Diet and exercise are the top two New Years Resolutions year after year. Because they do not create lasting results and there is a multibillion dollar diet industry driving the belief that thinness is the ideal.
You think you are setting weight loss resolutions for your health, but this is factually untrue. Because dieting is actually bad for your health. All the health issues culturally assumed to be associated with fatness (heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.) are not significantly linked to BMI. Truly.
What is significantly associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and death? Yo-yo dieting.
The pursuit of thinness is literally killing people.
I beg you to just stay fat this year. It’s better for you.
Get the workbook at bit.ly/fnyr
It is my absolutely favorite topic, weight loss goals. And by favorite topic, I mean, I am going in hard on diet culture. And there’s just a general content warning here. We’re going to talk about fatphobia. We’re going to talk about weight loss. We’re gonna talk about medical issues, eating disorders, all that fun shit. Okay, great. So like the number one New Year’s resolution, and remember that only 9% of people stick to their New Year’s resolution all year, which means 91% of us keep making this same goal over and over again and feeling terrible about ourselves, is weight loss.
Every year, everybody’s like, I’m gonna lose weight. And every year, that doesn’t work, because diets don’t work.
Okay, the actual reason that people set weight loss goals for New Year’s, is because diet culture says so. Diet culture says that you’re not valuable or pretty, or worthwhile, or anything. You’re not even smart. You’re not even powerful. You’re not even a professional. Unless you are thin. And that is a big old pile of stinky trash.
Okay. You think it’s about health. It’s not about health. It’s not at all about health. It’s, it is hilarious how much being fat has no bearing on health. Because the fucking general consensus even like among doctors, right? This gaslighting goes so deep because of fatphobia. Because if you were to admit that fat people are not any less healthy than thin people, the diet industry would fall apart. The only thing holding that leg of the economy up is the deep seated fear of not being thin anymore, or not being thin enough.
So let’s talk a little bit about that because I sound insane right now if you’re not already familiar with fatphobia. So we assume, we think, we believe that being fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, all that stuff, right? Like we believe it. You can go on Twitter and be like “being fat causes diabetes and heart disease” and people will be like “that is correct”. It is it is actually not. There is no statistical impact. There’s- That is not true. It’s wild. We’re gonna go on a journey here. Okay? dieting, actually, dieting has a statistical, statistically-significant impact, increasing the risk of heart attack stroke, diabetes and death, dieting, dieting itself.
So here’s the thing. Number one, being fat does not make you more unhealthy. And in fact, dieting increases the risk of everything that we think fatness increases the risk of and that’s why it looks like fatness increases the risk of it because fat people are the ones chronically yo-yo dieting so hard because of all the pressures, saying you should not be so fat, right? So what do fat people do? They diet, they over exercise, they absolutely stress out their bodies. And then they have these bad health outcomes that are linked to dieting. But we assume then, because they’re fat, and being fat is bad in this awesome world we live in, that being fat is what caused the problem. Dieting caused the problem. It is safer to stay fat, it is statistically safer to stay fat. And therefore my New Year’s resolution from now until the end of time will be to remain fat. You’re welcome. This is your permission to eat all the cheese. Okay, we’re not we’re not losing weight anymore, folks. We’re not doing it.
Okay, great. I have more facts for you. I have more things to talk about. I could talk about this all day. And honestly if you do have a dissenting opinion about this, you can just keep it to yourself and I don’t want to hear about it. So thanks. Actually my singular one-star review for this show as somebody who listened to last year’s anti weight loss New Year’s resolution thing it said that they were a former fat person and I was spreading dangerous misinformation. So I advise you to go read some facts and get your anti fat people shit out of my face. Okay, love you. Great.
Also, medical fatphobia is a thing and medical fatphobia is what happens when a fat person goes to the doctor and says like, my foot is missing. Shark ate my foot. Bear ate my foot. And the doctor is like, have you tried not being so fat, but replace shark ate my foot with something like chronic pain, or really severe menstrual cramps that are probably fibroids or a PCOS, or endometriosis or ovarian cysts. And the doctors do not treat the pain, they do not treat the presenting problem, they do not treat the patient like a person. They prescribe weight loss. There was actually Oh, I gotta look this up, hold, please. I’m just gonna paraphrase it. But I will find it and I will put it in the show notes. There was a woman who lost like 100 pounds, 150 pounds, 200 pounds, I don’t even remember, she lost all the weight, went back to the doctors with all of the same fucking chronic health problems that she was having. And they ran all sorts of tests. And were able to diagnose all this stuff that was fucking wrong with her that existed while she was fat, but they wouldn’t even look for it. Because they only look at being fat. That’s medical fatphobia. Medical fatphobia is not having your actual illnesses, your symptoms, your pain taken seriously, because you live in a fat body. And that’s fucked. And that’s, that’s something that systemically has to change. That’s not something that’s going to get better. When you’re just like, okay, new year new me, I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year. So doctors take me seriously.
Because once again, let’s go look at what’s underneath your goal. And this one’s heartbreaking. Okay, because what is underneath the goal of thinness is to be loved, to feel worthy, to be taken seriously at work, to be taken seriously by doctors to be taken seriously by anyone to get jobs without worry about discrimination, to feel attractive, to feel confident wearing whatever you want. Because in this society, you can’t do that stuff when you’re fat. Not like- obviously you can. But people are going to come up to you and be like, “Oh my God, you’re so brave for wearing a crop top.” And I would like to live in a world where I’m not brave for wearing a crop top. I just want to be able to wear a crop top because it’s hot out, right? What’s underneath the weight loss goal, because it’s not actually health. You thought it was health. But then I ruined that for you. So now that you know it’s not health, what is it? And if you’re like, Well, I still think it’s health. I really advise you to sit with that.
Because it’s love. You want to feel loved. You want to feel love for yourself and your body. You want your mom to Quit fucking judging you. You want to feel safe in your body. But that’s not a you problem. That’s a systemic societal problem. And like, being thin doesn’t inherently give that to you. So I’m going to talk about my eating disorder. I lost 100 pounds. My top weight at the time was 300. And I got down to 200 pounds. I was shooting for 150; I wanted to lose half my body weight, because that was going to give me some type of emotional Medal of Valor for becoming half of my body. And I was thin. I was very thin for me. So like I still had a tummy. I still had big thighs. And that was my body like desperately holding on to fat stores that I needed. Like, I was never emaciated.
But like when you look at photos of me, it’s absolutely wild. I was very thin. And I looked very sick. But at the time, I thought I was glowing, right. Like I thought everything was amazing. And I wore body conforming clothes and I felt really confident and I loved when people give me attention I love when people give me compliments, and praised me and asked me about all my secrets. And like my secret actually was that I was not eating enough food. And I wasn’t sleeping enough and I was exercising to the point of exhaustion and I was breaking my body down. And eating disorder recovery followed by a Fibromyalgia diagnosis meant that I have taken some time I’m off from exercise. So I used to like, work out all the time, I was a distance runner, I would go to the gym several times a week. Or do elliptical treadmill, weights, like, you name it, I did it, I would do anything. I did the insanity workout. I did p90x I did all the Beachbody stuff. I was a beachbody coach. Because why not monetize your eating disorder, right? Sell some other people shakes based on their insecurities, get rich! I did not get rich. But like, I was doing all these workouts I was exhausted. I there was one time where I was putting on my running shoes in the morning, and I fell asleep while blinking. Like I was so exhausted.
And let’s see, it was actually roughly February, February, March ish of 2019, that I started my recovery. So I am now four years in eating disorder recovery. I’ve had a few relapses, but they’re very short lived, I recognize them very fast. And I get back on track with eating enough, and eating things that make me feel good and don’t feel like punishment. But in doing that, I also had to like rest of my body. And like I love yoga, I like to walk I like to swim. So like there is a lot of like, low impact exercise that I can do. But exercise has also like been really triggering for me because I don’t, or up until now, I haven’t really been able to exercise without thinking about losing weight while I do it. So I’m finally at a point this year, where I asked for a subscription to The Underbelly Yoga as a Christmas gift. And I am planning on doing yoga, a yoga class once a week. And I’m doing that because my intention is that I want to feel more at home and more present in my body. And to me that is very stretch, that is very yoga, its expansive, it’s breathwork, its body work. And that’s the intent behind it.
So my intention finally, is not lose weight get then the intention is make make my body which is my home, feel more comfortable to live in. And as a person with chronic pain of fibromyalgia, yoga honestly helps me so much with my pain levels. And so when it’s about that, instead of about thinness, that anxiety starts to dissipate. So there are so many ways to have a body focused goal or a wellness focused goal that is not about dieting, or weight loss. And those are things like strength and endurance, like maybe you want to run a mile, maybe you want to be able to like deadlift, a certain amount of weight. Like I really like weightlifting, it makes me feel really strong.
Also, I have a 30 pound Corgi and sometimes I have to carry her home when she’s being a stubborn asshole on a walk. So like I want to be able to comfortably pick up and carry home 30 pounds. That’s that’s a very specific goal that I have. And I can do it right now. But she’s just heavy. So you know, get a little pumped up, work on the guns, I can carry her home a little easier. So things like that, you know, being able to run from the cops important stuff, you maybe you want to be able to like touch your toes, you want to work on your flexibility. If you sit in an office chair all day, like maybe your body related goal is just to like get a really comfortable cushions so that you don’t feel crunched up like a little croissant all day. I feel like a little croissant. I’m recording these in the evening. So my meds are wearing off. So you’re just gonna get all kinds of stuff like that.
You can have goals related to pain reduction, or even like medical goals. You mean like my body goal this year is to go to the dentist and get a cleaning. There’s so much anxiety in that. But that’s a beautiful goal. That’s a beautiful resolution because your dental health is really important. And so give yourself the time like ask for recommendations, join some fat groups on Facebook, there are actually a lot of them because fat people make great communities because we know what it’s like to live in this frickin diet world.
Okay, maybe you want to read more books by fat authors, right? You just want to enjoy movement and exercise like I would love to take dance lessons. I haven’t been able to find Salsa dance lessons in my area, but I would love to dance because dancing to me, it’s really fun. It doesn’t feel like exercise. But it’s a great way to get my body moving, which helps my overall pain levels. So there are ways to make body and wellness intentions that are divorced from and in defiance of the diet culture industry, and that is what I want for you. And I also reserved a whole lot of ranting that I could have put in this but I didn’t because I’m trying to keep them short. Okay. All right. I love you and I believe in you and you deserve to feel at home in your body.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai