Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trying to Loose Weight?

Uhm, ew. Just imagine that for a moment: Weight that's being held loosely by your skin? You could weigh like, 140 pounds and be wearing a size 20 with that loose weight. Blech. OH wait, are you confused? If you are, then I guess you don't know the difference between LOOSE and LOSE. If you are trying to lose weight, then I suppose I could understand that a bit more than aspiring to obtain amounts of loose weight around your midsection and the likes.

That little rant out of the way, I would like to present to you my actual post:

JUSTIFYING A DIET

Many people involved in Fat Acceptance seem to be under the impression that you cannot go on a diet and still consider yourself a part of the movement. Although I will admit that I find it difficult to read a fat acceptance blog and not feel a bit betrayed when I read about their Weight Watcher's initiatives, and when I see those things I usually choose to not continue reading the blog. Despite these feelings, however, a diet isn't always a jab at fat acceptance. There are actually many reasons why someone may want to diet that have nothing to do with "rejecting the movement." These reasons for justifiable dieting are below.

HEALTH REASONS
No no no no no, I do not mean in the sense of "OMG FAT KILLZ," however, in the "OMG I CAN'T WALK" way. If you have a bad knee, it's probably not a good idea to weigh a lot, because that just puts more strain on said knee. Sure this isn't always the case in those situations I'm sure, but wouldn't you understand if someone in the movement was losing weight because they were in excruciating pain due to the strain? Also, for another walking impairment related excuse, if you are nearing immobility and wish to still be able to move, you would want to work your best to not reach that point.

DISCOMFORT
Most people know where they feel most comfortable in every sense. You know which way to sit on the couch to reach your ultimate comfort level, same goes for laying on a bed and even dressing. Well, it would only make sense that you would feel the same way about weights. Some people would never feel comfortable at 130, some would never feel comfortable below 300. If you're someone who feels that your body naturally settles in the 250 range, and you find yourself reaching 320, more than likely you're not going to feel right in your own skin. No, I'm not talking about vanity; I'm talking about what you feel most comfortable with on your body. If you stray far from your naturally predisposed weight, it would only make sense to want to get back to where you feel you naturally belong.

Also, please note: If these viewpoints are still a bit warped from your perspective, please let me know. I want to fully comprehend the movement, and if I still sound like I'm coming from a slightly lesser, yet still warped societal mindset, feel free to set me straight via comments and such. Although I feel as if all above reasons are good enough to embark on a diet, if you disagree, lemme know :3

17 comments:

La di Da said...

Hmmm. Well, for the "health issues" reason, I can definitely see why someone would want to hel their bad knee by losing weight - but since nearly all weight lost is regained by about 5 years, it's not a long-term solution. And if you've got a bad knee, you're probably not going to be able to sustain the kind of exercise regimes that the ~5% of people who do keep weight off have to do. So there needs to be exploration of alternatives to just weight loss. For instance, strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the knee with non-weight-bearing exercise and low-impact activities.

I actually developed plantar fascitis (a painful heel/foot condition) from wearing really crappy shoes for a while. Most of the advice for treatment always said "lose weight, duh!" but I followed all the *other* advice, like stretching exercises and such, and hey it's pretty much gone away now.

If you've got advanced arthritis or such, a knee replacement may be in order but a lot of surgeons refuse to operate unless you lose weight (hard to do when you can't walk) because the surgery will be "wasted". But studies of knee surgery outcomes show that fat and slim people have the same (generally good) results from the surgery! Sandy Szwarc has a post referencing the studies.

So I think there's a problem with "health reasons" for losing weight in that alternatives or supplements to weight loss are not really explored by doctors much of the time. so people don't know that there are things that can be done besides weight loss. Likewise physical therapists and personal trainers aren't often familiar with the biomechanics of larger bodies and the exercises they teach may be counterproductive. (Read KellyBliss.com for some interesting info on that.) There's even a mailing list for fat diabetics who are controlling their condition without a weight loss program.

So sure, if someone believes they need to lose weight for their health, that's their business, but I certainly hope they're aware of all the options regarding treatment.

XXLA said...

