Every day we are lied to about dieting, weight loss, weight, and health by people who profit from the lies. We are told that anyone who tries hard enough can lose weight and maintain that weight loss. This despite the fact that there isn’t a single study, anywhere, in which more than a tiny fraction of the subjects were able to do so. Still, anyone who claims to have a method of weight loss that works seems to be able to get airtime, and to get their idea reported in the news as if it’s fact, despite the actual fact that there is simply no evidence to suggest that it will work.
There are obvious issues with this. The most obvious is that it contributes to a world where governments enthusiastically oppress fat people and try to recruit others to do the same. It sets fat people up for a life of yo-yo dieting, and putting the lives we want on hold until we get thin, which will never happen, thus ruining our lives and making the weight loss industry money (to the tune of over $60 BILLION a year,) selling a product that they know doesn’t work.
But there are also consequences that are more insidious. With all the weight loss plans out there we are told all kinds of things will lead to weight loss – the gym, “healthy” eating, vegetarian diet, boot camp workouts, vegan diet, crossfit, paleo diet, yoga, pilates, yogilates, intuitive eating, meditation, you name it and I can pretty much guarantee that someone has made diet out of it.
Of course the truth is that fat people participate in all of these things and remain fat, and that there is no reason to believe that any of them will lead to long-term weight loss. (And let me be clear that not everyone who is involved in these things sells them as a diet, but there are people who do.) But such is our trust in the diet industry that instead of using the opportunity to question stereotypes and beliefs about weight loss and body size, people simply claim that fat people must be “doing it wrong.”
If we are fat athletes, we must be doing athletics wrong (because, we’re told, the only “good” outcome of being involved in fitness/movement/athletics is a thin body.) If we’re fat vegetarians we must be doing that wrong. If we’re doing a diet but not getting thin we must not be able to properly measure a quarter cup of rice. If we’re meditating but still fat we must be doing meditation wrong. The belief is that a fat body is evidence that we are doing life wrong. And that’s oppressive, and it’s bullshit. If you did something to get thin and you didn’t get thin (especially if you lost weight and then gained it back) then welcome to the “Almost Everyone Club,” you should know that what happened to you is exactly what we would expect to happen based on all the research that exists.
Fellow fat people, we’re not doing it wrong, we’re just being lied to. There are lots of things that my body is not, but what my body is, is amazing and worthy of respect.
My fat body is not a representation of my failures, sins, or mistakes. My fat body is not an indication of my level of health or fitness, neither of which is anyone else’s business anyway. My fat body is not up for public discussion, debate or judgment. My fat body is not a signal that I need help or input to make decisions about my health or life. My fat body is the constant companion that helps me do every single thing that I do every second of every day and it deserves respect and admiration.
I will wield my beautiful fat body like a weapon. I will love it, I will care for it, I will move it, I will show it in public, and I will viciously defend my body against anyone who seeks to classify it as anything but amazing.
The Body Love Obstacle Course
This is something I’m super excited about. Jeanette DePatie and I (along with some amazing people who we will announce soon!) have been working on a new program called The Body Love Obstacle Course (BLOC.) It’s about how every aspect of our lives is affected by the way we feel about our bodies, and how we can use that fact to create the careers, relationships, and lives we want, and handle the obstacles that the world puts in our way. As a preview we’ve released a free video that includes some information about the BLOC as well as an exercise to help you get more body love right now! You can check it out here!
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Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!