For 17 years I believed the hype that if I did a diet, a weight loss plan, a lifestyle change, I would become thin, healthy, pretty and outgoing. I did everything, sensible diet plans like Weight Watchers, fad diets like slim-fast, low calorie, low carb, low fat. I went to dull gyms, climbing the stairmaster and walking the treadmill. Nothing worked in the long run. They all ended in the same way, my body not getting enough calories (even the "sensible plans") overrode everything and I began binging. During my yo-yo dieting years, I watched my cholesterol rise and my self-esteem plummet. I developed GERD, and my eating become so erratic and disordered that even almost 10 years since my last diet, I still have food and eating issues.
Since ending the yo-yo dieting, instead of focusing on weight loss, I began focusing on health. I cut down on foods that my body did not like and which aggravated my heartburn. I refuse to ever join a gym again unless they have a pool.
Yet some people think I am deluding myself. That being proud of myself, my accomplishments and my body is a fantasy.
Recently there was a first ever fat studies conference in New Zealand. Coverage of the event has been positive and negative.
"One of the reasons we're so fearful and hateful of fat is that we believe we can read people's bodies," Pause told AFP.
"So when people look at a fat body like mine, it tells them I'm unhealthy and that this is a diseased body. It tells them I don't ever exercise and eat nothing but junk."Pause said the reality is that some people are just bigger than others and fat studies highlighted the need for society to accept the fact, rather than constantly judging fat people and pushing them to lose weight."
This quote from an article from Agence France Presse and picked by Alternet has more positive words from the conference organizers and presenters.
On the other hand is this article from the Punch which starts off making fun of a fat kids, then explains it's not okay to make fun of fat people but you shouldn't going around accepting your fat because you will die. That's right fat acceptance = death.
I call bullshit. Being fat is different, because in general it is a precursor to a range of deadly diseases. Being overweight puts people at risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some cancers.
If you read my post last week, I talked about another study that proves people who are fat and healthy don't have decreased mortality (unless they happened to have diabetes and/or hypertension. (I have neither). Of course both diabetes and hypertension is bad for anyone of any weight.
But which is a delusion?
My past belief that somehow I would join the 5% of people who lose weight and kept it off? That I should subscribe to a system that fundamentally fails most people who try? That I should make myself crazy going on weight loss schemes after schemes, losing and regaining until I died younger than I should (which I'm sure will be blamed on my fatness)
Or the belief that I need to feed my body wholesome foods and movement it can handle and let my weight fall where it lies.