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Woman on diet calls herself 'fat' in front of bigger roommate. Roomie says 'What am I then?'

Woman on diet calls herself 'fat' in front of bigger roommate. Roomie says 'What am I then?'

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Body image is an intense topic, and everyone has a radically different experience with their self-image and how they've been treated by others over their body.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for calling herself fat in front of her bigger roommate. She wrote:

"AITA for calling myself fat in front of my bigger roommate?"

Hello! I (27F) got into a fight with my roommate (24F) and I'm not sure if I'm in the wrong here. Two weeks ago I decided to cut back on junk food/fast food and to start losing weight. It became a habit of ours for her to invite friends over on Saturdays and order pizza, for the second week in a row I said no when she asked why.

I keep things to myself for the most part so she wasn't aware of it so I told her that I was trying to lose weight and get healthy. She said I was skinny and didn't need to lose weight. I said I was fat and owning up to that. Then she got mad, looked like she was about to cry, and asked "What am I then?"

I just told her that her body is her prerogative and not mine to comment on and that if she was happy with herself that's all that mattered (Generic response really, but I didn't know what to say) I didn't mean to offend anyone or attack her size, I don't care what other people do with their bodies or judge anyone on their size.

I'd understand her annoyance and offense to what I said if I were actually skinny and calling myself fat in front of her but I'm not. Part of losing weight to me is owning up to size and not sugar-coating it with words like "chubby" or "plus-sized." (I weigh 152 pounds at only 5'3" for reference). AITA?

The internet had a lot of different thoughts about this dynamic.

NomadicusRex wrote:

As a fellow fat person, who is bigger than you, you're totally NTA and your roommate needs to stop acting like everything you do for your health is about her. She's not the main character in your life.

technobotanica wrote:

NTA — However, it does seem that you see the word fat as something inherently negative. Your roommate has likely picked up on the fact that your hold this viewpoint, which led to her strong reaction. At the same time, she should not have commented on your body or dismissed your choices. It might benefit your both to frame the topic around health instead of weight in the future.

Lyrael9 wrote:

I think people are missing the point. You're NTA (obviously) for taking care of your health and being honest with her about your decision to get healthy and lose weight. But YTA for saying you're fat to your larger friend. You could have worded it differently. Depending on her size, I can understand why that would upset her.

152 pound at 5'3 is not that overweight. Maybe that you're worried about your health and the amount of junk you've been eating, plus you'd like to lose a little weight. Even saying "I'm overweight. My BMI is ....". It's more technical and less likely to feel like a judgement of her looks. But "I'm fat" would understandably sting.

shopaholic92 wrote:

There is a better way you could’ve said it. You could’ve said that you are working on making healthier choices for your own fitness/health goals. I have a friend who says to me how mad she gets when she doesn’t have a thigh gap (she is very thin) and I’m chubby so when she makes those comments to me, while I don’t get “offended” I do get hurt and wonder what she must think of me. It’s all about how you say it!

Evening-Bee-7026 asked:

INFO NEEDED

Do you wear plus sizes?

OP responded:

Sizing is all over the place, depending on the brand I fit in anything from 8-12

Not sure if that's considered "plus-size" but I feel like for a short person it is.

Evening-Bee-7026 followed up:

In my opinion, if you can generally find your size in stores YTA. I would say the start of plus size would be 18/20 and up. There's a lot of factors that go into calling yourself fat but one of them is the way the world treats you. Are you able to find your clothing in store? Are you able to go on rides at amusement parks without restrictions or fit into seats at theaters comfortably?

Are you treated differently because of your size? Would your size effect your risk of surgical complications like it does "obese" patients?

Have you been told by a medical professional that you should focus on losing weight after you twisted your ankle? (Yes this happened to me, yes I twisted my ankle while working out) Fat is a neutral descriptor word for people who are more overweight than average and I think it's fair to say that's not you.

I don't think it's fair to call you fat, you're overweight by BMI standards but women typically have more fat on their body naturally and the BMI is based off of white men. It's bullshit. Also, if your roommate is hurt make it known that you aren't using that term in a derogatory way, it is simply a way to describe that you are overweight.

As other people mentioned, be wary of developing an eating disorder because it can do more harm than good. I don't have time to go into all the specifics rn but Maintenance Phase has a wonderful episode about the BMI that I recommend with sources! BMI Podcast.

They also talk about the detriment of yo-yo dieting in a few of their episodes too. And while we may not agree, I hope you take this in consideration.

thndrbst wrote:

If I’m reading this right, you’re telling her her friends can’t come over for pizza on the weekends because you’re on a diet? That’s some AH behavior.

OP responded:

All I said no to was the pizza, her friends were already over when this happened

(It's usually four of us and we'd get two half/half pizzas).

HisGirlFriday1983 wrote:

NAH. You are barely overweight. You literally only need to lose twelve pounds to be in the healthy range for your BMI. That is not that much. Calling yourself fat when she is larger is kind of insulting. You can say I want to eat healthier and get a better diet. You saying you are fat when you are barely overweight does feel kind of like an insult tbh.

Also, are you refusing to have people over on Saturday completely? Are you just refusing to join in on pizza?

If your weight loss goals involve not doing social events bc there might be food you think is high in calories there, that's disordered eating behavior. You can hang out and just not eat pizza.

Or have a salad and a smaller slice. You are kind of setting yourself up for failure.

ETA: Changed my vote NAH, but apparently wrote ESH here without realizing it.

OP responded:

It's only the pizza I was refusing, I would never push anything on anyone or stop people from coming over.

While it seems clear the internet doesn't think OP is TA, a lot of commeneters can see wehre her roommate is coming from.

Sources: Reddit
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