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Archive for the ‘Obesity Epidemic’ Category

I have worked as a barista in a cafe setting for two years now.  We sell all kinds of delicious and high-fat pastries.

I am fat and well into plus-sizes.  Because of this I was timid, at first, to say anything of a body acceptance nature as a fat woman.  I feared judgement that I was just trying to make thin women like me** or that I was just trying to justify my fatness*** or something along those lines.   It has been a good long time (over a year at the very least) since I made the decision to speak out when I felt like it and I am happy to say that it has all gone very well.

 

My worry surfaced again when I hired onto a cafe in a more thin-obsessed atmosphere, but again it has worked out okay.  In fact, women face with the smothering atmosphere of thin-focused fatness (my cafe is in a famous department store) they seem very much ready to have their body-hate challenge.  Sometimes they even seem to give me large tips for it.****  I sure didn’t expect that given the height of fat-hating panic in this country.  I suspect that most women already think some of the ideas that the fatosphere promotes in the back of their minds, but are afraid to let it surface in the face of all the fat-hate and body-hate in our worlds.  But, hearing someone say it, even if it is fat me, seems to help them let go a bit.

 

I wish more people could speak-up so that more people might let go…  But, thank you to those of you who do fearlessly speak-up.  You are awesome.

 

–AngryGrayRainbows

 

 

*For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “advice animals” meme (ie: the picture heading this post), this is Courage Wolf.  He wants you to love yourself.

**I don’t think I can make thin people fat anymore than I think I can make fat people thin.  Weight has high genetic correlation.

***I just like to spread the body-love message.

****The women who do get into conversation with me after I have challenge some body-hating or diet statement tend to give me the nicest tips.

 

 

 

 

 

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I work in a cafe with lots of high fat/sugar and super-delicious pastry type foods, so I also get to hear a lot of customers tell me about their self-hate and diets.  I’ve seen a 60 or 70-something year old nun consistently come in and worry about the calories in her hot chocolate.  I’ve had a very thin/tall man regular customer keep babbling on and on about the diet he is on and obsessing about even after I told him several times that I am not interested in the subject (What is it about diets that people seem to lose all sense of boundaries in regard to them?).  I have seen a woman who could easily be someone’s grandma talk about the “sin” of putting whipped cream on her mocha and the even worse “sin” of buying a cookie to eat with that mocha.  I have also been thanked by a few women for challenging their body-hating talk and my pointing out that food is just food – not a “sin” and not a moral issue.  One customer has told me flat out that she feels a lot safer ordering her favorite blended coffee drink when I am around, because she knows I won’t participate in any body-hating dialogue.  It is sad that food rhetoric has become so vitriolic that a person of normal weight (as this customer is) doesn’t feel safe ordering a blended coffee drink…

I wonder what people would be capable of achieving if they put their energy into goals that were actually achievable rather than the infinite black-hole of making the next diet work and finally becoming thin.  I wonder what people would be like if their idea of morality wasn’t sunk into thinness and instead, ya know, had something to do with not shaming or abusing others for a start.  I wonder what unproductive and even cruel behavior some people allow themselves to get away with because they are pursuing the “ultimate” virtue of thinness or are trying to maintain the thinness they have so painstakingly achieved. 

These questions bring back memories of myself.  I was thin obsessed and willing to sacrificed just about anything to achieve that goal.  I went from being a person who cared more about the feelings of others to a person who was unfailingly rude to the barista at Starbucks and any poor customer service worker I came across.  But, that didn’t matter.  Thin was what mattered.  I think we all probably know someone like this… that person who is so lost in their diet schemes that their other values get put on the shelf and what is left is a very unpleasant person sacrificing too much on the altar of thinness.  There are too many of these people out there, so many that it is sad and somewhat disheartening to contemplate.   

