in my own head and in my own space. I am still working on owning it when I leave the safety of home and venture out into that big bad world where fat is still so bogged down and tied up. Thank you for your small part in liberating not just the world, but the rest of us who still feel trapped by the word fat.
Oh yeah and in regards to your dancing photos in this post: Dang girl!!! Yes you ARE a dancer!

Eliza Iski 02 Feb, 2014 at 04:01 pm | Reply

You are awesome and have given me more confidence to love who I am! I love to dance too. I’m not nearly as good as you, but it’s something I love. Thank you for your video and story.

Candice Myers 02 Feb, 2014 at 04:21 pm | Reply

What an amazing, inspirational story. Thank you so much for sharing it! My entire life I’ve loathingly referred to fat as the “F” word because that’s the most damaging word I remember being called by mom when I was also around 10 or 11… I’ve just recently begun my journey to a better life in December. Nutrition, fitness and most important, POSITIVITY are my focus. Witnessing such energy, will and disregard to the negativity thrown your way is inspirational. You’re gorgeous Whitney!

goddessalexa 02 Feb, 2014 at 04:31 pm | Reply

All I have to say is THANK YOU!!! Your message/words are spot on!

Kimmi McKnight 03 Feb, 2014 at 01:01 am | Reply

Took the words right out of my mouth! :-)

Steffany Hoyt 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:29 pm | Reply

You are beautiful, inside and out! Your words ring so true for me. I was always told “you would be so pretty if you lost some weight”. It took me years to realize that I could be fat AND pretty. I am 33 now and happier in my skin than I have ever been. Keep dancing! You are a true inspiration to me!!

a fan 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:31 pm | Reply

You are amazing, beautiful and encouraging. You are the kind of person that can change the world…at least for some of us. And you are an awesome dancer.

Deanna 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:36 pm | Reply

Love the videos! You are a very beautiful and talented woman!!

simplyramazing 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:47 pm | Reply

Finally!!!!! NO SHAME!! Love it!! Adore you!! From a fellow fabulous fat girl

Lo 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:50 pm | Reply

hi, i have to say that i’m really impressed of you your attidude, and this page! i also saw a dancing Video from you on Facebook and it really impresses me how you move you’re Body and i think the moves and you’re Body fit together so good! my weight is about 112 kg i thgink this are 224 Pounds, i put on 25 Kilos, 50 Pound during the last year and iÄm not really happy with that, but i recognise that my biggest Problem is not that i think i’m not pretty, it’s that i think other People think i’m lazy, do no sports etc all These negative konnotations of the word fat.. i also recognize that when i talk of me, i always accentuate that i were thin when i say i where pretty ,.i’m alwas ashamed of my Body and couldn’t define myself with the word fat, but i think you’re right! what is the problem with the word fat, you can be everthing and being fat but the everthing makes you a beeing not the fat!i think it’s very cool that you write about this. what i also really like too, is that you Show the world that also fat People can be good dancers and weight doesn’t matter on beeing strechable. i was never good at dancing but some years ago i startet Training for doing the split just for fun and i might be talented cause i started with the Age of 22, and i am able to do the split on both legs, both directions and i’m nearly able to do the side or male split like you do on the Foto, althow i’m fat, i’m really inspired to Train more now as i saw trhat!! Go on writing, dancing enjoying you’re life without any shame!

Adriane Anderson 02 Feb, 2014 at 05:51 pm | Reply

OMG – I think I might be a little bit smitten. Lol. You are amazing! I’ve been in the same situations most of my life and when I finally found myself trying to lose the fat by quite literally any means -and not b/c I felt pressure from my husband or b/c I was “unhealthy” but simply b/c I didn’t wanba be the “fat girl” anymore-I got angry. It’s still a journey to self-acceptance for me but my genuine confidence is growing by the day and you are an effing inspiration, girl. Thank you SO much for simply owning it. Now I gotta learn to move like you – think my hubs might appreciate that way more than some number I’m fixating on. You rock!!!!

Anonymous 02 Feb, 2014 at 06:35 pm | Reply

YOU are beautiful!!!

Barbara Lee 02 Feb, 2014 at 06:52 pm | Reply

I am moved after reading your story. So many similarities. Have you tried Middle Eastern (Belly) Dancing? You have one of the perfect bodies for this form of dance. Several years ago I had to do something about my weight and my inactivity. I was a computer programmer, which means I was sedentary most of the time. I knew I had to find something that I could do and love doing it. I have always loved to dance. So I found Belly Dancing and Pilates. Recent life circumstances have taken both of these away from me, BUT… I am going to get them back.

Anonymous 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:34 pm | Reply

That kool keep it real

Michelle Washburn 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:36 pm | Reply

I think your beautiful inside and out .. Anyone who meets you should be fortunate to know you .. I’m 47 and struggle with my weight .. I have a 4 yr old and a great husband who thinks I’m beautiful and yes I also love to dance .. It gives me freedom to move be beautiful and show people I may be fat but I can still move … And yes when I dance I turn heads as you do … Your a awesome dancer and except who you are ..

wendy menard 02 Feb, 2014 at 08:37 pm | Reply

You are a inspiration! I had a liver transplant almost 25 yrs ago and have put on over 220 because of medication n depression…..will you be my mentor please. I need help.

Audrey 02 Feb, 2014 at 09:08 pm | Reply

Thank you for expressing my feelings out loud! I am 35 years old and can honestly say for the first time in my life I have been able to own my fat beauty! I always thought (or was told) that I couldn’t do certain things or wear sexy clothes because I was a fat girl. The man in my life now asked me “why not” when I told him I couldn’t do something. He has shown me and brought out my true beauty and with that comes confidence! The most beautiful look a woman can wear!

