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When body positive goes too far.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

First off, I want to thank everyone for all your support on my last blog. It's been a really rough week, but I think I've got most of it worked through now.

Okay, and now for my rant. So I'm a very active Tumblr user. I mostly use it for reblogging fandom things, but I've always been spending a lot of time lately looking under the #bodypositive tag. Now I will say, a lot of it is great. There's a lot of people both male and female, who are working towards accepting their bodies just the way they are. They're learning to love themselves, whether they be skinny and just a little too boney, or fat and a little too squishy. There's a lot of pictures of people who would not be considered "pretty" by society, because societies version of "beauty" has become so skewed over the years. But they are learning to move past the media who says that their type isn't beautiful. And if you ask me, I think this whole movement is wonderful. I think that we should all come to terms with who we are, and be happy with it. Am I happy with my body? No, not the visual of it. I hate that I am overweight. But here is the difference, I am working to change it. Because I love myself enough to want to be healthy, strong, and fit, so that I can live for many years and be healthy and happy. NOW here's where I start to get angry. Amongst all the pictures and blogs of people like me who are loving themselves enough to want to do what is best for their health and their lives, there are the opposite. There is a sickening amount of blogs of people who are BOASTING about being 300+ pounds. Talking about how much they loooooove being fat because f*ck what society says about how they should lose weight. I've seen countless posts from people saying "eating a whole bag of cookies and a pizza because #bodypositive I don't care what anyone says". I even saw a picture yesterday of a girl who had to be over 400 lbs, she was knitting on her stomach and said "I never want to lose weight, I love my stomach! It's like a built in shelf!". Now okay. Like I said, I'm all for people loving their bodies, no matter how they may look. HOWEVER. I'm sorry, but when you are 300-400 lbs and you keep saying that you don't want to lose weight because that would be betraying yourself and giving in to society, I STRONGLY disagree. Yea, it is possible to be fat and healthy. I am a prime example of that. BUT the more you weigh, the more pressure you are putting on your joints. Ample belly fat puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. If you are mostly bedridden because of your weight, you run the risk of bed sores. Being obese highly raises your risk for diabetes, and with diabetes, you run the risk of losing limbs. More so if you cannot/will not be active. Drinking 2 and 3 liters of soda a day and washing it down with an extra large pizza IS NOT BODY POSITIVE. YOU ARE KILLING YOURSELF. And this is why I feel like this whole movement has gotten so far off the tracks. In my opinion, body positive means that you love yourself for who you are, and you want to be the best person you can be, both inside and out. I DO NOT think that it gives people an excuse to eating loads and loads of junk food and gain weight as much as you want because you won't conform to societies standards of "thin". That is actually inflicting massive abuse on your body, and if you are supposed to be loving yourself, how is the abuse helping? A lot of them say "I love being fat ill never change!" To which I'm thinking "really.. You love being fat?" Cause if you ask me, I HATE being fat. I hate that I jiggle when I walk. I hate that my arm fat keeps waving for 30 minutes after I do. I hate that I used to get out of breath walking up a lot of stairs. I hate that I feel like my butt is going to swallow a bar stool whole if I sit on it. I mean, does anyone ACTUALLY enjoy that stuff?!

If this blog offends anyone, I truly apologize because that was not my intent. My whole standpoint is that I don't think that this positivity thing is being interpreted correctly, and it really bothers me. People are killing themselves with obesity, and they think that it's okay as long as they love who they are. My aunt died from a combination of obesity related diseases, but she never wanted to change. She ate massive quantities of junk food, and was severely obese which caused her to get diabetes. She did NOT care for her diabetes, which caused other diseases to happen to her. All because she did not care enough to change. Is this really a "positive" thing?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE. But in loving yourself, love yourself for the best you that you can be. Love yourself enough to lovingly care for your body. Make your body strong, and fill it with good nourishing foods. Don't abuse it in the name of "positivity", because I'm sorry, but nothing about abuse is positive!
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  • ANNETTE117
    Amen, from a 300+ woman trying to change.
    1800 days ago
    Some of these women are in denial but for those that aren't, I think they must not realize yet the consequences of their actions. When you're young you feel like nothing can touch you and you'll live forever. I wonder if these young women who say they love being fat will feel that way when they age and have knee problems, constant heartburn, and all the other problems that come with obesity.
    I just hope their wake-up call won't be a problem so serious that it can't be fixed.
    1824 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    Great blog! So true that societies version of beauty has become extremely skewed! We should be happier with who we are and come to terms with it. To me, you have the right attitude towards it. Unfortunately, it is hard for many to understand what you are saying because of the way society views things and how ingrained things are to us. So you said it and said it well...and don't apologize!
    1824 days ago
    Yes, I find that disturbing too.

    A friend of mine is getting fatter and fatter. She was always curvy, with nice boobs and a waist and she loved herself that way. She was maybe 70-80 kg for a bit over 1m60. She doesn't' weigh herself, she refuses too, she wants to regulate herself "based on sensations" (I'm all for that approach, but it requires an honest look on yourself, your emotions, understand why you eat and actually stop filling yourself up without hunger, but I'm rambling...). Long story short, she's heading towards 100kg (again, my own estimation), she put on a lot of weight in a very short time. Sometimes, her tone changes and you can perceive that she sees it... but most of the time, she's in the type of attitude your describing.

    In some cases, I'm asking: "Positive positive = Denial" ?
    1824 days ago
    I used to think I thought that way... but inside I really wasn't happy. Now I'm not "body positive" I'm working more on "body acceptance." I'm still working to dig myself out of the hole of crap food and not working out for three-six months :-o

    But I'll be back... working on accepting my body the way it is now -- and the way it will be once I get my act together!
    1824 days ago
    1824 days ago
    I share your perturbed feeling. It's good to love yourself for who you are and how you are. I feel like that's the best feeling to take into a major life change like trying to reach reasonable weight and fitness levels, doing it for yourself as an act of love.

