Let’s talk about being fat

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was reading a Facebook post the other day about a poor overweight mum whose little girl was told by another child at school that her mum is fat.  That is super cruel and awful. It  made the little girl really confused that someone would be so hurtful. She was very sad and the whole story was rather heartbreaking.

The woman, by her own admission, is overweight. In her case, a size 18. So what does that mean? Does it mean unhealthy? Well, it rarely ever means healthy. So what makes it unhealthy? If you can’t move well and therefore exercise because of the weight you are carrying around, that is unhealthy. If your body is suffering in any way because of the weight you are carrying around, that is unhealthy. If you are putting bad food and drink into your body on a regular basis, well that is unhealthy. Which is why it troubled me when I saw this comment:

Just tell ur fat and happy and good at dancing and most women are. So really fat is normal

Is this how we live our lives now? Everybody is doing it so that makes it normal and therefore OK?  Good to know.

So, does that mean if almost everyone drinks the Kool-Aid that we should also do it even though it’s poison? I mean it’s normal right because everyone is doing it.

No, I didn’t think that’s how it went.

Fat is fat and usually it is unhealthy and I’m sorry but I’m not sure when it became bad to acknowledge this. I’m not saying it looks bad and I’m not slagging off people about it. I’m simply saying it is unhealthy. If you are a super fit healthy overweight person then feel free to tell me to F right off but I suspect people fitting those specs are few and far between.

Are there skinny people who are unhealthy? Hell yeah. Unfortunately weight is not the only indicator of healthiness. Junkies tend to be pretty thin after all and they are hardly the epitome of health.  But that’s not what we are talking about here. And just because skinny people are often unhealthy doesn’t mean overweight people get a leave pass. We ALL need to look after our bodies. And any indication that we don’t is bad. It’s not cause for ridicule but it’s still bad.

Yes, there are some situations where people have some sort of physical constraint that limits exercise, yes some people are genetically more curvy. But really, the vast majority of people who are overweight are not making the right choices for their body.

So comments like this are ridiculous:

Ask her if she’d feel that way if you were tall instead

We don’t choose height. It is genetically predetermined and no amount of anything will change that (although malnutrition at a young age will probably stunt your growth as poor diet and exercise during childhood can mean you don’t reach your full height potential. There’s that healthy thing again). We choose how we feed our bodies though. How we give them fuel and help them run. If you feed them well and take them out to play then they will run at peak performance. I guarantee that if you only ate whole unprocessed foods that your body would morph into its natural size. And I’m certain it’s natural size is not obese. I’m positive of it. No, you will not end up as skinny as a supermodel as that is also unnatural for most people. You will simply wind up YOUR healthy weight, whatever that is. For some people that will involve soft lumps and bumps, for others that will involve knobbly knees.

So lets be honest about this for a change. I’m sick of being told to embrace the overweight look simply because the majority of people are being slack arses about their health. How about those people who are being unhealthy embrace being healthy. Why aren’t we pushing for more of this? Why are we so afraid of being truthful about this? This commenter on that same post put it best:

 We had a similar discussion with my daughter who is in year 2 also. Basically we explained that yes I weighed more than what is best for my body because I had made some bad choices about food and exercise.  However someone being fat is nothing to joke about as we are all different and it is not okay to judge others or laugh at them for it. I explained that people who make comments like that are just rude and those comments don’t matter because I still love me and I love her. We then used the opportunity to talk about healthy habits. As far as the other kid is concerned tell her not to be upset by what he says but that it is also inappropriate and if he says it again to tell the teacher. Follow that up with a quick chat to the teacher yourself and let them know that you think a bit of a class discussion about saying cruel things is not funny and is not permitted at school. Unless you know the parents leave them out of it as it is not likely to fix anything and may just give the little boy more ammunition to keep saying things to your daughter. Whatever you decide to do, good luck.

I love this woman. What a great mother and role model. She uses the TRUTH in her message and manages to separate the two ideas: 1) that being overweight is due to an unhealthy lifestyle  and 2) that despite that we shouldn’t treat people badly based on their appearance.

