Countertheory: Jezebel Is Making You Stupid and Fat

Here are some things that are true. Our society is set up in a way that encourages obesity, and that isn't the fault of any individual. Less healthy food is often cheaper and more convenient. The marketing of so-called "health foods" is deceptive at best. Most of our jobs require sitting for long periods of time. Some fat people are fit and some skinny people aren't. Genes and environment are a big factor in size. Some people have medical issues that put weight outside of their control. Our beauty standards, and the way people in general and women in particular are constantly judged by their appearance, is total bullshit. Our bodies should not be up for constant and public critique.

Here's a few more true things. Being skinny is almost always healthier than being fat. Being in shape is way more enjoyable than being out of shape. And weight is totally something we can control.

I'm sorry, but Jezebel is just driving me crazy with this. The oversensitivity to fat shaming is one thing - that's a real problem that needs to be addressed. I'm oversensitive to a lot of things too. But for every good article on body-positivity or healthy habits or empowerment, there's a fucking dozen that say we can't control our bodies or that weight loss is completely incomprehensible and impossible or implies that the basic science behind "calories in - calories out" is totally bogus while latching on to any moronic pseudoscientific nonsense that happens to be pro-fat.

That isn't just wrong and dangerous, medically speaking. It's also really unempowering—robbing people of agency over their own bodies.

If you're happy at your size, that's absolutely great. But if you want to lose (or gain) weight, you almost certainly can, and how to do it is pretty fucking well established. Mainly, just exercise more. Exercise burns calories, and muscles burn a lot more calories than fat, even at rest. Eating healthier (more plants, less processed carbs and meat) can also help.

We can quibble over all sorts of details — the role of genetics, say, or anti-biotics, or how fitness is a far better goal than weight loss (true!). But if you want to get in shape, you absofuckinglutely can. Don't let any website tell you otherwise.