I realize that I don't blog here very much, and I think one of the reasons for this is that it is really, really hard to reconcile capital-"D"-Dieting with two things I truly believe in: feminism and fat acceptance. And, most of the time, I feel like it's really not worth all the effort it would take to try.
You see, when I read diet-related writing, I often find myself agreeing with a source's premises while disagreeing with its conclusions. Take this Gary Taubes article, for example. I think the research he refers to is crazy-fascinating. When he describes how diverse human bodies are in their calorie-burning/fat-storing abilities, I'm on the edge of my seat and wondering why society can't recognize that we aren't a bunch of predictable calories-in-calories-out machines. But he sort of loses me when he uses this information to prescribe a lower-carb diet for people who are more insulin-resistant in order to regulate blood sugar and prevent fat-storage. In other words, "if you're unlucky enough to be one of those people who easily stores fat, you are doomed to have to suck it up and ditch the bread and pasta." I guess I shouldn't be surprised by it, since it's Gary Taubes and that's what he's all about, but when you try to view the world from a social justice perspective, it just doesn't work.
When I am given information about how naturally different we all are, my brain doesn't translate that information into a belief that some people need to work harder in order to be like everyone else. Instead, I tend to think that there are deeply embedded problems with the ways in which we judge and punish people for not living up to societal ideas of what is and isn't "normal".
I find something SO wrong with our ridiculous cultural expectations: 1) that fat people need to make sacrifices of time, money, energy, and dietary satisfaction in order to become thinner, 2) that fat people must maintain for life whatever strict regimen they adopted to lose weight in order to keep it off, 3) that fat people are always able to lose weight in the first place if they just try hard enough, and 4) that all fat people even WANT to be thin.
I know that there will probably always be concern trolls who yell about how "fat is a health issue!" and "isn't it irresponsible to discourage people from trying to be thin?" I strongly encourage those people to visit here and to start thinking about the complexity of the issue of body size and shape. We are being completely unfair to people when we try to make judgments about someone's health by simply looking at her or his weight.
All that said, are you wondering why the hell I keep a blog about my own low-carb diet? Why do I "diet" in the first place? I often wonder about those same things myself. I think that for me, and for me alone, my personal reasons for doing it are pretty good, but it just bothers me that hardly anyone ever recognizes how completely political fat and dieting can be.
More on this later.