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Old 11-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #1  
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Default Fat acceptance....what to think?

Hi Ladies,
I have just caught the end of a programme called "Fat and Proud"...essentially curvy women not letting life hold you back....ice skating posing for a sexy calendar. I really don't know what to think!
I guess some of them were truly happy with their weight ( the average size on this photo shoot was a UK size 30 apparently though some of them looked smaller to me) they all had lovely hair and nails and makeup and were talking about how their confidence had increased.
I usually have an opinion on everything but I can't decide whether to say"Go you" and admire them or yell at the TV about the health risks!
Does anybody have any thoughts???
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #2  
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I'm happy they find themselves attractive and find acceptance for who they are in their own skin. I am concerned, however, about their general health. Diabetes, blood pressure, and other diseases and loss of quality of life is not worth carrying around extra weight. Weight management and attaining a healthy weight is not vain, it's about improving health and longevity.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #3  
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Reisz well done on your achievements so far....and yes that was kind of how I felt......however nice it is to see women with confidence be they thin or fat I couldn't halp but worry what kind of message about health they may be giving tehir children.....I hope that doesn't sound too holier than thou???
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #4  
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I've found a lot of FA folks actually believe in health and being healthy, they just don't subscribe to society's idea that they have to hate themselves as they are now. I think it's pretty awesome, actually. I know for me, personally, I've never done well with my weight loss when my self esteem is at rock bottom. And the idea that BMI is a direct equivalent to health is crap, as I know plenty of thin people who are unhealthy, and plenty of heavier people who are active and fit.

The notion that accepting and loving yourself if/when you're overweight is somehow glorifying obesity really pisses me off, and I think it's really problematic in our culture. Hiding the fat hatred/fat shaming behind the "it's about health!" mantra happens constantly. If people want to crusade, crusade against the gov't subsidies for bad food. Crusade against unhealthy school lunches, $1 value menus, and all the terrible additives in everything.

Education works wonders over shaming. Beyond that, mind your business is my general principle. Note, I'm not directing this to anyone in particular, it's a topic that has come up a lot lately. As someone who has struggled with weight and self image my whole life, I can say finding a way to love yourself can only be a good thing. It'll likely promote positive change soon enough.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:04 PM   #5  
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Bridget Jones I love your reason for working out! I would have given up at the start of the Hunger Games!
This is why I find this idea so complex. I have a slim friend who eats rubbish lives on her nerves and gets short of breath on a flight of stairs...even at my heaviest I was fitter than her. BMI doesn't indicate health.....I know.
But as I get older and the side effects of my life long obesity are becoming more obvious....ie athritic knees etc I would so not want MY kids to go through these problems. I can now walk around a supermarket with out leaning on a trolley....and I am only 46.
My husband finds me sexy and gorgeous and I was at my heaviest EVER when we married a year ago...society still sees me as a tub of lard even though I have shed 80 lbs from that point. My family were ashamed of me because I was the only obese one in the family and yet I have always walked mountains.........hmmmmm answers on a postcard!!
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:28 PM   #6  
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This comes up on3fc every so often, and I'm still suprised by the general negative reaction that comes with it. I'm not suggesting that anyone is hateful, but I suppose that since we're all trying to lose weight that the idea of contentment in obesity might be confusing.

I'm pro the movement, for one main reason: I believe it has the possibility of increasing general acceptance of normal, healthy sized women. While the goal is techically the acceptance of the overweight and obese, it could help to make the idea of body fat less hate-able and thus help the millions of normal sized, healthy, but not thin, women be accepted on tv and in their lives. So I'm pro anything that might help healthy young women not hate their bodies as much.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain walker View Post
Bridget Jones I love your reason for working out! I would have given up at the start of the Hunger Games!
This is why I find this idea so complex. I have a slim friend who eats rubbish lives on her nerves and gets short of breath on a flight of stairs...even at my heaviest I was fitter than her. BMI doesn't indicate health.....I know.
But as I get older and the side effects of my life long obesity are becoming more obvious....ie athritic knees etc I would so not want MY kids to go through these problems. I can now walk around a supermarket with out leaning on a trolley....and I am only 46.
Ha, thanks! It was my number one thought when I read the books and saw the movie. It's not really why I work out, but it amuses me. Thanks!