Yesterday a customer thanked me for making a snarky comment in response to her “cookie as sin” talk.  I mentioned something along the lines JennyRose originally said to me about real bad behavior being abusive or cruel rather than it being daring to eat a *gasp* cookie or being the fat person you were born (or dieted yourself) to be.  I asked the customer if she had abused a child or shoved any little old ladies down stairs.  Had she kicked a puppy?  Because that sounds a lot more like “sin” to me than eating a friggin’ cookie.  Seriously.  Cookie sin… I can’t stop rolling my eyes at the idea.  There are way bigger problems in this world than cookies and, yes, even overeating.  Imagine though what a comforting (unrealistic) world those people who think fat or cookies live in.  You’d need no complex answers to things like racism, poverty, sex trafficking, war and child abuse.  All you need is to keep chasing that FOBT* and everything is peachy.  I can understand the allure, but couldn’t live with myself for living that lie and wish I could be more compassionate with those who do, because I am sure that shaming them isn’t going to help them change anymore than shaming fat people makes them thin. 

–AngryGrayRainbows

*Fantasy of being thin

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These things are very triggering for me and it’s happening today. 

I’m so thankful this actually takes place in another building and far away from me.  The flyers have been posted all over our building for this “wellness program” for a couple of weeks.  They boast of helping you with fitness and weight loss. 

The ones I’ve been to in the past do not really care about fitness or overall health but of losing weight.  When I walk in, I feel like (and I know this isn’t always true) they see a fat person walking toward them who is desperate to lose weight because then all her problems will be solved.  It’s almost like a personal goal for some of them to lasso me to their table so they can “save” me.

Our HR person called me earlier this morning and said, “where is everyone?  You need to encourage them to come over here to the wellness program.”  I said, “I can’t make them go if they don’t want to.  I’ve had the flyers posted and they’re aware of it.”  This didn’t satisfy her so she went to my boss and told him the same thing to which he replied the same as I did.  “You can’t force someone to come over there and participate if they don’t want to.

The flyers are coming down this afternoon and this is one more wellness program I’m avoiding.  Skipping this event is how I choose to take care of myself and love myself today!

~sas

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AARRGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

Yes, I’m going the wrong way and at times it seems the speed at which I’m going can only lead to me crashing and burning. I think I’m dangerously close to that happening so I’m here bearing my soul once again. (And just as a sidenote, thank you so much to my co-blogger AGR who keeps me on track!)

I’m going to put out there a list of the feelings I’m dealing with right now…and I’ll be honest…I’m not dealing with them well.
self-contempt, self-loathing, uncertain, doubting, sad, hurt, controlled, disappointed, tired, lonely, alone, distrustful
Those are just to name a few.

I sometimes have days where I feel I’ve made great strides in my recovery and in my own self-acceptance but those days are becoming fewer and farther between nowadays. It seems that the headway I’ve made is slipping away a little at a time.

The headway I speak of is the fact that I had gotten to where I was trying very hard to live intuitively and to listen to my body and love it. Along with that came the self-acceptance and self-appreciation that comes with a healthy recovery. I didn’t do the IE thing all the time every day but it was getting to be easier and easier as time went on.

If you’ve read us for very long then you know I’ve been having a struggle with my husband the last few months with “sharing” food. It all came to a head yesterday and I’m still actually quite mad about it.

A little background is that my husband has an addictive personality and when he began treatment for one addiction, his new obsession became exercise and weight…not only his weight but MINE. He has gotten to where he seeks out exercise magazines or online, he has set up his shed to be a home gym and he watches everything he eats. Now that, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Where it turned toxic for me was when he started trying to control my recovery.

For the past few months he would ask me to share meals with him and he would tell me it was helping HIM watch HIS weight. He made it seem like I was doing him a favor and he would make me feel guilty if I didn’t do it. I’ve confronted him about it before and told him that sometimes I’m just hugry and he needs to let me order what I want, him order what he wants and he can take the leftovers home. He told me that if he orders it and it’s in front of him he will eat it (see the guilt?).

