I have just engaged in my first act of overt FA activism.
This is a big deal for me. Even though I have been in FA for nearly three nears now or so, I haven’t actually ever had the courage to fight back against the standard narrative. I’m not a confrontational sort and Im not one to present myself as an expert when I cant back myself up. Instead, I’ve spent the last three years quietly absorbing everybody’s words; every linked study, every argument made, and every myth busted. When it came to being an activist, I simply refused to be a part of the normal dialouge. If someone wanted to talk about her diet, I simply put on my deaf face (blankey mcdead eyes) and said variations of “thats nice”. If someone wanted to snark on her body, I simply expressed my disagreement, and changed the topic or walked away. If someone attempted to moralize food, praise or judge my food, I simply said “I dont beleive in diets–food is food” and ate whatever I was eating, often looking at whomever annoyed me right in the eyes. That usually shut them up. (The one thing I have still not yet figured out how to handle is when someone says “I lost X pounds this week!” I don’t want to reward that statement with praise, but I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by dismissing them either. Right now, I just say “Thats nice.”)
Until today that was the extent of the activism I have been comfortable with.
Today though, a facebook friend of mine, who is VERY new to the whole FA concept after a lifetime of fighting with her body, and only recently resolved to stop dieting, learned from her doctor that her fasting blood sugar is 135, and is back on medifast. I nearly flipped. Instead I posted on my wall a link to “You Did Not Eat Your Way to Diabetes! and then I did something I hadnt done before; I started evangelizing, and y’all it FELT GREAT!
I dunno where this stuff came from or how I even remembered where to look for the stats I needed (thanks should probably go to Notblueatall for refreshing much of my memory with her post today) but because of everything I’ve learned through three years of reading FA blogs, I was able to tell my friend why she shouldn’t ever feel bad for getting diabetes:
NO NO NO, dont ever blame yourself for it! even the American Diabetes Association says you cannot eat your way to diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-myths/
A relevant quote: “Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight. “
Weight gain is only moderately correlated to diabetes, it is NOT a cause, but more likely to be a SYMPTOM of long term metabolic disorders. Only 18% of fat people have diabetes and (from webmd) “Of people with diabetes, 21.1% were obese, 9.8% overweight, 5% normal weight, and 4.2% underweight.”
Dont EVER let a doctor tell you that your eating caused your possible diabetes. Doctors are fat-phobes and brainwashed by big pharma. As for treating your blood sugar, all you need to do is moderate your carbs and exercize everyday. Improvements in health metrics resulting from weight loss alone are temporary–studies show that exercize is itself an effective regulator, and works long term regardless of weight. I’ll see if I can find the sources.
I’ve never been this “Activist” before, but Im glad I did, because now my friend is reading Kate Harding’s FAQ, and doesnt sound like she hates herself for having high blood sugar–a state she admits runs in both sides of her family. PEOPLE, DONT BLAME YOURSELF FOR YOUR GENETICS, COME ON NOW.
Do I feel ready to be more activist-y in the “real world”? I dunno, but I do feel ready to start rehearsing for it. And thats quite a thing to imagine–ME telling folks what’s what?