Dear world: My apologies.
Here I go, telling you about Fat Talk Free Week, thinking it’s this lovely group-hug thing. Where women could stop hating themselves and maybe focus on their health, not their jeans size. Boy was I wrong.
Because actually? It’s going to kill you.
Thank God this press release found its way into my inbox, to set me straight.
America is once again running from the obesity epidemic. Today marks the start of “Fat Talk Free Week.” It’s a five-day national public awareness effort, intended to draw attention to the damaging impact of fat talk and the “thin ideal” on today’s women.
Mental Toughness expert Steve Siebold, author of the book Die Fat or Get Tough; 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People, calls it ridiculous, and says this is just another chance for America to ignore the obesity problem.
- Not talking about the problem is only going to make it ten times worse. People need to hear that they’re fat so they’ll finally do something about it once and for all.
- Society loves to blame everyone but themselves. It’s the food manufacturers, restaurants, portion sizes, cortisol and thyroid glands. The truth is if you’re fat it’s your own fault.
- Fat people lie to themselves – fit people are brutally honest. Fat Talk Free Week is another example of fat people lying to themselves.
- People need to grow up emotionally, make a diet and exercise plan, get mentally tough and stick to it once and for all.
Siebold speaks from experience. He was once a “fat tub of lard” as he says. But after attending a wedding and people he hadn’t seen in years didn’t recognize him, he got tough. He lost the weight and today is in the best shape of his life.
Let me know if I can put you in touch with Siebold as you cover Fat Talk Free Week. He says he’s out to save as many people as he can from an early grave, but not talking about the problem is not the solution.
So everyone, please. Get off the computer right this second. Go outside and find as many fat people as you can and tell them how fat they are. They probably live without mirrors or human contact and have no earthly idea.
Then be sure to tell yourself how fat you are. Emphasize that this is entirely your own stupid fault. Being brutally honest burns calories.
Ignore the fact that Fat Talk Free Week began in college sororities, a population with higher rates of crash diets and eating disorders than obesity. One in five college-age women diets “always” or “often” and 35 percent of those dieters will progress to pathological dieting or eating disorders.
Ignore all the data on the role of weight bias in both eating disorders and obesity.
Certainly, ignore public health researchers like Peter Muennig, Columbia University, whose research shows that the more dissatisfied you are with your weight, the more health problems you report. “The obesity ‘epidemic’ might have a lot more to do with our collective preoccupation with obesity than obesity itself,” Dr. Muennig told Reuters Health in 2008. “We still need to focus on healthy diet and exercise as public health officials, but we need to take fatness out of the equation. Were we to stop looking at body fat as a problem, the problem may well disappear.” (Via Dances with Fat.)
Because that’s just all a big conspiracy plot, hatched by the (Fat) Powers That Be, to keep you feeling good about yourself, when you could be consuming a steady diet of rice cakes and self-loathing, just like our new friend, Steve.
PS. Yup, I usually do redact names in Fun with Press Releases. Only this one is so very un-fun, I want you to know exactly what book to never, ever buy.