Fat Acceptance Movement II


{What I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss andfitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.}

In regards to my initial Enemies of the State of Good Health posting, I was sent a message from one of my readers asking me, in reagards to the Fat Acceptance Movement being included,  what is wrong with the acceptance of larger people?

That is a very valid question.  One that deserves a response.  There isn’t any problem.  I don’t like or dislike someone based upon their weight or appearance.  Overweight, large or obese people were not the subject, nor enemies of the state of good health.  The “enemy” was the entity itself.

My dislike for the Fat Acceptance Movement has nothing to do with individuals who are struggling with weight issues.  My dislike for the movement,  stems from having been morbidly obese at one time and having thought that the world should accommodate my girth because of my lack of self-control and self-discipline.  The Fat Acceptance Movement promotes an almost civil rights tone, pushing for obese people to be treated like a minority.  I simply disagree.  As I have stated many times, in the absence of an underlying condition, being overweight, fat or obese is a choice.  It may not be a conscious choice, but it is a choice.

My former incarnation, Joe.340, thought as what I have read are the beliefs which the Fat Acceptance Movement promotes.  I was appalled that booths in restaurants were not more spacious.  I genuinely believed that movie theater seats should be roomier.   Also, why couldn’t they have less seats on an airplane and make them all as big as first class?  It was my belief that others should conform and adapt to me.

Well, that is the problem and that is my main issue.  The Fat Acceptance Movement wants the world to change for them and in turn promote an unhealthy life.

I never suggest to a person that they should lose weight.  I was recently emailed someone’s height and weight and asked whether or not I thought they should lose weight.  I responded to the person that I help those who want to lose weight and recapture their health.   I do not decide for someone if they need to lose weight, even if it the answer is obvious.  It is up to an individual to decide, not only if they need to lose weight, but more importantly, that they want to lose weight.

I live by the mantra that weight loss is a side effect of fitness.  The primary goal of what I do is to get people to embrace fitness and good health.  People who have read or heard about me seek me out to lose weight and I help them do that, yet I don’t make the weight loss the only motivation nor the only goal.  The numbers on the scale are a useful feedback tool to reach the most important goal; improvement of their overall health.

Most people who are overweight or obese are not in an optimal state of health and fitness. Yes, I am aware that there are exceptions to the rule, but I am not even sure about those exceptions. Additionally, I am by no means saying that if you are not overweight, you are fit.  There are plenty of folks who do not have a weight problem that are pure physical wrecks.  I am willing to help them as well.  However, I can only relate personal experiences and that is what I try to share.

Back to being overweight, yet fit. Years ago, before I had gotten up to three hundred and forty pounds, I may have fallen,  kind of — sort of,  into that category.  I was in the gym religiously, focusing mostly on strength training doing very little endurance exercises.  I was stronger than I had been in my entire life.  I weighed about two hundred and eighty pounds, I was carrying around excess fat, but muscular development was obvious.  The joke at the gym where I trained was, I could lift the entire gym… I just could not walk around it.

Was I fit because I was strong?

Was I fit because my vital signs fell within normal ranges?

You better believe that I was convinced I was fit.  In my delusional mind, I didn’t need to lose weight.  I could not have been more wrong.  That excuse-making, rationalizing mindset was a direct factor in the birth of Joe.340.

I am also not saying we should judge anyone based upon appearance.   What I AM saying is that I do not believe that we should accept our own self-imposed limitations.  We have the power to improve our health and we should not allow a group, no matter how well intentioned,  to dis-empower us.

When I was obese, I could not tie my own shoes.

When I was obese, I could not rise out of a chair without pushing off the arm rests.

When I was obese, I could not get up out of a low couch without rolling over on my stomach, placing my knees on the floor and pushing myself to a standing position.

Were any of the above examples really acceptable?  Unfortunately, for me, they were —- for far too long.

I have been accused of being harsh.

I have been accused of being unyielding.

I have been accused of being unsympathetic.

Let me tell you a few things:

I am harsh!  I wish someone was harsher with me. I don’t want someone to have to be sitting in the emergency room with chest pains, as I was, to realize they need to do something now.

I am unyielding!  I have heard all the excuses, I have used most of them, giving in to the excuses will only make the situation worse.

I am NOT unsympathetic!  Trust me, I was there, I am very sympathetic.  However, I don’t express my sympathy by encouraging lackadaisical behaviors.  I show my sympathy by assisting those who seek my help to reach their goals.

It is my life’s mission, to help those who wish to take control of their poor eating and exercise habits. It is my desire that everyone enjoy an improved quality of life through fitness. And, if I am lucky, I will save a life or two along the way.

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4 thoughts on “Fat Acceptance Movement II

  1. Love your writing style, Joe

    Recently, I was at a company conference and I was dining out. I KINDLY asked the Server to make some modifications to my meal selection (no butter, no cheese etc) – and ALL eyes turned to me and someone said, “you are one of THOSE who likes to eat healthy?”

    My instant reaction was to apologize for my food choices.

    However, it dawned on me – why am I apologizing for choosing to eat healthier and have a better way of life? I was the outcast. Me, getting up at 6am to go running – before the conference – I was the outcast.

    Ironic, how society dictates “be healthy” but those who have chosen not to be healthy are the majority – and those who choose to live stronger – are the minority.

    If any group needs to be in the mentality of the Civil Rights Movement – it’s those who strive to be healthy and life better lives.

  2. Pingback: Please Do Not Become An Obesity Victim « Fat Then Fit Now

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