General chatter - What do you think of the "Fat Acceptance" Movement?




MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:10 PM
I didn't even realize there was a "movement" until a few months ago, so I guess I was hiding under a rock. I feel mixed about it. I don't accept my fat, but I do love myself...and yes I think that is possible lol I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!

At the same time, a movement toward accepting obesity as a lifestyle choice sort of appalls me as much as the Ana/Mia movement does (accepting anorexia/bulimia as a choice).

I wrote a post about it on my blog expanding on my thoughts if anyone is interested.

What do you think the 'movement'? Do you know anyone who is part of this movement? Are you, even though you are trying to lose weight?


WarMaiden
04-27-2010, 02:14 PM
I am obese. I am also perfectly healthy and quite physically fit. Obesity does not equate to disease or unhealth; if I decide to stay at this weight, that does not pose a risk to my health.

It is very important not to conflate obesity with disease. BMI is not a predictor of health, and that's one of the big messages of the FA movement.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:21 PM
We will just have to agree to disagree, as per policy!

I don't believe a obese person is at optimum health. I believe one can be obese and striving toward being physically fit, and I don't believe just because one is a 'normal' weight they are automatically healthy (lots of slim people are unhealthy!)... but it is hard for me to believe that one can be at optimum health and be carrying around 100lbs of extra fat.

JMO


eclipse
04-27-2010, 02:27 PM
But there's a difference between being not being at optimal health and being unhealthy, no? I don't know many people, obese or not, that are at optimal health.

cehrriins
04-27-2010, 02:29 PM
I agree with this to an extent. There are numbers more indcative of overall health than the one on the scale...like cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. But there does come a point where the number on the scale is so high that those other numbers are affected. Carrying extra weight can put a strain on lots of organs and muscles causing different health problems.

If I'm eating healthfully and excercising and weigh 200 lbs, I'm a lot better off than a sedentary person that eats greasy fast food every other day and weighs 130 lbs. Its about what you do, not really what you look like.

I also think it really, really, really sucks that overweight and obese people get picked on, made fun of, and just generally treated like poop because of their outward appearance. Whatever reason a person is overweight, they still deserve kindness and consideration. People that think we are not entitled to those things don't deserve those common courtesies themselves.

Getting off soapbox now.

motivated chickie
04-27-2010, 02:32 PM
I saw a Fat Acceptance demonstration in Philly awhile back and was quite pleased to see people I know at it. It was very fun. People dressed up in disco gear and danced up the Art Museum steps. People of every size was represented at the demo. I see the movement as accepting ourselves for who we are, no matter our size is.

I've been an activist in many different causes including disability rights so I appreciate how damaging stigma is. I think a lot of people would be surprised how much discrimination is out there against anybody who is "different." And one way to fight stigma is to reclaim the power and define the issue. Activists tend to be more loud and out front about things and do it on purpose because a lot of people aren't able or ready to speak out for themselves.

Fat acceptance is combating size discrimination openly and without hatred and judgement. It's not the answer for everybody, but I think they have something valuable to say.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:32 PM
I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!

Repeating that lest anyone think I said differently :)

WarMaiden
04-27-2010, 02:35 PM
My blood pressure is 104/62. That is low-normal.

My total cholesterol is 148 (normal). My HDL is 45 (borderline low-normal, but 2 years ago it was 25 so that's a vast improvement). My triglycerides are 69 (low end of normal). My LDL is 89 (normal). My cholesterol/HDL ratio is 3.3 (normal).

My nitrogen, creatinine, EGFR, and calcium are all normal.

My fasting glucose is 81--totally normal.

My protein, albumin, globulin, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST, ALT are all normal.

My sodium, potassium, and chloride are all normal.

My resting pulse is in the range of 60.

I can bike hard for an hour at a time. I can hike and climb. I can stand for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I can do hours of hard housework. I can lift weights (and do). I can do "real" push-ups.

Please tell me which part of all of that indicates to you that I am not optimally healthy. Could I be more athletic? Yes. But we are not talking about being athletic; we are talking about being healthy.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:39 PM
My numbers were all in that range at 315 and I could do everything you said too... can you explain what you are trying communicate? Having 150 lbs of fat hanging off my body is not healthy, no matter what my numbers indicate or what I can do :)

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 02:39 PM
There are many good things about the FA Movement that I appreciate...the idea that overweight or obese people should not face discrimination, for example, or the idea that BMI is an overrated measure of an individual's health (although it does tend to represent group trends, it isn't indicative for all people and is overused, IMO, in guiding goal weights set by the medical community), as well as the idea that people can eat well and be physically active and still be overweight or obese by BMI. These are all good points to get out there, as is the idea that the medical community needs to consider obese or overweight people in general, not just their weight status, when determining treatment plans or making diagnoses...I had severe knee problems blown off as "due to weight" when, in reality, they were due to a congenital defect and eventually required surgery. All of these messages are important to get out there, and I feel like the FA Movement is the only real movement doing so right now.

That said, links between obesity and poor health outcomes, in general, are pretty well established (of course, this is the same as BMI in a lot of respects, the trend may exist across a population but might not apply to individuals, who can maintain a higher weight without negative health impact, so whether obesity is contributing to health problems in any individual can't be determined based on that statistic alone...it's just a trend). And I have read some pretty worrisome things about members of FA Movements being discouraged, ridiculed, etc for deciding to attempt to lose weight (even by adopting healthy habits and exercise), especially given that for MOST people (not all, again, because its just a trend), losing weight into a lower BMI range will lead to better long-term health. So there are negatives as well.

roxmysox
04-27-2010, 02:44 PM
:) Interesting.

I'm 110% FOR the FA movement. Fact is, everyBODY deserves respect, and "fat hate" is the last acceptable discrimination. I'm fat, but I still want to look nice. I still want to be able to purchase clothing that fits my body, and I deserve to be treated kindly and with respect when out in public. I (speaking for all fat people, not just myself) deserve to find a good paying job without being discriminated against because I'm not a size 6. I could go on and on, but I doubt I need to, considering the audience.

Having said all that- yes, I am losing weight because I want to be the best ME I can be. I am more comfortable when I weigh 170-180 range, which is still "fat" for my height. I prefer the look and feel of what I consider to be a womanly body, and that body has more weight on it than most think is acceptable.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:50 PM
I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!

Annnnd gotta quote myself again just for clarity's sake...

WarMaiden
04-27-2010, 02:50 PM
Having 150 lbs of fat hanging off my body is not healthy

While it's your choice to decide whether or not that is what works for you, it's not your choice to decide for another person. That is the message of the FA movement. There are, to my knowledge, absolutely no scientific studies that have been done on completely healthy obese people--of longevity or health outcomes. We do not know whether or not there are actually health risks. The statement that "it is not healthy" is dogma, not fact.

Heck, a lot of doctors will still tell you that eating cholesterol will raise your cholesterol, when we know that is just not true at all now. Dogma.

At best, excess weight still puts stress on your organs and joints.

Also dogma. My joints are fine. So are my organs--as my numbers show.

beerab
04-27-2010, 02:55 PM
I believe that we shouldn't judge people on their weight, I believe we shouldn't make fun of people for being overweight. But I don't believe when someone (like myself) has over 50+ lbs of excess fat on them that they are perfectly healthy.

All my numbers are AWESOME. Everything falls within ranges, and I can even go for a run or cycle now- but I know deep down I'm not as healthy as I could be.

I think if people were accepting of overweight individuals and didn't go around making fun of them or putting them on diets from the time they are able to walk, then people would have less issues with food. How many of us have said we'd eat when we were sad or upset because we were told we were fat or because our parents put us on diets?

roxmysox
04-27-2010, 02:55 PM
Annnnd gotta quote myself again just for clarity's sake...

Yes, but it's counter productive. The FA's goal is to stop discrimination.

Founded in 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its forms. NAAFA's goal is to help build a society in which people of every size are accepted with dignity and equality in all aspects of life. NAAFA will pursue this goal through advocacy, public education, and support.

(not to imply that naafa is the only FA group, just the one I chose to quote)

So saying how do you feel about the FA movement, and then making it about something other than acceptance is confusing.

tryhardforlife
04-27-2010, 02:56 PM
Higher fat content, ironically, was linked to weaker bones, which are more prone to fractures. Really no getting around the damage you are doing to your body no matter how healthy you feel.

nelie
04-27-2010, 02:56 PM
I don't think we have any proof that there is a certain weight or body fat percentage that will give you optimal health as health is such a mixture of things. I do believe you can be overweight and healthy.

Although I will say excess weight can put stress on your joints as evidenced by the fact that I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at the age of 30. Although exercise has kept my knee issues at bay for the most part and I've even done things like running pain free. Of course I had to lose 150 lbs to do it :)

Each person's health is very individual and you can't say 'you are overweight therefore you are unhealthy' because that just isn't true. Health isn't black and white in terms of either you are healthy or you aren't. You can be in pretty good health with room for improvement but I wouldn't call you unhealthy.

Now there may be some issues that arise due to weight but a lot of health issues come due to your diet and lack of activity which can cause obesity and are things that are related to poor health. So is it a case that someone who is obese is automatically unhealthy? Or is it unhealthy habits that cause obesity and poor health? Also there are some genetic components to overall health as well.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 02:58 PM
We do not know whether or not there are actually health risks

What are your credentials?

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:01 PM
One:

I never said being a normal weight automatically made someone healthy.

Two:

I never said overweight people should be treated with anything less than respect.


I don't "accept" my fat. If the best person I can be is someone who stuffed herself up to 315lbs, I don't accept that. I won't.

Now someone is going to come along and assert that (most) people don't become obese by overeating and lack of movement...

abreezies
04-27-2010, 03:02 PM
I really feel the tension in this place. I thought we were all in this together and we came here for encouragement!! I do not feel that from this thread. It reminds me of people debating politics or religion...........

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Duplicate post.

Yeah I did think we were all in this together. I stupidly joined a site dedicated to weight loss and had the nerve to assert that being morbidly obese may be less than optimum for health.

My mistake!

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 03:10 PM
Everyone calm down :D

MyBestYear - you asked a question, "What do you think of the FA Movement", and you're certainly getting a wide variety of responses, based on all different perspectives. My own answer to your question was somewhere in the middle, and you have answers on either sides. One of the underlying notions in the FA Movement is that obesity is not necessarily the cause in and of itself of many of the health problems with which it is associated, so it's natural that that concept would be debated a bit as well.

It's OK to have different opinions on this (though I am going to move the thread over to "General Chatter" since it is less about support and more about discussion)...we're all coming from our own perspective. One of the great things about 3FC is the variety of viewpoints we have, even though we're all here for a common goal.

roxmysox
04-27-2010, 03:11 PM
Duplicate post.

Yeah I did think we were all in this together. I stupidly joined a site dedicated to weight loss and had the nerve to assert that being morbidly obese may be less than optimum for health.

My mistake!

I don't think it's like that at all. I'm sorry you feel that way, though. :hug:

Everyone has their own opinions, and this is a hot topic, especially for a group of fat chicks!

tryhardforlife
04-27-2010, 03:11 PM
Duplicate post.

Yeah I did think we were all in this together. I stupidly joined a site dedicated to weight loss and had the nerve to assert that being morbidly obese may be less than optimum for health.

My mistake!

Discrimination and knowing right and wrong are two different things. We all know the drawback of being overweight and I'm sure people who lose the weight are screaming because they want everyone to strive for the freedom being fit brings them. Some people just need a wake up call. It takes time. If you want to stay overweight you might be in the wrong forum.

nelie
04-27-2010, 03:14 PM
I think discussion about weight and weight loss is a good thing. We may have slightly differing opinions but that is how things go :)

We also have opinions based on our own experiences and of course some of the issues arise with the fact that things like BMI aren't a good measure of health but they are how we measure whether we are overweight, obese, morbidly obese or beyond.

