I have been watching this whole “Obesity is a disease” thing for days now, and this post from the Anti-Jared was the catalyst that helped me vocalize how I feel about it.
I think his post was thought provoking and well written, but I think I have to respectfully disagree. Or rather…well, hear me out.
I, too, have obesity, and a lot of what his post talked about, I can relate to. But I disagree that obesity is the disease. I believe obesity is a symptom, and now that obesity is classified as a disease, I’m afraid that it will be even more difficult for people to get help figuring out the actual issue.
When I talk to people about my current changes, I basically say “I just eat less junk and move more.” This is basically true. But I don’t talk about (and maybe I should), the things that had to happen for me to get to that point.
When you ask people who’ve lost appreciable amounts of weight, or made other health related life changes, you’ll get a vast array of different answers. For some people, it’s ketogenic eating, for others it’s a raw food diet, for still others it’s running every day, or zumba, or whatever. I think that right there should make it pretty plain that obesity itself is not the problem.
The statement, “I will always have obesity.” Is the part I have trouble with, I think. Because I don’t believe for a moment that I will “always have obesity”. Because the obesity is not the problem, has not ever been the problem in my life. The problem, in my life, has always been a soul deep sense of failure, of hating-my body specifically, but myself as well, of being the never-ending butt of the joke, and of being a disappointment to everyone I love. The problem, in my life, has always been far more in my head than in my body.
I think, for me, that I only have obesity until my BMI is under 30 (then I will just have “overweight”, heh.), or whatever other measurement of my body’s health we use.
I believe that I cured the disease when I first understood what it actually means to love myself. All this fat loss, and new habit trailblazing? This is recovery, baby.
In the end, the fact that we’re having these conversations, and that we all have so many different opinions about why we are or were fat is a good thing, because it gives people who are maybe just at the point of being ready to do something, lots of different ideas and things that work, so that maybe it’ll be easier for folks to find what works for them. And I hope it gives decent doctors the incentive to look beyond the fat, and find out why. I think *that* is when we will get a hand on the “Obesity Epidemic”.