And I totally agree with you - obviously I believe achieving a healthy weight is seriously important for my health, and I imagine it is for others. I wouldn't be here, working so hard, if I thought otherwise. I am 100% with you on that, and yes, it's a complex topic. I just find that in most cases, when FA gets brought up, it inevitably becomes about people making it out to be a bunch of cheeseburger-pushing obesity glorifiers. I think it's also telling of society's main concern with regards to fat people - aesthetics. Period. If it were primarily health, there'd be a lot less shaming and negativity happening, and a lot more focus on the effed up nutrition/agriculture in this country.

Like I said, I think if FA helps people not hate themselves, that's a huge, incredibly positive thing. I am convinced making positive changes is nigh impossible when you have super low self esteem. You don't necessarily have to be in love with your body, but accepting where you are and that your body is pretty awesome in all that it does, is a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly315 View Post
I'm pro the movement, for one main reason: I believe it has the possibility of increasing general acceptance of normal, healthy sized women. While the goal is techically the acceptance of the overweight and obese, it could help to make the idea of body fat less hate-able and thus help the millions of normal sized, healthy, but not thin, women be accepted on tv and in their lives. So I'm pro anything that might help healthy young women not hate their bodies as much.
Same here. I also think the word "acceptance" was deliberate and is an important distinction. Accepting your body does not mean you don't want to change or improve it, but it does mean that you're not actively hating it, which is a huge waste of time.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #8  
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I think it is cool as long as it is responsible. I think it teaches confidence and a lot of the stuff I have seen/read promotes healthy lifestyle. For example, not suggesting that health issues related to weight are okay. When I get to 14/16, size 0X, I feel fierce!! And it is because of the whole Big is Beautiful movement. Feeling that confidence motivates me to keep pushing; to go out and hike, run, to be around "regular" people doing "regular" things. I shouldn't feel ashamed of myself or less worthy of having good things in life because I am fat.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #9  
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I don't think anyone should ever be shamed for their size, whether they're obese or underweight. People are often bullied for the supposed sake of health when the issues, more often than not, have more to do with shaming others, inflating egos, and enforcing the status quo. Judging people by weight alone (even under the guise of health) is just a form of treating people as objects instead of people, and is something none of us want ever to be on the receiving end of. Just sayin.'
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:08 PM   #10  
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I probably wouldn't be here (maybe not even on the planet) if it weren't for FA philosophy.

Since kindergarten I have been on the diet rollercoaster, dieting my way "up" the scale, because I gained more than I lost with each diet. Even so from the time I was 5 to 25, I was on a diet more often than not. Even though I had very bad PMDD symptoms, including run-away-hunger I refused birth control that would help the symptoms, because I couldn't accept the risk of weight gain.

Then in graduate school I encountered the FA movement first through the fashion magazine "BBW" (Big Beautiful Women) and thent he more radical magazine "Radiance," and for the first time encountered the idea that dieting actually CAUSED more weight gain than did "mindful eating."

If I had discovered this idea BEFORE I had gained the weight (what at 4?) maybe this would have worked well for me.

Another radical idea (to me) was that I didn't have to apologize for my size, and that being fat wasn't the worst thing in the world I could be.

Around this same time, my PMDD symptoms were getting very unmanageable, and I started birth control (because with FA my fear of gaining weight no longer outweighed everything else, and I saw that being sane and comfortable was more important than weight I might or might not gain from the medications).

So I gave up dieting around the same time I started taking birth control, so I'm not exactly sure which of those were most responsible for the miraculous life change, but regardless the miracle occured anyway. I stopped gaining weight. I stopped having intense "rabid hunger" that I couldn't control.

I no longer had to diet strictkly 21 days of the month just do undo the damage I'd done in the 7 to 9 days of PMS/TOM.

I also stopped feeling like a starved maniac most of the time.

I didn't lose any weight, but I stopped gaining. Too bad then and there I didn't just commit to "not gaining" in the way I am now. However, I did end up overly afraid of any attempt to lose more weight. I really was afraid to, because in my experience dieting only had ever caused me weight gain.