And of course studies in terms of health and weight tend to be inconclusive although there are plenty of reasons to look at weight and weight loss.

For me, one of my own struggles is that I've lost 150 lbs and I'm happy with my weight even though I'm officially obese. And as I said before, health is a very individual thing much as weight is a very individual thing. Someone may feel disgusted if they weighed as much as me while I'm thrilled.

sweetcakes736
04-27-2010, 03:15 PM
To be honest, I have mixed feelings. I do think that people shouldn't be judged and any form of discrimination is wrong, whether is has to do with sex, color, national origin, sexuality, and weight. I find it sad that as a country we are so insecure with ourselves and instead of embracing differences, we belittle others to ward off our own sense of inadequacy.
People of size should not be made to feel inferior, but then again don't we dictate our own feelings?
Weight and health are two completely different issues, what body size works for one person doesn't work for another. We shouldn't try to put everyone in the same box, not only is it counter-productive...quite frankly it's boring.
I think if we just treated people, all people, the way we want to be treated, we wouldn't have a need of any acceptance movement.
I've met people in my life, smaller than me and bigger than me, but what makes a person beautiful and attractive isn't their outside, it's their inside.
Is being morbidly obese the optimum choice for health, well no but being an insensitive, crude jerk isn't optimum for health either.
It's all about what works for each person and as human beings, our real job is to embrace our fellow man, regardless of their color, sexual orientation or weight.
Just my thoughts

eclipse
04-27-2010, 03:16 PM
I'm not sure why you, OP, are getting so defensive because some people here disagree with you on a couple of things. The fact is, if you don't feel healthy the way you are, you can change it. Other people asserting that they are healthy at their current weight is not meant as an affront to you, nor is you suggesting that you are not healthy at your current weight an affront to anyone else. The problem is that there are many people that claim that, across the board, overweight people are not healthy, and that they are not healthy because of their obesity. However, correlation does not equal causation. What that means is that if studies show that overweight indivuduals are X times more likely to die of, say, heart failure it doesn't meant that those overweight people are more likely to die BECAUSE of their weight. They might be more likely to die because they eat more processed foods, or get less aerobic excercise, or are more likely to smoke, or any number of things. It could also mean that people who have heart problems become overweight in part because of those heart problems. In any case, none of that really matters to the issue of Fat Acceptance. As a PP mentioned, FA isn't about saying "all fat people are healthy" or "there are no risks associated with obesity." It's about telling people, in general, that a persons weight is none of anyone else's business. Since you stated that you don't feel like overweight people should be treated poorly because of their weight, then you agree with FA. To say otherwise is like women who say they aren't feminists, but think women should have the same rights as men.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:22 PM
Since you stated that you don't feel like overweight people should be treated poorly because of their weight, then you agree with FA

I don't agree choosing obesity is a healthy lifestyle choice.

kaplods
04-27-2010, 03:26 PM
I feel very ambivalent about only one faction of FA (the part that accomodates fat and feeder fetishists). I think the NAACP would have been in trouble if it had embraced white men interested only in having sex with non-white partners.

Finding FA though saved my sanity, if not my life. Learning that I didn't have to think about myself the way everyone else seemed to -the way I was taught to. Fat may not be great, but I am. Crash dieting was not healthy and was not a virtue. Getting the fat off by any means (even those that were extremely unhealthy and even dangerous) was not acceptable.

How much "extra" weight starts to cause health problems? How much IS "extra?" Does "extra" weight provide (or is it associated with) any health advantages?

I've found that these questions piss people off. Even a tiny bit "extra" (like 5 and 10 lbs) is often seen as a health concern, when there's no evidence that this is true. The leanest humans are not the healthiest. A study that found that slightly "overweight" people live longer than any other weight group was met with an outcry of angry responses to the study because it "encouraged" people to stop striving for an "ideal" weight (who the heck gets to decide ideal anyway? Well in this country the insurance companies, the fashion, movie and film industries and the tabloid media, apparently).

From the arguments used to criticise me most of my life, I've come to the conclusion that most people couldn't care less about health (except to use it as a weapon). No one cares that I'm not healthy - they only care that I'm ugly (to them). I'm "supposed to" feel crappy about myself and that's all that matters. Any time I am obviously happy about myself (having nothing to do with my fat) someone always has to point out that I shouldn't be happy because I'm fat (and sadly so often, the person throwing that argument is fat or was fat - and usually is female).

I can't help but think that when the ONLY legitimate argument against obesity is TRULY health, the obesity problem would be much easier to address. In the history of medical, psychiatric and mental treatment - success really only began when the stigma and judgments started to change. In the early years, addiction and mental health problems, people didn't seek treatment for fear of the stigma. It's almost like the predator's instinctive response - hide your weakness or your fellow predators will tear you apart. If you go further back, before medical treatment was common place (when illness was caused by "demons" or immoral living) people hid medical issues also.

You can't hide fat, except by hiding. It's no longer socially acceptable to hide away our mentally ill and handicapped relatives, but it is still socially acceptable for fat folks to be hidden. It's even encouraged. Fat people face some of the worst criticism when they're seen in public trying to do something about it. I've gotten more dirty looks, nasty noises and comments and outright hostility not when eating an ice cream cone, but when eating a salad ("who is she kidding," said very loudly), dancing (Gawd, she looks ridiculous), and when exercising or doing other activities that fat people aren't supposed to be seen doing.

I've even had women flirt with my husband in front of my face, because they think I'm no competition (My husband and I share a lot in common, he's also fat, extremely sociable and funny. It just shows that the stigma against fat men isn't quite the same as it is for women).

I've also been told in a variety of ways (enough times to be extremely saddened by it) that I'm "not like other fat people." Every time, it was meant as a compliment, but I see it as the ultimate proof of descrimination. Fat is so bad, that anyone who isn't lazy, crazy, selfish, stupid, incompetent and smelly is the "exception" to the rule.

I know many of you have heard this many times, but once, in response to my making a comment about being fat (I think it was about not being able to find nice business clothes in my size) a coworker told me "you're not fat."

I weighed nearly 400 lbs at the time, OF COURSE I WAS FAT. I started laughing (hysterical, pee yourself, laughing). My coworker got embarassed and snapped "you know what I mean."

Sadly, yes I do. Fat is such a horrible, terrible, evil thing to be that an intelligent, successful, funny, sociable woman had to be something else - certainly not (hushed whisper of horror) FAT.

Saddest of all, is the defensiveness with which our society reacts to the very idea of destigmafying fat. We're encouraged to be "tolerant" of most deviances (even unhealthy ones) except obesity. Jumping out of airplanes and swimming with sharks, sex "addicts" having unprotected sex with sexually transmitted diseases - these are all (proven by research) seen more sympathetically than obesity. Fat rape victims have the least "success" in getting their rapist's put away (I guess they were "lucky" to get any male attention at all). When a rapist gets more sympathy than a fat woman, something is terribly wrong.

The superficiality of the human race sometimes disgusts me (attractive rapists are more likely to be judged not guilty than ugly ones. Rapists that are more attractive than their victims even more so. I guess rape isn't that bad if your attacker is cuter than you are).

Sometimes people suck.

I can't dwell on the evil in the world, whether it's aimed at fat or something else, but I can fight it. I can stand up for myself and I can refuse to allow the world to convince me that I'm supposed to hate myself. I'm not going to do it, and I'm going to do what I can to help others not fall for the lies in that message either.

I especially hate though when "health" is used as a stick to beat someone with (especially when the beater has many lifestyle-induced health problems of their own).

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:29 PM
It isn't about hate for me though. I love myself lots - but I see my obesity as a result of not loving myself enough to care for my body -- so I don't *accept* that.

goodforme
04-27-2010, 03:32 PM
I used to work with someone who was militantly FA. She was overweight and completely happy with herself, her life, her choices. She was very hard to be around because when those of us who were being health conscious or even *gasp* dieting would be discussing things (our last weigh-in, our poor choices in clothing, etc.) she would make disparaging comments. "You should be happy the way you are, why do you think you need to lose weight, why are you worrying so much about something so stupid, etc. etc." We were all in the same boat, but she was HAPPY to be the captain of this vessel, and upset with us because we weren't as happy as she was.

To me it felt like she was discriminating against us.

I wish there was a SELF Acceptance movement. How many of us have said at a lower weight or even a perfectly healthy weight, "I hate my thighs. I hate my stomach. I hate my __________!" It's almost as if we, as women, are pre-programmed to hate our bodies and be ashamed of them no matter what we look like. That's what I'd like to see change. . .:?:

sweetcakes736
04-27-2010, 03:33 PM
Ok, so maybe the question should be...what about yourself didn't you like so much you abused your body, mind, and spirit to get where you are?
I had to ask myself the same questions, so I'm not asking out of spite or anger or trickery.
For me, I'm a rape survivor and being big provided me safety.

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 03:37 PM
She was very hard to be around because when those of us who were being health conscious or even *gasp* dieting would be discussing things (our last weigh-in, our poor choices in clothing, etc.) she would make disparaging comments. "You should be happy the way you are, why do you think you need to lose weight, why are you worrying so much about something so stupid, etc. etc." We were all in the same boat, but she was HAPPY to be the captain of this vessel, and upset with us because we weren't as happy as she was.


This is the thing about the FA movement that makes me most uncomfortable. It's a WONDERFUL message to say "Regardless of your size, treat your body well and love yourself - you can be healthy even if you don't adhere to a media ideal, and your self-worth isn't determined by your weight". But it gets ugly when that message turns into "If you want to lose weight you don't love yourself enough"...which to me, was the opposite of my experience...I first realized that I was worthy/good enough at my highest weight, that I had value, and then I decided that I was SO valuable that I was worth taking better care of.

Shytowngal
04-27-2010, 03:49 PM
If being overweight is good for you, and you are healthy then why do you (and me) continue to lose weight? I do agree that EVERYONE should be treated with respect and equal rights whether they are healthy or not.

Once a doctor said this to me, "look around at an old people's home full of 90 year olds, you'll see plenty living that still smoke, you'll see plenty with cancer or Alzheimer's, but you wont see one that is obese..."

Not sure how accurate he was, but that stuck with me for some reason.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:50 PM
Ok, so maybe the question should be...what about yourself didn't you like so much you abused your body, mind, and spirit to get where you are?
I had to ask myself the same questions, so I'm not asking out of spite or anger or trickery.
For me, I'm a rape survivor and being big provided me safety.

I'm exploring those questions daily :)

eclipse
04-27-2010, 03:51 PM
I don't agree choosing obesity is a healthy lifestyle choice.

Yes, you've said that. I'm just not sure what that has to do with the Fat Acceptance movement in general.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 03:51 PM
warmaiden - i'm not sure i really understand your position fully. you say that you are in optimal health and physically fit. so why are you here? why are you trying to lose weight at all? if your current body shape and fitness is perfect, i honestly don't know why you're trying to lose weight or coming here to 3 fat chicks at all. :?:

eclipse
04-27-2010, 03:52 PM
I feel very ambivalent about only one faction of FA (the part that accomodates fat and feeder fetishists). I think the NAACP would have been in trouble if it had embraced white men interested only in having sex with non-white partners.



This is something i completely agree with. I think there are some people who claim to be part of the FA movement that are just as bad as anyone else when it comes to judging people based on their weight.

eclipse
04-27-2010, 03:54 PM
Once a doctor said this to me, "look around at an old people's home full of 90 year olds, you'll see plenty living that still smoke, you'll see plenty with cancer or Alzheimer's, but you wont see one that is obese..."

Not sure how accurate he was, but that stuck with me for some reason.

I saw plenty of obese old people at my grandma's nursing home.

