I am large and proud.

The move towards being more accepting of our bodies, in this case, the size and rotund nature, has good intentions. However, something feels wrong. It goes against longstanding wisdom that enshrines the belief that being obese has major downsides. We were told at school that hospital wards were occupied by thin people on the whole, meaning that the fat ones died before they got anywhere near a hospital. It has become apparent that many of those that have lost weight have also become free of diabetes. Even a small reduction in excess weight often reduces a range of health complications.

Under no circumstances do we have a wish to 'fat shame'. In fact, any such humiliation tends to have the reverse effect. People just shy away and find a corner to indulge in even more food.

One problem with weight gain is the loss of agility.

Is being proud of our bodies equivalent to being proud of our achievements? Maybe it is the poor use of the word proud. Maybe people are simply suggesting that they are comfortable in their own skin irrespective of how far it has been stretched to encase a huge amount of fatty deposits. Some I am sure are proud of increasing the amount they smoke each day. Some are proud that their fitness counters are recording record low number of steps each day. Many do indeed boast about the amount of drink they can consume and still stumble home. Proud of our differences. Though being overweight is hardly different as obesity is very common now and seemingly rather fashionable.

I insist that the belief that your body is yours and not really anyone else's business remains sacrosanct. We can bemoan the issues in hospitals where every larger and ever more expensive operating tables are having to be purchased to accommodate the heavier patients. However, the numbers in hospital through sporting incidents is not going down. Rugby alone sends many fit and healthy people into recovery wards. Those that exercise to excess are just as expensive to keep on track.

The real issue that people are loath to broach is that people that are large are making efforts to bring about a sense that it is OK. It is fine, no problem, be happy with your weight. I am not suggesting that they are encouraging people to become fat or persuading them directly to stay fat, but that being fat is a positive.

Some cultures revere a well-fed partner. I am sure there is an ancient link to times where food supply was feast or famine and being large during a point in the cycle was advantageous. Is a shorter bigger life better than a lifetime always on a diet?

We have learnt to embrace our disposition and need no shaming. Nevertheless, if you are selling the idea that obesity is something to be proud of then maybe I have misunderstood the meaning of the word. What I am really asking is for people to tell the whole story.

Can we admit that whilst we are personally comfortable with our weight, we accept there are caveats; We don't have that spring in our step. Getting about takes a lot of effort. We are not a free as we could be. We have weight-imposed limits. Lower endurance, shorter range. Nimbleness is replaced by real sores - I don't mean being an eyesore.

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You are welcome to read a book about you, me and everyone else. Some of you will get to understand what drives us all.

When you look up into the night sky you may be able to make out the odd star, but light pollution prevents you from seeing much. Go to the "middle of nowhere" and the spectacle is very different. You see it all. This book is like that. Every facet of human behaviour becomes clear, the psychology, our dreams, our aspirations, our wishes and wants. It is all uncovered.

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the one percent


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