So, today’s topic is “Fat Acceptance”, a group I am… surprisingly uncomfortable with. Now if you don’t know what fat acceptance is, I’m going to take you on the scenic route and pop you over to my friend Alex’s comic, Alex’s Guide to a Life Well-Lived. I am doing this because
- She is a fabulous cartoonist (fastest sharpie in the west… well, midwest, anyway), and is worth a moment of your time.
- She happens to bring up the fat acceptance thing from time to time.
So, feel free to pop over there and familiarize yourself with the movement. I’ll wait.
Okay… everyone back? Good.
So… fat acceptance. This would seem to be a group that I could get behind. Their tenets are pretty reasonable:
- Being fat doesn’t mean that you are
- About to Die
- Being fat doesn’t mean that you should put your life on hold
- Being fat doesn’t define you
- Everybody (fat, thin, tall or short) is worthy of respect and should be treated with dignity.
See? These are all very reasonable things. I agree with them 100%…
They always manage to slip in the following fact as well:
Diets don’t work.
They say that you can lose weight in the short term, but that the long-term (5-year) prognosis for the dieter is dim. If you lose weight now, in 5 years you will more than likely have put the weight back on and be less healthy than you were to begin with (though some of that, I imagine, comes naturally with being 5 years older).
So, where does that leave me? Is this entire episode fruitless? Is it a waste of time to even try?
Good Lord, I hope not.
See, while I’m not defined by being fat, I am absolutely too fat…for me… it… inhibits me… I ride my bike, I walk five miles to work, I live my life, but it’s not easy. Not because of what other people think, but because of simple things… clothes don’t fit. Stores don’t carry clothes that will fit, and those few that do charge treble rates. I like roller coasters, but I can’t fit on the bloody things. My knees hurt a lot because of the stress that just being me puts on them. I can accept my fat, but I can’t accept these things.
As Mr. Niebuhr put it:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I may never be rake thin, but I certainly don’t have to be this. I choose to diet and effect change. It is not a temporary thing, but a life-long change. I will succeed. I will fail, and I will succeed again.
So, I’m never sure how to deal with the conversation when it turns to fat acceptance. I agree with you 100%, but I don’t agree that it’s not worth dieting (a proper diet) if you feel that it is something you need to change. And let’s face it… there’s a good chance that at any given time, I happen to be the fattest guy in the room, so you all look skinny to me!
It’s also probably fair to say, that I’m not the target of the fat acceptance crowd. I think once the term morbid comes into a description we can all agree that there is work to be done… but while I don’t agree that anyone should be made to feel bad because they are fat, I also don’t agree that there is an inherent problem with trying to be less so…
…all of which I am probably saying completely wrong which will undoubtedly annoy a few folks, but for me. I have to believe that I can beat the odds, that I can lose the weight and that I can keep it off… and as I said, I’m shooting for 225, not the cover of Men’s fitness.
Oh well, let’s run the numbers before I piss anyone else off.
Food Intake (Monday):
- Breakfast – granola and banana (the convenience breakfast of champions) – 250 calories
- Morning snack – fiber bar – 90 calories
- Lunch – Roast chicken, hummus, pine nuts, carrots and celery – 480 calories
- Dinner – Steak with mushrooms and potatoes – 850 calories
- Evening Snack – Dreamcicle (or a reasonable Kroger facsimile) – 100 calories