I like being chubby. There, I said it.

This world wants us to want to be thin.

Cats are adored for being chonky. Bears are celebrated for their girth during Fat Bear Week. We all love a roly-poly puppy.

But for humans – especially women – Western culture is tremendously fat-phobic and unforgiving.

Well-behaved women in our culture are supposed to be either thin or dieting. If you’re not one or the other – or better yet, both! – you’re going to upset some people.

“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one,” wrote feminist author Naomi Wolf in her book The Beauty Myth.

Breaking free of the diet culture hamster wheel is a radical act because it subverts the patriarchy and the dominant paradigm.

I can’t give myself too much credit for being a rebel, though, because it comes naturally to me. Plus, that’s not why I quit dieting. I did it because it just felt right to me as an individual and as a mom. In fact, nothing has ever felt so right… but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

Here’s the thing. I truly prefer chubby as an aesthetic. I have always liked the curvy or chubby look on others and in art. I have always appreciated lovers who have meat on their bones.

The truth is, I like myself chubby better than skinny, too. I love my curves. But because of societal (and family) pressure, I never allowed myself to embrace this. I fought it hard from my teens through my early 50s.

Like so many of us, I fell for diet culture completely – hook, line and sinker. I toed the line for 35 years. I was a good girl who counted calories and tracked steps. I made spreadsheets. I weighed myself daily. I counted workouts. I berated myself and worried and felt like a dismal failure anytime I gained a pound.

Throughout my pursuit of thinness, I used Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, Couch to 5K, Whole 30, lifestyle changes, restriction, moderation, starvation, fasting, intense HIIT workouts, intermittent fasting, lifelong yoyo dieting and even a physician-monitored medical liquid diet. I would have done just about anything to attain that elusive “goal weight,” aka thinness.

But becoming a mom changes everything. I finally realized the message I was sending to our young daughter was not a positive one. During my last time on the Optifast liquid diet, Z begged me to stop. She said she missed eating and baking with me – and that she felt I wasn’t truly happy when I was on the liquid diet.

That’s all it took. I had been losing weight on Optifast and feeling good about my results, but when I really stopped to think about what I was doing to my body – and what I was telling Z through my actions – I realized I had to go back to eating normal food. And then, of course, the weight came back on. Plus a little more.

But this time, instead of beating myself up for the weight gain, I welcomed it. My body is a strong and loveable thing. It’s the meat suit I wear to get around in this world. It does so much for me. If my body’s goal is to eat well and pudge up, then who the hell am I to tell it no and keep fighting against it?

I choose the magic of radical acceptance instead: I love my body exactly as it is. If it’s not fitting into a particular pair of jeans, that is not my body’s fault.

My body is exactly the right size – the jeans are the wrong size. It’s so easy to find jeans in the right size as long as we let go of the inherent societal stigma involved in “sizing up.” In fact, sizing up is a form of self-care.

When you stop and think about how stupid our society’s fixation on thinness is, you are able to wake up, shake yourself off and start a new path. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Why does everyone love Chris Pratt better in his “movie star” toned bod than when he was adorably soft-bodied Andy on Parks & Rec? I personally prefer the latter. He’s still a good actor no matter what he weighs.
  • Why does everyone like Rebel Wilson better now that she’s lost so much weight? I miss her gorgeous “Fat Amy” curves and swagger. I love her and hope she’s happy, regardless of her weight.
  • Why are there a few heavy male actors who can (or could) get work in Hollywood, but far fewer heavy female actors? Think about John Belushi, Chris Farley, John Goodman and other larger-bodied male stars, past and present. Who are their female equivalents? Women simply are not allowed or permitted to “go there” – it’s unacceptable in our society. Why the double standard?

I am so glad that I finally figured out this dilemma that has plagued me all of my life. I used to agonize over why I couldn’t get – or stay – thin. Instead, I should have asked myself why I was so dead-set on such a meaningless goal created by a multi-billion dollar industry to keep women down.

I am happy that I am finally embracing being happy and chubby. And yes, I could use the word fat, but there’s so much negative connotation associated with the word fat that I personally prefer “chubby.”

Fat activist Vinny Welsby shared an amazing video list of 28 benefits of being fat. Yes, that’s right – there are benefits to being chubby in addition to just being adorable and giving great hugs.

The whole world opens up when we realize that physical appearance does not dictate our worth, the value of our life or what we bring to the table.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.


  1. Chubby rules! Give me a gal that I don’t have to search for in the dark–oh, wait: I married her and have never been so content!

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