So yes, I agree, we shouldn’t judge people because they are fat. And we certainly should not pick on people for being fat. Weight has no overall bearing on the kindness of someone’s heart. But lets stop pretending it should be accepted as normal just because everyone is doing it. Everyone (including me) needs a swift kick up the butt and a visit to the gym and the fresh produce section of the market. Not to be mollycoddled and told that it’s OK because they don’t care to take the time to care for their body.

***************

Some notes…

I’m probably going to get some hate mail for this one and that is OK. I do realise we need to help our kids have a healthy body image and telling them fat is bad doesn’t do this but telling them fat is good helps them justifying being unhealthy as they grow up and I don’t agree with that either. Something needs to change.

In case anyone is wondering, no I am not fat.  At the moment I am just what I call average but yes, it’s a slim average. I try to exercise regularly but haven’t had much luck these past few months and as such I have the slim but squidgy look going on. Have I been fat before? Yes, I’ve been overweight but no I’ve never been obese.  When I was overweight I know I did not feel my best. I wasn’t eating well and I was drinking too much. All that sort of stuff. I have also been an unhealthy skinny person. I remember a time where I was eating very little as well as drinking and partying quite a bit and I was the thinnest I’d ever been. Didn’t feel too crash hot then either. The best I’ve EVER felt was late last year when I started watching what I was eating and exercising lots. And when I say watching what I was eating I don’t mean dieting. I mean just making sure I didn’t put processed shit in my mouth often and that my portion sizes weren’t enough to feed an Olympic wrestler. That’s not dieting folks. That’s just sensible healthy eating. And when I don’t do it, then it’s only because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered.

Yes I do have the Facebook link to the post in question but  I decided not to post it in the end as I didn’t think it was fair on the people whose comments I highlighted. They didn’t ask to be scrutinised by me or my readers. So in the end I made the decision to leave it out.

Happy days. I’d love to hear your thoughts but lets play nice, OK? OK. You guys rock.

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72 thoughts on “Let’s talk about being fat

  1. Personally I agree with you 100%. I don’t think it is right at all for one person to judge another person based on how they look, but I also think it is wrong that so many people are just shrugging off being overweight/unhealthy. I don’t feel that we are doing ourselves or our children any favors by being so blasé about it. (As a side note, I am ‘overweight’ as I haven’t lost all my baby weight. But I am teaching my kids good eating habits and keeping them active as I lose the weight and we do maintain a healthy lifestyle.)

    • Exactly my point Lynn. This whole acceptance of being overweight is a real concern as it’s not healthy. It’s different if you are actively trying to do something about it. Thanks for commenting and understanding my point 🙂

  2. A brave and honest post. I hate the ‘normalisation’ of obesity. I could rant about this for a long time, but you’ve said it all far more elegantly above, so I’ll just agree with you 🙂

  3. I think you are, I feel the same about the topic. I also think it is a respectful post in which the main message is to not start telling each other eating unhealthy is normal. People who will disagree will most likely read something else in your post than you intent to say.

    • Yeah we shouldn’t be going around slagging people off or judging them. We don’t call smokers hurtful names even though we know smoking is bad for us so we shouldn’t do it to overweight folks either. However, I’m not into this whole “embrace” attitude either. It is unhealthy and we need to stick with that and just encourage people to make healthier choices and be kinder to their bodies and set good examples for their kids if they have them.

  4. I agree with you and Rose although I struggle with my weight and lose and gain weight regularly but haven’t managed to keep my healthy weight yet. Still working on it. I am glad to say that so far, I haven’t passed my bad habits to my daughter. She’s quite healthy and eats really well. I’ll get there too.

    • I think as long as we are all trying that is the best we can do. Trying is better than embracing I think. Embracing seems to be a form of acceptance that says there’s nothing to change. Good luck!! It’s a lifelong journey this one!!

  5. i think this is a great post. It seems that the times we live in try to be politically correct and normalize everything….making everything somehow “ok.” Give everyone a trophy, even the ones who didn’t do a damn thing to deserve it. It really is sad that obesity is so normal now, especially in America. Of course, we should not make people who are overweight feel like crap about it, we should help them and boost them up to be motivated to change. It’d be nice if healthy food could be as cost effective as the junk..I think that is a big problem too but I’m getting off point because I need more coffee this morning 🙂 Either way, I love that mom’s comment on FB too!