Sara Slack 02 Feb, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply

You are gorgeous and an amazing dancer! You speak for so many of us who struggle with the same things regardless of what our bodies look like.

Andrew Bahamas 03 Feb, 2014 at 12:05 am | Reply

Simply Amazing! your moves are awesome! Love your beauty in strength and confidence.. Keep dancing, it is so healthy for body, mind and soul..

Ani 03 Feb, 2014 at 12:06 am | Reply

I stepped on the scale the other day and then ended up on the floor crying for a hour. I hit 270 and Im only 27. Im at my biggest and my husband says he loves me but I dont love me. Its been taking a great toll on my love life, and personal one as well. Your story is so inspirational that I am starting to see myself better. When I look down at my body I dont think I look that bad, but I cant stand pictures or mirrors. Finding a way to love myself no matter what size is so hard in a culture where thin is in and thick is disgusting. How can I raise my son to love women of all sizes when I cant stand my own?

ilovetchotchkes 03 Feb, 2014 at 12:16 am | Reply

Your self confidence and just JOY makes me feel less anxious about my body today.

Thank you.

Angela 03 Feb, 2014 at 01:22 am | Reply

I agree that it’s crazy that at such young ages we are made to believe our bodies aren’t good enough. I believe I am fat. I weigh 160 pounds. I’ve believed I was fat from the time I was in the 7th grade and my dad told me not to bother to try out for the basketball team because they didn’t let fat girls play. Looking back at those pictures I was skin and bones. But ever since then I’ve believed I was fat. I am also confident. Which recently I was told by a boyfriend was sexy but he preferred fit and slim girls. Really? Go for it, she too will age and change and most assuredly get a little bigger. As a mother to a daughter my goal is to never have her believe her body is lesser than anything else. And that it is most definitely not what is important. My father said she was fat when she was a baby and I immediately told him if I ever heard him say that about her or to her again that he would never be allowed to see his grand daughter again. He seemed lost as to why this was such an issue, and I explained my self loathing caused by his lifetime of remarks to me to which he pleaded he never meant any harm and did not recollect saying. But I remember, all too well. My daughter is beautiful and is often told by strangers so, and at a young age I taught her to reply with I’m also very smart. My way of teaching what was more important. We are beautiful no matter our size or shape. And it’s an awful injustice we as a society have done to women to make ourselves believe that the size of our waistlines has any significance on the worth of ourselves.

Kimberly Johnson 03 Feb, 2014 at 06:58 am | Reply

Hi, Im so proud of you. You brought tears to my eye, dance so beautifully and joy to watch!!!!

Holly Winslow 03 Feb, 2014 at 07:13 am | Reply

I don’t judge you for your BMI, I am just concerned that a wonderful person and talented person will die before her time.
There is free, anonymous help for anyone having relationship issues with food. I KNOW it works. If you decide to check out your local OA, you may feel it to be a calling, because you can help so many others as you are helping yourself. http://www.oa.org

R. Caliup 03 Feb, 2014 at 09:57 am | Reply

Wow, just wow. Thank you for voicing what I have always wanted to. It just all comes down to one thing, confidence… Confidence that makes us beautiful!

Jeni Waldrop 03 Feb, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply

I love you! You have the heart, the joy, the confidence I can only hope to have. Sadly, I have let the f- word define me, break me over the years. But I’m a work in progress and you, my dear, are an amazing and beautiful inspiration to my soul! Hugs from a fellow fat girl!

Jessica 03 Feb, 2014 at 02:52 pm | Reply

Your words are truly inspiring!!

You are definitely more than your size…
You’re a beautiful, beautifully intelligent woman!!!!

Much love ♡♡♡ :]

Monique 03 Feb, 2014 at 06:50 pm | Reply

Everything about you makes me smile. What a gift you are to the world!

dietfreebody 03 Feb, 2014 at 07:00 pm | Reply

Fabulous, brilliant and beautiful post. Loved it!

erin 03 Feb, 2014 at 07:54 pm | Reply

I love reading your stories! I work in mental health and so many women spend their lives hating themselves becasue they are fat while they are amazing vital people with purpose! My mother is Fat and is the MOST amazing, kind, talented and inspirational person in the universe. But she hates herself and it breaks my heart. Nothing I can say changes her mind. Im overweight, kinda in between a healthy weight and fat. Ive been one to hate living inside of my body but ive been going through a similar mind changing, body accepting stage as you are. You are waaaaaaaayyyyyy ahead of me and thats why reading what you have written has been so inspiring and has made me hopeful for real change not only to come within me, but the change in our society. Thank you Whitney, you are fabulous!

bigbeautiesdating 03 Feb, 2014 at 07:58 pm | Reply

Heck, I’m fat too! I’ve learned to embrace it. Now for the dancing part… I’ve got two left feet – LOL!

Barb Eltz 03 Feb, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Reply

Thank you.

Just thank you.

Ciara 03 Feb, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Reply

This post definitely hit home with me. When I was younger, I was also a dancer. I look back at pictures of myself and remember that I thought was I so fat. I was 5’2″ as well and thicker than most of the girls my age but still thin. I had hips and breasts. My belly was flat but it was soft. I hid my body and even quit dancing because I thought I looked disgusting doing it. After quitting dancing and becoming a fairly sedentary kid, I actually did become fat. My husband and I recently discovered that I have PCOS, we found this out when we went to the OB thinking I was pregnant but turned out I just wasn’t ovulating. Since then, I’ve been very down on myself. I rarely leave the house and if I do, I do NOT do it wearing anything other than clothes made for someone twice my age. I hope that one day I can become as comfortable in my own skin as you have.