ThicknPretty
04-27-2010, 03:57 PM
I agree with the basic message of the fat acceptance movement (or how I perceive it), that people should not be discriminated against or treated poorly because of their weight. I would rather the movement be identified more as a Body Acceptance, though, and include those of all weights and body types.

I strongly disagree with the statement that one can be obese and in great health. I’m sorry, that is just my personal standpoint and just as I feel free to disagree with others, they can feel free to disagree with me. (This does not mean that I believe that the obese person in the room is by default the unhealthiest.) Excess weight is exactly that…excess. It is unnecessary, useless baggage and pressure on our bodies. I do believe that being overweight inhibits natural body functions and prevents a person from reaching their utmost potential health. I’ve been obese and am now considered overweight. And I have seen great improvements in my overall health and I believe that I will continue to see those as I lose the last 20 pounds.

Most people are not as healthy as they could be. We all have things that we could improve on and areas that we need to work on. This goes for those of us who are overweight or obese and those who are underweight or considered a normal weight.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 03:57 PM
This is the thing about the FA movement that makes me most uncomfortable. It's a WONDERFUL message to say "Regardless of your size, treat your body well and love yourself - you can be healthy even if you don't adhere to a media ideal, and your self-worth isn't determined by your weight". But it gets ugly when that message turns into "If you want to lose weight you don't love yourself enough"...which to me, was the opposite of my experience...I first realized that I was worthy/good enough at my highest weight, that I had value, and then I decided that I was SO valuable that I was worth taking better care of.

Beautifully written post. ITA.

nelie
04-27-2010, 04:02 PM
warmaiden - i'm not sure i really understand your position fully. you say that you are in optimal health and physically fit. so why are you here? why are you trying to lose weight at all? if your current body shape and fitness is perfect, i honestly don't know why you're trying to lose weight or coming here to 3 fat chicks at all. :?:

I don't think she ever said she was in optimal health just that she was healthy.

also, many people want to lose weight regardless of health and even to the detriment of their health. Weight loss and health are not synonymous.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 04:09 PM
My blood pressure is 104/62. That is low-normal.

My total cholesterol is 148 (normal). My HDL is 45 (borderline low-normal, but 2 years ago it was 25 so that's a vast improvement). My triglycerides are 69 (low end of normal). My LDL is 89 (normal). My cholesterol/HDL ratio is 3.3 (normal).

My nitrogen, creatinine, EGFR, and calcium are all normal.

My fasting glucose is 81--totally normal.

My protein, albumin, globulin, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST, ALT are all normal.

My sodium, potassium, and chloride are all normal.

My resting pulse is in the range of 60.

I can bike hard for an hour at a time. I can hike and climb. I can stand for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I can do hours of hard housework. I can lift weights (and do). I can do "real" push-ups.

Please tell me which part of all of that indicates to you that I am not optimally healthy. Could I be more athletic? Yes. But we are not talking about being athletic; we are talking about being healthy.

(bolding mine)
that's the part i was talking about. i mean, it's just confusing to me.

eclipse
04-27-2010, 04:09 PM
Excess weight is exactly that…excess. It is unnecessary, useless baggage and pressure on our bodies. I do believe that being overweight inhibits natural body functions and prevents a person from reaching their utmost potential health.

Well, I do think there's an evolutionary advantage to having the ability to use calories efficiently and store fat. All us 3FC chicks would be rocking it in a time of famine or back in the hunter/gatherer days :lol::D. Obviously, that's not the reality that we're dealing with right now, but looking at it that way makes it a lot more clear why some of us have a very hard time shedding pounds we don't want or need. We're fighting against our bodies' natural inclination to hang on the every gram of fat. Evolution is a tough thing to undermine. My body, at least, really fights against consuming at a deficit for more than a few weeks at a time.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 04:12 PM
it seems to me that the FA movement would actually be MORE about health than about attraction, appearance, etc...that's what is confusing to me. accepting fat/obesity as another beautiful body type in an aesthetic sense. but to say that obese bodies are optimally healthy, i don't know. i mean - if you do believe that...that you (general you) are optimally healthy at an obese weight, then really the ONLY reason to lose weight would be for aesthetic reasons...and that seems to be MORE against the FA movement than doing it for purely health reasons. am i making sense??

nelie
04-27-2010, 04:16 PM
(bolding mine)
that's the part i was talking about. i mean, it's just confusing to me.

I think those are all valid questions to ask. What makes someone healthy vs unhealthy? What are our indicators of health? If someone who is obese has indicators of health, why would someone immediately say they are unhealthy?

I can't speak for WarMaiden but I think in general people tend to throw around 'if you are overweight, you are unhealthy' quite a bit. What real evidence do we have?

Also, people want to lose weight for various reasons and we also have plenty of people on this site who have lost a lot of weight and are maintaining that weight loss. Beyond that, I've heard plenty of people say something to the effect that they don't care if they are healthy, they just want to be skinny so weight loss isn't always about health.

tryhardforlife
04-27-2010, 04:17 PM
This is the thing about the FA movement that makes me most uncomfortable. It's a WONDERFUL message to say "Regardless of your size, treat your body well and love yourself - you can be healthy even if you don't adhere to a media ideal, and your self-worth isn't determined by your weight". But it gets ugly when that message turns into "If you want to lose weight you don't love yourself enough"...which to me, was the opposite of my experience...I first realized that I was worthy/good enough at my highest weight, that I had value, and then I decided that I was SO valuable that I was worth taking better care of.

Reminds me of the Tyra Banks backlash when was so proud of her big behind and then lost weight. Hmmm.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 04:18 PM
just to clarify - i definitely agree with you that weight loss isn't always about health. my own journey with weight and weight loss has historically been more about UNhealth than health. and i also agree that there are plenty of people who are thin and unhealthy. i am not obese, but i am also not even close to optimally healthy.

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 04:23 PM
I want to add that not all people who are part of or believe in the FA Movement believe that any attempts to lose weight are bad. NAAFA's official position statement on "dieting" is against it, but they appear to be using "dieting" to mean commercial products and programs with low success rates that are undertaken for the express purpose of reducing weight, regardless of health. I'm not sure what the official position would be on doing something like I've done, changing my food patterns to involve whole, less-processed foods that empower me to exercise and make me feel better, and yes, also resulted in weight loss. What NAAFA appears to be opposed to is the weight loss INDUSTRY, which sells a viewpoint of fat people as lazy/universally unhealthy/ugly to sell more products that, ultimately, don't statistically result in long-term weight loss/maintenance anyway.

Some NAAFA members or others associated with the FA movement may have the viewpoint that any weight loss, even if done healthfully with healthy motives is bad. I don't believe that's the majority opinion in that group.

QuilterInVA
04-27-2010, 04:35 PM
I also can't believe an obese person is healthy. They are a walking time bomb. If a person wants to remain obese, I think they should have to pay for the privelege with higher health insurance costs.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 04:39 PM
Like I said in my original post, I have mixed feelings. I do accept that there are people of varying shapes and sizes in the world and I do accept that people deserve kindness regardless of their size (skin color, etc).

I don't accept that an obese lifestyle is a healthy one. I don't believe a slim body is indicitive of a healthy body either (by default).

I just don't believe our bodies were designed to be obese. Yes, we have the ability to store fat in times of scarcity (not unlike hibernating bears) but to embrace said fat as a healthy lifestyle choice doesn't hold weight with me (no pun intended).

Sure, all your numbers may be "healthy" and you may be obese. My mom has smoked for 40 years and does not have lung cancer. I used to lay out in the sun for hours and don't have skin cancer. I drove without my seat belt as a young kid and am still alive. I drove drunk a couple of times in my late teens and am still here.

Yet, most of us agree that tanning, smoking, riding in cars without seatbelts and getting behind the wheel drunk are not exactly lifestyle choices that lend themselves to optimum health and longevity.

Just because my numbers were okay at 315 lbs doesn't indicate health. To me, carrying around 150 extra pounds is not healthy no matter how I slice it just like smoking a pack a day wasn't healthy even though I hadn't gotten lung cancer.

I am not about hate. I love myself immensely. Enough to get real with myself and admit that I wasn't created to settle. I wasn't created to 'get by' or to 'beat the odds'. I wasn't created to 'accept' my obesity as a "healthy" lifestyle choice. I am not talking about 5 extra holiday pounds that come off every spring. I am talking an entire person.

kaplods
04-27-2010, 04:43 PM
I also can't believe an obese person is healthy. They are a walking time bomb. If a person wants to remain obese, I think they should have to pay for the privelege with higher health insurance costs.

They do. In fact, if they're trying to self-insure or are insured by a small employer they pay a far, far higher cost than the proportional increase in actual health-care costs (to offset the obese folks who are getting a "deal" as a result of group-rates from their employer).

My husband has a friend who is "obese" by the insurance charts. If he had to self-insure he would pay "obese" rates, even though this guy is not overweight at all. In fact, I've seen this guy in shorts without a shirt and he's super-buff (every muscle built up and clearly defined, six-pack and all. Any more muscular and you'd suspect steroids). He's all alpha-male uber-athlete. There's not an ounce of extra fat on this guy, but the insurance company would treat him as if he were obese.

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 04:43 PM
I also can't believe an obese person is healthy. They are a walking time bomb. If a person wants to remain obese, I think they should have to pay for the privelege with higher health insurance costs.

Just to further the discussion, what if that person eats a varied diet of nutritious foods and gets physical activity daily, but still falls into the medical category of "obese"?

The FA Movement generally promotes a concept of "Healthy at Any Size" - basically, that everyone should undertake healthier habits, eat a varied diet, get some exercise - but that making those changes won't bring everyone to a medically non-obese weight. Contrast this with the view of the diet industry, which is promoting a message of "fat is bad, so get thin no matter what unhealthy things you have to do to get there".

In other words, would we, as a society, be better off promoting good health habits and leaving weight out of it, knowing that some people would lose weight with healthier habits, and some would remain overweight or obese, but everyone would be healthier overall?

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 04:48 PM
I agree somewhat, but I don't think you can be "healthy at any size". I think you can begin healthy habits at any size. I think by definition of how our bodies are made, if an obese person is eating nutritious food at reasonable portions and moving regularly, they are going to lose weight. It might be slowly, 3 lbs a month even, but you're going to eventually get to a non-obese place barring serious medical issues.

I do agree though, that striving for health at any size is a great thing. I just think one can't be obese and doing the things above without seeing a downward trend in size/inches.

I guess I am not articulating correctly. I don't understand how one can remain obese and maintain they are eating reasonable portions of healthy food and exercising regularly (without losing steadily, no matter how slowly).

Because if you are truly living a lifestyle of "healthy at any size" I would think your size would be slowly reducing, it seems like pure science would dictate that.

ANOther
04-27-2010, 04:52 PM
:) Interesting.

I'm 110% FOR the FA movement. Fact is, everyBODY deserves respect, and "fat hate" is the last acceptable discrimination

HIJACK Um, can we kinda give this trope about "anti-X is the last acceptable form of discrimination/prejudice" a rest? I Google "last acceptable prejudice" and in addition to fat-ism I get hits on Catholic-bashing, Mormon-bashing, other flavors of Christian-bashing, atheist-bashing, homophobia, age-ism, mental illness-ism, physical disability-ism, southern accent-ism, suburban-ism, even ginger-ism (red-hair prejudice, the latter a British issue probably tying into Anglo-Saxon prejudice about red-headed Celtic peoples). In other words, whatever group the speaker happens to belong to, trait they boast or issue particularly close to their heart, and has truly been or has felt discriminated against or is defensive about, will be deemed by that speaker to be the target of the Last Acceptable Prejudice. If we ever get rid of anti-fat prejudice, society will just replace it with anti-skinny prejudice instead, and there will be a thread about the Society for Skinny Acceptance on 3 Skinny Chicks Trying to Bulk Up. Someone will always find something to be prejudiced about. Take a look at the link below:

http://kateharding.net/2008/06/10/quick-hit-racism-and-victory-daps/

I'm not defending any kind of prejudice, and I think we full-figured gals have the right to be seen as attractive as anybody else, even as we strive for health and fitness (the point I trust the Fat Acceptance people want to make) END HIJACK

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 04:59 PM
I guess I am not articulating correctly. I don't understand how one can remain obese and maintain they are eating reasonable portions of healthy food and exercising regularly (without losing steadily, no matter how slowly).

