1.the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
Pretty innocuous right? Yet for many, the word diet strikes fear into their very core. The meaning of the word diet has become somewhat skewed over the last 100 years or so. Rather than literally just meaning the food we consume. It is almost always now associated with a restriction to the foods we eat.
I’ve noticed of late, much discussion around the fat community and its view of diet, or should I say its view on weight loss. Many folk feel like there is a group of us fatties who frown upon weight loss, that we persecute and shun those who engage in such an activity.
And while it might feel like that to those actively seeking to reduce their body mass; it’s simply not that, well, simple. In fact it’s just about as complex as the very reason why fat folk are fat. Every single person’s disagreement with weight loss or the practices that achieve weight loss are individual to them. But let me try and break things down.
The Diet Industry is Corrupt
Yep, it doesn’t matter how much you dress this up, how much you cry ‘but think of your health’ the fact of the matter is, the diet industry is a multi-billion pound industry for a reason. It trades on people’s (especially women’s) insecurities, it makes you question your very being and tells you, you’re simply not good enough in the eyes of the world and everyone who loves you. It makes you believe that if you reduce your weight, you will be a more valid human being. The very programmes themselves are shrouded in terminology and practices designed to strip you further of your self confidence and self worth. Weigh-ins of shame, syns and cheat days. It’s morally gross.
Secondly, they just don’t work. It’s been proven – UCLA Study -The reason the diet industry big hitters make so much cash is because the same, vulnerable, misguided women keep coming back for more. They yo-yo their way into these people’s back pockets and make the head honchos of these ‘programmes’ rich AF.
Before and After pictures are Dangerous
Dramatic huh? Well for many fat people, not only are before and after pictures incredibly demeaning – you SO desperately don’t want to look like me you restricted yourself and are proud to not be like me – they can be dangerous. I lived through a vast amount of eating disorders; from throwing up my food, throwing my food away, starving myself and then binge eating, I’ve pretty much done everything within my power to be a thin person.
Those pictures were my fuel, my goal, my inspiration to keep on abusing my body. The hours in the gym chanting the names, in my head, of the boys who’d wronged me, turned me down or hid me; the girls who’d tormented me and even my parents, for whom I simply wasn’t good enough because I was fat. Those pictures are the ones I held in my heart when I went under the knife and had a gastric bypass in a life threatening attempt to. just. be. thin.
And those are the pictures I tortured myself with, when the operation didn’t make me thin and I started starving myself again.
We get it, you hate fat people
Seriously, you can dress it up in whichever way you like, health, your kids, your partner, etc etc. but the simple fact is you so desperately don’t want to look like me, you’d rather pour all your energy and time into restricting your life. Because that’s what diets do, ironically, just like us gross fatties, they consume you. Every tasty mortal of your sense of self, your confidence, your pleasures and your time.
Are we angry at you for your Diet?
Absolutely not! I honestly don’t care if you want to lose weight. Your body is your business. What you do with it should solely be your decision. Am I sad for you? Yes, completely heartbroken to be honest. Because most of the time, we don’t do any of this for ourselves. The outside world is relentless. The media, your friends, your family, your doctors tell you that thin = good and fat = bad, when the truth is, it is not that simple.
If you absolutely, completely feel compelled to lose weight, then please do, be my guest – but what I do take umbrage with and, I can’t speak for my many fat contemporaries here, what do ask is that you don’t seek praise or approval for it. No one needs to see your before and after pics, or your weight loss stats. No one needs to hear how fat and ugly and gross you were before you lost weight.
I always use Dawn French as an example of this. Famous fatty, hero to many a chub girl like me. She went out and lived her life, and at some point she lost some weight. She didn’t release a book, or sing from the rooftops about how she did it. She didn’t even acknowledge it. When questioned she simply stated that it happened and it changed nothing in terms of the person she is. She acknowledges that her old form was just as wonderful as her current state and that body size is transient. One day she may well be a bigger version of herself again and so be it.
Why THIS event?
Of all your life’s events, of the many wonderful, amazing, incredible things you have achieved in your life, why is this one the one you seek the most celebration from? Why does this one need documenting so intensely and so insensitively?
You really are more than the sum of your weight. You are a collection of thoughts, ideas, achievements, struggles and hurt. Losses and wins, joy and pain. I beg of you, for my mental health and for your own – celebrate the person you are not the size you are.