The Health Conundrum.

The biggest arguments I hear from people against Fat Acceptance is typically something about the following:

  • “Being fat is unhealthy! It’s been proven!”
  • “You’re going to get diabetes!”
  • “You might be healthy now but what happens when it catches up with you?” (aka a Vague Future Health Threat)

And so on and so forth.

Now I’ve gone over in my sticky post how most of the so-called ‘facts’ about obesity are biased, incorrect, or blown completely out of proportion. And I stand by all of that. Weight simply doesn’t determine your health. Full stop. Fat people can be healthy, just as thin people can be unhealthy. This is one of the main points I would like people who read my blog to take away from it.

However.

Within the fat community itself, whilst combatting fat-shaming and bashing in stereotypes, I’ve come to realize that Fat Activism has its very own ‘good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy’ (read an excellent post about this by Tasha Fierce.)

When combatting fat hate, I tend to see the same arguments over and over from fat people.

  • “I eat healthy and go to the gym!”
  • “I’m vegetarian!”
  • “I follow Health At Every Size!”
  • “My blood pressure/cholesterol/glucose is totally normal!”
  • “I have Hypothyroidism/Cushing’s/a low metabolism/etc.”

I understand that these people are trying to prove that fat doesn’t equate to unhealthy, but in doing that, a perhaps unintended consequence is that it causes a huge rift within the Fat Acceptance movement itself.

There are fat people who don’t work out, who don’t want to work out. Who live off junk food and being sedentary. There are fat people with diabetes and heart disease. There are fat people in the feeder community who enjoy eating unhealthy foods and enjoy gaining weight. There are fat people who simply don’t have access to healthier foods or the ability to be as physically active as they’d like to. There are unhealthy fat people.

What about them? Since they are so-called ‘bad’ fatties are they somehow less worthy of respect?

I’ve had friends of mine who’ve felt like their voices didn’t matter, who’ve flat out refused to speak up, because they assume that since they’re not healthy or virtuous, they do nothing but exacerbate stereotypes about fat. And this kind of mindset is so detrimental to the community at large.

When I represent Fat Acceptance, I represent it for ALL people. Skinny people, fat people, disabled people,  healthy people, unhealthy people, an entire spectrum.

Your personal health does not invalidate the movement. The very CRUX of Fat Acceptance is the mindset that ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES, is the mindset that everyone deserves respect, not to be judged, not to be lambasted for their choices.

Health is absolutely important but it’s not a high priority for many people and that is okay. At the end of the day your body the only thing that’s 100% yours. You can do what you want with it. We all end up the same way, some of us sooner than others, but dead is dead. You have, above all, the right to use your body as you see fit. To some people, keeping in excellent shape and only eating certain things makes them feel good. To other people, not working up a sweat, and eating anything with sugar or carbs makes them feel good. To still other people, it’s a combination, or something different. You may not be able to understand why someone else makes the choices with their body that they do, but that’s okay, because you don’t have to understand. It’s not your body. You don’t have to understand, but you do have to accept.

You do not owe health to anyone. You don’t even need to bring it up. Health is private. 

Being a so-called ‘healthy’ fatty does not give you any leverage over a fat person who’s not healthy. And it’s important that people realize this.

To everyone who’s scared to speak out in support of Fat Acceptance because of their own personal health: please don’t be scared. We need you. Your voices are so important, let them be heard.

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23 Responses to The Health Conundrum.

  1. Stacy Raven says:

    I love this blog and what it stands for. Thank you for being a light in this place that is often so filled with darkness. Thank you for being a voice of reason among the brain-washed masses who parrot media induced hysteria and “health community” propaganda. You’re amazing and I’m very much looking forward to following this blog!

    • Stacy Ravenous says:

      I love cake and what it stands for. Thank you for being so light and creamy in this place that is often so filled with dark chocolate. Thank you for being a taste of deliciousness among the mass-produced deserts who parrot Entenmann’s induced hysteria and “bakery community” propaganda. You’re amazing and I’m very much looking forward to following this slice!