Mary Donnelly 04 Feb, 2014 at 12:07 am | Reply

I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you so many people look at me funny or like I cussed at them when I call myself fat. I have weighed 280+ since I was in the 10th grade. When I laugh my belly jiggles which makes me laugh even harder. I am who I am and reading this helped me to remember I am beautiful, and worth being loved. I love the skin I’m in, freckles stretch marks and all.

Jessica Bredberg 04 Feb, 2014 at 12:22 am | Reply

You are absolutely gorgeous, and inspirational. It is so wonderful to have such an awesome, positive role model out there.

Judy 04 Feb, 2014 at 01:07 am | Reply

Um . . . I LOVE YOU!

Anonymous 04 Feb, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply

I bet my friend Julie would love to have a conversation with you. I am sooooooo excited about this campaign and will annoy everyone I know with endless posts. April http://www.juliedillonrd.com/

Shelby 04 Feb, 2014 at 05:13 pm | Reply

Dancing is the best way to love yourself! Zumba, salsa and belly dancing don’t demand you to be skin and bond… Although I’ve seen some beautiful full figured ballet dancers that are more interesting to look at than the norm. For me Victoria secret mags ruined my body image from the time I was 12 years old. I look at pictures of my perfectly healthy young body and can’t believe I spent any time feeling bad about my body. I was skinny in my teens but “dieted” meaning I didn’t eat. I love food so this was a war with in my self. I spent my college years feeling horrible about my body. It was a feeling I couldn’t shake, not being my size 5 younger self. I had to make up with food before I could love my self. Two things helped me, one was falling in love with a man who respected me, and the other was falling in love with belly dancing.

jo ann c troupe 04 Feb, 2014 at 05:18 pm | Reply

I WAS VERY IMPRESSED BY YOU I HAVE BATTLED MY WEIGHT FOR YEARS BEEN CALLED NAMES AND ABUSED IN 2 PAST MARRIAGES, I HAVE A WONDERFUL HUSBAND NOW WHO LOVES ME AS I AM. I AM 265 AND 5″2 TALL, YOU INSPIRED ME. GOD BLESS YOU LL
KEEP UP THE DANCING . JO ANN

Avery Ray Colter 05 Feb, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply

It used to be a turn of phrase that a gal has “bounce in her step”. Once a fat woman embraces her body, just walk with a bold stride into a place, and your body has started its dance already! What you carry is a tool kit for catching eyes and stimulating the senses! I think so many peoples’ off-color humor about fat women is the internal conflict the culture forces on them: “I’m supposed to hate them….. but damn it all, they’re so fun to watch!!!” The good news is, all one needs to do is look them in the eye and give them the signal: “Forgot all that tired hate stuff. What good does that do anyone? Watch the fun, trust the fun, join the fun, the fun will do good things to you. You will not regret this.”

Alola 06 Feb, 2014 at 05:33 pm | Reply

I just read this and I’m at all . I’m going to the doctor so I can have this test done,my hair is thinning in the front I do had acne,I’ve picked up a lot of weight it explains all of it,you are my Hero, I’ve fell in love with you

Jenny 06 Feb, 2014 at 09:02 pm | Reply

I just read about you on Huffington Post. I find your use of the word “fat” interesting, because it reminds me of one of my favorite blogs, A Fat Girl and A Fat Horse. She says something very similar, and both of you inspire me – a 250-lb horseback rider who loves to dance! I am trying to also take back the word, but at 35 years old, I find I still have a spasm of sick shame deep in my heart every time I try to say it. But I’m working on it! Here is her post about why she chose to use the word “fat” as well. http://afatgirlafathorse.blogspot.com/2009/11/fat-or-fiction.html Y’all are fabulous and should join forces!

Luke 07 Feb, 2014 at 01:02 am | Reply

Thanks for sharing :)

Kelly 07 Feb, 2014 at 02:20 am | Reply

I’m a 29 year old woman who has also been on both of ends of the spectrum. Until I was 19, I weighed no more than 145 and was always active, via sports or other activities, and somehow considered myself fat. Granted, I was a bit larger than most girls, but my bmi was next to nothing and I don’t know what more I could have done about my weight that I wasn’t already doing. I was still always the fat girl, and as a result, had a hard time dating and fitting into societal norms. I started taking a few medications at 19 that caused me to gain almost 100 pounds in less than 4 months, which in turn rocked my world a bit. I had to learn to look at my body in an entirely different way. I’ve managed to lose about 40 of those pounds in the ensuing years, but I have yet to lose the body/fat shame that accompanies it. I’m getting better, and would like to lose a little more of the weight, but I feel that changing my perception of my own body image may help as well. I thank you for these posts, this blog, and the insight you’ve given me as another woman who has also struggled with body issues. Keep it up, and stay fabulous!

Krystyn 07 Feb, 2014 at 04:49 am | Reply

Love this! I too have recently come to the realization that extra weight does not negate my value as a person though sometimes I do still find myself berating my body but I’m still a work in progress. This does not mean I’m just going to eat chocolate all day every day & be a couch potato, I do eat reasonably & exercise but I don’t want to deny myself or feel bad about eating something ‘unhealthy’. I don’t remember when I started feeling fat but I do remember in high school feeling decidedly heavier than my friends but I was 125lbs at 5’3″ so I certainly wasn’t fat. Anyhoo, good on you & you are a fabulous dancer!

Botgurl 07 Feb, 2014 at 05:31 am | Reply

There is a line in your post that made me scream YES! So irritating to hear smaller people complain to me about how fat they are like we are going to have a pity party together!

