on fat positivity, Obesity, and why everybody needs to stop giving medical advice to fat people
No but like I’m very tired of people being anti-body positive and denying their hate by trying to talk shit about “healthy” and shit.
I mean it annoys me because like “you’re promoting obesity and that’s a health problem” is a really weird statement because it’s not like being fat in and of itself is necessarily a thing that makes you unhealthy; it’s literally the health problems that are sometimes (BUT NOT ALWAYS!) associated with it.
And also it’s really fucking hard to tell when a person has those health problems and when actually they’re really fucking healthy, just by looking at their bodies.
For example, you’ve got people like Sarah Robles who’s an internationally recognized athlete, and she’s a big woman.
Sarah Robles is a weightlifter, international level, and she would be considered fat. But I’d be willing to bet that she probably doesn’t have most (if any) of those health risks manifesting. The same is true about BMI—in fact, the NIH link above states specifically that it isn’t a good measuring system:
Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits. It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. BMI also may underestimate body fat in older people and others who have lost muscle.
Body Mass Index for Children and Teens
Overweight are obesity are defined differently for children and teens than for adults. Children are still growing, and boys and girls mature at different rates.
BMIs for children and teens compare their heights and weights against growth charts that take age and sex into account. This is called BMI-for-age percentile. A child or teen’s BMI-for-age percentile shows how his or her BMI compares with other boys and girls of the same age.
For more information about BMI-for-age and growth charts for children, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BMI-for-age calculator.
So it’s pretty squishy, in terms of measuring health. Sorry.
And furthermore, let me make this point right here.
This is me when I weighed in at about 115 lbs:
…which, apparently, would put me at a BMI of 25 (I’m only 4’10), which would be the start of “overweight” according to that chart.
But let me tell you, while I have been occasionally plagued by the random internet troll commenting on how “fat’ I look, the general opinion is “nope, not fat.”
And here I am, at 110 pounds, my current weight:
…That’s just a five pound difference but it’s pretty startling how much that difference shifts me from “overweight” to average by the BMI scale.
Let me also note that the five pound difference came when I was attempting to switch around my ADHD medication dosage and I actually lost about 5-7 pounds as a result of poor eating habits and shit because ADHD meds will fuck with your appetite.
Now I want you to look at that list of health risks associated with obesity. They include high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and reproductive problems.
Note that I was also on the nuvaring as well.
So basically I ended up going to the hospital because I was having so much spotting from my nuvaring, and when I was there I apparently had a resting heart rate of 115 and also my blood pressure was through the roof. I ended up having to regularly monitor my BP every day, and my cholesterol levels also have a history of sky rocketing as well, because high cholesterol/blood pressure runs in my family and let’s be honest here—there are days when my meals consist of deep fried things and diet soda and popcorn and cake. I’m lazy and I’m tired and most of the time I just don’t have the energy to cook for myself because of my schedule. So combine that with the nuvaring and the ADHD medications, and you end up with MOST OF THE HEALTH RISKS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH OBESITY, EXCEPT THAT I AM A SKINNY PETITE WOMAN.
(I’m also going to point out that my weight has a very bad history of fluctuating back and forth because of a very complicated eating disorder which has been pretty much on lockdown and non-present for a record amount of time which—praise the lord—makes me very happy right now, but very frustrated whenever I hear this shit about “omg you can tell how unhealthy that person is, just look at them!”)
Let me phrase it this way: I am currently wearing a petite size 2 dress size, and am anywhere from a 0 to a 4 in other clothes. And yet, I’d be willing to bet a million dollars that I have more “I’m out of shape and thus in bad health” type problems than Sarah Robles.
Look, the fact of the matter is this: Being skinny doesn’t automatically make you healthy, and being fat doesn’t automatically make you at risk for lots of heart and blood related problems. what makes you unhealthy is not eating right, or doing unhealthy things (like chain smoking, or not exercising regularly, or having a fucked up sleep schedule and meal schedule as examples). But you can’t fucking tell who is healthy and who isn’t just by looking at them. If you could, medical school would be a lot shorter and would involve way more classes that used celebrity magazines as textbooks.
Telling a person that they are at risk for certain health issues means that you automatically assume that
a) you know more than them about their own bodies
b) you are actually able to diagnose people like a doctor
c) Your own definition of obese, which you get by just looking at a person, is medically accurate and sound
We can talk about the whole problem with medical professionals looking at a person and automatically assuming obesity=fat person=health problems another time, but right now let me just repeat my point:
Unless you’re a fucking mutant x-man I doubt you can correctly diagnose any health issue just by looking at somebody, let alone risks that are associated with being “silent” and “non visible” like high blood pressure.
Sit down, shut up, and let fat people live their own goddamn lives.