  2. Fully says:

    This, I am 330lbs. I drink a bit too much, and my blood pressure isn’t perfect. I eat a lot of beef and pork and I would rather read than spend a lot of time in the gym (not entirely to my detriment, I do have a degree in literature).

    I’m still a human being and still deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

    I say bravo to fat activists who get exactly the amount of exercise they should, eat well and are moderate in their vices….and it is important that they serve as living breathing examples that the stereotypes aren’t true, but even those of us who aren’t “fat but fit” must stand up for our rights as citizens and human beings. There is nothing you can know about a persons health by glancing at them and making a cursory “diagnosis” based on what they might weigh. But even if you know something about someones health, since when is it kosher to go to a cancer ward and say “meh, you should have eaten less processed food” or “you shouldn’t have lived near the ship channel”.

    If you are interested in preaching sermons, join the clergy, if you want to sing the praises of your diet and exercise plan, sing away, about yourself in the positive…..don’t tsk…tsk…the poor fatties because you are “concerned about their health”…maybe they (GASP) have even greater accomplishments to boast of than a trim waistline. INCONCEIVABLE!!!

  3. Anita says:

    amazing post. thats for clearing it up so well! i agree that it is nobodys business telling anyone else about their health and what they need to do with their body. Its just so disrespectful. And I think that just that one small ittle gesture of accepting someone as they are can be the end of so much hate. thanks for posting this!

    xo
    A_Riot

  4. JackthaStripper says:

    I’ve only recently been made aware of your blog, and as a future health professional (still at uni, sorry), I really believe that your attitude is… Words fail me. Wrong.

    I’m not going to preach against your attitude towards being fat, like you say, your body is yours to do with what you will (though I wonder if you’re prepared to deal with the consequences of your decisions in future, and I remind you that in my country, at least, my taxes pay for your healthcare), I have only a couple of questions.

    What is your resting heart rate?

    How is your blood pressure?

    Strength, endurance and co-ordination? Generally speaking, how is your fitness? Any knee pain?

    The only reason I ask these questions is because, like I said, where I live, my taxes pay for your healthcare.

  5. JackthaStripper says:

    Ok, so having followed some of the recent activity on your tumblr, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re not going to respond to my questions.

    First, to clarify, I’m not “concern trolling”. You’re going to live a shorter life than the average person, but you’re not in my country, and your healthcare won’t affect me even indirectly.

    I’m just curious as to how people like you deal with the cognitive dissonance involved in having your attitude; saying that your choices don’t affect me, and then using up resources (not just food) that could have been used for other people. That way, if and or when I have a patient like you, I can stomp on their rationalisations, and make them take personal responsibility for their own welfare.

    You say that normal people MUST accept you, but that’s where you’re wrong. Normal people don’t have to do a damn thing for you. The world doesn’t owe you anything, and frankly, you disgust me.

    There’s enough obesity out there as it is, it’s not something that needs any encouragement.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      Your comments are condescending, full of false assumptions, and lack validity. You’ve diagnosed me, without an ability to.

      I don’t have to answer your questions. But since I’m feeling charitable, I’ll throw you a bone or two.

      My vital signs and numbers are all normal, and in fact my blood pressure last time I checked two nights ago was an excellent 118/78. My blood sugar actually runs low.

      I have had Binge Eating Disorder since I was 9 years old. I gained weight rapidly and uncontrollably from that time until I was around 22-23. I have managed to maintain since then. Maybe that means nothing to you, but for me, plateauing after a lifetime of gaining is no small victory.

      Your assumptions are repulsive. You obviously think I eat like a vacuum, but even if that is true, even if i was eating an extra meal or two every day doesn’t actually take that meal away from anyone else. I don’t know how it’s done where you are, but here we have to pay for our food. It’s not free and there’s not a limited supply. So fat people aren’t actually taking anything away from anyone else.

      My food budget for a month is around $60-75. If you want to assume I eat everything I look at on that kind of budget, well, I mean if you want to talk about people being wrong. . .whoops.

      Because of my inability to eat three real meals a day, my metabolism is shot. So losing weight ain’t just ‘oh gosh, eat less and exercise more!’

