Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Fat Lit"

There has been a discussion this week about "Fat Lit".  Books about teens who are overweight and about them being accepted or ok with their bodies (I deleted the email with the actual definition of what this is about exactly).  This discussion included mention of the Fat Acceptance Movement, and other movements that are similar.

The thing is, I guess I just don't like the name "Fat Lit" or "Fat Acceptance Movement".  Now, I am a person who would be considered fat, so I am coming at this from a different perspective than many people would, but the names just bother me.  I think the reason they bother me is that the word fat implies someone who is unhealthy.  When looking up information on the Fat Acceptance Movement I saw mention of the idea of health at every size.  I think I'd rather get behind that movement.

I do respect what the Fat Acceptance Movement is doing, especially when it comes to focusing on health issues.  For years I had what my doctors (note the plural) always called heartburn.  They said it was because I was overweight, and I had to just lose weight to stop suffering.  So, I've worked hard and lost weight.  The heartburn got worse.  It turns out that my gallbladder was the problem.  This past year I had it out and I feel great.  So, I spent over a decade of my life suffering all because the doctors saw me as "fat" and diagnosed me based only on that.

That said, I think encouraging people to be complacent with being fat isn't a good thing.  I'd rather see movements of the understanding that "healthy body size" means different things to different people.  I am 5'2" and a good weight for me is around 150 lbs.  That is in the obese category for someone my height, but that weight fits well on me.  I weigh a good amount more than that now and I ride my bike to work (when it is warm), go to the gym 4-5 times a week, and am very active.

I'd rather a healthy idea get promoted, and supported, rather than an idea that is unhealthy and could almost do as much damage as the idea it is trying to combat.

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