At any rate, I really think that some people can’t deal with a fat person accepting themselves, truly!

notsureaboutme 17 Apr, 2014 at 07:13 pm | Reply

Well somewhat true but what you consider skinny may be what someone else considers fat. i am one of those people. my sister is 6’1 and she says she is fat but I am 5’4 and say I am fat. Her friends are all bigger and taller and when they would talk about needing to lose weight and diets and stuff I also wanted to join in the convo because I wanted to lose weight as well they laughed and were like oh you’re not fat all because my numbers weren’t in the 200 lbs but yes i was and still am overweight even at 150 lbs. Someone who is 6 foot and 200 lbs isn’t fat they would look sickly skinny and someone short like me weighed 160 lbs yes I will look fat. its not about the number alone its about your height and weight together.

Rachel M 07 Feb, 2014 at 03:54 pm | Reply

I too am a fat, beautiful woman. I’m horrified at how society treats me. I am very short, so I don’t “wear it well” (da f*** does that mean?). So, shortly after I turned 29 last year, I bought a gym membership because I realized that my weight is actually hurting my career. I knew that people treated me worse because of my weight, but I was determined to prove it. I started slowly losing when suddenly I had a severe gallbladder attack in November. Since November, I have lost 40 pounds. It’s been hard to eat anything without being really nauseated afterward. Interestingly, my coworkers and boss have been treating me better. Even though I lost the weight because I am constantly sick and in misery, they act like it’s the best thing that ever happened. They are all “how thin do you think you will get before you can eat regularly again?” Are they serious? I’m sick day and night and all they can ask me is how close my fat ass is going to get to wearing single digits? Post gallbladder removal syndrome can last a long time and them basically wishing it lasts me until I am skinny is cruel. Thanks for being YOU and telling your story without apology. Being fat is no one’s business or subject to judgmental commentary. But for the record, anything below a size 10, and I just wouldn’t feel sexy. I like being bigger, it’s liberating. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Please, what a ridiculous, shallow motto for the scum-sucking diet industry. No amount of thigh gap feels as good as having a functioning brain.

Margaret Wilson 07 Feb, 2014 at 07:02 pm | Reply

Thank you for sharing your story. I was first attracted to it because I love dance (nice hands btw!). Please keep dancing because it’s what’s you love, it’s good for you and it makes you happy. Growing up I was always underweight so your story was really enlightening. It was heartbreaking reading what so many girls/women go through. I’m 48 and have 2 daughters, ages 9 and 11. I worry about what is right around the corner for them after puberty, whether or not they have weight issues. Boys (and even other girls) can be so cruel, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Delicate self-esteems can be severely harmed. The best defense is to love yourself. God bless you for bringing awareness to this important topic!

Will 08 Feb, 2014 at 08:12 pm | Reply

I must say, as a man, you are fat AND extremely beautiful. Anyone in your life is lucky to have you. More than your outer beauty though, or your facility with words, or dance moves, or your other talents, your inner beauty shines through. I know self-acceptance is not easy for anyone, so hats off to you for your success in that arena and others as well.

P.S. I must admit to being jealous of your boyfriend…lucky S.O.B.

emma 09 Feb, 2014 at 06:28 am | Reply

Whitney you are such a awsome beautiful person. Thankyou so much. Thanku thanku thanku. U have made me feel less alone abd sad about my fat. I’m a big girl and I have hated myself for as long as I can remember. How do i stop thinking about myself with disgust? Iv never let my size stop me from doing anything i really want to do but i still hate my body mostly. Sometimes i feel like im not a real women because im to fat, disgusting ect. How do you change what you deeply believe?? Please help.

L 10 Feb, 2014 at 12:04 am | Reply

Although not having lived in Korea, can totally relate through my travels within Asia – wasn’t pleasant..

Mindy 10 Feb, 2014 at 08:42 am | Reply

I was thin as a child, and didn’t really start gaining much weight until well into my 20′s after I got married. I married at 24 and my husband and I were trying to conceive. We tried for over a year with no success. I went to a fertility doctor and while talking to the doctor she was taking notes. After a while she said she had to go out for a minute. She left my chart in the room so me, being the curious and nosy type had to take a peek at it. She had written “Patient is morbidly obese.” I was outraged! I am 5’4″ and I weighed 140 lbs at the time! Morbidly obese?? That was my first such experience. I was so mad I left the clinic and never went back. I ended up finding out years later that I have a Fallopian tube blockage caused by endometriosis and was never able to conceive. I gained over 100 pounds within a year of that appointment. Perhaps that doctors words were prophetic. I have struggled with my weight since that time. In my late 30′s I found a lump on the right side of my waist. I was also having allergy problems, and extreme pain from my endometriosis. I made an appointment with a low cost clinic because I was having financial problems at the time. I had been to this clinic a few times so they had a file on me. I had been seeing one doctor the whole time, and liked her, but found out that she had left, so I had a new doctor. After the nurse took my vitals and wrote down my complaints he came in and introduced himself. He seemed stiff and brusque. He wrote notes in my file as we discussed what my concerns were. He felt the lump on my side and took more notes. He said because of its location I would probably need an x-ray to determine if it was attached to my ribs or not. He said he would refer me for an appointment for that, and give me prescriptions for my allergies and pain. He told me to follow up with him after my x-ray, and then the appointment was over. He left, and lo and behold, he left my chart there on the cabinet!! I had to wait for the nurse to bring my prescriptions, so again my curiosity got the best of me and I peeked at my file. Under diagnosis he had written Obese. Nothing about my allergies, nothing about the lump on my side, or my pain, just Obese. As if all that was wrong with me was caused by my weight! I knew I was obese then, but what was wrong with me was not caused by my weight. By the time the nurse came back I was so mad I was crying. She asked me what was wrong and I told her. Then I asked her who I needed to speak to about getting a different doctor. She told me, and as soon as I was able I called and reported that doctor, and what he had written in my file. I found out later that he was fired. Not sure if it was over me, but I was glad. Sorry about the long story, but I just wanted to share some of my struggles. I weigh over 350 pounds at this time, and am 42. I hate looking in the mirror. I do not go out in public if I can avoid it. My husband and I divorced a long time ago, and my boyfriend of over 9 years left me recently. I like what you are saying, but I don’t feel beautiful being fat at all. I have been told I am still pretty, but I do not believe it. I would like to though. I do want to be healthy, and I am going to start making some drastic changes.

