Read this article for context:"Goodbye NAAFA: Why I Left the Size Acceptance Movement Behind", this article is kind of a continuation of the points I make there.
One large size acceptance organization is ironically named Health At Every Size or HAES promoted by the Association For Size Diversity and Health and is growing and popularity, getting the word out to professionals and others. Denial of the health problems related to fat really takes hold in a group that purposely turns a blind eye to the sick and fat. Paul Campos who is a spokesman for HAES in his book "The Obesity Myth, somehow manages to exclude super-sized people in general with a main focus on the moderate and mild fat or "The wish I was skinny" crowd. This sentence sums up the weird rabbit hole and ideals of the HAES movement: " A healthy weight is the weight a person maintains while living a healthy life" [p.79] Consider that sentence and the implicit backhanded judgements within it.
Entire chapters are devoted to proving that fat doesn't affect health, and that those who complain of hurting knees and edema,are a bunch of whiners.
Read this one too."The Reason why the disease of obesity doesn't kill those who suffer from it, and why it remains impossible to cure are one in the same because it doesn't exist'" [pg 41]
What!?? Talk about wiping away endless people's experiences.
Can't they admit fat is even a symptom of illness? I suppose not. While some tenets of HAES are good things to follow for health:
•Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.
•Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.
•Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.
I would like to take all these HAES followers and NAAFA fat activists on a visit to a nursing home that specializes in the rehabilitation of obese people who have lost all mobility and suffer an array of health problems and tell me straight to my face after visiting this facility that obesity is never a disease or even the symptom of one.
While exaggerations do exist to sell diet products oppressing hordes of mildly fat people, doctors aren't being "mean" to suggest a correlation between ill health and obesity. Many become fat from a variety of causes, some even mixed and find themselves in the same boat.
Does Health at Every Size apply to 500lbs? 400lbs? Find me even one 350lb person of average height capable of running a marathon. How many 400lbers do you see in the Olympics? Seen any fat basketball players lately? Even the "Refrigerator" of Chicago Bears fame was forced into early retirement from his bulk. While the HAES folks are right to nod to the fact to the genetic undergirdings of obesity, no one tried to tell Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man, that he was as healthy as everyone else and that just some "positive thinking" would cure his leg problems and other ailments that came from his height.
Many don't know this but there is a dimension of healthism within size acceptance, that is so focused on proving "Nothing is wrong with being fat"! It denies the reality of the majority of people who cross a certain mark. Even by the 200s, the pain began, I sit here, now knowing my stomach is killing my legs,and my time is limited to get this typed out. Part of me screams--"Are these people on drugs? Being fat hurts!"
When I was in size acceptance, this was during the years I was at my peak weights and the pressure to keep quiet about all physical suffering was the unwritten rule. Ironically I went to a NAAFA conference held at the most sprawled out hotel in the world that would have given a thin healthier person exhaustion just to navigate the place [no one thought of the sick there, or assumed all immobile fat people already had the scooter]. It was interesting to note one 600lb lady, playing "my stamina is better then yours" games with me adding to my distress.
I figured out fast during my time in the size acceptance world, that unless I presented myself as perky and healthy, that I wasn't wanted. This was not a world that embraced "thinker" type personalities but extroverts and adherents of delusional false "positive thinking". For a time, I basically said, lets just tell the truth! You think fat people do not know they are sick, or that their weight doesn't cause problems just on the sheer physical level? Why do we have to live in delusion in some sort of over the top people pleasing escapade? This doesn't mean helping the fat bigots out but just standing up with some integrity!
One fat activist got angry with me on a message board and asked me "Would it be so terrible if you let go of that fat negativity? What would happen if you thought about your health problems the same way a thin person thought about theirs?" She went on to tell me that the valuing any weight change was related to keeping fat prejudice in it's place and finished up telling me. "I cannot see anyway to seek 'the fat cure' without investing fat hatred".
The irony of a fully mobile 200 and something lb woman saying this to a woman who [at the time I was somewhere in the high 600s] is immensely absurd. Fat negativity? What is that? Wanting to stay alive? No one would tell someone dying of kidney disease, that we don't wish to seek the kidney cure anymore! The size acceptance world has lost it!
One thing about me, I'm an independent thinker and know when I am being bamboozled. By the way, having discussed these matters for years, most people see size acceptance as trapped in a morass of delusion and that includes many fat people. More damage is done to fat people demanding they must hide the realities of larger bodies, and surely the merely large still can function well, but to deny the super sized of us, a voice or even admitting our truths is a betrayal beyond belief!
What is wrong with not wanting to see friends sick anymore? What is wrong with wanting people not to lose the ability to have functional lives? What is wrong with asking true professionals and researchers for unbiased help?
Size acceptance if it really cared about fat people instead of just being the inverse side of the diet enterprises would have worked on helping there to be rehab centers for the obese [those are so few in number to be laughable] and demanding real research in obesity that isn't biased. They would have allowed super sized people to tell their truths, instead of foisting "think positive" New Age claptrap on them. By the way "intuitive eating" is badly named, intuition is related to what one feels, eat when you are hungry is good advice, but not eat when you feel like it.
Health at EVERY size? I don't think so. How absolutely ABSURD.