100 lb. Club - Where do you fall on the "fat acceptance" scale?




Lyn2007
01-30-2009, 01:26 PM
I've been doing some thinking about the whole "Fat Acceptance" movement, and was wondering how you guys feel about it. On the one hand, there are some good things: fighting against size discrimination, and learning to love your body and not hate yourself because of your weight. Also, focusing on health rather than size.

BUT!!!!

I am really not okay with the FA advocates who say that trying to lose weight is wrong. Some FA sites say that "you cannot accept fat while actively trying to destroy it" (aka dieting). One author of a recent weight loss memoir wrote about how she was banned from posting on a Fat Acceptance forum JUST because she was trying to lose weight (she wasn't trying to get others to diet!)

Anyway, what do you think about it? Can you truly love yourself BY losing weight? By making your life better through weight loss as a means?

I just wrote about this on my blog yesterday and am getting some fantastic feedback. I knew you guys would have lots of insights too so I'd love to know what you think of FA.


lottie63
01-30-2009, 01:30 PM
I am all about accepting yourself and loving yourself and others regardless of size, but I think if you really love yourself you would want to be around as long as possible and if that means losing weight that is what that means. I do NOT think that you are NOT accepting of yourself just because you try and lose. I mean I love myself regardless of size, so much so that I am trying to do what is best for me and my health.

Michelle98272
01-30-2009, 01:35 PM
Some people are okay with being fat. Some people aren't okay with it. I am not okay with being unhealthy, not okay with my appearance being outside "the norm". I do love myself but want to feel better and look better.

I think you can love yourself at any size. I don't see accepting yourself AND trying to lose weight as mutually exclusive. I can understand though people that are okay with being fat, that love themselves and don't want to lose weight being uncomfortable around someone who doesn't want to be fat anymore.

It is such an individual thing. For me loving myself means treating myself as kindly as possible and that means getting healthy AND losing weight.


FB
01-30-2009, 01:36 PM
Neat topic.

I fell in love with myself by losing weight - it's been a honeymoon. Making time for me, myself a priority, rewarding and celebrating me - ectect. I really liked myself before I lost weight. I wasn't constantly miserable, I generally had a good time. I can't honestly say I loved my body, although I liked myself. I didn't dwell on the topic much, didn't speak of my size, neither embraced it or really acknowledged it.

Once I decided to lose weight, I accepted that I was an unacceptable size - that's where I hit a mental rock bottom. To find my drive and will to continue I personally chose to hate the fat in order to lose it. That was no fun, to learn to despise my size. Fortunately it was short lived and I no longer feel that way. But God, those first days were the hardest days (isn't that a Grateful Dead lyric? :lol:), when I discovered I was miserable. I probably was all along when heavier, but wouldn't admit defeat.

I lost my weight pretty quickly, I've been very determined. My drive came from that new hatred. Isn't that awful?

But like I said, the new hatred led to a love affair with myself eventually, once I discovered I was capable of it.

mandalinn82
01-30-2009, 01:44 PM
I believe that people are "meant" in a genetic, biological sense to be a much, much wider range of sizes and shapes than our culture presents as what we are "meant" to be. Much, much, much wider range.

I believe that an overweight or even obese person who is very active is much healthier than a person of normal weight who never gets off of the couch. Tied into that, I believe that it is possible for even a very obese person to be active and physically fit despite excess body fat.

I believe that, for most (and NOT all) obese people, developing healthy habits like not overeating, watching portions, eating healthy, unprocessed foods, and getting regular exercise will result in a natural weight loss.

I am not at all sure that most people in the "Morbidly Obese" range will ever get to a "Normal" weight range just with healthy habits...based on what I've read on the Maintainers board and my personal experience, it seems to take a more concerted effort than just being as healthy as you can. It's THAT transition...from "healthy" to "normal BMI"...that might be considered a "diet" from an FA perspective, and I can sort of see their point there. It won't change my actions, but I can see why they would say it is destructive.

I believe the BMI scale is flawed, and should be modified to remove the term "normal" altogether and move the "Healthy" range up to the levels actually shown to have the lowest rates of mortality (22-30) rather than the arbitrary numbers today. Edited to add: The lowest mortality rate...the BMI at which your risk of dying is the lowest...falls at a BMI of 27.3...an "overweight" BMI.

In a my ideal world, people would move toward being extremely healthy...being moderately to very active, eating moderate portions of vitamin-and-nutrient rich foods, getting plenty of rest, etc...and would let weight fall where it would. Would FA consider that a "diet" and discourage people? Because I think that would be misguided.

LanMyers
01-30-2009, 02:01 PM
First of, Great topic. Second off: Awesome posts by ALL that posted before me. Wow, ladies. I am proud to be among such awesome company. I feel very inspired. Ok, so my thoughts...

Well, it all pretty much breaks down to how much we allow ourselves access (and thus influence by) to the media doesn't it?

We are all products of our society, as our parents are and their parents were. We are all programmed constantly through television/radio ads, time bought by the highest bidder, which means that we are influenced in this way, not by those we would rather have influence us whose products may benefit us, but rather by people who control the most cash flow, regardless of the corruption of their agenda and the life-giving capacity of their products.

Basically, we are controlled by the media. We are moist robots. Our dreams, hopes, aspirations, and life perceptions are all strongly influenced by the what we hear and see. We are products of a society that emphasizes cheap production and cheap prices (ie. fast/convenience food). Then when we get fat from buying all the things we have seen advertised they can also make us hate ourselves by giving us unrealistic examples of what we "ought to look like" through models, actresses, sports figures, etc... They tout the newest diet plan, clothing brand, clothing style trend, and we are yet again controlled just by the amount of time we allow ourselves to sit in front of the television, read magazines, or listen to the radio. This is a vicious cycle and if we don't break it we can spend our entire lives and waist away our youth and numb ourselves out by only focusing on working to make money to buy stuff we've seen advertised or to make ourselves like people who don't actually exist in the real world.

I said all that to say this: I don't believe we should rationalize and accept the mediocrity of our current states (ie. being fat) just because it is easier than making less convenient life choices to attain to a healthy body weight and fitness level thus preventing any number of deadly diseases caused by obesity and the swift degradation of our bodies brought on by it. I think we should fight every day to learn as much as we can about these bodies and about this planet, we should be intelligent and responsible because these bodies and this planet are a precious gift. I think we should fight to reach our potential in any way we can. I would imagine that the only reason "fat acceptance" has become such an issue is because these fat people who want to be accepted are watching a lot of tv and reading a lot of magazines. They are tired of the consumer roller coaster but they just don't have the will or the knowledge to make it stop. Knowledge is power. Don't rationalize being overweight.

Fat Acceptance? Absolutely not. This doesn't mean you should look down on others, because none of us are perfect and obesity is not the only tell tale sign of a person who makes poor lifestyle choices. I think though, if we just get off the couch, stop watching so much tv and reading so many destructive magazines (both of which are only motivated by ad sales mind you) then we can really begin to come back to ourselves and stop being moist robots driven only by meaningless ad-driven wants and "needs".

TJFitnessDiva
01-30-2009, 02:06 PM
I'm with FB....this journey can be called a love affair :) Not to mention I have really uncovered who I used to be. I was just covered with a bit of fluff.

I thought I loved myself the way I was before but the pride & love I feel now are totally different. To answer your question....yes you can still love yourself the way you are but want to better your life (IE. dieting). This weight loss thing doesn't magically melt the fat away & you discover things about yourself you have never known.

I've never heard of the "fat acceptance" movement before *BUT* it sounds like it has it's extremists like any other activist group. I just feel like it's a cop out.

nelie
01-30-2009, 02:17 PM
I accept that I'm fat :)

The problem with blanket fat acceptance and the abolition of weight loss is there is no ability to draw a line. Someone who is 30 lbs overweight can be considered fat and so can someone who is 300 lbs overweight.

You can love yourself despite being fat, which I do and it was something I learned near my highest weight. I believe it helped me lose weight. You can accept that people are talented and deserving regardless of weight. Someone who weighs 900 lbs should be thought of as a human being with rights just as much as someone who weights 120 lbs.

Is it healthy physically or emotionally for the person who weighs 900 lbs to not lose weight? I don't think so. Of course we all have our own issues where weight affects our health at varying degrees. My own weight never affected my health in ways I could see. A couple years ago I learned that one of my knees has osteoarthritis which is something you should not see in someone barely over 30. Other people have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, mobility issues, etc.

I've lost well over 100 lbs and yet I'm still fat, does that mean I don't love myself? Does that mean I don't accept myself? Does that mean I think being fat is bad? I think being fat can prevent you from doing things you may want to do like I want to start rock climbing but for a woman who weighs 200 lbs, its a bit difficult to do because even though I'm strong, I'm not strong enough to haul myself up by my upper body. I want to continue running but running is a bit difficult at my current weight. For others being fat may mean they wake up every morning surprised that they are still alive, for me its a minor inconvenience.

Overall, I'm happy where I am. I don't have to shop in plus size stores anymore. Things like hiking are a lot easier. I don't have to fret about getting on an airplane. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to lose 30 or 40 more lbs. It also doesn't mean I want to weigh 100 lbs.

Robin41
01-30-2009, 02:26 PM
Being obese isn't healthy. Period. Not being able to get into a booth in a restaurant isn't normal. Being terrified to fly because you're afraid you won't fit in the seat isn't normal. Not being able to walk stairs isn't normal. Blame it on the media all you want, but these basic facts remain.

Certainly there are a wide range of acceptable body types. Carrying around an extra 100 pounds isn't one of them.

Personally, I don't believe a single one of the people who claim to be perfectly happy with themselves when they are morbidly obese. It's a defense mechanism designed to take the pressure off their fear of failing and to make it ok to give up.

I was a perfectly nice person at 292. Now I'm a nice person who is able to do all the activities that weren't possible at that weight. I don't believe anybody is happier with limitations.

kuhljeanie
01-30-2009, 02:41 PM
julie isphording used to have a radio show in cincinnati, and her tagline was "you're already outragously wonderful, but why stop there?" i always liked that.

there are a couple of ways to read the fat acceptance movement statement about not being able to accept fat while trying to destroy it. for starters, accepting something and wanting to keep it around are two different things. acceptance, for me, is about recognizing the reality of what is, and not pretending that things are other than what they are. for me, this meant recognizing that i am strong, funny, obese, neurotic, artistic, etc. being fat does not preclude me from being anything else, nor vice versa. however, this doesn't logically mean that i can't/shouldn't change those things about myself that aren't productive, healthy, or self-loving. for some people, dieting is about self-loathing (and we all know the pitfalls of diet as a temporary fix to a chronic disorder.) however, losing weight and becoming the healthiest person i can be is self-loving and supportive. for myself, i've come to a place where i recognize that a lot of the behaviors that got me to my highest weight were fundamentally about a lack of self-acceptance. bingeing (again, this is me specifically, not all overweight people) was a kind of punishment in itself.

ditto mandalinn on the neccesity to alter our ideas on what constitutes "acceptable." to your original point, no, i disagree with those who say that if you are actively working on reducing your weight, you're not a bona fide fat acceptor. making peace with who you are can take on a lot of different looks for different people - this sort of stance seems very narrow to me.

Kae
01-30-2009, 03:07 PM
Fat acceptance... hmmm... I have accepted that I am FAT but that doesn't mean I am happy about it. Being obese isn't healthy and puts a lot of limitations on what people are physically able to do. Yes, I think people should love themselves for who they are but that also implies that they should love themselves enough to want to make healthy choices.

I think for a lot of people weight gain is an emotional thing and can accompany things like depression--- you are depressed, you eat more, you feel more depressed, you stop doing things you used to love doing---or, maybe you aren't even physically able to do them anymore... and the cycle continues.

So losing weight and believing in yourself with each new healthy choice you make can give you added confidence. Before you know it you are back doing all those things you loved before... you are happier... you are healthier... and it's like you are rediscovering yourself. Falling in love with yourself all over again (like some of the others have said.)

time2lose
01-30-2009, 03:14 PM
I often disagree with society's definition of "fat". Just this week I have seen Jessica Simpson criticized because she has gotten up to a size 8. How awful! How can she stand it? Like mandalinn, I believe the BMI scale is off. People at a healthy weight are often looked upon as overweight.

I went through a spell where I was into "fat acceptance". Mainly because I did not think it was possible for me to not be fat. But as time went on, I had to admit how much my size hurt me. Basically, I made myself disabled because I was not able to function as I wanted and needed to.