Saturday night he asked me if I would take him out to breakfast the next morning and I knew he meant McDonalds so I said “sure”. We got up Sunday morning and got dressed and we went to our local McDs. We headed up to the counter to order and I asked him what he wanted. He said, “well will you split a big breakfast with me?” I said, “no, I’m really hungry today.” He got furious with me. I took my happy ass up to the counter and ordered my own big breakfast with pancakes. He ordered an egg mcmuffin. At that point I don’t know if I was really hungry or if I did it just to prove a point…I ate the whole thing!

When we got our food I looked him square in the eye and told him I refused to feel guilty because he didn’t order what he truly wanted and because I wanted to get my own meal.

There have been days where we have split every meal and I would sometimes only have 800 to 1000 calories a day. Sometimes I went to bed hungry. Most times it made me feel like I couldn’t trust my own body to tell me what or how much to eat. Other times it only reiterated to me that my husband didn’t accept me the way I am so why should I? My recovery has suffered because of these actions.

The conversation which resulted from his behavior at McDs did have him finally saying he was trying to control my recovery and he realized it. I don’t trust that he really sees his controlling of me. He agreed to stay out of my recovery but my thought is that I have to “prove” to him that I can make the “right decisions” for myself before he stops trying to control them for me. I have an uphill battle ahead of me.

To say what I expect others to want to hear is that I’m going to stand my ground, work my recovery and take care of myself but what I’m going to say instead is the truth…I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting this battle with myself and now I’m fighting the battle with my own husband. My mind is no longer clear. I’m struggling and it sucks.
~sas

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juxtaposedadsThese ads appeared in my Sunday newspaper.

Right next to each other.

I don’t know how the “lipo” center felt about being right next to the dance studio ad — maybe the person who determined the ad placement thought that it was a similar audience interested in both of these services.

But the contrast. Wow.

I’m thinking “no general anesthesia, immediate results, short recovery time” all also apply to the “Have Fun. Be Active.” motto of Debbie’s Dance Etc. “Have Fun. Be Active.” really is such a HAES statement. No “consult with Board Certified Surgeon” necessary.

The Debbie’s Dance ad worked. I had heard of the studio, and there are a surprisingly large number of dance studio in my relatively small tri-city area. In fact, the women I heard of the studio from are gorgeously not slender.* I’ve been wondering where I would like SuperHeroPrincess to take classes for dance (if that’s even something she would like — like me, free expression seems to be more her thing. But it’s nice to have a foundation). And Debbie’s Dance — your ad worked. You had me at “Have Fun.”

Sometimes, I feel like I’m just on top of this wave that is sweeping through most people’s consciousness about weight and fatness and the ridiculousness of the dominant paradigm, not only about weight but about health and what we can and can’t control.

Which reminds me of this piece of brilliance from Laura McKibbin, LICSW, creator (with input from with the amazing Jon Robison, PhD, MS): The Food for Thought Pyramid**. This satirical work highlights the overemphasis on “healthy eating and exercise as the primary determinants of good health” when in reality, genetics, luck and socioeconomic factors play a much larger role. Other determinants of health, such as relationships, social supports, a sense of meaning in life, and our ability to bounce back from hard circumstances play a huge role, in comparison to diet and exercise. And weight loss advice that tells us to ditch family and friends with “bad eating habits” or prioritize eating healthy or exercising over social interactions undermine and erode those things that have a much deeper impact on health. Sure, it’s nice to go walking and talking with friends. And the dance practice I do satisfies my needs for physical activity, but more importantly, expression, creativity, belonging, and self-exploration. But the “friends” part is the more important part, for me and for most (but not all) people.

Speaking of dance, and juxtapositions, I was at my practice on Tuesday, and our regular instructor/leader/guide/DJ (who I love) was expectedly out, and his sub was someone I also love but who I hadn’t had as an instructor/leader/guide/DJ before. And she did something amazing. She had us explore the concept of our “shadow side” and what that looks like, moves like, feels like. For some reason, this particular evening, my defenses dropped and I really allowed myself to explore that shadow side.

