Fat and Dangerous
Did it make sense because her arguments were persuasive or because it was what you wanted to hear all along?
This has actually been part of my FA journey. I am big on being skeptical, and evaluating evidence as dispassionately as possible. So when I found the fatosphere and started reading about how I didn’t have to hate myself because I was fat, and I wasn’t necessarily going to drop dead at any second, and maybe it was just genetics. Well, it still seems too good to be true sometimes.
I’ve read a lot and thought a lot. I try to be skeptical. And I still feel like FA is right. We can be healthy and fit without focusing on being thin. We can eat food without needing to beat ourselves up.
Here is what the poster says:
On numerous occasions people write what can only be labeled as careless eating habits. Claiming that if you want something go ahead and have it. While I am not against the mentality of eating whatever one wants, one needs to realize that overeating never serves a good purpose.(1)
Many FA sites spew contradictions. I have observed people claiming that weight loss as an impossible, unreasonable goal.(2) Most argue that they live a fat but fit lifestyle exercising regularly and eating well. Yet they also take pride in reckless eating.(1) Some go further insisting that excess weight is harmless to health.(3)
FA sites urge acceptance of something that can be changed–excess weight (2)–while trying to change what they cannot: the reality of its health risks.(3) To be sure, some of us are born with larger bone structures, or lower metabolisms but few of us were born to be obese. We can change how much we exercise and what foods we choose. (2) Unlike acceptance, these choices require effort. Let’s put forth the effort and help each other.
They make a few assumptions in there that I think are not entirely valid so I will attempt to summarize them and address them. The numbers in parenthesis show where I am getting the following points from(
Point one, A summary, FA advocates ‘overeating” and ‘reckless eating'”
Overeating and reckless eating are concepts based on the idea that food has a moral value. They are based on the idea that there is an amount of food that is appropriate and healthy, and beyond that lies obesity and eventually DOOM. The idea that food has a moral value is something that is generally rejected by the HAES/FA community. (I mean in a health conscious way, not a morally conscious way.)
That does not mean that we advocate eating in a way that is harmful to ones body. Read this post please. The idea that eating whatever you want will lead to endless binges on chocolate chip cookies, is simply false. And I think that’s what the poster was missing. Yes, We advocate eating whatever you want, because we know that whatever you want, if you’re really listening to your body, will include foods that are healthy for you and that fulfill a nutritional need. HAES advocates eating what you are hungry for when you are hungry for it and stopping when you feel full. Does that really sound like such a reckless and harmful idea?
Point two, Permanent Weight Loss is possible
Look, I’ve tried to lose weight, and so have a lot of people in the FA community. Now I supposed that the world at large would like for us to believe that we are bad bad fat fat failures for not being the skinniest us that we can be. This article (linked from here) talks about how 70% of weight can be attributed to genes, and how difficult it is to make fat people thin and thin people fat. It is clearly possible for some people but please excuse me if I decide not to continue torturing myself after having found out that it is not possible for me.
The poster asserts that “We can change how much we exercise and what foods we choose.” And they are right, we can, and do. I think the thing that she is missing here is that those changes may not result in any actual long term weight loss on our part.
Point three, Fat is really bad for you and all these FA people are delusional.
Ah, Compelling argument. There are other arguments as well, that fitness and lifestyle are actually a larger part of determining health than the amount of fat tissue on ones body. (But if you were fit and healthy you woulnd’t be fat? Please see response to point 2.) There was even a recent study that came out showing that SHOCK some thin people are just as unhealthy as some fat people and some fat people are actually healthy.
Is this idea really so Dangerous? If there is evidence to back it up? Is accepting ourselves and living our lives the way we want to really leaving us on the precipice of doom? I doubt it. Even in if it is I’d rather be happy on the precipice of doom than miserable and living forever.
Frankly I think this commentor, who has put so much thought and effort into his “total transformation,” and the poster should reconsider the quote above. Is the reason you don’t like FA really because you think we are wrong? Or are you afraid that we are right? That the diets, the desperate work outs, the fantasy that you will someday be thin and gorgeous and everything will be perfect are all a waste of time.
Who is really in danger here? Us? Or your limited “thin is in” worldview?