There is a fine line between ‘accept everyone no matter what they look like’ and ‘promote obesity’. I admit that the line gets blurry in a lot of situations, but it puts people like myself who accept all sizes into a bad light too.
Let me make it clear: I do not promote obesity. Ever. But I accept everyone no matter what they look like as long as they are honest about it.
Obesity is extremely unhealthy and should not be encouraged or talked right. It’s a condition equally as bad as all other eating disorders where people starve themselves to death. If someone at 5’2″ weighs 300lbs, there is no possible way they are a healthy individual. I will encourage this person to become healthier. But I will also accept them as they are because those 300 pounds don’t define them as a whole – there is more to them than that.
The thing about acceptance is that it means you accept the person who is on the inside regardless of their weight. It means you acknowledge their worth as an individual, their talents, the special qualities that make them, them. It means your love and kindness for them continues to exist whether they lose weight or gain weight. It means you support them to set goals, to help them meet their goals and to help them stop identifying their worth as being equal to the number on the scale.
In no way does that mean you are encouraging or condoning excess or lacking weight, or an unhealthy lifestyle. No amount of “You’re a fat fuck” ever encouraged me to be healthy. No amount of “You’ve got anorexia” will put on the pounds on someone with a high metabolism. It just makes us feel worthless, because clearly the qualities about our personality and skills we worked so hard for meant NOTHING when all someone sees is our physical appearance.
I only started to be really able to lose weight when I felt I was worth it as a person. When people stopped calling me out on my weight and started telling me how much they admired the things I could do and did, I was glowing from the inside out with pride and joy and the feeling like I could do anything. The acceptance I received helped me stick to my goals. My friends and loved ones telling me I did a good job on something encouraged me to push on.
You cannot expect people to change if you kick them into the ground over and over by refusing to acknowledge they are worthy individuals with positive qualities.
It has absolutely nothing to do with perpetuating bad habits, or telling someone they don’t need to lose weight because they look perfect the way they are. I’m tired of that assumption. If I have an obese friend who is not already working on being healthier, I will reach out a helping hand to get them started. I will show them how worthy they are of being the best they can be and stick with them through their ups and downs. That is acceptance.