THIS is not a diary. It is not an occasion to whine. It is not a forum for self-pity. It is not an indictment – of us or of our culture. It is a conversation.
WE are not simply dieters. We are not simply bloggers. We are not simply exercisers. We are not simply fat girls or dreamers or pessimists or critics. We are people.
Our society is increasing in size and in attention to the rising obesity epidemic, to the health concerns and costs it brings. This attention is necessary; obesity is extremely detrimental to a person’s physical and mental well-being.
At the same time, there has been a recent rise of positive attention toward body image acceptance, towards acceptance of plus-size models and varying body shapes. The message of beauty has morphed from “skinny” and “slim” to “healthy” and “trim.”
The persistence of weight issues in our culture results from many factors, but one tenet must be made clear: Weight loss and body image are not merely – or primarily – physical issues; they are psychological, social, cultural, and personal.
In our image-conscious and health-obsessed society, the conversation seems too heavily dependent on the side of the fitness trainers and dieticians, the physicians and social commentators who may be either hateful or sympathetic – but who, regardless, lack empathy. Overweight in America is a social distinction, and it’s a communal conversation. But if it’s a social dialogue – “di-” meaning “two” – we need a louder voice from those being talked about – the overweight, the dieting, the struggling, the weight- and culture- conscious who have something to say.
We want to situate ourselves in this dialogue, in this community commentary, in order to make it less of an us vs. them dialogue and more of a social conversation where positive change in attitudes and perceptions may occur. Though recent years have seen more awareness of weight issues and more acceptance of body types, there is continued hatred toward overweight in America that needs erasure.
We, the overweight, are not ignorant. We know what foods to eat, we know how much to exercise, we know when we should say no to dessert and negativity. We know we should not base our worth on our physique, but we are aware of how much our society and even those close to us do.
We, the bloggers, are friends who met and bonded because of attempts to lose weight. We have struggled with weight since childhood, and our personalities and worldviews are heavily shaped by these experiences. We have had ups and downs in our weight loss journeys, we have been heavy and thin, we have been loved and hated, we have been optimistic and depressed. We have been. And we are here to talk about it.
This blog seeks to interact, to discuss and analyze how our culture simultaneously compels us to lose weight and stifles us in our attempts. We will tell stories, evaluate pop culture, share our journeys, tell jokes, make suggestions, and once more – together – attempt change in body, mind, and community.
Please join us.