You definitely made some very good points in regards to what I said. I definitely agree that other options need to be given as opposed to the viewpoint of "weight loss solves all!" but my main point was that weight loss CAN be justified, as opposed to the viewpoint that weight loss is NEVER justified. Thanks for your input :)

dianemoro said...

thank you for saying what I've been feeling all along. That I would like to lose weight to just feel more comfortable. I was very comfortable at 200, but at 250 and barely 5 ft, some things are very uncomfortable so I've been toying with dieting, yet again (yuck)... still, I also know that the weight I lose will return, as it always does, and then some. Seems like a losing battle, in the end.
I just would like to be more comfortable, as in being able to walk longer distances (my back aches after two blocks, trust me it will happen to you after age 50).
Quite the dilemma.

Lindsay said...

As far as health reasons go: there are some medical conditions that require adherence to a certain type of eating pattern for symptom maintenance.

Brian said...

You cannot go on a diet and still be a part of fat acceptance. It may not be "rejecting the movement" but its also not embracing it. I think a dieter can be opposed to fat discrimination, sure, but that's not all fat acceptance is about. If they want to be anti-discrimination, there is nothing stopping them. In the past, though, dieters spend less time fighting our common foes and more time fighting fat acceptance and brow-beating activists into endorsing dieting.

Dieting is justified because it doesn't work. I might have perfectly reasonable reasons to wish I had perfect vision when I don't. Does that justify punching myself in the eyes in the hope it gets better? No. That I hope it might improve things just doesn't change the fact that it won't. Part of what fat acceptance needs to do is tell dieters that they've been sold a false promise. They've been sold on a "treatment" that's only slightly more likely to work than punching oneself in the eyes to improve vision. If even.

Diet culture is part of the harm being done to fat people and fat acceptance needs the freedom to stand up and say that and tell these people that there are other options. You can take steps to improve your health within your body. You can learn to be happy and comfortable in your body. You can learn that being fat isn't something you did yourself. It isn't a choice you made. And being thin or even "thinner" also isn't a choice you really can make. When something fails upwards of 95% of the time, then it doesn't work. Wishing, hoping, or needing it to work doesn't change those odds so they aren't reasons why fat acceptance should endorse dieting.

Our bodies are different than cultural expectations. They have some limitations against a social norm for some people. That's okay. Not every body is the same and this principle applies outside of fat acceptance. Our fat is part of our body. Its not something we're playing around with and can discard at will. Strictly speaking, attempts to lose weight are MUCH more likely to result in weight gain than weight loss. We cannot call for acceptance on narrow terms. I know a lot of fat women who accept themselves at whatever weight they were before their last diet. That's always the place they were most "comfortable", even if at the time, it was the weight they were before the last diet. We cannot just accept our bodies within strictly imposed limits. "Well, this can be okay, but nothing else". Bodies change. Weight can go up or down and that's fine. Its not a failure. Yes, it can be a challenge to accept a changing body, but its one we can achieve. I have far more faith in our ability to accept our bodies and improve our health within our bodies than I do in dieting. Weight loss as treatment has simply failed fat people for decades and we need to demand better. Not "better" weight loss. We need something different and fat acceptance needs to be empowered to make that call.

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with all of Brian's comment - you cannot diet and be part of the fat acceptance movement.

I think it's also important to draw an explicit distinction between dieting and weight loss. Dieting is always anti-fat acceptance. Weight loss, on the other hand, is not. Lots of people, when they discover fat acceptance and start building it into their lives, will lose some weight by eating intuitively and exercising as they head towards their natural size.

This is what appears to be happening to me; while I strongly doubt that I will ever become thin, and I don't much care whether I continue to lose weight or not, thus far losing about 10% of my body weight has been the natural result (for me!) of feeling less panicked around food and more comfortable with daily movement. But I see the weight loss as a side effect of changes I've made in my life, and am happy with the changes themselves and just consider the weight loss a neutral side effect.

That is, improving your health by improving your diet, moving more, reducing stress, and whatever other techniques you use, is certainly consistent with fat acceptance. This may result in weight loss or weight gain. However, specifically targetting your weight for the supposed goal of health improvement is not consistent with fat acceptance.

Rachele said...

hey thanks for posting about this. i want to be on the blogroll for fat acceptance but on my blog i talk about excercise and eating changes in order to lose some weight. my goal is to lose 50 pounds..if I do, I will still be plus-sized. I am completely happy with myself and love my body right now, I just have been 50 pounds less and would like to go back to that. I have gained more weight than usual because of stress and body-confusion and now I feel really good about myself and I can't wait to feel even better! It is so confusing...I feel like I am saying one thing and contradicting myself constantly. Haha...but I understand myself and that's whats important! Its really about just becoming more active and learning how to maintain a healthy body- we should all do this! And be fat and show all those morons that you can be fat and healthy without constantly struggling to be thin. Ok, I am ranting.... That is what my blog is for :) Rachele

Brian said...

