What we think we know about weight is so so wrong.
Did you know that putting on weight easily is actually the sign of an efficient metabolism? And someone who burns weight quickly has an inefficient metabolism? Yea, because in famines? Caput! Goodbye skinny people with your inefficient metabolisms! (Including myself!)
Did you know that people who are “overweight” actually live longer than their smaller bodied friends? Life spans have lengthened alongside our rising weight over the last few decades. (I mean really, I think this is the biggest piece of info! Let this sink in!)
Did you know social factors and stressors have more to do with your health than health habits? Meaning that feelings of powerlessness, shame, or experiencing prejudice, and the stress that comes with sub par living conditions or unjust social conditions are worse for you than poor health habits?*
Ok. Just making sure you got that.
Did you know that beauty is subjective and learned? And what we think of as beauty changes in fads every few years. As long as we let big businesses decide for us what is beautiful and “worthy”, there will always be groups who don’t know they are allowed to feel beautiful.
This is actress and singer, Lillian Russell, was one of the biggest beauty icons in the late 19th century.
Did you know that the BMI chart was created/funded by the weight loss industry?*
Did you know that joyful exercise is good for you even if you don’t lose weight?*
Why do we never hear about this? Cultural weight bias. We’re scared. We think that what we think we know is right.
It’s like when Galileo said the world was actually round and people were like HELL NO THIS EARTH IS FLAT YOU HERETIC. And they killed him.
And he was totally right.
People are so, so scared of things that are outside their current beliefs.
We believe that weight is unhealthy and it has seeped into every crack of our consciousness.
We believe that what is considered beautiful today is what beauty actually is.
We also have all these association with gaining weight. “It’s uncomfortable. It’s ugly. It’s lack of control. It’s unhealthy.” These are things we believe so strongly that they become true. We really do have that power, especially in our perception of what is happening.
Personally? I believed that once I lost weight, my hormonal problems would go away. And they didn’t. Losing weight arguably made things worse. And the pursuit of weight loss absolutely made things worse. Poorer sleep. Worse sugar metabolism. More stress.
I am not saying that every person in this world is healthy or living their best life. I am not saying every fat person** is healthy. But to assume that weight is the cause and cure of all health problems is misguided and almost certainly missing the point.
What I am saying is that our weight fear-mongering is off base. And that every person, healthy or not, deserves respect.
Also to assume that we have the right to be so emotionally invested in other people’s “health” is absurd. We absolutely do not get as emotionally invested in the “health” of smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers, we have to get honest about what we are really focusing on and really afraid of. (Do you know how many smokers smoke so they can try to stay thin? They are not doing it for their health. I used to think “hmmmm if I wasn’t a singer I would totally smoke”… so I could be thin. Yea.)
*Lots of this information is from the book Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor.
** Fat is not a bad word