Monday, August 24, 2009

The Different Weight-o-spheres

The other day, I was reading one of my favourite "fat acceptance" blogs. Yes, I do read fat acceptance blogs. They contain a lot of extremely thoughtful posts on important issues like the debate on universal health care in the States. That example is not something that affects me personally (aside from the fact that some Americans are totally trashing Canada's health care system--something that the vast majority of Canadians of all political stripes hold extremely dear--and repeating vicious and unfounded lies about our system) but it's just an example. I'm also interested in body image and how it's so distorted in our society. While I recognize the problems associated with morbid obesity, I also think our society has gone overboard with ideal body types that are only achievable through PhotoShop or anorexia.

Anyhoo, there I was, reading an interesting post and I really felt the need to respond. My response had nothing to do with weight, it was a response to a political debate. So I pressed the comment button and I was sent to a page where I had to register. On this page, I was told that if I was not welcome to join the community if I had any interest in weight loss and/or had a weight loss blog. Clearly, I was not welcome.

I felt rather miffed, especially since I have personally rejected the whole idea of dieting. I can understand that the fat acceptance crowd feels constantly under attack for not even trying to conform to society's standards. Intellectually, I can understand that they want to build a protective wall around themselves (oh-oh, like a protective wall of fat???) but I was still really bugged. This is not a healthy attitude.

I must say that even though I am an anti-diet weight-loss blogger (I suspect the fat acceptance people would say I'm very confused), I feel much more comfortable with the weight loss blogging community. My readers/fellow bloggers and I aren't necessarily following the same path, but I think that in general we're all striving to just be healthier people. Ultimately, we share the same goal. And I really appreciate the wonderful, supportive comments I receive from you all.


  1. That is so interesting to me. Where's the acceptance? Apparently it's just one sided acceptance.

    This gives me a lot to think about!

  2. Why would anyone want to accept feeling horrible and all of the negative health effects? Just boggles my brain. Yes you can still be fat and beautiful---and that's cool. You don't have to lose weight in the name of beauty, but what about health? My guess is that these "fat acceptance" bloggers are people that are so afraid of letting go of their old habits---they've complicated this process to the point of giving up---and the thought of ever trying again scares the heck out of them. Then in an effort to make themselves feel better---they latch onto the fat acceptance bandwagon. It's sad. And they don't want to hear anything positive about losing weight, proved by the "No weight loss bloggers" allowed rule. Crazy. They must think we're the devil.
    Do I hate the way society treats fat people? Yes. Are fat people unfairly discriminated against? Absolutely. It's wrong, but certainly not cause for me to join the fight for "fat rights."
    I'd rather have a long and healthy life.

    My best always--great post. Interesting.

  3. Wow, have never heard of a group that didn't at least value to some degree a differing viewpoint. Sometimes, I learn a lot more from the folks who disagree with what I have to say a then those who sing from the same hymnbook.

  4. I hear comments like, "I may be overweight, but I'm healthy." Is it possible to be overweight, as in extremely overweight, and still be healthy? I'm average weight and I know from eating junk my body is a mess internally....

    Cindy in CO

  5. Cindy,

    I actually do think it's possible to be healthy and overweight, but it all depends on how far the overweight goes. Morbidly obese...not so healthy.

    Your comment that eating junk food messes you up and that you are of normal weight seems to imply that you feel all overweight people got that way by eating junk food. That is a total myth. There are lots of overweight people who eat healthy foods. You can't judge a book by its cover. There are also many overweight people who got that way eating junk food and even "lucky" slim people who live on junk food. They're probably not very healthy despite their lack of extra weight!

  6. I don't feel all overweight people are that way because of junk food - just wanted to post a comment in general regarding my question (a quick comment/question while I'm at work). I remember watching dr oz or oprah, something like that, showing the fat surrounding the organs and what your body has to do in order to survive, pump blood, etc... so if you are extemely overweight, with all this fat surrounding your organs and you're most likely having difficulty breathing, running etc how are you healthy? I don't get it... I mean, do these people KNOW that they are healthy? and if so, if they are heathly, according to their doctors, etc then what's the point of losing weight? I guess it seems conflicting. are these fat acceptance blogs by morbidly obsese people?

    As I said, wasn't trying to generalize and put everyone in one group, just trying to understand is all.

    Cindy in CO

  7. Thanks for the clarification, Cindy.

    To get back to the overweight/unhealthy thing, you have to remember that there's overweight and then there's morbidly obese. I think a lot of scientists agree that yo-yo dieting is a lot worse than staying consistently somewhat overweight. Again, there's a huge difference between being 20 pounds overweight and being 200 pounds overweight.

    Thanks again for reading my blog! Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  8. I mostly stay off the FA sites, with a few exceptions, because of this attitude. Not all are like this, fortunately, but I will respect their right to a safe space without assumptions that weight loss is wanted by any and all.

  9. Fat acceptance my behind. I will never understand the ones that celebrate their fat. I just won't.