Why not work to feel better about yourself without making weight loss a goal? Maybe you'll lose weight, maybe not, but you can improve your health and well-being without defining achievement by weight loss.

Ali said...

Hm, you say you cannot go on a diet and be part of the fat acceptance movement. So what if you changed the way you live and therefore lose weight?

I went from about 350 pounds to 260 pounds in 7 month (I am 5.7). People always ask me 'What diet are you on?'. I tell them that I am not on a diet.
What I am doing? I am controlling what I eat. I still go out to eat about once a week and eat whatever I like, I still eat tasty food all the time, I still eat pretty much everything I like but in moderation (it does help that I am a total foodie and for me homemade food tastes much better than fast food). I also use less oil, much more vegetables and I snack on yogurt, nuts and fruit instead of all the crap I ate before. And you know, I actually really like it. I don't feel terribly deprived. I am not depressed or starve myself. I don't feel like I am missing out and I am not constantly thinking about all the stuff I'd love to eat now.
I also started working out but not in a forced way. I work out and I like it.
In the beginning I still had to watch what I did and ate but now it has become part of my life.
I am fully aware that with those limited restrictions I set myself it will take a long time to lose more weight and I probably will never be smaller than a size 14/16 but I don't mind that.

Why am I doing this? Because now I can get up from the floor without panting and cramps in my legs, I can fit in that chair, I don't have to worry about eating an orange because it will give me acid reflux, I don't have to buy the biggest size anymore and hope that it might fit me, I can fit the seat belt in every car without feeling like I can't breath, I can jump up a flight of stairs faster than my thin friends without having to catch my breath for 5 minutes afterwards, I can go for 4 hour walks and not get really tired feet, my legs and feet don't hurt anymore, ...
I am comfortable now. I am still not as comfortable as I'd like to be but it's such an improvement. Sorry but nobody can tell me that I was perfectly healthy before when I was basically living with a flu 24/7 and just had to look at somebody with a virus and caught it.
I am not saying that you can't be big an healthy. I think if you eat sensible and work out, then you can be healthy. I mean, look, I am a size 20 now, apparently still 'just' MORBIDLY OBESE (which sounds like a big joke to me - I am morbidly obese even though I am much healthier and fitter than most of my skinny friends???) but what I am saying is - don't punish people for wanting to be comfortable and live their life without fear. Wanting to lose a few pounds doesn't mean you hate everybody else who is fat and all of a sudden think that fat people are disgusting (or contagious ;-)).
Don't be a hater if your goal is for people to not be haters anymore Brian.

I am against 'dieting' though. Changing your diet has to be a lifestyle change. Something you can be happy with and live with for the rest of your life. Otherwise it will never work. So maybe we are on the same page after all. I would be interested to know how you think about that Brian.

La di Da said...

Ali, there's a difference between saying "I'm going to eat more vegetables and go for a walk more often" because it promises to make you lose weight, and saying the same but not making the weight loss the goal. That's what Health at Every Size is about: Learning to eat what your body really wants and needs, and getting physical activity that you enjoy. It's entirely possible that it may result in some weight loss for some people, but it might not. But because health is the goal and not a number on a scale or BMI chart, you're not "failing" in your quest for health because you didn't lose any weight. It's still a "diet" even if you call it a "sustainable lifestyle change" if the point of it is weight loss.

And since, as Brian pointed out, that the end result of weight loss is nearly always weight re-gain plus *more*, I don't see any point in making weight loss your goal. Like I said before, it's ultimately your business if you want to do that - but really, why would you put yourself through the disappointment of gaining the weight back? If you've made weight loss your goal, you're setting yourself up for that. Having actual, achievable goals such as "being able to walk 4 miles in an hour" and "improve my self-esteem" seems a much more sensible route to take.

Learning not to be disheartened if you don't lose any weight can take some work, too. It took me a long time to go from "Argh! I've been going to the gym every day for three months and I'm not any smaller!" to remembering that being able to lift three times what I used to and not get completely winded after cardio exercise is a pretty damn good result on its own.

And Lindsay, that's not "a diet" as meant in this context. That's diet in the actual sense of the word. I know if I eat certain foods I'm going to feel like crap and possibly wind up in the hospital - that's not A Diet, it's just not having certain stuff in my diet.

