It’s funny how contrasting the views are on obesity. On one end of the spectrum, there is a call to arms when it comes to the health crisis we face in America. Obesity is at an all-time high, and everyone is jumping on the weight loss bandwagon. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the radical idea of fat acceptance, or loving your body just the way it is.
Additionally, there are clubs for weight loss and clubs for chubby chasers. There are websites on anorexia and SSBBWs. There is an obsession with the thigh gap and with watching obese people eat.
And while obesity is unhealthy, so is hating your body and trying to beat it into submission. Is there a common medium, or a middle ground in all of this insanity?
I venture to say that there is. It comes down to loving your body and giving it what it needs to be healthy and happy. Here’s an example of just what I mean.
Amy has a daughter named Tina. Tina is 40 pounds over the recommended weight for a 10-year-old girl her age and height. In order to encourage Tina to lose weight, Amy calls her names. When she reaches for a second helping of spaghetti, Amy lifts it out of her reach and calls her fat.
“You eat too much big butt,” she says.
When she finds Snickers’ wrappers in Tina’s jeans, she scolds her and makes her go to bed without dinner. She has often sent Tina to school without lunch, telling her that it wouldn’t hurt for her to miss a few meals. Even when Tina reaches for something healthy, like an apple, Amy quaffs that it won’t help. She’s just too fat.
From the time Tina wakes up in the morning, to the time she goes to bed at night, Amy is always on her case about her weight, calling her names, and making her feel bad about herself.
To make matters worse, Amy keeps tons of junk food in the house. The cupboards are filled with cakes, and pies, and cookies, and chips. In the fridge, there is soda, and sugary juice beside healthier options, such as apples, carrots and bottled water. When Tina goes for the junk over the healthier foods, Amy laughs.
“I knew you would go for the crap Fatty.”
Amy feels that it is too late for her daughter to lose weight, so she keeps feeding her the food that she likes. She always wants to give Tina what she wants and what tastes good. Amy is too tired to cook healthier options, so she usually picks up fast-food or Chinese takeout for dinner. She wishes that Tina would lose weight and feels that her constant insults should encourage her to choose some of the healthier options and to stop playing Candy Crush on her iPhone and go for a walk instead.
Now you may be thinking that Amy is the worse mother ever, and I would be inclined to agree. However, we are the “mothers” of our bodies, and sometimes we treat them the same way that Amy treated Tina.
We call them fat and berate them. We punish them for eating the junk food we keep in the house instead of opting for the healthier choices. We give up on them and resign ourselves to being fat. We think that by starving them we can wield them into submission, so we often go to bed without dinner if we ate “bad” that day, or skip breakfast as an attempt to “save” calories. We make our bodies feel bad through our words and inactivity and run down through the junk we feed them on a daily basis. We generally do not take care of our “children” (our bodies).
In order to change this behavior, we need to eat healthy, move, and use kind words. We have to remember that our body is the way it is because of what we put into it and in order to get it looking its best, we need to put better foods into it. Don’t keep junk food in your house and then berate yourself for choosing Oreos over baby carrots. Who wouldn’t? Don’t go out and rent Redbox movies for the weekend and then swear that you don’t have time to exercise. Don’t look at your body with disgust and then think that you’ll muster up the motivation to change it.
And don’t buy into the fat acceptance BS. Let me explain. No one is saying that everyone should be a Size 2. That is unrealistic and probably not something that everyone wants to subscribe to anyway (I know I don’t). I am all for loving your body and your curves. Hell, I have tons of curves. I am also all for men who love bigger women. Hell, my husband loves big women. However, big is not healthy, no matter how you slice it. And there comes a point when thick is no longer thick, but just plain ole fat. So, be honest enough with yourself to admit that you are fat, that you are sick, that you are tired, and that your body deserves better.
In order to change we must get rid of the unhealthier option so that making the healthier choice is easy. We must schedule in time to exercise every day before we sit down for that Mad Men marathon. And we must love our bodies enough to give them the good stuff now so that we can really love them later.