Why I’m Against The Body Positivity Movement

I have stayed away from controversial topics on my blog and mostly shared insights into my personal life, fitness journey, and general musings. Much to my surprise (and pleasure), the musings section of my blog has been my most popular (thank you for that!). As such, I decided to provide less of a one dimensional look into my thought process and share an opinion that may be unpopular. I hope not, but this post has been circling around in my mind for weeks and I really feel like it needs to be written.

Body Positivity

To me, body positivity means feeling good about yourself and the skin you’re in. I have written in the past about how I firmly believe that a positive outlook on life can make a big difference to overall well-being. I’ve also written that, even if you’re on a fitness journey, you need to enjoy your life, have new experiences, and not let your current size stop you from actually living. I still work really hard at being mindful of this.

For me, body positivity does not mean that people should embrace being fat, obese, or unhealthy. Full disclosure: I’m currently fat. I have had a hard time adjusting to this as I spent the majority of my life being slim. I also can have a hard time following my own advice and viewing my current fitness journey in a positive light. Sometimes I struggle to enjoy experiences in my life despite being fat. In theory, I should love the body positivity movement because it is targeted to women like me. But I don’t.

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The Body Positivity Movement

The body positivity movement touts that women of all sizes are beautiful and that no one should be shamed over how they look. I agree with those statements. What I don’t agree with is the “fat-positive” culture that is developing as a result because I feel like it promotes and celebrates obesity, which is incredibly unhealthy. Our bodies are not designed to be carrying around extra weight. It’s a lot of unnecessary stress on our organs and it can cause a whole slew of health problems.

So why on earth would we seek to justify being fat? Why do we get so angry when anyone mentions something negative about obesity? I don’t think a doctor is fat shaming you when he tells you that you have diabetes or heart disease as a direct result of your weight, so when people are resistant to accepting fat as the new status quo, it does not mean that they are bullies.

Obesity being seen as the negative thing that it is goes beyond conventional beauty standards. It’s not sustainable to be fat if you want to have a long, healthy life. It’s also not sustainable for our health care system to take care of the issues people give themselves through poor weight management (there are enough issues people get that they have no control over).

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Some people have health issues that cause weight gain. I get that. My underactive thyroid contributes to my current weight, so I fully understand how that feels (hint: awful). However, we have an obesity epidemic in North America and it’s unreasonable to say that every one of those people have a health problem that directly made them fat (it’s also very unlikely). A lot of the problem circles back to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, which I can be guilty of at times too.

I am not going to tell overweight people, myself included, that what they have done to their bodies is beautiful because I don’t think that it is. That does not mean that I think everyone needs to look like a runway model or even like a fitness model. I just firmly believe that healthy is beautiful and that even though healthy looks different for everyone (for example, I’m never going to have a six-pack), I can’t think of any instance where obesity is healthy and therefore it is not beautiful.

Statements I’ve heard or read that I have trouble with:

Fat is the same as every other adjective.

No, it isn’t. Fat has a lot of health implications that other adjectives don’t carry.

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Fat girls can do anything skinny girls can.

Sure we can. But should we? For example, when I was at my fittest, I climbed the stairs at the CN Tower in under 20 minutes. I could still climb the stairs now, but it would take me a lot longer, it would be a lot harder on my body, and it would not be a good experience like it was when I did it the first time. Just because I can force my body to do something doesn’t mean that I should or that it will be easy for me.

If you are fat and want to wear a bikini, I applaud you. I would never feel comfortable doing that at my current size, but I recognize that’s the headspace I personally occupy. However, if you want to be fat, wear a bikini, and stay fat by choice because you think everyone should find an obese person just as attractive as a fit person, I have a problem with that.

We don’t celebrate anything else that can kill us. In fact, most of us fear those things and avoid them. So why is being fat suddenly an acceptable lifestyle choice? I think it’s okay in the interim on your way to becoming healthy again but not as a permanent state of being. We need to respect our bodies and how they are meant to function, not respect them regardless of what we choose to put them through. I think feeling beautiful while you’re on your fitness journey is a wonderful thing and something I wish for myself. I just don’t agree that people should use “fat shaming” as an excuse to stay fat.

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I’m 700 pounds and counting.

I am not going to let this woman have any more publicity than she’s already gotten by listing her name or her link, but there is an individual who is “700 pounds and counting.” She has many male followers who have a BBW fetish and they send her junk food. She doesn’t want to lose weight, she wants to gain it, and she thinks that everyone should embrace her for it. This is an extreme case and I acknowledge that, but there are others out there who use this movement to maintain their personal status quo and even to become larger (maybe not 700 pounds, but any class of obesity is dangerous).

Some fat people don’t want to change their lifestyles or be shamed into doing so. They don’t want to be judged for their choices either. How is that fair when people judge alcoholics for causing cirrhosis of the liver and smokers for giving themselves lung cancer? Food is not seen as a poison in the same way that alcohol and cigarettes are, but I firmly believe that it can be. Our food choices can either fuel or damage our bodies and it’s about time we took accountability for those choices.

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Final Thoughts

I don’t believe that anyone should be made to feel badly about themselves on their fitness journeys, but I also don’t believe that the body positivity movement should be an excuse not to start your journey towards good health. Justifying being fat by saying that everyone must accept you exactly how you are is a cop out to yourself. It won’t impact my life if you choose to be obese, but it will impact yours.

I can’t think of any other health concern that people get so defensive about. It’s about time we started to have hard discussions about the obesity epidemic and not dress it up in rainbows and butterflies. I understand that being fat is tied with how we look and so it can be really hard to hear critical comments about our weight and health. However, it’s a proven fact that obesity kills and yet we overlook it. I’d rather risk offending someone than see that person eat themselves into an early grave.

I think a better approach is being positive and celebrating our journeys towards good health, but not celebrating the status quo because it’s way too dangerous to sustain. I would not have been okay with Grams saying to me, “Scarlet, you’re disgusting and you really need to lose weight,” but I had no issues with her saying, “I am really glad that you’ve decided to get healthy. I was worried about you.”

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Grams never mentioned anything about my size to me because she feared offending me. Why? If she told me to put on sunscreen when we were outside because I was going to give myself skin cancer, I wouldn’t have been upset. Why is it that fat gets a free pass not to be mentioned and that anyone who dares to mention it is called a bully or fat shamer? People can live with their heads in the clouds and say that being obese is positive, but it’s absolutely not.

Body positivity encourages our appearance-obsessed culture but in the other direction. Does it matter whether we are celebrating being fat or being rail thin? There is a lot more to life than how we look, and the first focus needs to be on our health regardless of how that manifests itself on the outside. If people spent as much time focused on their own health journeys as they did worrying about how people perceived them, then we would all be the best versions of ourselves that we could be.

People are not second class citizens because they’re fat and it’s possible for a heavier person to be healthier than a skinny person (though I question how common that really is). However, we can’t ignore the obesity epidemic and people need to start taking accountability for their physical fitness rather than worrying about whether or not society accepts their “fatness” as part of the beauty spectrum. Let’s forget the “body” part of the movement, stop our obsession over finding a concrete definition of beautiful, and start focusing on living healthy lifestyles. Without our health, we have nothing regardless of whether or not anyone accepts our weight.

