Pursuing An Agenda

Earlier today, Melissa McEwan tweeted:

So, in response to the accusations that I have an agenda, yes -- yes I do. And that's what it is.

Scrolling back, I saw Melissa’s prior tweet was regarding Dylan Farrow: “I am speaking about this because it is wrong; I am speaking in solidarity with Dylan Farrow; I am speaking in defense of my own survival.”

This blew me away.

In retrospect it seems silly — of course people often have their own agendas on the internet! — but we often want to stay neutral and avoid “taking sides.”   Especially in matters of activism, we want to be one of the good guys, to avoid self-interest.  It’s not that I’m getting something out of this, it’s that it’s the right thing to do.

Self-interest is not necessarily wrong.  Yet people often try to put it aside, to derive credibility from their neutrality.  I’m one of them.

I’ve been accused of ignoring research that shows an increased risk of death among people with my BMI.  I don’t ignore it. I just don’t see how it changes the research showing that diets don’t result in long-term weight loss for the overwhelming majority of people.  Or that in the long term, weight loss efforts often result in regain (or net gain), loss of self-esteem, and are ultimately a waste of time.

Yes, I have an agenda in my choice to live life at my current weight instead of trying, yet again, to win the weight-loss lottery.  Yes, when I discuss weight-loss scams, it’s because I consider selling such frauds to be unethical, unhealthy, and wrong.  Yes, rejecting the decade-plus I spent dieting has done wonders for my mental and physical health.

So yes, if you’ve wondered what my agenda is in writing about weight — there it is.

4 thoughts on “Pursuing An Agenda

  1. I have for years been fascinated by the people who may actually be willing to admit that dieting is not healthy & does not work for people who weigh 150 pounds, or if they are REALLY broadminded, perhaps some over 200 pounds, who nevertheless assume that once you cross some magical border (usually it seems to be around 300 pounds) weight loss automatically becomes both possible & absolutely necessary. I grant you, most people in our culture assume & firmly believe that weight loss is possible & necessary for ANYONE who weighs more than 5 pounds above what it says on some charts, but it is really amazing that there are a lot of people who are a lot more enlightened, who may even consider themselves to be somewhat fat-accepting, who genuinely believe that ‘a little fat is okay, but really fat is not’, & that it is somehow easier for you, at 400 pounds, to achieve permanent weight loss than it is for me at around 220 pounds, or for them at 150. Weight loss ITSELF is unhealthy, particularly the various methods of deliberate weight loss, becomes MORE unhealthy every time you attempt it, & by the time you hit 60, weight loss increases your risk of early mortality by several hundred percent. Yet, the majority of people have no idea why you & some others will no longer do that.

    Sometimes I wonder if human beings are programmed for truly logical thought.

  2. Everyone has an agenda. Those who try to shut down others with the accusation “you have an agenda” have an agenda. That agenda is to advance the status quo or an alternative agenda to the one whom they are accusing. Duh.

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