Let me begin by saying I realize that the things I’m getting ready to say might offend some. It might be a trigger, it might even make you want to not follow my social media. I just need you to know- that’s perfectly fine.
I have been traveling through life in a plus vessel for quite sometime. I can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t considered obese by a BMI chart. I have had experiences in this life solely shaped by the design of my body; and this has left me bitter at varying stages of life when it came to the topic of weight loss, health and self love.
Being “slim” or “thin” or skinny is an idea that’s so ingrained in Western culture I never batted an eye when I was told to lose weight on several occasions because it would cure my depression. You walk into any doctor’s office with a complaint they are sure to include weight in the discussion of how you can be healthy; whether your concerns are weight related or not.
It’s this type of of doctor patient communication that has sparked an uprising of people rejecting the notion that weight loss is not indicative of health. More and more self proclaimed bopo advocates, fat positive advocates and self love gurus are speaking up and against the ideology of thinner bodies being healthier or celebrated. It’s a movement, it feels empowering, it feels necessary.
But it also feels wildly extreme to tell people that losing weight is wrong, and that weight and health have no connection.
Can I be blunt? The reality is, weight and health can be related. Does it mean every body that has extra pounds on it is destined to heart attacks and arthritis? No. Does it mean that if you lose weight you will be cured of whatever ails you? No. Health is contingent on many factors; weight is only a fraction of all these factors which include genetics as much as it includes lifestyle.
Weight loss does not mean you are better than the next person; but you are no more enlightened than the next person if you reject the idea of weight loss as a means to better one’s health.
We have to stop trying to control the narrative on bodies in the plus community. Health and the exploration of fitness or weight loss should not be frowned upon or met with disdain. Everyone loves screaming empowerment and feminism at the top of their lungs until they are met with an opinion that contradicts their own.
There should be more efforts made to bridge the gap between the extremes of chastising obese bodies into weight loss and totally ignoring that there can be a connection to better health when different choices are made that results in weight loss.
And if a woman loses weight and chooses to celebrate that she should not be told she is part of a problem. It’s counterproductive and just another form of bullying that many advocates claim to be against.
There is absolutely healthy ways to discuss these topics in the plus community even if you sit on the opposing side. It starts with listening and operating under the notion that everyone has a right to choose the path they deem fit for them.
What’s your choice?