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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Proud to be fat?

Are you fat, and proud of it?

Over here, they are. And there's a whole bunch of other websites out there promoting being fat, supporting being fat, and proud to be fat.

According to this BMI (Body to Mass Index) calculator, my BMI is 24.9 (I'm 6' 1" tall and 189 lbs / 86 kg). The maximum 'normal' rating is 24.9, so I'm still normal without being overweight. Just. (I really should start exercising more...) I'm happy that I'm not overweight though, and nowhere near obese, even though a lot of people are.

I was on the bus this morning, and there was a fat woman (I'm going with the 'proud to be fat' stuff. Why beat around the bush with terms like 'overweight'? Fat people are calling thsemselves fat and saying they're proud of it, so we should start calling them fat too, if that's what they want?) sitting in front of me, with her boyfriend. I was reminded of how so many western women are fat, and men are expected to tolerate it, and even love it. If they don't, then they're 'castrated' for being shallow and insecure.

"I'm not fat, I just have love handles."
Nope, looks like fat to me.

"Underneath this fat, I'm a person like you."
Maybe so, but all I see is fat, rather than someone like me.

"You're shallow for seeing only the fat."
It's hard to miss!

"A secure man would appreciate me for who I am underneath."
How many secure men do you see with fat women? Secure men don't feel the need to settle for a fat woman, when they can get someone who actually attracts them.

"True attraction goes deeper than just appearances."
Definitely not true. Ever heard of 'love at first sight'? All attraction, unless you're blind, begins with appearances. Anyone who says otherwise is simply unhappy with their own appearance, and wants to continue the fantasy that appearances shouldn't matter.

"You're cruel for denying fat people their right to be fat."
Everyone has the right to be fat, just like they have the right to be skinny.

It really has nothing to do with rights, and instead has everything to do with acceptance. For a start, fat people don't accept themselves. They say they do, and they push forward their statements of being 'proud to be fat', but in reality, they hate it. They hate and reject themselves, and their eating disorders show how they feel about themselves.

I think it's sad that people are encouraged to be fat by food suppliers (eg. takeaway food places, etc), and also on the development of denying self-responsibility. Many fat people blame their condition on everything else but themselves. They blame food, the media, and other people, but rarely do they blame themselves.

When they put responsibility outside of themselves, it helps them feel better about being fat. It helps them continue being fat. And when they create support groups for each other, helping each other be proud of being fat, they're avoiding the issues of their lives that are making them choose to be fat.

Like everything in our lives, what we eat, feel and do, is up to us. We make the choices. We can choose to eat less, or choose to eat differently, or choose to exercise more. We can also choose to work on those issues in our lives that are helping us feel like overeating is a solution.

Being fat is unhealthy. The body has to strain more in order to continue doing what it's expected to do. Walking becomes ponderous, elephant-like, as the extra weight slows everything down. The heart and lungs have to work harder, and under increased pressure. All of this, plus all the other health problems that come with being fat, reduces life expectancy.

It's also unsafe, hazardous to your health in more ways than one. Fat people are unable to avoid danger like thinner people, as they're unable to run fast or sidestep in time. Another case in point is something I witnessed last year.

I was walking along behind a fat woman, who was walking with someone else. Suddenly she tripped. Now, I've tripped, and I've seen others trip. I know what happens. Your legs stay where they are, to an extent, while the body continues to move forward. Recovering from a trip means causing your legs to quickly move in such a way that they continue to support the body as it's moving forward, and so you continue walking. Or, if you're unable to do this, you fall on the ground, curse a bit, and then pick yourself up again.

This woman didn't have that kind of experience. She tripped, and was unable to recover. Her entire body did a swan dive onto the ground. She instinctively put her arms out to protect herself. Unfortunately, they weren't strong enough to handle her weight, and there was a large crack piercing the air as her arm snapped. She let out a mighty wail from the pain, and writhed around on the ground. Immediately about 10-15 people rushed over to her aid, so I didn't bother hanging around.

Her weight was hazardous to her health, not just with bodily conditions, but with how it was unable to handle a physical incident.

I used to be 96 kg at my heaviest. I'm now 86. I've been relatively happy with the weight, but not with the distribution of that weight. I have a bit of a pot belly, and a double chin. These are things I can live with, but I want to improve. I can still be physically active, but choose not to because of my back. I can still walk fast, run fast, and respond to danger should I encounter it. I feel healthy, and I believe I AM healthy. I'd just like to exercise more.

I will never let myself be fat. I care about myself too much for that.

And yes, I love to be politically incorrect. Flame on!

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Posted on 8/18/2005 12:51:00 PM Backlinks

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Anonymous Em said...

But... what is considered "fat" then? Measuring you BMI isn't really showing body fat, the weight could just as well be muscles.

Are you fat when you think you're fat yourself, or in the eyes of others?
An anorectic person think they're fat even though they have the weight of a rather smallish squirrel after all.
So, who's to judge wheter I am fat or not? =)

And if you're happy with yourself, feeling good and not having physical problems, is that ok, or will you have to go on a diet because someone else think you should?


8/18/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post... thanks.

8/19/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Moghal said...

I don't 'mind' having sight-problems, or being hard of hearing. I can't change them, so if people choose to comment on them, so be it. Just because I don't mind it, doesn't mean I condone anyone going out and having a go at every four-eyed deafo out there. What I don't mind, others might.

I think there is a problem with 'condoning' being fat - there are serious long-term health issues with being overweight, and overpacked societies are carrying the financial cost of that as much as the individual families of people dying of obesity related illnesses are suffering.

Insulting people with a weight problem - and whether you adopt the 'choice' line of thought or not it is a 'problem' - isn't likely to encourage the sort of self-esteem and self-belief that is needed to combat the problem.

'True attraction goes deeper than just appearances' Definitely true. I'm not a looker, by any stretch, but my wife loves me, my children love me, I have friends. Some of my friends - one who writes not very far from here - don't know what I look like. People are more than just an image. I don't say that looks aren't involved in most people's assessments of each other, but it really does go deeper than that.

Everyone doesn't have the right to be fat. Fat people cost me, the taxpayer, money. They burden their society, the grossly obese (to the point of being registered disabled!!!) more so than others, but long term medical bills, adjustments to public buildings/services to cater for 'larger individuals'...

"they hate it. They hate and reject themselves, and their eating disorders show how they feel about themselves". Not everyone that is obese has an eating disorder. The vast majority of the weight problems in the first world are a result of insufficient exercise, not poor diet. People don't get up and do enough to work off the excess of the otherwise poor but not intrinsically sickening diet.

Too much fat and refined sugars for their lifestyle, not for life.

Technically, according to the charts, I'm overweight - bordering on the obese. At 6' tall and 14 and a half stone my BMI comes out at 27.7

I ride to work every day, I do upwards of ten hours rigorous martial arts a week. My resting heart-rate is 46. Fitness, not weight, is the issue.

8/19/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

How funny! I came to this post to check the comments, and then clicked on 'Next Blog' at the top right, and found this website! No More Fatties. One of the authors is even in Wellington, NZ, just like me. What a bizarre coincidence!

8/19/2005 11:07:00 AM  

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