Suzie 10 Feb, 2014 at 06:58 pm | Reply

I absolutely adore this post. I used to suffer with an eating disorder, and at a size 8 (UK) I was terrified of gaining weight. 3 years on and I am now a size 16-18 (considering I am barely 5’3). And honestly, I am much happier at this size. What annoys me though, Is when I would say, I am fat, simply as a statement. People will get angry and tell me im not fat, Im beautiful. Or get angry at me, As though by stating the truth I am bringing myself down. Being Fat isn’t a bad thing! I wish people could stop seeing it as that. Even my boyfriend, who has seen me at a size 12 and a size 18 wont let me say the word fat. As though Its some horrible swear word. I wish everyone could read this. Thank you for being such an inspiration :) xx

Katie Wagner 11 Feb, 2014 at 04:26 pm | Reply

Thank you for this! I recall being the slightly chubby young girl, and being praised for eating carrots and celery for lunch fete walking in a treadmill as a nine year old instead of playing out in the creek with my brother and cousins. I also remember my parents paying me for every workout I completed as an 11 year old. I have gained and lost weight repeatedly, but something you said strikes a huge chord with me…just because I am fat does NOT mean my two college degrees in exercise physiology are worth any less, or that my talents for painting or passions for hiking and teaching fitness are any less. My dream is to open a center where I work with women and girls on being strong, focusing on he fit vs. fat paradigm, that one can be be healthier at a heavy weight than someone who is thinner but doesn’t take care of herself. You know why I have not pursued I thus far? Because I fear people won’t believe a fate girl. But, I am a fat girl who is strong, fit, and healthy. Thank you for the motivation! Don’t let anyone back your sunshine…naysayers will always be naysayers. People unfortunately can’t believe someone who is fat could be happy too! I’m working on it, not letting my weight define my feelings! Keep that light shining; you inspire others every day to be their best, no matter who they are!

isa 11 Feb, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Reply

I don’t usually write many comments, but this time I I have to say Congratulations! Congratulations on posting all this, all your good and bad memories, happy and sad moments, every single detail of all the troubles you’ve experienced and how you’ve overcome them!
I really hope this can help lots and lots of people throughout the world with their shames (whatever they are) and also enlighten the others who criticize without knowing the real story/reason behind it.
Last, but not least, I also hope this site of yours reaches the fashion industry and teaches some of its members to stop saying non-sense about women having to be so thin (almost like walking-clothes hanger) and stuff like “All other sizes need more discipline”. Really? Then we have perfectly healthy girls reading this kind of BS running around with eating disorders a few days later. And what about those who struggle to be healthy, but for reasons they can’t control, do not reach their aims? Can’t they see, for real, the impact their words have on people, specially teenagers?
Anyway, thank you for sharing your story, it helps us stand up to our issues and overcome them! You have a lot of courage there!
Again, Congratulations and keep up the good work! :)

Sadie 12 Feb, 2014 at 03:22 pm | Reply

Whitney you are blessed with an awesome personality, you are bold, courageous, and confident. I can relate to SO SO much of your story, and its so hard for me to type the words that I am a 250 lb woman. I’ve never been very confident, and I see so many other big girls like you and I feel like its ok for them to be big, but not me. Those girls are ok with it and happy and confident and that’s what people see, but me…I’m just fat and its not ok. I wasn’t meant to be fat (I think you said that too!). I was always skinny growing up too, in fact called boney and teased by my mother for having no hips….I didn’t understand this at all at nine years old! Then I got a little chubby in 6th grade and felt so ashamed at some vacation pics of me in a bathing suit. I got taller the next summer and was thin again but I never felt thin again, ever. I was 5’8″ and probably 135 lbs when a boy called me a cow. That coupled with all the other difficulties of Junior High had me sucking in my stomach all the time, feelign very self conscious and I was generally miserable.

Fast forward to my young adult years and I started putting on weight like crazy after my ex boyfriend killed himself. I tried talking to people but they just said to move on and get over it. It wasn’t ok to have the feeling I was having, so I just ate and ate. I became depressed about my weight and started withdrawing from everything and the vicious cycle of depression and weight gain continued. I remember gaining 60 lbs in one 6 month period and it was like I didn’t care, the antidepressants just made me numb to it all. I finally got good help for my depression and anxiety at age 30, but conti used to be ashamed of my weight. My husband loves me dearly and thinks I’m beautiful, but I know he’d prefer me to not be so heavy. I’ve just never been able to come to terms with it and I’m so tired of avoiding things like pictures, vacations, amusement parks, etc “until I lose the weight”. I know I will (I’m on WW now) but I’m so mad at myself for taking this long….im 35 now. Anyway your blog is helping me and making me feel better and I strive to be confident and happy like you, no matter what my size is. I just wish I could let go of the shame! Thank you for sharing your message. Oh and I had NO idea that PCOS caused weight gain. I’m trying to get pregnant and have met many women with PCOS online and had no idea the struggle they go through.

I hope this campaign really does help young girls feel ok with themselves and for women to accept themselves as they are, and if they want to change that’s fine but that we don’t have to be miserable until then.

Dawn 12 Feb, 2014 at 04:05 pm | Reply

Ms. Whitney, thank you for sharing your story. I was raised with an obese mother that hated her body image and was quick to tell me that I was fat. I’ve struggled with weight issues all my life. In high school (at 140lbs), I simply quit eating. By college, I weighed 125lbs and felt fat, ugly, unlovable and disgusting. Now at 42yrs old, I weigh 175lbs and I find myself replaying my mother’s voice in my head. I’ve been working on my self image and trying to incorporate everything healthy into my diet. It just seems like nothing is working. I am lucky enough to have found my Soul mate and he thinks my body is BEAUTIFUL. Everyday I work on being the best person I can be. I try to make people smile and help as much as I can. This makes me feel better.
I am so happy that I found your page. You are such an inspiration to the women of the world and I feel very blessed to have read your story. I have made a promise to myself, I will not degrade myself because of the way I look. I am such a good person on the inside and I’m working on the SHELL that is my body. I know that acceptance of myself, where I am today, will be a great catalyst to making changes. So today, I choose to be happy and love myself. My fiance’ put up little sticky notes all over the house reminding me that I’m beautiful, I’m talented, I’m lovable, etc. He is my rock when I feel weak. Again, I am so blessed.
You have given hope to so many women and opened the eyes of others. THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! May your life be blessed and may your story bless others with wisdom and hope.

Shiloh 13 Feb, 2014 at 01:05 am | Reply

Whitney, I think you are a fabulous role model for young women. I am inspired by your dancing; I am a big girl and also enjoy ballet dancing on a beginning/intermediate level. Sometimes I will look into those mirrored walls and flinch. I feel so grateful, yet look so… lumpy.

I have recently started my own body positivity blog called The Fat Word. I would be honored if you took a look in your precious free time. I wrote about you! :D

Thanks for reminding everyone to love their lumps.

Jeff 13 Feb, 2014 at 03:14 am | Reply

Thanks Whitney for sharing your story, it is very inspiring. You are very beautiful and talented and I hope things work out for you. I find it bitterly ironic that such ridiculousness as what you had to endure keeps being peddled off in society as acceptable behavior by other people. I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like at 19 to suddenly gain soo much weight (I’ve been thin pretty much all my life). This one kinda hits close to home for me cause my girlfriend also has PCOS and is in the neighborhood of about 200 lbs. Talking to her she can recollect all the accounts her father disparaged her for weighing more than he’d like as well as being ostracized in high school. I just don’t get the mentality of some people who think it’s cool to make fun of someone they don’t find attractive. Whatever happened to the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t say anything at all?”.

Jen R. 13 Feb, 2014 at 04:25 pm | Reply

I am so grateful to whomever it was that shared your “Fat Girl Dancing” video on Facebook. Since then, I have started following you and I am so inspired! It’s taken me over 30 years to stop caring about the world thinking of me as a fat chick. I am so much more than my fat and I finally can accept myself and better yet, LOVE myself. I recently read a quote from Lucille Ball: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Your really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Everything just seems a little bit easier now that I am not my own worst critic! Thanks for putting yourself out there to inspire women. It was such a blessing to have come across your work!

Michelle 13 Feb, 2014 at 05:38 pm | Reply

Whitney, I just finished reading your story (didn’t see part 4..has it been written yet?) and then this post.

I can relate to the feelings you had as a young girl about being fat when by all normal standards you were not fat. I definitely WAS a chubby kid and apparently I developed a complex about it…which stuck with me even after puberty and growing several inches and looking more “normal.” I look back at my high school pictures and cannot understand why I thought I was fat.

I saw someone’s reply on this post asking why you can’t just admit that it still hurts for people to call you fat. And the fact of the matter is:

1) We can’t control other people – they have a right to their own opinion and say what they want to say. The only thing that WE can control is our reaction and how we allow it to affect us.

2) Regardless of what the “insult” is, it does hurt to not be appreciated for your talents/gifts/abilities/etc. And that’s why it’s so important to really know who you are and love yourself for who you are. Who you are and your self worth shouldn’t be determined by your body image, which was the issue I had. My self-worth totally WAS wrapped up in how I looked and the condition of my body. This is only something I learned after getting super fit and still not understanding why I had body image issues. I have learned that I am so much more than this body that everyone sees. And I have so many great qualities, gifts and talents. Not everyone will see it and appreciate and they have that right. But I will no longer allow the opinions of others to define who I am.

I still choose to live a disciplined life but I no longer feel guilty or beat myself up for indulging in foods that I really like but know aren’t healthy to eat on a daily basis. And I choose not to allow the judgement of others to make me feel guilty about it. I still workout daily because I know how good it makes me feel….physically and mentally.

I’m excited to follow your blog and read more about what you have learned through your journey!

Amanda Dufour 21 Feb, 2014 at 02:11 pm | Reply

i want to thank u. ur story has touched me in many ways. im a big woman who has been made fun of and been made to feel im ugly nasty and well even fat. ive hated myself for a long time cause of it but not no more im going to love myself and stop looking at just my weight and look at everything else i have to offer and work on me and myself worth. thank u for sharing ur story with everyone.

Heather 21 Feb, 2014 at 07:17 pm | Reply

I am completely in awe of you and your embracing of who you are! I too have PCOS and I have tried 90 different diets and I’ve worked out every day for the past 2 years and I have only been able to take off 3 lbs. All the websites I find that are supposed to “help”, only give meal plans for things i can’t afford. I don’t know what exercises would be best, everything is conflicting. I really need help. I wish I could be like you and exude that confidence, but I’m just not a confident person. I want to make my little girls proud.

Ileyia Hines 28 Feb, 2014 at 10:25 am | Reply

Whitney hun, I just have to say to you that you are an amazing inspirational woman. I have been dealing with weight my whole life, and just like you I wasn’t always as fat as I am now.

