When Good Ideas Go Too Far

The first time I heard about the fat acceptance movement, it was about people who were tired of being treated as less than simply because they were overweight. Now, obesity is often a choice, but no one deserves to be treated as second-class citizens because of something like that.

Fat acceptance activists said they wanted to change all of that.

So far, so good. A group of people seeking what many might think to be a noble goal.

However, since that time, things have changed. It’s not that people want fat folks to be accepted as equals, they want to degrade anything that might hint that obesity isn’t perfectly normal, acceptable, and even healthy.

Yeah, healthy.

In fact, if you’re overweight and you’re trying to trim down, there are people who will say that act alone is fatphobic.

Take this image I saw on Sargon of Akkad’s Facebook:

Of course, there is evidence we can control our size long-term. The problem is that too many of us simply stop doing the things needed in order to do so. There’s no genetic component, it’s simply an artifact of living in a world where the worst things in the world for controlling your weight also happen to be the most easily accessible.

This, of course, was made worse by COVID-19. Suddenly, we were being told to stay at home. Gyms were one of the worst-hit by shutdown orders and home workout equipment became as scarce as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Plus, going to the grocery store was scary for a lot of people, but Door Dash and Uber Eats? Not as much.

So, a lot of people put on even more weight.

It’s what happened to me.

Share

See, I’d dropped about 70 pounds by controlling my diet. I worked out off and on—nowhere nearly like I should have, but I did work out—and the weight came off. It was hard work, but it happened.

While I’d gone into something of a holding pattern, I was still in a much healthier place. (Bear with me. All of this will be important in a bit.)

COVID didn’t help me maintain where I was, especially since there were grocery store trips when you were just happy to get food the whole family would eat, even if it wasn’t particularly low-calorie.

Now, I put a lot of that weight back on. It’s hard to get back into the habits that helped me lose the weight, but it’s time to do it anyway.

You see, Saturday night, I had a bit of a scare. My blood sugar crashed and crashed hard. I collapsed to the floor shortly after a fundraiser for the local community theater my wife and I work with.

This was just days after my wife’s uncle died of a brain hemorrhage, so needless to say, it really freaked her out. Now, I’m fine and all that. I’m not telling you this for sympathy.

Instead, I’m telling you this so you understand exactly why I find so much of this so-called fat acceptance stuff so problematic. It’s not that I don’t think that people with a higher than average BMI are horrible people or that they should be dumped upon by others.

No, it’s because this same movement has gone from telling folks that the overweight should be treated fairly and has decided to actively discourage people from losing weight, regardless of the reason.

This is a problem for me since my regained weight likely contributed to the blood sugar crash. It wasn’t the totality, but it likely contributed. Especially if it turns out that I’m now diabetic—something I’ve been tested for before, even after having similar crashes, and there was nothing that showed up in the tests—then my weight likely played a major factor.

Oh, I don’t blame the fat acceptance crowd for my increased weight. No, not at all.

But I do blame them for the significant number of people who may die because they’re so scared of being fatphobic that they absolutely refuse to lose weight when they need to.

See, when you start to demonize behavior, there are people who will refuse to undertake that behavior, even if they’re told that behavior will save their lives. This is especially true if they’re activists. Someone who agitates for a given thing and turns their back on that thing, they might start getting death threats, even if they say they’re doing it for health reasons.

Even if they’re not, though, they may be so scared of being a bad person, it’ll keep them from listening. Especially since there’s been a fair bit of doctor demonization as well.

Yes, doctors will tell patients to lose weight, often while seemingly ignoring what you went in there for. However, sometimes, it’s because the weight may make diagnosis almost impossible. Others, the weight may actually be the problem. Activists claim that’s not the case, but they’re activists, not doctors.

And yes, some doctors are jackasses, too. That’s certainly a thing. There do seem to be some people who may have a higher than acceptable BMI and seem to be perfectly healthy, yet the doctors still want to ride them about the weight, thus making them less likely to seek medical attention.

Yes, that’s a thing.

But with the groundwork laid, people may well get sick and die because they’ve been told there’s nothing wrong with their weight, that they can have all that extra weight and still be healthy, which may be true. But then it becomes that they are still healthy, no matter what, even if the lab results say otherwise.

And tools like in the above picture are part of why this happens.

Oh, they think they’re doing good, but they’re not. They’re not just providing excuses for people who simply don’t want to lose weight but are actively discouraging people who need to lose weight from doing so.

They cost people their lives.

Yet this isn’t the only time we’ve seen this. Feminism started as equal rights for women, now it’s a female superiority ideology that seeks to upend the social order without any regard to why that order exists in the first place. Anti-racism efforts started to try and combat racism, but now have become black identitarianism.

So much of what the left touches has turned to crap in just this way. I don’t know if it’s the grifters or if this is simply the natural order of things. I don’t really even care, truth be told.

What starts with good goals gets co-opted or corrupted into something I have a hard time believing sane people could actually buy into.

Meanwhile, the irony? They close off so many people from the actual problems that do exist that they undermine their own cause.

In the process, though, they also hurt the people they want to help, and that may be worse than anything else they could do.