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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Does Losing Weight for Vanity Purposes Make You Bad? by A101

One of my issues with the fat movement is that they believe that wanting to get your body into a certain shape can only come from ‘hating yourself‘.

I have always found this statement ridiculous.

Its no different then saying ‘In order to want to improve/change/gain your education, you must first HATE your mind’.It is complete nonsense.

Why is it that in the fat movement eyes, the want to change things can only come from 'self hate'?

Here is a fact of life: We are NOT born at our full potential. Our potentials are there to be discovered, and the only way to discover them is to actively pursue them.

Other statements from the fat movement are ‘If you choose to lose weight, it means you think fat people are bad, that you think fat is not attractive, and therefore you hate fat people’.

And ‘People who lose weight due to looks, are simply giving in to societies idea of beauty’.

Again this is nonsense.

For one, saying that ‘wanting to lose weight simply means you are giving into societies idea of beauty’ is no different then saying ‘By revising for exams/improving your education, you are simply conforming to societies idea of intelligence’.

The other problem with the line: ‘People who lose weight due to looks, are simply giving in to societies idea of beauty’ is this:By stating this line it is basically implying that NOBODY in their right, honest, working mind, could actually well and truly want this for themselves.It is basically implying you can only either:
A) Truly NOT want it

Or

B) Be brainwashed into wanting it

In other words, nobody could ever make an informed decision that they could want this for themselves.

Now my question is: What is wrong with wanting your body to be athletic/well muscled/trim, with a healthy low body fat level?

I know that not everyone can be a ‘Baywatch babe/hunk’, and that not everyone would want that look (because there is NO look that EVERYONE finds attractive, only looks that are more popular then others), but it is equally untrue that nobody could possibly want to give their body a certain look, or achieve it as best as they can.

I 100% believe that nobody should be made too, or made to feel like they have too, look a certain way. But that does NOT mean that it is wrong if a person chooses for themselves that they want to have a trimmer body.

If we go back to this line: ‘If you choose to lose weight, it means you think fat people are bad, that you think fat is not attractive, and therefore you hate fat people’ the problems with this statement stick out like a sore thumb.

We ALL want different things for ourselves. We all strive for different things from education, from work, from life itself. And we also ALL strive for different things from our body.

It is also a fact of life that physical attraction exists and that it is perfectly human to feel this, whether you want to admit it or not.

And some people will want to gain a trimmer physique as this is what is (and throughout all time, whilst other looks have come and gone) found to be attractive by most.

A good analogy for the fat movements views on losing body fat is:Not everyone for example is born athletic. But there are people who are. Other people on the other hand are born with absolutely no athletic ability. But does it mean that they ‘hate themselves’ if they work hard to improve/gain athletic ability? Does it mean they ‘hate’ non-athletic people because they themselves are trying too become/working on becoming athletic?

Would it have been better if they just sat on the side lines and ‘accepted’ that they had no natural athletic ability, and therefore come to the (wrong) conclusion that they therefore could never possibly have any? And tell themselves that if they did try, the only way they could gain any athletic ability was to train for 12 hours a day until they were sick and collapsed?

Would that have been better?

Could there be no way that a person could actually want athletic ability? That the only way they could want it was if they were ‘brainwashed’?

That if a person wants athletic ability, its because they hate themselves and so are conforming to society because a lot of society likes sports?

If this were true, it would mean that nobody could ever play a sport because they themselves like it?

It is a fact that some people will like the look of an athletic body, and they will want to achieve one for themselves as best they can.

People, as I said, shouldn’t be made to feel they have to look a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who won’t want to work to try and achieve, to the best of their ability, a certain look.

In my opinion it shouldn’t be about stopping people who want to lose weight from losing weight, or encouraging people to do whatever it takes to be ‘thin’.

It should be about people deciding the look they like, whether they are happy as the are, or wanting to become trimmer/more muscular/more athletic or just lose a few extra pounds, and making sure they get there the HEALTHY way.

Yes losing weight should always be about health first, and you shouldn’t do things to your body that will damage it for the sake of physical appearance.

But another fact of life is this:Getting in shape, and being happy and healthy are NOT mutually exclusive.

And gaining the look you want, as best you can, does NOT mean sacrificing your health.

If what you are doing to look good is damaging your health, that means you are doing it WRONG.

Getting into shape is meant to make your life better!!

Getting into shape comes from:
: Sensible resistance training. Building the muscles in your body and strengthening them
: Sensible cardiovascular training, improving your bodies lung power, heart and circulatory systems
: Eating healthy foods throughout the day, not from starvation. To keep burning calories your body needs to gain muscle. Starving yourself causes your body to BURN muscle.It does not come from:

: Eating like a rabbit
: Training in the gym until your between life and death
: Expecting 10 years of weight gain to disappear in a matter of weeks

The term ‘95% of diets fail’ comes from FAD DIETS, which are temporary, require drastic drops in calories, and often don’t include exercise, or at least any exercise that will benefit your muscles or go to the other extreme with monumental workouts that wreck your body and don't geive the muscles adequate time (or nutrition) to recovery.