I don't think anyone in the fat acceptance movement is interested in 'punishing' someone for wanting to be comfortable or healthier. It's just that the mass of evidence on deliberate weight loss shows that it's not a sustainable goal, so - take that into account when you think weight loss will make you feel better, and think about what you're going to do when you have some almost-inevitable weight gain, bearing in mind that weight loss and regain is believed to have increased risk for a number of health conditions, far more so than remaining at a fairly stable weight even if high.

Sewmouse said...

"Diet" is the food you put in your mouth. Your DIET can be healthy, non-healthy or mud. I would seriously advocate against the mud.

Having developed Type II Diabetes, I am forced to make changes in my "DIET" in order to remain alive with all my limbs intact. Quite frankly, I'd rather go on a diabetes-friendly DIET than to lose my feet, thank you very much.

Since my body has lost its ability to process sugars as effectively as it did when I was younger, I have the choice of either ignoring that and killing myself, or adapting and changing my DIET.

Even a person with the most unhealthy DIET is still on a DIET - even if that DIET consists of nothing but Mc"Food" 3 meals per day.

The DIET that I now follow does not have the inherent goal of losing weight, but I know that will be the eventual outcome. I can hardly expect to maintain the same weight when consuming less processed food in smaller amounts while increasing my exercise and reducing my stress.

As before stated - I'd rather be alive and on a diabetic DIET than dead and happy with my fat.

I think that a very important part of self-acceptance is accepting that the only reason you would EVER "DIET" is for reasons that YOU choose - not to become what someone ELSE wants for you (or for themselves) - but for YOU. If you are happier eating less and exercising more, for WHATEVER reason, then that is right for YOU.

In fact, I think that ANYONE who guilt trips you for changing your DIET is as reprehensible as anyone who guilt trips you for NOT changing your DIET.

Brian said...

Look, everyone knows that "diet" has multiple meanings, but the context here is unmistakable. Any neutral meaning of the word is far overshadowed by a billion dollar marketing effort to tie the word to "weight loss".

But no, self-acceptance is not about learning to embrace your self-hatred. We don't need a movement to protect the rights of dieters. You're already free to judge your body. What people are not free to do is accept themselves as they are. We need someone to advocate for that.

You want to lose weight? Simply put, no one is stopping you from trying. No one is "guilt tripping" you. What does happen, though, is that people are guilt tripped and harrassed into endorsing and celebrating weight loss dieting in the name of one-way subjectivity. Fat acceptance is supposed to accept weight loss because some people want it, yet no such concession is ever really directed back to fat acceptance. Fat acceptance is expected to silence its message in the name of politeness, but the weight loss industry is still free to advocate for fat hatred with a billion-dollar budget.

Well, no. I don't accept that. Everyone is free to disagree with me. Everyone is free to not give a damn about what I have to say. But don't tell me I don't have a right to my opinions because somehow my opinions threaten you. I don't think weight loss has ever been productive. I don't think hating one's body is a better motive than other people hating one's body. Especially not in a culture which teaches everyone to hate fat.

Fat acceptance needs to empower itself to advocate for something different. The focus on weight loss has profoundly failed fat people and someone needs to say enough is enough. Enough false promises. Enough false expectations. Enough talk about how its impossible to be comfortable in a fat body. No one has to agree, but it is extremely important that this movement be free to make its case. We're already at such a profound disadvantage in our culture, and tying our hands further serves no good purpose. If you don't agree, then don't agree. But don't act like anyone else is obliged to agree with you.

Sewmouse said...

Brian, I don't care if you are as big as a house - if you are happy, that is good. But you obviously are NOT happy, since you feel the need to become belligerant when someone gives a fully legitimate reason for wanting to adhere to what will eventually become a weight-loss "DIET".

By going on and on like this, you are saying, in effect "I am NOT happy with being fat, and because I am not happy, I am going to make it be YOUR fault that I am not happy"

Take personal responsibility for your own emotional health, Brian. Learn to ignore the ignorant. If you are TRULY happy with your body, fat, thin, short, tall, whatever - then you will not need "promises" anymore. You will be happy being what you are.

I'm fat, Brian. I'm never going to be featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Guess what? I don't give a rat's derriere.

