How to Love Yourself When You are Fat

Why in the world should there be a need to convince someone that they can, and should, love themselves regardless of what their body looks like?  Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us struggle with loving ourselves, especially when we are fat. 

beautiful woman on chaise lounge looking to the side

Learning to love yourself in spite of being fat is a subject near and dear to my heart.  I’m fat; not chubby, not heavy, not big.  In fact, my last doctor appointment listed me as severely morbidly obese. 

Thanks for that.  Talk about challenging your ability to love yourself, sheesh. 

Anyway, I am sharing that detail because I want you to understand that when I talk about this subject, it is as one who has been there.  I get it.  I know what it’s like to hate myself, be embarrassed by my size, and not be able to do the things I want to do because I physically cannot.

I also know what it has taken to start living my life a different way.  I am not perfect, and I still have to remind myself at times, but as a whole, I have made huge progress.

Now, it is my passion to encourage you to turn things around and learn to love yourself, and your life, regardless of what your body looks like.

small aqua colored square with handwritten words "Love yourself" with a heart colored in red above the letters

Loving Your Fat Self: What it Means and What it Doesn’t Mean

Let me be clear, there is a distinct difference between loving yourself while you are fat and loving BEING fat.  I am NOT advocating that being fat is healthy and that you should not make any attempt to improve your health. 

I am currently dealing with a number of health issues myself.  Some are caused by my excess weight; some cause my excess weight.  There are no easy answers.  (Eat less and move more DOES NOT work for everyone.  That is an extreme oversimplification for many, many people.) 

I am one of those people.  So, feel free to keep reading knowing that I am not going THERE!

What I AM advocating for is learning how to love and accept yourself right now, fat and all.  In my experience, until you can do that, you can’t move forward in life in a healthy way.

Loving Yourself When You Are Fat Does NOT Mean:

1. You have given up on yourself.

I really dislike this idea. Look, so you’re fat. Yeah??!?? You get to love yourself anyway!! Doing so absolutely does NOT mean you have quit caring. It means you have a healthy relationship with yourself.

2. You quit trying to reach your goals.

Just because you have decided to be kind to yourself, accept yourself, and *gasp* even love yourself does NOT mean that you have given up on the idea of improving your health, your life, and even your body. Quite the opposite actually; allowing yourself self-love means you are in a healthy mental and emotional place to tackle all of those things as you see fit!

3. You love being fat.

Seriously? People can be dumb. Look, if you love being fat, then more power to you. You do you, babe! Personally, I don’t love being fat. I am working really hard to not be fat anymore. But you know what? It isn’t easy. So deciding to love yourself while you are fat is the only way to survive with some sanity intact. Trust me on this.

Loving Yourself When You are Fat DOES Mean:

1. You recognize that your size does not dictate your worth.

Honestly, your size is just that, your size. It has nothing to do with what an amazing woman you are! You are worthy of love, kindness, respect, and all things awesome simply because you are you.

2. You accept that you can be, and indeed are, beautiful.

Beautiful friend, please don’t buy into the lie that beauty is defined by being a size 2 (or any size), because it doesn’t. We are not all supposed to look the same. We were all created differently because beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You bring beauty into the world just by being exactly who you are.

3. You practice self-care daily basis because YOU MATTER!

One of the most profound moments I had was when I believed for the first time that I mattered just as much as all the people I devote myself to on a daily basis. What?!!? I know, it blew my mind! But the truth is you DO matter just as much as everyone else. So practice some form of self-care every single day.

4. You show up to your life every day and make the most of it.

Indeed, showing up to life and actually living every single day is awesome! Loving yourself means that you get to engage in life every day in some meaningful way. Hold that idea close to your heart and LIVE!!!

Don’t Believe the Lie.

So many of us buy into the idea that if you are fat, you are second class at best. There is a huge movement going on right now to change the status quo and promote body positivity for all sizes.

Grab hold of that movement in a way that works for you. Be picky. You don’t have to agree with every idea put out there. You don’t have to be part of the “movement” and go to demonstrations.

Just use whatever part of it works for you and helps you to feel comfortable with where you are right now. Today. Sure, strive to make tomorrow better. Strive to be more fit, more healthy, or whatever your particular goal is. Whatever works for you and encourages you is right.

But in the meantime, Lady, you hold your head up high and remember that you are worthy right now. You CAN and SHOULD love yourself (fat and all) exactly as you are today!!

With Love and Acceptance,


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    1. Hi! I am not a therapist or a professional, so all I can offer you is my personal opinion. The unfortunate truth is that some people are unkind. You will always run into them throughout life. I have found that the more I work on my own self-acceptance and self-love, the easier it is to brush off the unkindness of others. When you take back your power through self-love, then you diminish the power of others. I’m sorry that your classmates are unkind. Please consider finding someone safe, like a school counselor, a parent, or a trusted adult, that you can confide in to assist you in dealing with this issue. You MATTER! I am rooting for you!

    2. Your body is non of their business
      I have been there before
      I know how it feels to not be accepted because of your size ….
      Keep telling yourself that you are Special,loving , caring, beautiful etc…
      I hope to be someone great so I can prove to people that Fat people are really worth it .

  1. Well
    Throughout my sixteen years of living no one respected my Size ,stature…..
    So I took it upon my self to love my Belly fat ,My fat Arms ,My small Ass etc……….

  2. I’ve learned that some people can’t be pleased no matter what your size or appearance. When people put you down it’s a reflection of a problem within themselves and the right people you should surround yourself with are those that love you regardless of wether or not you are fat or have a big nose, etc. I grew up being put down for my weight, so I lost a ton. Then I was too skinny, now I’m too fat again. So you see, the problem is not ours. Keep being you and thank you Teresa for such an inspiring, uplifting story.

    1. Amanda, You are so right! If you try to please other people, you will always miss with someone. If you learn to love and accept yourself, then their opinions no longer matter! Wishing you all the best!

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