Cause and Effect. It’s one of the most basic principles of our Universe and the first thing that I learned in first grade science.
We fat people spend a lot of time being accused of being an effect. People tell us that the size of our bodies is the effect of uncontrolled eating, not enough exercise, sloth, a fast food culture, capitalism, greed, too much wealth and on and on. People make all kinds of guesses as to what we are the effect of. Being the effect feels terrible because there is no choice in being an effect. There is no power. If you are the effect then you are a baseball sitting on a tee until some kid with a little hand eye coordination steps up to the plate. You end up wherever you end up with no part in the process, subject to the whims of tiny tot tee ball players who are as likely to be picking flowers as throwing you to first. Lucky for us, it doesn’t have to be this way. They can tell us all day and night how we’re the effect of things, but it never has to stick. Nobody can make us an effect,we have to choose to believe it – choose to buy into those people’s ideas. But we can choose something else.
When we stand up, speak up, and refuse to buy into the current culture of self-hatred, fat-induced panic, and thin obsession we stop being the effect and we start being the cause. Being the cause is about being the choice, the power, the reason:
- The reason that people see us as humans instead of the headless fatties pictured in almost every article and new report about obesity
- The reason that people realize that we are far too complex and different to be shoved all together and called an epidemic
- The reason that people to start questioning the forces and money behind the messages about weight and health that get served to us on a platter 386,170 times a year
- The reason that people start to wonder how it is possible for the diet industry to make so much more money every year if their product actually works
- The reason that people start to question the statistics that they see about weight and health
- The reason that a fat 12 year old on her 14th diet, being teased and bullied by other kids, her parents, and the First Lady of the United States, realizes that she might be okay and that life might be worth living (that’s from an actual e-mail that I received last week)
- The reason that someone might choose to stop doing unhealthy things to lose weight and start doing healthy things that actually promote health
An acquaintance sent me an e-mail yesterday after reading my blog. He said that he believed in what I do but that I was wasting my “time, life, and a first rate mind”. He said that this battle is unwinnable and that I should spend my time doing something else because the diet industry is so big and the beliefs are so prevalent that it “doesn’t matter what is true”.
I don’t care how many people are shouting a lie, it ALWAYS matters what is true. There are people out there, right now hating themselves, starving themselves, not aware that the diet industry that is lying to them about their chances of “success”. People who believe what they have been told – that they can never be healthy, happy, loved, or successful until they are thin, and some of them will die trying to get it done. I’m not wasting my time, life, or mind because it’s not about what effect I have on the diet industry or the views of the majority.
When we stand up to the diet establishment and thin-obsessed culture just by telling our truth, we can be the reason, the catalyst, that sparks some people to consider other points of view, start asking a lot of questions about the status quo, and consider an option where they actually love themselves and make their goal health instead of thinness. Whether or not that ever happens, we reinforce our self-esteem, body image and good health in the process. It’s not about changing the world, it’s that I believe that when it’s time to fight back, you fight back. To quote Aaron Sorkin from The American President – we fight the fights that need fighting.. More and more fat people are deciding that they’d like to look back on their lives and say that they weren’t an effect, they were the Cause, and I’m proud to be one of them.