First of all, thank you so much to everyone who offered congratulations on the marathon (did I mention that I completed a marathon?) There has been some confusion about my desire to do the marathon and what it means to have done it and I want to try to clear that up. This is from an e-mail that I received today:
“Congratulations on finishing a marathon!”
“I’m glad that you understand that fat people need to be out there exercising and eating healthy, not just sitting around being lazy.”
Nooooooo. No no no no no no no no. World of no. Galaxy of no. No.
This whole “Good Fatty/Bad Fatty” thing has to die. I do athletic things because I enjoy them (or at least because I want to do them), not because I am under any illusion that I should have to “perform” as an athlete to deserve basic human respect. Fat people are allowed to be athletes and we are allowed to talk about it and be proud of our achievements but being a fathlete is no more laudable than if we knit awesome sweaters or if we can quote every word of Eddie Izzard’s Dressed to Kill.
I/we/fat people don’t “need to do” anything. Paternalism is running rampant right now, crushing fat people in its stampede to judge somebody else and tell them how to live their lives (and do it fast before someone looks at you!)
If I washed down a macaroni and cheese casserole with 2 liters of Mountain Dew and a couple gallons of ice cream and that was just breakfast, and I haven’t exercised since 1985, it STILL wouldn’t be anybody else’s business, and it still wouldn’t be their place to tell me what I “need” to do. Because I’m allowed to live that way if I want. Just like people are allowed to get pass-out drunk every weekend, or jump out of a helicopter onto a super steep mountain wearing skis, or be a cast member of Jackass. We don’t lose our right to chose how highly to prioritize our health, or what hobbies we choose because of our body size.
If someone is thinking about making an “as long as my tax dollars have to pay…” argument, then they can head over to this post.
If they want to tell me how much money I cost the workplace, then this post is for them.
If you’re still here I’ll break it way down for you:
If you’re looking for your beeswax, you won’t find it on my ass.
My body size, my level of health, my diet, are none of anybody else’s business unless I choose to make it their business.. Just like theirs are none of mine. We live in such a “judge-or-be-judged” culture that people always seem to be looking for some way (any way!) that they are better than someone else. They have more money, they have more style, they have more friends on Facebook. So I think that when they see a fat person they heave a sigh of relief because they are obviously better.
This is not helpful. This is not useful. This is not getting us anywhere. I would suggest that those who are feeling the need to help strangers be healthier work on making sure that everyone has access to the foods they would choose to eat, safe movement options (both physically safe and psychologically safe – free from shame/stigma/bullying etc.) and good, affordable, evidence based healthcare. Or they can worry about their own health. But seriously, mine is none of their business and I don’t “need” to do anything to be afforded basic human respect and my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and neither does anyone else.
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If my selling things on the blog makes you uncomfortable, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen