100 lb. Club - HAES, Fat Acceptance, & weight loss???




matt_H
04-06-2010, 10:31 AM
Two separate people in the past week have made what I took as snide comments to me about weight loss after something I posted in an LJ blog (these are my "real life" friends). One girl said "I believe in 'HAES' and being happy is the more important than weight loss" (I had to look up the acronym). Another girl said that while she would is happy that I lost weight she thinks I should "accept who I am". The second comment posted some web links about the fat acceptance movement.

Maybe I took the comments the wrong way, but I feel like they are trying to minimize weight loss. It almost seemed to me that my weight loss somehow criticized them.

I don't want to get into an argument with them so I sort of let the whole thing drop, but I've been thinking about it all morning now.

I don't even know where I'm going with this post other than being rambly and venting. :?:


WildThings
04-06-2010, 10:41 AM
I think it shows more of their own insecurities more than belittling your weightloss efforts. We can't stay overweight in order to make others happy any more than losing weight so we look better to others. If that makes other uncomfortable, that is their issue to deal with and work on, we must do what is best for ourselves and turn a deaf ear to the comments of others.

Getting Right
04-06-2010, 10:44 AM
They have issues....


PeanutsMom704
04-06-2010, 10:50 AM
I am assuming these friends are overweight themselves? And if so, then yes, I do think they are minimizing your weight loss because they feel badly about their own weight. I would guess that they would prefer to weigh less but aren't prepared to put in the amount of time and effort you have have put in to accomplish what you have.

But I also argue with the premise that this is a zero sum game. The choices aren't being happy OR losing weight - there is no reason people can't do both. I'm very happy losing weight and eating healthy food and increasing my activity. Actually, I'm far, far happier than I was a year ago when I was doing none of those things.

Don't let them take your happiness and pride at your achievements away from you. You are an amazing inspiration for those of us who share your goals of being happy AND healthy and fit.

susiemartin
04-06-2010, 10:51 AM
They're jealous.
Pure & simple

JayEll
04-06-2010, 10:55 AM
Matt, someone else had a post recently about getting comments they didn't appreciate. I told her that when you post on the internet, you are open to all kinds of comments that people wouldn't necessarily make to your face, even if you know them.

Health At Any Size is a wonderful idea, but I'm not sure that it really can apply to any size. Obesity takes a terrible toll on the body.

It's good to feel compassion for the people who said those things, because they are struggling themselves. Perhaps they are overweight and have had difficulty losing, and are feeling discouraged--and they would rather try to be happy as they are. That's OK--but they don't need to tell you what to do.

You're doing great, Matt.

Jay

junebug41
04-06-2010, 11:03 AM
It almost seemed to me that my weight loss somehow criticized them.


That's exactly what it did. Are you responsible for that? Of course not, but I sure do remember how that felt. Seeing someone else accomplish weightloss was an offense to my entire lifestyle. It narrowed in on the thing I was most insecure about and most afraid of accomplishing in my entire life.

What's particularly bothersome to me is the conclusion people make that, "well look at how hard you work and all the food you pass up. You MUST be absolutely miserable". It's like doing something for yourself, being the best 'you' possible is the same as not accepting yourself. There's a disconnect from reality there, KWIM?

But what you're doing is all you can really do. You've done something remarkable and no words will negate that.

Joy2MeNu
04-06-2010, 11:04 AM
Two separate people in the past week have made what I took as snide comments to me about weight loss after something I posted in an LJ blog (these are my "real life" friends). One girl said "I believe in 'HAES' and being happy is the more important than weight loss" (I had to look up the acronym). Another girl said that while she would is happy that I lost weight she thinks I should "accept who I am". The second comment posted some web links about the fat acceptance movement.

Maybe I took the comments the wrong way, but I feel like they are trying to minimize weight loss. It almost seemed to me that my weight loss somehow criticized them.

I don't want to get into an argument with them so I sort of let the whole thing drop, but I've been thinking about it all morning now.

