Fat Acceptance: Failure and Addiction Justified

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Lindy West, Kate Harding and Rotund. These are three women in the fat acceptance movement who have stated explicitly, “diets don’t work”.  Kate Harding went as far as to say the following.

Diets don’t work. No, really, not even if you don’t call them diets. If you want to tell me about how YOUR diet totally worked, do me a favor and wait until you’ve kept all the weight off for five years. Not one year, not four years, five years. And if you’ve kept it off for that long, congratulations. You’re literally a freak of nature.

Literally a freak of nature?  I won’t dwell on the fact that she just used the word literally where the word figuratively should be, but seriously, this is a completely delusional mindset.  It is not uncommon for people to exaggerate the gravity of other’s accomplishments when they have failed at them.  It’s obviously much less disheartening to fail at something very difficult.  Here is the reality, and I have been obese so I can say this is in absolute defiance of the fat acceptance movement.

Losing weight is profoundly easy!

So you probably disagree with that statement.  This is where I proselytize you with an exceptional analogy.  Buying a home in cash is a massive and difficult accomplishment, but purchasing a home with a mortgage is relatively easy.  Losing 100 pounds is an incredible feat, but consuming 200 calories less per day than you metabolize on a consistent basis until your body reaches a homoeostasis isn’t.  If your obese, it’s because you make lots of little mistakes and you probably lie to yourself about how much you’re actually consuming.  You never sat down to a 350,000 calorie meal, which is how many calories must be burned to equate to 100 pounds of fat. This is where Kate Harding would agree that it’s relatively easy to lose weight, but as she is fond of pointing out, will you keep it off?  Yes, it’s simple…keep making those metaphorical mortgage payments.  You worked out for 5 hours a week and ate a consistently good diet? Great, now keep plowing forward.  Till when?  Till death, or until you cease to care. 

Nearly everything about Kate Harding’s quote is wrong.  First of all, plenty of people have lost weight and kept it off for five years.  Secondly, it’s entirely disingenuous to simply say you’ll gain the weight back.  Yes, people often do yo-yo, but does this mean they should just throw in the towel and be fat to an extreme?   I say ‘to an extreme’ because being fat in moderation really isn’t so bad for your health or your image.  If “fat acceptance” was simply the belief that it’s OK to be moderately overweight should you choose to be, then I couldn’t legitimately see a problem with the movement.  This isn’t the case.  Take the blogger Rotund.  This woman is morbidly obese and co-authored a book that espoused the belief that so long as you meet your nutritional needs and get some regular exercise, there is no real danger in being significantly overweight.  WRONG!  It isn’t even worth referencing all of the diseases and conditions that an obese lifestyle contributes to.  There isn’t any real debate on this.

There is however plenty of debate to be had with the statement “diets don’t work”.  It’s one of those statements that’s open to so much interpretation, like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.  If were defining a diet as an activity you engage in simply to drop the extra weight and then return to your old habits, absolutely, I agree entirely that by this definition the statement is correct.  Although, the textbook definition of diet is this:

di·et  

/ˈdī-it/
Noun
  1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
  2. A legislative assembly in certain countries.

 

Focus on the first definition.  HABITUALLY.  It’s a habit!  You don’t think that habitually consuming less calories will lead to weight loss?  Thermogenics says otherwise.  Sorry fat apologists, calories in versus calories out.  This doesn’t work?  Yeah, and my car never runs out of gas because I drive so slow. 

Fat acceptance, as in “I’m comfortable and completely happy with the way I look” is largely a farce.  What evidence do I have of this?  Lindy West, Kate Harding and Rotund. All three of these bloggers use super close up head shots for their blogging profiles.  This is obviously a way to minimize how fat they appear.  Why do this?  Isn’t being fat just as good as being thin, or even better?  Kate Harding is quite possibly one of the best case studies on a negative self fulfilling prophecy I have ever seen.  She has a blog dedicated to fat acceptance and has written a book on how dieting is illogical and doesn’t work.  What a hack she would look like if she then lost the weight permanently like so many other people have done.

The concept of fat acceptance certainly wouldn’t be acceptable with other addictions.  “Yeah, I like to drink until I vomit and my life is a mess and that’s my decision and I’m perfectly happy with it!”  Alcoholics in many cases due less harm to themselves than morbidly obese people.  So where’s the alcohol acceptance movement?  Why do we thrust are beliefs and judgements and these people?  Shouldn’t we just respect all addictions and decisions that have negative consequences?  I could put together a MeetUp group of alcoholics and they could bounce ideas of each other.  Ideas such as:

  1. Being drunk all the time and everywhere is a right and you can’t judge me for it
  2. I’m just as capable of operating any and all machinery at any time, period!
  3. Not accepting my constant inebriation is a form of bigotry, stop discriminating against my people!
  4. Include blood-alcohol-content in the Civil Rights Act or create separate federal anti-discrimination legislation based on alcoholism and seek inclusion in anti-discrimination policies of major corporations and institutions. (ripped off from NAAFA’s website)

The fat acceptance movement is slightly to moderately hypocritical.  I’m not attracted to obese women…so I’m a bigot?  Fat tolerance would at least be a somewhat viable concept, but acceptance, that’s suspending essentially any negative opinion I might have of a lifestyle.  That’s extremely arrogant.  Here is an actual quote from NAAFA’s website that shows how unscientific and incredibly self serving fat acceptance is. This quote is in the context of things NAAFA seeks to do.

Encourage health care organizations to adopt a Health At Every Size (HAES) policy and include HAES in patients’ rights policies.

Hold on tubby…you’re going to tell scientists and medical professionals what they have to accept as reasonable?

“Hey, that mole looks cancerous”, says the doctor.

“Don’t thrust your prejudice on me!”, says melanoma acceptance advocate.

 

So now your health problem, which is definitely a problem based on both measures of morbidity and mortality, isn’t a problem because your grass roots organization says so?

Fat acceptance is about denial, excuses, unscientific conclusions based on subjective beliefs, and is a lot of energy being consumed to encourage people not to solve one of life’s simplest and most pervasive problems.  Is incredibly un-pragmatic and encourages a questionable lifestyle and perspective.  There was a fat acceptance advocate on the news who actually implied that it’s “discrimination” that obese people are required to buy multiple plane tickets.  To that I say, what’s the alternative?

 

 

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