    • Yeah she rocked. And I totally agree with you about all of it – the trophy thing and the boosting of people to inspire change. And yes, healthy food can be so expensive although when I totally changed my eating habits to be clean my grocery bill didn’t change as much as I thought it would. I think if you try to combine the two then the cost goes up but if you are prepared to do the cooking from scratch and use all your leftovers it is comparable. Not to takeout of course. Who can compete with a $5 burger meal. I honestly don’t know how they afford to sell it at that price!

  6. I’m pretty sure every time I’ve been overweight its been due to repeat trips to McDonalds, nothing healthy about that!! I’m not a fatist but it is def. not normal and it shouldn’t be the norm. It’s probably going to take me awhile to lose the baby weight after this pregnancy is over but I just see it as a good way to model healthy behavior for my family.

      • Thanks you checking it out! The only thing I would disagree with on your post is that overweight and healthy can go together. Even if rare, if a person’s bmi puts them in the overweight category, something still isn’t right with their body. And I think so many people forget that underweight is also a very real thing. I got a lot of comments from people saying that they were healthy but overweight but that they didn’t want to be super skinny and they were comfortable in their own bodies. I love the healthiness in their attitudes and security about themselves but there is a wide range for “normal weight.” For example on my height, I can weigh anywhere between 111 and 149 lbs to not be overweight or underweight. Sometimes I think people are so afraid to be as skinny and models that they won’t even try to lose 10-20 lbs.

      • Yeah I think “obese” can’t be healthy. I guess I was meaning pudgy type of overweight but really fit. People like that do exist but it isn’t common. But I get your point and ultimately, agree with you.

      • From my experience, the pudgy ones are actually not overweight but simply at the top of normal. In my example, 111-149 lbs is normal. I’m 138 lbs. I have curves and love handles and cellulite. I’m “fat” if you compare me to a 115 lb model (also in the normal range) but my total body fat % is healthy. Kwim?

      • Yeah I know what you mean. I was thinking about this overnight. I do actually mean people who fall into the overweight category. BMI is a guide but it’s not an exact science so I do believe it is possible for some people to fall into the overweight category and still be fit and healthy. Some people have a lot of muscle or are just heavy boned and it all contributes. I think the trap here is to think if that’s the case for some people then it must be for me which I’m certain a lot of people do and only a very small percentage of them would be right. KWIM??? My turn now lol

      • I don’t personally know people that fit but I am not so much an expert or anything that I don’t believe it’s possible. I think I’ve just only ever had experience with the later (the people who SAY they have a lot of muscle or are big boned or that their size is hereditary and really if they put in the effort of living a healthier lifestyle they would fit perfectly in the normal range).

        Can you tell this is one of those topics I’m super passionate about? 🙂 Thanks for the great conversation.

      • Me too and THANK YOU!!! And yes, I def agree that there are people out there using those excuses when it doesn’t apply. And us normalising the whole thing just doesn’t help them.

  7. I absolutely agree with you too! If someone stops following you because of it, it’s only because they can’t come to grips with their own self. Very well put:)

  8. Here’s the thing about children: They are bluntly honest. They call things as they see them, because they don’t have a filter, right?
    Having said that, it’s our job as parents to teach them compassion and kindness. And that includes learning not to say everything that comes into our head. ( A skill no one obviously taught me, lol)
    But here’s the thing about being an adult. We try to make the best choices we can, especially once we have kids. And we screw it up over and over again. We are slaves to our weaknesses, and for some people, that’s food. Some of us are blessed with high metabolisms that allow us to eat like shit and still be skinny, therefore camouflaging our weakness. Others put the weight on easily, showcasing their issues to the world.
    In the end, it comes back to honesty. When we acknowledge we need to make a change and stop making excuses for it, we are more likely to make a change. Personally, I have to manage my weight very closely. And when I step on the scale daily, it forces me to be honest about the situation, as if I have a little child laying it out there every day for me.
    I’m not sure the child was trying to be cruel. I think he was being honest, and maybe doen’t realize that his honesty can hurt someone’s feelings. He just needs to learn the difference.

  9. I think this is a very brave post, even though I don’t entirely agree with it (in fact the whole issue makes me ragey, but I’ll try not to go there!). There’s some evidence for example that weight IS genetically predetermined.

