‘Cut’ abs and muscular legs are not the only way to be healthy.
Do you see this picture? ALL of these women are Olympians, and all of them are healthy.
What about Holley Mangold?
She’s 374lbs. No, you can’t see her abs. But she just got into the Olympics as well. Do you want to tell me she’s unhealthy?
How about Ragen Chastain?
She’s a professional dancer who’s ‘morbidly obese’ and yet she’s in tip top shape, and even runs a blog about her work.
I could keep going.
Health is NOT visible. You cannot tell how healthy someone is by looking at them. You cannot tell how far or fast they can run. You cannot tell their level of fitness. You cannot tell how much they can lift, how often they work out.
And likewise, just because you look a certain way, or just because numbers on a scale are dropping, doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
BMI is bullshit. Everything they tell you on The Biggest Loser and Dr. Oz and the 5pm news is bullshit. Unplug yourself. Body size is NOT an indicator of health or fitness. And health does not dictate what your body will look like.
And most importantly at all: if someone isn’t healthy, it is NOT YOUR BUSINESS. And if you’re unhealthy and you’re happy, no one can tell you you’re wrong. Your body is YOUR body.
This is Redefining Body Image’s go-to list of resources, articles, research, videos, etc. providing facts and information regarding health and body image, especially dedicated to debunking the everyone’s favorite myth that fat = unhealthy.
If you have something to add, please submit! The more this list grows, the more ammo we have to back us up in our fight against the body positive nay-sayers.
Let the facts come marching in.
- This TED talk by Julie Rochefort called “Shift the Focus” discusses and displays a lot of really important data based around the fact that health is possible at EVERY size. A short 8 minute video that covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
- This extensive article by Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. called Obesity, Health, and Metabolic Fitness debunks a number of myths regarding fat health. Many important topics are covered, from “thinner is not necessarily healthier” to “emphasis on weight loss” being “misdirected and hazardous”, to challenging the link between obesity and heart disease. A very comprehensive and informative resource.
- A massive list of resources discussing the truth behind fat health can be found over at Big Liberty Blog, titled Truth Behind Fat: References.
- One of my staple resources, Kate Harding answers the ever popular question directed at fat activists: “But Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?”
- Some more from the lovely Kate Harding: “Reality vs. Relativism“ and ”Diets Don’t Work”.
- Ever wanted to learn more about Fat Acceptance? Check out the Fat Acceptance FAQ over at Spilt Milk, complete with a list of links to some great health-related info.
- More of Me to Love discusses fat health, fitness, and health at every size.
- The Health At Every Size® Manifesto.
And that’s where I’m leaving it for now, but not forever!
This needed to be made rebloggable.
Why is it accepted that some people who eat a ton of food can stay thin, but not accepted that some people who eat a small amount of food can be fat?
Since thin people get diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, why is becoming thin suggested as a cure?
Why bother using BMI as a substitute for metabolic health measures when we can easily test metabolic health measures?
Doctors treat thin people for joint pain with options other than weight loss, why don’t they give fat people those same treatments?
Why do we believe that doing unhealthy things (liquid diet, smoking, urine injections coupled with starvation, stomach amputation) will lead to a healthy body?
If the diet industry’s product actually “cured fatness”, wouldn’t their profits be going down instead of up as more and more people were permanently thin?
Isn’t it medically unethical to prescribe something without telling your patients that it works less than 5% of the time with a much greater chance at leaving you heavier and less healthy than when you started?
Why do people continue to think that shaming people will lead them to health?
Why do we accept wide variations in things like foot and hand size, nose and lip shape etc. but expect every body to fit into a very narrow proportion of height and weight?
If weight gain isn’t proven to cause diabetes, high blood pressure etc., why would weight loss be recommended as a cure?
Since weight loss ads have to carry a “results not typical” warning, shouldn’t doctors have to give patients a similar warning?
Why do people take the time to come to my blog and make death threats?
Does anyone really succeed at hating themselves healthy? If so is it worth it?
If we’ve been prescribing dieting since the 1800s and still can’t prove that it works, shouldn’t we be trying something else?
How is it possible that suggesting that healthy habits are the best chance for a healthy body is controversial?
This is exactly what I was talking about earlier in regards to food and diet shaming.
My mother has always been the type to talk incessantly about her diet and exercise habits and constantly pushes it on me.
I am allowed to eat a donut if I please. She has every right in the world to not eat it, but why does her non-consumption need to be emphasized? Why do people feel they need to let other people know when they believe the other person is being “unhealthy”?
I know she’s playing, but it’s bullshit. I just want this way of thinking to stop existing. Not because it’s spoiling my custard-filled dreams, but because it feeds into this notion that people are allowed to shame and guilt you into living a certain way.