How do you feel about the body positivity movement? I encourage positive and constructive dialogue!

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133 thoughts on “Why I’m Against The Body Positivity Movement

      1. Hmm, very thought provoking. As an advocate for women’s health and positive body image it does make me think a bit harder on what we’re promoting. I do not think that people should be happy with an unhealthy body. But like you mentioned there are a lot of factors that contribute to weight that makes everyone’s journey a bit different in how much time and effort it takes to go about it, so be in charge of what you can control (building stamina, daily exercise) but don’t kill yourself over it because you haven’t reached someone else’s fitness goal in the time frame they’ve reached it. But I agree with you, being obese isn’t healthy and no one should be happy with it. Two thumbs up!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can relate to fitness journeys taking a lot longer than they *should* I have many friends who drop the pounds a lot easier than I can and they actually put in less effort than I do. One of my friends even says that I must be cheating since I have only lost 20 pounds so far. But I’m not! My underactive thyroid makes it very challenging to lose weight and my body is being very stubborn. However, I’m doing my best to remain positive about the changes I’m making, but not so much about my current state.

        Thank you for reading 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I absolutely loved this post! I’ve always about being positive and emitting positive energy. I think as a society we’ve been conditioned to accept that obesity is the norm which is terrible. Not because those that are obese are bad people because they’re not…I wouldn’t go as far as saying they are the victim either because everyone has the ability to learn what is good and isn’t good for your body. Sure it doesn’t help that major corporations THRIVE on fast food chains, restaurants, chips, soda, even when it comes to the term “American Food” the world classifies this as hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, etc… when in reality… America…The United States of America is a combination of MANY cultures and it’s just sad as a society we are OK with being viewed like this. Why are people so miserable? My question is… why aren’t more people asking What would make me happy? Too many people are so negative and cynical that they can’t help but just talk about all the bad things in life and problems. I used to think that some people just thrive on negative energy and their day is not complete until they nag or complain about someone or something. Social media hasn’t improved this at all. Heck, all of the media news on TV, newspaper, radio… it’s like everyone has accepted that thing are not considered “news” unless it’s some kind of tragedy or misfortune. Whew! I went on a rant there… I’m sorry haha Anyway, I enjoyed your post – thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my (long) post and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I’m all about being positive but I don’t think being positive about obesity is a good approach at all. Justifying and even celebrating obesity just because we don’t want to risk offending someone is crazy. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand what you’re saying completely. What I meant about being positive is how people should approach life itself not obesity. It isn’t uncommon for those to be thinking about sickness, disease, unfairness of the world, taking offense to left and right… i believe if people were more interested in having a positive outlook and focus on what makes them happy instead of the negative things then they would be better off. Of course, I don’t encourage people to just ignore their condition and just continue to eat what ever they please…there is always a balance. I enjoyed your post it wasn’t pleasure. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful post. Hm, where do I begin? First off this is your blog so don’t be afraid to discuss what is on your mind. If someone doesn’t like that it’s their issue not yours.You have a couple different issues going. On the one hand is the “Fat Shaming” the other is that “Fat is Beautiful” and somewhere in the middle of this whirlpool we have to try to find where we as individules can sit comfprtably. I think the best we can do is accept where we are in the debate and do what we can individually to be what ever level of healthy we want to be.
    Yes being overweight is unhealthy and I am in this situation right now. At my fittest I was a size 10. I looked great and felt great but I was not even close to being healthy. I worked in a very high stress, long hour job, I kept up that busy pace until I collapsed at work and wound up in the hospital. The doctors told me that if I hadn’t collapsed I would have been dead within two weeks. Because of the pace of my job I didn’t eat regularly, heck, sometimes not at all for days because I didn’t feel hungry. My body began to feed on itself. I was told to 1. Eat 2. Take a month off to rest and restore. I took 3 days and went back to work :0
    I gained my weight when I had my son, and have been on the diet seesaw since then. I need to lose 130 pounds to get back to where I want to be. Not because society or anyone else says that I am fat, or ugly or anything else. I want to lose the weight for me.
    The size I am is not going to change the person I have become. I accept and love who I am right now even being fat. I am actually the healthiest I’ve ever been. I do not have high blood pressure, high cholestrol or any other age related weight related health issues!
    I think that ultimately this is what it boils down to. What makes me happiest? What makes me the most comfortable person in my skin. It’s not for us to decide for the rest of the world. I wish we could push a magic button and cure all that is wrong with society. But, maybe one life at a time we can by living our most authenic lives whatever size we are! Good luck on your journey. Remember your aren’t in it alone. We’ve never met but I’m here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! At my skinniest, I wasn’t healthy and now at my fattest, I’m also not healthy. I need to get myself to a good place and it can be hard to stay positive when losing weight is so hard, discouraging, and frustrating (at least for me).

      I’m sure part of why I don’t feel beautiful now that I’m fat (and I did when I was skinny) is because of societal norms. I can’t pretend the media and the expected beauty standards they set forth don’t impact me because they do. However, I want to be healthy for me even though I want to be thin to feel like I fit in again (at least partly).

      It’s a challenging issue and I do feel that people should try to be positive throughout their fitness journeys. It just can’t lead to complacency because then “fat acceptance” come into play and people won’t make a change when they feel too comfortable. It’s not a status quo I’m comfortable celebrating at all.

      I’m happy we got to e-connect 🙂 I have a big weight loss goal too so it’s nice to meet people dealing with similar issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post on a pretty important topic. I figure we all have a responsibility to look after our own body and our own health. Being fit is about doing all we can to eat right, exercise regularly and look after ourselves, regardless of our body shape. Thanks for a very positive and upbeat read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! I completely agree that we need to take control and accountability for our own health and physical fitness and that ownership over our own destinies is really missing in North American society.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I’ve just come back from having the best massage ever, so how’s that for a bit of self-healing and nourishment. (My husband bought me a massage nearly a year ago and I’ve only now got round to using it!) It was divine, just what I needed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post and I couldn’t agree with you more! As someone who is morbidly obese and is working hard toward regaining health, I’m fully aware of both the fat shamers and those who push body acceptance way too far. Obesity is becoming a fast growing medical crisis in North America. It has serious implications. We should not be promoting this as a way of life. I agree with having a positive body image and feeling good about yourself, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. I can tell you I didn’t feel very good about myself when I was diagnosisd with diabetes or heart disease. How about we just promote being healthy, period! In whatever size that looks like.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! The focus is always on the body and how we look versus our health. I’m certainly not happy that none of my pretty clothes fit anymore and that, for the first time in my life, my doctor has actually told me to lose weight.

