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Mom's Essay that Proclaims, 'I'm Fat and I'm Happy,' Goes Viral

Joni Edelman (center)/Facebook

The Short of It

Joni Edelman's essay about being fat and happy has gone viral. The mom to five kids has been thin, but she says maintaining that body made her miserable.

The Lowdown

"I'm happy. I'm fat and I'm happy," Edelman wrote on

Those words have gained national attention, especially given the 40-year-old's detailed account of her lifestyle just five years ago, when she was a size 4. She said she only ate 1,000 calories a day, ran 35 miles a week and only slept three hours a day.

"It made me obsessed with my workouts, with how much time I could fit in at the gym between taking care of three small kids and working 12-hour overnight shifts. It made me Google every food for its calorie content. It made me eat food I hated (rice cakes, spray-on butter) and avoid food I loved (mostly cake). All of that made me thin."

Edelman is challenging the notion that being thin and fit equals being happy, writing, "Happiness does not require thinness. Fatness does not presume sadness."

The mom-of-five, who now admittedly is overweight, describes her current state of mind this way:

"But now, I see dramatic changes not only in my body, but also in my mind. There is a stillness, a joy, and a peace I've never had. It's worth 10 pounds. Ten pounds are insignificant when compared to my willingness to let some things go, to sit with my kids, to sleep."

The Upshot

Here's Edelman's advice to other moms who can relate to her feelings about body image: "Try this at home: Be fat and happy. Be unapologetically fat. Wear a bikini, and mean it. Eat pizza and ice cream and enjoy it. Drink up your life and a bottle of wine, and make no apologies."

What is your take on this mom's essay?

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