Emily Ho is tired of talking about weight loss, and she is thoroughly ticked off with people telling her that she is fat.
So she’s giving it up. Once, she lost 113 pounds. Now she has put away the scale. If someone calls her fat, she plans to write it off as them being insensitive — and then move on.
“I don’t want my whole identity to be my weight, or the struggle to lose weight,” Ho said in a recent telephone interview.
The Kentucky blogger, who just moved from Lexington to Shelbyville, announced in a post July 5 that her eight-year-old blog, Authentically Emmie, was moving to focus mainly on fashion, which she says can be transformative for people of any weight.
She might also add some home fashion, she said in a telephone interview.
Know this about Emily Ho: She is a master at putting together outfits that flatter her shape, and adding accessories that are just right. She gets out of the box that many larger women fall into: sloppy oversized clothes, often black, that hide nothing. With Ho, the hair, makeup and accessories are all carefully curated.
“Life is too short to be concerned about all these rules,” she said. “Horizontal stripes isn’t something we have to be concerned about. ... You wear what makes you feel good, not what someone else tells you to wear.”
Ho said that her blog followers might be confused that she has hit a weight plateau where she’s comfortable, that she aims to continue healthy habits rather than pursuing a number on the scale.
“I realize this may have confused people over the years who started cheering me on by the pounds and then saw me stop talking about them,” Ho wrote in a post July 5. “I was tired of questions about what I ate, what diet I was on, what my workouts were. It’s mentally exhausting to be in recovery for binge-eating disorder, having autoimmune thyroid disease and a 30-year history of dieting and have people ask if you’ve lost weight continuously.”
She said she published the post “not just because of the mean guys or gals, but for the ones who can only see this weight as a burden, or something I’m trying to beat out of me.”
The internet has proved a home for those who criticize fat people, but it’s also a haven for those who support body positivity. Shonda Rhimes, a showrunner for “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” wrote in Glamour magazine that after she’d lost 100 pounds, people took her more seriously: “Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.”
Gabourey Sidibe of “Empire” concluded that after receiving positive attention for her weight loss: “My body actually has nothing to do with you,” she told Refinery29. “I don’t really need your support for it.”
Fitness trainer Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong in Lexington drew viral worldwide attention when she made a similar post in January 2016, accompanied by a picture of her on vacation in a bikini.
Her post said: “This is my body. This is not a before picture. This is not an after picture. This just happens to be what my body looks like on a random Tuesday in December of 2015 — it’s a life picture. This is a body that loves protein and vegetables and queso and ice cream.”
Galbraith said then that many women fail to appreciate themselves as they are, waiting instead for a new body after a diet.
Ho makes a similar point. Whether people with weight issues exercise or not, whether they eat better or not, “That should not affect the amount of kindness someone shows us.”
“I realized I had kind of put myself in that situation. ... So I thought, what more can I do with my life to frame myself as I am without the confines of the weight around me?”
Ho said she is now concentrating on wearing clothing that fits her well and make her look good, because it’s “definitely a way to express myself in a much more free matter than in sweat clothes or black yoga pants.”
She began blogging at 28 and is now 36; her blog reflected a divorce and the finding of a new partner, with whom she is now looking at houses in Louisville. She exercises and works with weights, she no longer binge eats, and she hasn’t had a doughnut in eight years.
And she is content.
“I need to reclaim the word ‘fat’ for myself, and strip it of the vitriol that normally accompanies it,” Ho wrote in her post. “So this is me existing. Fat and all.”