I’ve been steadily gaining weight as I’ve gotten older and frequently struggle with self-esteem issues stemming from that. I have to admit that I frequently call myself fat, but not in a descriptive way free of judgements like you describe, but in a shamed mindset, essentially pitying myself in the hopes of hearing that “No! You’re not fat!”, which helps my confidence until I think about my weight again. Honestly I’d be heartbroken if I didn’t get that automatic response from my husband.
The hardest part is that my husband has a beautiful, thin, muscular body that I will always compare myself to, and I’ll never measure up. Maybe if I could just follow your advice and let me call myself fat, but as a descriptor that is uncoupled from “undesirable,” “unloved,” or “not good enough.” I really do want to be able to accept my body the way it is, but it’s a challenge to accept yourself, no matter what you look like. This piece helps, it gives me strength to hear about other people’s journeys understanding and loving their body.