I don't even know where I'm going with this post other than being rambly and venting. :?:


It is so unfortunate and shocking when "real life friends" aren't as friendly as we thought. The problem is theirs and not yours. Because of the example you have set, they are faced with their own problem(s) much more close up and personal. Because of your significant and precious loss, you are now changed. Sometimes when we make huge changes in our lives, whether it is weight loss, giving up drinking or smoking, or accepting our faith as our rock, ..., it makes those friends not know how to connect with us anymore. Sometimes, because of this, we just have to move on. There will be new friends, so I hope you don't dwell on their immaturity and lack of understanding. That can sabotage you and you must guard yourself from this. You have done so well. Congratulations to you and your amazing and indescribable effort!

cfmama
04-06-2010, 11:06 AM
I've had quite a few people infer (and down right TELL ME) that being thin wouldn't make me happy... that I had to learn to love myself at any size. You know what I told them? That it was LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF that helped me make the decision to STOP ABUSING MYSELF and get healthy!!!!!!

You are doing wonderfully Matt. They ARE jealous. I've been there. I've been pushing 400 pounds. I told myself that I loved myself just the way I was.... You know what that was? An excuse to freaking eat myself to death.

*hugs*

JustBeckyV
04-06-2010, 11:11 AM
I think everyone needs to learn to accept themselves no matter the size. But is proven like others said that the more weight you carry the more chance you have to have problems later in life. Sometimes even now in life.

I have a feel though that these posts weren't done in the best interest of you -but more as a way for them to help themselves. Keep doing what you are doing - you know what is best for you and your health!

PaulaM
04-06-2010, 11:42 AM
I think they are jealous too, they see that you succeeded in your goals and maybe they haven't? In theory that happiness at any size stuff sounds good, but now that I'm getting older, trust me, you cannot be happy when real medical issues start popping up. For those who stay tremendously heavy, at some point illnesses will start to appear. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart troubles, etc. You can't "happy" your way out of those.

rockinrobin
04-06-2010, 11:44 AM
So they're essentially saying that you are trying to *change yourself* because you don't love yourself the way you are. I HATE that way of thinking. It's SUCH bull$**$. It's EXACTLY the opposite. It's that we love ourselves ENOUGH to start taking care of ourselves.

These people clearly don't get it. You can't let it get to you. They're in a different place and have to find any reason and excuse to STAY the way that they are.

I'm sorry that you feel badly about this. But this is so much their issue and so not yours.

zamzam
04-06-2010, 11:48 AM
The whole Fat Acceptance Movement is a B.S if you ask me. You can't possibly be healthy and obese or even very overweight. When I was 50lbs heavier, I had bad knees, back pain, constant headaches, insomnia and host of other health issues. And I was only 20 so I could imagine how worse my health would get from that point on. Besides, arent they being hypocrites? So they accept fat bodies but reject when the fat body gets slimmer? How is this different from Fat Phobia exactly? Arent they supposed to accept all bodies, at any weight?

PeanutsMom704
04-06-2010, 11:52 AM
So they're essentially saying that you are trying to *change yourself* because you don't love yourself the way you are. I HATE that way of thinking. It's SUCH bull$**$. It's EXACTLY the opposite. It's that we love ourselves ENOUGH to start taking care of ourselves.

yeah, I meant to put something about this too - changing your life and your body for the better definitely doesn't come from a place of hating yourself!

Last year on the Biggest Loser, one of the contestants was looking at a picture of himself when he had first started (I think he had lost around 200 lbs at that point) and said that he could never hate that person because that was the person that made the decision to change his life and took those first steps to make it happen. I definitely feel the same way - it wasn't that I hated myself but the life I was leading wasn't making me happy either. So why should I work at accepting that and trying to make myself be happy that way when I could put that time and effort into buiding healthy eating habits and becoming more active and fit? I can be happy and love myself no matter what weight I am - but it's not like I can't do that by losing weight (again, the zero sum game thing - they are acting like the choices are either/or instead of both at the same time)

sprklemajik
04-06-2010, 12:46 PM
Health At Any Size is a wonderful idea, but I'm not sure that it really can apply to any size. Obesity takes a terrible toll on the body.

