#IAmNotADisease roundup, part 3

There’s been so much good writing on the internet in response to the AMA’s decision to label “obesity” a disease.

1.) Lesley Kinzel, as usual, has a great analysis.

The point I like best actually comes from one of her comments:

The metabolic issues that the AMA is so eager to attribute to ALL obese people are not, in fact, exclusive to the fat. They happen to people of different sizes, and plenty of fat people never develop them. If we want to name a disease, maybe we should be researching how metabolic syndrome evolves and how it influences and is influenced by body size, rather than pointing at a group of people and based on their size, diagnose them all with issues they may well not even have?

2.) Marilyn Wann has a good piece that incorporates FA and HAES 101 at the Daily Kos. She is even brave enough to engage with the many commenters who just don’t get it, and I admire her so much for that. Not everyone has the Sanity Watchers points to do stuff like that–I certainly don’t!–and no one should have to, but it’s an important way of getting the message across to people who might never have heard it before. And even if they can’t wrap their minds around it now, there’s a good chance it will sink in eventually for some of them.

3.) Charlotte Cooper has a different viewpoint, which is also important.

Although the AMA news is terrible, I think it’s worth remembering that fat activists are moving away from the values that underpin obesity discourse, and have been doing so for a long time. A new cohort of politicised fat scholars are moving through the ranks and are threatening the parameters of traditional obesity research. Beyond the academy, our networks are gaining in strength, breadth and momentum. How long will it be until we have our own models for fat community health provision? Therapy practices like mine are only the beginning.

I understand the panic and upset about being labelled as a disease, it is utterly dehumanising. At the same time, the AMA is not the authority of me or my experience as a fat person. In many ways, I do feel like a treatment-resistant disease; one that is attacking the values that the AMA upholds like a virus in its system.

I’m really glad to see multiple types of activism springing up around the AMA’s decision. A diversity of activist tactics makes a strong movement, and increases our potential to reach people.

More great posts on #IAmNotADisease

1.) That Cortnie Girl: Another angle of my body love on this quiet Wednesday morning.

My body is not diseased, my body is glorious and it can do amazing things like smile, eat veggies, walk downtown, lay on the floor with friends, walk around at the park, wear bright lipstick, get sunburns even after applying sunscreen, orgasm, eat ice cream, cuddle with kitties, work out, take baths, and wear tight clothes.

It can do all of these things without your permission and diagnosis. So stop trying.

2.) Living 400 Lbs: Why I think declaring obesity a disease is harmful. This is a meticulously sourced list of reasons, and it’s wonderful.

3.) Shakesville: The AMA declares obesity a disease.

I am not a problem to be solved. My body is not a disease to be cured. I cannot overcome my very physiology and make my body do something that it is simply unable to do. The only “cure” for my “disease” is to be a person I am not and cannot be.

I have an idea…

What if we, as a society, took some of the money that we’re spending on fighting the existence of fat people and instead invested it into clean energy?

As Kath points out, the amount of money spent on weight loss is ridiculous, and could go to so many better uses:

The weight loss industry alone was worth almost $800 million just here in Australia.  Can you imagine what could be done for $800 million per year in this country?  We could all have completely free health care for every Australian, more than we would ever need.  People with disabilities could have all of the equipment that they would ever need, and any support and care they would ever need.  No human being in Australia would go without food, water or housing.  Education would be free for our whole lives, from kindergarten through any university studies that we would care to take on.   Medical research into every known actual disease, from the common cold to cancer could be funded fully.

Here in the US, the weight cycling industry is worth $66 billion. 66 fucking billion.

Can you even imagine if we invested some of that in clean, renewable sources of energy so that thousands of people wouldn’t die prematurely from coal pollution every year, let alone from the effects of climate change?

It makes me incredibly angry that people are dying from both  fatphobia and environmental destruction.

I wish so badly that we could kill those two birds with one stone instead of continuing to pour money into a industry that hurts, maims, and kills.

I wish so badly that we lived in a different world.

I am a human being with a body, NOT a disease.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. If you haven’t heard already, the American Medical Association has “recognized” “obesity” as a disease.

I don’t even know how to express how angry this makes me.

But I’m glad to see the fat community responding fiercely and forcefully. I’m glad we are not silent. I’m glad we are resisting together. I’m so grateful I have this community.

A few must-see responses:

1.) Marilyn Wann’s petition to the AMA to stop defining “obesity” as a disease. Sign it and pass it along!

2.) Fat Heffalump: I am NOT a disease.

But being at one end of the statistics doesn’t reflect who I am.  It doesn’t reflect how I feel.  It doesn’t reflect what my body can do.  It doesn’t reflect my value as a human being.  The AMA doesn’t know what it feels like to exist in my fat body.  They don’t know what it’s like in my body to wake up after a deep sleep, stretch and feel that stretch go down to my toes and up to my outstretched fingertips.  They don’t know what it feels like in my body to go swimming, feeling the cool water soft and cocooning around my body, and the wonderful sleepy feeling I get afterwards. 

3.) The #IAmNotADisease hashtag on Twitter. There’s so much good stuff going on there. Here’s a sampling, including a few of my own tweets: