This is Katie Makkai at the National Poetry Slam in 2002, talking about the dream of being pretty. You don’t want to miss this. It is awesome.
A few days ago, director and comedian Kevin Smith was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight for being too fat. He’s been speaking out about it, calling it “humiliating” and “the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” Two days ago on Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday), late night comedian Craig Ferguson made fat prejudice the subject of his monologue. It is hilarious.
I just finished reading Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. It’s superbly researched and contains crucially important information, but it’s a hard read – long, dense, meandering, and repetitive. I fear that many people won’t get all the way through it. And while the extensive detail on studies is great, the forest gets a bit lost among all the trees. So here is a summary of the book’s main findings, which start with this revolutionary notion:
Overeating is not the cause of obesity, but rather its consequence – a form of body wisdom caused by dietary fuel being abnormally locked away as fat. The cells of your body don’t have enough usable energy, so you eat more and move less. Sound crazy? There’s actually voluminous research to support this theory.
An attempt to maintain a lower-than-normal weight triggers emotional eating and eating disorders in millions of people. Being very thin is not healthy, which suggests it’s not normal or natural. From an article about a new Japanese study:
“People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people, whose average life expectancy was shorter by some five years than that of obese people, the study found.
“We found skinny people run the highest risk,” said Shinichi Kuriyama, an associate professor at Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Medicine who worked on the long-term study of middle-aged and elderly people.”
This is only the latest in many studies to show this result.
Evidence suggests that our normal, healthiest weight may be somewhat higher than what the weight tables say it should be. If people could accept their natural, normal weight as beautiful and healthy, it would solve many problems. I’m not talking about being very fat, just a little fatter than the culture around us says we should be.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them.
I watched the segment on Good Morning America this morning about the Fat Acceptance movement. I’m all in favor of accepting yourself and loving yourself no matter what your weight. But I was very disturbed by the clear implication that if you stop dieting, you will gain 100 pounds like Marianne Kirby did. This is absolutely not the case. If you overcome emotional eating – a primary focus of my method, Normal Eating® – you will not stabilize at a morbidly obese weight. Countless people who have tried Normal Eating® can attest to this.
This story – and perhaps the Fat Acceptance movement as a whole – does a disservice by implying that an externally prescribed diet is necessary to achieve and maintain a normal weight. Women watching this story will come away with the idea that if they stop dieting they’ll gain 100 pounds, which naturally will send them running to the next diet. But in fact, diets ultimately result in weight gain over 95% of the time – the yo-yo effect. Learning to eating normally – according to body wisdom – is the only long-term solution to weight problems.
We need a movement in this country to accept normal-sized bodies. Most of the images we see all around us are underweight. But a fat acceptance movement that implies you will weigh 300 pounds if you stop dieting actually encourages people to continue dieting. This is a terrible disservice because diets don’t work.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them.
We just observed Memorial Day in the U.S., and that means summer with its skimpy clothing is just around the corner. This triggers fat panic in many people, but don’t start thinking about dieting again. Diets don’t work, and there’s another way that does.
We’ll start with the goal: How much should you weigh?
This video, from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, is 17 minutes long and very well worth watching. It talks about the true causes of obesity — genetics play a big role — and the awful prejudice against fat people in this culture. The narrator is a high school student.