Taxes as a metaphor

So I was thinking about tax day.  Not just income taxes, but “taxes” in the metaphorical sense.  Erin at A Dress A Day once wrote, prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.   A lot of people assume women will do whatever they need to to look pretty – like a tax.   Society throws lots of expectations out there, and we absorb them.

Periodically I think about what fat acceptance has given me.  So today I’m thinking about what “taxes” I don’t have to pay because of fat acceptance:

  • I’m not having to buy clothes to fit the latest weight loss / rebound gain, or feeling that I can’t buy clothes until I finish losing weight.
  • I’ve been the same dress size for nearly 10 years.*   The classic navy blue blazer I bought 6 years ago?  Still fits.
  • Exercise is stress relief, not a punishment.
  • I quit exercising when I feel satisfied, not when I’ve hit some “exercise this many minutes to use X calories” goal.
  • Facing the fridge is a question of “What do I want to eat?” not “What is on my diet / will help me lose weight?”
  • I don’t carry a mental list of forbidden foods that I crave all the time.

Are there “taxes” you’re avoiding through fat acceptance?


*I’ll have you know I touched my toe to the wood of the coffee table while I typed that, because it’s always possible my weight will fluctuate in the future due to depression, illness, medication, or something yet-to-be-determined.

9 thoughts on “Taxes as a metaphor

  1. Aging will likely be the major reason for further weight gain, it has been for me, & accepting that has taken some work just as has accepting that I am no longer physically able or emotionally willing to work out 4 hours per day to try to reverse the effect of cutting back to 40-60 minutes of exercise daily, aging, & finishing menopause. I am also still working on letting go of my hourglass figure & embracing my apple.

    Except for the fact that I often push beyond fatigue & pain to make sure I have walked the requisite number of minutes to gain the ‘health benefits’ of exercise, my list of taxes that I don’t have to pay is virtually identical to yours. Ironically enough, despite the change in body shape & some post-menopausal weight gain, I do still have some old clothes which still fit & I usually throw things away because they wear out, rather than because they don’t fit (I am still holding on to a few pairs of 4-hour-per-day exercise jeans which need to be tossed, though).

  2. Pingback: A nice tax day reflection « Kataphatic

  3. Muscle is pretty much what people lose when they get older. Many studies have shown that some weight gain (I don’t know if this applies to people of ALL sizes, but for thin, average-weight, & moderately fat people) is protective of health as one ages & gives you something to fall back on. As the saying goes, “aging is not for sissies.” It is inevitable that our bodies change, break down gradually, we slow down, we are more likely to have some health issues the older we are. Extra weight helps people to survive better, particularly the large percentage of older people who live on fixed incomes, at or below the poverty level, & struggle at times to survive. As some of the saner minds/voices have observed, as we begin to genuinely grow OLDER, “obesity” is not the issue. Any slight health risks that ever DID seem to correlate with fat disappear in old people, a lot of benefits kick in, & study after study shows that fatter older people do better, recover from illness/surgery faster, live longer, than thin older people do. The biggest issue with most older Americans is getting ENOUGH to eat. Also, as people become truly old…70’s, 80’s, beyond…there seems to be some natural weight loss. I have observed myself that people, sometimes still in their 60’s, look to be visibly shrinking. And, as the studies also show, for those of us over 60, weight loss increases mortality risks by several hundred percent. I will take aging weight gain over weight loss any day.

  4. The tax of always thinking about food. Because I don’t have a dieting mentality, I can focus on other things, like family, my dog, listening to good music, planning outings instead of constantly counting points or calories or thinking about meals for the next month.

    It also means I don’t have a tax on boring other people with diet talk. Think of all the more interesting topics to discuss!

  5. Great post.

    For me the taxes that I have shed through fat acceptance would be very similar to your own, but also include:

    * I no longer loathe myself when I look in the mirror because I don’t fit what the media/marketers tell me I should look like. So I am not spending a gajillion dollars on products and schemes to try to change that.

    * I buy clothes that I actually enjoy wearing now, rather than those that will hide my fat.

    * Most importantly, I am far more resilient to the bad behavior of others. I am not hurt by other people’s baggage any more.

  6. I read this earlier today and thought, “wow, awesome.”

    Then a few hours later a friend of mine made a post about a relative and posted a picture criticizing her for not “dressing to her size.”

    And I already had the perfect thing to respond with.

  7. I agree so much! Both with what you said and everyone else commented on.

    But I do X amount of reps not to burn Y amount of calories but because I think some muscle groups are weaker than others thus need more work to be stronger (as you put it, my own selfish reasons for exercising :) ) …not because I’m on some obsessive quest making myself and other people around me miserable, and I’m not going to hate myself if it doesn’t make me smaller.

    I don’t have to pay any self-hate taxes!

  8. Pingback: April Monthly Round-Up « Living ~400lbs

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