New Year resolutions, and all that. Next week should be slightly less hectic; This week I've been taking down Xmas stuff (it's a fairly wide-spread UK superstition that all Christmas decorations need to be down by the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan 7, also known as 12th Night), returning stuff to stores, preparing for 12th Night (yes, we'll be there), and making some decisions about the future and stuff.
So, it's actually really pleasurable to read this. Someone in the diet business who actually understands that people aren't all supposed to be exactly the same weight, and moreover, understands that people can be fat and healthy and skinny and unhealthy, and every combination in between? Lovely.
Bodies are not simple machines, something the HAES and FA communities have been saying for years. We all react differently - me, for instance? I need sugar to digest anything properly. I can live happily on fruit and dessert and high-sugar vegetables/starches (winter squash, lima beans, etc.), but protein isn't such a vital need. I've also got mondo-adamantium teeth and bones despite a distinct loathing of drinking milk (ugh. Cereal, yes. In a glass? Hell no - unless it also is warmed and whipped with chocolate), and a not-very massive consumption of dairy products (I will sometimes eat yoghurt, but only if I feel like it - and none of that Activia/fake dessert flavoured crap).
(Seriously, real yoghurt is so much better than the fake stuff we're peddled. And I'm not eating key lime pie yoghurt when I want key lime pie, dammit. That stuff is blech, and doesn't deserve to call itself yoghurt.)
I've been eating when I'm hungry and eating what I want for years - the only change to my size has been when I went on certain drugs for my pain. I do best when I stay away from gluten, and I don't like eating when I'm not hungry, and I don't eat that much (good fatty!), but never in my life have I been skinny. I'm not meant to be a size 0. If every woman is supposed to be one size (and a very small, self-effacing, not-taking-up-anyone's-space, don't-mind-me-I'm-too-small-to-be-obtrus
Sure, that's what the diet-industrial complex wants you to think, but they're only in it for the money. If we were comfortable with our size (whatever size we are), then we wouldn't spend millions on their products. Even better, 90% of us will fail on a diet, gaining back all we lost, and then some more, with a net result that in the long run, dieting causes weight gain in a large number of people. Those diet-pushing fuckers are brilliant at making money, not so brilliant at making us healthy. Sadly, I know way too many people who have wrecked their metabolism beyond repair, thanks to years of yo-yo dieting (which is also bad for your health, studies find).
(Shocker, I know.)
We've got to get over the "fat people are icky!" meme - and if I can do it, so can the rest of us. I was all up in the fat-hating when I lost weight - I was horrible, and lacked understanding, scientific knowledge, and most important of all, empathy. People will be all sorts of sizes, and their size is absolutely no indicator of their health. I will put myself forward as the prime example of this; the diet pushers would say that I am healthier now that I'm thinner, but when I was fat, I could fence, I could lift heavy weights, and I could even open a door without experiencing pain. Now, not so much.
Sure, my pain has nothing to do with my weight loss, but then, being fat has nothing to do with being unhealthy, either. You can't tell why someone is fat, nor what their health levels are. Even at my fattest, I could hike for miles, and climb mountains. I could bench-press 300# with my legs. I was frighteningly healthy - I rarely got colds, never got the flu, and could out-walk most people half my size.
Fat and health do not go hand in hand, except when the fat is a symptom of ill-health.
Not a cause, a symptom. Women with PCOS (there are a lot of them) gain weight from the resistance to insulin that is caused by their hormones. Diabetics have insulin resistance that causes weight gain (as do many of the drugs). Malfunctioning thyroid, pituitary tumors, Cushing's disease - all have uncontrollable weight gain as a symptom. Physical injury causes weight gain when people can no longer be as active as they were. Drugs designed to treat depression, epileptic seizures, pain - all cause weight gain (oh, boy, do I have direct experience with that!). The diet vampires fight so hard against this evidence of the complexity of weight variance because they would lose billions if we ceased to believe their brainwashing.
Again, someone's size is absolutely no indicator of their overall health.
The diet "truths" (where "truth" = myth and/or outright lie) need to be staked through the heart and roasted with garlic stuffed in their mouths. Thin people have diabetes. All fat people do not get diabetes. Thin people have heart attacks, get cancer, and die. So do fat people. People who participate in high-risk activities cost taxpayers far more than fat people. BMI is meaningless as a measure of health. Heck, being "slightly overweight" (as if there's an absolute weight that's ideal for everyone!) helps you live longer than being "normal" (why measures of longevity aren't being used as an ideal for weight measurement speaks volumes about the lookism of fat-phobia). What we're told about losing weight is not true. If it were, why would so many people be fat, when the stigma of fat is so fierce that total strangers feel entitled to lecture fat people on their diet, and doctors refuse to treat fat people because they're "gross"?
It's just so nice to see someone mainstream (even if they're not publishing in the US) point it out.