      You, as a burgeoning healthcare professional, have a valuable opportunity to stop weight stigma in it’s tracks. Do you realize just how many of the statistics about so-called ‘obesity related illnesses’ are skewed because lazy medical professionals want to misdiagnose someone based on what they look like instead of what’s actually going on in their body? Don’t become one of those medical professionals. I believe you can do better.

      Bodies are not simple. They are complex, they are multifaceted, they are complex and new discoveries are being made all the time. Different bodies work in different ways. And you simply CANNOT assume how a body works just because it looks a certain way on the outside.

      I hope you never tell a 5’6 woman who’s 100lbs that she needs to ‘eat more’. I hope your bedside mannerisms improve vastly from the vitriol you’ve spewed in these comments to me.

      • Emma says:

        Amber,

        You’ve said that “bodies are complex” and that weight loss (or gain) is not all about calories in and calories out numerous times. Can you please explain that statement?

        As someone having an advanced degree in both biology and chemistry, this really confuses me. Metabolic rate (both basal and exercise induced) = calories out, food intake = calories in. One pound of fat is made up of ~3500 calories. So if there is a caloric deficit at the end of the day, one loses weight. If there is a caloric excess, one gains weight. Adjusting food intake would easily allow one to lose/gain weight no matter what their metabolic rate is (either high or low). So what complexities are you referring to?

        I, of course, am not considering people who have metabolic disorders or eating disorders and have a hard time either processing the food or maintaining a certain intake. I am referring to “normal” (ie otherwise healthy) individuals. I am also not referring to complexities such as food availability or time for exercise, just the biological ones you mention.

        I realize that I don’t know what subject you’re studying in school (maybe biology/anatomy/chem etc) and you may have valid information that I haven’t studied so I’m just wondering what it is you mean.

        Thanks.

      • JackthaStripper says:

        I apologise for my tone, and I thank you for your response, which was much more polite than mine.

        I only used that tone because I sincerely believed that you wouldn’t respond to me, though the attitude you have shown still disgusts me. That being said, thanks again for your (belated) response, and congratulations on your victory.

        I’m going to skip refutations from all the assumptions you claim I’ve made about you, because frankly, you’re not far off the mark.

        What I take issue with, is mainly the assertion that I ought to accept someone’s poor choices, even if it’s making my job difficult or impossible, not only that, but the assertion that every medical professional ought to do the same thing.

        In your particular case, due to your illness, medical professionals ought to make an exception. But there are people who make poor choices (Smokers, heavy drinkers, people who take intravenous drugs, bulimics, anorexics, obese people, you name it); and if they won’t take sound medical advice where it’s given, because as a profession, we ought to accept you and their choices, then THERE’S NO POINT IN HAVING US.

        Your post essentially rationalises a self entitled attitude for anyone with shitty health, who thinks it’s too hard to change their ways. In the case of obesity, around 5% of obesity cases can be attributed only to genetics, with the rest of the cases being poor choices and bad genetics, or just poor choices.
        (I’d like to add the caveat that I don’t have access to the full text for the article I got this figure from.)

        And you’re telling the world that these poor choices are ok, and telling the people that make these poor choices that the world should change to suit them.

        Do you know what confirmation bias is? Do you know how some of this 95% will respond to this message? To sum up, you are making the world a measurably worse place.

        As for your assertion that a whole lot of these statistics are skewed as a result of lazy health professionals; I call bullshit. That’s not how scientific academia works, and believe it or not, we do understand how the body works, and how an excess of adipose tissue will affect the body’s systems. It’s also kind of hard to misdiagnose someone who is dead. And when a whole bunch of obese people turn up dead at a young age, well that shows correlation. Any statistician will tell you; correlation is not causation, but it can imply it.
        I’d like to add the caveat that I didn’t bother reading this whole article, I just looked at all the pretty numbers they spewed out at the end.
        And I know this isn’t referenced properly.
        (The number of years lived with obesity and the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, Asnawi Abdullah,1,2* Rory Wolfe,1 Johannes U Stoelwinder,1 Maximilian de Courten,3 Christopher Stevenson,1 Helen L Walls1 and Anna Peeters1
        International Journal of Epidemiology 2011;40:985–996)

