Fat is Misunderstood

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Just a brief rundown of thoughts on fat: I think it is misunderstood. For one thing, we need fat in our diets. Many of our important hormones (not just the ones that make us drool over hot bodies in the sun) are made of cholesterol, which comes from fat. And let's face it, some fat makes a woman shapely. There are even now "good fats" and "bad fats" based on whether our bodies do something helpful versus something destructive with them. Is fat stigmatized? Yes. But it is sad to stigmatize folks due to something they may have very little control over.

I prefer, if the subject comes up with someone, to focus on the health aspects of having too much or too little rather than get sucked into an arena fraught with self-image and judgemental criticms. That stuff is like some crazy self-perpetuating badness: "I eat because I feel bad. I'm fat because I eat too much. I feel bad because I'm fat. I eat because I feel bad..." The health aspects are so much less personal and can be more pressing when someone you love's health is at greater and greater risk. Do I love my XXXX less because they are overweight? Of course not. Do I worry more about them because they are at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, needing all sorts of surgeries, etc.? Absolutely.

Myself? I cycle through fatter and thinner stages- plump in winter, fit in summer. Sure I feel a little bad if I look in the mirror and see I'm not in my 20s anymore, but then I out some clothes over it and go on my way. I guess I'm more motivated by health than by censure myself if it comes to it. Usually.

Created: Apr 23, 2014

Tags: prose, essay

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