Over the past few years, fat acceptance has been more and more of a focus for many Americans. And though I am not an out-right activist, I am out-spoken and stand up for what is right and what I believe in. Discrimination against a person is awful, no matter what they may be discriminated against. However, there seems to be this shift from fat acceptance to fat promotion. That is where I feel we have a problem.
As a nurse, I have seen many patients with avoidable health issues. Health issues that would not be present if the patients were not as over weight as they were. Health concerns like diabetes, coronary artery disease, skin breakdown, depression, and many others. These are common in those not overweight, however the statistics are much high in those that are. The extra weight is too much for our heart, lungs, spleen, pancreas, spine, and may other internal organs and structures of our bodies. Causing them to age and wear out at a much faster pace.
We have a bariatric wing at where I work and it is hard work. There is a women there who is 37 and has not walked since she was in her 20s. I am 32. I could not IMAGINE not being able to walk at such a young age due to something that is as avoidable as obesity. Many of the patients are incontinent (unable to control their bladder or bowels) and must wear adult diapers. They cannot clean themselves, so caregivers have wipe them, wash them, and clean them. They have skin breakdown in the skin folds (open wounds because moisture gets trapped). Their bodies ache most of the time from the extra weight on the joints. Bodies heal at a much slower rate because of the added work the body has to do in the first place.
It concerns me. Because obesity is becoming more and more prevalent. Those that REFUSE to be healthy are the ones that are going to be suffering. Notice I didn’t say lose weight. Because some are just genetically inclined to have more weight than others. Being healthy will naturally cause your body to burn those extra calories and use that extra fat storage. It’s about being able to live your life to the fullest and not becoming disabled due to something that is avoidable.
I am one of those people that is prone to weight gain. I will never look good at a size 8 or less. Even at a size 10, I think I would look malnourished. I feel a size 16 is the PERFECT size for myself. And in this day and age, that is considered plus size. Am I trying to lose weight? Not necessarily. I am getting healthy and fit. Will I lose weight because I am more active and eating healthy? Most likely. Does that make me anti-fat or selling out to society’s views of beauty? NOT AT ALL! My goal isn’t to lose weight. It is to get fit so I can enjoy the things I love…like hiking, walking the Pearl, playing with my son with getting winded.
One of the most beautiful women I know is fat (self-proclamed). I met her in 2006 at a show I performed at and she had a tattoo on her torso that read ‘FAT BITCH’. My crush began at that moment. I didn’t see her weight…I saw a fucking hot women with amazing eyes and the balls to tattoo that on her body (big balls are a turn on!). Being fat, overweight, ‘big-boned’, or heavy has NOTHING to do with the beauty of a person or their activity level. It does have to do with being healthy and not ending up one of my patients one day.