So, at first I thought that I should shy away from issues like this because I thought that if I started blogging about fatness I might not be taken as seriously.  Then after throwing up in my mouth a little bit at my own cowardice and initially complicit mindset, I decided to add another category.

Fatness came up recently when Buck Angel shared this blog post from Dances With Fat.  I shared it and one of my friends did not like the article, so I defended it.

“The article isn’t about – be PROUD about being UNHEALTHY! – or any of that silliness. It’s reiterating that weight is not a complete measure of health, and focusing on weight and not health is NOT healthy. It’s saying that if you go into the doctor with a medical condition, their response should not be that you should lose weight, but recommendations for healthier living.

For many people, making healthy choices does make their weight decrease and this is fine and good. However, I know people that did crack specifically to lose weight – and that’s pretty messed up. I know several people who made many good choices about their health and it made them loose some weight and more importantly made them have much healthier bodies, but even with working out daily and eating well, they never got to the point where anyone would think they were thin – so they quit doing those healthy things because to them, it was all about the weight.

I was at a circus once and the person behind me called the trapeze artist “thick” – it’s really that crazy for some people.

Notice that a great amount of the weight-loss pill scams talk about those “few pesky pounds” – as if taking some crazy stimulant is preferable to carrying around weight.

I suspect that the person writing the article is writing with certain anecdotes in mind, but going to the doctor for many people IS sometimes very bad and sometimes the doctors are not as versed on the studies concerning obesity more than the correlative studies aggregated in the BMI chart – suggesting that body-builders lose weight, for example – which happens all the time.

For A LOT of people – being comfortable in their own skin is the beginning to healthier choices, not the “giving up” point. The “giving up” point is buying into the idea that, because you are fat you are worthless, so why bother being healthy? Obsessing about weight can lead to unhealthy patterns such as the yo-yo; and with weight class being correlated with biological parents and NOT adoptive parents – maybe we should figure out what is going on there before shaming everyone literally to death.

The article from the New England Journal of Medicine was surprising to even me.  I always knew that some of my friends seemed naturally thin and I seemed naturally fat.  Certainly making more of an effort to eat healthier, be more active, and eat less would make me be thinner.  There was a time in my life when I was almost a “normal” weight, but at the time I was biking everywhere (good thing) but I also lived on Ramen and cheap pizza (bad thing).  Certainly there would be some correlation between an adoptive parent’s weight and their children’s weight due to instilling various eating habits and modes of activity?  Shouldn’t there?!

The answer is no.

Now, I absolutely do not attribute this to differing Basal Metabolic Rates or body type or those stand-by’s.  I don’t discount those entirely, but I suspect that something more interesting is happening here.

The basic concept of eating is something all of us understand, right?  We become hungry and we eat.  We tend to be hungry for certain things.  We eat until we aren’t hungry anymore.  Even being active is something we generally “feel like” doing.  Although it is possible to go counter to these tendencies, as anyone who has fasted or been on an exercise regimen will tell you, the urges associated with these tenancies can be nearly insurmountable.  We know this because some people have a genetic disorder that causes the natural tendencies of hunger, eating, and becoming full to not work at all.  (Well, at least the becoming full part.)

So, why in the world are we getting fatter?  Well, we eat more empty calories and we sit in front of computer screens all day.  I’m not disputing that.  However, still, I think there is something interesting going on here.  The U.S. is not the only country where junk food is readily available and people own TV’s and computers.

I hear all the time that our bodies have evolved to be able to deal with food scarcity.  What I would love to see is a study that correlates obesity with a population’s history of food scarcity.  Doesn’t it make sense that populations that have experienced die-offs due to food scarcity, such as northern populations going through harsh winters or populations subject to the slave trade, would adapt and even evolve in ways that would increase obesity rates post-scarcity?

Just a thought.  I’ll leave that to the sociologists and whatnot.

As for me, I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately and it’s time I focus on my health.  I may just start riding my bike around again or playing tennis, but I’ll skip the Ramen (crazy sodium).  If I lose weight – bonus – whatever.  If I am healthier, feel better and live longer than I otherwise would – that’s sort of the entire point.

Screw shame.  Screw body fascism.  Seriously.