    Loving yourself as a fat person who wants to stay large and maybe get larger... I can't help wondering if they really mean it all the way down, or if they're lying to themselves because they can't figure out what to do besides eating. If food has basically become your friend and solace, then hearing you need to eat less might be like hearing you need to move away from all your friends.

    In addition to all the other reasons being that big is a problem, it makes receiving medical attention so much harder than it would've been. I mean, there's the problem of morbidly obese people sometimes being very sensitive to others mentioning their weight, getting defensive and/or avoiding situations where it could come up, so then they avoid the doctor for routine preventive stuff. Then there's the trouble medical staff have when they actually do come in for something.

    I work in a medical library sending articles to people who request them, and one of the journals is on bariatric care. It's one of the things motivating me to be healthier, glancing through the articles people request. If you're larger, it's much harder to find a vein for IVs or hear lung sounds with the stethoscope. It's harder to intubate if that is necessary because of the neck mass pressing in. It's harder to care for really obese patients in the hospital, especially those who need help moving, because the nurse or orderly or whomever has to lift all that body. Beyond a certain size, there even have to be special equipment to bear the weight, like wheelchairs, hospital beds, and ambulances. (Some of that refers more to 400lb+ people, but the veins being difficult to find starts pretty quickly with extra weight. They have to be able to feel it through your skin, which is really hard if you have much fat right under your skin. My inner elbow is getting thin enough that I don't dread blood draws anymore.)
    1825 days ago
    I think what sets truly body positive people apart is that they are continually working to IMPROVE their body. It may not be something like tons of exercise, but they are meditating, cooking healthier meals, treating their bodies with RESPECT. I love seeing a woman of any size who is confident, respects herself, and knows the difference between being confident and saying that you are. I also second the other commenter who said it could be the addiction or denial talking for some of these people. I totally agree. And nothing upsets me more than someone making excuses or denying they have a problem!
    1825 days ago
    This is such a great blog and I SO agree with you!
    1825 days ago
  • ADZY86
    Wow what a fantastic blog! And you are SO right. I watched a documentary recently called 'Fat and Proud' and it really disturbed me. These women who were 350+lbs eating like there was no tomorrow and saying that they were happy at that weight and wouldn't mind getting bigger because screw what society thought! I'm sitting there thinking 'forget society! What about YOU?! What about your health?' Like you said, you can be fat and healthy (aka me!) but that's when you're taking care of yourself, eating healthily and doing some exercise.

    Like someone below said, I don't truly believe anyone who is morbidly obese can honestly say they are happy being that weight. It's a front, a defence mechanism.
    1825 days ago
    Wow, double Wow and Triple Wow! Extremely well thought out and well written blog.

    As with everything else, when something is an issue with a dominant paradigm (idolization of a thin perfect body = health) and something is done to address it in a rational manor (such as body positive). Those who have been quiet on the polar opposite end of the issue will use it as an opportunity to sound off and defend/evangelize their opinions/perspectives.

    What always gets lost in the shuffle is the moderate viewpoint or only slightly out of the moderate rational point. Such as:
    - "I'm a few pounds overweight, but I'm generally healthy"
    - "I liked the way I looked when I was 5-10 pounds less."
    - "I kind of like the way I look being heavier, so I'll make sure the rest of my health is good and just keep tabs on it."

    Watch the ever famous/Viral 2007 Fat Rant by Joy Nash and then morning TV and news shows that would bring both her and nutritionists on. Watch the intellectual and spiritual dishonesty unfold before your eyes (especially the ones with MeMe Roth, an Anti obesity proponent). Warning: Really painful.

    Thank you for writing this!
    1826 days ago
    I completely understand the way you are thinking and I agree 100% with everything you said here! emoticon
    1826 days ago
    I definitely agree - although I think what they say are all defense mechanisms. I had a friend who acted in a similar manner and now that everyone around her (including myself) have decided to work on our weight loss, she's still a bit defensive. I also agree that they don't TRULY feel that way. They're only defending and justifying their unhealthy habits because there's no hard work involved.
    1826 days ago
    I'm not objecting. I still need to get off my duff and do something instead of letting my food addictions take me to 400 pounds.
    1826 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    all good points-
    the only thing I will add is I don't believe deep down they really feel that way- I think its their addiction to food that's talking and because they don't dare to change or it is so hard- they are trying to put a positive spin on it. They are in denial because they really don't love themselves at all- there's also a lot of anger and hurt behind those aggressively positive statements.

    1826 days ago
  • TAMMYS128
    I understand! If such people truly loved themselves, they would eat nothing but the best food and live very healthy lifestyles because they would not want to damage their bodies. That is one major change that I started to notice in myself when I started learning to accept my own body! I realized that its not the weight or shape that I want, but I love it so I will work on improving it.

    It's good that they are not ashamed - remember these are probably people who may have never dreamed or dared to say or think a positive thought about their bodies, so the liberation might be a bit intoxicating. But yes, they should get over the honeymoon period and understand what it really means to love yourself!
    1827 days ago
    Preach on sister! It's silly to say you are happy w/ a less than best you. I'm all for positivity, but some those people strike me as being in lalaland. Just my thought. Wonderful blog! emoticon
    1827 days ago
  • WUBBY82
    Amen. So true. It's not about being an individual and going against society's standards. It's about giving yourself a break, but also treating yourself well. There's a line between being happy in your own skin and committing slow, painful suicide. Good blog, girl!
    1827 days ago
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