      Some people judge me for being fat and are simply mean assholes – I’m not siding with those people at all. But the folks who ask thought provoking questions and remind me that I’m accountable and the only one who can make the changes I need to are completely correct!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very thorough working out on the topic, thoroughly justifying your position. Having a pretty active metabolism, I’ve never struggled with this problem, although I had its inverse in college, being nicknamed ‘skinny’ on the basketball court. I have some reason to sympathize with the “body positivity” concept, though I’d like to see it tweaked. I’d agree with you that nobody should be comfortable thinking “I’m obese and I’m healthy.” However, I think that working towards “I’m obese and I’m strong” (or whatever other positive word you’d like to choose) is not a bad habit. We need something to struggle for, and when we’re struggling for ourselves, having something positive to say about ourselves is an important factor in sustaining our motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that people need to find some good in their weight loss journeys or else it’s so easy to simply give up. I remind myself that I’m better today than I was yesterday and each day I push through another workout, eat clean, and take care of myself is a success. I’m just worried about the folks who don’t even want to start weight loss journeys and desperately need to for the sake of their health.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a great and well-crafted read.
    If you don’t mind my asking, how do you deal with an under active thyroid? How do you stay encouraged and work with it in terms of diet and exercise?

    Thank you for your posts!
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! It’s been really, really hard with my thyroid. I’ve started taking medication, but it seems to be more complicate than that as the scale hasn’t really budged.

      My plan is to do an added sugar detox and try to get my diet even more on par. There was a time when I could easily lose weight with very little work (and no change to my diet), so this has been very hard and discouraging.

      I was expecting to be at a very different place by now than I actually am. The only way I’ve been able to keep going (and believe me, I want to say “forget this!” at least every other day) is to remind myself that all the changes I’m making are for my health and that my body will eventually catch up.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow this is very well written and direct. I’ve always seen justification of weight among people and media, but this a different perspective. It makes sense. There is a difference between comfortable in your own skin especially because we are all built differently and being at an unhealthy weight.

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  8. I have written extensively on this subject and agree with you that HEALTH is the term that needs our focus and attention. In general, people that achieve good health do so by balancing various components in their lives. Exercise and nutrition are only 2 parts in a much larger puzzle. Achieving an ideal weight and a healthier body does not guarantee happiness or fulfillment. It simply guarantees an ideal weight and healthier body. Emotional balance is much more difficult because the path to success is not linear and the roads lead in different directions for different individuals. Physical change is visual; emotional change can be nebulous and significantly less tangible.

    I believe it is important to decide which qualities of character make an individual complete. These may include ethics, morals, honesty, respect, compassion, etc… Altering one’s weight without developing desired character traits will create a void, impeding personal growth and development. Unless this void is recognized and dealt with in a positive manner, the weight issue will likely fluctuate causing even greater risks for health problems. Emotional “baggage” (in many cases) is an underlying root cause of obesity.

    The food industry is another component of the problem. They have listened to the consumer and provide the food selections the public demands. This, in turn, has created great profits for nutrient poor, chemically laden, artificially colored, processed, stuff we call food. This is another layer that contributes to poor health and obesity.

    In my opinion the real solution to this epidemic will never be found until parents recognize and accept their responsibility in providing their children:

    1. a healthy diet
    2. adequate time for exercise and or active play time (not computers and phones.)
    3. a supportive environment to help a child achieve the character qualities mentioned above.
    4. adequate time for rest and sleep to provide recovery time for their minds and their bodies.

    This builds a foundation of strength for the child. “Comfort food” no longer plays a role in filling a need in a child’s life. As these children grow and develop, the patterns they were raised with force the food industry to produce healthier food choices that become more cost effective as a result of market competition. This approach attempts to “fix” the root cause of issues that result in obesity and other childhood diseases including high blood pressure, arterial plaque accumulation, high cholesterol, liver toxicity and gall bladder complications.

    As for addressing adult obesity, the problem is much more difficult. We can only attempt to help those people willing and wanting to take the necessary steps to overcoming this disease. People need to prepared and committed 100% or the chances of success are slim.

    Accepting obesity and the continued increasing population facing this diagnosis can never be accepted out of fear of politically incorrect language. I have laid out a realistic game plan that would drastically reduce our obesity problem. Lot’s of people will come up with excuses why they can’t partake in the recommendations mentioned. My suggestion to these people is simple. For every EXCUSE given, an alternative SOLUTION must be offered.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read somewhere that we are raising generations of children who are expected to have a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time ever – that’s scary. Definitely changes need to be made for our little ones.

      Adults at a certain point simply need to take accountable. I didn’t learn the best eating habits from my parents. However, I can choose to tout that as my excuse or learn now. I’ve decided to make changes now at my age and just hope that I’m not doing everything too late.

      Certainly stress and emotional well-being play a huge role too. Someone very wise recently told me that I need to find better coping strategies and instead of just talking about change to actually implement it. I’ve put emotional health on the back burner for too long – I’ve been too busy meal planning and doing videos! Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like your thoughtful post. I think I mostly agree. I also agree we should love our bodies and who we are…but should not be blind to where we can improve for health reasons.

    For example I have long ago accepted that I am pear shaped. My posterior always will be larger than average. I do not accept the belt of fat around my middle because belly fat is linked to increased risk of heart disease etc. Therefore I exercise to reduce the belly fat, reduce the risk and improve my general health.

    I do think that you can be fit and not necessarily skinny…muscle weighs more than fat and can be bulky therefore you may look fat and unfit but actually be in better health than people judging on appearances might think.

    What I really don’t agree with is that apparently recently on the London Underground a group of people have been handing out cards to people they consider Fat criticising their lifestyles

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! That’s exactly it. The focus is largely on how we look, which doesn’t necessarily determine health. However, like you said about belly fat, it can be a key factor.

      I wouldn’t say that the majority of fat people are pictures of health. If two people weigh the same but one is muscular one is fat, then it becomes clear that the number on the scale isn’t the only factor. But it plays a role.

      For me, it’s more about taking accountability for what I can change versus what I can’t. You mentioned that you can’t do anything about your pear shape and it’s awesome that you’ve simply embraced it and feel positive about it (I feel like an apple right now, so I’d happily take pear! LOL).

      However, you’ve also said you want to lose some belly fat for health reasons and that’s exactly what I’m getting it – it’s not to make your body look different per say (though that’s a nice side benefit) but you’re taking ownership of your own health, which is amazing and exactly what I’m trying to do too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I could have penned this myself. Great post. Having had body and weight issues for the last 15yrs of my life. It sucks. And the attitude towards what constitutes body shaming, and fat versus skinny has completely gone out of control. People’s desire to have everybody equal in all ways has created a culture where you can’t say boo to a ghost without it being classed as bullying. I agree with all you have said. It’s not about being fat versus skinny and what’s attractive, its about your health and both ends of the spectrum have health issues that can lead to premature death and a host of health issues which lets be honest aren’t attractive if they are avoidable and if people are just being lazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I’ve struggled with my body for years too and I know it’s not an easy issue to solve. But switching from idolizing skinny to idolizing fat is definitely not the answer. A lot of time the easier course of action is inaction and not saying anything about weight at all. Even some doctors are guilty of not addressing obesity as the serious issue that it is. Even our doctors are scared to “bully” us now?! It’s really become too much.

