Not accepting Fat Acceptance isn’t Fat Shaming
I read a post yesterday called Don’t You Realize Fat is Unhealthy? by Kate Harding on her blog, Shapely Prose. Even though the post was written back in 2007, the topic of the fat acceptance movement and idea of “healthy obesity” are still going strong today.
I want to encourage individuals to love themselves and accept themselves for who they are. Accept your flaws. However, accepting flaws isn’t the same as believing being overweight is healthy. Viewing oneself as attractive is not scientific; it’s a matter of self-esteem and confidence. On the other hand, health and obesity are both matters of science, specifically health and nutrition science.
Kate uses blog articles and herself to support the claims that being fat is healthy, such as “fat people live longer than thin people”; “weight itself is not a health problem” and “fat can protect against infections, cancer, lung disease…. type 2 diabetes”. Simply because you claim these things doesn’t mean they are true.
In her blog, Kate cites junkfoodscience.blogspot.com and herself to support her claims. Facts don’t hold much weight if they are supported by your own and others’ blog posts. Kate’s claims would be more believable and respectable if peer-review articles from scientific journals were cited. I am not aware of any scientific journals that publish articles concluding being overweight is healthy, overweight individuals live longer than thin ones and fat protects against illnesses and chronic diseases.
I agree, diets do not work as Kate states in her blog post. I know that. She knows that. Scientific literature shows that.
Still, too many people attempt diets in an attempt to lose weight. Why? Because they don’t know what they are doing wrong.
It is a commonly known myth that to lose weight you need to basically starve yourself until you reach the weight you desire.
Diets aren’t the answer and they will never be the answer to a long-term problem. Lifestyles are the solution to the obesity crisis, not diets.
So while Kate continues to believe that there is nothing she can do to change her weight, I discovered significant and long-term weight loss can be achieved through dramatic lifestyle changes. Yes, my diet changed dramatically from when I was overweight to now, but I am not on a diet. Most people don’t understand long-term results require long-term change. Diets work if they are intended to be life changes, not simply a short-term tool to lose weight.
I know how it feels to be obese as I used to be just that. I have experienced first hand how others treat the overweight and obese. I also know how many overweight and obese people may feel.
I wanted to think I looked attractive. I actually did think I looked attractive in some ways. And because I was a young adolescent when I was obese, there was always some part of me that aspired to look “normal” and healthy. I desired to fit in. Yes, I wished to be treated with respect as well.
Isn’t showing concern for an overweight person showing respect? Showing concern for a fat individual means another person genuinely cares about the fat person. When I was overweight I longed for somebody to show me how to be healthy. My mom attempted to get me to lose weight by offering to pay me for every pound I lost. But monetary incentive never demonstrated how to be healthy or lose weight.
I don’t hate or dislike fat people because they are fat. I’m not going to judge your character based upon your body size. Weight is not the deciding factor of whether or not somebody is friendly or unkind, good or bad. I admit I know women who are kind, beautiful and overweight.
Nonetheless, regardless of your character, if you are overweight, there is a health problem that needs to be addressed.