Because if you are truly living a lifestyle of "healthy at any size" I would think your size would be slowly reducing, it seems like pure science would dictate that.

Not really. According to science, I've pretty much wasted away to nothing by now. :rofl: I eat almost all whole foods, exercise an average of 9 hours a week, cook every night, get plenty of veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains, and eat about 1500-1600 calories a day. That got me out of the "morbidly obese" category, but I had to actively restrict calories, to the point that I could no longer consistently get through my workouts, to get my body into the "overweight" BMI range (down to the 1200-1300 range). To get into "normal", and I've done it, I have to cut calories to a point that I start losing hair and can't get all of my nutrients in (1000-1100), or exercise more than 15 hours a week. My current weight is a precarious balance between eating enough calories to keep my body from eating its own muscle and few enough that I stay in the "overweight" range.

Given that experience, it is not surprising to me that people could adopt healthier habits and not lose weight, quickly or at all. Our bodies are all different, and respond differently to calorie restriction, hunger, etc.

WarMaiden
04-27-2010, 04:59 PM
I don't accept that an obese lifestyle is a healthy one.

I'm obese. I'm also, as I posted proof of from a blood draw done last week, 100% healthy. I would bet money that I live every day in a way that is more healthy than approximately 99% of Americans.

Tell me exactly how I am not healthy?

Just because you cannot believe it (because it's been drilled into your head by the culture) does not make it not true.

As to the question of "why I am here," I am at 3FC because sometimes the information here has been useful to me. I did not change my life 2 years ago in order to lose weight (primarily), I changed my life in order to become healthy. I could remain healthy and not lose any more weight very easily. Losing weight is, in fact, quite difficult for me--despite my extremely healthful diet and very active lifestyle.

Any weight loss that I seek now is about athletic performance and vanity. It's not about health for me, because I am already perfectly healthy.

Renwomin
04-27-2010, 05:17 PM
This is a really charged issue. I'm not comfortable embracing my own weight mostly because of the poor lifestyle I was leading that led to this weight. On the other hand obesity in and of itself is a poor indicator of health and studies are increasingly showing this fact.

I just read this article that had good supported arguments on both sides.
Is the Fat Acceptance Movement Bad for our Health? (http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/01/06/fat.acceptance/index.html)

Please read the articles for the exact studies but in a nutshell the points from studies and medical professionals were:

Being overweight is generally bad for your health especially your heart.

But...

Studies have shown that being FIT is a better indicator of health than being THIN.

(Barry Franklin, Ph.D., the director of the Cardiac Rehab Program and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.) says that studies have indeed shown that fit overweight or obese people have cardiovascular mortality rates that are lower than thin, unfit people.

On the other hand...

"Obesity is probably the only risk factor that has such a global negative impact on so many risk factors for the heart,"

and

Franklin says that people who are overweight or obese already have one strike against them in terms of heart health, and need to compensate by monitoring other factors like exercise, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

Studies are showing that being physically active and eating well is more important to our health then being thin. The perception that thin = healthy, overweight = unhealthy is quite frankly... wrong. The focus should be on exercising and eating well no matter what the size. The medical community and our society shouldn't jump to conclusions just based on weight alone. As well the fact that BMI may be an easy way to track sweeping trends in health it is a horrible and inaccurate way to track health on an individual level.

Beyond the health issue, treating anyone with disrespect based on how they look is just wrong. We should have all learned this in kindergarten right? But for some reason fat jokes and bashing seems to be acceptable in our society.

I usually have problems with the extreme fringes of any activist movement regardless the cause. (Feminism, environmentalism, gay acceptance, fat acceptance, racial movements etc..) Unfortunately these are the individuals that often get focused on to discredit the whole movement.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 05:18 PM
I did not change my life 2 years ago in order to lose weight (primarily), I changed my life in order to become healthy.

right - because at your heaviest weight, you were UNhealthy. and as you got healthier, you lost weight. or conversely, as you lost weight you got healthier.

Any weight loss that I seek now is about athletic performance and vanity.

right, that was my other point. about it being more about aesthetics than health.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 05:24 PM
What I am wondering now, Sarah, is what force in the universe dictated to you the ability to determine exactly what has been drilled into me by culture?

Sure, you may be an obese picture of health. You have chosen to believe that, just as you choose to believe that society is the one telling me (and not common sense and life experience) that being 100+lbs overweight is not healthy.

Given that we are both exercising our freedom of choice here, I still choose to believe the contrary and will continue to 'accept' health and to 'choose' to strive toward a healthy BMI.

mandalinn82
04-27-2010, 05:31 PM
Again, another "general discussion" type question, not an argument. We know that a propensity to resist weight gain or rapidly gain is at least partially determined genetically (twin studies have found this repeatedly - here's one from 1986 (http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/256/1/51.pdf)). Now obviously, environment plays a role as well. We all know both people who can eat a LOT and not gain weight and people who eat less and maintain a higher weight (my FIL and his partner are one example...partner can PACK AWAY food and has never had over a 30 inch waist, while my FIL eats the same foods in smaller quantities and struggles with his weight). So here we have a situation where the risk for an potentially expensive health outcome (obesity) is raised by both genetic and environmental factors.

Another health outcome that might fall into that category is breast cancer. Some people carry mutations on the BRCA1 gene, which raises their risk of lifetime ovarian or breast cancer astronomically, to around 50% risk of each. Of course, lifestyle factors do play a role in development of breast cancer as well (not having children, not breast feeding, alcohol use, weight, etc), and some people get breast cancer without having a mutation in BRCA1 or 2, for reasons we haven't quite nailed down yet.

To me, it's hard to understand the difference in saying "you need to pay more for your insurance because you're overweight, and though that might be due in part to genetic factors, lifestyle is involved too and you're too risky to insure" and "you need to pay more for your insurance because you have a BRCA1 mutation, lifestyle may be involved too, and you're too risky to insure". Of course, it's illegal to raise insurance rates on the basis of a positive BRCA1 genetic mutation test, which makes me feel like a bit of a double standard is being applied with obesity (maybe because the exact genes involved haven't been fully identified, and obesity appears to be polygenic and is a more complex issue).

I guess this is what I'm asking - what makes obesity (influenced by genetics AND environmental factors) so morally different than any other disease influenced by both, so much so that an entire industry has evolved to shame people who are fat into losing weight by any means necessary?

I think this is the point of NAAFA - that someone can do everything "right", eating and exercise-wise, and still be a higher weight. So even IF obesity alone were enough to cause negative health outcomes (and I do agree with previous posters that this hasn't actually been confirmed...we have correlational data, but no data proving causation), wouldn't eliminating the shame and focusing on the healthy lifestyle habits that we all have control over make more sense than setting arbitrary standards of a "good weight" and telling people to get there, no matter what, and shaming them if they fail to acheive that standard?

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 05:34 PM
I think you are very reasonable in your points -- but I guess we should determine what we mean by "higher weight". I agree with your examples if we are talking a size 6 woman compared to say, a size 12 -- that can be a variety of environmental, health, genetic, body-type, hormonal issues that can create a situation where they are both living similar lifestyles and 'settling' at different weights.

I still can see no possible way though, that a size 6 woman and a size 26 woman (most factors similar) can be eating and living the same lifestyle (without the larger woman losing or the smaller woman gaining on either side). I don't think anyone's body naturally "settles" at like 275 or 300 lbs if they are living a healthy lifestyle.
That's just my opinion.

mmm324
04-27-2010, 05:36 PM
I think you are very reasonable in your points -- but I guess we should determine what we mean by "higher weight". I agree with your examples if we are talking a size 6 woman compared to say, a size 12 -- that can be a variety of environmental, health, genetic, body-type, hormonal issues that can create a situation where they are both living similar lifestyles and 'settling' at different weights.

I still can see no possible way though, that a size 6 woman and a size 26 woman (most factors similar) can be eating and living the same lifestyle (without the larger woman losing or the smaller woman gaining on either side). I don't think anyone's body naturally "settles" at like 275 or 300 lbs if they are living a healthy lifestyle. That's just my opinion.

ITA

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 05:49 PM
I just wanted to come in and apologize for my part in 'heating up' the thread. Many of us clearly have strong personal opinions on the subject of fat acceptance, health, and what it means to be healthy. My intention was not to alienate anyone or hurt anyone's feelings (if I did that, I am sorry).

I think we can all agree no one should be treated inferior due to their size and that every one is deserving of kindness. I hope we can all come together in other threads in support.

nelie
04-27-2010, 06:01 PM
I still can see no possible way though, that a size 6 woman and a size 26 woman (most factors similar) can be eating and living the same lifestyle (without the larger woman losing or the smaller woman gaining on either side). I don't think anyone's body naturally "settles" at like 275 or 300 lbs if they are living a healthy lifestyle.
That's just my opinion.

I also think that there are a lot of factors. When I was 25, I weighed 360 lbs, went to Jenny Craig and followed the plan strictly as well as exercised intensely for an hour, 5 times per week. In the first 3 months, I lost 30 lbs and was eating 1800 calories. I then proceeded to lose nothing for 9 months. It was frustrating and I really had a lot of experiences of my body settling at 330.

Fast forward 4 years later, I was diagnosed with PCOS and put on BC pills, started eating healthier and lost 75 lbs in 3 months zooming past my 330 mark. Now of course the question is really was it truly my hormones? It seems hard to believe but that was the only difference I could attribute. Throughout my weight loss I had 'stuck points' for various reasons even one around 280 which was similar to my days in Jenny Craig but eventually my body responded.

Right now, I'm on a self imposed plateau although I exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. My only real issue is portions. Even though I'm happy where I'm at, I do want to lose more weight. I am currently a misses size 14/16 which really was my primary goal of getting out of plus sizes.

beerab
04-27-2010, 06:30 PM
I guess I am not articulating correctly. I don't understand how one can remain obese and maintain they are eating reasonable portions of healthy food and exercising regularly (without losing steadily, no matter how slowly).

Because if you are truly living a lifestyle of "healthy at any size" I would think your size would be slowly reducing, it seems like pure science would dictate that.

Definitely doesn't work this way for me. I started out eating low fat and higher carb, was on a diet put together for me- and did not lose any weight. Well I take that back- in two-three weeks I lost 8 lbs, then for 6 months not one more lb. I worked out, I ate 99% perfect (sure I'd have a meal out once a week). I literally became afraid of food.

Finally I changed doctors, got a nutritionist, and she told me my eating was perfect for a "normal" person- but because I have PCOS I'm eating all wrong. She then put me on the South Beach diet and I started counting carbs. Since then the weight has started to finally come off. It's been slow but it's finally going.

Great discussion btw :)

Lol to the "you aren't fat" comment btw.

EZMONEY
04-27-2010, 06:32 PM
Boy if I started this thread it would have been closed long ago! ;)

Just a thought for one of you....

True story....there is a gal here at 3FC...she has not posted on this thread...I remember her always saying how healthy she was, even over 300 pounds, and talked about all the things she could do...even being obese...she is pretty young....

well...WHAMMO...type 2 diabetes hit her....not so healthy anymore....

even had to take drastic measures to get the weight off...

Fight On! :D

WarMaiden
04-27-2010, 06:43 PM
True story....there is a gal here at 3FC...she has not posted on this thread...I remember her always saying how healthy she was, even over 300 pounds, and talked about all the things she could do...even being obese...she is pretty young....

well...WHAMMO...type 2 diabetes hit her....not so healthy anymore....