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  11. Very interesting post. I do applaud the risky move to write something like this in our politically correct cultural climate. I’m not sure I agree with the word “fat” used so liberally throughout your argument, as this could mean so many different things – are we talking someone who is just a little soft? 15 pounds overweight? Obese? Morbidly obese? I don’t think anyone should promote the idea that being dangerously overweight is an ideal, but I don’t think everyone is meant to rock a string bikini either, and they can still be healthy. But overall, I liked your points. I think it’s incredibly dangerous to use our obesity epidemic as an opportunity to celebrate some new aesthetic, just to avoid hurting feelings. My issue is when the criticism masks itself as concern, when in reality, it’s just a thinly veiled snark. But again, interesting post. Things like this always get me thinking because of my own experiences and struggles with weight and health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that the intention makes all the difference. If you’ve seen any of my other posts, you will see that I’m not a mean or negative person. I also have frame of reference from being both a “skinny” and a “fat” person.

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that we are encouraged to celebrate a new form of beauty (plus sized) and often use it to avoid hurting feelings.

      If a friend of mine smoked, I’d have no issue saying, “you really need to stop doing that, it’s terrible for you.” However, if I saw that same friend eating deep fried junk, I would not deliver the same message. It’s simply not socially acceptable to do so.

      I think we need to stop tip toeing around the issue, create some productive dialogue, and be accountable for our own health. No one else is going to do it for us!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great point on the smoking! I am a former smoker and was routinely made to feel embarrassed and ashamed over my habit, but you know what? It was embarrassing and it was ruining my health. I suppose the difference is that I didn’t carry around my smoker status for the world to see like I did with my extra weight. But still, I very much agree that we need to stop tip toeing around this health crisis.

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  12. Interesting post, and I agree on many points, but I have a problem with the “fat” and weight obsession. A person’s outward appearance or apparent “muffin top” literally have no bearing in terms of that person’s overall health status. The numbers for sizes and social norms are incredibly arbitrary, but people still seek comfort in knowing they’re a size 10, so that must mean something. The “body positivity” movement is more focused on the need to shift the norm for what a “healthy” person can look like. Why does the end goal for someone have to be a Victoria’s Secret model? Why are we trying to force people into a seemingly unattainable box. As a dietitian, I’m preaching day in and day out to clients all about small steps for better health in their life. At the end of the day, that is what is going to make the most impact in your life. The problem remains in that our medical culture and society have forced a lot of people to never feel like they’ll be good enough. If I’m a size 10, is it ok for me to feel fine at that size if the rest of my health and lab results are looking good? I once worked with a woman who had lost 20 pounds through simple tweaks to her diet and simply walking around the block each day. She hit a wall with her weight and then became obsessed over the need to lose an additional which created a complex. She restricted food, exercised compulsively, and quickly lost an additional 20 pounds. All of a sudden though she has a crisis in her family, ate some food she had forbidden herself to eat, and suddenly gained back all 40 pounds and then some in a short period of time. She didn’t learn the tools to be able to look at food and exercise in a way that it was just a part of her life, not her WHOLE life. There’s so much research out there showcasing how the yo-yo weight loss effect is even worse for you than weighing more than is clinically “ok” for your body. My past professors and clinical researchers I know will say that we are doing more harm than good constantly preaching about obesity and weight, when we really should just be focusing on healthier habits which could potentially lead to weight loss. In reality, not everyone needs to lose weight! Weight is not the pinnacle for being healthy. Someone mentioned smoking above. Healthy eating and forming healthy habits is the same as quitting smoking. The minute you choose to go for a walk instead of sitting on the couch for an hour, you start waking up muscles, nerves are firing in the brain, your senses are heightened, and your blood starts pumping. The minute you quit smoking, your lungs are suddenly functioning better, blood pressure drops to a steady rate, your circulation improves, etc. I might be rambling, but honestly let’s not get hung up on weight. There’s more to being healthy (and it’s been proven!) than your pant size, the number on the scale, and the general public’s perception on the state of your thighs.

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    1. I agree! That’s why I think we should remove the “body” focus from the movement because it just shifts attention from one end of the spectrum to the other.

      “Fat” is suddenly considered to be a bad word that we can’t say, but I believe in calling a spade a spade…and I actually AM fat at the moment (unfortunately)!

      I’m working on changing my life and adjusting my habits so that I can be healthier. However, I’m not going to say that I’m not also looking forward to being slim again too, which is a very nice side benefit.

      I don’t feel comfortable as I am right now and I remember how at ease I felt with my body when I was slimmer. I miss that feeling and I want it back. Everything was easier for me from walking up the stairs to clothes shopping.

      I don’t believe in obsessing over dieting, which is why I refuse to use “quick fixes.” Every change I make is sustainable because I don’t want to be like the woman in your example and revert back to the size I am now after putting m all the effort needed for me to lose each pound.

      At the same time, I don’t believe in touting complacency either and just saying that everyone should accept the new fat status quo. I understand healthy comes in all sizes but I think I would be hard pressed to find a medical professional to tell me that more fat people than slim people are healthy. There is usually a correlation, which only makes sense given all the extra stress on the organs.

      Thank you for reading and for your comment. I loved reading your perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. i think this sentiment really needs to be said and put out there because SO MANY people are jumping on the “fat is just fine because it’s the way i am” mentality. as you point out, it’s good to work towards acceptance of wherever you are, in your journey but to stand still with an unhealthy condition? that’s just plain stupid.

    and btw, people choosing to remain fat DOES affect you; you pay taxes that pay for THEIR health care which would detract from people who genuinely need that care. there was an article in mcleans years ago about doctors refusing to treat patients who got (e.g.) lung cancer (or otherwise) after choosing to smoke for years, against the advice of their physicians. if your doc has told you to stop something that is a known unhealthy habit and you go against their advice, why should other people foot the bill? we all should take ownership for our own health (prevention is the best method, so let food be thy medicine!!) to the best of our abilities and make better choices every day. we’ll slip up and eat a chocolate bar of a wheel of cheese (maybe that’s just me) but the important thing is to get back on that good health path and simply accept the “slip up” as something that happened and not beat yourself up over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s true, in Ontario it really does impact us in terms of quite literally paying for choices other people make (I’m not positive that all other provinces have the same health model, so I’m hesitant to say Canada). The worst for me is the stories I hear about people who continue with their bad habits after being gifted the opportunity of a transplanted organ. If you get a second chance at life and blow it again, then something really needs to be done about the system. We shouldn’t get a “free” pass to mess up our bodies and have others pay for it.

    I work hard every day to be positive about where I’m at in my fitness journey, which is a start difference from where I was even two years ago. My weight gain crept up so fast and was so significant that it still baffles me. However, all I can do is keep going and work hard to be healthy. I don’t want to accept where I am though because that wouldn’t inspire change. It’s NOT okay and not a lifestyle that is positive ot sustainable at all.

    PS: it’s only you and JP who would eat a whole wheel of cheese (and B, too). I’d be the one eating the cheeseCAKE.

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    1. i do believe a similar system exists for the rest of the country so most people are in those shoes with universal health care. there are definitely benefits to that but at the same time, i wish people would be more responsible and accountable for their actions and decisions.

      i think if i or B ate an entire wheel of cheese, he and i would both stink up the room. heh…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hmmm…I have thought about this for awhile because like you I am not at my ideal weight. It bothers me when I hear people saying being fat or obese and staying that way is beautiful. I am not saying people are not but when it comes to a point where they give up because they think they are fine the way they are. Then people start taking a good thing (body positivity) and twist it to mean something it was never meant to be because they want an excuse to say they can’t. They want a reason to stop. This just gives them a reason to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s how I see it too. Negativity is bad for your health and well-being and I do try to stay positive while I work towards my goals. But I’m not positive about my current shape and I am definitely not comfortable staying as I am. For a long while, I was content with the status quo, but that was mostly due to laziness. I’m making changes now, which is a positive thing, but being fat is not positive at all!

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  16. I’ll start by saying I smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, so I am in no way a health nut. With that said, my wife and I have had this very same discussion many times, with both of us in agreement with what you are saying. Some months ago we choose to go with a vegan diet, and one of the things this has really drawn in high relief is the choices people make about what to eat. As we joke, I could live on a diet of Doritos, Oreo Cookies and Coca-Cola and still call myself a vegan.

    Go into any supermarket and look in the shopping carts. To say one will see processed comfort foods is a good bet. One of the first questions people have when they hear we’ve gone vegan is “Can you still have pizza?” My wife will say the curse of our society is corn syrup. The point is that there are choices to be made. One can live without cheese (which I totally love). One can live without chocolate and hamburgers and butter. If one chooses to indulge in empty calories and saturated fats rather than a more healthy choice that leads to being less overweight, then that is a choice. An unhealthy choice. To say otherwise is a blatant lie. “But I need to eat meat.” “No, you don’t. You want to eat meat.” Period.

    I don’t expect people to applaud and cheer my choice to continue smoking cigarettes. It is my choice and I pay a price for it. It should be socially unacceptable. It is pain in the behind it is when doing such things as flying across the country, but I accept that because it a choice that I don’t want the next generation to have to endure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you take accountability for your choices and that’s what most people lack. The most common excuse I hear about why people can’t cook at home is time constraints, and as for why they choose unhealthy food, they often say price.

      I do agree that healthy food costs more but its an investment in ourselves. I also feel that wholesome food is a lot more filling so you need less. I’m just as busy as everyone else but I use one day a week to prep all my meals in advance, which means I don’t reach for unhealthy convenience food even when I’m exhausted after work.

      You’re right in that everything we do is a choice and I feel the body positivity movement is largely geared towards promoting, justifying, and even celebrating unhealthy choices. Being obese is very serious and just because the implications haven’t manifested themselves in everyone, that doesn’t mean they won’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said. As for the cost argument, I would say there is a difference between buying foods that will fill us up and buying foods to ensure a healthy diet. Potatoes are very inexpensive. If one uses them as a base for more healthy foods, the latter can be limited since one isn’t eating them with the goal to curb the hunger, rather just for the necessary nutrient intake. On top of that, prepared food are vastly more expensive than just buying the ingredients.

        You make an excellent point about the endeavor “to prep all my meals in advance, which means I don’t reach for unhealthy convenience food even when I’m exhausted after work.” This takes an amount of discipline which I can say for myself is far easier said than done. Yet embracing the art of cooking as a form of ‘entertainment’ or even ‘meditation’ (mincing garlic is that for me), most people I think can ‘find the time.’ I look at all the hours people rack up watching tv and they’re complaint they don’t have the time kind of falls flat.

        Somehow before the Super Bowl, people suddenly find all this spare time to cook and gather together to eat and watch tv. It comes down many times to a matter of priorities, and what remains is a bunch of excuses about time and cost to justify being a couch potato.

        {end rant}

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen! “I don’t have time,” says the person browsing Facebook and spending hours each evening binging on Netflix. It is all about priorities and how you choose to spend your time.

        I think it’s also about knowing yourself. For example, I am not a morning person but I choose to wake up at 5 a.m. each weekday morning so that I can workout.

        I know that by the time I get home, I will have a million excuses to justify not working out: “I had a bad day; I’m tired; I have to put dinner in the oven; I’d rather cuddle with my dog.”

        I get it over with in the morning so it’s done and that by the time I get home, my evenings are my own to spend with my family. So many people tell me that they “can’t” wake up early. Sure they can, they just don’t want to.

        People who wake up early are generally more productive and even if I spend the first 30 minutes cursing everything, at least I’m up and doing what I need to do for myself.

        Everything in life is a choice but people are too busy with their “woe is me” attitude to make any changes. I try to avoid spending time with negative people who complain all the time because it just brings me down too. Stop talking, start doing!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. This is awesome! I have been blessed (lol) with hypothyroidism too and am currently the heaviest I have ever been and thanks to several abnormal labs, it’s been a real struggle to get my weight down again. I really appreciate your honesty in this article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a terribly frustrating ordeal to lose weight when your thyroid won’t cooperate. There are some days that I just want to say forget it because it’s SO hard…but I don’t (well, usually. I have my off days like everyone else).

      I have better eating and exercise habits than a lot of my friends who drop weight easily and who stay slim without any effort at all (yet I’m somehow still friends with them…I deserve sainthood! :D). It’s tough, but I’m going to keep persevering, meet with my doctor regularly, and just hope that all of my effort pays off.

      Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I really like your insights. To me being body positive is loving myself at every stage of my journey. I think that’s what’s important. Loving who you are at this moment. For me this is a motivator. I love me so why wouldn’t I want to take care of myself. I think they way we approach people about their weight is when we get into the issue of fat shaming. I was often told growing up “you’d be so pretty if you lost some weight”. It made me sad and angry. why wasn’t I pretty now? Every time I went to put food in my mouth those were the words I heard. If someone had just said “I love you and I’m concerned that your weight is putting you in danger of some serious health issues “, then I would have listened, started doing things the right way instead of taking diet pills or eating more just prove to them I was ok with myself. To make a long reply even longer;). I agree with you that body positivity is good but being obese is not.

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  19. I completely agree with what you’ve expressed. I congratulate you for having the courage to put your opinion out there. It needed to be said. It’s great to feel beautiful at any size. But just because you feel beautiful at 300 lbs. , doesn’t mean you should stay there. Health is far more important than beauty. With positive body image and a great self-esteem, you will continue to feel beautiful at any size. It’s dangerous to attach beauty to a number on a scale. Whether that means obese or skinny… because that can go both ways. Healthy mindset – healthy body.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree. You’ve summarized my whole post in a paragraph! LOL. I think it’s wonderful for people to feel great about themselves regardless of their size and even though I’m currently fat, I still know that I’m a good person and I’m happy with who I am…but I am not happy with my body and I don’t think that I should be. I need to make changes for my own health, which I am, and that is what I’m celebrating rather than my status quo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good for you! Best of luck on your health journey. With such a healthy and positive outlook on life, you’re sure to succeed. You’re also likely to stay happy and positive during your journey as well. I’m cheering for you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I agree and I think you went about this in a very positive way. Every person is beautiful, and should feel a sense of self worth. Fat however is not something you are it’s something you have. Carrying access fat as we all know puts at a higher risk of metabolic disease and death. I think Every one should be proud of who they are, but not necessarily proud of where they are. We are all a work in progress and as long as that progression is for the betterment of the person I’m all for it. I used to weight 100 lbs more than I do now and I know what it feels like, but I also know what it feels like to be healthy and fit. Keep up the fantastic writing, stay with the fitness as well, you can and will do it!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank you! I think that’s an excellent way of putting it. I try to be as positive as I can, but where I am currently is far from my end goal. There needs to be some level of unhappiness with the status quo in order to make a change. If I was happy with my body as is, I wouldn’t be trying to get healthy. Also, congratulations on your weight loss! That’s an incredible accomplishment to lose 100 pounds.

