Weight Loss as a Political Statement
Monday, July 23, 2012
Last winter I read "The Hunger Games" and was struck by how well it portrayed the current split in resource allocation in the world. Regardless of whether you like the book(s), it spoke to me as a member of the West. I was fat, and still have a few more pounds to lose, while millions upon millions of people are starving or underfed. Considering that I have labeled myself an extremely socially conscious person, I felt terribly hypocritical.
I understand that my eating less doesn't put food in people's mouths around the world. Mostly, it is symbolic. Resisting the pull of food in the West, for me, is refusal to take part in a system that works for a few while the majority suffer. It has the added benefit of being good for my health and providing an incentive I previously lacked. This added incentive has helped me get to a weight that I haven't seen since middle school.
I write this not to talk about my own successes at weight loss, but to start a discussion on a powerful motivational tool that might be overlooked by many. Acknowledging that what we eat and in what amounts have global implications helps place weight troubles into a conflict that is more than about calories and exercise.
There is an argument that the only person you should lose weight for is yourself. I always found myself eventually not giving a damn if I was fat. Taking the power away from me to blow off my diet so easily has made it stick longer than it ever had in the past.