The 5 Keys You Need to Follow for a Fat and Sassy Life
According to my 75-year-old grandmother.
Fat and sassy.
Those were the words I’d hear any time I asked my grandmother how she was.
For years I didn’t understand why that was her response when she was barely five-foot and might have weighed eighty pounds soaking wet.
But as I got older I realized Grandma was the definition of fat and sassy.
She proved it in the way she carried herself, the way she spoke, the way she did everything. And whether she knew it or not, she was my first fat and sassy mentor.
These are the five keys Grandma used to live a fat and sassy life.
As the family matriarch, Grandma was the reason we all saw each other more often than just Christmas. There were five of us granddaughters, two years apart down the line. My cousins were like extra siblings.
Grandma hosted many parties throughout the years — holidays, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays. She even let each of her granddaughters bring over a friend on occasion for a sleepover. She’d spoil us all day and night with movies and popcorn, dinner with dessert, and no definitive bedtime.
She was a generous person who always seemed to have time for her entire family. We were always welcome at Grandma’s house.
My grandmother’s decline in health and eventual death caused many broken hearts within her family. We all had realized she was the glue that held every one of us — her three children and their spouses, her five granddaughters, her great-grandkids, and all her friends and extended family — together through good times and not-so-good times.
I’m still very close to my cousins even though we all live in different cities and several different states. We make time for one another over text, phone, or Zoom-call. The five of us are sisters through and through thanks to Grandma.
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. — Richard Bach
A family is any group of people who love one another. Who respect, care, support, and accept each other. Not all families grow up together in the same house or live in the same town, or state, or country.
Spending time with family and other loved ones is important. It helps us feel connected which contributes to our overall happiness, including our mental, emotional, and physical health.
I understand the importance of a good support system. Whether for days when I appreciate someone cheering me on, or for days when everything feels terrible and I need to hear how it will all be okay, I appreciate my sisters.
Family bonds are important to continue through life. Love your special ones emphatically — help them, support them, cheer them on, spend time together. None of us knows how long we get to have them in our lives.
Grandma had many talents — cooking, baking, painting, crocheting, sewing, playing the piano, even interior design. She taught more than one of her grandkids several of these skills and others. She always cheered us on in whatever we took an interest in.
After marrying and moving a state away, I’d call her for cooking advice from time to time. I once called her up to ask what granulated sugar was. I’d heard of powdered sugar and brown sugar, but what was this mysterious granulated sugar?
Grandma held in her chuckles long enough to explain to me that it was normal sugar. To make it even more clear to me she added, You know, the kind we stick in our coffee.
Whatever my endeavors included I could be sure Grandma would help and encourage me in any way she could. She always had time to look at my artwork, or listen to my sister sing, or admire the sounds coming from her piano courtesy of several of her granddaughters.
With all her creative skills, she was a renaissance woman in her own right. Even when we found something we enjoyed, she encouraged us to lean into our curiosity and find more passions to explore.
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Whether delving into something for a short time or as a lifelong pursuit, creativity and art are important. Life is multi-faceted and it’s good to have multiple passions.
As we grow we find new ways to learn more about ourselves and where we fit into this world. If we stumble across something that piques our interest, we need to embrace our curiosity and take a closer look.
Many of the world’s problems have been solved due to a passionate spark of curiosity someone had. Don’t deny yourself or the world of your passions.
My grandmother could be opinionated at times. Some might have said she was stubborn, but I believe it had more to do with her living as her most authentic self. She was honest — sometimes hesitantly, most times abruptly.
Being authentic means every decision you make, word you speak, and action you take is done genuinely.
Everything in my grandmother’s home had her touch — the paint colors on the walls, the family photos framed, the classic-looking furniture, the immaculate yet often-used kitchen. All of this was her.
You only need to listen closely to your heart to begin to know how to live as your most authentic self. Every decision you make is determined by how you believe yourself to be.
Are you an honest person? Do you treat others fairly? Can you live without regret based on your decision? Will you enjoy yourself if you do this next thing?
Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world. — Adam Grant
Never apologize for being yourself and standing by your values. There is only one you in the entire world. With honesty and genuineness, each of us can live authentically.
4. Kindness and Generosity
I never saw my grandmother be mean to anyone. I’m not naive enough to think she never spoke an insult in her life, but she must have understood enough to know it wouldn’t do any good for the kids around her to hear any of it.
There were far too many times I can remember Grandma being warm and kind to others whether she knew them or not.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. — Lao Tzu
Grandma was a very generous person as well — with her time and her money. She gave generously to the local food banks multiple times a year. I think she carried with her the memory of what it was like growing up without the things so many of us take for granted today.
Whether on Christmas, birthdays, or other special occasions, Grandma was generous with her gifts to family and friends as well. Her smiles and giddy excitement made it obvious she got immense joy from the packages, envelopes, and food she gave so generously.
True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share. — Suze Orman
Choosing to have a generous heart will create kindness in yourself as well as in others. Being kind is the cornerstone of empathy and understanding.
And if everyone chose empathy and understanding, then discrimination, marginalization, and victimization would no longer exist. People would be accepted and supported regardless of their bank account, what they looked like, who they prayed to, or who they loved.
The urban dictionary defines fat and sassy as “happy, elated, exuberant, in a fine state physically and emotionally, couldn’t feel better, fit as a fiddle.”
My grandmother certainly didn’t always feel happy or fit as a fiddle, but her response never changed when asked how she was. Her insistence proves to me that living fat and sassy is definitely a state of mind that we can all choose to embrace or not.
Living fat and sassy simply means following your passions, loving your family, living purposefully and authentically, and always being kind and generous.