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    1. Thank you! I wish that I had never let my weight get to this point. I always said that I’d never get fat and I couldn’t understand how people could gain weight and not notice…but then it happened to me! I can’t believe it took me so long to have a wake-up call, but on the bright side, at least I had one and am doing my best to make changes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! I love to read about different perspectives, especially when they differ from my own and what I think is true. The most important thing is that different opinions are respected and the discussions are constructive rather than offensive.

      If we surround ourselves with people who always agree with us, we will never be challenged or learn new things. Sometimes my perspective changes even when I was so sure that I was right before! Then again, there are certain topics I prefer to stay away from, such as politics and religion.

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  22. I agree with you on all counts. And I would add that in our home the mantra has become that we “eat to live” not “live to eat” as a form of entertainment or reward. There is simply too much focus on the joy of food in this country. Its great to enjoy your food but planning it, looking forward to the next meal and obsessing about it is the root of many y healthy lifestyles. Thank you for your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂 My doctor has advised that I should seek pleasure from other things in my life, but never from food because it’s merely a source of fuel. Often it is considered something social and indulgent, which is probably why so many people are overweight. I like your mantra and I am going to adopt it too!

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  23. I absolutely agree. I think the body positive movement has a good idea behind it- that we shouldn’t need to look like models to feel good. But it has evolved into something more dangerous. You are completely right, many people hide behind the movement and use it as an excuse to wallow in their unhealthiness. I think it is important to get back to that healthy mindset of “I am good enough if I am trying my best”. Not everyone is designed to be 110 pounds, or even 120, or even 130. Everyone has a point that is their own “healthy weight”, and I think once you find it, you should be extremely proud of yourself no matter what the actual number is. And everyone has different levels of exercise and dieting that work for them, so once they find the right balance they should feel so happy about themselves because they did it! They are healthy and living at their highest potential. This is what I think you are promoting and it makes me really happy to see because this is what I hope for all people to achieve. To be happy with themselves because they are truly using their body to its fullest extent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it. My healthy will look different than yours, but so long as everyone is actually trying to get there (and then actively trying to maintain it), I am fully supportive of them at every point of their journey.

      It’s the, “you should appreciate me exactly as I am and I’m not changing” attitude that I feel starts to border on being “fat positive,” which is dangerous. I do appreciate people as they are, but I also feel that they should be trying to be their healthiest, which is not solely focused on the aesthetics of your body (which always seems to be the obsession at each end of the spectrum).

      If everyone focused on “healthy” then we would be a lot better off!

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment so thoughtfully!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, in a perfect world we wouldn’t think about our appearances really at all, whether overweight, underweight or healthy and fit. We would appreciate being healthy and work towards it no matter where we stood. Thanks for the great post, keep it up 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Or even more. I recently met a woman on a hike in the mountains who told me she weighed 165. Now, at her height, that would be technically obese, but she loooked good, and she is healthy. She had a great smile and personality, and, although she had just recently moved here, she already had a boyfriend. I think her overall attitude and fitness made her look good.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Interesting points for sure. I wonder, though, if the body positivism movement is more about countering the negativity and unfair treatment many obese people experience? Have you encountered that kind of treatment? Not that I don’t agree with the wellness perspective – I totally do, but I also feel like there are so many people who can benefit from the positive body image movement for their *mental* health- especially if they’ve struggled with weight their whole lives. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t personally experienced any discrimination since I’ve become fat. I have noticed, of course, that fewer men look my way (which is totally fine given I’m married!) but otherwise people have been the same to me as they always have.

      I think the movement started out how you describe, but I find that it is now more about being “fat positive” than anything else, which is promoting (in my opinion) being unhealthy and continuing poor habits. That’s not to say that fat people can’t be healthy, but I certainly haven’t seen a lot of that (exception as opposed to rule).

      I do think it’s a great thing to be positive regardless of where you are in your journey BUT I don’t think you should be so positive about being overweight that you don’t start a journey at all. I’m learning to love myself at every size but that doesn’t mean I want to stay this way!

      Thank you for your thoughts.

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  25. You have literally walked into my brain and written down my feelings in a way more articulate way I ever could!
    I’m not sure if it’s the same in the US but in the UK we have a big group of girls who are plus sized bloggers and they band together and if you dare blog or tweet about fitness they accuse you of fat shaming. And it’s nasty and it’s bullying but they think because they’re fat and ‘victimised’ they can say what they want to other people
    Also over here we have a government funded health service which is paid for by our taxes, so if someone is obese and needs medical attention because of that, it means I (and everyone else) pays for it. Why should my hard earned taxes go to someone who’s been too lazy to take care of themselves (and I know there are certain medical conditions that make it harder to lose weight, I appreciate that!).
    Like with smoking, I don’t think ignorance is an excuse anymore, people need to take more care of themselves and being medically obese is not a healthy way to live!
    Thank you so muh for writing this and I hope you get nothing but nice things said to you, I wrote a similar thing a few months ago and got loads of abuse!

    Helen x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I live in Canada and we also have a publically funded health care system, so I feel your pain. I think people can definitely be beautiful on the inside, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that some of us need to lose weight and are living in an unhealthy way. I have a thyroid condition and I’ve managed to lose weight – it’s not been easy, but nothing in life that is worthwhile is easy. If you want something, you have to work for it and it seems that the body positivity movement has become fat acceptance, which doesn’t motivate anyone to change.

      Thank you for reading! I will go check out your post too 🙂

      Like

  26. Very enjoyable read. I like all the points you made, but mostly how passionately you made your case. I’m overweight myself, well overfat is more correct. Weight can result from muscle mass as well as fat stores, so it’s not a great indicator of health or unhealth. That said, I see myself in the mirror, accurately, so I know there’s too much fat there, and the skin is a bit flabby here and there. When I mentioned the fact that I was a bit fat to a blogger once, she accused me of hating myself! That’s the idiocy of people thinking body positivity means fat acceptance. I have tried to eat healthy and get some exercise for a very long time. I’m not always consistant. I hike in the mountains more than ever now, and at least four months every year I train for a half-marathon and run that. I don’t eat at fast-food joints, but I do love bread, and sugar, and milk (french toast) waffles, pancakes and cookies and such. At the age of 62 I found a heart artery had become clogged. I’ve never been an athlete, but I’m trying to do more now. I don’t accept that I have to remain overfat, or that I have to die. I like it better when a friend tells me that I seem to have put on a bit of weight, instead of telling me I look like I’ve lost weight, when I know I haven’t. Right now my weight stays very constant, so I am fairly happy about that, as long as i can stay healthy too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. My friends are starting to notice that I’ve lost weight, but weight is such a touchy issue that they are hesitant to mention anything to me. Sometimes people can take “you’ve lost weight!” to mean “you looked fat before!” Unfortunately I know that I look fat but I’m more concerned about my health than I am about my bikini body (though I’m not going to say that BOTH wouldn’t be nice).

