Actually, I Don’t Care If You’re Healthy

I’m sure that headline would be fodder for the haters, if this were a popular enough blog to have them. But it’s true. I don’t care how healthy you are. 

Why? Because it makes no difference in deciding whether you deserve to be treated humanely or not. 

Here’s a little secret: you do. You deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, love, care, compassion, and dignity whether or not your body matches what is commonly believed to be “healthy.”

I have even more news for you. “Healthy” is subjective. It doesn’t mean the same thing for every person. And not everyone can achieve the common definitions of health, regardless of what their habits are. Disabilities, chronic diseases, injuries, etc, exist, and people with those still deserve to be treated well. 

You get to decide how to care for your body, and as long as you aren’t directly inflicting harm on someone else, no one gets to tell you to do things differently. Not family, not friends, not strangers. Unless you are blowing cigarette smoke in my face, I’m not going to ask you to change (please be courteous and smoke far away from people!). 

Let’s also not forget the importance of mental health. You have to prioritize your life in a way that is mentally appropriate for you. Even if you could have so-called “perfect” habits, what toll would that take? Is it worth it to you? If it’s going to trigger or overtax you, it probably isn’t, though that is a choice you get to make for yourself. 

You may want to heed a doctor’s advice, of course, but even they aren’t perfect. Many have strong anti-fat bias and will misdiagnose or simply fall back on prescribing weight loss because they’re too bigoted or too lazy to do better. But you have to make the decisions, ultimately, about how you treat your body. 

And whatever you decide, you are still a worthy and deserving human. 

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Correlation/Causation (When It’s Convenient)

Last week, news came out that eating processed meats (like bacon and sausage) is strongly linked to developing cancer. 

My natural inclination was to make a few vegetarian-friendly jokes and move on. I already don’t eat that stuff so it didn’t really impact me in any strong way. 

But oh my god, y’all. The way people reacted was intense. Suddenly individuals who never normally bother to question anything from studies were dissecting every word of every article to point out the differences between correlation and causation. 

Because statistics are boring unless they mean someone might take away their bacon. 

If only people cared this much about correlation vs causation when it comes to other things, like fat acceptance. Everyone is perfectly happy to claim that being fat causes all these things and will make us die early without paying any mind to the difference between a definitive cause and a spurious relationship. 

Threaten someone’s meat consumption and suddenly they’re a statistical genius; point out that their fat hate is based on bad science and bias and it’s “everyone knows” and that we should never question a doctor. 

Apply the fervor with which you sought a loophole in the sausage-cancer link (no pun intended) to things that can actually help people, like combating misinformation about weight and health.