        Also, for the record
        – I’m studying to be a Physical Therapist, not a doctor.
        – Relevant to (one of) my field(s), an obese person’s joints will take, let’s say, 40% (depending on how much they weigh, of course) more load than they should; over a year, that’s more load than a jumbo fucking jet, and that’s just physics.
        – I used to be obese, I guess I’m in that 85% or else I wouldn’t look or feel how I would now.
        – I will (half) concede your point on the socialised medicine. The difference between obesity and a victim of drunk driving (your own example, might I add…), is that obesity is PREVENTABLE. And many fractures are easy to rehabilitate. Do you honestly think I hate on obesity and don’t care about drunk drivers? Or smokers? You’re not special. To me, a person with preventable obesity and a smoker, are just as stupid as each other.

      • Sarah says:

        JackthaStripper – You are a future health professional, and you don’t even know that anorexia and bulimia are MENTAL disorders? I call bull on your whole conversation.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      oh, and also, “my taxes pay for your healthcare” is a bullshit statement to make. Fat people pay taxes too. And fat people have to pay for all manner of things they don’t want to. Smokers, victims of drunk driving accidents, shall I go on? That is the very nature of socialized medicine.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      For some reason it’s not letting me reply to your latest comment, so I’m replying to this one again.

      Obesity is not 100% preventable. No matter how well the entire world eats, no matter how much they exercise, there are still always, ALWAYS going to be people who fall into the ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ category of BMI. ALWAYS.

      But if we’re going to play to ‘obesity is preventable’ game, take a look at the populations most likely to be obese.

      Low income families, especially the women and children, who can’t afford healthful food, who have much less time for physical activity, who live a high stress lifestyle which contributes to myriad health problems (many of those health problems have a symptom of weight gain.)

      People who are uneducated about healthy foods and activity levels, who can tend to fall into the previous category.

      People who have diseases or genetic anomalies (BED, Compulsive Overeating, Cushings, underactive thyroid, etc. etc.)

      A huge chunk of the so-called ‘obesity epidemic’, which is a term I have a hard time swallowing, and the definite decline in activity and healthy eating, which I will not argue with, has to do with socio-economics. There simply isn’t enough HEALTHY food or education going around. (here’s a great article/study about that: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/researchHighlights/Health/obesity.aspx)

      Your willingness to lump obesity, anorexia, bulimia, drug use, etc. into one big category is very disconcerting to me. Eating disorders are just that: disorders. They are not rational and they’re definitely not intentional. They’re serious psychological issues. You can’t just ‘stop’ looking in the mirror and seeing an obese person when you’re 86lbs. You can’t just ‘stop’ eating everything around you when you have a physical and psychological compulsion to do so. There’s no such thing as cold turkey for those kinds of issues. I’m very concerned that you’re studying to be a medical professional and yet you’re viewing these types of things as choices.

      Saying obesity is preventable does nothing for the people who are already obese. And I challenge you, truly and honestly. Find me a diet, a pill, a surgery, a supplement, a lifestyle change, ANYTHING that has a majority success rate for making overweight and obese people a) lose a significant amount of weight and b) keep it off for 5+ years, which is a true measure of success.

      You’re misunderstanding my message. Beyond the points I make that fat isn’t always unhealthy (and yes: some fat people ARE unhealthy. Some fat people are REALLY unhealthy) I believe that if a fat person knows that their lifestyle is not healthy, and accepts the risks therein, they are entitled to that. Whatever medical professional they choose to see should ABSOLUTELY inform them of those risks, provided they’re based on bloodwork/vital signs/fitness and not weight alone. But if a person chooses to continue on with their lifestyle, they are entitled to that, because they own the body they’re in.

      Likewise, if a person is informed of the risks and decides they do want to change their lifestyle, they should get more support from their doctor than ‘well, put down the cookies and the remote’. Weight loss is not easy. Maintaining weight loss is next to impossible. There’s so much wrong with the state of food availability today, so many people would like to eat healthier, but simply cannot afford to. Many people would like to be more active, but between working overtime, raising families, running around, finding time to exercise is simply impossible.