      I love the taste of almost everything that is bad for me, so it’s a constant struggle for me to eat well and force myself to wake up early to exercise. I consider exercise to be an appointment with myself and not something that I fit in “if I have time” because then I would always say that I’m too busy, lol.

      I do love hiking and things that don’t feel like traditional exercise though 🙂

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  27. I love this post. I think nothing good comes without some constructive criticism, and these days too many look to get offended by the slightest misgiving that’s not something that they WANT to hear, but something that they NEED to hear. If we are told that we’re “beautiful as we are” and “comfortable in our own skin” constantly, there’s never any incentive for betterment.
    Trust me I know, I’ve shed about 20 lbs. cutting carbs, breads, pasta and fast food. I once was a size 9, now I’m a 4. And I get plenty of haters on my fitness posts from time to time. Like if someone poses in a bikini that’s obese, she’s courageous, and touted as a hero. If someone does it that’s fit, there’s all too often a slew of haters and envious comments. And oh all hell breaks lose if it’s a fit mother with a tight belly.
    Don’t hate the girl who’s put in the work. Use her gains as added motivation folks.
    I think that’s something that no one really talks about is the undertow of “fitness shaming” out there. I will have to do a writeup on that one soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. Your story reminds me of the Maria Kang controversy (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/q-and-a/a37276/maria-kang-whats-your-excuse-mom-book/) where she was shamed for publicizing that she was fit and healthy even after giving birth to three children. Shaming works both ways and I think it’s a sad state of affairs when obesity is promoted and being fit and healthy is met with indignation.

      If you write that post, I will read it! 😉

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  28. I applaud you for speaking out and voicing your opinion. I agree with you on all points and think it is time we begin to help people understand the deadly implications behind their decisions. Well thought out, well stated and well done!!
    Danny

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    1. Thank you! It’s hard information to hear and I completely understand that. I hate the fact that I’ve let myself become overweight and unhealthy and that the only person I have to blame is myself. However, I’m also taking accountability for my actions and doing everything I can to make changes to my lifestyle.

      Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also think people are quick to associate someone with their body. I remind people of one key fact: the body you live in is not the person you are. Meaning the body is simply a shell, not the real you.

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  29. You article is well reasoned and you make some good points but I can not agree with you. I have strongly felt for some time that a person has a right to do with their body as they wish be that fat, skinny, smoke, take drugs or be super fit. By all means educate people to have a healthy lifestyle but if the choice not to is up to them. There are more important things in life to looking good and the more we focus on it the more it becomes all we celebrate.

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    1. I agree with you that the focus shouldn’t be on the body and how a person looks. I am not saying that obese people should try to get healthy so that they can feel great in a bikini; I’m saying they should try to get healthy so they don’t suffer from preventive illness and diseases down the line. Healthy looks different for everyone and I completely agree that everyone is accountable for the choices they make and it’s up to them whether they get healthy (or not).

      However, it’s also a huge and unnecessary drain on our shared resources, like health care, when someone actively and consciously chooses to be unhealthy and suffer the physical consequences of that. I don’t care how anyone looks, but I do care about rising health care costs, the childhood obesity epidemic (children are learning from someone!), and the fact that being unhealthy is currently being celebrated. The focus should be off the body and onto our health!

      Thank you for being kind with your comment even though you don’t agree. Different perspectives are always welcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have a solid argument and I understand about the drain on resources but if everyone lives to long then we can’t afford the pensions! That’s probably not the best counter argument but all I can think of atm.

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  30. I applaud you for being realistic . I’ve written about this on my blog too, and thank goodness, I didn’t get any harsh criticism. Except for health issues like abnormally low metabolism, I wrote that what one eats is the reason for all the extra weight. All that extra weight doesn’t come from the air. Matter cannot be created nor destroyed. It can be changed to energy, though, and that’s where exercise comes in.

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    1. I was surprised that I didn’t receive criticism for posting my article, but it was a risk that I was willing to take just in case the message would get through to one person and make a difference. Unfortunately I do suffer from an underactive thyroid, but I’m on medication to try and correct that. In addition, I also made poor food choices so I’m not saying that my hormones are entirely to blame!

      You should leave a link to your similar post so we can all check it out 🙂

      Like

  31. Inspiring and positive post! I’m currently working on my weight. I’m much overweight and agree healthy is the way to go. After being slim all my life and gained weight after pregnancy (which is no excuse) I was diagnosed with health problems I never thought I would get. Much luck and love to you in all that you do. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I am also dealing with some health issues that are directly related to my weight. Like you, I never thought I’d let myself get to that point – ever! Luckily I don’t have anything too serious, but I want to reverse the damage that I’ve done and prevent it from getting worse. I have definitely had my wake-up call.

      Good luck to you as well on your journey towards good health 🙂

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  32. Love this post! What really bothers me are people who blame a medical condition for their obesity when there is actually no medical condition (such as a hypoactive thyroid). It’s disrespectful to people who actually struggle with those conditions. Instead of making excuses to mask their disappointment in themselves they should make a healthy change. People can fall within a very wide range of weights and be healthy. For some people their optimal health happens at a size 2, for others it’s a size 20. If people really want to show society how “body positive” they are then it seems like loving themselves and creating their best health possible would be the way to do it.

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    1. I hear many people blame an underactive thyroid gland for their weight gain. I actually do have that condition (and am losing SO MUCH HAIR to prove it) and I take a pill every morning to try and regulate things. Even though I legitimately have a health concern, I also take accountability for the poor choices that I made in terms of food in the past. It’s not all my thyroid’s fault!

      You’re absolutely correct that the focus shouldn’t be on whether you’re a size 2 or 20, which are opposite ends of the spectrum and can each come with their own challenges, but on whether or not you’re healthy, which is something best determined with your doctor! Everyone is different and I am so sick of the “one size fits all” approach to beauty. However, now instead of promoting being stick thin, it’s about fat acceptance, which is not healthy either.

      Maybe one day our culture will become less obsessed with how people look…I can hope!

