It’s just vaguely possible that you might have noticed that our current culture has a teensy weensy tendency to use weight as a proxy for health. That, in and of itself, is an incredibly bad idea. But I think what’s worse is that it leads to confusing weight loss behaviors with healthy behaviors. So people get the idea that any behavior that makes you thinner must constitute a healthy behavior, and that behaviors that don’t lead to thinness must be unhealthy.
This causes a number of problems. The first one that comes to mind is the idea that a fat body means that anyone can be the judge, jury, and executioner of our health because they know we aren’t eating healthy because, the false assumption tells them, if we were eating healthy then we would be thin. It’s just not true. There are people who eat the same diet but have vastly different body sizes. There are people who have the same body size but eat vastly different diets.
Another problem is that people are lured to participate in behaviors that that, if they were viewed outside of our current obesity hysteria, would perhaps not seem like such a great idea… Consuming reconstituted soy protein shakes 5 times a day with a small meal at night? Eating 500 calories a day and getting urine-derived injections? Partially amputating a perfectly good stomach?
This also gets me into discussions that I can’t even deal with – where I explain that I focus on whole, nutritious foods, lots of veggies etc. and somebody tells me that I should give that up and drink a thin chocolate beverage that can have a laxative effect, or eat a cup of diet breakfast cereal with skim milk for 14 out of 21 meals a week.
Of course everyone is free to choose whatever behaviors they want, for whatever reason they want to choose them. I’m simply suggesting that it might be important to realize that behaviors that are meant to lead to thinness (however fleeting or unsuccessful that attempt might be) are not necessarily – and are sometimes precisely the opposite of – behaviors that can actually support, create, and/or improve health.
Project Update: Georgia Billboard Project
This is a go. We are going to put up a billboard in Georgia next to one of those horrible fat kid shaming billboards. I’m in the research phase now, once we know how much money we need to raise and the specs we’ll start the fundraising and design phases. Right now I need to know the location of those billboards in Georgia – if you happen to know where one is (specifically) please let me know. More details to follow…
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