We should love ourselves. We should also love ourselves enough to give ourselves the best life possible.

My weight has stopped me from having the fullest life possible. There have been too many things that I wanted to do but could not. I need to lose weight to be healthy. To have a BMI of 24.9, I will have to weigh 135 pounds. I seriously doubt that I will ever weigh 135 pounds. I can not even imagine weighing 135 pounds. I can imagine losing enough to be obese instead of morbidly obese. I may even get to be “over weight”. That sounds thrilling!

Can I and should I love myself as I am? You bet! I also need to love myself enough to be healthy. I am trying.

Lyn’s blog entry about this is great. I am taking a line from it as a motto.

“I won't stay fat and be crippled. I won't sit in a chair and watch life go by. I refuse.” – Lyn in Escape From Obesity

I refuse too!!

Jen415
01-30-2009, 03:27 PM
I just loved Lyn's blog on this.

My personal thought is the FA movement was on the right track, but took it a bit too far. We shouldn't be victims of discrimination, but we cannot condone conditions that lead to ill health or death. That is irresponsible.

For the longest time, I was one of those "healthy obese" people, until it all came crashing down on me a few years ago. I realize now that if I continued the direction I was headed at the end of 2008, I would be digging my grave with a fork and spoon.

I am not meant to be skinny. I am meant to be healthy. I am meant to be active. I am meant to be unafraid to live life. Loving myself unlocks all of these wonderful gifts for me.

ladywinter
01-30-2009, 03:39 PM
For me...fat acceptance is more about fighting the discrimination that goes on. Its about not letting people get away with making smug remarks, hurtful remarks to someone else. It is about helping people to realize we dont all look like supermodels...and we dont all want to. Gods save me from looking like that druggie Kate Moss.

We as a society need to realize that it doesnt matter what you wear, or where you live, or what size you are....that doesnt decide whether or not you are a good person. You decide.

People are too judgemental in my opinion. If someone is fat and happy..(.and I know its possible as 3 of my friends are over 300 lbs, have good careers as nurses, husbands and kids and would never entertain the idea of trying to lose weight, and would be offended if I suggested it) I say if they are fat and happy then more power to them. We each have one life to live and if that is how they choose to live theirs that is their choice and in my opinion doesnt give anyone the right to cut them down.

TraceyElaine
01-30-2009, 03:45 PM
Awesome thread! I have been thinking about this alot lately actualy. I have seen people in the media talking about the whold fat acceptance movement thing and I have for years heard friend and aquaintances boast about how thay are fine with being fat and that They will never change because there is nothing wrong with it. I myself think I am beautiful regardless of my weight. And I strive to be a good person on the inside.

That being said...I think that anyone who says that being obese is ok and that they have NO health problems and they face no challenges from being extreemly overweight is full of it. That might fool someone who was never overweight but we know better. I think people who have to use wheelchairs at the mall because they cannot support their own weight are not ok. I think that if you breath heavy from tieing your shoes it's not ok. I think that if you have to be cut from your home to go to the hospital it is not ok!

This generation is said to be the first generation of people to have a lower life expectancy than the one before. It has everything to do with obesity! The health risks are numerous and serious. My grandmother is 92. How many obese 80 year olds do you know? I have never seen any!! There is a reason for that.

Now on the other hand, I think that just because you are 40 lbs heavier than the average supermodel should not put you in the overweight department. We are and should be all different shapes and sizes. Curves are georgeous and they should be worshiped. And if you are skinny well good for you to. No one should be descriminated against for their weight or for any other health problem. It is simply wrong. Weight doesn't make you a good or bad person.

I think alot of these conspiracy theories about fat not realy being related to health problems and foolishness about obesity being promoted is foolishness! I think there are people who do not want to take responsability for their own lives and their own weight and they want to make it seem ok so they dont have to change.

But that's just my opinion.

Lyn2007
01-30-2009, 03:59 PM
What a wonderful bunch of thoughtful responses!! I am learning so much from all of you!