      This is not making excuses, this is an actual reality for many, many millions of people.

      But if a fat person DOES make a conscious effort to eat better, to move more, and doesn’t lose weight, it doesn’t come down to them not trying hard enough. If their fitness improves, if their blood pressure goes down, if they no longer have high cholesterol, you cannot tell me they’re not healthier even though they weigh the same. I advise you to take a look at Ragen Chastain’s blog, danceswithfat.wordpress.com. She’s nearly 300lbs and she’s a professional dancer whose health is EXCELLENT. No. Not every fat person walking around is healthy. Not even most of them are. But I wouldn’t say that every (or even most!) thin people walking around are necessarily healthy either.

      What you’re saying about confirmation bias and how 95% of people will respond to my message, I’m sorry, but I have to take that with a grain of salt. Because the message fat people get from the very moment they become fat, from peers, doctors, media, family, society, etc., is ‘fat is bad’, ‘fat is wrong’, ‘fat is unhealthy’, ‘fat is unattractive’, ‘no one will ever love you’, ‘lose weight and everything will be better’, ‘stop being such a fat fat fatty ew gross.’ And yet. . .the majority of fat people are still fat? There seems to be some flawed logic about what people get from my message vs. what they’ve been getting from everyone else in the world’s message.

      The most important part of my message isn’t that health isn’t important or that it should be ignored. What’s important is that a) it’s not up to other people to diagnose you, because health is private, and that b) it doesn’t make you a bad person if you have bad health. It doesn’t mean you should be ostracized by society, it doesn’t mean you should be looked down upon or judged. And it DEFINITELY doesn’t mean that you deserve to hate your body. You should not have low self esteem because you’re fat. You should not think that you’ll never be loved, never get the job or the girl or the friends, because you’re fat. You should not be made to feel like you are less of a human being because you are fat. THAT is the most important message I can possibly try to get out there.

      • JackthaStripper says:

        Oh, hey, rational discourse.

        Thanks again for replying.

        “Obesity is not 100% preventable…” – Never said it was. I am mostly uneducated about eating disorders, but this is the one thing I double and triple checked before posting up.

        “But if we’re going to play to ‘obesity is preventable’ game, take a look at the populations most likely to be obese.

        Low income families, especially the women and children, who can’t afford healthful food, who have much less time for physical activity, who live a high stress lifestyle which contributes to myriad health problems (many of those health problems have a symptom of weight gain.)”

        Congratulations, you just described my family. Apart from my dad and my brother, there is no one in my immediate family who was not overweight or obese at some point. I could go into more detail, but let’s just say “There but for the grace of god goes another man.”

        “Your willingness to lump obesity, anorexia, bulimia, drug use, etc. into one big category is very disconcerting to me.”

        Well shit. As I was reading your reply, I realised I dropped the ball, severely.
        In my defense, eating disorders aren’t my game. Rehabilitating people’s cardiopulmonary, Central, Peripheral and Musculoskeletal systems;that’s my game. So I don’t know about psychology.
        That’s no excuse though. Even if it wasn’t my duty to inform myself about these things, I DO know this, having seen documentaries and read articles, etc. I’ll try not to slip up again.

        “Saying obesity is preventable does nothing for the people who are already obese. And I challenge you, truly and honestly. Find me a diet, a pill, a surgery, a supplement, a lifestyle change, ANYTHING that has a majority success rate for making overweight and obese people a) lose a significant amount of weight and b) keep it off for 5+ years, which is a true measure of success.”

        OK, fine, here’s a lifestyle change, for those with (mostly) preventable obesity. Muay Thai. Taken seriously, done properly, done diligently. Even if one never gets below the overweight level of BMI, it stresses the relevant body systems. Results guaranteed, but expect it to hurt. Health at any size, right?

        “You’re misunderstanding my message. Beyond the points I make that fat isn’t always unhealthy (and yes: some fat people ARE unhealthy. Some fat people are REALLY unhealthy) I believe that if a fat person knows that their lifestyle is not healthy, and accepts the risks therein, they are entitled to that. Whatever medical professional they choose to see should ABSOLUTELY inform them of those risks, provided they’re based on bloodwork/vital signs/fitness and not weight alone. But if a person chooses to continue on with their lifestyle, they are entitled to that, because they own the body they’re in.”

