Monthly Archives: February 2008

For Lent, Give up Dieting

For Lent, I’m giving up dieting. Well, not really. I haven’t dieted for quite a few years, based on my own reservations which the fat acceptance movement helped me put into words and even back up with scientific research.

But I want to encourage everyone to do this. For Lent this year, give up dieting. Give up on hating your body. That’s 40 days, 40 nights and absolutely NO food guilt, diet products, or self-flagellation related to the body that you were born with.Don’t give up chocolate or carbs. Give up the notion that foods carry moral values of “good” or “bad.”

Now, you Catholics know the irony of this suggestion. Lent is originally associated with fasting, sacrifice for God and avoiding the temptation of Satan. Now, I have no problem with folks fasting for religious purposes, but since Vatican II, Lent has been less about fasting and more about giving up a vice or a temptation and replacing it with something that brings you closer to God.

My challenge is that eating normally is not a temptation or a vice and that loving your body and yourself is the first step in having a closer relationship with God, the Divine, the Universe or however you represent your highest authority.

And it’s okay to engage in the practices of Lent even if you’re not Catholic. I was only Catholic for a few years and I still give things up for Lent. Sacrifice is often healthy for the soul but sacrificing food to lose weight is not healthy for the body.

So go without dieting and obsessing about food for Lent and see if you come out on the other side any worse for wear. Something tells me you won’t. Something tells me you’ll discover a freedom unlike any other–the freedom to improve yourself in ways that really matter.

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Filed under fat, Health, Size Acceptance

Uninformed Mayor Puts OKC on a Diet

I live in the heart of Oklahoma City, in a district called the Asian District. It’s barely the Asian District anymore as the generations of vietnamese who came to OKC as refugees are getting older and their American children are moving off to nicer neighborhoods.

There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood. I have heard gunshots on my street corner. The street I drive to get home–a snow route no less–is crumbling and patches can’t keep up with it. I work for the state so I did not get a raise this year. The city just forced its school superintendent and board chairman to resign.

But what does our distinguished Mayor, Mick Cornett want to make this city’s priority? Losing weight.

That’s right Mayor Mick Cornett has challenged Oklahoma City residents to lose 1 million pounds this year. And how does he propose that we do this? Why, by going on a diet of course!

Look at that website! He’s actually promoting weight loss companies, even diet supplements that he has no idea what they contain or how they could be harmful! That’s just what Oklahomans need, Mayor Cornett. More misinformation.

It physically pains me to think about a city being run by someone who would make this sort of a health declaration without doing his homework. How could a politician influence his community to do something that is actually detrimental to their health?

Here is my message to Mayor Cornett: Diets Don’t Work. And the BMI is a joke.

Mayor, you really want your city to be healthy? Why not start by promoting the retail sale of local Oklahoma grown products? The Oklahoma Food Cooperative is nowhere on your list of ‘diets’ and if you want the city to eat healthy, why not start with eating fresh.

Why not fund and expand fresh farmer’s markets? There are only two in the city year round–one all the way in Edmond and the other at OSU-OKC. Why not have one in Midwest City and expand the downtown farmer’s market to be year round.

Why not promote the safety of city parks? Why not fix my street, build a sidewalk and make my neighborhood safe so that I can go for walks after work? Why not build hiking and biking trails?

Mayor Cornett, stop perpetuating the myths. Obesity is not an epidemic. Dieting is the epidemic and you need to educate yourself before you promote ideas that can lead to a lifetime of suffering.

Want Oklahoma City residents to exercise and eat healthier? That’s great. Urging them to diet and promoting weight loss programs and products whose validity is questionable at best? That’s just an uninformed, irresponsible politician capitalizing on the diet-craze for personal gain. Shame on you, Cornett.

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Filed under environment, fat, Health, Media Literacy, Politics, Self Image, Size Acceptance