:rolleyes:

The fact that I have, up thread, posted scientific evidence from a recent health test (last week!) showing that by medical standards I am perfectly healthy...and that many of you seem to continue to maintain that I am fooling myself...is downright insulting.

Type 2 diabetes does not "just hit someone." While it may seem sudden to the sufferer, the fact is that type 2 diabetes is preceded by years of worsening blood-sugar control.

I have extremely good blood sugar control--my fasting glucose is 81 and my A1C (as tested last year) is 4.6. I am not about to be "just hit" by type 2 diabetes. I might be about to be "just hit" by a bus...but...so could any of us.

I am both fat (obese by BMI) and completely healthy. This is fact.

If I was not consciously making an effort to lose weight by restricting calories, then I would not be losing weight, despite eating perfectly healthy and getting lots of activity. This is fact--it's called "maintenance," and I did it last year for 6 months.

It's really very tiring to attempt to have a discussion with a group of people who seem to be unable to acknowledge fact.

EZMONEY
04-27-2010, 06:56 PM
WarMaiden I am happy for you that you are healthy...and I sincerely mean that.

I want all of us here to be healthy...

fat or not!

kaplods
04-27-2010, 07:44 PM
What bothers me isn't the "fat is unhealthy" argument, it's the way it's used as a weapon and an arbitrary one at that. If you're "beautiful" by current standards (especially if you're wealthy too), you will be praised (and copied) for whatever you are doing to create/maintain that beauty, even if it's dangerous and life-threatening. When liposuction had a higher death rate than wls (at a time when wls had a death rate higher only than open-heart surgery) the demand for liposuction exceeded the number of doctor's trained in the procedure (death rates rose before they dropped). And for the most part, the early liposuction patients were not overweight, they just didn't like the distribution of the healthy amount of fat they did have.

For most of my life, the ways I went about trying to lose weight were extremely unhealthy, and yet I was never criticised for those methods - the feeling seeming to be (and still existing today) that it doesn't matter how risky the method - losing the weight rapidly without regard to the risks is the only "admirable" way to lose weight (anything else is lazy). I didn't learn a successful, sustainable way to lose weight until I was more concerned with the method than the resut. It wasn't until I stopped worrying about the number, and started working on the healthy habits that the weight came off in a way that I could keep off.

It also didn't come off until I was not ashamed of myself. Shame only helped me do crazy things for a short time, it never helped me take care of myself.

Healthy at any size may be a delusion, but it's a delusion that helped me make real and sustained progress for the first time in nearly 40 years. It was only when I focused on the behavior and not the weight that I saw success that I could maintain.

The reason is very clear. When only the number matters, you only work when you can see the results. If you're eating healthy and exercising and the weight isn't coming off fast (or fast enough to meet your expectations), you tend to think "well, this isn't working."

More people abandon diets because they feel they're failing than because they really are. It isn't that weight loss isn't happening, it's that it isn't happening as fast as it "should" (and the should is judged by all of the crazy diets that promise those kind of results - which is essentially every one that is popular. Slow-weight loss diets are never popular weight loss diets).

De-emphasizing weight was the most important thing I ever did for myself. Followed closely by refusing to "hide" by letting social pressure keep me from swimming, bicycling and in general existing in "public" and social settings.

I still get occasional stares and comments that clearly express a belief that I am participating in an activity in which I am clearly not welcome. The social pressure against any woman with an imperfect body swimming, is a personal pet peeve. When I see even tiny women mortified at the idea of wearing a swimming suit, it feels like a knife being twisted in my gut. The best (and sometimes only safe) exercise on the planet for a morbidly obese person is considered the most off-limits socially.


You can't tell me that concern over our "health" is the motivation behind fat hatred. If it were, a fat person in a swimming suit would receive cheers, not jeers.

But that doesn't happen, does it?

eclipse
04-27-2010, 08:12 PM
What bothers me isn't the "fat is unhealthy" argument, it's the way it's used as a weapon and an arbitrary one at that.
(snipped by me)

You can't tell me that concern over our "health" is the motivation behind fat hatred. If it were, a fat person in a swimming suit would receive cheers, not jeers.

But that doesn't happen, does it?

This, exactly. It doesn't matter if having a high BMI or body fat percentage is healthy or not. People use "concern for health" as a reason to put down and/or discriminate against those who are obese. I've never seen/heard a skinny person being made fun of for eating an unhealthy meal. I had a work friend years ago who was tiny. She was under 5 feet tall and probably under 90 lbs. She existed on diet coke and hostess snack cakes and chips and candy bars. I never once heard anyone give her grief over what she ate - but I heard tons fo people say how "great" it was that she could stay thin. If she had been 200 lbs, I have no doubt that there would have been snickers, and "doesn't she know better?", and "fat pig" comments. If it was really about health, there wouldn't be that discrepancy. If it were about healthy, people wouldn't make moo-ing sounds out the window if they see an overweight person out jogging, etc etc.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 08:27 PM
So if someone doesn't subscribe to "fat acceptance" they are "fat haters"?

How extreme.

I don't accept my fat. I don't have to accept or not accept any one else's fat because they are the ones who have to live their lives carrying around all that extra weight. I am only called to treat others with decency and respect, hopefully with kindness - regardless of their size.

I can accept myself without accepting my fat. My fat is not who I am.My fat is a badge of pain, hiding, fear, and years of using food as a way to escape, celebrate, dull pain, express emotions, stuff emotions.

Why in the world would I accept that? Accepting myself is separate from accepting my fat. Accepting myself means I love myself enough not to hurt myself anymore.

Yeah, my 'numbers' are all good too. I want more than just 'beating the odds'. I want more than just 'getting by'. I want more than just a number on a blood test result. I want to live to my full potential - without 100lbs of extra baggage.

Concern for health may not be at the root of fat hatred but it sure as Shirley isn't behind fat 'acceptance' either imo, ....but like I said, there is a world of thought in between the two extremes... and I don't like to live in extremes.

...and if one truly accepts themselves, then dirty looks at a swimming pool is something I imagine wouldn't be an issue. I went to the beach twice this weekend in all my 275 lb glory. People probably thought whatever, but I didn't even notice. I am too concerned with myself and my journey now to notice or care if susie hot pants thinks I am too fat to be on the beach.

That's acceptance, to me. Acceptance of self without accepting my fat -- because I am 100% committed to releasing it even though I am okay at the beach in a bathing suit and all my tests are 'healthy'.

EZMONEY
04-27-2010, 08:36 PM
I have a question....

We ALL know that many skinny people are unhealthy! Smokers...junk food eaters etc...no reason to even argue that...

but....

When I see a person that is skinny I usually don't think much about it...although I will admit to notice someone that looks maybe anorexic...but I will also justify it in my mind they may just be skinny by genetics...

but when I see a person that is fat...I just think they are FAT!...and how sad it must be for them to be that way...at the same time wondering if my gut is sticking out far enough that I am noticed as being overweight...

a feeling I do not like at all :mad:

dang beer belly ;)

I guess my question is this...

If you are overweight What do you think when you see someone else that is overweight...and I mean those that are obese and not just needing to lose a few pounds.

MyBestYear
04-27-2010, 08:51 PM
If you are overweight What do you think when you see someone else that is overweight...and I mean those that are obese and not just needing to lose a few pounds.

Truthfully, I don't think much ... I guess I am wrapped up too much in my own journey to speculate on other people too much. Of course, I notice, but there is no negative judgment attached to it for the most part. Sometimes if I see someone who is seriously obese, like even having trouble walking and such, I feel really sad. I try to tell myself that they are trying to get healthy and they may have already lost 50lbs! I don't know their business so I dunno where they are at exactly in their journey.

Sometimes I feel judgmental (which makes me feel bad) but I realize that judgment is about ME and a reflection on how I used to feel about myself, not about them.

Mostly though, I am focused on other thoughts/plans/my own journey/my family to notice too much.

Renwomin
04-27-2010, 09:15 PM
So if someone doesn't subscribe to "fat acceptance" they are "fat haters"?

How extreme.



That isn't wasn't what was said at all. In fact, I had to go hunt and search to try to find what you might have been referring to. What was being addressed was the people that feel it is alright to be openly cruel and mean to people who are overweight. You've already agreed that this is not okay, right?

This discussion has really stirred some things up in people. But this is likely an indication that we all have issues we need to work on. (I've always found that when something makes me really angry there is something else going on.) I've always been pleased that 3FC has been a very supportive environment. We all have our differences of opinion but we are a very diverse group. Tone and intent behind text can so often be misconstrued. I truly just hope the discussion continues in a positive way.

ParadiseFalls
04-27-2010, 09:22 PM
While I feel sort of appreciative that someone is sticking up for "my kind," I acknowledge that A) Being fat isn't healthy any way you spin it and B) It's my own fault that I got this way. Now, if by "fat acceptance" someone means saying a size-14 woman can be beautiful, I'm all for it. But 5'5" 300 pounds is not ok. Ever.

eclipse
04-27-2010, 09:56 PM
MyBestYear, I think some of us are getting out wires crossed and not understanding each other. I see from your posts that you're talking about fat acceptance on a personal level. That's not what I'm talking about and I think a lot of others here aren't talking about that either. I really don't feel much different than you do with regard to my own body. I don't judge my own worth based on my body type, but I also am not happy with my body. I accept my fat in terms of "this is how I am, right now and there's no other way I can be in this moment" but I would not be happy to be this weight for the rest of my life. The fat acceptance movement, however, is not about individuals accepting their own fat (if your definition of "acceptance" is thinking their body is the best it can be or that fat is better than not fat). FA is about social change, and the social acceptance of people who are chubby, heavy, fat, fluffy, obese, etc. Now, as an OP stated, there are individuals within the FA movement that have negative opinions about those who want to lose weight for any reason, but I don't think the movement as a whole supports that.

ninepaw
04-27-2010, 10:48 PM
MyBestYear, I think some of us are getting out wires crossed and not understanding each other. I see from your posts that you're talking about fat acceptance on a personal level. That's not what I'm talking about and I think a lot of others here aren't talking about that either. I really don't feel much different than you do with regard to my own body. I don't judge my own worth based on my body type, but I also am not happy with my body. I accept my fat in terms of "this is how I am, right now and there's no other way I can be in this moment" but I would not be happy to be this weight for the rest of my life. The fat acceptance movement, however, is not about individuals accepting their own fat (if your definition of "acceptance" is thinking their body is the best it can be or that fat is better than not fat). FA is about social change, and the social acceptance of people who are chubby, heavy, fat, fluffy, obese, etc. Now, as an OP stated, there are individuals within the FA movement that have negative opinions about those who want to lose weight for any reason, but I don't think the movement as a whole supports that.

THIS. 100%.

I don't think the majority of people would ever tell someone to just accept thay they are fat. Let's face it - As a whole, society would prefer it if we all dropped the pounds!

But not everyone is going to make that descision for themselves, because some people are blessed(And I do mean blessed) enough to feel totally okay with themselves in their own skin... Even if it holds an extra 20... 50... 100 pounds or more. Some people... Are just happy being themselves. And some aren't, but don't know how to change it. But neither of these two groups should be ridiculed or put down for the way they are... And THAT, I believe, is the true message of the FA movement. :smug:

kaplods
04-28-2010, 12:50 AM
Something that isn't often taken into account is that some of the most popular ways to lose weight, often contribute more to weight gain than weight loss. If you're "doing it wrong," the harder you try, the fatter you get.

In a very real sense, I "dieted my way" to my highest weight. I stopped gaining weight nearly the moment I embraced fat acceptance rhetoric (which at the time was very much focused on HAES (eating whole foods, being active and letting your "natural" weight emerge).