Agreed.


You've done a wonderful thing for your life. I'm sure it's painful that your friends aren't celebrating your hard work. It says a lot more about them than it does about you. I never hated myself at a larger size, but I'm happier about my abilities as I get smaller.

matt_H
04-06-2010, 12:58 PM
So they're essentially saying that you are trying to *change yourself* because you don't love yourself the way you are. I HATE that way of thinking. It's SUCH bull$**$. It's EXACTLY the opposite. It's that we love ourselves ENOUGH to start taking care of ourselves.

I absolutely love this quote Robin!!! :D

Thank you!

melNco
04-06-2010, 12:59 PM
1st off.. CONGRATS!! You have made impressive progress and you should be (and I know you are) SO proud of yourself. I myseld know someone who, likes to be mean because that is their nature and she would try to put down people just to make herself feel better. I'm not sure either of the comments were meant to be malicious but sometimes people, either those that have never had to struggle with alot of weight to lose or those who are overweight and feel they cant do it... would rather give a response based on their lives (their response for themselves) and not realizing that it is a major accomplishment for someone.

Did that make sense? lol

I wish you ALL the best :)

Mel

Shannon in ATL
04-06-2010, 01:06 PM
I've seen a lot of references to this kind of thing recently. Glory has a post in maintainer's about something very similar - someone posted a picture on one of her albums saying she didn't love herself at her high weight. I've seen two different articles online saying the same kind of things - people who try to lose large amounts of weight are doing it out of self hatred, maintaining a weight loss with continued exercise and calorie limiting is a further manifestation of that hatred. I think it is an unfortunate evolution of our culture - Americans are getting larger and larger everywhere. We are more and more depressed about it, which makes a lot of people eat more as a method of comfort. We are focused on food, obsessed even. The HEAS movement tries to make us let go of that obsession and move into a healthier relationship with food. I applaud that ideal, but like Jay I don't know if it applies to everyone at every size. I don't think it is healthy accepting yourself when you are setting yourself up for health problems related to weight. It seems so counterproductive to me - learn to accept your fat so you can be happy? It is just one more admission of defeat, or one more reason to keep eating cheeseburgers. I was watching Food Revolution today and the DJ said "We don't want to eat salads. We like to eat what we like to eat, and once Jamie is gone we'll go back to that." Fat acceptance would fit nicely there.... :o

You look great, and it sounds like you feel great. Like Robin & Peanutsmom, I think that you love yourself greatly, or you wouldn't have made the changes you have made. Why would you put yourself through all of that if you didn't? It would have been so much easier to stay where you were. I'm sorry your friends aren't more supportive. Like others have said, I imagine that they are casting their own insecurities onto you. You just stay strong and stay healthy. Eventually they will realize that they have to make changes, too.

VickieLou
04-06-2010, 01:10 PM
Matt :congrat: on losing 226.8 LBS! You are such an Inspiration to us ALL.
I'm sorry to hear your friends are being so ridiculous. I think they are just jealous and probably feel guilty that they can't lose their weight, like you did.
They aren't thinking about the health benefits of losing weight. Are any of these people participating in the Komen race with you?

myrrah
04-06-2010, 01:28 PM
Hmm. I do not agree with the fat acceptance movement (obviously or I wouldn't be here) but I think some of the slamming here is unfair.

Fact is that what, 98% of diets fail? Within 5 years ppl regain the weight they lost. Faced with those odds, and with the suffering that is often what dieting is about, I totally get why ppl choose to rebel.