The term is NOT talking about programs incorporating exercise and healthy nutrition into your life, for life!

The way to gain weight back is to stop what you are doing and return to old habits, which is exactly what happens when people end a diet (as they are temporary, and virtually impossible to maintain for life).

THAT is why 95% of diets fail. NOT because there is NO way to maintain weightloss, but because ‘diets’ are temporary quick fixes that promise monumental weight losses from weight that took years to accumulate, and often encourage unhealthy means in order to get there.

This is also where the ‘dieting is dangerous’ phrase comes from.

Again it is not talking about sensible resistance and cardio training, with a healthy eating plan, but the fad diets.

But the fat movement makes out there’s is no difference. That EVERYTHING to do with losing weight is a trick to get you on a fad, starvation diet, that you can only be fat and happy or thin, hungry and miserable, and that anyway of losing weight is unhealthy because there is ‘no way to maintain weight loss’, which is again ignoring the aforementioned importance of gaining muscle, sensible resistance and cardio training, rest and recuperation and healthy food.

As far as I am concerned, weight loss for ‘vanity reasons’ is not bad, as people like different looks, be it with bodies, hair, make-up, clothing, etc, or different activates, different music, different shows, different beliefs and different lifestyles.

Some people think anything to do with looks is ‘sad’, and that’s fine if they believe that is right for their life. But that does not change the fact that physical attraction is a human need for most people (and a natural and normal one, not an ‘immature’ one).

People should NOT be forced to look a certain way, or be trimmer, but at the same time that does NOT mean that NO-ONE can make a decision that they like a certain look, and therefore want to achieve it, or as best as they can.

What should be focused on is that if someone wants to achieve a certain look, they should be going about it in a healthy way and setting small realistic goals for themselves.

A 350lb man saying ‘I want a six-pack’ is too much at the current point the is at. His goal should first be to change his lifestyle and exercise patterns to incorporate exercise and healthy nutrition, introduce them slowly, and build up his bodies response to this new stimulation, then work on maybe losing 5lbs of fat as his first goal, and go from there.

We all have potential, and we don’t know how far we can go.

If this 350lb man sticks with his programme, is realistic about his goals, and takes it one step at a time, and above all realises that his weight gain took a long time to accumulate, therefore it is unrealistic to assume it will come off in no time at all, but that it will make his rewards all the sweeter when his targets come into view, then who knows where he can go?

Until you go for it and really stick with it, you don’t know where your potential will take you.

We all have limits, but those limits and how far our potential can go are to be discovered.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is taking it one step at a time and improving bit by bit. Don’t go around telling yourself what you can’t do, FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN!!

So many have surprised themselves in all areas of life by surpassing what they believed they could.

Even Olympic athletes didn’t know they were going to get to that level. They worked hard, kept going and took the path to discovering their potential and it lead them to greatness.

At any point the could have said ‘I’ll never do it’ and stopped, and I have no doubt there were times when they wanted to quit, or others told them they couldn’t do it, but persevering is what separates them from those who give up.

Not everyone could be an Olympic athlete, but then again no-one knows if they can be until they try.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve a certain body, it absolutely does not mean that you ‘hate’ those who don’t have it, or those who have the same type of body that you yourself are trying to change.

Just like as mentioned, wanting to improve your education doesn’t mean you hate people who are at the level of education you are trying to leave.

And working to earn money doesn’t mean you hate those who have the same amount of money that you have now.

We all like different things. Wanting a certain look does not equal ‘conforming to society’, any more then the education analogy I used earlier.

People should not be forced or pressured to look a certain way, but that doesn’t mean people should be forced or pressured to not make changes that they themselves choose to make, or labelled ‘sell outs’ because of it.

And this includes for physical attraction. Some people like certain looks and therefore want to achieve them.

Physical attraction plays a part in many relationships.

And when choosing to lose body fat you can do it for more than one reason. You can have a whole host. Its not a choice between lose body fat for yourself or lose body fat for your partner etc.

It can be for every and any reason. To make yourself fitter, stronger and healthier, to improve quality of sex lives, which therefore improves quality in other areas (needing sex is not immature, it’s a natural adult need), to achieve a look you like, to give you more energy to cope with children or stress easier etc.

Your reasons are your reasons.

Wanting to lose bodyfat/gain muscle for ‘vanity purposes’ is not wrong, it does not make you hateful of others, and it does not make you ‘brainwashed’.

Make your choices, just make sure you are healthy when you execute your choices and decisions, take it one step at a time, and remember to work to improve, but also enjoy what you have already achieved.

Find your potential, DO NOT tell yourself you have none! (or that there's nothing you can do


A101 wrote this for his blog Delving into the World of Pro-Fat

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