    I think everyone just needs to quit judging other people. You can’t tell by looking what is going on in someone’s life, regardless of whether they are fat or thin. Neither makes them a better or more virtuous or healthier person. Some people are fat as a result of health issues. Some have health issues as a result of being fat.

    Yes everyone should try to look after their body as best they can, but that doesn’t always mean they will be ‘normal’ weight, and it is affected by a lot more than just diet, exercise and will power. There are people who don’t have access to afordable, fresh, unprocessed foods. Some people genuinely do not have time to exercise. Some people may decide their mental health is more important than being thin.

    Who are we to tell anyone else what is the right choice for them?

    • Thanks so much for the comment and holding in the rage 😉 I actually agree with some of what you say as I alluded to in my post. There are some reasons people are overweight, like genetics and physical ailments for example, that can’t be changed but I’m certain this applies to a minority. I think many people use those as excuses to be unhealthy when they don’t actually apply to them. Which was my point here. I also was very specific in my message that we shouldn’t judge others that are overweight. I’m simply saying that I don’t like this approach where we are being encouraged to normalise unhealthy excessive weight gain. I think it allows those that are being unhealthy (which really, if we are honest, are the vast majority) to cop out.

      I think that everyone has the chance to exercise. If they work then they can exercise at lunchtime some of the days each week. It doesn’t have to be every day. Any movement is better than none. If they don’t work and have kids at home they could use the creche at the gym (that’s what I do) or they could go for a run after their partner comes home provided they have one of course. I don’t as I’m a single mum but I’ve just had to make it a priority and factor it in somewhere. They could even do it at home too but it is harder to motivate yourself then I do agree.

      Regardless they do say that weight is 80% about food and 20% about exercise so frankly, they could ditch most of the exercise (say limit it to a half hour walk 3 times per week as some cardio is important for overall health) and focus on food and they would see a vast improvement in their life.

      I like your point about cost of food and mental health. Although I’m not 100% certain the food thing is insurmountable. I find it hard to believe that 4 x take out meals for a family would be cheaper than cooking up a big batch of food at home although I do agree it is a definite challenge and one that some people would find really difficult to beat without the right sort of help and guidance.

      The mental health things I’m just not sure. It’s hard to have a healthy mind with a poor body image so burying things isn’t the answer. And exercise contributes greatly to a healthy mind. I’m sure there are examples that would illustrate your point but again, they are in the minority. I wasn’t writing a post about the minority. I was writing a post about how we are normalising obesity and I don’t think that is healthy or right.

    • I was thinking about your comment during the day and about the mental health reference. It occurred to me that perhaps you were referencing the fact that some people are on medication for mental health issues that causes weight gain. Of course those people effected are in a different category again, similar to those with a physical aipment etc. Another one of those minority groups. Just wanted to mention it as it came up. 🙂

      • I’m glad I was able to make you think! Yes, medications etc could be part of the issue. However some people also (for example) genuinely HATE exercising, and there is evidence to suggest that if that’s the case, doing nothing will actually be better for their mental and physical health than doing the exercise. Stress and anxiety can be more detrimental than exercise is beneficial.

      • Having suffered from stress and anxiety I can see your point ALTHOUGH when I was having panic attacks I was told very clearly not to start avoiding those situations. That’s how people end up confinded to their homes. ..

      • I guess my point is really that there are any number of reasons why someone might be fat, none of which you can tell by looking. I agree that it can result in health issues for some people, but causality can be hard to prove. Which came first? I actually think that we should accept fat as a body shape the same as we accept tall. Being fat is not something you do, it is something you are.

        We should focus on healthy behaviours regardless of their effect on weight, which is different for each person. Exercise and good nutrition are great for your body, even if it doesn’t make it smaller. And there are a lot of slim people who eat junk and sit on the couch, and that will have effects on their health too. It just isn’t as easily noticed.

      • I don’t think causality is hard to prove when it comes to health issues after someone has indulged in an unhealthy lifestyle over long periods of time. In fact, I think there is a lot of scientific evidence to support that. That’s why we know it’s not good to smoke, or eat sugar etc. My post wasn’t to judge people who are fat. I’ve made it pretty clear that we SHOULDN’T do that. Even if they are fat because they are unhealthy. We shouldn’t judge. We shouldn’t be mean. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t be clear that their choice in lifestyle is causing them to be unhealthy. Even if fat is something you are, if it is as a result of you being unhealthy then you are being unhealthy and that’s all there is to it.

        Yes exercise and good nutrition are the way to go and there is no guarantee being healthy will make you slim. I think I’ve made that clear in my post. It won’t make you obese though. I also totally acknowledge in my post that slim people can often be unhealthy (I have been one of them) but that bears no relationship to this topic. It’s like saying well other people drink a lot too so don’t pick on me because I’m an alcoholic. Whaaaaat? Makes. No. Sense.

        Thanks for your great comments on this topic. I have really enjoyed your points of view and having the opportunity to think about things and talk them through. I stand by my post though. For the majority of people, being significantly overweight is as a result of choosing to live an unhealthy lifestyle and I believe a lot of that is to do with society’s attempt to normalise obesity which is just wrong.

        Another commenter pointed out that perhaps I didn’t give enough of a voice to those in the minority groups (overweight due to genetics, illness etc) and I have conceded that perhaps that is the case. But it was deliberate at the time as I believe that talking about the minority groups so much is what has brought us here in the first place. People are very quick to label themselves in one of those groups as it gives them an excuse to not do anything about their health when it comes to weight.

        Regardless of all that, fat, skinny, tall, short, people shouldn’t be judged or ridiculed because of their appearance. It’s not kind, nice, reasonable or appropriate.

  10. Ahh, a topic near and dear to my heart. 🙂

    I explored the idea of Can you be fat and healthy in this post here: http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/.

    Then I immediately did a follow up post where I realized that even if you can be fat and healthy, it doesn’t mean that’s something to aspire to, here:
    http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/.

    And finally, my major rant about whether obesity is a disease or a choice, here: http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/.

    I think what I take issue with the most is the victim attitude. Yes, some people are more genetically predisposed to adding and storing fat than others, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do something about it.

    Take responsibility for your life, folks!

    xoxo nancy

    • Thank you so much for sending me these links. I am definitely going to read them and let you know what I think!!! But yes, I think people can take more responsibility for their health and weight management is one of those things.

    • For some reason I can’t comment on them anymore so I’ll comment here.

      Really interesting post about your Body Pump instructor. She is clearly strong. Is that the same as healthy? I think that really strong and healthy people can definitely look heavy and “weigh” outside their normal range. But I do wonder if strong is always the same as healthy. Sometimes it is, but not always. It’s something very interesting to consider.

      In saying that it is a very good example of the one of point I made: some people, no matter how well they eat and exercise will end up curvy/skinny/muscular simply depending on their body type. One of my rather slim girlfriends starts to bulk up quite a bit when she is doing a lot of weights. It’s simply what her body does. She is nowhere near overweight but she is a good example of someone who is rather lithe when she doesn’t do a lot of weight training.

      The problem with acknowledging this is that we start to normalise being overweight and therefore obesity for all those that it doesn’t apply to and that’s my real issue. People who are overweight (for the negative reasons – and really, that’s the only category my article is really referring to) are always looking for excuses not to exercise or eat better than they do. So if they hear “oh you can be overweight and healthy” then they start kidding themselves that that’s them.

      Your final post about obesity and the billboard is brilliant. And I suspect you are 100% right. But even if the billboard is right and obesity is a disease it doesn’t mean that individual cannot take the appropriate action to fix it as they would any other disease. You have cancer? You got to chemo and you quit smoking. You “get” obesity? You eat healthy and try to change that. You don’t even need to exercise to make a positive change to your weight. Yes, it will happen more quickly if you do, but for people eating loads of bread, fried foods, sugar and F all protein can actually make a substantial change by simply adopting a healthier diet.

      Great stuff Nancy. Thanks for sharing x

      • So sorry that you couldn’t add comments to those older posts of mine. I’ll have to look into that.

        Anyway – it sounds like we’re on the same page with respect to taking responsibility for your life and your health. Yes, some people are predisposed to being fat, but that doesn’t absolve them of responsibility.

