fat acceptance article

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JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 273

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Posted: 12 Jun 2012, 21:18
Fat activist encourages stopping dieting

A lady promoting accepting your fat self, and people's right to choose not to change. I disagree with some of this crap. Just briefly skimmed it.
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 12 Jun 2012, 23:47
I have a lot of friends who are very active in the fat acceptance movement. I personally have mixed feelings about it-- I think they say some very sane things, but also some very skewed ones.

"It's basically the idea that fat people should have the option not to hate themselves and their bodies." I'm all over that like bumper stickers on a Prius in Berkeley. Hating yourself is never healthy.

(paraphrasing) "People should be treated with respect and courtesy regardless of their body type." It's hard to argue with that. Shaming sucks, period full stop.

(paraphrasing) "Our culture has a very narrow definition of beauty, and one that few people can achieve." Also true. People come in all shapes and sizes, and we're not all five-foot-eleven 34-24-34 supermodels, nor should be be. People are not deficient if they don't look like that.

(paraphrasing) "Most diets don't work." Also true, though not for the reasons that the FA think. Most people treat diets as temporary fixes rather than lifestyle changes. Of course they don't work!


The problem that I have with the FA community is that they often exhibit a terrible reverse discrimination. I once told my housemate, a rabid FA activist, that I wanted to lose weight because it would make my knees happier. She went bat$#!+ and tore into me about how I was just doing it to conform to society's notions of beauty, yada yada yada. No, I was doing it because hiking up two floors of steps to the kitchen hurt my knees. If it's OK to decide not to lose weight, then it should be equally OK to lose weight-- otherwise you're just doing the exact same thing as the people you're fighting against.

I could go on about this at great length, as you might well imagine. Smile
Sk1nnyfuture

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 530

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 02:06
EVERYBODY needs to be treated with 'dignity and respect' whatever their shape, colour, religion, sexual orientation etc, etc.
I also believe that 'the 'world', needs to cater for all shapes, sizes, colour, religion etc, etc.
The 'media' needs to reflect the diverse population, whatever their size, colour, sexual orientation etc, etc.

...... BUT we all have a personal choice... If someone takes up two seats - because of their size - they should be charged for two seats ( Controversial I know...... although - maybe seats should be a little larger.)
If 'overweight' is going to endanger health -this should be pointed out - the same as it is for drugs, smoking, drinking etc.

The diversity of our world, is what makes interesting.... How boring, if we were all the same...

" Success is what you make it, there's no better time to make a change than the present."

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. "
posterchild6...

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 107

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 03:04
I agree that the movement is good in many ways, as a support group, and to eliminate stereotypes, hate, and discrimination.

In the same way it is not good for some of the same reasons. "Acceptance is the key" many support groups will tell you. Does that mean alcoholics or addicts just accept themselves when they are all messed up? I dont think so. Smokers should not just hang out and say we smoke, its unhealthy, and if you dont like it go F yourself.

But yes, to each his own. Everyone deserves someplace, and if this place is for you and your happy, good on ya. I was more interested in Fat Acceptance about 60 lbs ago...

/Cheers, JP

triaby

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 321

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 05:13
Yes, everyone has a right to do as they choose and be whoever they want, BUT if their life choices effect others - then that is where the problem lies.

I am not too sure about other countries, but here in the UK obesity is now effecting the funds needed to successfully run the National Health (what is called "free" health care, but as a tax payer, I can't see where it is free - free for some maybe...but that is another fight). It is draining the health funds - bigger equipment, more manpower just to lift people, extra care and medication needed for overweight linked illnesses, etc.

Losing weight is not easy - as dealing with the issues that made you fat in the first place are the biggest obstacles. I would rather our tax money be used in guiding people to a healthier metal state, which will ulitmately lead to a healthier physical state, where obesity would possibly be a very minor issue.

Yeah, so if you want to be fat - that's fine I won't discriminate, as long as you can support yourself and don't expect us, that are trying to make a better future for ourselves, pay for it. If you can't afford to support yourself being fat, then make the step to the same health centres and ask for help to lose it.

