If You’re Purposely Losing Weight, You’re Fatphobic?!?

Being Fatphobic
13 May

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

This is perhaps among the most idiotic things I’ve ever seen. Well, over the past three months anyway. And keep in mind, I grew up in the 80s. Did you know that if you’re purposely losing weight, you’re fatphobic? After reading articles and watching TikTok, all I can do is sigh…deeply.

I think it’s crazy that people are getting so much hate simply because they wanted to be healthy.

From celebrity superstars such as Adele, to lesser-known creators on TikTok such as Mark Gaetano, it’s mind-boggling to see the backlash these people get.

I can only assume it’s because these stars are no longer representative of those who are overweight. This leads to the feeling of betrayal, which causes people to lash out.

However, spewing hate at someone for losing weight and calling them fatphobic shows just how sad a lot of people are in the world.

The Problem with the term, “Fatphobic”

As a writer, I HATE when people co-opt the term “phobia” as a way to denote and push the definition of “bigotry.”

A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of something. For example, arachnophobia is a fear of spiders, and I know people who intensely break down over the eight-legged freaks.

One person I know, in particular, becomes petrified from fear and cannot move.

Losing weight, even if it’s purely for cosmetic reasons, is NOT a phobia of being fat. It’s simply a personal choice. The person losing weight isn’t harming anyone, and most don’t rub it in and point fingers at fat people.

When you think about it, calling someone a fat bastard simply because he is overweight isn’t necessarily a fatphobic statement either. It’s bigoted and rooted in douchebaggery, but it’s still not an intense fear.

I blame our educational system.

Now, something like coulrophobia is quite real. This is when people have extreme and irrational reactions to seeing clowns. This can be anything from extreme discomfort and stress to a full-on emotional breakdown.

That, my friends, is a fear.

And in case you’re wondering, I don’t have an intense fear of clowns, but I do get incredibly aggressive when they are nearby. I guess my fight or flight response leans more towards, “I’m gonna hurt ya if you make a wrong move.”

It’s more of a distrust than a fear.

Losing Weight Has Very Little to Do with Being Fatphobic

OK, back to losing weight. Sorry, I could do an entire book on how phobias actually work and why a lot of people on social media need to go back to school.

Striving for a slimmer physique doesn’t always have to center around looking good or trying to get “thirst” likes on Instagram. Sure, a lot of us would love to be looked at a certain way. However, the benefits of being healthy go well beyond an appearance.

Simon Miller does a great rant about fatphobia on his YouTube channel, by the way. It almost makes me want to do a few myself. Because I have a lot I could rant about.

Physically Capable of Much More

One of my favorite stories is when I picked up a 50-pound bag of dog food with one arm and thought I grabbed the wrong size because it was easier to lift. Nope, I was just stronger than I had been in the past.

That’s one of the great highlights of lifting weights and exercising…you’re capable of doing so much more than before.

Let’s go beyond lifting weights, though. I have more stamina, which means I can sustain physical activities for much longer. I don’t have to keep stopping when shoveling the snow, I can get more yard work done in a day, and I don’t get as winded when walking up a slight incline.

And stairs don’t pose a single threat – unless it’s people standing on an escalator. That’s a rant of its own.

Saving Money On Virtually Everything

One thing people seem to gloss over is how losing weight and being healthy can actually save you tons of money throughout the year. For example, you’ll spend less on:

  • Food.
    This is a bit of a given depending on how much you pack away every day. I’m actually setting up a case study on how much food costs to lose weight.
  • Hospital visits.
    People who are fit are more resistant to injury. Even many current pains can be dealt with by exercising instead of popping pills.
  • Insurance premiums.
    A lot of insurance companies will give you discounts for being healthy. That’s because the risk to them is decreased.
  • Clothing.
    How often do you have to buy special, oversized clothes because you can’t find what you’re looking for in town?
  • Home additions.
    Ramps, oversized tubs, larger showers, railings, wider doors, and more can run quite a bit, especially for the morbidly obese.
  • Yes, even Gasoline.
    The less weight a vehicle has to tow around, the less fuel it’ll need to get up to speed. That’s just physics. It comes down to forward momentum vs load and how much energy is needed to move an object.

These are just the things off the top of my head.

Improved Mindset and Mood

There are a lot of studies out there that solidify how exercise improves your mood. Perhaps that’s why so many people jump on the fatphobic-calling bandwagon…they’re simply unhappy people.

No matter how you spin it, though, health and fitness can lead to reduced levels of stress and a more pleasant demeanor.

Speaking from experience, I know I am more alert, productive, and in a better mood after my morning fitness routines. Even something like a 15 to 30-minute walk can be greatly beneficial to face the day.

Gotta get those endorphins flowin’.

Not Dying

Perhaps the most vital element of why I started losing weight is because I don’t want to die. After my heart stopped a few years ago, it lit a bit of a fire under my ass.

Think about this; heart disease is still the leading cause of death here in the United States. Obesity is one of the biggest contributors to that statistic.

The problem I see, especially with a lot of social “influencers,” is how some think having clean blood work proves they are healthy. In reality, there is a lot of damage that comes from obesity that will never show in a blood panel.

No, You’re Not Fatphobic for Losing Weight

Just because you want to slim down, for any reason, you are not being fatphobic. It’s nothing more than a personal choice. Would these people be OK if I called them, “fitphobic?”

So, keep in mind that when someone tries to call you out for being healthy, the statement says more about their mental health than it does yours.

Don’t placate to the sad and pathetic people who want you as miserable as they are just so that you’re relatable. Those who really care about you will always be in your corner.

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