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  33. This is a fascinating, well defended post. I both agree and disagree with you. On one hand, I am 5’4″ and a size 10. My BMI categorizes me as “morbidly obese,” and while I could stand to lose a bit of weight, I don’t think I’m fat and I don’t feel like I deserve the shame I get from doctors about being “morbidly obese” because, frankly, I’m fairly healthy. I don’t think that people should be ashamed of their body and made to feel that they’re not beautiful people worthy of love and respect of others just because they’re heavy. On the other hand, I feel like the “body positivity” movement often marginalizes the problems and issues faced by people with disordered eating and exercise conditions and THAT pisses me off because we’re all supposed to be fighting patriarchal beauty standards TOGETHER not fighting each other. 🙂

    I believe in body positivity. I’m working on a month-long project for February’s “Love Your Body Month” that focuses more on doing whatever is healthy for YOUR body, be it eating a little more, eating a little healthier, being gentler with your exercise habits or creating new ones. It’s about finding that perfect balance between food/exercise for fuel, food/exercise for comfort and food/exercise as an escape. I’m interested to see what you think of it. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your comment and for reading!

      I think that I have bad connotations with the “body positivity” and “love your body” movements because I cringe when I see anything related to either. It’s about so much more than your body to me and that shouldn’t be the focus at all.

      For me, it’s about health and wellness and the majority of overweight people are not the pictures of health. I agree that healthy looks different on everyone, but there are standards and guidelines regarding weight in place for a reason – they are generally correct.

      I can’t even imagine what my current weight would be classified as and while I don’t find any label particularly helpful, it was certainly a wake-up call for me to realize that my weight is impacting my health at my age (I suppose my head was in the sand before).

      I do believe that if people focused as much time and energy on being healthy and fit as they do on whether or not others accept them at whatever size they are, be it a 2 or a 22, then we would all be in a much better place. I think if people didn’t care about this component (what others think) it would be in our personal journals versus all over our social media.

      I think if people want to “love their bodies” then they should be good to their bodies – be active every day, eat for nutrition versus short term pleasure (you can gain pleasure from how you spend your time, not what you put in your mouth), get enough sleep each night, drink enough water, etc…to me, that is loving my body, which will eventually correlate into how I look when I lose more weight. But it’s not the focus.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I totally agree with you. It’s not healthy to be obese, why people can’t understand that? Also, it’s not healthy to struggle to be as skinny as possible. If you love your body, you have to struggle to be healthy. Nowadays, so many people die from obesity, from the severe diseases that obesity brings, and it’s a shame. With all the fast foods it’s very easy to become obese. I thank God that I don’t know how that feels, I’ve never been there, but I do know people that are fat and obese and it’s so sad. They are not happy with their condition, they don’t have enough energy, their heart is nearly covered with fat and that’s a serious condition, you could die because of this.
    Stay healthy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Totally agree with this. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and saying people shouldn’t regularly over-eat and should take regular exercise isn’t ‘fat shaming’, it’s out of genuine concern. Shouting abuse at a fat person or saying personally hateful things is not okay, but saying that there are health concerns with being obese and eating high sugar/salt junk food without getting the nutrients your body needs isn’t bullying. It’s true. Trying to stop people caring whether they are healthy or not because you are ‘beautiful how you are’ isn’t helping people, its just enabling them to live in denial. Of course not everyone can or should be thin; personally I have always had big breasts and will always have a curvy figure, that is how I am meant to be. But unless you do have a medical condition that means you cannot lose weight I don’t think being morbidly abuse is the natural state your body should be in, or how your body would naturally be if you did decide to change your lifestyle. The emphasis doesn’t have to be on losing weight, but if someone does maintain a healthy lifestyle and does eat right, I don’t think a large number of the people who are currently morbidly obese would stay that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I actually get really angry and discouraged when I see people poisoning their bodies with junk and choosing to be sedentary when they don’t have to be. People often say they have no time to workout, but then sit around watching TV or spend hours on social media. There are people who physically can’t work out and wish they could, and then there are lazy people who could and simply don’t. I certainly don’t advocate calling someone a “fat pig” or actual bullying/fat shaming, but we can’t be so politically correct that stating a fact (obesity kills people) makes you a bad person. Living in denial is only going to hurt yourself if you’re an unhealthy person.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Excellent points made here. I think that no matter what condition a person is in, personal betterment should start with unconditional self-love, recognizing the reality of your situation and what needs to be improved, then committing to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Awesome article! I completely agree with your views. As an overweight young woman myself, I am constantly seeking ways to lose weight (all have failed thus far, but I haven’t lost hope). I can’t stand when people get mad or offended about being called unhealthy. Yes, one shouldn’t make fun of someone for being fat on a shallow level, but we can’t simply accept it either.

    I wonder what you think in regard to attraction? These days it’s almost as if guys should feel ashamed to not want to date a girl because she is overweight. Personally, I don’t see why this is an issue. If you’re simply not attracted to it, why should you be forced into it? Yes it would hurt for a guy to reject me because of the extra layers, but it would sting a lot more to find out he was only with me out of a feeling of necessity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think attraction is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to relationships. If I’m not attracted to someone – for whatever reason- then chances are, I’m not going to want to date them. However, back when I was single, I did date guys who looked “unconventional” because I adored their personalities. How someone looks is one component, and the level of importance someone assigns to it is a very personal decision.

      For me, the bigger issue with dating an unhealthy person would be that I would constantly be surrounded by unhealthy food and sedentary habits. I want a partner to get out and enjoy life with, not someone to sit on the couch with. Luckily, I have found that and my husband is on the same page as me in terms of being healthy (though admittedly I’m stricter than he is.

      Absolutely no one should be making fun of anyone else for any reason, but stating a fact, like eating McDonald’s is probably not the best choice and is quite unhealthy, is not “shaming” someone. I think people have taken being politically correct entirely too far. It’s not about how someone looks, but about how healthy they are and how they are treating their body. Hey, it’s the only home that we have to live in.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. I totally agree with this. I also overweight after, at one time, being slim and in shape. I used to exercise everyday until a few months ago, and even with being overweight, I felt great! It is an excellent antidepressant and it balances the mind like no medication I have used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I always like to try and feel better naturally before I turn to medications. Weight gain has so many negative impacts on your body, both physically and mentally, and while it’s not easy to make changes to become a healthy person, it’s definitely worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. So glad someone else is thinking this! I have not been brave enough to vocalize my thoughts on this topic. I have a few friends on Facebook who take this position about how fat is beautiful, and I have issues with it for the very same reasons as you. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hesitant to hit publish on this post, but the resounding feedback is that many people do, in fact, agree with me. So, I’m glad that I shared my thoughts and I appreciate that you took the time to read them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Love this post! I tend to stay quiet about issues like this because I’m a really skinny person and people tend to criticize me saying that I’m fat shaming or whatnot. Traveling and living in other places has shown me that Americans has somewhat of a unique relationship with food. Healthy foods that should be available at the most basic levels are the things that are most expensive. Fast foods and super processed ingredients are cheap. So seeing this combined with the rates of obesity in the US isn’t really surprising. I’m all for body positivity, but when a society is so unhealthy that it’s being ingrained that it’s ok to pretty much be poisoned is not okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I am fat, so it’s okay for me to say right now…but as I continue to lose weight, eventually I will be fat shaming when I say it, too. It depends on who is delivering the message, which is ridiculous when we are plagued with preventative health conditions that stem from food. It shouldn’t matter who is telling us that because it’s true! I’d prefer to take advice from someone with a body I aspire to have anyway.

      Where are you from?

      Like

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