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Oh goody. The government is getting into the fat mocking business (as if there weren’t enough 12-year-old boys and Farrelly brothers movies doing the job) under the banner of the KILLER OBESITY EPIDEMIC. Well kids, we are being lied to.
For instance, notice that the statistic of 400,000 “obesity” deaths is reported in this article to be due to “poor diet and physical inactivity” – NOT obesity per se. And yet they are called “obesity deaths.” How can this be? Because we believe that fat=inactive. Thin=healthy.
But guess what? – there are thin people who eat poor nutrition and never exercise and die from heart attacks. And there are fat people like me who eat reasonably (but neither binge nor restrict), walk two miles a day, and are judged to be perfectly healthy by their physicians. I haven’t died from being fat.
I could die from taking diet pills containing ephedrine-ephedra.
I could die from taking Meridia, which has been evaluated about as closely as the deadly “miracle drug” phen-fen (which is to say, not at all since there is so much money to be made from it. It has already been taken off the market in Italy due to deaths there).
I could die from a heart attack or ruptured esophagus if I resumed my old habit of donuts and ipecac (aka. bulimia).
I could die from intestinal blockage or other complications if I resumed my other old habit of starvation-so-I-could-look-better (aka. anorexia).
But I think I want to live.
So, I’m through. I’m done buying control top pantyhose and slimming torture devices. No more listening to headlines and believing scary unresearched stats. No more looking at Oscar night dresses and feeling badly that most of the women look emaciated – and wondering if I should, too. I’m done buying into the game of thinness that keeps me distracted from life – the game that keeps so many American women of all sizes and shapes from believing they are fit members of society because they think they are too fat.
I’m done because judging yourself by any external standard of health and weight is a losing game. A game that only the weight-loss industry wins. After all, even when I worked out a minimum of one hour 4 times a week (cardio, strength, and interval training), ate no more than 1100 calories a day (nearly half of the total calories used to compute the standard US RDA of nutrients), threw up every time I “cheated” and ate a sweet, I still could not get below 165 pounds. At five-foot-two, that puts my Body Mass Index, or BMI, at 30.5, obese. And I was a size 14. Of course, as writer Dan Mindus points out, if we actually used the BMI (incidentally the U.S. government’s one and only measure for obesity ) on everyone, and didn’t just trot is out to measure a huge group of self-reported heights and weights to make a point (as in the above article) California’s governor would be considered obese. As would Tom Cruise.
So consider the idea, if you will, that you are smart enough to figure out what feels healthy for you all on your own. Because you are. Believe what your body tells you is right. Trust yourself and find your own rules for your own health. Turn off the tv; throw out People. Remember that Weight Watchers is now paying the American Cancer Society to proclaim obesity causes cancer because they both stand to make a lot of money from such a venture. Keep in mind that the studies on obesity from which statistics are taken, and which are quoted in every major article and report, are funded by major pharmaceutical companies. Yes, the same companies that stand to make a fortune – perhaps billions per year – when HMOs are forced to cover the costs of the drugs and products they produce, if the Department of Health & Human Services along with the American Medical Association declare obesity a disease. But above all, seek out your own truths. Do some research and trust in what you already know about your body.
Join me and set yourself free from the tyranny of pop culture. Don’t be frightened into buying cellulite reducing skin cream and low-carb bars and expensive gym memberships because someone might not love you the way you are. Love yourself. Do it right now.
We can put the industry of shame and fear out of business by simply believing we are beautiful and worthy just as we are, today.