Fat-Person Manifesto (Jennifer Semple Siegel)

Starting today, I’m going to think like a thin person.
Never mind that I currently tip the scales at 377 pounds.
But if I start thinking thin, I will be thin.
Meanwhile, I will fake thinness because I need to live in the present, not some misguided future yearning or past regret.
What’s done is done, and the future is not yet.
What is, is, and while I cannot change the reality of the present moment, I can change my perception of it.

I will look in the mirror and see a knockout 125-pound woman.
I will wear daring thin-person clothes – sleeveless blouses, splashy and trendy colors, tight skirts, and daring hems.
Never mind the “looks” I’ll get.
At the beach or swimming pool, I will wear a sexy black bathing suit with giant pink roses.
I will strut my stuff – fuck anyone who dares to mock me.
I will hold my head high and carry on.
I will make a big splash in the water and let others know: “Here I am, like it or not.”
I will exercise at the gym and go for long walks.
No excuses.

As of today, I will act like a thin person.
I will present myself in public and do the activities that thin people don’t think twice about doing: swimming, bowling, golfing, hiking, walking, camping, shopping, dancing, singing, and attending concerts, plays, and movies.
I may even jump and do flips on a public trampoline!
I have the absolute right to do any of these things, and no one can stop me because I won’t allow them.
I will fly and not hesitate to ask for two seats. If I must pay for the extra seat, pay I will because I know that my condition is temporary.

When a child loudly asks her mother or father, “Why is that lady so fat?” I will not allow the child’s parent to hush her.
To the parent, I will cheerfully say, “No, no, that’s okay.”
And then I will turn my attention to the child: “Because people come in all sizes.”
I won’t take the child’s curiosity personally; her question is an honest one and that any judgment attached can be attributed to the parents.

I will eat like a thin person.
I will take smaller portions, eat healthier foods, and minimize ingesting junk food.
I will pick at my food and leave at least one bite on my plate.
I will claim, “I’m soooooo full,” even though it’s a lie – a white lie for a good cause; after all, I’m a thin person in training; therefore, I must master thin-person eating behavior.
When eating out, I will take half of my meal home, just like thin people do.
At buffets, I will reconnoiter the food line and opt for the healthiest food options, plus one treat.
Thin people don’t deprive themselves, but they also don’t eat everything in sight.

I will fake it until I make it.
What else can I do?

(500 words)


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