Okay, I hope this doesn't come out wrong, as I don't intend to offend anyone here...
I have a good friend who is very overweight. She's 5'3" and my guess is that she probably weighs between 220 and 250. She's very comfortable with being the way she is, eats whatever she wants whenever she wants to, never exercises, and says she doesn't have a problem with the way she looks. I almost feel bad for mentioning her as an example, because she's such a wonderful and sweet person... no one really pays attention to her weight or thinks of her as a "fat" person because she has so many wonderful qualities.
I've always commended her for her body positivity, but a part of me just has to wonder... is she REALLY comfortable with herself? Is she REALLY ok with being obese? She doesn't have any health problems, so she has no medical concerns regarding her weight, but I can't help but wonder if she's truly as ok with it as she seems.
Your thoughts? Do you think people who say they're ok with being fat have just accepted it because they think they'll never be thin? Or do they really not care because they think it poses no threat to their health?
06-05-2007, 09:45 AM
That is really a hard call. I know personally that I went through stages of being completely content with being overweight (up to about 200 lbs.) and felt like I could eat whatever I wanted and that the weight didn't matter. When I began to have a lot of health problems and the scale was nearing 250 is when I realized the wt. was a problem.
My sister is now a size 14 and constantly says she is perfectly happy with her size and doesn't wish to try to lose weight or change the way she eats. To each his own, I guess. She does have health problems and I am concerned for her. But, she's an adult and I know from my experience that no one else can make someone lose weight. It has to come from within. (Unless you have a really mean Dr. like I do, that insisted that I lose the weight). Please don't anyone bash me for saying I'm concerned she is a size 14. She smokes 2 packs a day, has super high blood pressure and is a little overweight, not drastically over-weight. Heck , I was thrilled when I got down to a size 14 considering where I started.
06-05-2007, 09:45 AM
Hmm, tough one. I know when I was at my top weight, people viewed me as one of those people who was "happy being fat". I thought I was, and I put a lot of effort into reading about body positivity and learning about fat acceptance. There was an element of denial, but there also was a defense mechanism of acceptance when I didn't know how to make things different for myself.
After a while, though, I got into my 30s and realized that I couldn't continue, that eventually health was going to become an issue. I learned that I loved myself all along, but I now had to love myself enough to dole out some "tough love" and take off extra pounds.
06-05-2007, 10:33 AM
Size 14 isn't TOO big... but it all depends on your bone structure and fat distribution. In my opinion, it wouldn't normally be a cause for concern, but it is if it's the root of health problems. Everyone's body deals with weight differently... so no bashing here! :) I have a medium-large bone structure (not quite big boned but close), and right now I'm a size 12. I can fit a 10 sometimes, but a 12 is always a safe bet. I know I'm overweight, but not morbidly so, and I am healthy and fit so I carry it well. I'm not content being overweight though... never was, never pretended to be. I think the friend I was referring to in my post is a size 22... now that could pose potential health problems for her as she gets older, but right now she's fine.
06-05-2007, 10:53 AM
I was completely content with my weight...so I thought. However, subconsiously, I was always complaining about how they had no clue about how to make "fat" clothes...they never fit right. I was always tired, just because of my general health. But my actual APPEARANCE wasn't what bothered me. I didn't decide to lose weight because of being unhappy with that, it was my health that was the deciding factor. Now that I have lost it, I find I am MUCH happier with my appearance as well. But I don't recall being UNhappy with it before.
06-05-2007, 01:07 PM
LOL I could have been your friend a few months ago. I was really positive about they way I looked, I had finally accepted that "Hey, this is who I am. My mom is big, soo I guess it's just destiny." But I think that acceptance of myself was the first step to me really committing to losing weight. I don't know how to explain it. I have "dieted" for the past 3 years..and see where that got me LOL. But after I had finally made peace with myself, here comes this motivation to lose weight. I realized that I wanted to be healthy, not just look better. Anywho..Just my two cents.
I think it is possible for her to really be happy with herself. But maybe she will eventually realize that lovin herself also means she should treat her body a little better. It's the only one we get. (Unless you have a REALLY good doctor)
06-05-2007, 02:03 PM
The fact is no matter how happy with yourself you are, if you don't fit society's standard, you'll be accused of kidding yourself or others, you're not "really" happy, you're "in denial."
Self-esteem and satisfaction with your life exists across a spectrum, for everyone. And there are alot of "fat" people who score above the average, and even above the average "thin" person. Are they the happiest the "could" be, well who knows? Is anyone ever the happiest they could be?
Since the age of 4 or 5, I've never experienced thin (I got close to normal once, when I was 17, for about five minutes, or so it seems), so how can I say whether being thin would change my overall satisfaction with my life, but I've always been smart, independent, funny, and generally happy with my less than perfect life, and can anyone ask for more?
If I (and in the early years my Mom, since I was "put" on my first diet in kindergarten) had been content with being a "little" fat, maybe I never would have become very, very fat. They typical yoyo pattern was definitely true of me. When I wasn't dieting, my weight remained stable, and when I dieted I lost weight for a while, plateaued, got discouraged, went off the diet, and gained much more than I lost. Starting at age 5, with a diet nearly every year, well here I am. In college and graduate school and a few years after, I had very little time to think about my weight. I was going to school and working full time, and after graduation working two jobs. My weight remained so constant, I was actually able to experience clothing "Going out of style" for the first time. I weighed about 250 lbs. For a few years after, noticing the pattern, I refused to diet, knowing it put me at risk for gaining more. I didn't eat crap (except for TOM, healthy foods really do appeal to me more than fat and carb loaded crap), and I was extremely healthy. I didn't delude myself, as I'd told doctors "I eat like a horse, and I'm as healthy as one too." The couldn't disagree, but said health problems were on the horizon, and I needed to lose while I was young enough for it to be as easy as it was ever going to be.
And of course, I was of dating age, and also meeting mostly frogs (my thin sister, 14 years younger than me, is now going through this also, so it isn't unique to fat girls), but Mom and friends were saying I'd never meet a "nice" guy while I was fat.
So back on the roller coaster, and over the next 10 years I gained almost 150pounds.
So, would I have been "happier" if I had stayed at 250? I don't know, but I'm certainly wishing I had!
Not too long ago, one day it seemed there were a lot of posts from people of pretty average weight absolutely hating themselves, and having extreme social anxiety about not being able to wear a swimsuit.... Later that night, we were watching a program that in some ways glorified anorexia, and I commented to my husband (who is a very nice guy, whose eye I caught at 375 lbs), that maybe it would have been easier for me to lose weight and keep it off, if I had hated and feared being overweight as much.
"But at what cost," was his response. Hmm. Being thin and fearing fat so much as to be permanently miserable vs being fat and happy (even at the cost of perhaps blissful ignorance?) Food for thought, but not much use to my real life.
You get the life you get, and work to make it what you want of it, within what you feel your resources to do so. If you're not happy until your life is perfect, you'll never be happy. I am trying to learn to lose weight without crash diets and giving up. I have many of the health problems, and am on medications for them, that make losing weight harder and slower. My metabolism has come to a screeching halt (it does irk me that eating what I am now, I would have lost 6 - 8 lbs a week on in my 20's). But I can't give up, or who knows where my weight would peak.
I've never been happy "with" my weight, but I've always been happy "at" my weight. I'm just an optimistic person, who nearly always feels lucky and blessed for what I DO have, rather than what I don't. Would I wish that I had never seen my first diet, and possibly as an adult be a curvy 150 lbs instead of having reached nearly 400 lbs? No reason to even go there.
The debate about whether a fat person can be fat and happy is a horrible one, because it's so often seems to accompany hidden (and not so hidden) agendas. Either feelings of superiority or judgement, or attempts to justify a chosen lifestyle. Each "side" firmly convinced that the other is clueless.
No one can "win" this one.
06-05-2007, 03:47 PM
I think she probably really is comfortable with herself. I know I could care less about the way I look. And I don't have health problems from my obesity, YET. My blood pressure is always really low and my cholesterol is low too. Go figure. Good genes. But I see my mom's health problems and it makes me think.....do I want to be a near invalid at 60 years old? So, I am posting here and not really doing much about losing weight, but it will come. I have gotten a miniscule amount of exercise and am eating more salad. But still eat lots of crap.
