OMIGAWD I KNEW IT! And you did, too! Listen to this!
A friend posted on Facebook about a theoretically scientific but actually SCANDALOUS book called (boringly) “Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases” that’s coming out. He linked to the abstract of the book in Science Direct by Katherine Flegal (you can read the abstract here: http://fbclid=IwAR35o5qv6z5kh6KXwY3Uo5617AZESBJT_tAUdTBj-xIPMi66htu7wrgAzss it’s pretty damned well written…although this link doesn’t seem to work and I don’t know why but Google it; it’s a good read), and I read it with increasingly rabid attention.
It’s by this woman—a CDC researcher—who did a very thorough and impartial study which led her to the conclusion that people with a body mass index of up to 30 are not just not MORE likely to die but are actually VERY SLIGHTLY protected from death by their weight.
Anti-fat warriors from across the medical spectrum landed on her neck, screaming like Visigoths with double-bladed war axes raised in bloodthirsty attack. Man, the story of the crap she took is jaw-dropping.
But hang on, there. What did you just say?
A BMI of up to 50 is NOT why I’m going to die? Oversized and ashamed in a tent-like hospital gown on a gurney with skinny people standing around me shaking their heads and commenting to each other “if only she’d had some self-discipline she’d be alive today??” WHAAAAAT???
The last time I saw my doctor, she was at pains to point out to me that I was FAT and needed to deal with that. (She cloaked it in prettier terms, but that was her message.)
And now I’m like—girl, you are a damned Visigoth, descending on me with your battle axe raised. Back off, slim; I could crush you and not even notice.
It’s easy to judge a person by their double chin or the broadness of their rear view. We can look at them and shake our heads, knowing that we are “better” or “worse” than them. And there are medical issues that overweight people face; there’s no doubt. Skinny people rarely get diabetes (and when they do—watch for pancreatic cancer next).
But the insistence—medical and societal—that being overweight is unhealthy and dooms us to an early death MIGHT JUST BE A TOTAL FALSEHOOD.
I find this enraging and inspiring and exciting and perplexing. My entire body image is bound in shame. But…does it have to be? Despite years–no, I mean decades (no–I mean a LIFETIME) of effort—restrictive eating and endless exercise and the advice and counsel of very smart, very compassionate people (not to mention my doctor, who grrrr), this is how I look. This is who I am. This is how my body seems to want to be.
And it’s just possible—JUST POSSIBLE—that this is the way I SHOULD be.
Damn. Isn’t that wild?
This is me, even less attractive than I could be because my hair is pulled back in anticipation of yet another exercise session in the basement via Zoom. I exercise ALL THE DAMNED TIME. You’d think that would be enough for my doctor and the medical community–but no. They want me to lose weight TOO. Well now I’m thinking–why?? What’s it to you, bub?!