Thin Doesn’t Equal Wellness

People who fat-shame others claim that being heavy is unhealthy. They say that being thin means that you are healthy.  The research does NOT support their opinion. These fat-shamers are so turned off by the appearance of fat that they deny research and statistical evidence that goes against their beliefs. They use their beliefs to bully heavier people claiming that shaming them will motivate them to lose weight.

They are wrong on two counts:

  • Dieting FAILS to make people lose and maintain weight loss 
  • Shaming and bullying actually has been shown to make people feel so awful about themselves that they end up eat even more

Unhealthy Food Choices

It's been estimated that about 42.4 percent of the population is considered obese. Does that mean that only fat people eat McDonalds french fries and other "unhealthy" food choices? 


But the thin percentage of the population has a faster metabolism allows them to eat and not gain weight. They won the Metabolism Lottery! This is their lucky genetic predisposition. My friends (below) eat twice as much as I have.They drink beer, and other alcohol. They eat sugar and gluten. They eat pizza. And on occasion, they even go out to McDonald's and have french fries fried in crappy oil. They have maintained their thin bodies for decades. and one (on the left) has never exercised in the 30 years I know her. They are both very thin. Or, like I always said about my dear friend Yolanda (on the right side) that she had a TAPE-WORM that ate all her food!

But only half of the population that is fat is blamed for their food choices. This is simply not so! 

Thin people are just assumed to eat less and exercise more. Not true! 

thin friend who never exercises and loves beer standing next to a formerly compulsive dieter
Thin + fat exercise friends Lianda & Yolanda

Heavier People Live Longer!

“Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeatedly find the lowest mortality rates among people whose body mass index puts them in the “overweight” and “mildly obese” categories. And recent research suggests that losing weight doesn’t actually improve health biomarkers such as blood pressure, fasting glucose, or triglyceride levels for most people.”

Thin People Who Can't Gain Weight

I have just read a number of posts from thin people who claim they "can't gain weight". They say that they are couch-potatoes and that they eat junk food. I am not advocating eating unhealthy food (whatever that is!- there are differing opinions about this). 

The interesting thing is that people who respond to their question about why they can't gain weight just fall back to that old excuse: "Eat more, and Exercise Less". But that doesn't work when your body wants to stay thin. Just like dieting doesn't work when your body is meant to be bigger - OR...

Dieting Makes You Gain Weight

If you never diet your body will take care of your weight. Dieting is what slows down your metabolism and makes you eventually regain the weight you lost and add additional pounds! 

Your body is more sophisticated that the most powerful computer when it comes to balancing your energy expended vs. your calorie intake!

Metabolic rate set point quote from Health At Every Size, by Linda Bacon

Stress Causes Dieting

Being dissatisfied with your body or actively hating your body and is STRESSFUL. Your body is feeling attacked even when it comes from your own thoughts! 

WHY did you gain weight in the first place?

WHY did you start over-eating (if that was the reason that you gained). People don’t over-eat because they are hungry. They over-eat because they are using food as self-medication; or as a drug for stress. It’s even called “comfort food”. But it doesn’t help when you stuff your feelings with food!

And, for those who didn’t over-eat? What caused your weight gain in the first place? Were you a caregiver, did you lose your job, your relationship…? STRESS causes a change in your biology. It makes your body feel “unsafe”, and starts the cascading changes that stop proper digestion and metabolism of your food.

Robert Sapolsky, PhD. in his book, Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers, explains that even baboons get belly fat in response to stress. WHY won’t diet professionals pay attention and STOP BLAMING overweight people for deliberately causing their own overweight problem? Over-eating is a SYMPTOM, not a cause of overweight! 

It is CLEAR that stress affects the metabolism: and stress is a primary factor in economically challenged or poor people; stress is the factor in epi-genetic findings that the pregnant mother’s stress level affects the fetus; stress is a factor in the ACE studies of childhood upbringing; and stress is the factor in people being rejected and scorned and laughed at by society.

Stress about your appearance is probably what caused you to start dieting in the first place. And that locked you into a revolving door that is hard to escape. 

revolving door of dieting-lose weight-gain weight - diet again

Accept the Facts

The worst thing is when YOU BELIEVE that you created this problem in yourself. Anti-fat brainwashing and gaslighting are so pervasive that you must consciously work to start believing and acting upon these facts that:

  • You are not going to get sick because you have a larger body
  • Dieting does NOT achieve the goal of losing and maintaining weight- even if you make a "lifestyle" change.
  • Restricting foods and dieting creates weight cycling (yo-yoing) and is actually WORSE for your physical and mental health than simply accepting where you are at in your weight.
  • Dieting is STRESSFUL for your body and your mind
  • You have no reason to apologize for your weight
  •  You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity
  •  YOU must start by TREATING YOURSELF and your body with respect and dignity.
  • You become assertive and educate others to stop "trying to help you" by making mean comments, discriminating or treating you differently than THEY want to be treated as a smaller bodied person.

A thin body is not necessarily a healthy body. A fat body is not an unhealthy body. Once you know these facts you will be empowered to feel better about yourself and eat like you want! 

Learn more of these facts from the founder of Health At Every Size, Lindo Bacon.

Empower yourself ! 

Body Respect book cover by Lindo Bacon


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