Harsh, maybe, but that is how I feel.....
Tracy

I actually have a body like Cindy Crawford, I just keep it well covered to protect it!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

♥ I am the captain of my soul ♥


Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
Sk1nnyfuture

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 530

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 05:30
Here, here Triaby.... I certainly agree about the cost, to the NHS in the UK... This goes for smoking, drinking and weight... With the exception of obesity because of medical issues

" Success is what you make it, there's no better time to make a change than the present."

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. "
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 09:56
I'm not very sympathetic to the FA movement - at least as I've seen it.

It's hard to argue with the stated goals, which Hoser outlined and I agree with. However, from what I have seen (and it may not be representative), the idea that it should be socially and politically acceptable not to lose body fat goes hand in hand with "you should not try to reduce body fat." If a trait is immutable, not only is there more social sympathy/acceptance of it, there can also be legal consequences with respect to equal protection law. And I think for that reason, FA activists spend a lot of time arguing that attempting to lose fat is counterproductive, and basically doomed to fail. There's also a lot of effort spent trying to demonstrate that overweight/obesity is not necessarily unhealthy.

I think this is misguided. We don't need to think that body fat % is immutable in order to support the political goals - especially because it isn't. And while it's true that some people who are overweight/obese (whether measured by BMI or as a % of body fat) suffer no ill effects as a result, many do. The research demonstrating the increased risks for so many very serious conditions is too great to dismiss, and FA activists undermine their credibility when they try to argue otherwise.
No, nobody should assume someone else is unhealthy/lazy/gluttonous/diabetic/sick/etc. simply because of a perceived excess of body fat. But for most people, reducing body fat will at the very least lower the risks for a number of serious health problems. Many will also see existing problems improve considerably. Just as a lifelong smoker may never develop lung cancer or emphysema, it's still a risk factor for most people. Despite the counter-examples.

My concern is that there are people out there who would like to lose weight, and would in fact improve their health and simply feel better from having done so. And a lot of the rhetoric and arguments from FA proponents might stop that from happening. And I think that would be a very, very grave disservice if even one person who might be healthier and happier with a different body composition was dissuaded from doing so, because s/he believed it was both impossible and pointless.

If you're happy and healthy with a higher body fat %, more power to you. You shouldn't have to be abused for that decision. But there's no need to bend reality to suit the political goals, by making body composition an immutable trait.
triaby

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 321

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 10:26
I would also like to add that 13 years ago I was an avid smoker and would have fought my corner about my right to smoke with anyone who dared say anything negative about smoking....but the truth of the matter was I did not have the willpower to give up smoking. It took a huge life change for me to give up smoking.

So yes, if people do not have the willpower to give up an unhealthy eating lifestyle, I guess they will also defend their right to be fat and try to justify it......or perhaps they will eventually see the light and find the willpower.....but I agree with Nimm creating the FA may deter people from doing this as they will have an infrastructure holding up their excuses not to make positive changes to their lives.....because it is easier....

Tracy

I actually have a body like Cindy Crawford, I just keep it well covered to protect it!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

♥ I am the captain of my soul ♥


Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 273

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 11:03
Her final statement:
Quote:
If nothing else, what I try to get people to walk away with is knowing that any decisions they make about their bodies and their health needs to come from a place of self-love, and not self- loathing. Decisions to diet often come from seeing an unflattering picture of yourself or seeing yourself in a mirror where you don't look the way you think you want to look. That's a bad place to be making those decisions. If you want to make changes, make sure they're coming from a place that's not "I hate my arms" or "My husband is no longer interested in me sexually." [You'd do better to make decisions from]: "I want to take care of myself. I want to feel good. I want to feel comfortable."

