Occupy Fat Street: We Are The 68%

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C.

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This post really could be an indictment of the way that fat always equals bad in the symbolism of Progressive movements, including Occupy, but it isn’t.  And as much as I wish that fellow Lefties would take up the call of fat acceptance rather than fatphobia, for now it’s a dream deferred.

But I do think that the Occupy movement and the fat acceptance movement have a lot in common.  In essence, the Occupy movement is trying to break down a prevailing myth.  The myth is that with enough smarts and fortitude and hard work, the American dream of prosperity will be realized.  People have been led to believe that it  just takes hard work, dedication, putting your nose to the grindstone, and various other cliches and you too can make it in America, when the reality is endemic income disparity, high unemployment, lost homes, hunger, poverty, and discrimination and all the while huge multinational corporations are in cahoots with much of the government to keep things that way.

Here's my 68% rant!

The reality could not be more different than the myth.  And yet, the Right’s only response is, “Get a job, ya hippies!”  The Right continues to attempt to discredit Occupy’s argument by insisting that the myth is real.  If the Occupy folks would just work harder and do things right and stop being so lazy, they’d all be living the American dream, the Right argues.

Does this sound familiar?  Have you ever been told that if you just worked harder at it and did things right, you’d lose weight and keep it off?  It’s pretty much the argument of every diet pusher when their diet fails.  It’s the argument of every doctor who, despite supposedly having a knowledge of the way the body and metabolism works, insists that diet and exercise will work if you just work hard enough.  It’s the argument that supports continued discrimination against fat people because if fat people really are just lazy and not working hard enough, then it’s their fault, and the diet companies, and pharmaceutical companies, and doctors, and the AMA etc. don’t have to do the work of realizing that the whole system is based on a lie and that it’s dangerous and needs to change.

According to the Lancet, based upon the (utterly bogus) BMI, 68% of Americans are overweight or heavier.  That’s more than two thirds!  Imagine if all of these people had a new awareness.  Imagine if all of these people (and their thin allies) began to see that fat wasn’t bad, that diets don’t work, that discrimination against fat people is wrong, and that people having a diversity of bodies is beautiful.  Imagine the healing that could happen for all of us.

I think it would be exciting for some of us to share our fat stories of being one of the 68%.  I shared mine above, and I’d love for you to share yours here, on the Body Love Wellness facebook page, and anywhere else you desire!

Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Go to http://www.bodylovewellness.com/free to get your free download — Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!

7 thoughts on “Occupy Fat Street: We Are The 68%

  1. Except ”diets” really do work, unless your body somehow defies the laws of nature.
    And with diets I don’t mean the new fad diet, I mean a healthy food plan that’s been proven since the beginning of the earth.

    If you eat less calories than your maintenance, you’ll lose weight. If you eat more, you’ll gain it. It’s that simple. You don’t even need to excercise. Track your macronutrients and your calories. The common error most people do make in weight loss though is to either underestimate or overestimate the amount of calories they eat.
    It’s not even that hard, but it does take patience.

    Also I think every reasonable person agrees that BMI is a terrible standard for obesity. Going by BMI most bodybuilders are obese.

  2. The occupy movement in my town is aware of and responsive to issues of body fascism, like any other. After one or two members said something to me, I brought it up at a general assembly – and people were shocked that I would hear that (??!?!) and agreed that fat/body shaming was as unacceptable in our occupation as any other kind of oppression. What’s more… I didn’t hear any more of it. :) So not all lefties are clueless.

  3. Golda, what a perfect analogy. I was also glad to read your 68% rant. In addition to all the other harm that pushing diets on fat kids does, I wonder if it harms their critical thinking capacity. After all, if every adult those kids meet tells them that calories-in and calories-out is The Way to Health and Thinness, and then the usual course of events doesn’t bear that out, what does that mean for those kids’ reactions to other things adults tell them?

    On a more practical level, our allies at Occupy Healthcare could perhaps use a visit from us so that we can add our voices to how we think healthcare can be changed to meet all our needs. See http://occupyhealthcare.net/2011/11/why-we-need-to-occupy-healthcare-now/. It really doesn’t surprise me when the usual suspects get it wrong, but when we hear our allies talking about the obesity catastrophe as our country’s biggest health problem, then I think we should – courteously! – try to educate them further on that topic.

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