I looked forward to my BBW magazine every month, because I found articles about fat and very fat athletes. Women participating and even teaching aerobic exercise, hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding, swimming, dancing, bicycling and even jogging (personally I think jogging is irresponsible at morbidly obese weights, but it was still great to see people not afraid ot be seen doing something active).

I was exposed to the idea that crash dieting caused more weight gain than loss, and it sure seemed true for me. When I stopped crash dieting, I almost immediately stopped bingeing and I stopped the gain/loss cycle. I didn't really lose weight, but I didn't gain either. I suspect that I would have been a normal weight or only slightly overweight if I had never dieted in the way that I was taught (which was primarily crash dieting). If I hadn't been forced onto the roller coaster of crash dieting at the age of 5, and put on amphetemines at age 13, I think course of my weight and health would have been much different.

It's easy to say that a fat person should have enough confidence in themselves that they shouldn't care what people think of them in a bathing suit - but if no one has confidence in you from the time you're a "worthless, fat kid" it's pretty hard to have confidence in yourself.

I was very lucky in that I excelled in school, made friends easily, was exceptionally creative and funny (escaping bullying by making fun of myself before the bully had a chance to), but I still learned early what people expected of me where weight was concerned and I internalized a lot of those messages.

Swimming was the one athletic activity where I could excel and actually compete successfully with "normal" peers, so I was willing to endure the "death march" to the water. Once in the water I felt safe, because even if someone did say something nasty I didn't have to hear it, if I was swimming.
I don't know why I was able to overcome the social pressure to stay out of the water, because I wasn't able to overcome all of the other activities on the fat people shouldn't list. My mother convinced me that I would injure a horse if I tried to ride one (at 11 and about 200 lbs). She had her own "fat people shouldn't list" ingrained in her so deeply, she had to burn it into me too, regardless of the cost.

My husband is fond of saying that "people are sheep." It's a kind of nasty thing to say, but it's true too. We learn how to treat ourselves and other people by the way we are treated. If we're taught that we are stupid, lazy, crazy, and worthless - we will believe it. It's how the human brain works. "Majority rules," if almost everyone thinks it, it must be true.

My journey to treating myself better runs parallel to my learning that I deserved better and that the common opinion isn't always the correct one. Exposure to FA inspired me to begin that journey. Even though I thought I was a pretty cool person most of my life, I still compartmentalized the fat. I was intelligent, hardworking, ambitious and highly motivated in all areas of my life except my weight. When it came to my weight, I believed the social hype - I was lazy, stupid, crazy, greedy... all the things I was taught to think about fat people and as a result turned on myself (it's why fat people actually have the WORST sterotypes against fat. It's a common finding in the research that fat people hate and hold more stereotypes about fat than even thin folks do).

How can any of expect to be respected if we've not been taught to respect ourselves? And fat people are not taught to respect themselves. They're taught to hate themselves until they become thin enough to be worthy of respect and kind treatment.

I haven't kept up with the arguments of the FA. The last time I belonged to NAAFA was in the early 90's. At the time, the push was to stop crash dieting, stop eating processed foods, and get out in the world and MOVE. HAES didn't mean that you tried to stay fat, it meant that you could improve your health and start participating in healthy behaviors NOW, not just after you'd lost 20 lbs, or 50 lbs or 200 lbs.

Oddly I still see people reacting to a fat person having any kind of life as proof of the person is immoral or crazy. If fat persons (woman persons especially) are seen enjoying themselves in any way they're "deluding themselves into thinking fat is ok." Any fat person who stands up for his or her rights in any way is a weirdo who loves being fat.

My mother was mortified that I dated when I was fat, because I was only going to "get" a guy who would try to keep me fat. Even after marrying a man who outweighed me (which was finally ok only because I was too old to be picky at 35) I was advised that I wouldn't be able to "keep him" unless I lost weight (even if he didn't lose weight. A fat man is often still seen as a better catch than a fat woman).

The wrong ideas about fat have to be combatted, so that people aren't afraid to be seen, aren't afraid to try to get healthy, aren't afraid to participate in life until they become acceptable.

I learned the hard way that putting your life on hold until you lose the weight doesn't help you lose it. Only by living your life can you make progress in chaging it. "On-hold" never works because it fosters depression and depression fosters hopelessness and hopelessness and change are mutually exclusive. You can't change if you don't believe that change is possible.

And we are social creatures, the more people who believe IN us, the easier change becomes. Working in social service most of my adult life, I've learned that it's universally true. Whether it's a career criminal trying to go straight, an addict trying to get clean, a smoker trying to quit, or an obese person trying to lose weight - the more people you have supporting your intended change, the more likely you are to succeed.

Often fat people have very few people truly believing in them. As a society we don't have much faith in people's ability to change (but most especially in regard to fat). We don't hear "you can do it," nearly as much as we hear "you haven't succeeded yet, what makes you think you can succeed now."

I would suspect that 3FC members are more successful than those without such a support network simply because the folks here are saying "you can do it," not "who are you kidding Fatso!"

Glory87
04-28-2010, 02:50 AM
In an odd synergy of timing, I'm currently reading Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere - Stop Dieting and Declare a Truce With Your Body (http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Fat-o-sphere-Dieting-Declare-Truce/dp/B002SB8PJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272437294&sr=8-1). The book begins by emphatically stating that diets and lifestyle changes never work and it's literally impossible to lose weight and keep it off forever, so don't even try. Of course, I don't agree with that.

Otherwise, it's a pretty enjoyable read.

MyBestYear
04-28-2010, 08:48 AM
I refuse to take the world view of a victim. My fat, once I became of an age to do something about it -- is as a result of my choices. I am not fat because someone didn't believe in me, or because someone hurt me. I am fat because of my own choices. I can hold those beliefs and still love myself. Because of my personal convictions and belief system, I don't look to the world to validate me (except in my weaker moments).

I refuse to look at the world as some sort of war against fat people. Sure, there are some jerks (what else is new) but by and large, we can choose who we surround ourselves with and who we allow into our personal lives. Even at my highest weight I didn't adopt a world view that says fat people are the 'untouchables' of the world. That hasn't been experience at all, (except in middle school where I couldn't choose my peers) because I didn't allow myself to choose that experience.

I guess my issue with 'movements' of this kind is that along with promoting an alleged 'you go girl, beauty at any size!' attitude, they simultaneously support and encourage a victim mindset -- everyone is against you, the world hates fat people, poor you, you can't help it, if you attempt to lose weight you truly hate yourself and you're weak if you can't just be happy as you are.... They simultaneously remove personal power as they 'claim' to build esteem. They simultaneously tell you that you *aren't* your weight by making the movement all *about* your weight.

and I don't align with that. It just doesn't feel empowering to me at all, but obviously experiences vary.

ThicknPretty
04-28-2010, 09:01 AM
I kind of have to say, I agree with what most of MyBestYear has said.

It boggles my mind that someone would be so adamant that she is the picture of health and obese. That’s such a contradiction. If your organs and bones and joints could speak…they would probably ask for some relief, as would mine. I’m 24 years old and it makes me sad to think of the wear and tear I’ve put on my body by being overweight for the past 8 years or so. Why have unnecessary strains on your body? To prove a point?

I’ve struggled to learn to accept my body for what it is and to appreciate the things that are beautiful about it in spite of my weight struggles. I try to be positive, but I am never going to be the one on the podium, defending my right to be fat because to me, that’s ridiculous. Of course I have the right to be fat…I have the right to cut all my arms and legs off too, if I wanted, but why would I? Make a list of the ADVANTAGES of being overweight...

I think the very basic idea of Fat Acceptance is a good one. We should all be tolerant of each other; we should all have the same opportunities and be treated equally, regardless of our size. No one should be ridiculed or mocked or excluded because of their weight. But, then again, our society tends to work in cruel ways…most people have been left out or made fun of at one point or another and it’s not always weight related.

EZMONEY
04-28-2010, 09:10 AM
Things said here kind of reminded me of watching an Oprah show many years ago with my wife...

she had a lot of heavy people on and the point of the show was to be happy with yourself....be content in who you are....

I agree with that...but it seemed the focus was it's OK to be heavy/fat/obese....

Then for years we all know the attempts Oprah has made trying to lose weight...

complicated :dizzy:

kaplods
04-28-2010, 10:48 AM
Everyone's experience is different, because my experience with FA in the 90's, helped me gain more control over my life, not less

The message "you are not your weight, and you do not have to use your weight as an excuse to avoid living. You do not have to hide your head when others make fun of you, they are wrong, not you." Those messages weren't out there before.

Taking back my body and taking back my life out of the hands of social pressures led me here, not away. I would still be trying to lose weight by the inefective methods I was taught. Without FA, I'd probably weight 700 lbs today.

beerab
04-28-2010, 11:00 AM
I think the very basic idea of Fat Acceptance is a good one. We should all be tolerant of each other; we should all have the same opportunities and be treated equally, regardless of our size. No one should be ridiculed or mocked or excluded because of their weight. But, then again, our society tends to work in cruel ways…most people have been left out or made fun of at one point or another and it’s not always weight related.

I agree 100%. I think FA is great- I think more people need to be understanding of overweight people. Personally when I see someone who is overweight I don't have "negative" thoughts towards them- but I do feel "bad" for them. I think it's cuz I project my own feelings onto them and wonder if they struggled like I have.

I agree our society is cruel- I know for a fact there are jobs I didn't get because of my weight. No matter how great of a candidate I was- my weight was more important than my skill set.

MyBestYear
04-28-2010, 02:26 PM
Everyone's experience is different, because my experience with FA in the 90's, helped me gain more control over my life, not less

The message "you are not your weight, and you do not have to use your weight as an excuse to avoid living. You do not have to hide your head when others make fun of you, they are wrong, not you." Those messages weren't out there before.

Taking back my body and taking back my life out of the hands of social pressures led me here, not away. I would still be trying to lose weight by the inefective methods I was taught. Without FA, I'd probably weight 700 lbs today.

I hear you Kaplods :hug: I think there is a general agreement in this thread that the message I bolded is a very positive one. I guess my issue with the FA movement has to do with the fringes of the group. The messages that I don't feel are at all positive or productive (or to be honest, truthful) toward obese people.

Telling someone they are just swell the way they are is not always conducive to positive change. Now, I am not suggesting shaming or berating someone is the way either. It isn't!. However, I think there is a middle ground between

''You're wonderful, you are doing nothing unhealthy, obese people can be perfectly healthy (their whole lives), never change!"

and

"You won't be worthy unless you lose weight"


I think to me, that middle ground is where I am. Yes, I am wonderful, I love myself, God gave me so many blessings and traits that I am extremely proud of and happy about and grateful for.... but obesity is not one of the 'gifts' I was given.

It is a self-inflicted condition born of the inability and unwillingness to control myself, regulate my food intake, or direct my emotions in a healthy way. I can say that and still love myself. Loving myself and admitting the truth are not mutually exclusive. Saying that isn't berating myself, it is just a fact of life, and getting real about that instead of living in denial is very freeing to me. I am worthy [of love] regardless of my size, no one can give that to me and no one can take that away without my permission. Being thin doesn't give me worth, being obese doesn't remove it no matter what society says. Society tells me that admitting my lack of self-control or self-discipline is a weakness but I reject that because I don't answer to society. I answer to God. The 'weakness' lies in the denial and perpetuation of traits and activities that are unhealthy, not in admitting I have them and seeking positive change.

LabMonkeyGirl
04-28-2010, 02:41 PM
I think that you can be overweight and have perfect bloodwork and stats. Very likely, you're probably still young and your organs are capable of keeping up with the extra strain/extra calories coming in/etc. I see a lot of overweight 50 and year olds, who are fine with good bloodwork, but I think your body becomes more stressed with the added weight when you become elderly. I don't necessarily know a lot of obese people with problems at 55, but when they get older, the extra weight becomes a big problem. Suddenly, the body isn't as good as handling an excess of, well..everything. I know a lot of people develop health problems when they become elderly, but I think a more physically fit person with more proportionate weight for their frame would have a better chance at better health.