Interestingly, I found myself thinking of my shadow as bigger, fatter, heavier, hungrier, weaker, grouchy-er. It was weak where I feel the need to be strong these days, full where I feel the need to be empty these days, nice where I feel the need to be tough these days. It was just great to have a space to explore and expose all that I haven’t been able to allow myself to be. It felt so freeing to be able to feel bigger — to be inhabiting more rather than less space. There was something deeply integrating about that. Like it’s okay to actually be a bit smaller because I can visit feeling bigger anytime I like. I can carry all of that internally — accessing it when I need to — not having to feel guilty about my size, larger or smaller, as some sort of rejection of what I’ve been in the past. I have this worry that it will come across to those reading as a sort of “psychic fat suit” — and I didn’t experience it that way — having actually been quite a bit bigger (and smaller) as an adult than I am right now, this felt like an embrace more than a parody.

Because of a conversation I had been having right before, I went into dance practice with a thought about how loving myself is really important role modeling for SuperHeroPrincess. And exploring the idea of feeling loved, valued, appreciated from within, rather than from outside. And when this instrumental blues song came on (this was before the “shadow work”) I thought of slow dancing with myself as a partner, the way I always wanted to be danced with. I heard me saying to myself all kinds of good things — what a sensual dancer I am, how great it feels to dance with me, how adorable I am, how nice it feels to lean up against me, what beautiful eyes I have, how amazing I am overall — that’s what I remember. But it didn’t feel hokey, or silly, it felt authentic and true. And not like I was imagining someone else saying these things to me the way I did when I was younger, before I had the experience of someone actually saying those sorts of things, whether as a come-on or not. When I juxtapose how it felt to hear those things coming from me, next to the kinds of things I more frequently hear from myself about how unacceptable I must be to others, what I notice is the locus. The center. And with me at the center — how I feel about myself, to myself, the idea of unacceptability drops away. Or, what I find unacceptable shifts, and it’s not acceptable to carry an outdated, illogical, inaccurate vision of myself as some sort of protection.

Now, I know that old perception doesn’t just drop away. But the veneer has slipped just enough to allow a more accurate perception, at least some of the time. I think continuing to live with/in what I can see beneath the veneer and allow it to come to the forefront, that’s the trick.

Thanks for reading about this journey. It’s nice to feel it’s not happening in a vacuum.

Wishing you slipped veneers and joyously enlightening juxtapositions,

WRT2

* I am still not comfortable calling women who haven’t self-identified as fat, “fat.”

** I’m ordering one of the pyramid posters soon, I swear. To put up in my cube at work (as opposed to my cube at home?).

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The_Enemy_by_BurooDepending on whether you read The New Yorker, or the New York Times, you would come to a different conclusion.

I read the NY Times Health page online just about every day, and I read The New Yorker (my sister’s subscription, mostly) with some regularity.

One of my pet peeves is how it’s seen as “cool” to distance oneself from fatness, in oneself or others, in liberal-intellectual-“hip” circles. I know that it’s certainly not the only instance of snobbery or bigotry in these circles, but it’s one that makes me feel on the outside of a groups that otherwise I might feels some affinity with (and hopefully, challenge the bigotry I might encounter). Readers of The New Yorker are maybe slightly less fat than the overall population, but certainly many readers are fat. While for the most part, there’s not much overt fatphobia in The New Yorker (fatness seems to be mostly ignored), and I would expect that there is more fat panic in the Times, but two articles have made me think that the tide at the Times is turning, while The New Yorker is stuck in a fatphobic past.

