Most Americans are overweight and don’t see anything wrong with that. As weights have gone up, so have perceptions of being “ideal”, with the ideals getting fatter and fatter and fatter …. and people reporting themselves to be just dandy fine with the situation.
Men’s average ideal weight is up 14 pounds since Gallup first measured it in 1990, and their average actual weight is up 16 pounds. Women’s average ideal weight is up 11 pounds since 1990, and their average actual weight is up 14 pounds. Basically, over the past two decades people have consistently said they wanted to lose about 10 to 15 pounds off their current weight to achieve their ideal weight.
It’s kind of shocking to take a look at life insurance tables from the past, and look at what ideal weights USED to be. At 5’6 and 138 pounds this morning, I have a BMI of 22.3, and I am in the 14th percentile for weight for American women (I’m not American but let’s go with it, for the sake of argument). That means 86% of women weigh more than I do, and quite frankly, I’m a little on the heavy side these days.
According to the Devine formula, created in 1975, I should be 131 pounds. Medical recommendations put my weight safely as low as 118 pounds. The Metropolitan Life tables suggest a weight somewhere between 122 – 136 pounds, and even though part of me is screaming BULLSHIT, in actual fact, those weights are kinda perfect. I am at least five pounds over my ideal weight, and I DO pay attention and try to manage my waistline, but it’s easy to eye up cookies and think, ah hell, 14th percentile! Just one cookie won’t kill ya!
And it won’t, but it’s a slippery slope. The last thing anyone should be doing is comparing their weights to the people around them because EVERYONE ELSE IS FUCKING FAT! Being overweight is a CHOICE for most people. Some people have medical problems and some people are just naturally predisposed to be fat, but those people are genetically abnormal and by definition, not very common! And make no mistake, I firmly support the right of every damn grown up to weigh whatever the hell they want (it’s your ass, and you can be as gross as you want to), but where I get really judgy and bitchy is when CHILDREN are made fat by the adults around them.
And by adults, I mean mothers. Yeah, ain’t no way around that one. It’s mama’s job to feed her children. It starts with breastfeeding and if you are doing a good job as a mother, you are PRESENT and preparing, serving and promoting healthy nutritious food is your JOB.
According to kidshealth.org, one in three American children are overweight. That’s just fucking terrible. Children who are overweight are learning deeply ingrained habits about eating that are going to be so very hard to break when they reach adulthood, and that’s just not fair.
I’ll take a moment here to acknowledge that lots of moms MUST work because they did not make choices that would allow them to be proper mothers and went ahead and brought kids into shitty financial, emotional and marital circumstances. You can thank older women for lying about the importance of motherhood and letting younger women fuck themselves over, but at the end of the day, those children exist and being a lazy, tired bitch is no excuse for tossing a frozen pizza at your fat, unhappy kid.
The idea that good food is too expensive is complete and utter bullshit. Yeah, truffle oil and filet mignon is expensive. Rice and beans are not. What they take is lots of time to prepare and exhausted, guilt-ridden mothers just can’t be fucking bothered when McDonald’s is so much easier. The idea that life should be EASY is what propels women to buy processed, sugar and fat-laden food and give it their children who will happily consume it because they’re CHILDREN and will eat marshmallows and jelly beans for dinner if you let them.
I have an enormous amount of sympathy for women who bought the lie that being self-reliant and earning money and beating the shit out of men in the job market would be the path to fulfilment and enlightenment. It’s a pervasive story, and completely false. Most women realize AFTER the baby has arrived that going back to work and abandoning their infants to strangers is fucking terrible. But they’re screwed. How you compound such poor judgement by refusing to do the very LITTLE you can do (feed your child!) is beyond my powers of comprehension.
Yeah, you’re tired. So what? If you have to stay up an extra hour to prepare healthy food for your children, then DO IT. Stop whining and looking for someone to blame. If you MUST blame someone, find a mirror. And for the love of god, stop taking it out on your children! Forcing them to go through life fat is a cruelty no child should face.
And since you’re preparing healthy food for your children, how about you put down that bag of chips and eat some yourself? Being fat is a choice. Make a better one.
Indefinitely retired because of threats against her children. Janet has graciously allowed us to republish some of her now vanished articles.