        And – final word on this :-), Just because someone is thin, doesn’t make them healthy. As I noted in one of my posts (I think the Strong is the New Skinny one), I know many, many people who are normal (or under) weight, and couldn’t run 1k, let alone 5k. 🙂 So, I think society does also need to acknowledge that just because the package doesn’t appear what we consider to be unhealthy (ie. thin vs fat) doesn’t mean that good health or habits are correlated.

        🙂

      • Yeah I devoted a whole paragraoh to the thin doesn’t mean healthy thing in my post so I’m with you there. BUT I do think this comment is thrown out so often by people when we are having this conversation and it bears no relationship really. It’s like saying well yeah I’m an alcohokic but he’s a junkie so don’t judge me. They are both bad. Same as unhealthy is unhealthy no mattrr what your size. It’s been fun chatting!! 🙂

  11. Oh boy, here I go.
    As you know, I’ve started my own health journey. I am overweight – at the top line of it. But even at my fittest, when I was dancing 6-7 days a week for several hours a day at a semi-professional level, teaching dance, running, etc, my BMI still had me in the obese category. Why? Because I was so incredibly muscular. Muscle weighs more than fat, and therefore I was still classified as obese according to the BMI. In fact, one of the first things my Dietitian told me is that the BMI is not an accurate measurement of overall health. You could have Olympic athletes who fall into the Obese category due to their muscular stature alone.

    Now if I’m being honest, which I will be (I always am), my BMI now is not due to muscletone. It is due to fat. I am a fat girl. However, if you were to analyze my blood work (which I have had done multiple times) I am in the normal ranges for everything. You can be 100lbs and have awful blood work and be unhealthy, which is something that should also be addressed.

    I am trying to make changes. It isn’t easy. I’m an emotional eater. When I’m happy, I celebrate with food. When I’m sad or upset, I eat my feelings away in chocolate. It’s an issue I am constantly working on now, as you’ve seen in my blog posts I’m sure.

    While I agree with you that we shouldn’t sugar coat things (I do believe that honesty is the best policy) I absolutely don’t agree with you about what causes “fat”.

    There are studies that show that being obese or having struggles with your weight can be caused by a genetic inheritance. There are also people, like my mother, who are overweight by no fault of their own. She’s battling degenerative disc disease in her neck and upper thorasic spine which has caused nerve damage into her arms. She’s arthritic, and in pain every day. The only pain drugs which work for her cause weight gain, and she’s been told by numerous doctors that exercising is not advised due to her disc disease and nerve damage. She also has ligaments in her shoulder that have disintegrated due to another medication she was on, making it difficult to use her arms for much at all. She isn’t ill because she is fat. She is fat because she is ill. This is a very important distinction to make, and you rather generalized in the other direction. You forgot to include those people, like my mother, who would love to be able to get back to being a lower weight, but have all of the odds stacked against them.

    Some points you made I do agree with. Others make me kind of angry lol.

    • Hi Jen. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this post. I did think of you when I was publishing this and hoped that I wouldn’t offend you at all. You are right about BMI – it’s not an accurate indicator of overall health. I’ve heard that too. But it’s a pretty good guide for most people when it comes to a healthy weight, which is really what I’m getting at here. I’m talking about the majority, rather than the exceptions.

      I find it really interesting that the two commenters so far (you and one other) that have had quite an emotional response to this post have missed the parts where I am actually agreeing with what you are saying. Like this sentence:

      “Yes, there are some situations where people have some sort of physical constraint that limits exercise, yes some people are genetically more curvy.”

      So this would cover situations like your mum as well as people who are genetically larger sized (like islander cultures perhaps) but these really are exceptions and I believe they allow other people, to whom this doesn’t apply, to cop out of looking after their health.

      It is well known that weight control is 80% diet, 20% exercise. And I’m not talking about restricting meals so you eat like a mouse. I’m talking about quality in reasonable portion sizes. Once I started “clean eating” I ate more food than ever. If you put shit in, after a period of time your body will respond accordingly. For some (many?) people (not all as remember there are skinny unhealthy people) this will eventually result in weight gain. There may be circumstances where this doesn’t apply but again, I am talking about the majority of people.

      We need to wake up as a society and stop normalising obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. That’s what this post was mainly about. The other part was about remembering to be kind and sympathetic with those that are struggling. We don’t need to be mean about it. Which I hope you don’t feel I’ve done here. I really wanted to talk about this honestly but still respectfully.