Ok, what I am saying is if she is happy, good for her. I know you are concerned for her health, but it has to come from her. And if it never does, well at least she is living life the way she wants. All we can ask is that our friends and family be happy and loved.
06-05-2007, 04:02 PM
But I see my mom's health problems and it makes me think.....do I want to be a near invalid at 60 years old?
Yes, yes, and amen. My dad is 68, always stuck in a chair, heading up to 300 lbs., bad knees, BAAAAAAAAAAD diabetes (has had to have paramedics called more than once, needs a scooter to get around most times, half blind from the diabetes. My brother, over 300 lbs. has several health issues. Then I saw my hubby's parents, 86 and 90, both slim and in fairly good health. They got up and did things, took walks, paid their bills. My grandparents, slightly younger, were in and out of the hospital, missed church more often than not because they didn't feel well, had people taking care of their bills and cleaning their house because they couldn't keep up with it themselves. Both of them were overweight considerably.
I thought...which life would I rather have when I get to my 60s...80s...perhaps 90s?
06-05-2007, 04:13 PM
I've always been really comfortable with the way that I look, even now that I'm a size 18. I get asked out plenty of times and have never had problem getting dates and I've always had lots of friends. I also have always walked everywhere and been in really good shape despite my weight. I think my confidence came more from my life achievements, but I have still always found myself attractive and have found plenty of other people that think so. However, losing weight will improve my health and my appearance as well. I think confidence has to be intrinsic and not motivated by others and based more on characteristics as opposed to outward appearance.
Plus, last year, my dad passed (on my birthday) after suffering cardiac arrest due to a heart arythmia and likely heart disease. My dad was in excellent shape - 5'9", about 180 pounds, very active, and still had heart problems, so I want to do whatever I can to avoid health problems.
06-06-2007, 11:12 AM
I was the same way when I was 250. I was very social, went to clubs, danced, had boyfriends all the time. Had awesome hair and nice clothes. Some even thought I was a "hoochie" as I was called by some. But, I can honestly say yes I was comfortable with myself at around 250. I have ALWAYS been overweight and do not know what it is like to be thin. I was ok with that. From the age of 4 I have been overweight and honestly do not forsee EVER wanting to be thin. I am not a thin person and never will be. I accept that. I don't really understand why people feel you have to be thin to be happy with yourself. My husband married me at 250ish and loved me then I am 320 as of today and loves me the same. He supports my weight loss but he is happy with me, even if I chose not to lose weight. I am doing so mainly for healthy reasons because my BP got a little high.
You will notice my goal right now is 250. Does that mean I have no plans of being happy? Of course not, it means that is my goal and if i choose to loose anymore then so be it.
So, in my opinion yes you can be fat and happy
06-06-2007, 11:54 AM
Kaplods, I loved your post.
As to the question of being fat and happy, I am fat. I am happy. Would I be happier if I fit in this world more comfortably? Yes. Would I be happier if I wasn't treated negatively due to my size? Yes, but I am happy about many things in my life and I know I am an incredible person.
Like some who have posted before me, I also have never had a problem getting dates or making friends at a high weight. I have had a man in my life for the past 6 years who loves and accepts me 100%. He has always thought I am beautiful and sexy and has told me this daily.
Do I wish that I was thinner? Yes, and I am working to become thinner and healthier, but I don't think my happiness has been contingent upon weight alone.
06-06-2007, 11:57 AM
Yeah, the friend I was talking about is very social, too, has a good fashion sense, and gets plenty of dates and guys who like her. She's happy with herself, and like I said, I commend her for that... I just wonder if she's really happy with being as big as she is... or if she's decided to deal with it because she doesn't think it will change. It's interesting to see several people here believe you can be overweight/obese and still comfortable with yourself... especially since this is a diet/weight loss forum.;)
06-07-2007, 12:53 PM
I was usually pretty happy with my appearance but was terrified about my health (bad family history and several warning signs)
I have friends who are extremely obese and they have never dieted that I know of so maybe they are happy with their weight, we dont discuss weight.
I do find it ironic that even though I have always been pretty comfortable with my appearance, when I mention losing weight the first thing people always say to me is "but you look fine" and " why do you have such a poor body image". They dont "believe" the health reasons.