Well, she wouldn't be very happy with me. I didn't lose 100#s years ago for the "right" reasons at all. Vanity and boys are what motivated me. Hating the way I looked, and wishing to be seen differently. Whatever it takes to get you there is okay in my mind. If I'd of waited until I loved myself, I'd still be a fat unhappy girl, instead of a slightly overweight unhappy girl.
CJT1217

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 224

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 11:24
Hmm.. everyone has the right to make their choices. As long as someone who runs with the FA movement realizes the potential health effects of living that way, then more power to them. As for me? Eff that noise!! I want to be as healthy as I can be. I love being able to run and hit the weights without running out of breath. I love being able to chase after my nieces and nephews. I love having a ton of energy and not having my own chubb slowing me down (like it used to!). Diets only fail when someone has lofty goals and can't stick with them. I've failed too. Why would I want to eat salad all day. But with proper self education, one doesn't have to suffer with bland food. Just better choices! For me, it's all about choosing better alternatives and making my own food so I control the food I eat as opposed to the food I eat controlling me! No excuses for being unhealthy! Do, or do not! there is no try, gahdammit.

Stay the course, stay on point, stay motivated, dedicated, and you won't be stopped. Discipline. Perseverance. Focus. Dig deep and you will be victorious.
ctlss

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 2,452

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 11:27
I have been there, done that...I love myself, but I hate the way I feel when I am as obese as I was. Would I like to be thinner? You betcha...do I love me where I am? Oh, yeah. These days I don't diet anymore, I eat for my health, and the weight loss is directly associated with that healthy eating. If I lose more that would be awesome and I am working at it, but if I don't, I will love me at the 191 that I am at, and enjoy the health benefits I am reaping from losing the 67 pounds I have lost. The most important thing I think is that every single person needs to learn to love who they are, not what they weigh! Smile
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust~

The hippopatamus is a vegetarian and looks like a wall. Lions who eat only red meat are sleek and slim. Could it be that human nutritionists are on the wrong track?
~Erma Bombeck~

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "
~Groucho Marx~


ctlss
Lisa Kay

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 171

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 12:38
This is an interesting thread. I do believe that we should learn to love ourselves, no matter our outward appearance, and that we are all beautiful. And I believe that people can be healthy without being stick-thin--In fact I am SO MUCH HEALTHIER now than I was years ago when I weighed 30 lbs less, because I have worked hard, exercised, and live better and more positively overall.
But I also think that, at least in my case, my obesity was just a visual effect of my other inside issues. So if I were to give in and just celebrate my fat weight, and indulge whenever I felt like it, I wouldn't be addressing all the issues that caused me to be overweight in the first place. I think that is the case for a lot of people.
I gladly accept new buddies! Very Happy
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 17:11
I have similar problems with the Health At Every Size movement. What they're saying is sane-- even if you're heavy, you can be healthier if you eat sanely and move your body in moderation. It's good advice in theory, but it often falls down in practice.

I've seen far too many people who just point at HAES and say, "See! I can be healthy even if I'm fat." The people who say this often don't follow the basic principles of HAES-- they eat even when they're not hungry, and they never do any exercise. There's also a big difference between being 30 pounds overweight and being 150 pounds overweight.

I would be far more sympathetic to both of these movements if they were more forthcoming and rational about the risks of being overweight. Everything we do comes with risks, and part of living is to assess what risks we're willing to take. Some of us on here are runners, and we would run even if we were told that we were increasing our probability of knee injury by 30% and our probability of ankle injury by 20%. (I'm making these numbers up here-- they're just examples.)

I wish the fat acceptance movement would say, "Look, being fat has health risks, and here they are... it's OK to choose not to lose weight if you don't want to, as long as you understand the risks that you're taking." I would support that, since I think we should all be able to choose our own levels of risk. Unfortunately, fat acceptance activists also tend to downplay the risks, and that pisses me off.

Anestheticdr...

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 6

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 19:10
I agree with loving yourself, however, I don't love myself at 231 pounds! I want to be fit and healthy and be able to purchase nice clothes for a reasonable price. If I was to confirm to my country's standards of beautiful I would waste a lot of money on plastic surgery.

Not only that, but my health is at a major risk with my weight. I was born with a heart defect and it starting getting worse around the time I was 15. I was also informed at the time I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure because of my weight. The doctor also said I had poly cystic ovary syndrome, ,I don't know how true that is because she never ran any official tests, but having that raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes. I haven't seen a doctor since that time almost 7 years ago because I couldn't afford healthcare, but I sure as hell don't want to go back to the hospital on a stretcher. I want to lose the weight and become healthy.

