Take Back Healthy Eating
I hate being complimented on my weight loss, real or perceived. I hate it as much as, if not more than, being criticized for weight gain.
The obvious reason is that I hate the intended insult. They think I look great NOW, after I lost some weight, but before, they couldn’t stand what a fat pig I was. Point that out, and people will deny it vociferously. Whether they like it or not, that’s the message being sent.
Something else I hate just as much is when people comment on stereotypically healthy habits. Whenever a fat person goes out for a jog or chooses a salad over some other, less morally upright option, people feel the need to comment on it. Usually, these comments involve some element of healthism or fat prejudice.
- Healthism — “Being good today?”
- Anti-fat douchebaggery — “Finally started that diet?”
Sorry, prejudice isn’t a strong enough word for that kind of comment.
The sad part is that most of these women are not what any rational person would consider fat. They are average, but they feel a pressing need to lose weight. Other people, instead of being a voice of reason, are joining in.
The idea that people choose healthy habits because they like them, not because they feel they need them, is something utterly foreign to some people. I choose that salad because I wanted it. I like lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, feta cheese, and vinaigrette together in one bowl. They were meant for each other, dude.
That, and the fact that fat people, like all people, need those nutrients. So that will entail eating a vegetable or two along the way. Just sayin’.
I don’t have much experience with the vegetarian or vegan communities, so maybe my idea of what it’s like isn’t correct. On the internet,* however, I see instance after instance of fat bigotry. People that “used to be fat” often credit veganism for their newfound slimness and blame the non-vegan junk diet that she perceives most people as eating.
Fat people who are bona fide veg/vegan might get told that they must be doing something wrong! They aren’t real veggies or that they have some sort of eating disorder. When someone takes up the veg lifestyle, I have often, personally, heard people comment that that person is trying to get healthy. Now, getting healthy can mean any number of different things, but as the conversation typically goes on, you know they are talking about weight loss.
When I hear comments about being good about food, it makes me want to feed my salad to some deer (we have a lot of those where I am) and go to McDonald’s. Except I don’t WANT to go to McDonald’s right now. I want something else.
So this is my message to the world: I don’t do healthy to please you. I don’t do it to preserve your tax dollars (or mine, since I do, in fact, work and pay taxes). I don’t do it to be thin. I do it because I want to. When I pick up that poor white-tailed deer’s dinner, I am not looking for comments from the peanut gallery. Okay?
I just want to eat this.
What about you. What do you like in the healthy food department? Do people comment on it when you choose those options? How do you respond?
*This is mostly on YouTube, so it might not be a representative sample.