Monday, August 18, 2008

The Thin Line of Fat: Fat and Fit--Health At Every Size

This article was surprising to some. Saying fat people can be fit is somehow seen as an oxymoron as we've cast aside the fat as unhealthy, sickly, disgusting or otherwise in an attempt to cleanse everything of the different.

Not so fast.

It turns out fat people can be fit after all, supporting years of advocacy by those in the Fat Acceptance and Health At Every Size movements. It seems that one's heart health has less to do with their weight than other factors. Being a size 4 or a size 24 doesn't determine heart health.

I'd like to think that this will finally start to seep in to the science of chronic pain and chronic illness. I cannot tell you how many times I've had doctors use my weight and size as a cop-out to doing any actual doctoring. It was even more frustrating when they used it two summers ago, when I was sixty pounds lighter than I am currently and, ironically, when all my chronic problems came to a head.

All of us fatties have stories about how doctors have used fat to determine the cause of an ailment. Being fat doesn't cause an upper respiratory infection. My weight is not relevant to determine whether I have pink eye. And young girls should not be encouraged to eat less than 1400 calories a day. (All things I have personally encountered.)

So maybe, just maybe, we can start to gain a little ground...or at least keep the ground that hasn't been taken from us yet.


Anonymous said...

What a great piece Samantha! What I've encountered through my chronic illness experience is that becoming ill put wight on me. I was not overweight to begin with, then do to the inability to exert, medication side-effects, I gained a lot of weight, BECAUSE of illness. Weight was not the precursor to illness.

It is ironic now, as I have been diagnosed recently with a disease which makes eating solids nearly impossible and consequently causes weight loss. Am I healthier now that I'm thinner? The nerve to my stomach muscle is damaged and taking in adequate nutrition is difficult. Yet, through the eyes of our society, I LOOK healthier.

The saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" could be used with the issue of weight and health. Don't judge a persons health by his weight--read the whole book--examine the whole body.

What a great blog Samantha!


Anonymous said...

Great Blog! Like you, I'm "Zaftig" - jewish word for "big", but very healthy (says my doctors). The bottom line is when it comes to the issue of fat and losing weight, it isn’t so much the amount of fat that people eat that's the problem, but the kinds of fat they eat. The right kind of fat is essential for health. If people just stopped eating large amounts of fatty meat and dairy, foods containing trans fatty acids, all heavily processed vegetable oils, and anything made with any of those ingredients, their fat consumption would drop. I’m overweight, too, (genetically we’re big people!) but my blood sugar level is stable, my heart is strong and I attribute my good health to taking a probiotic (intestinal cleansing), watching my diet and walking each day. I’m still overweight, but I’ve never felt healthier! Check out baseline of health foundation newsletters to find out more about healthy, all natural lifestyle changes. It helped me!