Thighs Be Gone
01-30-2009, 04:17 PM
For me my obesity was an outward sign of how imbalanced my life was and how I felt inside. Once I started taking baby steps to make myself a priority everything changed, literally overnight. I decided that I wanted to love me and would fight to get myself back to where I once was mentally and physically. I started going to bed at a decent hour. I began aking more care of my physical appearance and making better choices about what I was putting into my mouth. I also decided I would move more.

I am so glad someone posted this. Excellent topic.

Eiluj
01-30-2009, 04:29 PM
I care so much less about how I look than I do about how I feel. If I felt good, I wouldn't care that I'm fat, but I don't feel good. I can't read minds, so I can't tell how other people feel, so I won't judge their choices.

mandalinn82
01-30-2009, 04:41 PM
I have also often wondered if the health risks of being overweight are due to ONLY the weight, or are due to the unhealthy habits, such as inactivity, poor food choices, lack of portion control, etc that LEAD to that overweight.

Some might not think its so important a distinction (after all, you modify those habits, most people lose weight)...but to me it is. Are healthy habits the goal, or is the goal really to lose weight, and if so, what about the actual -weight- is dangerous? Clearly, this applies more in the "overweight to moderately obese" range, as there are real, physical ramifications to carrying around a morbidly obese body.

To use myself as an example, I am currently classified as "Overweight" (though actually, I'm a little more than 1.5 BMI points lighter than the BMI at which I'd have the lowest statistical chance of dying)...anyway, I do 5-6 hours of cardio and 2-3 hours of circuit-type strength training per week. I eat healthy, whole foods, in quantities that are very moderate. I don't eat HFCS or Trans fats, because I don't eat the processed foods that contain them. I eat tons of fruits and veggies and superfoods and fiber, and drink a ton of water.

All objective measures of my health are good to exceptional...cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin, blood pressure...and the blood sugar/insulin/cholesterol ones are particularly good, considering that I have PCOS and it is known to throw those things out of whack. My resting heart rate is 55, which is considered an indicator of really good cardiovascular fitness.

To get to a "Normal" weight range, I have to drop to 1200 calories a day, not just to lose, but to maintain. I have to start supplementing with vitamins and protein powders to get adequate nutrition. I know because I've done it before to hit my goal, just barely. And decided that, for me, it wasn't attainable.

I have none of the unhealthy habits that tend to lead to overweight...I have none of the signs, symptoms, or indicators of health problems due to overweight...I have test results that show me to be in excellent shape and I intend to remain that way through the rest of my life. But medically, I am considered overweight, and therefore am told to lose weight.

I have a really, really hard time accepting that I'd be "healthier" at a 1200-cal-a-day supplemented "normal" BMI than I am now. And I think part of the FA movement is about recognizing that, for different people, healthy habits will lead to different outcomes, and that judging folks BASED on those outcomes isn't OK. A doctor looking at my chart for the first time at my current weight told me "You're overweight. You need to cut out sugar and fried foods." He didn't know me. He knew nothing about my diet (or the fact that I haven't had a fried ANYTHING more than once a month for the past couple of years...). He made assumptions, based on my weight, about my habits and about my health. And I think that's backward.

Eh hem. I'll go ahead and step off my soapbox now :o

Schmoodle
01-30-2009, 05:01 PM
I tried FA when I was at my highest weight and had pretty much given up hope of ever being able to lose anything. "Okay, I thought, I'm just meant to be fat. Learn to live with it." Obviously I was not successful at FA because I gave it another try. And for me, finding something that worked was nothing short of lifechanging.
I always liked myself. I have a good marriage, great kids, a very good life, I am not depressed, and I am happy with my job. I'm not losing weight to fix anything in my life. And I don't fantasize that I'll ever walk down the beach in a bikini. I'm 46YO for Pete's sake, and a mother of three. I set my goal weight at my college weight, but I don't know if I'll ever make it there or if that's the right goal for me. I don't know if I'll ever buy single digit clothes sizes. I'm fine with it. I am healthier and happier than I was. I feel better. And yes, I think I look better too, and I enjoy it. When I get to the point in my life where I stop trying to grow and learn to be a better person, then I think it will be time to put me in the ground.

lottie63
01-30-2009, 05:10 PM
Wow I am reading your blog and it is so inspiring.

Good job! :D

Rosinante
01-30-2009, 05:26 PM
Hi. I'm a repeat returner to 3fc, feeling kind of embarrassed tonight at being back n fat.

By October 2004, I'd lost 107lbs, I went on holiday with a friend and had such a wonderful time, just feeling 'normal'. I get annoyed at myself for classifying myself as 'not normal' when I'm fat but that's how I feel.

I'm sad tonight when I think that's 4+ years ago, and I could have had all that time of normality, rather than just a steady climb back. Currently left my scales behind in the house I've just moved from but I'm estimating I'm back up to -20lbs off where I started.

My joints hurt, I have high blood pressure, fluid retention, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in my legs/feet, I walk like an old woman.

I'm really positive about Fat Acceptance - for others. I know some really big women who're really gorgeous, I know some really men that I just find really attractive - but me: I just feel little and dumpy.

I really respond to the people who say that being fat and not addressing it is symptomatic of feeling chaotic about life in general.
Yesterday and today I've been working at that and feel confident.

I still need to work on
1. Why have I not thought sooner that I deserve to look after my health better?
2. Why are others big and beautiful and I'm just fat old me? Why don't I think more of myself?

TraceyElaine
01-30-2009, 05:52 PM
I totaly agree with mandalinn in that the BMI isn't what it should be. I think the problem with FA lies in those (unfortunitly great number of people) who are beyond the obese and into the morbidly obese.

lottie63
01-30-2009, 06:06 PM
Hi. I'm a repeat returner to 3fc, feeling kind of embarrassed tonight at being back n fat.

By October 2004, I'd lost 107lbs, I went on holiday with a friend and had such a wonderful time, just feeling 'normal'. I get annoyed at myself for classifying myself as 'not normal' when I'm fat but that's how I feel.

I'm sad tonight when I think that's 4+ years ago, and I could have had all that time of normality, rather than just a steady climb back. Currently left my scales behind in the house I've just moved from but I'm estimating I'm back up to -20lbs off where I started.

My joints hurt, I have high blood pressure, fluid retention, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in my legs/feet, I walk like an old woman.

I'm really positive about Fat Acceptance - for others. I know some really big women who're really gorgeous, I know some really men that I just find really attractive - but me: I just feel little and dumpy.

I really respond to the people who say that being fat and not addressing it is symptomatic of feeling chaotic about life in general.
Yesterday and today I've been working at that and feel confident.

I still need to work on
1. Why have I not thought sooner that I deserve to look after my health better?
2. Why are others big and beautiful and I'm just fat old me? Why don't I think more of myself?

I know how you feel! I have been on and off this site for years. I have lost 70 lbs in teh past only to gain it all back plus packing on an additional FOURTY LBS. Augh. I am so disappointed in myself. I still remember the DAY my diet broke. march 9th 2004. I 'cheated' on my diet cuz it was my 9 year anniv with bf ( and I had recently started a medication that made me ravenously hungry ALL THE TIME) and i was so happy that day. I had my pic taken and I had just reached 190, 70 lbs gone, what i thought was forever. :( I was wearing something really cute and when we got into the hotel room I even ran around in bra and panties and felt pretty confident! THat was the last day I was on my diet and after that it was a steady climb upwards until I hit 299. WHat a shock, I thought I weighed 275 for starters!

That's when I knew it was time to do this for real. (I'm also off that medication now!) I plan on staying on this site as long as they'll have me, and hopefully someday I can join the maintainers forum. But I use thiss ite and the daily plate and they are forever for me (I even got the 'pay' daily plate) becasue I realize I just can not DO THIS alone.

Sorry to hijack the thread. So a bit more OT, I'd just like to say that a lot of people see others as beautiful at any size, I've always felt mosly good looking regardless of my size though I feel sometimes like I have the oppsite disorder of anorexics who see themselves fat, I see myself looking lots better than I really do! ha!

hautbois
01-30-2009, 06:07 PM
My personal thought is the FA movement was on the right track, but took it a bit too far. We shouldn't be victims of discrimination, but we cannot condone conditions that lead to ill health or death. That is irresponsible.


:yes: That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

kaplods
01-30-2009, 07:38 PM
I owe Fat Acceptance philosophy a debt of gratitude. I encountered "the movement" in the very late 80's or early 90's with two magazines called BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) and Radiance. Until then, I had been on the dieting rollercoaster, and only getting fatter with each go round.

