Acceptance shouldn’t be approval

Because I don't want to wear size 22.
Because I don’t want to wear size 22.

Have you seen last week’s People magazine? Twenty-nine-year old Tess Holliday is on the cover — “The world’s first size 22 Supermodel!” — like it’s a good thing.

I’m all for accepting yourself and seeing beauty in every size and color, but the 5’5″ 280-pound Holliday is cruising toward diabetes at warp speed. She may feel great now, but when she’s 69 instead of 29, her joints will give out at this weight. I guess she’s getting paid enough to shill clothes to the 67 percent of American women who wear size 14 (which I don’t consider plus size, just normal) and up so that she can afford the expensive medical care in her future if she stays at this weight.

Her social media campaign, which she launched “to support her message of self-acceptance,” is not-so-subtly called “#effyourbeautystandards.” OK, you’re beautiful, but I don’t much want to pay for the health care you’re going to need in the future. (Don’t forget: There’s a fairly well-established link at this point between excess sugar and dementia.)

Check out Stephanie Soechtig’s documentary “Fed Up” (on NetFlix) about the damage extra weights inflicts on the inside. Most high school athletes don’t go to the pros, and most fat kids aren’t going to model. They’re just going to be miserable.

I’ve got rid of 24 pounds since Christmas, which I’m especially proud of considering my advanced age (I’ll be 70 in 2 months). I’m doing that by eating around 1,700 calories a day, keeping food and exercise logs, hitting the Y several days a week and exercising hard — in the yard or the pool if not the Y — for 6 days weekly. Sundays, I rest, along with God.

I’m trying to “eat clean” all the time, but I have a glass of red wine every night. After 5 months the cravings for something sweet are much reduced but now I’m hooked on 1/2 cup pistachios in the shell (150 calories).

After 5 months, when I’m going to put food in my mouth, I want it to be food that will do something for me besides lift me onto a sugar high and then drop me kersplat! back into my life with all the usual challenges.

Twice in recent evenings I’ve had 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips and stopped! These days if the thought crosses my brain that I should “tidy up” the entire bag of “chips,” I think, more or less automatically, “Why would I do that to me?”

This is a very important question that you cannot ask yourself enough (and not just about food). I’ve needed almost seven decades to appreciate it.

Lunch today was a good thing to do to me: A 320-calorie yummy sandwich and 70 calories worth of V-8. Three servings of vegetables in one meal, along with protein, whole grains, and a little dried fruit. I pulled the construction directions from the May issue of shape magazine while on the treadmill. Or the elliptical. Or the stationary bike.

Chicken or turkey sandwich with goat cheese, arugula and dried fig

4 slices deli poultry meat (80 calories)

1 whole-grain hamburger bun (130)

1 ounces soft goat cheese (76)

1/2 cup baby arugula leaves (5)

1 dried fig, stem removed and chopped (30)

Assemble and enjoy.

I added 130 calories of fiber-rich crackers to my lunch because I can't get enough salt in hot weather!
I added 130 calories of fiber-rich crackers to my lunch because I can’t get enough salt in hot weather!




3 responses to “Acceptance shouldn’t be approval”

  1. A fat person on the magazine cover doesn’t mean approval any more than we approve of Nikki Minaj’s pink hair, Lindsay Lohan’s lifestyle, college students using technology to get better grades than they’ve actually earned, or anything at all concerning the current North Korean dictator. Yet all grace the covers of major magazines. The only thing this signifies is that this topic is what the editor thinks will sell magazines.
    By the way, I generally am suspicious when people withhold approval just because someone is fat. If they also withhold approval from everyone who accepts beating from their partner, who smokes tobacco, who uses drugs like alcohol, then maybe. But it’s been my experience that usually only fat people are denied approval using the standard of what’s good or bad for the individual.


    1. I disagree. A magazine cover indicates to me a GREAT deal of popular approval, meaning girls want to be like her.


  2. Hi JoAnn,

    I just happened upon your blog today while searching for Laurie Colwin’s potato salad recipe. Asking google seemed easier than running up to find the book and recipe. I’m glad I did, since otherwise, I might never have found you! I completely agree with your comments. Of course, we should love and accept ourselves at all ages and stages of our lives. But, acceptance shouldn’t be the same as approval of behaviors that endanger our health and wellness. I love that you are sharing your weight loss/healthy journey hear. I’m a long time Weight Watchers Lifetime member who has a blog where I share easy healthy WW friendly recipes and weight loss success stories. I’d love for you to share your weight loss success with me and my readers. I’ve had several requests from older readers asking for examples from older individuals. Losing weight is never easy and gets more challenging with age because our habits are more ingrained and our metabolism slows down. But as you demonstrate, it’s doable. Thanks for considering. I’ll be back to visit soon. Love your recipes and insights.


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