I thought it would be good to start things off by talking about what size acceptance is all about. Quite simply it is the acknowledgement that fat people are subject to several different kinds and levels of discrimination. Size activists consequently acknowledge that discrimination based on size is not warranted or acceptable.
A related concept is the “Health at Every Size” movement. This movement believes that there is a natural diversity of body types and people of any size can be healthy. HAES advocates encourage eating for pleasure and for health and that physical movement is integral to your well-being, independent of your physical size.
I know that many of you are saying “Leah, shut the front door. Do you mean to tell me fat people can be healthy?” And to that question, I answer with a resounding YES! Here is a small amount of the many tidbits of medical academia that indicate being “overweight” is not a death sentence:
A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that “(being) overweight was associated with lower mortality.”
An article in the September, 8 2004 JAMA showed that a lack of activity, not weight, was the biggest predictor of heart disease.
Even the New England Journal of Medicine states that: “Given the enormous social pressure to lose weight, one might suppose there is clear and overwhelming evidence of the risks of obesity and the benefits of weight loss. Unfortunately, the data linking overweight and death as well as the data showing the beneficial effects of weight loss are limited, fragmentary and often ambiguous.”
So there you have it. A thin couch potato is less likely to be healthy than a fat active person. Hence, “Health At Every Size.”
But Leah, won’t a healthy lifestyle AUTOMATICALLY lead to a thin physique? Not necessarily, my friends. There are active healthy eaters of all shapes and sizes! What is guaranteed to be unhealthy is a weight loss and gain cycle that frequently accompanies dieting. What is even more certain to increase mortality are harsh treatments such as diet pills or weight-loss surgeries. More on that later, my friends!
1) You can be healthy, independent of your size.
2) Fat people are people, too.
3) Skinny or fat, we all are beautiful and should be treated with respect.
More on why dieting is no bueno and why society wants you to think that being overweight is going to kill us all in subsequent posts. But first, here’s a photo of me being a ham after running a race. Because running is a fun, fulfilling, healthy activity for people of any size!