I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about losing weight, like would I recommend it to others? As a Fat Activist, I would NEVER consider that. But as I see the other side, has my thinking changed?
I absolutely believe in dignity for everyone at every size. I also absolutely believe you can be healthy and active at any size. Nobody should feel they need to change their weight just because of being big, or really big. There’s nothing wrong with managing medical issues that might arise because you are bigger.
I would never give unsolicited advice to someone to lose weight because that’s their business. But if you are large and asked my opinion about losing weight, here it is:
In my humble opinion, these are the only reasons to try to lose weight:
- You have health problems that are likely stemming from your size, and they are not manageable with medications or other means. For instance, my diabetes has caused some damage to my kidneys. It’s not terrible, and I can manage it, but losing weight has improved my diabetes, which in turn will protect my kidneys from getting worse.
- You can’t move in ways you want to move.
- You have pain in your body, like your back or your joints that is likely caused on exacerbated by your size and isn’t isn’t correctable by surgery. When I had pain in my knees, knee replacement took care of that. However, my back injury caused me severe pain every single day and there was really no operation that was likely to fix it. I was on 800mg of Ibuprofen several times a day, and that sort of kept it at bay, but not really.
- You have serious enough mental health issues stemming from the constant abuse you face as a fat person that you just can’t deal anymore.
For anyone who thinks they want to lose weight, first start with these things:
- Start with just eating healthier. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables (at every meal), more fish and chicken than fattier meats. Don’t “diet” – but consider changing how you eat with a goal for it being a LIFELONG change, not just until you lose 50 pounds.
- Work on your mental health (likely with a professional) around food: decouple it from comfort, celebration, boredom.
- Practice radical self-care:
- Wear clothes you look good in that fit you well and are comfortable
- Bathe enough to feel clean
- Get massages and manicures if those are your things
- Keep up with regular medical care (with a doctor who won’t fat-shame you) like mammograms, colonoscopies, PAP smears, yearly physicals, etc.
- Find doctors to address any medical issues who will listen to you and treat you and not blame everything on your fat.
In other words, VALUE yourself, and see how that works for you, before you decide you need to lose weight.
If you do these things and decide you need to do more, TALK to me.