This is the Weight and Healthcare newsletter! If you like what you are reading, please consider subscribing and/or sharing! Today I thought I’d share five common arguments I hear from people about weight neutral health. Sometimes those asking are truly asking from a place of curiosity - which is reasonable in a world with so much weight stigma. Other times the person actually knows better, but is using these arguments spuriously, hoping that they’ll be able to confuse others and prop up the weight loss paradigm.
Thank you for "starvation is not sustainable". That is EXACTLY the wording I have been searching for, for years, to respond to the "you returned to your old habits" BS.
Hahaha - yes to this: "When his parachute refused to open and his reserve parachute got tangled, Michael Holmes fell 12,000 feet and lived. That doesn’t mean that jumping out of planes without a parachute is a safe choice. "
Thank you so much for this!!!
I love how you address the stigmatizing elements of each of these head on. I would add to number 1 that the worst case scenario is not limited to weight cycling. People can get eating disorders and even die from them. The mental/psychological impact of international weight loss associated with accepting the stigmatizing narratives of diet culture, as well as the time devoted to it that can’t be allocated to other pursuits are a huge negative impacts too.
"You're going to die by the age of 30, 40, 50 - etc". But the cdc says otherwise. #oldfatty! I'm 54 btw.
In my experience, dieting true believers think the starvation part doesn't have to be sustained and once you reach the "acceptable and appropriate" weight you can just start eating "normally" (this being based on the idea all pre-diet fat eat twice their weight in solely "bad" food every day and never "normally"), and must "go back" to those "old habits" of eating truckloads of food every day.
When I point out that in 2018, I unintentionally lost about 20 lbs because a bout of crippling anxiety made it impossible to eat and I had to live on a protein shake and one small salad (the only food I could worry down my clenched throat), they actually think that's "great" but that when it came back nearly instantly the moment I ate normally, I must be lying about eating normally, or another one "you just lost the weight too fast, if you'd lost it slower it would have stuck".
Btw,that's how I know dieting is more of a cult mentality. Dieting cannot fail, it can only be failed, any and all evidence of its failure and even functional impossibility merely proves people aren't doing it correctly and never that maybe it doesn't work. Had my anxiety loss been slower they would have claimed I needed to lose it faster and it would have stuck.
Got the " trying to justify fatness", but about HAES. From my dad. And I asked him if he really thinks its a bad thing for me to add more fresh fruits and veggies to my diet if its not explicitly for weight loss, that the nutritional value of, say, eating an apple every day diminishes or evaporates if I do it thinking "this is delicious and makes my chronic stomach/digestive pain go away" rather than doing it only to get thinner and weeping bitterly as eat it because I actually want to eat a tray full of burgers and fries (as us fat people supposedly do anytime we have to eat something healthy). He said no, I should keep doing that, but I had to confront him several times more before he seemed to get it, or at least learned not to spout fat bigotry at me for my refusal to engage in diet culture.