I’m finally coming off the high that I endured for 4 days in Orlando during the Obesity Action Coalition’s 2014 Your Weight Matters convention.
First, I’d like to thank the staff and fellow members of the OAC for being super heroes. Yes, super heroes. It doesn’t matter what your level of involvement is in the OAC – you could be the president, chairman, on a board, a committee, a member, an advocate, or a financial supporter. Your participation matters to those who have been diagnosed with obesity. You are a hero to those who may never know that the OAC exists. You all deserve recognition and praise for all you do for such an awesome organization.
Your weight matters. Or does it? That depends. Your weight matters with concerns to health, but your weight should not matter in relation to how you are treated by others.
At YWM2014, I learned that weight is a complex issue. It confuses the medical field, it divides families, it spawns diseases, it causes hatred, it initiates bias, it comes and goes with no good reason why, how, or when.
I learned that there is no such thing as an obese person. We are people affected by obesity. You wouldn’t say “there’s a cancer person” – obesity is a disease that people have, just like cancer. Hence, we say “that person has cancer” instead.
I learned that advocacy starts at home. That being your own advocate is the start of something that spreads to your neighborhood, your community, your state, your country, your world.
I learned that people with obesity are not alone. There are many who stand for us to give us voice to allow us to be treated fairly and equally with our peers.
I learned that weight comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, religions, abilities and creeds. Obesity does not discriminate.
I learned that I have a lot more to learn. That is why I am already making plans for #YWM2015.