Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds going Cobra Kai: Healing obesity shame is not about fat acceptance

 I'm going to say some things that might shock and anger my blog followers. Healing obesity is not about fat acceptance. Loving your body doesn't mean ignoring weight gain. I didn't get overweight because of body shaming but overeating and lack of self-control. I lost 100 pounds by going Cobra Kai and "sweeping the leg" out from under bad habits. 

Did I just read that right, you may wonder. Is she actually saying we shouldn't love ourselves as we are, warts and all? Is she validating fat shaming? Yes (sort of) and no. Love of self (as in healthy self-esteem) and the resulting self-care are essential no matter what the body size. But accepting being 50-100 (etc) overweight is not self love. It's deadly self-delusion that only gets bigger, louder and worse. That does NOT validate fat shaming. No one gets to do that. And body shaming obesity is just bullying. And if I fat shame myself, I'm bullying myself. 

Having said that, a qualified physician labelling someone overweight or obese is not bullying. This has come up on episodes of "My 600-lb Life." Dr. Now is accused, by patients seeking bariatric surgery, of body shaming. Shaming is making fun of; addressing potentially lethal health issues like obesity is good doctoring. It's his job. 

So too, recognizing that I'm overweight, doesn't translate to lack of self-love. It's not auto-shaming. Accepting that I need to lose weight and following healthy methods of calorie restricting (like the "My 600-lb Life" 1200 calorie diet) is just common sense. 

There is a prevailing myth that being told you need to lose weight is body shaming. Which it is, if it's just random unsolicited advice such as Valerie Bertinelli was given by a internet commenter recently. This is wrong for many reasons. No one knows for certain what is a healthy body weight for another person. Sometimes not even a doctor. The infamous BMI can be very arbitrary and inaccurate. However, it's a smallish margin of error, say 10-25 pounds, not 40 to 50+ overweight. Even then in Valerie Bertinelli's case, it is still no one's business except a physician. And even then is should be handled with respect. 

The key issue here is self-awareness. And what is means to practice self-care. Accepting that I am very overweight, being okay with it and expecting others to say that my obesity is just fine, beautiful, healthy, etc. isn't self-care. As I said before, it's avoidant self-delusion. While no one can lose weight for you, nor should they make fun of you for needing to, it also isn't appropriate to affirm obesity as a healthy lifestyle. 

I know I seem to be dancing around what I'm trying to say. That's because the issue is complicated. I don't want to appear to be applauding fat shaming by dissing fat acceptance. The pivotal point is who is doing the accepting and how it's done. I should accept myself as I am, but also seek to be as healthy as I can be. I wouldn't turn a blind eye to cancer or Covid 19 if I had it. I'd work to take care of myself. Same with weight loss. No one can tell me to lose weight but if I really love myself, I'll work at it if I need to. 

I can accept and love myself as I am and still work to improve. Artists don't just slap paint on canvas and expect others to call it a masterpiece. They constantly work to perfect technique. And my way of perfecting my game was with weight loss. How I lost 100 pounds was going Cobra Kai, which I didn't even address, paragraphs later. But maybe you can see where I'm going with this. I'll delve deeper in my upcoming blog post. In closing, love yourself cuz I do and more importantly, God does. Be the best version of yourself you can be <3

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