Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fat Acceptance A La Carte.

I've mentioned the fat acceptance movement in passing many times--I'm kinda fat, they say nice things about people like me, sounds great--but I don't think I've ever really dedicated a post to it. There's some things they say that I agree with, and some I don't.

There is no excuse to be uncivil or discriminatory against someone because they are fat.
Completely, 100% agree, and the main reason I read Shapely Prose. The level of schoolyard bullying that fat people are subject to, from grown adults who should seriously know better, is insane. And the media is fully in the "ha ha, fatty" dogpile--when they're not leading it. Professional news sources that bite their nails about using the proper "-American" for every other group post articles about obesity with hilarious "a rapidly expanding problem" puns and undisguised disgust. Even if you disagree with every other thing on this list, even if you think every fat person can and should diet down to a BMI of 20, at least don't be a dick.

Fat people are people and deserve respect, ditto fat people who don't diet or exercise, ditto really super-fat people, et cetera.

Fat hatred is a feminist issue.
Yes. Women are held to far more stringent skinniness standards and subject to far more shit when they don't meet them. Hell, women who aren't even fat are still expected to be obsessed with their weight! And it's all because of the idea that a woman's attractiveness to men is her worth, because what else are broads good for?

The BMI standards are screwed up.
Reserved agree. BMI itself is just a way of generating a number, but the "25 is overweight, 30 is obese" rule is too simplified and too stringent. The ideal weight is way too low for tall people--6' and 185 is considered overweight!--and for muscular people. That said, when I'm 5'1" and *cough* pounds and not a champion bodybuilder, the fact that my BMI is over 30 is a pretty good indicator that I really am fat. BMI is screwy, but that doesn't mean that overweight simply doesn't exist. You can't draw the "this is okay, this is too fat" line with a single equation for everyone--but wide and fuzzy though it may be, there is a line.

Weight loss shouldn't be a moral issue.
Completely agree. Talk about good and bad foods, about being sinful or naughty when you eat, about how exercise is a virtue and cake a vice, is bullshit and makes weight loss way too much of a crazy-making emotional issue. (As does the idea that virtuous food has to taste bad--I realize that I've dropped out of a lot of diets because they demanded I eat bland health foods or horrible food replacement substances. I would rather eat smaller amounts of delicious food.) Nor is being fat a sign that you've committed the Sin of Gluttony--or the related Sin of Needing Healthcare--and should be subject to guilt and shame.

Weight loss isn't easy.
Completely agree. Saying "calories in, calories out, it's simple!" ignores the fact that some people's bodies really screw them over with a tremendous hunger for calories in and a tremendous miserliness about letting calories out. It'll work at extremes, if you starve yourself and run all day you'll lose weight, but you'll also hate your life and possibly end up in the hospital. Figuring out a lifestyle that leads to a healthy rate of loss, doesn't make you intolerably uncomfortable, and that you can maintain for years--not simple.

And saying "just stop eating so many donuts"--dude, you have no idea how few donuts (or cake, or cheeseburgers, or bacon, or whatever) I eat. Like most fat people, I have a problem with chronically eating a little more ordinary food than I burn, not with indulging myself with super-rich reward foods all the time.

Weight loss is impossible.
This is where I start disagreeing. It seems to be an article of faith in the fat acceptance community that it's not possible to lose weight, that your set point is genetically coded and that practically no one loses weight and keeps it off. But I personally know people who've done just that. I think most people do.

Saying "diets don't work" also smacks of an excuse, when not-dieting ought to be, in a fat acceptance framework, something that requires no excuse.

Eating disorders are a serious risk of weight loss attempts.
No. Eating disorders are a risk of self-hating and perfectionist attempts at weight loss, and of pressuring children or teens to lose weight before they're fully developed. But I don't think that an emotionally stable adult following a reasonable diet and exercise plan is likely to accidentally slip into anorexia or bulimia.

Being fat isn't unhealthy.
This is the big one. And I disagree. I agree that being a little fat isn't a big deal and the research is inconclusive, but I think that significant fat--even the amount I have--can lead to health problems. I don't think I'm guaranteed to get diabetes and a heart attack at fifty, but I'm convinced it's a higher risk than if I were at my ideal weight.

And I think the fat acceptance movement really drops the ball when it comes to people who are at very high weights. There's a lot of people out there claiming that "health at every size" encompasses literally every size, and it really doesn't. In my job I saw people who were very overweight and had severe joint, cardiovascular, and blood-sugar problems at very young ages.

It shouldn't matter on the decent-person level, there is no weight that makes a person fair game for mockery, and a 200-pound person going "well, at least I'm not one of those 400-pound freaks" is being a jerk. But physically it does matter how fat you are.

Fat isn't a disease.
I wish fat was treated like a disease. No one hates people with diseases or rubs their nose in how unsexy the disease makes them. Very few people yell "sicky!" at coughing strangers or write articles on how the flu epidemic is all the fault of those fucking stupid flu sufferers who were too lazy to wash their damn hands. Doctors try to help people with diseases, they don't resignedly tsk at them to "be less sick and you wouldn't have all these problems." It's not a good idea to go around with an untreated (noncontagious) disease, but it's not a selfish or antisocial thing to do.

There's no good reason to lose weight.
Disagree. I know that even within the relatively modest weight fluctuations I've been through, I just felt worse at 190 pounds than I do at 170. I tired out faster and I was physically uncomfortable. I like to sleep on my stomach and that's hard to do with a big belly; I like to hike and that's hard to do with extra weight. The sex was worse and--accursed Society and all that--I felt embarrassed of my body more often.

These are all valid reasons, but there's a bigger one: I want to. I want to do something with my body and it's my decision. End of discussion.

35 comments:

  1. My issue is mainly the morality police thing--I know plenty of people who chain-smoke, eat junk, and are well on their way to drinking themselves to liver failure (o hai, rural redneck upbringing) and basically never get hassled about any of that. It's just annoying when people try to pretend that they're just discriminating because it's all about health when it clearly isn't.

    That, and I have two brothers and a husband who are skinny as fuck despite the fact that they eat like pigs. I'm skeptical about a lot of weight loss claims just because if it was that simple, all three of them would be the size of barns.

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  2. "It's just annoying when people try to pretend that they're just discriminating because it's all about health when it clearly isn't."

    Ah, that's exactly my thought. When people say things like, "God, what a stupid, worthless, fat bitch," and then defend it by saying, "hey, being fat is unhealthy, my comment was completely warranted." ORLY?

    Still, I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging that weight can be a health issue. So long as, you know, that's what you're ACTUALLY doing.

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  3. Eating disorders often do start with a diet. For teenagers, people with a history of eating disorders, and people who are prone to compulsive behavior, a diet can absolutely be a bad idea. This is why whenever my older sister starts losing weight we all know that in six months she's going to look like a pipe cleaner, and within three months after that she'll be binging again and gain 40 lbs. For her it's never "just a diet".

    Also, a diet that severely limits calories or food choices usually isn't sustainable and "doesn't work" in the sense that it won't lead to permanent weight loss.

    But saying these things all add up to "never try to lose weight by adjusting your eating habits" is hyper-defensive and fallacious.

    Personally, my health is a priority and I don't like the way my body feels when I try to live off of Taco Bell and Sourpatch Kids. That's reason enough to make an effort.

    Eating crap can make you fat. Eating crap can make you sick. Being fat can make you sick. Being sick can make you fat. With so many correlations it's a little hard to pinpoint causation.

    But of course, we're all human beings and it's never okay to treat one another like lesser creatures because we're fat OR sick OR make less healthy choices. The "I just want those landwhales to be healthy!" card is an obfuscation people use to bully with impunity.

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  4. THANK YOU. Oh my GOD. I pretty much agree with everything you've said here.

    Needless (or, unfortunately, not-so-needless) to say, I do not think being fat makes someone worthless. I abhore the way even slightly overweight people are presented in the media as being disgusting. Different people have different metabolisms and two people eating the same food may gain or lose different amounts of wait. Calories in does not have a linear relationship with weight gained. But I can't stand the members of the fat-acceptance movement who stick their fingers in their ears and go, "LA LA LA, there is no relationship between what I eat, how much I exercise and what I weigh! None whatsover! No study has ever proven a relationship of any kind." This statement is so ludicrous that I don't even know where to begin.

    I remember getting into an argument, once, with someone who said the only healthy eating pattern was just to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Anything else was neurotic. Listen. I have a sweet tooth the size of my entire body. I like veggies and chicken and fruit, but I just like sugar more. If I only ate what I wanted, when I wanted, I'd have a chocolate muffin for breakfast, a chocolate bar for my mid-morning snack, a PBJ sandwich with sugary iced tea for lunch, cookies for a mid-afternoon snack, general Tao chicken (or, as I like to call it, deep-fried sugar-chicken) for supper and a hot chocolate before bedtime.

    I CAN'T actually eat like that. Clamping down on my appetite does not make me neurotic or repressed or a pawn of the patriarchy. It just makes me not-insanely-ill.

    -Andrea

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  5. Andrea - While your body may be different, I find that if I eat what I crave when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full, I actually won't gain weight. (And doing so actually takes some finesse to perceive the difference between "hungry" and just wanting comfort or boredom food, and being able to stop when I'm satisfied rather than overfull; intuitive eating isn't supposed to be mindless eating.) I just won't lose it either.

    Funny thing about being a fatty, but the defining characteristic of my fatness is not weight gain. I can still wear clothing from when I was 13 years old--because I was fat then!

    Maybe my experiences are different from some other people, but avoiding weight gain really is easy for me. It's only losing weight that I find extremely difficult and frustrating.

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  6. I always wonder what's wrong with saying "it's a matter of calories in versus calories out" as long as you don't imply that it doesn't take will and effort for the latter to exceed the former.
    * * *
    The trouble with BMI is that it's too lossy. You can't reduce something as complex as the health of a human being to one number. So it's a crude and imprecise measure that people, even doctors, focus on way out of proportion to its actual significance; the most I'd be willing to say (albeit not being a doctor) is "the sort of lifestyle that tends to lead to a BMI within the guidelines without any special effort is usually healthier for most people than the sort of lifestyle that tends to lead to a higher, or for that matter lower, BMI." But I wouldn't be confident about that.

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  7. "Calories in, calories out" is an oversimplification just because it's not a product of simple arithmetic- how many straight calories you eat versus how many you burn exercising. Depending on what kinds of foods you eat and when and what exactly you do for that "out", metabolism changes a great deal- up to and including throwing on all the alarms and downshifting into "hibernating lizard" mode when calorie restriction gets extreme or exercise turns into something more akin to physical abuse.

    Everyone's body has a different idea of a good basal set point (which may or may not be permanently alterable, leaning toward "not"), which is the beginning of variation; diet and exercise (and what kind and how much and when matters there too) determine the rest. Physiological variation can still bork that up, too- throw in a somewhat sluggish thyroid and even though you probably won't feel or act sick, you'll have one straight vertical cliff uphill battle to lose fat, too.

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  8. You talk about kinda static acceptance, I have no problem with that. I have some issues with changes. Like you met one kind of a girl, in a coupla years she learned a new language and got a degree - she is changing and your attitude changes accordingly, but if you met one kind of a girl and in a coupla years she gained 80 lbs you are not supposed to notice it, she is still the same person to you, right?
    Wrong.

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  9. Hershele - What LabRat said, and also I'd add that it's very difficult to accurately measure your calories out. Different people are going to burn calories at different rates both exercising and at rest, and figuring out your actual burn rate requires specialized monitoring.

    Anon - I'm not sure what you mean about "not the same person." Duh she's the same person, both literally and morally. Are you asking me if I think it's okay to go "wow you're fat, haw haw" to her, or what?

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  10. C'mon, "Haw-haw" is not an option at all.
    Just stating that "You are way too clever for me" in the first case and "I'd prefer you would not gain" in the second, might be an honest statement.

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  11. Anon - What is your relation to this girl that you haven't seen her in a couple years and feel comfortable telling her what to do with her own body?

    And more importantly, do you think there's a chance on Earth or Mars that she doesn't know? That it's slipped her mind and she's waiting for some perceptive individual to make her face the cold hard truth? Believe me, she knows.

    "I'd prefer you not gain," in this situation, is nearly the same exact thing as "haw haw."

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  12. Nah, no prodigal girlfriend meeting, just a normal answer to a standard question like "We've been together for 2 yrs, your attitude has changed, I feel."

    So, when we meet a person and accept this person we grant him all the future acceptance rights, that's what you mean? Whatever he does and hoiwever he changes we are supposed to accept anything at all?

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  13. Yeah. You do have to accept anything at all that a person does with their own body and not yours.

    Mostly because: how do you not accept it? What would that mean? If they get fat you hound them all the time? That's a lovely and considerate thing to do to a person.

    Now, if they're your partner and they get fatter than you're attracted to, that is a sticky situation. And I can't tell you that you have to stay with them, or that you can't express--sometimes, not constantly rubbing their nose in it--that you're not happy with their weight. Certainly you can offer to help support them in weight loss if they want it.

    I have to tell you I'm sensitive about this because I have family members who will "help" me understand their "concern" about my weight every chance they get, and it's very hurtful and doesn't make me one ounce lighter.

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  14. You can threaten with leaving.
    I know it sounds mean, but otherwise, if attraction is gone, eventually that will be the ultimate end anyway.

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  15. It really is an unpleasant situation any way you slice it. But I think--I would really hate to have to put this into practice or experience it--that there's a way to warn someone you can't stay with them if they stay fat without being completely jerkish about it.

    The thing to keep in mind, I guess, is that anyone fat already knows almost anything you could say. Every fat person has heard one million times that it's unhealthy and unattractive. So any attempt at lecturing them on these topics is not education, is not clarification--it's just salt on an already very open and sore wound.

    A partner who's gotten too fat deserves fair warning and an offer of weight-loss support, and if that doesn't work you have the right to leave them. But understand that it's painful for them and don't make it worse than it has to be.

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  16. Holly: do you read Greta Christina? She's written about the fat positive movement too, and recently posted a 3 part series on her own weight loss in the past several months. The two of you share a lot of the same views. Mainstream culture and the media are way too derogatory towards fat people, and pro-fat people are right to counter this. But they jump off the rails of reality when they claim that obesity carries no health risks, or weight loss is flat-out impossible, etc.

    Anyway, as a skinny guy, I agree with everything you've said. I think the fat-positivists damage their own credibility by cutting ties with reality, much like how crazy man-haters damage the feminist movement. There is a problem in mainstream culture, but the solution isn't to swing around to the opposite extreme.

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  17. It even might not be a reversal demand, just a request to draw a line "Please, stop! No more!"

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  18. Other Anon, I don't think you've quite got the point. Another person's body is their own, to do with as they wish. It doesn't matter if you just tell them to stop gaining weight or if you tell them to lose weight, you're still being an ass. Perhaps if you're being supportive and non-hectoring, and you're very close to the person, it's all right, but don't ever go, "Please stop! No more!" It's not your problem.

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  19. How is what LabRat said different from "weight loss is impossible," that is, from the notion that the body will resist all attempts to stray too far in either direction from a particular weight--a notion characterized in the original post as an excuse?

    Though, I'm satisfied with the answer "it's an oversimplification because both 'calories in' and 'calories out' are next to impossible to measure accurately, let alone control precisely."

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  20. Hershele - How is what LabRat said different from "weight loss is impossible,"

    Because a set point isn't a set-in-stone point. A person with a high set point will have to always live the "diet" lifestyle to maintain a lower weight, it might never be easy for them, but it's possible.

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  21. Agree with everything you've said here. I also think that although the FA movement likes to suggest that fat acceptance and trying to lose weight are inherently incompatible, they're really not. Even someone who's trying to lose weight needs "fat acceptance" -- sustainable weight loss takes time, & overweight people can't just hide from the world & lock themselves indoors until they've become skinny (as some fat haters seem to assume they should). Shame doesn't help anyone lose weight, & it's actually easier to exercise & treat your body right if you already like it somewhat.

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  22. What Holly said. Someone with a higher background "set point" is probably never going to be truly skinny, but that doesn't mean they have to be obese or even fat. It just means they need more intense exercise and a stricter diet to achieve the same BMI as someone with a lower set point who eats terribly and never moves more than required.

    What I was trying to say was that it was an oversimplification, not that weight loss is actually impossible or even so difficult as to be an unreasonable goal.

    I'd also add that there's a ton of evidence that the kind of exercise you get is much more important than how many calories you burned doing it- both walking three miles and doing Tabata sets for eight minutes will help, but all research on high-intensity intervals so far says that the latter will give your metabolism a much firmer kick in the ass than the walking, unless you're so out of shape that that walk leaves you feeling just as much like death as the Tabatas.

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  23. Speaking as someone who's been morbidly obese since before puberty, after being shoved into Fat Camp, being placed on highly restrictive diets, even going vegan in an attempt to lose weight and actually gaining on all of them, I flat out gave up on eating healthy. From high school onwards I ate whatever I felt like, as much as I wanted because screw it, if the people around me were going to assume I was a pig stuffing my face just because I wasn't losing weight, then actually eating what I wanted to wasn't going to change their opinion of me. It even applied to my doctor at the time who had what I call "lying lazy fat girl syndrome" where no matter what I told her, if I hadn't lost weight I was a lying lazy fat girl because "calories in, calories out" applied in her world.

    Now I'm 30 and have recently been diagnosed with lipoedema which, as far as my doctor can tell, I've had since before puberty, and with proper treatment I am starting to lose the weight. Having been through all that I can see where the majority of the FA people are coming from when they say "weight loss is impossible." If someone has a pre-existing medical condition which causes them to gain and keep weight no matter their diet or exercise level, then the only two options are either "I'm an utter failure" or the idea that weight loss is impossible because of a genetically based set point. It takes a strong willed person with few self-esteem issues to reject both those ideas and try other options and, after what most fat people experience from society, there's not that many left who don't have severe self-esteem issues.
    ~ Nonny

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  24. [different anonymous here]

    When I was younger I ate total crap and was completely sedentary. I felt like shit, but by god was my waist ever tiny. I was thinner then than now, even though I make far healthier choices these days. Never underestimate the power of youth and a fast metabolism.

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  25. Nonny, how many people have a medical condition (and what constitutes a medical condition in the first place)? It's inconsistent to say (not that the same individual as been saying both these things) on the one hand that a substantial number of fat people are that way because of medical conditions and that fat people shouldn't be treated as though they have a sickness.

    I want to take a moment the clarify what I suspect is the cumulative impression of my comments: I'm not saying that fat people are gross or lazy, I'd certainly never suggest everyone (or every woman) ought to be thin, or strive to be thin, or that she's a failure if she's not thin. I accept fatness in the broadest sense -- it's not my business, plain and simple. And I'm not saying "well, why don't they just control themselves?" or that fat people are disgusting and it's their own fault. I do wonder whether it's, in some sense, a voluntary condition -- not that anyone says "I want to be fat when I grow up," but that typically, people to whom not being fat is a higher priority than anything else in the world hav the option of not being fat (you just have to put it ahead of everything else in the world, including the things that generally give people pleasure). I'm not saying being fat or remaining fat is not a reasonable, justifiable, or acceptable choice, or that no one should make that choice, oreven that it's always only a choice, but I feel that to many people, to a great extent, there is an element of choice on some level.

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  26. Nonny, how many people have a medical condition (and what constitutes a medical condition in the first place)? It's inconsistent to say (not that the same individual as been saying both these things) on the one hand that a substantial number of fat people are that way because of medical conditions and that fat people shouldn't be treated as though they have a sickness.

    I want to take a moment the clarify what I suspect is the cumulative impression of my comments: I'm not saying that fat people are gross or lazy, I'd certainly never suggest everyone (or every woman) ought to be thin, or strive to be thin, or that she's a failure if she's not thin. I accept fatness in the broadest sense -- it's not my business, plain and simple. And I'm not saying "well, why don't they just control themselves?" or that fat people are disgusting and it's their own fault. I do wonder whether it's, in some sense, a voluntary condition -- not that anyone says "I want to be fat when I grow up," but that typically, people to whom not being fat is a higher priority than anything else in the world hav the option of not being fat (you just have to put it ahead of everything else in the world, including the things that generally give people pleasure). I'm not saying being fat or remaining fat is not a reasonable, justifiable, or acceptable choice, or that no one should make that choice, oreven that it's always only a choice, but I feel that to many people, to a great extent, there is an element of choice on some level.

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  27. Hershele - Yes, for many people there is an element of choice. But it's not a choice to be fat; it's a choice to be comfortable. When you're hungry you're going to be very uncomfortable unless you eat, and the fact that eating then might make you fat is a side effect, not a deliberate choice.

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  28. Hershele - "people to whom not being fat is a higher priority than anything else in the world hav the option of not being fat"
    You've just described anorexia. Speaking as myself I made the choice (after struggling with bulimia) that being comfortable and mentally happy was of a higher priority than starving myself until the fat (and my longterm metabolic health) disappeared.

    As to the "a substantial number of fat people are that way because of medical conditions and that fat people shouldn't be treated as though they have a sickness" - It is all in the definition. Fat, in and of itself, is not a sickness. Fat is usually a side effect of a sickness or medical condition, mental or physical. If someone has headaches they shouldn't be given pain pills without an attempt to find and fix the reason they are getting headaches. If someone is fat then they should not be prescribed weight loss drugs or diets without an attempt to determine the underlying cause of the weight gain and fixing that. Treating the side effect of fat really does nothing in the long term for the person; as long as the underlying condition, the sickness, still exists the person will always be (or have the tendancy to be) fat.
    ~Nonny

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  29. Hershele - "people to whom not being fat is a higher priority than anything else in the world hav the option of not being fat"
    You've just described anorexia. Speaking as myself I made the choice (after struggling with bulimia) that being comfortable and mentally happy was of a higher priority than starving myself until the fat (and my longterm metabolic health) disappeared.


    Which is exactly as it should be. I'm certainly not advocating making not being fat the highest priority. But it's not (typically) something that just happens, like heterosexuality or red hair or liking cilantro. Just because it's the better choice in almost all cases doesn't mean it's not a choice. If nothing else, you have the choice to not be fat in the same way I have the choice to hit myself repeatedly in the face with a sledgehammer.

    Again, it's an entirely justifiable choice that no one should be disadvantaged for making; I'm totally on board with that. That may indeed be why people reiterating "it's just something that happened to me, nothing can be done!" strike me as, well, not fully accepting. I take issue with the notion that being fat is something that should need to be defended.

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  30. You need to find our about the New Fat acceptance movement called NIFAM New International Fat Acceptance Movement and its leadership.

    Fat MEN are the true victims of fat discrimination and they suffer in silence.

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  31. Proud FA - Wow, I read your blog and I can't tell if you're a troll or just crazy. ...I guess that means you win?

    But hey, let's not fight over who's the victim here, we can both be victims together!

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  32. What gets me are the under 120 pounders who go on constantly about how they need to lose 20 pounds. You already have done, between your ears.
    This have happened enough to myself and other large folks that we finally recognize it as a stealth attack against our alleged lifestyle choice.

    I get these bits now a days, I just turn to the anorexic offender and say, "Twenty years ago, I'd have volunteered to chase your skinny ass 10 miles down the road in furtherance of your goals. Now, I'll just pretend I'm a Democrat, and label you a racist, sexist, hating wanker."

    Seeing I just plunged $39.95 on a lose weight plan, I freely admit to hypocracy

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  33. "I also think that although the FA movement likes to suggest that fat acceptance and trying to lose weight are inherently incompatible, they're really not."

    Agree, although there are a number of FA venues that specify "please don't talk about your diets here," which I can understand, considering how many other venues there are to talk about one's diet and get all kinds of support for it. It's a lot harder to find a venue wherein one tries to talk about one's health from the perspective of "I want to address these other things first and foremost, and not have weight loss as a goal, because that will make me crazy," in my experience.

    That also said, I am on the fence as well, possibly tilted slightly more toward FA in general for reasons others in comments have said.

    Per "diets don't work:" I think that it's less about "you can't lose the weight" than "it's really, really difficult to keep the weight off for more than five years; and yo-yo dieting, besides being dispiriting, is also not considered great for one's overall health." That said, that doesn't automatically mean "never ever even bother," I wouldn't say. Context matters, or should matter.

    These are my current thoughts on the matter.

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  34. I think it depends on where you look in the FA movement, but from what I've read, it's not so much "being fat isn't unhealthy" as it is "being skinny/fat isn't necessarily an indicator of healthy/unhealthy." Which I absolutely agree with. There are some fat people who do eat healthy foods and do exercise. There are also plenty of skinny people who eat terribly and are never called out for being unhealthy because it doesn't show on their body. My grandfather was a thin man all his life, but he suffered from high blood pressure, cholesterol, the like and died young because he ate crap. I think FA is absolutely right when they point out that skinny people can be just as unhealthy as fat people.

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  35. I was disappointed at this post, not because it's a bit anti-size acceptance, but because it falls prey to some very common anti-fat argument fallacies.
    You personally feel worse when you gain a comparatively small amount of weight. All that proves is that you feel better when you don't gain weight. It says nothing about all or even most fat people.
    Also, you work in a hospital, so when you meet extremely fat people, let alone when you see them in the ER, odds are good they'll have something wrong with them. Or they wouldn't be in the ER.
    Again, it's your right to disagree with points SA makes, but please at least use statistical evidence to back up your arguments, not anecdotal "evidence,' which isn't really evidence of the point you're trying to make at all.

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