I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri [AKA PTC] when I was just 12. It’s a birth defect that affects the optic nerve of my brain [my right eye muscle]. Meaning, I have too much spinal pressure trying to travel to my brain, and that optic nerve is underdeveloped compared to my left optic nerve. When they didn’t know what I had at first, because PTC doesn’t show up in young adolescence, and had given me 23 months to live.

My life spiraled out of control fast, and I started to become depressed. I was told to stop all activity until they could figure out what was the matter with me. I missed a lot of school and had almost gained 100 lbs between my 6th and 7th grade year. With depression, and bullying now on my plate I tried to commit suicide several times. All failed [of course] and I was thrown into more intensive counseling sessions.

From then up to now [ten years later], I feel better in my body- even if I do gain more than when I was in school. And I can tell you from experience, that people always think it’s the laziness and several boxes of Twinkies that get ya fat, but it’s SO much more than that! I have been struggling to get up off my ass and exercise, but it’s hard when doctors from ten years ago and the doctors now have told you two different things. So, I am going to work hard [with my hubby] and live a healthy, happy life!

I wish you the best of lucky hun! Can’t wait to read more of your new journey!

♥,
Ileyia Hines

p.s
You can add me on FB :)

Ileyia Hines 28 Feb, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply

To add, you should check out Laci Green’s Sex+ page. She talks about body image as well! Very awesome stuff!

Ashley 28 Feb, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply

Whitney, you are an inspiration. Like you, I have suffered with body issues since childhood. I now have an 11 year old daughter. She is a gymnast and loves her sport. She has a different body type than most of the girls at school and out-weighs many girls her age by at least 15lbs. Her school sends home a fitness test every year that says she is borderline obese. She is healthy and active…why put labels on children’s bodies? She is sweet, kind, smart, and super intelligent. Whether she is fat or not plays no part in her personality, yet society keeps pushing labels. My husband (great man that he is) once told me when I was complaining about being fat to “own my beauty.” At first I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I realized that confidence=beauty. It doesn’t matter whether you are tall, short, fat, skinny, pimply, or smooth; all that matters is how you feel inside. I now own my beauty and look for it in others. Keep up the blogs, I love reading them and think you are doing a noble job spreading the message!

Pingback: H2O Fanatic

gilda 28 Feb, 2014 at 06:12 pm | Reply

hello , i have friended her on facebook but no response , i too have lost 100 lbs and hope i can help people out. oh well i hope she answers…

Name (Required)Jessica 06 Mar, 2014 at 08:44 am | Reply

Incredibly powerful. Thank you for having the courage to speak out on a topic that has been pushed in the corner for too long.

Michele 07 Mar, 2014 at 04:09 pm | Reply

I WISH I could have the emotional and mental strength like you do. I can totally relate to everything you have said – including the PCOS. I just can’t seem to come to the inner peace you have found. I can only wish.

Kimmy Jones 08 Mar, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply

I just happened to stumble across your interview on tv today. I was so glad to hear your story. I have been overweight my whole life. Over the last year and a half I have learned that if I call myself fat before anyone else can then they arr less inclined to do so. After reading your blog I realized I was doing that for all the wrong reasons. Yes I am FAT. Am I ok with it? No Im not. That is something only I can change. But it doesnt help being called a fat whore. I have heard this MANY times. Ive dated several guys who absolutely LOVED being with a fat woman. And honestly to me that was just as damaging as being with a guy who puts fat women down. Being told they lived my fat body or belly was almost like a physical blow. That is NOT ok. I dont want to be seen as the fat girl with good traits. I just want people to see me as a good woman. Why must weight ever be brought into the picture? I am desperately trying to learn to love my body no matter the shape it is in. Thank you so much for being an inspiration to women period no matter their size. You are beautiful. Period!

Felicia Faulkner 09 Mar, 2014 at 04:30 pm | Reply

Personally, to me, I have always felt that “fat” girls think they are the only ones to go through “body shamming”.

I was born with pituitary dwarfism and took Growth Hormone injections from the age of 2 – 14 to help me grow. I grew to the (perfect) height of 4’10, but I couldn’t gain weight because of my condition. I am 3 months shy of being 25 years old and I only weigh 73 lbs. I still get gawked at, accused of being anorexic, and bulimic BY mostly a lot bigger women. I was actually never teased growing up by my peers until my senior year of high school by a guy who is now a cop. He would call my bulimic and anorexic, making throwing up noises at me. I remember being asked a lot if I eat, or “do you have cancer?” My first year of college at 18 I worked at a vet hospital where I was told from the staff that I could no longer work with the dogs because they were afraid I was going to hurt myself or the dog. Discrimination much? Now I have to deal with not being considered “normal” with the new barbies and everything coming out. So what am I then, if being “fat” is normal?

Body shamming goes both ways.

Anonimous 11 Mar, 2014 at 08:31 pm | Reply

Hi,
This has really inspired me to change how I view myself. I am 14 years old and I am 160 pound ( but just 4’11″). I have always had a problem with my body to the point of trying to kill myself. The first persone to call me fat was my Grandfather when I was only 8 years old becauce I wanted to eat a chocolate cake. Also in school ALL of my classmates would call me fat and lazy. I love to run and play and swim but I am so scared now. I just dont want people to look at me like that.
Thank You so much and God bless you.

Colette 12 Mar, 2014 at 07:16 pm | Reply

Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your weblog.
You have some really good articles and I think I would be a
good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off,
I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in
exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast
me an email if interested. Thanks!

My webpage … Jämför Sms lån

Tammy 13 Mar, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply

You rock! I’ve NEVER danced. In fact, I try not to move around a lot because I don’t like the way my body looks when it’s in motion, lol! But no more! I will dance for the enjoyment and the knowledge that movement is good for my body! I hope you come out with dancing videos (maybe one for fat girls who never danced before)! Thanks for helping me see myself with different eyes!