In a “Fitness and Health” feature called “Skin Deep,” writer Mandy Katz penned an article, “Throwing out the Diet and Embracing the Fat” with my favorite photo of the year so far. I think I actually want to purchase this photo and frame it. [edited to add, there is a sidebar I didn’t notice at first on Intuitive Eating – yay! – with a lovely photo of Kate Harding in it. And, frustratingly, comments are enabled on the article – argh!] While the article has one hateful (and oh so erroneous) quote in it from Walter Willett, it doesn’t come until the 10th paragraph into an 18 paragraph article. The article ends with a quote from clinical psychologist and HAES hero Deb Burgard, instead of the usual “but, but, but, but don’t actually BE fat.” Overwhelmingly, the article presents the HAES case extremely well. This isn’t the first article of the sort that the Times has published. And, Gina Kolata, of course, writes for the Times. I think that the message is finally getting through that you can’t continue to insult the public that reads your paper, and that this movement can’t be ignored.

But, The New Yorker chose a different path. Rather than ignoring, they chose to ridicule those of us who support fat acceptance with the multi-book review, XXXL. The subtitle, “Why are we so fat?” makes me ask, what do you mean “we?” as the photo of the author, Elizabeth Kolbert, shows a slender woman. Of course don’t know her past, or her struggles, and there are thin allies out there, but she is not currently fat, and doesn’t provide any sense of her subjectivity in the review. A better subtitle might have been, “Why is everyone else so fat?” There’s a link under the offensive image that says “Submit a question for Elizabeth Kolbert about obesity in America” – to which I wonder — what does she REALLY know about obesity? (If I were going to ask a slender science journalist anything about obesity in American, I would much rather submit a question to Gina Kolata.) If she were informed about the authors and experts quoted in the NY Times article, she, and the editors, would realized how biased and outdated her perspective is. Here’s the most offensive example, and really highlights the anti-fat bias I’ve observed among people who consider themselves  intellectuals:

But, just because size bias exists it doesn’t follow that putting on weight is a subversive act. In contrast to the field’s claims about itself, fat studies ends up taking some remarkably conservative positions. It effectively allies itself with McDonald’s and the rest of the processed-food industry, while opposing the sorts of groups that advocate better school-lunch programs and more public parks. To claim that some people are just meant to be fat is not quite the same as arguing that some people are just meant to be poor, but it comes uncomfortably close.

Other bloggers have deconstructed this better than I can, and the idea that some people are just meant to be fat is very, very far from the idea that some people are just meant to be poor. I don’t believe that people choose to be fat, in most cases, any more than people choose to be poor, in most cases. This sentence reads as someone “otherizing” and conflating fatness and poverty. A person can choose to make peace with their particular combination of genetic inheritance and environmental exposure to fatness and live a full and complete life, and there is no cure for being fat. Kolbert believes that people are not meant to be poor or fat, but both fat people and poor people (and fat and poor people) exist, and the “cures” on an individual level for both are not well established, hard work and simply “choosing not to be” do not solve the “problem” and the U.S. certainly hasn’t eradicated poverty (although I personally believe there is much more that we, as a society, can do). I wish Kolbert, or her editors, had thought about this more deeply before publishing this piece in this format, or choosing to include the book “The Fat Studies Reader” in a review of books about fatness that had a lot more in common.

Fillyjonk at Shapely Prose and withoutscene at Big Fat Blog both wrote about Kolbert’s piece in greater depth than I have here.

I have been aware of and in and out of the Fat Acceptance movement since I discovered it while a student at UC Santa Cruz in the late 80s. I don’t believe that this is a fad, nor, as Kolbert writes, that “It effectively allies itself with McDonald’s and the rest of the processed-food industry, while opposing the sorts of groups that advocate better school-lunch programs and more public parks.” To the contrary, I know that most fat acceptance advocates would love more public parks and better school-lunch programs. She is setting up a false dichotomy, with “health advocates” on one side, and “fat advocates” on the other, while in reality, there are many advocates in fat acceptance and HAES movements who are just as opposed to the processed-food industry as their fatphobic adversaries. What the fat acceptance and HAES advocates realize is that it’s not only fat people consuming these foods, nor is fatness the only or worst outcome of the proliferation of processed foods. They distinguish between the industries and the individual consumers, while Kolbert does not. She writes “...just because size bias exists it doesn’t follow that putting on weight is a subversive act.” Her misunderstanding here is that fat acceptance advocates are not encouraging weight gain as a subversive act — the subversive act is simply being visible and advocating for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in a larger-than-expected body. The tone I get from Kolbert’s article is that it’s primal, animalistic to be fat, and those people who fail in their ability to be thin are not welcome in The New Yorker club.