Another thing that FA taught me was that I deserved to eat healthfully and to exercise, whether anyone else wanted to see me do it or not. If I wanted to ride a bike, swim, dance, ski or do anything I wanted to do, I didn't have to wait for social approval to do it. I got to decide what to do in public, whether anyone else liked it or not. There was no more messages inside my head worrying about protecting others from the very sight of me. If people didn't want to see me swim, they didn't have to look.

So without FA, I probably would have ended up dieting and then eating myself to death. I wouldn't have ever gotten onto bc, because I would have been too afraid of weight gain to try it.

I wouldn't have gone to the doctor when I had health problems, because I would have been afraid of grossing out the doctor.

I wouldn't have ever had and used gym memberships (especially the pool, because everyone knows fat girls should never subject anyone to the horrific vision of flabby thigh skin).

I would have never dated and met my husband (because fat dating and fat sex is just too gross to even think about let alone to actually participate in).

Without FA, I would have been fat and miserable all of my life (because I would have never taken the risks that would have led to the weight loss strategies that have worked). Encountering FA I learned that I might have to be fat all my life, but I didn't have to be miserable too.

If I had only learned that I would have been pretty happy, but the permission to work on getting healthy even if weight loss didn't happen, that's what finally helped me get more of the weight off.

In the past, I would often give up on the diet and the exercise when it "wasn't working" (that is wasn't causing significant wieght loss). In fact, when it didn't feel like it was working for weight loss, I'd often be tempted to try very UNHEALTHY and unsustainable ways to lose the weight (because being fat was such an evil thing that certainly risking death wasn't something to worry about - after all fat was a fate worse than death - so what did I have to lose but the fat? My life? So what, it was worthless anyway."

Seeing myself as being worthy of the best health I could accomplish (with or without weight loss) is what started my on this journey, so I can't wish away FA, because without it, I would still be much fatter, and/or dead.

Ironically it was FA that taught me that I deserved better than I (or anyone else at the time) was giving me. Making my life better actually made the weight loss possible.

I think too many people tell fat folk that they're worthless, and when you think someone is worthless, you don't find a lot of motivation for helping that person, even if the person is yourself (maybe especially if the person is yourself).

I do think that if most people did completely ignore their weight, and instead focused on a healthier lifestyle, the weight would in many cases take care of itself.

I know when I started I didn't focus on weight loss, I focused on getting healthier and the pounds falling off was just a pleasant side effect.

Last edited by kaplods; 11-03-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #11  
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I wholeheartedly support the FA movement. Without it I wouldn't be where I am today. The biggest difference this time has been that I'm doing this because I love myself. Not because I hate my body or feel shunned by society. I had to become confident in who I was before I started because ultimately I've always been fabulous. Now I'm just fabulous in a smaller package.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #12  
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Bridget Jones hit the nail on the head for me, couldn't have said it better myself. Not directed at any of the previous comments, but I really really hate how often people say that the whole fat acceptance thing is not okay because they're "concerned for these people's health". I completely agree about minding your own business! You don't know their life, you have no idea how healthy or unhealthy they are just by looking at them. It's thinking like this that contributes to problems such as the bias making it harder for overweight people to get jobs. Worry about your own health! Maybe it's generally not healthy to be overweight, but there are exceptions and besides I think that if these women are happy in their own skin, who are you to tell them they should hate themselves and hide out from society until they become 'acceptable'? That's sick. Any woman of any weight should be able to freely do the things they want to do without facing judgement from strangers.

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:39 AM   #13  
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Well put, Bridget Jones.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:53 AM   #14  
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Of course, if you're not involved with some sort of formal weight loss scheme or health organization, do you really need to develop an opinion on it at all?
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:14 AM   #15  
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I personally accept everyones lifestyles if it makes them happy. I do encourage acceptance though. If you like your own appearance and lifestyle then accept it and embrace it. If you do not, then change it. I am overweight but I am working to reduce weight and lifestyle because I want to change my physical appearance and my physical ability. I want to be able to run and easily perform physically demanding workouts. One thing that I cannot stand is people that live in denial, they act happy and then explode or self destruct on anyone that says something that triggers a defensive reaction. I say we are all in control of our own destiny, you control the road you take, if your not happy then change direction.
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