      Thanks again for your comment. 🙂

      • It’s not that I’m offended by what you wrote. But yes, I did have an emotional response to it.

        It’s hard not to, when I’ve been that kid hearing other children call their Mom fat, when they don’t know the cause.

        I don’t disagree with your points, I do feel though that too much emphasis was put on the other perspective. Yes, most people can simply change their diet and exercise more and see amazing results. I don’t dispute that, and I know you’re right. Which is why I’m starting to make dietary changes myself. I do think however, that presuming that is everyone’s issue is wrong, and that was the main reason I threw that example out there. So that people could know that yes, there are people out there who just can’t. They may look like they have no excuse, but there could be a multitude of reasons as to their weight gain. (Ex. Thyroid issues, medications causing weight gain uncontrollably, injury or chronic pain, etc.). I just truly felt that those people needed a bit more of a voice in that post, is all.

        I’ve been the kid who heard people call their Mom fat. I’ve been the kid who even though I had a body shape that resembled a twig, was told I was destined to be fat too because that’s what my Mom looked like. And I’m not the person who struggles with her weight. An emotional response I don’t think is abnormal, considering.

        Like I said, I don’t take offense, and agree with most of your points. I just thought that those “special circumstance” people deserve more of a voice. Because people don’t look at you and wonder “Oh I wonder what might be hindering them”, they look at you and think “Oh she’s fat, she should get off her butt and do something about it”.

        That’s all. 🙂

  12. I agree with your post, although I do think you will catch some flack for it. I agree with your main points, in that its good to treat your body well and set a good example for your kids, and that its also good to teach your kids kindness and empathy.

  13. My mom and dad have both become obese. My mom morbidly obese. I love my mom with all my heart and soul, and she has molded and shaped me. They now eat out about once a day and eat only processed foods. My mom is slipping away from me in health, and I feel it painfully. I just had this conversation tonight with her before I read your post. But it won’t change. I am so sad.

  14. So many great comments here! I am just going to raise another strand to this issue, and that is that many skinny/underweight people get judged and criticised too. I am on the lighter side of the healthy wight range and i get tired of people make references to my frame and thinking that it doesn’t upset me. Sorry, a bit off topic but no one should be judged by their size 🙂

    • I think that is interesting too- the comments thin women get. I have always been in the middle of the healthy range- with a BMI of about 20-21. I have always wanted to lose weight though and have never been happy about my body. Yet if you dare say you want to lose weight when you’re already in a healthy range, all the sudden you have a skewed body perception and are on your way to an eating disorder. I’m a size 2-6 depending on the day and the clothing item, and I have a gut, jiggly thighs, and cellulite, but when I complained about it to a similar sized friend she accused me of being pro-ana. I just don’t talk about it anymore. My other friend is 5’10 and maybe 110 pounds on a heavy day, and the number of times she’s been yelled at by complete strangers to “eat a sandwich” is not insignificant. Really sometimes it just seems like there’s no way to win.

    • That is not iff topic at all. I had 2 points: let’s stop normalising obesity and let’s be nice to people regardless of their appearance. Your point slots nicely into the second category. 🙂 That must be super frustrating for you Michaela.

  15. Pingback: Motivating the Unwilling | Diary of a Fat Man

  16. Very well said! There is a huge difference between obesity and an unhealthy life style and obesity and a healthy lifestyle. Medically, I am 3lbs over weight… Every time I have tried to love those 3 lbs my body has resisted…. I live a very active lifestyle and eat moderately well so I have learned to be happy being officially “over weight”.

  17. Love this blog, it’s honest, helpful and completely on-trend. Obesity is a huge problem which needs to be addressed at any age. I know two ladies in my circle of acquaintances – one is 83, very fat virtually immobile, dependent upon her daughter and long suffering son-in-law. She sure likes to eat and smoke fags but makes no effort to walk or do anything to help herself.The other lady is 80 and a blonde, smiling powerhouse of a life well lived – she’s a super-slim, tennis playing, bike riding, fast walking, attractively dressed woman who looks 20 years younger than she is. Pay head girls, if you want to look fabulous when you are 80, start working on it NOW.

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