Why are people telling Kelly Clarkson she is fat?

I walked passed the tabloids in the grocery store the other day and saw singer,  Kelly Clarkson, on the front of one of them.  Yet, the magazine cover didn't center on Kelly's family or her new album.  It was about her size.  Which makes me wonder...why?

Why would a magazine focus on a talented singer/songwriter's size? That wasn't the only magazine that covered it. The Huffington Post carried a story replaying ugly tweets from one of Kelly's critics (a reality TV star who uses other's celebrity to try to create some for herself).

The question is...why is size a valuation? Why are worth and waistline tied together?

Maybe I notice the magazine cover because Kelly grew up only a few miles from where I did. Or maybe the tabloid press bugs me because "the weight game" is something I fully relate to.

This year, I've had limited mobility since foot surgery in January.  It was a weird experience to just lay there while I listened to all of the January weight loss ads (and now the swimsuit season ads) with no ability to respond to them. Don't get me wrong. I believe in healthy. But there seems to be something off about our cultural obsession with size and the billion dollar weight loss industry that both fuels and feeds off of it.

Having no ability to respond to the push has been freeing--like I'm being given a break from the treadmill (both real and metaphorical).  But the disconnection has also given me a mental reset. A decoupling of weight loss goals from the joy of movement. I miss movement!  I want to be back at yoga.  I want to feel that delicious feeling of standing on one foot balanced in a half moon. I want to ride the new bike I got for Christmas. I want to take dance lessons!!!

Mostly, I want to make peace with my size.

Last year, I poured a ton of energy into pursuing my "dream weight." For six months I got up faithfully four to five days a week to work out (first at my yoga studio, then at the gym with a trainer).  I worked with a nutritionist and followed her program.  I even did 40 days of shedding emotional baggage through a meditation practice 20 minutes each day.  At the end of the time, I was the same weight as when I started. (My guess is that the nutritionist thought I was cheating, but I know I didn't.)

The contrast of last year's effort with this year's enforced rest has been an interesting juxtaposition. And a useful one. It revealed how much time and mental energy was being devoted to something that had very little payoff.

My new pursuit? I don't know.  But I do know that if I were only given six months to live, weight loss as a priority would completely fall off my radar.  Instead I would focus on relationships and the joy of every day things like food and movement. 

© Random Cathy
Maira Gall