Fat. and other bad words.

People are obsessed with being skinny. This is not surprising given our unrealistic, media driven culture. I don’t want to be skinny. Personally I find very skinny people look unhealthy and wish that they would eat a bit more. The other part of wanting to be skinny is driven by the health industry. We all know how much more healthy it is not to carry too much weight. Honestly, you’d have to live in a cave not to have heard of all the dangers of being heavy. I in no way dispute that. That’s why my goal is to become more fit and strong and get down to a more healthy weight.

But that doesn’t make it okay for people to bandy about words like fat or obese.

I’ve heard Oprah say that it’s one of the last things it’s okay to discriminate against. I agree that many people seem to be harshly judgmental about overweight people and fairly callous in their use of words about it. If you wouldn’t walk up to them and talk about their fatness or obesity, then don’t, please, talk to me about it. Or talk around me about it. If you wouldn’t walk up and talk to me about my weight, then please don’t talk to anyone else about it. If you can engage me (or them) in a respectful dialogue about your concerns about my (their) health, then you’ve done a lot more to promote healthy behaviors than ever will be accomplished by name calling.

And that’s what it is.

Name Calling.

Maybe you say obese because that is a medical term and that makes it okay. Yeah, it really doesn’t.

I’m overweight. I’m heavy. I need to increase my fitness and yes, decrease my fat. But many times weight issues (too little or too much) are about far more than just eating. They are complex topics that are intertwined with emotions and power and control as well as hormones and genetics and lifestyle.

There are beautiful people of every weight, shape and size. So let’s try to be a little more aware of the power of our words. Let’s try to give each other the benefit of the doubt and treat each other with kindness first and foremost.

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