“But you’re promoting an unhealthy lifestyle!”

Okay, so this blog entry is dedicated to the haters. Okay, maybe not haters, but ill informed, ill motivated “do gooders”. This post is for the people who are out to save us from our fatness, save us from ourselves.

There are few things in this life that are considered both a medical condition and everybody else’s business. Rarely do you see people run up to a smoker, who is a complete stranger, yelling about cancer and about how disgusting they are as a human being for smoking. Or how about running up to thin people eating McDonald’s and other processed foods yelling at them about their diet/lifestyle. People would be livid if we displayed this kind of behavior. Yet, somehow, it is perfectly acceptable to do these exact same things to a fat person that you have never met before? So, before I delve into any science or medical reasoning behind HAES, I just want to tell everyone one thing. If it’s not your body….SHUT UP! That might sound really harsh, but here is the deal. I don’t come to your house and slap the high fructose corn syrup snacks that are killing your kids out of their sweet little hands. I don’t come over and cry and yell because your eating meat even though I am a vegetarian. I make choices about my life and you make choice about yours. It is beyond rude to assert your assumptions about health, beauty, and quality of life on someone else. So, don’t do it!

Now, let me hop down off of my soup box and let’s talk science and dollar signs. Here is what we do know about “obesity” (I hate that word, but whatevs, we are talking science here). We know that despite the “war on obesity”, a 58+ BILLION dollar diet industry, and every fad diet that you can possibly imagine, fat people are not disappearing. There has yet to be creation of a pill or diet that magically makes all people the alleged “perfect” thin ideal.  To make things more complicated, we know that the few people who do find weight loss success, only experience it for a limited time. In other words 90+ % of people who lose 20 pounds or more will gain it all back within 5 years. If you jump to the 10year mark, that percentage gets pretty close to 100. So what is the driving force behind our diet culture? The most common response that you will hear is health. So let’s take a look at how weight loss/diet culture is affecting our health.

Let me start with asking, what medical treatment do you know of, besides weight loss, that would be recommended as a cure with a less than 5% long term success rate? Just throwing that out there. But what if I told you that diet culture is not only not the cure, but it’s also a major part of the problem? What if I told you that your weight isn’t actually whats dictating your health? Well recent studies show that this is true. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a study that showed that losing and regaining weight lowers the functioning of your immune system. Dr. Tracy L. Bale of Univ. of Pa. conducted a study that showed that dieting changes your brain chemistry and causes your body to crave high fat foods leading to additional weight gain rather than weight loss.  And here is a real kicker, recent studies, one conducted by the Presidents Council on Fitness and Sports and one conducted by the American Dietetic Association, showed that there is strong evidence that “overweight” or “obese” individuals can get healthier by becoming more active, regardless of how much weight they lose or if they lose weight at all.

So, I know I just crammed a lot of information into a short blog space, but what does it all mean? Here is a summary of what recent studies show. There are actually no significant health risks associated with being “overweight” or “obese”. The health risks commonly attributed to size are actually a result of behaviors and eating habits that lead SOME people to be “obese” or “overweight”. So! If you are concerned about your OWN health, then become more active and eat the right things. STOP putting the focus on weight loss. This, my friendly readers, is Health at Every Size (HAES). When you eat healthy and exercise, your body will balance out. Don’t believe me? Seven years ago, I jumped off of the weight lost band wagon and started thinking HAES. In the first year I lost 60 pounds, I have maintained every pound of weight loss for seven years. I now weigh in the ten pound range of 280-290, have an average blood pressure of 117/60, no blood sugar problems, and I never get winded going up stairs. My fat is a part of my health and mental well being.

The point I am trying to make is every body can be beautiful and healthy, any size, any shape, period, end of story. The science backs it up. So don’t assume you know someone’s health on the basis of their body. AND don’t assume it’s any of your business.

If only you could rearrange the letters in obesity to spell obsession.

Every once and a while when I am surfing the glorious interwebs I come across an article that is not so much appalling as just completely and totally laughably entertaining.  This article is one of those things.

http://www.examiner.com/x-41615-Philadelphia-Diets-Examiner~y2010m3d23-Has-daVincis-Last-Supper-Uncoded-Americas-Obesity-Epidemic

These people legitimately spent money to study different versions of the Last Supper over the last thousand years to see if the serving sizes on the table got bigger?! the best part of reading the article was how scientific and serious they tried to make themselves sound:

“Using the size of the diners’ heads as a basis for comparison, the Wansinks used computers to compare the sizes of the plates in front of the apostles, the food servings on those plates and the bread on the table. Assuming that heads did not increase in size during the second millennium after the birth of Christ, the researchers used this method to gauge how much serving sizes increased.”