Near the end of the article, Kolbert writes: “But, as anyone who has ever gone on a diet knows, weight that was easy to gain is hard to lose.” Had she, or her editors, been more thorough, that would have read “weight that was easy to gain is lost in the long run by no more than 5% of the population.” She glosses over decades of research that is rarely refuted (mostly it’s just ignored) that long term weight loss is nearly impossible to maintain for most people.

With Mandy Katz’s piece, you get these sense that The New York Times editors and writers have been reading their own journalists and articles and piecing together the big picture. Maybe Kolbert and The New Yorker editors might consider reading The New York Times’ coverage of fat acceptance (and fatness overall) to, you know, get a clue.

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make_a_wish_no_2_by_herbstkind

Part of the reason this blog exists is due to irreconcilable differences between me, Sassy and other folks of influence in an eating disorder recovery community.  Commentor JennyRose requested a post on one of the very topics that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and Sas such that we decided to strike out on our own and blog here and AngryGrayRainbows.  So, let me start out with a big shout-out to JennyRose!  Some of the best post topics are suggestions that come from friends and readers… and I think this is another example of the awesomeness that happens when folks collaborate, even if it’s just a quick email suggesting a post idea.  

Today, I am talking about “weight recovery.”  Weight recovery is the idea that someone who is not at a “normal” weight due to an eating disorder should restore their weight to a “normal” weight in order to complete the physical aspect of recovery.  If you’re underweight, you must gain weight.  If you’re overweight (and especially if you’ve got the deathfatz), you must lose weight.  Morbidly obese people were told that if they didn’t accept that weight recovery at some point MUST happen to be truly recovered and healthy, then they were trying to hold onto their eating disorders.  The logic went something like this: if your weight became morbidly obese or underweight because of an eating disorder that it made perfect sense to gain or lose weight to heal the eating disorder.

I have had much less experience with Anorexia, so I’m going to speak from a COE/BED or simply overweight point of view.  I do understand that in dealing with someone who is starving a certain level of nourishment has to be reached before the person can even absorb the emotional/mental/spiritual work involved in eating disorder Recovery… however, that is all I’m saying about the Anorexia aspect, as I know little about it.  What I do know about is the folks that were being told that they needed to lose weight and I’m going to talk about them…

Must a fat person recovering or recovered from an ED (eating disorder) lose weight at some point?  If they don’t restrict to lose weight are they hanging onto the ED? 

How can we even assume that it is POSSIBLE for all fat people (even the morbidly obese) to get down to a normal weight or even just something that falls into the overweight category on the chart??  Overwhelmingly, science disagrees with this idea that diets can work – no, not even when we call it “weight restoration.”  What kind of recovery demands all “really fat” people do something that 99% of people cannot achieve?  Sure, some people may lose weight, but is everyone gonna lose weight in ED recovery?  No way, says Science!  I suppose Science is somehow deluded and wants fat people to hold onto their eating disorders, eh?

My take on this from very early on is that some fat folks in the ED community don’t want to let go of their FOBT (fantasy of being thin).  I’ve been there.  The only way I could get myself to do anything on a ED Recovery vein at first was to assure myself that at the end I would finally be thin.  Sure, I’d do the emotional work and go to therapy and even eat more… but I wasn’t gonna do anything if it wasn’t eventually gonna make me thin.  I think a lot of people go through this in their ED recoveries.  I was fortunate enough to, in the course of my recovery work, get over the FOBT.  I accepted the radical idea that I may always be plus-size… and I realized that was okay and potentially optimally HEALTHY for me.  At this point, I was usually told by the weight recoverers that I have never been fat enough to possibly understand how crucial weight recovery is for those who are “bone-crushingly huge.”  I have learned that there is something wrong in a conversation, if I feel the need to qualify what I say or know with, “Oh… and I was 240 pounds on and off for a cumulative of who knows how many years of my life.”  Trying to exclude someone from a conversation because they’re not fat enough is simply not cool.  And, yes, you thin folks out there are more than welcome to participate in this blog or this post!  Whatever I weigh now or have weighed in the past does not change the fact that diets don’t work.  However fat or thin someone is doesn’t change the fact that what they say aligns with scientific findings.  Sheesh.