For a person who is 200 pounds and 5 foot 5, are they going to maintain this weight, or steadily put on more weight? We all seem to gain as we get older, so I would think overweight folks would be in more trouble more quickly if they didn't watch.

Are some people naturally at a setpoint of 200 pounds and 5'5? Doesn't it seem just a bit excessive for such a short person? How much muscle can it really consist of, unless you're a bodybuilder. It's an EXCESS.

I know that there are a ton of obese elderly people in nursing homes, but maybe they wouldn't necessarily be in a nursing home if they were in better shape. I'm not saying obesity will hurt your life expectancy, but I think it will hurt your quality of life in the longrun.

Here is website to look up all of the published literature on obesity:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

Correlational or not, do you really want to take the chance?

belezura
04-28-2010, 03:44 PM
Here is MY point of view!

How many fat people you think are truly healthy?
I can understand that maybe some of them have all the “perfect” numbers. But is it true for EVERY SINGLE one?
It is the same case that someone who smokes and don’t have (yet) lung cancer. That one person seems fine, but would it be true for EVERYONE who smokes? And it doesn’t mean that because you didn’t develop health issues so far you will ALWAYS be this way. If you keep smoking and is health now, you have a lot more chances do develop lung health issues down the road, than someone who doesn’t smoke.
It seems just logical...
At the same time I think that any individual has the right to choose to be health or not. You choose if you want to smoke or not, just like you also have the right to choose to eat health or keep weight on or not.
In my case I was an unhealthy obese (the 142 at my signature is the weight I was when I started my last journey of losing weight. I've weighted way more than that). I was overweighed because I was lazy and didn’t care about what I eat at all... and I was constant in “miracle” diets...
I am not ashamed to say that if I choose to change my lifestyle it wasn’t because of my health (it obviously improved, which was a bonus to me). I choose to lose weight because I didn’t like the way I looked and the way I lived. I few much better now when I go to the store and can finally choose what to buy because it looks gord on me and not to bring home clothes that only fit me. I didn’t like them, but I had no choice, because they were the only one they had on my size.
You can all call me vain... I don’t care... I have the right to be vain too... and have the right to want and enjoy being thin, just like I think everyone has the right to want to be fat, despite of it being healthy or not.
And I don’t think anyone has the right to mock or make fun of anyone because of their looks, race, religion, etc...
We all already have our issues with life as it is and we don’t need any more pressure from the society...
My point then is that we should be happy with whatever we choose to be and should not be afraid of being picked on because of our choice.

Hope my words don’t hurt anyone... I repeat: They are just MY point of view on this subject!

goodforme
04-28-2010, 03:55 PM
My weight is such a personal thing. Nobody can look at me and think, "That girl is the picture of health!" Nobody can look at me and think, "I want to look JUST like her!" either.

My problem with the whole "society decides who is beautiful" and fat girls ain't it, is that so many women and young girls who ARE beautiful people inside and out, believe that they aren't because they are different.

I don't love my fat. My fat is an integral part of myself, just like my eyelashes, I've had it my whole life and I've come to the point in my life where I can truly say: I love myself, but in not loving myself for many years, I have abused my body. Now my body is something I am NOT proud of, and not accepting of.

But the FA movement should not be about loving yourself just the way you are, and damn the consequences. It should be about promoting individuality and getting away from the idea that the perfect body resembles nothing more than a matchstick. We don't have to abuse ourselves to be perfect in society's eyes, BUT we should not abuse ourselves to continue being obese if we are not happy in that state.

kaplods
04-28-2010, 09:49 PM
Just like other civil-rights organizations, FA gets judged by the fringes. Just as gay rights has been and often is judged by ACT UP, and animal rights has been judged by PETA...

The extreme always gets the attention, and the moderates are judged by the fringe. Even low-carb is judged by an extreme example of diet (all-bacon-and-eggs-no-vegetables) so extreme that very few people follow that version of the diet, and yet all of the low- and moderate- carb diets are judged by the fringe.

In my short experience with NAAFA, the people I actually met (and there weren't nearly enough for me to say even at the time that they were representative of the whole group) held moderate view points. I suspect that's still true today. But the moderate viewpoint never gets the attention. Only the extreme "nut-case" version ever seems to get the spotlight.

Even this discussion proves it. It isn't the whole of the movement that is being criticised, it's the fringes. There's so much criticism of the fringes, that on the surface it seems like many folks are willing to thow the baby out with the bathwater. Reject the logical arguments because they're coming from (some people within) a group of people (some of) whom are also making illogical arguments.

I think the group has to be judged as you would any person or groups of persons - case by case, argument by argument. Even the most intelligent and wisest people on the planet still say stupid stuff occasionally. No one ever speaks only wisdom, some crap comes out of the minds and mouths of even the smartest, wisest among us.

I know that all of my beliefs are not true. I can't tell you which ones might not be, because to believe them by definition I assume them to be true. However I change my mind on topics often enough to know that I've been proven (to my satisfaction) wrong in the past, and probably will be in the future.

It just saddens me that everything from the group (and ones similar to them) is often dismissed because of the few irrational beliefs expressed by representatives (or bad examples) of the membership.

juliastl27
04-29-2010, 12:35 AM
i just skimmed most of this very long thread, so forgive me if im touching on points that have already been covered.

first of all... WOAH. i had no idea this was such a touchy issue and im glad i realized that before i just posted my initial reaction. but... a few things.

#1. being obese is NOT good for your health. this is why when we all started a healthy lifestyle, we lost weight. it doesn't mean that you can't be healthy AND obese, but they somewhat depend on each other. people leading consistently healthy lifestyles (with no health problems or medications that cause obesity) will probably never get obese.

#2. its pretty absurd to say you're healthier than an average weight smoker. obviously you probably are. but the average weight non smoker is also healthier and has less risks for health problems than we do.

#3. no one will ever say that being obese is beneficial to health. it increases risks of many health problems. as someone mentioned, even though you don't have diabetes or sleep apnea, neither did all the other obese people who got them, until they did. its the same as a smoker saying, i can breathe fine and i don't have lung cancer.... add the word *yet* to the end of their sentence.

#4. spitting out numbers and saying things like, "well im more healthy than my thin friend", is pointless. did you decide to change your habits so you could be healthier than your chain-smoking friend? or did you decide you wanted to be as healthy as you could be? if you chose the second option, stop comparing yourself to others. yes thin people smoke, yes they eat junk food, yes they drink and do drugs. they'd be healthier if they didn't do those things. and we're healthier by losing weight.

having been obese myself at one point, i think its awesome that these people are comfortable with it and loving themselves. i couldn't do that, i hated being fat. i give them congratulations and hope they do whatever makes them happy. but theres a difference between doing what makes you happy and what is the healthiest choice for you. the facts have been presented, and being obese gives you more health risks than being thin. sure, being thin and smoking/drinking/eating crap also gives you health risks, but that wasnt the subject of the post. the subject was about people who ARE obese, not our thin friends or other people we know who eat garbage. there's no gray area here. being obese just isn't as good for you as not being obese.

im not trying to add fuel to the fire here, im just saying what i think and im not sugar coating.
/rant.

kaplods
04-29-2010, 02:05 AM
"Being fat is awesome and healthy" is not a majority opinion of the Fat Acceptance movement. That's a minority opinion of only a few folks (who unfortunately get a lot more camera time than the less controversial majority who are just saying that fat-harassment isn't right and it needs to be addressed).

I'm tired of hearing people advising "use it as motivation" when they're being bullied. Being bullied is not acceptable. "Using it as motivation to show the bully" JUSTIFIES the bullying (see it was good that I tortured that fatty because it inspired her to lose weight). NO, NO, NO!

Mistreatment of the obese shouldn't be seen as acceptable, justifiable or positive in any way. It is none of those things, it is just plain wrong, and it needs to be openly addressed, independently of the health issues.

Whenever abuse is ignored, it grows. Whether it's child abuse or cyber-bullying of children, or snickering at a fat person in public.

For the most part, we're taught to "ignore" bullies when it comes to certain topics (fat being not the only one, but one of them). There's a great deal of evidence form research studies that ignoring bullying and other antagonistic behavior does not decrease the behavior it reinforces, rewards, increases it. It's true in kindergarten and college (I've only seen the research in terms of academic arenas, but I suspect it's true in stalking and harassment cases as well) Those who report or retaliate against bullies, are bullied less than those who ignore it. So don't ignore it.

When someone name calls or otherwise harasses a person, they're rewarded when they're not punished. Ignoring a bully tells the bully that what he or she is doing is ok. The more people who ignore it, the more "ok" the behavior is.

It's nice to hear someone say once in a while "don't ignore abuse and discrimination, fight against it."

It's going to take me a long time to get this weight off, and I will not be treated like a subhuman mutant until I manage to be "acceptable" for the rest of the world to look at.

I've found that standing up for myself, having confidence I do teach others how to treat me. I have received most of what I've demanded. I've stood up to bullies (and most have backed down), but there are a lot of people much smaller than I am who are too afraid to do that. Some are virtual prisoners in their own homes, because they're afraid of the judgement they might receive (and their fears unfortunately aren't entirely groundless - it's very possible they will be teased, laughed at, or even harassed if they go out and do things that are "unusual" for a person of their size to do).

mandalinn82
04-29-2010, 02:25 AM
there's no gray area here. being obese just isn't as good for you as not being obese.


I would agree with this, in most cases, in morbid obesity. But I do believe that the "healthy weights" of some people, the weights they would acheive with healthy amounts of exercise and a healthy eating plan, can fall anywhere from "underweight" to "overweight", and maybe into the lower BMIs of "obese" as well. One of my previous posts mentioned my own history, so I am a bit biased, but I couldn't get out of the "obese category", and couldn't even maintain "normal", without being less healthy than I am in the overweight category at maintenance. Granted, I have a fairly extreme body type (I'm built pretty thickly). But it was very, very hard for me to resist the temptation to do things I knew were unhealthy so I could have a "normal" BMI...at 1100-1200 calories, I couldn't get through my workouts without getting dizzy, but at over 1200 calories, I maintain a weight in the "overweight" range. I do believe I am healthier than I would be if I had forced my body into a normal BMI, but the pressure to hit that "normal" range did affect me, even with my healthy habits, into contemplating making changes that were unhealthy to get more loss.

One other problem that I have is that our society makes obesity SO terrible/punishable by ridicule/socially unacceptable, people are pushed into doing unhealthy things to attain a normal weight...starving or ridiculous fad plans. Behaviors those people might do to be actually healthier (swimming, jogging, and other public activities) can lead to mocking. Even attempts to eat more healthful foods can be met with ridicule. I don't believe that someone who starves themselves down to a healthy weight is automatically healthier than they were when obese just because they have artificially forced themselves to a lower weight without actually undertaking healthy habits.

I think that the core of the FA movement is about these issues...going with healthy habits, living your life without discrimination, and seeing where your weight goes, instead of doing unhealthy things to meet a certain body standard.

MyBestYear
04-29-2010, 02:20 PM
The one running theme in this thread that really doesn't resonate with me at all are terms like,

obese people can't do such and such because fear people will make fun of them

or

people are pushed to do this or that

or

obese people can't do this or can't do that, or whatever

No one forces anyone to feel a certain way or forces anyone to choose a certain thing, or to do or not do anything -- except when people are LITERALLY forced to do something (held up at gunpoint or attacked etc). When you are of an age where you can make your own decisions (so I am primarily focusing on adults here), any situation you are in of your own will, and any feeling you choose to nurture, is your responsibility.

