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Self-Care for the Fat Body

Updated: May 14

The words "Welcome Home It's Safe Here" are written next to the line art of the silhouette of a fat person sitting while hugging their chest.

As a fat person, I've spent most of my life at war with my body. Providing gentle self-care for my fat body was not something that even remotely crossed my mind. Rather, I spent years being punitive, harsh and downright unkind to myself and my body. I thought I deserved to have a body that was in pain. I didn't believe I deserved to clothe my body in items I enjoyed. I moved my body in ways that was punitive and that would cause the most discomfort. I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough. I wasn't enough because I was simply too much. I did everything I could to make myself pay penance for being fat.

When my legs chaffed, I believed my fat was the problem. And my self-hatred grew. When I got a rash under my breast, I believed my fat was disgusting and the problem. And my self-hatred turned into restriction. When my skin folds developed a rash, I knew it was because I was disgusting as a person. And my self-hatred turned into self-harm. If the rash had an odor, my self-hatred and inner critic came up with things so vile about myself that I won't even write them. My body became my scapegoat for any form of discomfort I experienced. If I could blame something on my body, I did. And I did well.

Learning to Come Home to My Body

Entering recovery from my eating disorder has come with the hard job of learning to come home to my body. Learning to treat her with kindness has been beyond challenging. I am still rewiring my brain with new ways to speak to myself. I still experience chaffing, rashes, things being hard to reach, seatbelts not fitting correctly, etc. The list goes on. And I still get frustrated when those things happen. However, I'm learning to take a more neutral stance with my body. And I've learned ways to intentionally care for my needs.

As a fat person, self-care can't just be baths (especially if we don't fit comfortably in a tub) and manicures. Rather, our self-care has to be intentional. I had therapists and dietitians encourage me to treat my body with compassion, which sounds great and all. But compassion doesn't help me practically care for my body. I had no clue where to start, and the people helping me didn't offer me resources.

Practical Fat Self-Care

Throughout my journey of radical self-acceptance, I've learned several different practical resources that have helped me shift the narrative of self-care. I've listed them below as a resource list for fat folks. I've also listed things that might be helpful for fat folks who live in larger bodies than Ido.

Say it with me, fatties, "Self-care isn't exclusively for thin folks." Did you say it?

Here's another, "My body deserves to be cared for with love and compassion." If you rolled your eyes, I see you. I get it. And it doesn't make that statement any less true.

Resources for the Beautiful, Fat Body

Anti-Fungal Soap - Remedy Soap

HibiClens Body Wash

Lumē Whole Body Deodorant - Unscented

Lumē 24 hour Odor Control Body Wash

Lumē Deodorant Body Wipes - 24 Hour Odor Control

Megababe Sweat Absorbing Body Powder

Gold Bond Body Powder

Bra Liners

Tummy Liner

Shower Head

Curved Shower Curtain

Foot Scrubber

Back Scrubber

Back Brush with Long Handle for Shower

FreedomWand: Toilet Aid, Shaving Aid, Hygiene Aid

Heavy Duty Shower Chair

Size Inclusive Measuring Tape

Seat Belt Extender for Car

You deserve tender, compassionate care.



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