I was reading a Facebook post the other day about a poor overweight mum whose little girl was told by another child at school that her mum is fat. That is super cruel and awful. It made the little girl really confused that someone would be so hurtful. She was very sad and the whole story was rather heartbreaking.
The woman, by her own admission, is overweight. In her case, a size 18. So what does that mean? Does it mean unhealthy? Well, it rarely ever means healthy. So what makes it unhealthy? If you can’t move well and therefore exercise because of the weight you are carrying around, that is unhealthy. If your body is suffering in any way because of the weight you are carrying around, that is unhealthy. If you are putting bad food and drink into your body on a regular basis, well that is unhealthy. Which is why it troubled me when I saw this comment:
Just tell ur fat and happy and good at dancing and most women are. So really fat is normal…
Is this how we live our lives now? Everybody is doing it so that makes it normal and therefore OK? Good to know.
So, does that mean if almost everyone drinks the Kool-Aid that we should also do it even though it’s poison? I mean it’s normal right because everyone is doing it.
No, I didn’t think that’s how it went.
Fat is fat and usually it is unhealthy and I’m sorry but I’m not sure when it became bad to acknowledge this. I’m not saying it looks bad and I’m not slagging off people about it. I’m simply saying it is unhealthy. If you are a super fit healthy overweight person then feel free to tell me to F right off but I suspect people fitting those specs are few and far between.
Are there skinny people who are unhealthy? Hell yeah. Unfortunately weight is not the only indicator of healthiness. Junkies tend to be pretty thin after all and they are hardly the epitome of health. But that’s not what we are talking about here. And just because skinny people are often unhealthy doesn’t mean overweight people get a leave pass. We ALL need to look after our bodies. And any indication that we don’t is bad. It’s not cause for ridicule but it’s still bad.
Yes, there are some situations where people have some sort of physical constraint that limits exercise, yes some people are genetically more curvy. But really, the vast majority of people who are overweight are not making the right choices for their body.
So comments like this are ridiculous:
Ask her if she’d feel that way if you were tall instead
We don’t choose height. It is genetically predetermined and no amount of anything will change that (although malnutrition at a young age will probably stunt your growth as poor diet and exercise during childhood can mean you don’t reach your full height potential. There’s that healthy thing again). We choose how we feed our bodies though. How we give them fuel and help them run. If you feed them well and take them out to play then they will run at peak performance. I guarantee that if you only ate whole unprocessed foods that your body would morph into its natural size. And I’m certain it’s natural size is not obese. I’m positive of it. No, you will not end up as skinny as a supermodel as that is also unnatural for most people. You will simply wind up YOUR healthy weight, whatever that is. For some people that will involve soft lumps and bumps, for others that will involve knobbly knees.
So lets be honest about this for a change. I’m sick of being told to embrace the overweight look simply because the majority of people are being slack arses about their health. How about those people who are being unhealthy embrace being healthy. Why aren’t we pushing for more of this? Why are we so afraid of being truthful about this? This commenter on that same post put it best:
We had a similar discussion with my daughter who is in year 2 also. Basically we explained that yes I weighed more than what is best for my body because I had made some bad choices about food and exercise. However someone being fat is nothing to joke about as we are all different and it is not okay to judge others or laugh at them for it. I explained that people who make comments like that are just rude and those comments don’t matter because I still love me and I love her. We then used the opportunity to talk about healthy habits. As far as the other kid is concerned tell her not to be upset by what he says but that it is also inappropriate and if he says it again to tell the teacher. Follow that up with a quick chat to the teacher yourself and let them know that you think a bit of a class discussion about saying cruel things is not funny and is not permitted at school. Unless you know the parents leave them out of it as it is not likely to fix anything and may just give the little boy more ammunition to keep saying things to your daughter. Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
I love this woman. What a great mother and role model. She uses the TRUTH in her message and manages to separate the two ideas: 1) that being overweight is due to an unhealthy lifestyle and 2) that despite that we shouldn’t treat people badly based on their appearance.
So yes, I agree, we shouldn’t judge people because they are fat. And we certainly should not pick on people for being fat. Weight has no overall bearing on the kindness of someone’s heart. But lets stop pretending it should be accepted as normal just because everyone is doing it. Everyone (including me) needs a swift kick up the butt and a visit to the gym and the fresh produce section of the market. Not to be mollycoddled and told that it’s OK because they don’t care to take the time to care for their body.
I’m probably going to get some hate mail for this one and that is OK. I do realise we need to help our kids have a healthy body image and telling them fat is bad doesn’t do this but telling them fat is good helps them justifying being unhealthy as they grow up and I don’t agree with that either. Something needs to change.
In case anyone is wondering, no I am not fat. At the moment I am just what I call average but yes, it’s a slim average. I try to exercise regularly but haven’t had much luck these past few months and as such I have the slim but squidgy look going on. Have I been fat before? Yes, I’ve been overweight but no I’ve never been obese. When I was overweight I know I did not feel my best. I wasn’t eating well and I was drinking too much. All that sort of stuff. I have also been an unhealthy skinny person. I remember a time where I was eating very little as well as drinking and partying quite a bit and I was the thinnest I’d ever been. Didn’t feel too crash hot then either. The best I’ve EVER felt was late last year when I started watching what I was eating and exercising lots. And when I say watching what I was eating I don’t mean dieting. I mean just making sure I didn’t put processed shit in my mouth often and that my portion sizes weren’t enough to feed an Olympic wrestler. That’s not dieting folks. That’s just sensible healthy eating. And when I don’t do it, then it’s only because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered.
Yes I do have the Facebook link to the post in question but I decided not to post it in the end as I didn’t think it was fair on the people whose comments I highlighted. They didn’t ask to be scrutinised by me or my readers. So in the end I made the decision to leave it out.
Happy days. I’d love to hear your thoughts but lets play nice, OK? OK. You guys rock.