I have a friend I love more than just about anything. He mentioned his dad is having health issues. The dad asked my friend to make art that includes the dad’s weight–the number of how many pounds he weighs. Then the dad will look at that art and use it as motivation for intentional weight loss.
I feel compassion for health issues and death fears. But intentional weight loss is usually self-loathing, self-deprivation, starvation, and torture, emotionally and physically. Also, it’s not even effective, around 95% of the time.
It makes a lot more sense to try other health measures, than intentional weight loss to increase health. Pouring energy into something that’s not effective 95% of the time is not a good idea. Intentional weight loss is a decoy.
what helps me
Reducing my stress load is important to my health–keeping stress as low as possible. Asking for help, like asking to be checked in on, or co-working–help with difficult tasks. Enjoyable movement such as riding a bike or trike, swimming, yoga, or walking. Pleasure is good for health, as motivation to live: sex, music, massage, art, things to look forward to, stimulating ideas.
Mental health is important–I love radical mental health, for healing and community. Eating foods I love helps my health–rice, pesto, asparagus, pine nuts. Wearing comfortable clothes makes me happy. Rest, kindness, smiles. Learning and changing.
My well-being is a complicated mess of factors, and my weight is a small part of that. Some people zoom in on weight and decide it’s everything. But health is not a number on a scale.
My friend’s dad is sacred to me. He contributed to the formation of my friend. I would like to honor him. I’ve never met him, but I love him for helping create this friend I love like crazy.
I wish he could live forever as a happy person, on his terms, getting what he needs. Imaginarily, I’m sitting with him right now, holding his hand. If he think his fatness is killing him, I would listen to that. Frustrations, struggles, emotional pain, physical pain. I would feel his soul force, as I held his hand, and offer him a tissue.
Then I would ask him what he does all day. We could write down his schedule of a typical day. Is there a disconnect between what he actually does and what he wants to do? How can we help him move toward the life he’s longing for?
Does he need more pleasure, help, freedom, touch, ideas, money, humor, balance? Does he have access to nature, social support, medical assistance on his terms? Is he sleeping ok? What are his fears? What makes him most happy?
We could draw a picture of what he wants. Together we could do something right then to move him toward that better life. We could list three things he could prioritize and do for his well-being the next day. I could ask him how I could help, and I could be there for him.
In my fantasy, the dad comes over to my house. We sit in the beautiful garden. He tells me how it’s going. I listen to him cry some more, if needed.
A hummingbird comes by to sip nectar from a flower. A bee comes to investigate. We laugh about time, or how funny it is, our different loves for his son brought us together as friends.
Too bad I couldn’t have done any of that for my own dad. He wouldn’t have listened to me if I had two PhDs, a million dollars, a life coaching business, and had given him six adoring white grandchildren. He knew everything, obviously. Until he died of an overdose.
It wasn’t fatness, heart problems, a stroke, diabetes, smoking, what he ate, or how little he exercised, that killed my dad. It was suicide. A lot of people die of feelings. He didn’t express what was going on for him inside, but killing himself expressed it pretty well. But then there was no way to help him anymore.
I am a fat person and love myself as I am. My weight is one factor of my well-being. It’s a crumb of my well-being pie.
Being fat hasn’t physically almost killed me, but it’s almost killed me because of how I’m treated socially. Being treated poorly for being fat is what’s hurt me, not the fatness itself.
Studies saying fatness is unhealthy don’t take into account that being shamed by doctors makes people avoid doctors, which causes problems. Simple health issues turn into huge illness, disease, and pain, when someone has been traumatized by mainstream medicine. And shame itself is bad for health.
Fatness is viewed simplistically–fat is unhealthy, and thin in healthy. Of course–everyone knows that. But wait. It’s pretty easy to see that thin people can be unhealthy, and fat people can be ok. The whole thought train is suspect, and I’m not going for a ride that will destroy me.
I’m going to be happy today, and nothing can make me hate me. Doctors, friends, being shamed on the internet, the good intentions of my family members. My weight measures how heavy I am on this planet. On other planets, I would have a different weight.
My smile can’t be weighed, or the gravity of my ideas. The kindness of my hug is immeasurable. No one would quantify my life force. It’s beaming out pretty brilliant.
Thank you to every cell of my body. Thank you to every pound of me. I love you unconditionally. You are always ok. You are a good body. You’ve done so much for me. Thank you, beautiful body.