One Mom in the Middle…
of parenting… of her career… of life…

Seriously, Weight Loss DOES Work

Updated 6.22.2014 to correct a typo; reformatted 9.3.2015
So I'm continuing my rant from previously because I am still frustrated by the defeatist attitude. This isn't how I intended to write about my impressions of the fatosphere (and that's all they are, I'm a reader only, not a member), but this is what I want to write at the moment, and so be it.

Weight loss is impossible?

Here's another blogger who links to the recent "All diets fail" reporting in the mainstream press. Tracey Mann is a favored researcher because she has bought the line that while exercise and eating well can make you healthy, it can't make you thin. And this statement is true if you are eating more calories than required to maintain the smaller weight. BUT if you alter your habits to eat a smaller amount of food YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT. If you continue to eat that amount food, then your weight will stabilize at a lower number.

This is how I lost my weight. I didn't restrict to some extremely low number of calories, nor did I launch some huge exercise plan. I calculated how many calories a smaller than average human female at my age should eat, and then ate at that level. I'm under 5 feet tall and over 50. The number of calories for a sedentary woman of that size is about 1700. Because I like to eat more than that, I also resolved to not be sedentary, and that has allowed me to eat roughly 200 additional calories a day without gaining weight.

Health at Every Size (HAES)

HAES originally was aimed at people recovering from eating disorders. The idea is to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits divorced from any desire to control weight. Which makes sense in the context of someone with an illness that is triggered by fad dieting behaviors.

Fad dieting behaviors are hereafter defined as any temporary change to eating patterns designed to to alter weight. I know that definition is over broad, but it is my thesis that the reason "diets" fail because people don't confront the truth. The truth is that if you are one size and want to be a smaller size, then you must eat less. For as long as you want to be the smaller size. If you return to eating the way you did when you were larger, then over time you become larger.

Weight loss does work, but realism is required if the results are to be maintained. Some bloggers admit this with anger or sadness, often because they truly do not understand the concept of energy balance. And it is possible to lose weight while following HAES principles, which are seemingly very similar to the eat less and move more mantra that I believe.

Privilege?

Tumblr appears to be a hot bed of so-called "social justice" sites, one of which calls itself "This is Thin Privilege" (TITP). The concept of "privilege" seems to be benefit that someone receives because of some aspect of their being. For instance, white people are often perceived and treated differently than black people, and therefore benefit from that status. They didn't do anything to earn the status except by being born white, and they can't do anything to lose that status or privilege, unless society as a whole quits treating whites better than blacks.

That's my understanding of the term privilege and how it applies in social justice. The women who started TITP assert that thinner people have privilege based on their size. My problem with the concept begins with the issue that weight is alleged to be unchangeable, which is clearly NOT the case. People change their weight ALL THE TIME.

For heaven's sake, there's a fringe of the fatosphere entirely BASED on the fact that weight can be changed (in this case gained. Google feeder/feedee and you'll see what I mean.) The fact that it's easier to put on weight than it is to lose weight doesn't change the fact that WEIGHT CAN BE CHANGED. Therefore weight is not in the same category as race and sexuality. It. Is. Not.

Should fat people be treated with the same rights and courtesy as thin people? Of course. Body size should make NO difference in how a human is treated. I don't argue with that aspect of the movement. But weight is not an inherent feature. Permanently change your habits and eat less, you will change your weight.

Disclaimer