I've been posting a lot about fitness and a lot less posts that would fit under my size acceptance or obesity propaganda tags, but I'm still thinking about these things. Mainly, I'm posting any thoughts I have on the comments of the Fat Acceptance/Size Acceptance blogs I read regularly, because it feels like a safer space to do that.
I just have to mention, though, one thing that infuriated me deeply when I was reading, "Pretty Good for a Girl," by Leslie Heywood. To recap, in high school, she was a track star who had to really fight to be taken seriously, as this was just barely post Title IX. In college, she developed an eating disorder to keep her weight down, and over trained to the point of collapse. She had to give up her track career, but couldn't give up athletics and competing altogether so she became an amateur body-builder later in life.
She mentions, just casually in passing, that her doctor looked at her weight as recorded on her medical records (she was 5 foot 2-ish inches and 148 pounds at the time) and said, "You weight too much for your height." Then she looked at Leslie's biceps and said, "Oh, you're a bodybuilder. These charts don't apply to you."
Do we need any more proof that too many people-- including medical professionals-- look at their patients as numbers instead of as individuals?
I think most people are coming to the conclusion that BMI is limited in its usefulness, but then you get an incredibly insensitive (hello, history of eating disorders!?!) and one-size-fits-all kind of comment like this, and it makes me despair.
In the rush to solve the so-called "Obesity Epidemic" in this country, we have turned EVERYONE into a number instead of into an individual, and this is a mania that is really bad for our health, collectively, even if it's just stress about worrying about those "five extra pounds" we're carrying.
This also makes it really damn hard to practics Health at Every Size as well. If I was caught up in obesity hysteria and was obsessed with BMI, I would be despairing that after three months of dedicated gym-going, I had barely budged my BMI and my body weight at all, instead of being happy that I improved my hip-to-waist ratio, cardio fitness, upper body strength, and upper and lower body flexibility noticeably in that time. I could conclude that exercise was worthless instead of seeing all the positive benefits I've gained in just over 3 months.
Despite the CDC's own recent report that BMIs have barely budged in the last few years
, I still heard a lead in about how we're all getting fatter every year as a promo for an NPR segment just this morning. WTF?! The promoters of the War on Obesity seriously need to calm the fuck down and get a grip.