This is only the first post on this subject, because frankly, it's going to be an ignorant one. Just some random thoughts without any responsible research to back these thoughts up; one person's (or one Crab's) uninformed opinions.
This is with the hope that better informed readers out there will chime in, and that this could become a dialogue of sorts. It would be great to have follow-up posts in the future. Because the issue is complicated and contentious.
Cranky Fitness is a Health and Fitness site (though not a terribly serious one). There are discussions about calories and exercise; there is a general premise lurking behind many discussions that obesity is a health risk. That exercise and healthy eating and moderate portions are good for everyone, fat or thin. And that to the extent one's unhealthy habits cause one to put on excess pounds, it might be smart for individuals to Take Steps to reverse that trend.
That said, Crabby notes that:
1. Some people who exercise way more than average and eat way less than average have crappy metabolisms and are still fat. (And no, this is not due to "cheating," though some people do fool themselves. Crabby has lived with people who have made heroic efforts to lose weight with no success; she has observed their daily routines; and they are not all cheating).
2. Our culture, while encouraging the eating of junk food, and discouraging exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices, is at the same time, fat-phobic. We ridicule fat people and discriminate against them and conspire to make them feel badly about themselves. This is wrong. Society's attitudes towards fat people need to change.
So here's Crabby's dilemma. She goes to a great fat acceptance site like The Rotund (thanks, ChickenGirl, for the link), and she finds herself agreeing with almost everything on there.
And yet she goes to a convenience store and can't find anything remotely healthy to eat there, and she feels angry. Because as a culture, we are gluttonous and impulsive and childish. Crabby wishes we'd just grow up and behave more sensibly so she could get a piece of fruit and a pint of f*cking nonfat milk which often, she can't--because the shelves are full of chips and candy and sugary soft drinks. And not coincidentally, as a culture, we're getting fatter and sicker because of these kinds of choices.
So Crabby likes to believe that each individual fat person she meets is behaving in a reasonably healthy way, not subsisting on junk food or refusing to exercise or otherwise making stupid choices. But she can't ignore the evidence that such unhealthy behavior, in general, is making us as a population much fatter and much less healthy.
This leads to the aforementioned stupid questions. Crabby would love it if readers would offer any help. She really wants to understand where everyone is coming from.
If you think of yourself as fat:
How do you think you got that way--was it because of your lifestyle, your genes, or both? Are you making healthy choices now? If so, is that good enough, or do you feel pressure to lose weight as well? If you're not making healthy choices, what's getting in your way? What would make it easier?
And if you think of yourself as not fat:
Do you look down on fat people? Do you think they could all lose weight if they just tried hard enough? Do you think they're discriminated against? Do you think your own weight is a result of healthy lifestyle or did you get lucky with your genes?
Also, it's kind of silly to group people into "fat" or "not fat" when it's a continuum. So feel free to ignore this dichotomy and say anything whatsoever you want about this topic.
Crabby apologizes if she has offended anyone. She really is just looking for a bit more information and hopes you will help her.
Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center is a recovery center on a horse ranch using equine therapy.