I'm not happy with my current health situation, and in the attempt to keep from LOSING MY FEET DUE TO DIABETES, I am limiting my intake, limiting my sugars/refined carbs, and exercising more. The goal of this is to LOWER MY BLOOD SUGAR - not to "lose weight and become a Cosmo Model". Get it? There ARE legitimate reasons for going on a diet that have NOTHING AT ALL to do with social acceptance.

As for "But don't act like anyone else is obliged to agree with you." - I believe, Mr. Pot, that you're black also.

XXLA said...

It wasn't my intention to create "comment wars," but with a subject like this, how could I anticipate otherwise? Brian- I love your blog and check it often, but I fear that you might be taking the subject the way I presented it a bit too personally. When I say "diet," I do NOT mean billion-dollar weight-loss asshat diet industry Alli and the likes... I mean eating what's healthy for your body type with the intention of perhaps losing weight, but not necessarily. Please correct me if I'm wrong (again, I wish to understand the Fat Acceptance movement and fellow bloggers as best I can) but it seems like you view every single diet as something that takes advantage of fat people and breeds self-hate, which I don't believe to be true. I loathe the diet industry with a passion too, but that doesn't mean that eating less because, as in Sewmouse's case, you could lose your effing feet if you don't, is going to breed self-loathing and help the diet industry gain money. Perhaps I didn't present myself clearly enough in my OP, but when I justify a diet, I'm not justifying someone's wish to lose LARGEAMOUNTSOFUNWANTEDBELLYFAT
QUICKK!! using "Nutrisystem" or BS like that, but rather, their attempts at *perhaps* losing some weight and giving their body mainly what it needs as a diet, not as a SUPEREVILGRR diet.

The Thin Size Activist- Equality on the plains... said...

Time for the Thin Size Activist to chime in!

I, personally, as someone who has always been thin (I'm going to write an "Acceptance Story" on my blog soon), but has only just recently got more extensive in the movement, have a sort of "Intention-based" opinion on weight loss.
Society gives us the notion that weight loss is rarely ever a bad thing. The reason that I tend to disapprove of someone that loses weight only surfaces if and only if their intention is not based on a personal gain or health.

Now: I know the physiological definition of Fat Acceptance is to not believe in the correlation between weight and health. Why that may seem accurate: The whole concept of weight itself is so overly simplified in society. Why wouldn't stating it like that be any different? That's quite a broad oversimplification in itself too.
XXLA is right: Unhealthy living (Regardless of weight) kills before bodyweight itself, but certain conditions can be worsened because of added bodyweight. These include: Blah blah blah... I'm sure you are well aware of them.
As for the personal reason: Yes the movement is making some headway, but in a lot of ways: It is not. I think if someone chooses to do so because their job suddenly decides to fine them for being heavy and they are unable to move to a different place (I know we're trying to stop them from being able to do this, but they've already started: We can't start attacking the people that can't do anything about what's happening at this current moment), whether their clothes don't fit (And for some reason they can't afford different/more clothing/some alternative of a sort or another), whether the activity they've aligned themselves to is easier (No one is saying that it is impossible for a fat person to do XYZ activity, but it is accurate to say that people with certain builds can SOMETIMES do better or worse when they are aligned better to the activity they plan to do. [Example: I'm a Martial Artist. My thinness is not the issue here, but most of the arts I have taken are centered around kicking. I have long, thin, sturdy legs at 5'11". If I didn't have them, I could still very well do great in the arts I take, but that as an example, can sometimes be a point of adversity for people that may or may not be able to overcome the shortcomings of a certain build, shape, or form. Tae Kwon Do is my major art, and while a shorter person with shorter legs than me can still get by, they sometimes have to rely heavily on something such as greater speed or skill to get by, because with a good enough juggle of kicks, I can easily keep them away. This is similar to all activities, because they all have different builds that work for different positions, that work for different activities, that work for different people. I'm not trying to be offensive in any way: Please don't take this the wrong way. I am supporting the concept as much as I can. :(]), et cetera.

Now: Weight is highly genetic, but the thing is: The science of builds are not concrete. A naturally thin person can gain weight (Though it is excruciatingly hard), and people that have mixed builds exist very common this day and age. That isn't to say that someone going towards what may be a propensity to a smaller build is going to automatically become healthier if they go the other way if they have a mixed build, but we are all different. Diversity is the key here. I've been thin all my life, and while I would not mind if I suddenly put on 100lbs as much as I would if I had never come in contact with the movement: It's probably accurate to say that because my genetic propensity is towards a more lean build, that one cannot estimate accurately that I may or may not do well living in a larger physique (No we aren't taking in the societal assumption of OMGZ DUH FATTIES KEEP EATTIN 2 MUNCH!! [Took that line from one of those gosh forsaken weight bigots.. hehe.. fools... :p]). I may do ok, but not only do I not know: But you can't know either.

