My hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana was named by Prevention magazine as one of the 8 most artery clogging cities in America.
people in this midsize city in northeast Indiana clearly need to take better care of their cardiovascular health (rates of obesity and heart disease are both sky-high)
The article–more of a blurb, really– goes on to point out that the city is also very high on a Happiness index. Over on Facebook one of the town’s political citizens said “Let’s change that.”
I’m pretty sure that I know which of the two things he wants to change.
I want to write my 500 words today; why I chose this topic I have no idea. Because it depresses me to try to put together 500 words defending myself (I’m obese), my friends (most of my friends are overweight according to BMI stats) and my loved-ones (pretty much my whole family also is to the far right on the BMI scale).
Fat is a complicated issue. I’ve made my peace with it; I contend that is why I haven’t gained any more weight, and have maintained the same weight range for the last 9 years. But it’s a hard thing to make your peace with something about yourself that everyone is telling you is loathsome, disgusting, revolting, gross. And yes, these are all terms I’ve pulled from actual conversations about fat people.
It seems odd to me that with all the renewed attention on anti-bullying we have no problem as a society with bullying an enormous percentage of our population under the guise of doing it for their own good. Any time the issue comes up, there’s at least one person–whether it’s the author of an article or a wisenheimer commenter–who acts as though all of this stuff about heart disease, diabetes, lack of activity is new to fat people. Who acts as though the fat hampers thoughts reaching our brain and prevents us from knowing things. Trust me. We fat people know what comes with the territory.
But here’s the thing. Even “healthy” behaviours have things that come with the territory. Runners risk knee and foot problems; weight trainers risk muscle strain, hernia and other damage. Vegetarians risk certain types of malnutrition.
Risk is an unavoidable component to every life. You do your best to minimise it but you can’t eliminate it. So all of this fat-shaming, this talk of how much of a burden our diabetic and osteoarthritic selves are going to be on the health care system, it’s just a fancy way of bullying people you don’t like.
People who statistically are not going to change.