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The war on obesity tells us to hate ourselves. Then it says that we have to take good care of ourselves. Then it says that it doesn’t matter if we take good care of ourselves, we have to lose weight or we should keep hating ourselves until we hate ourselves enough to take good enough care of ourselves to lose weight.
It’s ridiculous. It’s a system that sets us up to fail, actively participates in our failure, then makes us feel horrible for failing, all the while profiting the diet industry to the tune of almost $60,000,000,000 (yup, that’s sixty billion dollars) a year.
So back to my original question: Even if we would all be healthier if we were thin (and I don’t think we would be), is the War on Obesity a good idea?
I think that the answer is a resounding no. There are absolutely no circumstances in which a war on all people who look a certain way is a good idea. Here’s are some steps to fight back…
1) Notice how often these dangerous messages happen. Tomorrow, notice how many messages you get about obesity – from television, the radio, the internet (how many diet ads are on the pages you look at) etc. Notice how many of those messages are created by someone who either wants you to buy their product or has something to gain by maintaining the status quo (ie: they derive their self-esteem from being “better” than fat people)
2) Appreciate your body! Your body is amazing – think of all of the stuff that it is doing for you right now: you are breathing, your heart is beating, you are blinking, the list goes on and on. Your body deserves to be loved and appreciated. Just as it is. Right now. Right this minute.
3) Do things that make you and your body feel good.
Stop judging others by their weight. Stop assuming that very thin women have eating disorders. Stop assuming that fat people are lazy or unhealthy. Strike words like “skinny bitch”, “fat pig” etc. from your vocabulary.
4) Don’t push your idea of health onto other people. Make choices for yourself and stop telling other people how they should live unless they are asking directly for your thoughts or advice. Your experience is just that – YOUR experience. You get to make decisions for you based on your experience but nobody else is required to take your experience into account in their decisions. Don’t confuse your experience for everyone’s experience.
5) Speak out when you see other people partaking in these negative behaviors. Every time someone says something like this they are reinforcing to someone else that they are unhealthy, unattractive and unworthy. The idea of making someone hate themselves healthy is ludicrous.
6) Tell your story. A lot of people don’t even know that Health at Ever Size is an option for them. That’s the entire point of my blog. I don’t want to tell people how to live, I just want them to know that there are options for happiness and health with the body they have now.