The theory that dieting (at least crash dieting) was actually responsible for more weight gain than weight loss, was new and really struck home to me, because it certainly seemed true of my life. I decided to abandon dieting, and surprisingly neither gained nor lost weight. If I had found FA at 10 lbs overweight, instead of 250, who knows how my life would have been different.

One thing FA also helped me with, was the idea that as a person, I was entitiled, no matter what my weight to do the things I wanted to do. If that meant swimming, or bicycling or horseback riding (even if I needed to find a draft horse), my weight was not sufficient reason to avoid being active. I had not only the ability to swim in public, I had the right to swim in public. If anyone was offended by my fat body in a swimsuit, that was their tough luck, I was not obligated to "protect" them from the horror of looking at me.

WOW, I was a real person, with actual rights, and I didn't have to allow fat to prevent me from doing anything that the fat didn't physically prevent me from doing, and I found how very little that actually was.

Now, where I have a problem with the fat acceptance movement, is it's ties to fat dating, fat fetishists, and chubby chasers and the more ethically dubious feeders (usually men who get a sexual rush from watching their partner get fatter and fatter, even to the point of immobility). I wonder how far the NAACP would have gone if it had ties to dating services paring up non-african american men and women who wanted dating and sex with african americans partners, especially if some of those folks were interested in sexual activities that many african american people might find degrading.

I think it's the very ties to fat fetishism, that makes the thought of weight loss threatening to some folks in the Fat Acceptance Movement. If a major part of their activity is accomodating men and women who want fat partners, then weight loss results in a conflict of interest scenario.

One thing that has truly changed my life, though, which I cannot deny and must attribute to my experience with FA, is that the scale is no longer my god. The number is not important. I'm losing weight slowly, because weight loss isn't my primary focus (in the past, it was my only focus, and I would have and often did do crazy and unhealthy things to try and lose the weight). Health is my main focus. So, I worked hard to develop a healthy food plan, and compliance with my eating plan, and increasing my physical activity are my main goals. The thing is, when I focus on my eating and my physical activity, I do tend to lose weight (slowly, but lose nonetheless), but my worth is not, in any way, tied to my weight. I am not worth more as a human being, because I am fat, and I will not gain value for having lost weight.

I will always have a debt of gratitude for some aspects of the FA movement, but I don't think that at all means, accepting hook, line and sinker what some folks in the movement have to say.

I do think that many of the issues of the quite obese are very similar to those with mobility handicaps, so for example restaurants with narrow fixed-to-the wall booths, are not only the bane of the morbidly obese, they're not so great for older or disabled patrons with inflexible joints due to arthritis or other disabling conditions. Having seating that fits a wider variety of shapes, sizes, and flexibilities sure seems like a good marketing strategy. Whether changes occur through education or law, I'm not quite decided myself. I find it crazy for example, that the Texas Roadhouse restaurant that recently came into our area is required by law to provide handicapped accessible restrooms (at the back of the restaurant) and handicap parking spaces in the lor (at the front of the restaurant), and yet the restaurant itself has absolutely no tables for handicapped patrons -whether wheelchair bound, or even with one inflexible leg. All of the chairs are quite high bar stools and tables (hazardous if you only had a broken ankle), and the booths were all on a raised level (stairs, no ramp) and no room for a wheelchair at any of the booth tables - and on the main floor only the high stools, which means anyone in a wheelchair trying to roll up to a table would find the table at forehead height. So, if you're wheelchair bound, don't even bother coming into the Wausa Texas Roadhouse - in fact, you can't even stop in to use the restrooms, because even though there's handicapped restrooms - you won't be able to get to them, because the path between the tables from the door to the restroom isn't wide enough.

On one hand, I find it ridiculous that the restaurant has to provide parking and restrooms (but not access to the restrooms, or to the restaurant itself).

My husband and I were able to squish into a booth, but as we looked around and saw that my husband's stepdad wouldn't be able to get his wheelchair more than 12 feet into the restaurant, and would have no where to eat, we haven't gone back, and don't plan to even though we've lost more weight since our last visit and would fit in the booths or at the bar tables. We're choosing to vote with our wallets because the restaurant has made such a poor choice (in our opinion).