Ironically, I think of those weight recoverers the same way they prolly think of me and Sas.  I think they are using “weight recovery” as a way to hang into the FOBT and maybe even their ED.  They think (as far as I can tell) that we use size-acceptance as a way to keep ourselves emotionally and mentally numbed-out on cupcakes, etc.  *headdesk*  As I’ve posted before, IE is nowhere near some kinda weight-loss cop-out… 

ED physical recovery, to me, is learning to live a healthy life – in terms of IE and HAES.  For some people, this will mean losing weight.  Some people will stay the same.  Some people may even lose.  I believe it is none of our friggin’ business what our body size is… and it’s no one else’s business either.  Our bodies know what weight is optimal for us.  Here’s a radical idea – why not let our bodies decide what we will weigh!

What has been truly alarming to me was the fat folks in ED recovery who were seriously discussing weight loss surgery (WLS) as a means to physical recovery.   The fact is that WLS is seriously dangerous.  People die.  Some people (*gasp* can you believe it!) would rather have stayed morbidly obese than be very thin and live with the medical complications that WLS has caused.  And, somehow a procedure that causes so many problems for the people who have it is the answer to physical recovery?  I think not.  And, no, Weight Watchers isn’t the answer either. 

I find it really strange that the folks who disagreed with me and Sas spouted over and over again that obesity (and morbid obesity) was a danger to health was a “MEDICAL FACT.”  Well, no.  Scientific fact doesn’t state such a thing, actually.  However, it does have a lot to say about the pointlessness of dieting and the danger of WLS.  Weird that no one was throwing that medical fact around other than me, Sas and some other folks who, like us, were of the IE persuasion.  Ah well, I suppose folks who misstate “medical fact” can’t be expected to go further and research other arguments and actually repeat those study findings in any kind of intellectually honest way.  I just hate to see people suffer… which, is why it pains me to see people holding onto their FOBTs and contemplating diets and WLS. 

The fact is that studies show that it is healthier to remain fat than to diet and then regain weight.  Since 99% of diets don’t work, you can bet that your diet will cause weight regain and the health problems associated with weight cycling and yo-yo dieting.  Even if I were to believe that (though, most of the health problems blamed on fat have more to do with genetics and the normal aging process than anything to do with fat) a person’s fat is causing them some problem, the high risk that a diet will cause them to ultimately weigh even more is worth considering.   

What do I think physical recovery is?  I think it is learning to love your body wherever it is right now.  I think it is exercising and eating well and resting and all that good stuff.  If you lose weight, fine.  If you don’t lose weight, fine.  This is what Health at Every Size is about and what I believe works. 

Are there folks out there who use being overweight, obese or morbidly obese as an excuse to not live a healthy life?  Sure.  Guess what?  There are thin people who do the SAME THING.  Whatever a person’s size, I believe in a lovely, healthy life full of all sorts of good things.  This does not include over-exercising or never eating chocolate again.  Having fun can be exercise.  Eating real butter is alright!  Eating veggies is alright!  Eating what your BODY truly wants is a lovely guideline for a healthy body… though, learning to understand what a body truly wants is a skill that takes some time to learn, but the lesson is worth the effort!  And, if you think your body wants to live on sweets or whatever all the time, you don’t know how to listen to your body yet. 

With that last bit, I think a post on the intricacies of listening to the body is in order some time soon… 😀

–AngryGrayRainbows

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