Holly Lyn 20 Mar, 2014 at 09:02 pm | Reply

Thank you for all of this. I am going through the worst time right now… I needed to read your story. I have been dieting and exercising for months and the weight is barely coming off. I have no health problems, but for some reason eating right and being more active is not having the “stunning” or “life changing” results I’ve been fantasizing about. It’s hard not to give up. It’s hard not to binge out on garbage and gain even more.

Thank you for your story. I’ve struggled with eating disorders since I was 15, and this is really letting a little ray of light in, allowing me to consider a new perspective. I hope it sticks with me – you really are quite intelligent and I am happy to learn that you’re comfortable with yourself. I really hope I can learn to be too.

Susanne 04 Apr, 2014 at 09:03 pm | Reply

Whitney thank you so very much. I am 240 pounds. I have been telling my husband for the last 10 years I could not dance because I was fat. I cried so much when I seen you on the Morning Show in Australia. You are fantastic and I know you will be inspiring millions and millions of men, women and children for the rest of your journey. I will be going home from work today showing my husband how very much I love him and get your dance you tube going so I can learn to dance. Thank you from my heart.

Liz 17 Apr, 2014 at 04:47 pm | Reply

Whitney,

I can’t even put into words how inspiring you are to me. I have struggled with my weight and my body image my whole life. At 31 years old I am still struggling. In my adult life I have been as “low” as 130 lbs and as “high” as 250 lbs (I am 5’4″). Since having kids I have struggled with my weight, stretch marks and cellulite. I am not sure who puts more pressure on me, myself or society. Your campaign has really inspired me to be healthy but not to feel the need to conform to a certain societal standard in order to feel valued or attractive. I love everything you are about and when I look at you I just see beauty inside and out…I see an amazing dancer, an advocate for all women and someone who is fearless and confident. I am not there yet but you have inspired me to start on my path to body acceptance. I think you have captured what I have always felt and that is body shame…feeling like all my talent and self worth is wrapped up in my body and how thin I am or how thin I’m not. I am working on moving past that. Thank you so much for everything you are doing. I admire you so very much. <3

Sam 17 Apr, 2014 at 05:11 pm | Reply

I love you so much. I’ve frequently thought that dancing is more of an expression of one’s soul than their body, and people that shame others for that expression when they don’t feel they have the correct body, or people who refuse to dance (even though they want to) when they feel they don’t have the ‘correct’ body are missing the point.
Although I think fear is a highly evolved state and ingrained in all of us, if fear keeps you from doing something you love, no matter what that fear is, it is no longer useful and it is holding you back.

Kelsey 17 Apr, 2014 at 05:52 pm | Reply

Thank you, Whitney!
I really needed to read this. I think owning adjectives that describe us is super hard. And it’s not just “Fat”. I realize that I’ve felt ashamed for being “sensitive”, for being a “cryer”, for being “too sympathetic”, for being a “leader” because I’m a girl, and the list goes on (When you work in a male dominated field, it’s apparently abhorrent to be feminine in any way). But I don’t have to feel bad about those things. Those things, that other people see as weak or shameful, make me who I am, and make me good at what I do. It’s time I owned all of the adjectives and phrases that describe me and no longer feel shame because of who I am.
Keep on inspiring!

pawlla 17 Apr, 2014 at 06:25 pm | Reply

You have been an inspiration to many. I wish you would make a dance/exercise video. It would be so much more fun dancing with someone my size! Love all you do, keep up the good work!

Stella Joy Paschall 17 Apr, 2014 at 06:27 pm | Reply

You are awesome! Thank you for being the inspiring, positive and unashamed role model that you are. I as a Fat Woman Salute you Whitney! Keep on keeping on!

Curvy woman 17 Apr, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Reply

Very inspiring post. You are a brave woman. I hear you on fat being the negating factor. But amp it up– try being FAT and BLACK. The world sees it as a double negative.

Gib 18 Apr, 2014 at 05:28 am | Reply

I know this all too well, when I was younger I hated being called fat, like do people really think that we are dumb not to know that already or do they think that we have forgotten and need reminding, now I know I am what and who I am, I know that I will never be a size 6, omg heaven forbid lol my body isn’t structured to be small and petite….. I commend you for being who you are and what you represent, for all of us you are a voice and a teacher to those who hate on fat people, You are a beautiful and strong woman and I wish you well in your journey….God Bless You always :)

mally 18 Apr, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply

I love this. I am 5’6 and 205pds
In high school (graduating in 2009) I was 5’6 and 135 pds which was considered a good BMI for my age, height, and weight. But compared to most of my friends I was bigger than them (more fat). In my first year of college I gained 50 pounds in one year, not because I was partying and drinking because I didn’t at all. I gained it because I secretly had PCOS which my doctors at the time said my side effects where nothing… well I tried changing my lifestyle and getting healthier and I literally could not loose weight. Discouraged, I just tried to live life as I normally did… well just recently I found a great doctor who finally figured out I have PCOS, which now I’m hoping to get myself healthier not just because I’m “fat”, I also got sciatica where if I sit for 5 minutes my hip and knee goes numb, also I can’t kneel or do any squatting because I would be able to get up… losing weight will definitely help it. PCOS really effects my life. thanks to PCOS losing weight isn’t easy, it just takes a lot more dedication than I thought. And it surely makes you gain weight very quickly. Although I always considered myself to being a stocky girl, it bothered me when people would call girls (“skinnier” then me) fat… people are cruel and it’s crucial to become healthier, not just to become skinny but to be able to live until you have great grandchildren! (Well that’s my goal anyways)


Leave a comment
Your e-mail address will never by shared.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 − = five

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

The No BS Campaign has been featured on: