Mindy Memories

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Fat acceptance TV segment

Some of you may have seen a segment about fat acceptance last week on the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. If you didn't, check out Big Fat Deal or The F-Word. The owners of those two blogs were featured and were awesome! I'd rather not post the actual videos here and ask people to go view them at one of the blogs so that you can see their blogs and comment, if you'd like. You may have to scroll down a little to see the videos on their blogs.

Anyway, I've been reading a lot of comments here and there about the whole thing, and one point really sticks out: why didn't the thin people on stage tell us their stats? Mo and Rachel were asked their height and weight, along with questions about their blood pressure and cholesterol. As usual, it's simply ASSumed that the thin people are perfectly healthy and the fat ones have to justify themselves, and probably still aren't believed. I'm pretty sure people don't believe me when I say my blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure are all normal. Of course, the old "Well, it may lead to problems when you're older" comes up. Sure, it may also lead to problems in thin people, too. There are plenty of thin people who have problems with blood pressure and cholesterol.

I'm not anti-thin and I'm not pro-fat. I just want people to learn to feel good in their own bodies. As many of you know, this is something I've fought for years and have finally started to come to terms with in the last year. I'm also focusing on eating when I'm hungry, not according to any time table or schedule. I eat what I want when I'm hungry. Sometimes that means blueberries and tomatoes, sometimes that means a few Hershey's Kisses, sometimes that means chicken, sometimes that means a burger, etc. I feel much healthier and have started limited exercise again (limited due to the tendonitis in my wrist and the Dammit foot, as I like to call it). I got off that for a while and had no energy, was depressed, had all sorts of injuries and just felt awful. So, I'm back to what seems to work for me and I'm not gaining weight.

We are starting a health program at work and I'm part of the marketing team. I'm so proud that this program focuses on overall health, not weight loss. There are weigh-ins for people who want them, but the focus is on eating well and being active. This is great, because I'm done with diets. They don't work for me. All diets have done for me is make me fatter, lol.

Another interesting point that came up in that segment: Meme Roth, an anti-fat activist, says (and I'm paraphrasing) that fat people are already accepted and that an article in the New York Times touting that thin people should be accepted would be met with a backlash. I about spewed my drink on the monitor, lol. Didn't I see an article VERY recently that stated a prominent clavicle is the latest fashion accessory? Don't we see airbrushed people all over the magazines -- not just their faces, but arms and other body parts so that they look thinner (and ridiculously tan and smooth)? Doesn't every woman's magazine have at least one article in it about losing weight? How many times do you hear people who are a normal weight say they have to lose 10 pounds... or 20?

Oh, and one more thing while I'm thinking about it. I can't remember the doctor's name, but she did say these things aren't all black and white. That I liked. Then she went on to say that we can't use height and weight to determine health -- we should use BMI. Well, what the fark is the BMI number, if not a number based on your height and weight and no other factors? That one really boggled me.

So, Rachel and Mo were EXTREMELY poised, looked fantastic, and really handled everything so much better than I could. When I get mad my face turns red, so I would have been purple by the end of the segment.

Again, I want to stress that I'm not about hating anyone. To be fair, I think Meme Roth has some good points, particularly about getting soda machines and that kind of crap out of the schools. She doesn't mention it in the segment, I don't think, but I've seen her mention it in other places. I just wish she didn't have to act like it's horrible that we fatties have access to clothes that actually fit us instead of wearing mumus to punish ourselves until we lose weight to fit into "normal" clothes. I've lived that way (well, not in mumus) for way too much of my life, wasted my life waiting to do things until I lost weight, and I'm not going to do it anymore. I find it interesting that since I stopped dieting, I feel better and I look better.

Anyway, enough of the rambling. If you've made it this far, thanks. :)

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  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Rachel said…

    Thanks for the kind comments. I find it most ironic that when I was sickest (but thin), I continued to received praise and accolades from people who assume thinness equals good health. The irony is, I had never been more unhealthy in my entire life.

    Simply put, we cannot assume the health or lifestyle of a person based simply on what they weigh. And wellness is not always synonymous with weight-loss.

  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Mindy said…

    (Oh dear, I just posted this at your blog and it's like I wrote a book in the comments section. Oh well, I'm afraid I'm a bit verbose.)

    Hi Rachel. Thanks for visiting my blog. :) I noticed that when you mentioned being healthier now than when you were thin, they kind of passed that by because it didn't fit in with their preconception. It's a shame, because that is true for many people.

    When I was 18 I was at the top of my BMI level, and it was the only time I was in the "accepted" level in my life, about 140 (actually, I think that's still 5 pounds over). I was on a swim team, swimming two hours, six days a week. I would come home and usually not eat dinner because I was exhausted, would just do my homework and go to bed. I think I ate a breakfast bar in the morning and ate lunch out of the vending machines because there wasn't enough time to stand in line and actually eat lunch. I had also experienced two mouth surgeries about a month apart. Sure, I had a flat stomach. I was also extremely pale (even for me), looked exhausted and gaunt.

    Looking back, I'm amazed that my times were as good as they were at competitions and that I was able to go to practices. The funny (actually sad) part is that for 17 years, that weight was my goal weight when I dieted. How screwed up is that? My goal was to get down to a weight that actually made me look and feel like crap. Of course, I'd lose a few pounds only to gain more back. Now I'm listening to my body, eating when I'm hungry and not on someone else's timetable or by someone else's rules. I'm the expert on my body, not someone somewhere who creates some diet. I feel better about myself than I have in years, and I LOOK better because I feel better. I now buy clothes that fit me, not that will fit me if I lose 5 or 10 pounds or are so big they hide me.

    Sorry so long, but I had to get that out. I've really changed my attitude about myself in the past year, and I think you and the rest of the so-called "fatosphere" for helping me do so. :)


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