(There will almost certainly be something that I say in this that rubs you the wrong way, try to get past that if you can)
I agree, dieting sucks, the whole dieting culture thing makes me cringe. My first blog was called YOUR DIET SUCKS.
So we agree that dieting is part of the problem. I will also concede that Fat Acceptance and Body acceptance in all its forms is positive. It’s a start to what healing looks like but it’s not the finish line.
Now let’s see if we can come to some compromise on this next part because whatever the non-dieting movement is, it’s not helped when people ignore health markers.
And just to be clear, I know you can be healthy at a higher weight, I know that activity changes lives and I also know that just because you weigh more doesn’t mean you eat in an unhealthy way.
But some people don’t move as much as they could and have unhealthy habits and they hear the non-dieting message and it’s just another reason to ignore physical and mental health warnings.
I also don’t have a problem with you changing your relationship with the word FAT, just like I don’t have a problem with some people accepting that their genetics may be predisposed to being skinny. So let’s walk through my experience and maybe that can be the place where we find some common ground.
I was a fat guy, no doubt about it. I was 260 pounds at 5’8” and I FUCKING LOVED MYSELF. When I looked in a mirror I didn’t look at it in disgust. In fact, a large part of what happened to me was because of that love.
At 37 I had a heart attack scare, it was a false alarm but 100% I thought I was having a heart attack and in the ambulance we had to call my wife. I was embarrassed to make that call not because I didn’t love myself but because my habits were really bad. I avoided the doctor for the same reason many obese people do, I didn’t want to know.
At the time I was on television quite a bit. What I didn’t realize was that I was subconsciously avoiding pictures and such. The television told another story. That story was that I didn’t care about my health.
Then I was in a motorcycle accident, I was Ok but my bone snapped off right above my right ankle. I was shockingly deconditioned. Now all those jokes about “no one pulls a hammy laying on a couch didn’t seem so funny”.
So I am an ally. I believe what you believe.
But the answer can’t be to ignore it.
And look, if you are a 5’8” 120 pound woman and you have become disillusioned with diet culture you probably should be, it’s mostly filled with predatory bullshit.
This article isn’t for you. It’s for me, a former me that didn’t know what I know now.
Here’s a little secret not every diet company will tell you (even though we predominantly sell not dieting as the answer it’s hard to ignore that we are part of that group). This WHOLE industry is based on relatively healthy people that don’t need to make a big change.
Most people that sign up for all forms of dieting might want to lose 50 pounds but 20 pounds and moving would change their life and health significantly. This is the part that probably pissed you off in the first place.
I started at 185 and guess what I weigh today 192!
There is so much the average person doesn’t know about all of this it’s shocking and frankly the diet industry isn’t helping.
But the person that was in my situation at 260 pounds often doesn’t come to people like me. They opt for reddit or tik tok advice which is rife with misinformation and once again, is predatory.
If no one ever dieted again I would be happy but that needs a caveat.
You have to go to the doctor (and I know that process can be shaming, maybe we can find a network that isn’t), we have to also change our habits, it’s ok to have high calorie foods but it has to be strategic. I wrote a letter that I will post tomorrow of what I would have said to my doctor when I was 260 pounds.
But most of all, we have to MOVE, it’s hard to separate the two but if I had stayed 260 and weight lifted with some cardio I would have dramatically affected my health in a positive way.
Most of my health markers would have changed almost immediately.
But the option can’t be flaunting our bad habits on social media to thumb our noses at the people that are or were mean to us.
Those people suck.
Lastly, here is why dieting was problematic, for almost everyone. You started with the wrong thing, you started with eating less. The single biggest thing you can do right now to dramatically affect your health is to stand up and walk. If you are drinking soda, add a lime to your water. Figure out a way to get more vegetables in the way you eat. I ate like a 5 year old most of my life, at first I had to drink green juices and that changed my palate.
You absolutely CAN BE HEALTHY and be overweight, while I don’t love the F word I will say it because of the context here, FAT. You can be a FAT person and be healthy.
But you can’t be healthy with a list of bad habits a mile long. That applies no matter how much you weigh.
Also there won’t be a link in this post, I am not trying to sell you something.
I just think we need to talk, for a million reasons, we weigh more than most people and we feel judged, I felt judged. While I am fit now and you probably don’t see me as one of you anymore, I am. I am an ally.
We’re not all enemies just because we got fit and while I get the temptation to thumb your nose at judgemental assholes don’t do that AND ALSO PROVE THEM RIGHT AT THE SAME TIME.
There is a happy medium. Start with moving, schedule a doctor’s appointment (feel free to take my letter tomorrow and make it your own, print it out and hand it to your doctor) and let’s improve some eating habits even if that means not eating less.
And if you ever do decide to eat less that doesn’t mean you were a fraud. I felt that too for a long time but I couldn’t die and abandon my family over some principle I had based on judgements from people I didn’t care about.
This last sentence might not apply to everyone but it did to me. Stop letting hate fuel you. Your haters aren't your motivators they are people that shouldn't be in your life.
Trust me, love will take you farther and isn't that the core of what all of this is supposed to be about anyway?
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.