Fatphobia? Really?

So there was this:

So let me get this straight. If someone is trying to lose weight (for whatever reasons seem important to them: I won’t judge). They are having success. If I complement them on their success in progress toward achieving their goals that, somehow, makes me a bad person because other people either aren’t working toward that particular goal or have obstacles toward such a goal?

Could this person make a more ridiculous claim?

If a person is making an effort to be what they want to be (In this case, thinner), then recognizing and applauding their progress toward that personal goals is a good thing. It has nothing to do with how “worthy” they were/are. It’s about their success at accomplishing a goal.

Anybody who follows this blog knows I want to figure skate, not just do simple roundy-rounds around the rink. I can’t do that at my former weight of 270. That weight is hard to move through various techniques. More weight is more to move through fast changes of direction. It’s more to lift in jumps. It’s more stress on feet that already have problems. It’s more stress on ankles that are already stressed because I’m balancing on knife blades. (Hello? Have you looked at a pair of ice skates?)

The bulk that goes with that weight, particularly the roll of fat around my middle and the fat clinging to internal organs, interferes with bending the ways I need to bend. And that I’ve put some of the weight back on during the COVIDiousy is concerning. Techniques I need to continue to move ahead in free skating, things like “sit spins” and “shoot the duck” I can’t do because my protruding gut just gets in the way. I try to bend for it and I can’t breath because compression of my stomach pushes it up into my lungs. Oh, and doing those techniques which require balancing on one sharply bent leg? Yeah, that’s a lot harder to do when you’re carrying more pounds (or kg for you metric folk).

That weight is an obstacle to my goals. I need to shed the weight if I want to accomplish my personal goal. Doesn’t mean that folk with other goals are less worthy. They just have other goals. And that’s fine.

And if someone is working toward their goals and making progress toward them, then good for them. That’s a laudable goal, worthy of being commented on.

And does this prohibition on complementing people for something becoming a “phobia” for people who don’t have that something extend elsewhere? Can I not complement someone on their haircut because it’s a long-hair-phobia or or bald-phobia?

From yet another direction, people like what they like and are attracted to what they’re attracted to. I like vanilla. Does that mean I’m “phobic” about chocolate? I like bacon. Phobic about chicken? Same thing about factors involving personal appearance. People are allowed to like what they like. That doesn’t make them “phobic” about people who don’t fit that ideal. The great thing, though, is that there are a lot of people out there and if one person doesn’t like you, somebody else can. The most unlikely people find friendship and even love.

But some people take it as a personal affront if there’s anyone, anyone at all, who doesn’t like them, who doesn’t approve of each and every aspect of their being. And that’s a ridiculous position to take. Nobody and nothing is going to be universally loved. Nobody and nothing has ever existed, exists now, or will ever exist, that someone isn’t going to find some fault with. Expecting otherwise is just a way of guaranteeing failure.

Far better to be happy with yourself. And if there are things about yourself that are you aren’t happy about (most of us who aren’t complete narcissists do), then make the steps that seem appropriate to you to change them. And if you get some honest appreciation from others either for the characteristics you have or the progress you’re making for the characteristics you’re trying for, then take pleasure in that. Don’t try to browbeat or shame others into claiming an appreciation for things that they don’t particularly care for, for things that aren’t to their taste. You might get them to mouth the words, but they’ll never mean them and you’ll know they don’t mean them. And that will end up just making you feel worse, which will lead you to push for even more empty appreciation and approval, which you will know is insincere, leading to yet more disappointment, which leads to more efforts to force approval… A never ending cycle which no amount of forced approval and appreciation can ever break.

The “break” has to come from yourself.

3 thoughts on “Fatphobia? Really?”

  1. I’ve been switched to a new cancer treatment drug, and the indicator protein levels are dropping again. I guess congratulating me on that makes a person “cancer-phobic”.
    Well, maybe cancer is worth being phobic about.


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