The argument for size acceptance doesn’t need to depend on whether you accept the considerable challenges to the current assumptions about weight and health. It’s really very simple: Your strategy has not only failed, but backfired. Shame doesn’t help people make better health choices—though it does contribute to considerable “dis-ease.”
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon
I have yet to meet one person who is fat not know they are fat. Just in case you haven’t figured it out: We know.
We don’t need you to tell us we have an issue. You could be family, friend, doctor, teacher. It doesn’t matter, we know how much we weigh, what we eat, what our BMI is, and most of us probably also know our muscle ratio, and the appropriate “regiment”.
“So what? We’re supposed to accept you are fat?” Actually, yes. I accept you for who you are. I accept the fact that you don’t take proper care of your skin, or that you smoke, that you text while you drive, that you refuse to go to college, you don’t research your opinions . . . My list can go on and on. Acceptance IS NOT agreement. It’s to love that person regardless of their faults and to recognize that they are adults that make their own decisions.
To all my loved ones, here is my version of the letter from Health at Every Size (adapted to my needs) that I am writing to you:
“I understand that you care about me and that you are concerned about my health and well-being. I’ve learned a lot about issues related to weight, and I’ve come to believe that I can become healthy and happy at my current weight. I have also learned, both from personal experience and studying the physiology of weight regulation, that I do not lack determination or willpower, but rather my health is something that is individual to me, and “one size fit all” attitudes about weight and health may not work for me.
As a result, I’ve switched my focus to feeling better about the body I currently have and improving my lifestyle habits for health and well-being, rather than weight change. I am not giving up—I am moving on.
I’d like your support. What I need from you is to accept and appreciate me as I am and to stop commenting on my weight, weight loss, or the food I eat. Being nagged about what I weigh or how I eat has never been helpful and has only made me feel worse.
Thanks for your love and concern.”