I had such a blissful bike ride Sunday that I’ve been meaning to write about falling in love with exercise. Instead, this week I feel crushed under “The Weight of the Nation.”
Not crushed by its predicted impending adipose apocalypse, but by the fat-bashing already underway. In the PR blitz leading up to its release, the news headlines keep screaming louder and comment snark keeps getting nastier.
Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post piled on (trigger warning!), terrifying us with the prospect of 110 million obese people waddling around. Oh! Wait! They’re not waddling, they’re in the fast food drive-through line, where you always find them. (Are there no thin people eating fast food?)
And of course, probably 90%+ of the stories include a photo of someone’s fat torso, to elicit disgust. It’s the dreaded march of the Headless Horde -- and I am a member of it. I’m usually just shy of obese right out of the shower, but by the time I get clothes on my back and food in my belly -- the condition I’d be in for any official weigh-in at a doctor’s office -- I’m over the BMI 30 line. I'm not fat enough that someone is likely to photograph me without my permission and publish the image of my beheaded body, but I meet the definition.
I’m not out on the ramparts of health and size acceptance. I lurk around the edges, maybe share a link to a story on Facebook, comment on a few blogs and maybe write a post or two. But still, this latest round just makes me feel tired. It's hard not to feel drowned out amid the hysteria.
When the stories and comments fly, they are talking about me. I’m outside the proper box on the BMI chart. Columnists think they know my life trajectory of sloth and gluttony even though they do not know me.
So, in solidarity, all I can say is that I am not just a member of the Headless Horde, I declare myself a proud member. March on.