Mo Pie’s post, Understanding Weight Loss, reminded me of something that has bothered me for a long time, even when I was an earnest and sincere advocate for WW instead of a bitter, jaded, angry person. It’s this whole magical “10% of your body weight” concept. There is this idea in dieting land that losing 10% of your body weight is a magical, wonderful goal that, if achieved, will result in lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduced risk of diabetes, smaller clothes, increased happiness, 15% more making out with hotties, your dream job, untold riches, never having anybody’s crotch pushed into your face during your rush hour public transit commute, and a spontaneous understanding of the inner most secrets of the universe. Weight Watchers even gives you a chintzy little key chain once you’ve lost the equivalent of 10% of your starting weight.

Mo touched on the bothersome nature of the 10% ideal when she said, “Of course, if someone is obese and does ‘lose 10-15% of body weight,’ they are still visibly obese. Just from looking at them, nobody can tell that they are actually following society’s dictates. This underscores yet again how counterproductive the culture of shaming and mockery is—what if you’re vilifying someone who’s already lost weight, hmm?”

But I think what really gets me is the underlying message of the 10% weight loss goal: no matter what you weight right now, it’s not right. Whatever your weight happens to be, it’s not healthy. You’re not really happy. You’re not really attractive. Whatever your weight is, you are not as healthy, happy, pretty, and perfect as you are supposed to be.

Because what you are supposed to be is always, always less.

Advertisements