No, no one deserves to be made fun of or ridiucled and everyone deserves to be treated with respect....

but if you *are* made fun of, you absolutely can choose how to feel about that and whether or not you are going to nurture that pain or choose another (and happier) feeling or experience.

For the most part, we're taught to "ignore" bullies when it comes to certain topics (fat being not the only one, but one of them). There's a great deal of evidence form research studies that ignoring bullying and other antagonistic behavior does not decrease the behavior it reinforces, rewards, increases it. It's true in kindergarten and college (I've only seen the research in terms of academic arenas, but I suspect it's true in stalking and harassment cases as well) Those who report or retaliate against bullies, are bullied less than those who ignore it. So don't ignore it.

The research Gavin DeBecker cites in his books refutes this statement (just off the top of my head).

I can't honestly believe to any degree, me turning around and saying "hey stop that, I am a person with FEELINGS!!" to a group of jerky teenage boys making comments is going to promote anything but more laughter. Ignoring a bully deprives of them of what they desire the most... the ability to affect you.

I can't (and won't) compare the bullying of an obese person to child abuse, because one majoy component is missing. Though both situations of abuse are wrong, at least an adult obese person can choose to:

a.become less obese
b.seek social support
c.not surround themselves with abusive people
d.leave a situation they are uncomfortable with
e. pursue legal means of help themselves if they feel laws are being broken
f. legislate to change laws

etc... all of which an abused child can't do.


Bullies don't respond to common sense, I mean we are talking about people who abuse people for sport and expecting them to play by the rules of humanity. We are talking about people who lack tact, social skills, and an internal kindness compass and expecting them to respond to someone standing up for themselves and telling them to *stop* the behavior.

I digress.

I am sure aspects of the FA movement have been positive to some people (as I said in my very first post I feel mixed about it). I just don't resonate with the victim vibe I get from groups who claim to be empowering. The message being, empower yourselves, while a simultaneous message is being communicated that members are eternal victims in need of constant help.

MyBestYear
04-29-2010, 02:27 PM
I have lived most of my adult life (well) over 200lbs and I must live in a really nice area or something because I have never been ridiculed, laughed at, or made fun of in my entire adult life (outside of middle school) and I swim, go to the beach, walk, ride a bike, and whatever else. Whether these people do it in private or behind my back is both their personal weakness, as well as their personal right -- however wrong it is.

Could it be possible that there is a perception that everyone is laughing and making fun when really, most people probably don't care? I am not saying that stuff like that doesn't happen and I am not doubting personal experience that has been shared at all,

but I can't help thinking that an interloper reading this thread would leave with the impression that anytime a fat person tries to do anything ever there will be a crowd of people hurling abuses at them at every turn.

kaplods
04-29-2010, 02:33 PM
I can compare the abuse of fat people to children, because I was a fat child and received abuse from both adults and other children because of it. It was even ENCOURAGED by the adults in my life.

I learned by the age of 6 or 7 that there was no safe haven from the abuse. When my mom went to the school to complain about the bullying I received from the PE teacher (an obese man, himself - who teased me and not only tolerated, but encouraged the other children to tease me) he told my mother he was doing it out of concern for me - so that I would be "inspired" to lose weight (in 1st or 2nd grade). AND MY MOTHER ACCEPTED THAT AS OK!

Where exactly was I supposed to turn?

I've tried desperately to lose weight most of my life (from the age of 5 when I was put on my first diet, on Weight Watcher's by age 8 and put on amphetemine diet pils by age 13).

When was I a victim? When did I have a choice in being victimized? I was told (and believed) that I had "control" over the situation even at 5 or 6 - because if I complained about how I was treated, I was told that I could stop it by "just" losing weight. God, how I wish it had been that simple.

MyBestYear
04-29-2010, 02:40 PM
Woah hold the phone here.

I said numerous times in my posts I was talking about adults. Numerous times. I was careful to clarify that numerous times, so I think it is really unfair to imply that I was suggesting small children were empowered to get out of abusive situations.

I am very sorry for your abuse, and I truly mean that. I was abused as well to an equally painful degree (let's not delve into who has more hurt, that is so ugly and something I don't want to participate in).

...but I am not an abused child anymore. I am a grown adult empowered to choose my experience, and that is exactly what I am doing.

I am a survivor, not a victim and I won't choose the victim role anymore, and I won't buy it when someone tries to sell me on it -- as I personally believe is part of the role the FA plays.

midwife
04-29-2010, 02:52 PM
I have lived most of my adult life (well) over 200lbs and I must live in a really nice area or something because I have never been ridiculed, laughed at, or made fun of in my entire adult life (outside of middle school) and I swim, go to the beach, walk, ride a bike, and whatever else. Whether these people do it in private or behind my back is both their personal weakness, as well as their personal right -- however wrong it is.

.

MyBestYear, that is great that you have not had those problems and it sounds like even if you ran into some of that crap, it wouldn't phase you at all. Bear with me, cause I always bring birth and breastfeeding into everything, soooo...:)

THat's how I feel about nursing in public. I always did, anytime anyplace, none of those coverups, no running to the bathroom or changing room. I never got any flak that I noticed and if I would have, I wouldn't have cared a bit. So it's hard for me to get why other women go to changing rooms, arrange huge tents over themselves, excuse themselves to back bedrooms, etc., to breastfeed. I scratch my head cause nursing in publc is such an easy thing for me. And I think if more women did it free of any self-consciousness, it would be a good thing, and why would someone feel self-conscious about it anyway?

But then women share the stories of mean looks and comments and being asked to move to the bathroom and oh yeah, we actually have a state law that says women can breastfeed where ever they have a right to be. So, they're protected by law.

If I were breastfeeding still and someone asked me to move or leave or cover up, I'd laugh in their face and explain the law to them. But some women cannot or will not do that, based on a myriad of reasons, some that reasonate with me and some that don't. Our experiences are different but just because I cannot imagine myself using the behaviors they might use, doesn't mean that they don't need those behaviors or have feelings that justify those behaviors....

I'm sure this ties into the OP somehow....:lol:

MyBestYear
04-29-2010, 02:55 PM
I get it midwife, and I am not minimizing anyone's experience, I guess I am just saying that allowing a past experience or the fear of someone making fun of you to interfere with your life so much so that you choose to not participate in things you enjoy... I mean is the issue with them or... is the issue a little closer to home?

Yes, they are wrong to make fun or whatever, but you can't control their behavior or thoughts -- you can certainly control your own and that is no one else's responsibility.

That's all I'm sayin'.

MyBestYear
04-29-2010, 03:00 PM
With that, I won't be participating (or reading) this thread any further. I think I've said all I have to say :)

anyone who would like to chat can do so through PM or email me through my website. Thanks :)

kaplods
04-29-2010, 05:54 PM
I can't (and won't) compare the bullying of an obese person to child abuse, because one majoy component is missing. Though both situations of abuse are wrong, at least an adult obese person can choose to:

a.become less obese
b.seek social support
c.not surround themselves with abusive people
d.leave a situation they are uncomfortable with
e. pursue legal means of help themselves if they feel laws are being broken
f. legislate to change laws

etc... all of which an abused child can't do.




Child abuse is not equivalent to abuse of fat adults, I never said it was, but the comparisons are still valid. A cat is not a lion, but they share some similarities so comparisons of non-equivalent things is not invalid. Sharing the same paragraph does not mean the writer is saying the things are equivalent, only that there are some similarities. And I can tell you both from experience and from training/education that it's not always easy to distinguish the situations you have control over from those that you do not, especially when the situation has been going on since a time you had no choice.

Incest, and sexual abuse of children, for example (and for clarity I am not saying that such abuse is equivalent in any way to the treatment of obese children/adults) often continues into adulthood. When the adult incest victim (or even teen incest victim) finally reports the abuse, they are attacked in the courtroom and in the press for not reporting the abuse sooner. Why did they allow it to continue well past the point that they "had a choice?"

For example, the case of Jaycee Lee Dugard (abducted at 11 and found 18 years later, living with her captor and her children by the man - working in his business, with the opportunity to "escape" for years).

Learned helplessness is a powerful force, so it doesn't surprise me how people can become prisoners of it.


FA is about empowerment, not about playing and remaining the victim. That's very clear even with casual contact with the group. The group stresses personal empowerment not crying (and doing nothing) about being a victim.


As for the arguments made regarding the choices adult obese have, they defend FA far more better than they criticise it (because all but one, are main tenets of FA rhetoric).

a.become less obese

Easier said than done, so I really don't have time to go into it any further. It's a topic that FA doesn't deal with, and so in critiquing their position, it would be pointless.


b.seek social support

That's exactly what FA does, and one of it's top agenda. It provides that social support from people who understand what it's like to experience the issues.


c.not surround themselves with abusive people

Again that's one of the most vocal messages/agenda of FA



d.leave a situation they are uncomfortable with

Ditto, one of the most vocal messages/agenda of FA


e. pursue legal means of help themselves if they feel laws are being broken

Ditto, again of the most vocal messages/agenda of FA


f. legislate to change laws

And yet, again, ditto.

lola06
05-12-2010, 03:31 PM
I'm so sad that I'm just now seeing this thread because I think it's a great discussion and a prime example of just how difficult it is to sift through all of the contradictions out there about weight loss, what it means to be fat, etc...Because the truth is for every study or experience one person quotes or mentions there is another study or personal experience to refute those claims. I for one had a great grandmother who lived on her own, medication-free until she was 98 years old and she was a size 18 at 5'3". Now of course someone will come along and attempt to refute this claim by saying that's a rare occurance.

So here's my point, I support the fat acceptance movement because it attempts to address the social issues surrounding being fat. I don't care if somebody chooses to stay fat or not, but you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and honestly I don't hear everyone agreeing on this. A lot of the undertones of what I've heard throughout this thread is not understanding why all fat people don't/can't/won't get with the program and just lose weight. As a society we have been taught to hate and fear fat and so as with everything in this country that we hate and fear, we drum up statistics, studies and anything else official sounding to let everyone else know how horrible it is. The truth is, some fat people will get sick and die early and some won't. The truth is some thin people will get sick and die early and some won't. Instead of us focusing on how much of a drain obese people are on your healthcare system, we need to be talking about the fact that healthcare is treated as a commodity in this country and not a right, as it should be.

So why did I elect to lose weight and get healthier? Because diabetes runs in my family and my maternal grandmother died a horrible death from diabetes complications. Had I not had this kind of experience I'm not sure if I would've been so concerned. And now despite living a pretty healthy, active life why do I want to lose more weight? Because I'm brainwashed like most of us and I want my piece of the proverbial skinny girl pie. Underneath it all I still feel like being thin will somehow bring me something, take me someplace that my size 14 jeans won't. Now of course someone will come along and talk about how ridiculous this is, but nobody ever seems to criticize skinny people for wanting to lose more weight or making their lips bigger, or any other ill behaviors they have that we can't see because they don't wear it on their body like fat people do. What a different world we would live in if everyone had to walk around wearing a badge telling the rest of the world what their issues are. Just imagine walking in mall at your favorite skinny girl store and seeing neon signs on people's backs that read: sociopath, too clingy, prescription drug addict, suicidal, etc...

I don't care what anyone says, and it doesn't matter whether you have high self-esteem or not, more than likely you will end up hating your body no matter what your size if you ingest too much media. Period. I wish that we could all just live a healthy, judgemental-free life. Do whatever you want, live die, diet/ don't diet. It's your life and nobody has to live it but you.

lucywing
10-10-2011, 07:38 PM
As someone who has been teased by family, classmates, perfect strangers and my closest friends for all my 20 years, I'll endorse any campaign to make sure fat people are treated better.

That aside, the majority of crusaders for fat acceptance deep down would rather be thin, if they had a magic wand. The hardest thing to win is our own acceptance.