Dr. Pattie Thomas and her husband Carl Wilkerson wrote a book called Taking Up Space: How Eating Well and Exercising Regularly Changed My Life that is just really awesome. If you haven’t read it, it’s well worth investing in.
The first chapter of the book has 10 fat myths. As I read them, I had so many ideas and thoughts and things I wanted to say about each one. I contacted Dr. Thomas and she said that it would be okay for me to use her list to talk about each of the myths here. So–welcome to a 10-week series.
Myth number nine on the list: Fat is lazy.
I had an interesting experience this week in the forums for a site I write for.
I clicked through to read what an exercise expert had to say about yo-yo dieting. I’d love to share exactly how the conversation went, but she has since taken the whole shebang down.
Let’s just say that she stated that yo-yo dieting wasn’t bad for you, and I said one of the biggest problems with it was that it indicated a weight obsession and offered some dieting-doesn’t-work statistics. She said she’d lost 30 pounds of “disgusting fat” and kept it off, plus helped lots of others lose their disgusting fat successfully, and that obesity is a choice not a disease.
I said it was neither. It’s a body type. I also pointed out that she may have some readers at her popular exercise site that would like to hear that they can be healthier even if they don’t lose a pound. It ended with her telling me that most fat people aren’t physically active like I am, if I was being honest about my activities, and that we were going to have to agree to disagree and eventually deleted the whole post.
The point of this rather long story is to showcase the myth that fat people are lazy.
Ragen at Dances with Fat has talked about the head-meet-wall experience of trying to prove your anti-laziness if you’re fat. That prompted me to write about a similar subject last week. But the truth is that it is literally impossible for me, or Ragen or any other fat person to prove that we aren’t lazy to everyone. Some will call us liars, no matter what proof we offer. Others will call us anecdotes—the rare fat and fit person.