The word fat is a descriptor that holds no moral value

Originally published at: The word fat is a descriptor that holds no moral value - Thought Leader

‘My weight is made up of my character, the strength of my mind, and the way I interact with the world’

‘Navigating this world in a fat body is like navigating a minefield’
It is also true that that replying to this article is like navigating a minefield. Yet I will still venture to commend it for its clarity on so many levels.

I offer this quote as a starting point for discussion:
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

For me, it’s the intent behind the use of the word ‘fat’ that is important. For example - did the doctor mentioned in the article intend evil or good? If he was trained in a medical environment that considered obesity as always being a potential health problem then, at the very least, his intent was ‘good’, rather than ‘evil’. As I am sure you understand very well :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I think this is a sensitive topic, and as such you are likely to encounter people who will fawn over your bravery for trying to reclaim the word “fat,” and you will also find those who will insult your arrogance for believing you should be the authority on a subject broad as body image, which has existed since the beginning of human civilization.

If I were to be honest, I would say the correct reading of this type of article can probably be found in the middle…among the type of reader who isn’t least likely to respond. But for all the fancy rhetoric and new age jargon, the most honest response is the same as it has ever been: you can’t change other people, but you can change you if you desire to do so.

If you are truly happy with your body, you should not have to ask others for anything. You don’t owe them anything, and they don’t owe you praise for not trying to do…anything.

With the simple exception of a mere fraction of the obese population with diseases that keep them from losing weight, virtually all obese people can alleviate their deadly condition if they reduce their caloric intake and increase their physical activity. It isn’t rocket science. The barriers are psychological. Having tried and failed in the past isn’t a valid excuse for not continuing to try. Trying and succeeding is absolutely a reason for others to congratulate you. Not trying and wanting a participation trophy is…progressive.

It isn’t a new phenomenon that people prefer to look at healthy individuals. It is human nature. No amount of guilt tripping will force people to look at a fat man or woman and not prefer to see something that isn’t there…a healthy person. If you are healthy and overweight, then more power to you. You probably won’t write articles about your weight because it won’t be lurking in your subconscious 24/7. Focusing on health instead of labels like fat and skinny…that is about the only way society can approach the international obesity problem. Trying to reclaim words…is an exercise in not exercising.

Yes, it’s a sensitive topic … and are you claiming to be sensitive?! You offer statements such as “virtually all obese people can alleviate their deadly condition if they reduce their caloric intake and increase their physical activity” without evidence.

You also offer sly little digs such as “fancy rhetoric and new age jargon” to justify your position whilst employing the same fancy rhetoric in such phrases as “Trying to reclaim words…is an exercise in not exercising”. Is there really any need to go all-in with phrases such as “wanting a participation trophy”?

I’ll offer you the following quotation:
“Never criticise a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins” - American Indian Proverb.

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