I think everyone in the movement should accept a larger person that decides they want to slim down a bit (Not get thin necessarily [Which I know the movement is not entirely centered around who is healthy and who is not], but thinner than they may be). I feel the people that think they can and should voice their opinions on others that have gotten thin/thinner are ok with continuous expression, but guys please... please... for the sake of the movement: Please try to not to be immoral to those that have lost weight. It isn't right (It's the reverse role that society is trying to play), and it is weighing down the movement. I have no problem understanding that Fat Admiration and Feederism sometimes dwell in lost weight being a "Lost Cause," but movements about acceptance should have a least a somewhat intention-based viewed on things they so oppose. I think it's great that on a psychological level: We are convincing people that it is physically ok, but weight loss does not trascend acceptance of oneself in itself. The reasoning behind it would be the determination of whether or not it is a transcedance of acceptance of oneself.
I put it to you this way:
I believe in non-violence if at all possible. Let's say I go on the street, and I end up in an alley. A man walks up to me, and prepares to attack me. Now: What am I supposed to do? Is defending myself with the tools I have [Hoping to god that I survive] a trascendance of my non-violence beliefs? Why would it be? It's defense.
When I apprach weight bigots: In the beginning, I may at the most have a negative (Sometimes neutral, even sometimes somewhat positive [Like if I think they stated their opinion in a way that isn't slander at the core just as one example), but still below average retort in response to what they may say. When I suddenly go from stating facts, to slandering them (Sometimes with facts to back them up [Like: "If it were true that caloric deficit would cause weight loss automatically, a surplus would cause AUTOMATIC weight gain stupid! She's not continously gaining weight: She's maitaining a certain weight." :P]), is that somehow wrong from the get-go? I know I rarely can convince people, but I have shown some people the light of acceptance with an ecletic feel of how I express myself.
I think having an anti-weight loss policy for the sake of fervor and to strike against those that may not exactly accept themselves (*COUGH* people that have lost weight, and have become weight bigots) is ok, but you have many people in the movement that are convinced that it's ok to shun someone that goes to a convention just because they are thinner/thin after being large for sometime without knowing the reasoning behind it. I just think you guys should try to analyze these situations.
I'm also an Non-Exclusive FA. I see that some bbw/ssbbws have lost weight/wish to lose weight sometimes, but I try my best to not even consider commenting negatively on it unless I know the situation for myself is not something I can condone (Which is not as common as you may think... There's a bbw up in NY who just lost 73 lbs. [She lived healthy at 331, but after taking pills to alleviate some of the pain of PCOS, in addition to hoping to alleviate more pain on her genetically bad leg frame: She lost weight, and those were the reasons behind it.] She's someone that I still consider after knowing just over three years that I may end up being lucky enough to get married to. I cannot hold that against her, regardless if I may see her differently or not. Doing that would make me no better than the bigots I strike against.)

I know you guys see it as ok if someone changes their lifestyle, and suddenly drops weight, but what about the people that have those mixed builds (Or push healthy living to a level that you may not be on the same plane of), that end up losing more than just a couple pounds? What about those that have a positive opinion of themselves, that for non-aeshetic reasons (Pretty much the only reason that I may even think to begin to be shifty about weight loss in itself [Mostly just in itself. People of all sizes can be without out a good body image, but they have to realize that regardless of change: Acceptance should come from within.] decide they want to/actually do change? Why would you guys automatically oppose them, without knowing their basis for such thinking and (or) action? Is there never exceptions to such a rule?

And honestly: I really need to know how weight loss in itself champions fat acceptance, when a lot of people in the movement are perfectly content with weight gain. Skip the fact that we are talking about a certain body type here: Some of these people think they can get more value on a sexual level, psychological level, or movement level because people influence them in that it's ok to gain, but it's not ok to lose. (That is not movement-dependent: I've seen it from Size Acceptance to Feederism...) How unfair is that?