I totally understand people being happy being a bigger size, but don't act like there are no health risks and say things like, "Diets don't work, so you shouldn't even try." Even smokers and drinkers understand there are risks to what they do.
Eringiffin

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 117

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Posted: 13 Jun 2012, 22:43
I had no success at dieting until I found a way to love myself. Loving myself has nothing to do with how much I weigh but it has everything to do with the choices I am making now to take better care of myself.

Accepting oneself as being fat and seeing nothing wrong with it ignores the facts about how unhealthy excess fat is for the body. Some people just don't know how bad it is, they haven't been educated on the facts. Other people just bury their heads in the sand and hope it will go away.

I don't think people should be persecuted for being fat, however. I think as a community and around the world, we should respectfully find ways to make it easier to be healthy. If it wasn't so difficult and expensive to find locally grown, organic produce, that would be a real improvement. If neighborhoods had more sidewalks/bike paths/parks, it could encourage people to make better choices. It doesn't always work but sometimes if a person sees that someone truly cares about them, they start to care about themselves, too. People respond better to the carrot than to the whip, in my opinion.

There are so many reasons why a person might have become overweight or have trouble losing weight. People shouldn't be so quick to judge. Solutions really need to be tailored to the individual. Medical professionals need to get the right education and training to properly counsel and treat obesity. In all the time I have been overweight/obese, I never had a doctor tell me that it wasn't healthy or to give me options for how to treat it, but I do get daily reminders from the media and retailers about how being fat is unacceptable and shameful. We need to stop the shame game and concentrate on positive solutions.
BlueWaterBot...

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 78

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Posted: 14 Jun 2012, 08:18
I think the only way to get a handle on the obesity problem in industrialized countries is for all people to move towards fat acceptance.

If you just casually read through the journals and forum threads on this site, there is so much self loathing here: people who are angry with themselves because they committed the sin of having a piece of cake, people who are beaten down and disappointed in themselves because the scale hasn't reached some magic number, people who are punishing themselves on regimens with as much food variety and caloric intake allotments as is usually permitted to political prisoners in forced labor camps. There are too many people who diet, whether they look fat or thin, who are operating from a place of self hatred.

People assume that other people who are obviously fat are also lazy, unambitious and unwilling to make healthy changes in their lives. I have certainly met people, both fat and thin, who are like that, but some of the most focused and ambitious people I know are overweight or obese. Hell, I'm focused and ambitious and I weigh nearly 300 lbs!

There seems to be a very mistaken assumption that people in the past were thin because everyone was more virtuous. They only ate good, healthy food and exercised regularly because they were noble and righteous, unlike the lazy slobs of today.

That is a total lie.

People were thin because they didn't have access to as much food and they had to expend more calories to complete routine tasks than those of us with modern conveniences have to. In many cases in the past the food people ate was of poor quality and processed under suspicious conditions, to say the least. In the 1950s people thought the same processed foods we all now try to avoid were the wave of a glorious future in modern eating.

We are among the first human beings to ever have lived on this planet who do not have to struggle daily for enough food to survive. Our biology is in no way equipped to deal with that unbelieveablely comfortable reality. It has taken a couple of generations of people doing things horrifically wrong for us as a society to understand how to cope with the pitfalls of having food available and the impact of excess weight on the health of individuals. All of us on this site are on the frontline of that battle for understanding.

People should not be discriminated against for size in the workplace. That is something that can be legislated. People, ideally, should not be socially discriminated against for their size. That depends on the level of enlightenment and understanding in other individuals. People should not ever hate themselves for what they are. The same traits that make a person fat and unhealthy in this time are the very traits that ensured survival in leaner times. To hate your own body for its own nature generates despair. Only those who love themselves, with all their flaws, can make the positive changes necessary to be a better version of themselves, regardless of the size of that better version.
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

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Posted: 14 Jun 2012, 11:08
I think BlueWaterBottle is my new hero.



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