        Yes, I misunderstood your message. So you pretty much reiterated this:

        “Being a so-called ‘healthy’ fatty does not give you any leverage over a fat person who’s not healthy. And it’s important that people realize this.

        To everyone who’s scared to speak out in support of Fat Acceptance because of their own personal health: please don’t be scared. We need you. Your voices are so important, let them be heard.”

        I still take issue with this. But we’ll get to that later.*

        “Likewise, if a person is informed of the risks and decides they do want to change their lifestyle, they should get more support from their doctor than ‘well, put down the cookies and the remote’. Weight loss is not easy.”

        I’m going to assume you meant to say “Weight loss is not complicated.” Because, frankly, it is that easy.

        “Why is a caterpillar wrapped in silk while it changes into a butterfly?
        So other caterpillars can’t hear the screams.

        Change hurts.”

        I love that quote.

        Other relevant stuff I would agree with about “Health at any size.” Cool beans. I’ve met healthy people who are overweight. Never an obese one, but with 7 billion people on this planet I’m not going to rule out the possibility.

        “What you’re saying about confirmation bias and how 95% of people will respond to my message, I’m sorry, but I have to take that with a grain of salt. Because the message fat people get from the very moment they become fat, from peers, doctors, media, family, society, etc., is ‘fat is bad’, ‘fat is wrong’, ‘fat is unhealthy’, ‘fat is unattractive’, ‘no one will ever love you’, ‘lose weight and everything will be better’, ‘stop being such a fat fat fatty ew gross.’ And yet. . .the majority of fat people are still fat? There seems to be some flawed logic about what people get from my message vs. what they’ve been getting from everyone else in the world’s message.”

        Sigh. Well I suppose I should have been clearer with my language there.

        When I say ‘95%’ I mean that the figure I found over a quick search said that about 5% of obesity cases were predetermined by genetics. And the 95%? Like anything else, affected by genetics; from something that affects the likelihood of obesity a little, to something that affects it a lot. Also, I’m more likely to take advice from people like me, who have been through similar situations to myself. Are you the same? The same words from different people can have a different level of impact.

        *Now let me pull a couple of numbers out of the air. I’ll keep them small, maybe you’ll see my point.
        According to the article I referenced above, people who spend a medium (5 – 15 years) amount of time being obese have more than double the likelihood of an early death. How early, it’s somewhere in the numbers, how to interpret that stuff is next semester for me. Also, I didn’t pick people who have spent a short amount of time being obese as the example, because the article wasn’t specific enough.

        I don’t know how many blogs like yours there are, let’s say that there’s, oh, I don’t know, 50.
        Let’s say that the mean number of obese readers for each one is 20.
        Let’s say that one fifth of the obese readers have preventable obesity.

        50 x 20 x 1/5 = 200

        Let’s say that 5% of these readers get the cute, fluffy, comfortable message that it’s ok to be obese, that it’s ok to be unhealthy and that others have to accept this, and they run with it. They believe it.

        And the message has facilitated inaction for 10 people.

        Yes, I know that I’ve made a straw man of your message, but it was for the sake of this argument. It’s also how I first interpreted your message; I’m probably not alone. Also, to be blunt, I wasn’t, and am not, going to read any more of what you wrote; maybe you make your message absolutely clear in your other posts, but if you don’t, well, I’m going to have an aneurysm reading it.

        I like your last paragraph, I really do. It’s very noble, and it’s true, being unhealthy does not make one a bad person, and people deserve to love themselves no matter what they look like.

        But I want you to listen to yourself. “It’s ok to be unhealthy. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”
        It’s irrelevant. Moreover, it’s telling someone what they want to hear (“Oh, at least you’re not a bad person.”) Not what they need to hear (“Dude, you’re gonna die if you keep smoking. And you smell like shit.”). Ethically (utilitarian model), you would be better off saying nothing. Or fuck it, the world has too many people in it. Shout it from the rooftops.

        To sum up

        Health at any size – Preach.

        Body acceptance – Fine. Whatever. But shut up about it. Self esteem doesn’t mean jack shit. Self respect means the world; self respect is hard won.

        It’s ok to be unhealthy – No, it’s not^. It’s not my place to tell someone to stop being unhealthy outside of a clinical setting. And I don’t. It’s a bad idea, and a shitty thing to do, to tell them “It’s ok, it’s your choice.” They know it’s their choice, they rationalised it, and then they made it. Don’t go and reinforce it for them too.

        Being unhealthy doesn’t make you a bad person – I’m not wearing socks at the moment. What do these statements have in common? They’re both irrelevant.

        ^There’s more here. Being unhealthy and not making an effort to change, as a collective, puts more stress on a health system. At the individual level, one is depriving their loved ones of their future company. Follow this train of thought to conclusion for me.

        One more thing

        “Fat people are scared to go to the doctor because they fear judgment from dicks like that.

        – I didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear. Cry me a river.

        – Just as an aside, I can be a dick, but I also do my best to put myself in another’s shoes. Put yourself in mine – You’ve clarified your message from one that literally infuriates me, to one that is, well, it’s nice, if you take out the stupid bits. I’m not a troll. If I make a comment on the internet, it’s not for ‘lulz’. So I was checking up on you periodically, and between my first and second posts, I saw a picture of someone using oreos as cereal on your tumblr (I’ve since become aware that it wasn’t you), and no response to my first post. I literally saw red. It doesn’t excuse my tone, but the message would have been very similar, if not the same.

        So they avoid avoid avoid, all the while getting more anxious.

        So then any health problems they have get worse.

        Until they finally have no choice…

        and then their health gets blamed on their weight.

        – Relevant physics and physiology for you. Excuse me if all this comes across as condescending.
        – Apart from extra load on your skeleton, adipose tissue also makes the expansion of the thorax and diaphragm more difficult. This messes with breathing. Difficult breathing = Less oxygen in the blood.
        – Adipose tissue needs blood supply too – Even less oxygen in the blood, and the blood has to travel further.
        – Cells need oxygen to do work. This includes cells involved in tissue healing.
        – Obesity may not be the cause, but god dammit, it’s a factor.

        Here’s the thing about doctors.

        Pre-med students have to practice on cadavers.

        – So do we. It’s not fun, don’t do it.

        But if you’re fat/’out of shape’ and you want to donate your body to science, you don’t get to be one of those cadavers. They just take out your organs and are done with you.

        So these pre-med students ONLY see ‘normal’ bodies.

        – Whoever told you this is full of shit. All body types are used. ‘Variable repetition.’ The more varieties of body you see, the better you learn the body. We didn’t have any obese cadavers to look at though; it’s not so common where I live, but they say that the incidence is on the rise.

        So when they get into the real world, and they have to deal with patients of all shapes and sizes, they don’t know what to do with themselves because they’ve only been exposed to one body type.

        They don’t know how to touch bodies that fall outside the perceived ‘norm’, or how to be sensitive to those bodies needs.

        – From a medical point of view – Do you have any idea how hard it is to auscultate the lungs or heart through a thick layer of adipose tissue?
        – From a physical therapy point of view – It’s hard enough palpating something through skin, fascia and a few millimetres of adipose tissue. It’s not that we ‘don’t know how to touch bodies that fall outside the perceived norm.’ It’s that doing what needs to be done, is intrinsically difficult; it takes years of experience to be able to do it properly on a person of normal weight. Doing something like gait analysis uses some of these same landmarks, but visually, and from a distance…
        Well I think I’ve made my point. My ideal patient? A triathlete. They’re easy. It blows my mind that I’m really having to point this out to you.

        There are lots of reasons I don’t trust most medical professionals. This is one of them.

        – I’m guessing one of the others is that they don’t tell you what you want to hear.

        ALL bodies deserve comprehensive, compassionate, RESPECTFUL health care.

        – Fixed that for you.

        Sorry for the long reply. I think I’ve made my point.

  6. JG says:

    My problem with you is that you HATE when people make assumptions about your health. However, if you come across someone who wants to lose weight for his/her health, you cannot help but to jump on them and explain your opinion that it’s not even possible for weight loss to be associated with health. Stop being a hypocrite, please.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      If you think I’m a hypocrite, you’re clearly misconstruing something about what I believe.

      It IS possible for weight loss to be associated with better health, however, it is not the CAUSE of better health. If you start eating healthier, start exercising more, and yet you don’t lose a pound, are you any healthier or not? Of course you are. If you start eating healthier and exercising more and weight loss happens to result from it, you’re also healthier, but it’s not BECAUSE of the weight loss. The weight loss is a side effect. Not a cause. Just like in the reverse, weight gain in many cases is a SIDE EFFECT/symptom of underlying health issues. NOT the cause of them.

  7. Me says:

    Thank you for spreading such a positive message about acceptance. And THANK YOU for calling the trolls on their BS. As for “JackthaStripper”, I pray I never get HIM as a health care professional. What a close minded, uninformed, bigot.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      Well through actual mature and calm discourse, I think I at least taught him a few things, even if we still disagree on large parts of my message. (fortunately!) but thank you for this kind comment!

  8. Andrew says:

    Did you read what you linked to?:

    “”Rather than proving that obesity is harmless, our data suggests that alternative methods might be needed to better characterize individuals who truly have excess body fat compared with those in whom BMI is raised because of preserved muscle mass,” said lead researcher Francisco Lopez-Jiminez.”

    What that article is stating is that while BMI IS flawed, it’s not flawed because obesity is harmless, it’s flawed because people with a large amount of muscle have a higher BMI than those with an average or low amount, despite actually probably being more in shape. Yes, BMI is flawed, but it’s saying it’s only that way for muscly people; if you have an average amount of muscle and are overweight, that’s still a bad thing – that’s what the article is saying anyway, whether you agree with that or not.

    I’m not saying other parts of what you wrote are wrong (and I do agree with some of it), merely that you seem to have got the wrong idea about what that article is saying; it doesn’t actually back up your cause at all, really, so it was probably a bad idea to link it.

    • Isabel says:

      Though I think it’s pretty clear that there are other flaws with it (the BMI), namely the fact that it was created in an arbitrary manner, and so there is no real reason to think it accurate in the first place, and the creator itself said that it should not be used to measure an individuals’ health. It also doesn’t take into account frame and bone mass (as opposed to muscle or fat), which account for a lot in my case.

      • Andrew says:

        That is all well and good but do you not see my point? While I do actually agree with you, the article you linked to and that I quoted does NOT agree with you, and actually opposes your view. It clearly states the only thing that throws BMI off is when a person has a high muscle mass. It’s a bit like a someone holding up Nazi propaganda that says “We don’t hate non-German Aryans!” and saying “It says they don’t hate Jews after all!”. (Yes, I just invoked Godwin’s Law..). You’re trying to mold something to say what you want it to say, that’s all, which I do think damages your point. I’m sure there’s a lot of articles that DO agree with you – that one, however, is not one of them, and it looks a bit weird to hold it up as an example of something proving that you’re right when, actually, everything that that article is attempting to prove you wrong. Just find another article that says BMI is flawed in *every* way rather than just for people with a high muscle mass and it’d be a lot more helpful, that’s all 🙂 Once again, I agree with you – I just don’t agree with the article and think it’s actually doing a lot of damage to your point to hold up something that DISagrees with you as if it’s one of the few articles on your side, which it’s not, and since it’s not, just find another!

  9. wannabeepic says:

    Hey, great post! I agreed with you all the way up until here:
    “And this kind of mindset is crippling to the community at large.”
    Fat activism is rad and I know from my work as an ally that many fat folks also identify as disabled or form ties with the disability community. So we need to be showing solidarity. Using “crippled” to describe the community being torn apart is just as offensive as saying the community has become “fat” to mean ineffective. We’ve got to fight oppression together.

    • Adipose Activist says:

      you’re right! when i wrote this blog post i was not nearly as into intersectionality as I am now. Thank you for pointing out my error, I’ll change it now! 🙂

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