I ‘m sorry I just had to share this because I found it so very entertaining!

DEEPLY SORRY

I just want to apologize to my readers and to anyone who has been trying to contact me. I moved and also went through a sort of very personal crisis that I don’t feel at liberty to discuss, but I am back now after a very long time and I hope to resume writing my blog on a regular basis and discussing all that is fat in the media ASAP!

So here is an update on me really quick! I was recently accepted into graduate school which I am very very very excited about! I am working on getting a graduate assistantship to pay for my tuition. I have also just recently started seeing someone and he is probably reading this right now so I should only say flattering things =) . I am also thinking of adding a page just for personal pictures and things so that you guys can keep up with my life just because I seem to be getting a lot of requests for that. So hopefully that will be up soon!

NOW fat in the media!

I wanted to address this article because I LOVE Gabourney Sidibe. I thought that she did a fantastic job in the film “Precious” and I have noticed that a lot of people in Hollywood have felt very comfortable discussing her weight from Jaime (sp?) Foxx to Howard Stern. The whole article can be found at the link below, but as always I am just going to hit on the key points.

http://www.usmagazine.com/healthylifestyle/news/gabourey-sidibes-mom-slams-howard-stern-for-fat-jab-get-a-life-2010163

Let me start with my instantaneous childish reaction

Howard Stern “called the Oscar nominee, 26, the “most enormous fat black chick I’ve ever seen… She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she’s never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?””

First of all, if someone could give Howard Stern, with from what I can tell not one redeeming quality a job, then I am pretty sure that Gabourney will be okay out there. Secondly, why does Howard Stern always feel like he has the right to degrade women and talk about their bodies. UGH the man drives me insane!

But HERE is the kicker to add insult to injury

“weight loss company AcaiSupply.com publicly offered her a one-year supply of their product to “reach your goal of someday winning an Oscar… by being active, fit, and most of all, healthy!”

When I read this I was so appalled I could hardly even think straight! Can you imagine. As if being thin would make her a better actress! This is just as insulting as if a plastic surgeon publicly offered Pelelope Cruz a nose job to improve her chances of winning an Oscar. It is an insult not just to Gabourney but to women in general. As if their worth and skill lies souly in the width of their thighs.

This all brings me to my final point. Amidst all of this garbage Gabourney still carries herself with poise and grace! She says:

“It’s something I’ve had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old,” she said. “I’ve never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.”

I say bravo to loving yourself in the face of an industry that openly mocks you and treats you as less than! SHE ROCKS MY SOCKS!!!!

It Doesn’t Take a Scientist

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/2009/06/19/9850071-sun.html

The above link will take you to one of the most ridiculous news articles I believe I have ever read in my life. The article is titled Study Ties Childhood Obesity to Low Selft-Esteem. Then the article makes it seem as though this is a cause and effect situation. Being fat gives you low self-esteem. Like fat is some self-esteem infiltrating disease that looms in your system waiting to pounce and make you feel bad about yourself. Chief analyst Julie Bernier had this to say, “”Up to now in the literature, there has been a lot of emphasis on the fact body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease and now, it’s a complement to see that it even puts you more at risk for low self-esteem, which in turn would put you at risk for mental health problems.”

Now, it is hard for me to imagine how anyone could possibly question why young people have low self-esteem when they are fat. Could it be because everyone keeps pointing out that they are fat as if they had some obnoxious rash covering their whole body? Could it be that in Western culture we still find it totally acceptable to belittle and mock fat people in film, television, cartoons, magazines and news papers? Could it be that mothers sometimes tell their daughters that they will never get a boyfriend if they don’t lose 50lbs? Or how about the fact that in most school parents and teachers do nothing as half of the class picks on the fat kid?! This study was a waste of money and further proof that people will go to great links to prove that obesity is sick and wrong instead of just admitting that they can’t be happy with themselves. How about instead of using articles like this to promote more attacks on the fat community they start educating young people on the true facts of obesity and then maybe they would start to understand and accept each other?!