And guys: I haven't been to a convention yet, but I really hope that my thin, toned physique is not going to get in the way of my strong message that I think everyone, regardless of size should be accepted.
I know you guys have such a strong belief in promoting certain messages, to get more people to not only realize that one can be fat and healthy (And that it's wrong to slander someone because of what you MAY percieve as being unhealthy [Especially when it's almost entirely based off of aesthetic instead of health but they are hiding it in most cases! :P], and for them to know that loving your body in whatever size it may be is never a bad thing (And that it does not advocate unhealthy living), but the anti-weight loss from the get-go concept, in my opinion, is starting to break a lot of us apart. Many people are scared of what you may think of them because what they may have done to themselves, and that should never be an issue whether you don't like what they do or not: If you are asking for others to respect you as part of your activism, why aren't we respecting these people in regards to this?

Sorry guys. It's late, but I really wanted to get this off of my chest. I don't want to be so confined because of my beliefs that I can't go to a convention, or I can't join an organzation because my beliefs supposedly automatically counter other beliefs in themselves.

I will come back to this blog, and if things get heated with me involved: Please send messages to my blog, my myspace, my youtube page, or any other medium you can contact at before you and I start spiraling across this beautiful, sweet, young woman's area of the web.

"Find your message, and let it thrive.
Accept others that do not do harm to another, and never let it die."

Ali said...

I agree - everybody should be accepted.

And that whole difference between 'weight loss as a goal' or 'side effect' of eating healthy ...

It's just very difficult to believe for me that I could feel as fit and healthy now as when I was 350 pounds. It's just not possible.

And one important point: I don't think it is physically possible (ok, I should say not physically possible for ME) to eat healthy, work out and NOT lose some weight.
As I stated before, I am far from thin. At 270 pounds I am still bigger than many of the more popular weight loss bloggers. If I'd have looked like Joy Nash I would be absolutely happy and content with myself too. If you are at that weight you don't really suffer as much of the hatred and the difficulties and the fear you suffer as a person who weighs more than 300 pounds. You really don't, there is no way around it. So you really can't blame people for wanting to lose weight.
Also the general notion of fat acceptance that everybody who loses weight will gain it back is simply wrong. If that is true, why do I know so many people who lost weight and have kept it off forever? I am against WLS because you don't learn how to eat right with it and I agree that people will gain that weight back but if you change your lifestyle you CAN keep the weight off. I have seen it happening around me many times. I am of course also against those 'diets' - fad diets, diet drugs, whatever but changing the way you eat and exercise will make you lose weight. You might hit your plateau at some point and always stay chubby but you will not be a morbidly obese person.
Of course there are people who don't lose weight because they are ill. I am not saying that's not true and of course there are people who are genetically not in favor for losing weight but nobody is genetically MORBIDLY obese. If that was true, why where people thinner 100 years ago? Same genes ... or did the obesety gene multiply?
Genetically I have no excuses if I gain any of my lost weight back. In my family everybody is pretty much underweight. They can eat whatever they want and not gain weight. What happened to me? A very difficult childhood, with sickness and family tragedy that was treated by eating lot's and lot's to compensate. Do I have to bare this weight (pun intended) from my childhood all my life? Maybe. But at least I want to feel healthy and be able to do what I want. As I said - I don't have to be thin for this and I don't intend to give up my love for food at all.
Do I think that things should be easier for big people - of course I do but do I have to sacrifice myself and be morbidly obese to support the cause of people who are (at lot of them) 100 pounds lighter than me? I don't think so.

Seriously, nobody is attacking you Brian (because you seem quite offended). We all want the same. We all want acceptance, we all want people to be happy and especially happy with themselves but to tell people who have serious health problems which are related to nutrition to just be happy with themselves and get on with it is not right. To say they belong to the group of 'dieters' - that group which in your eyes are traitors, people who don't understand anyway (which by the way is so not true) - it's just wrong.
Acceptance is supposed to be about accepting, not hatred.
I understand if you don't want people to patronize you and to keep on going on about how great it is to lose weight but if people want to do it for themselves and leave you alone with it but still want to be accepted into size acceptance maybe you should do so. If you want to build a force you will need as much help as possible. Otherwise you'll have the former fatties turn into Meme's and that would be really undesirable.

Spencer said...

Its your body, and you can do with it what you choose.

I could say something pithy, like "as long as you don't starve yourself to death" or "as long as you don't drink drain-cleaner", but that would be rather condescending of me. So I'm going to take the high road and NOT end with a cautionary comment that would be wasted on anybody with more intelligence than a brain-damaged echidna.

 
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