I do like HAES. Fat acceptance can lead to that 500 lb woman trying to gain weight and insisting there are no negative health implications to this idea - yeah right. But HAES, what is to argue with that? Some people choose not to actively try to get slimmer, usually because it has been unsuccessful and lead to pain for them. If dieting is about health, not looks, then why do we have a problem with people focusing primarily on exactly that - health, not looks/size?

Lyn2007
04-06-2010, 01:56 PM
I have had people tell me I am missing out on the fun, that I am depriving myself of living life, that I should just be happy how I am.

Well, how I am is going to lead me to being unable to walk. I assure you THAT would be a lot more "missing out on fun" and "deprived" than not eating a donut.

CLCSC145
04-06-2010, 02:58 PM
I have no doubt that there are people out there who are happy at any size. I wasn't one of them. I was miserable, physically and emotionally. It wasn't that I couldn't accept who I was, it was that the weight was taking a toll on my body and my psyche. If someone can be morbidly obese, healthy, and 100% happy with themselves, more power to them. But I think those folks are few and far between.

I'm sorry your friends made you feel bad. I wonder if in a very awkward way they were trying to tell you they like you no matter your size. But to make you feel bad for such a major accomplishment that will keep you healthy and alive for many extra years is just wrong.

2phatinvictoria
04-06-2010, 03:20 PM
They're jealous.
Pure & simple

I completely agree the above quote... Haven't you watched another friend loose weight then you kinda get that jealous feeling.. why not ask if they want to join you in this journey?

calluna
04-06-2010, 03:39 PM
I'm not sure I have a lot to contribute to this thread.... I don't choose to speculate on your friends' motivation in their comments or on the fat acceptance movement.

I was contemplating, though, and I think the US is caught in a national paradox...getting heavier as a nation, while being fat causes us to experiences not only the usual health problems, but also some pretty severe - and socially acceptable - discrimination.

It's a terrible catch-22...

rockinrobin
04-06-2010, 04:11 PM
If someone can be morbidly obese, healthy, and 100% happy with themselves, more power to them. But I think those folks are few and far between.
.

I know the point you are getting at CC, but I just have got to mention, that there is no way any one can be healthy AND be morbidly obese at the same time.

That's not to say that every morbidly obese person is feeling the ill affects of their weight, but they can't be healthy. They are putting themselves at added risks for many avoidable, debilitating and deadly diseases. I think those that say they are healthy, are just kidding themselves, trying to justify their behavior. I am aware that many will disagree with me.

Being morbidly obese, overfeeding oneself IS a form of abuse. And it's not okay.

Imagine sleeping around having unprotected sex. It's not okay. It WILL catch up with you.

Drinking alcohol on a daily basis, during work hours. It's not okay. It WILL catch up with you.

Doing drugs all day long. It's not okay. It WILL catch up with you.

No *friend* would try to convince you to love yourself and just accept these behaviors.

They would try and convince you to yes, love yourself and HALT the *bad* behaviors.

And when you did, they'd applaud you.

Unless of course they were your drinking, drugging and sex buddies...

kaplods
04-06-2010, 04:14 PM
I don't think it's necessarily jealousy, I think it's most likely fear - and not entirely unjustified fear. Fat people, even though they're more common are still largely seen as entirely worthless, disgusting, lazy and even imoral (and are encouraged to look at themselves that way).

Jealous? No. Defensive? Yes.

And I don't think it's necessarily a terrible thing (it didn't help you any), but I think that sometimes Fat Acceptance and HAES philosophy can be a healthy stage to something better. It was for me.

I was raised to half-believe that a person could only be healthy and valuable or really of use to anyone at all, by fiting a physical stereotype that I was not (and may never acheive). Since fat was not healthy, there was absolutely no reason for a fat person (especially a fat woman) to exercise at all - and in fact if she did it was "ridiculous."

Fat Acceptance - that I was of value NOW, not only 150 lbs thinner change my life for the better. Out of FA literature, I found HAES theory, that I could become healthier (even if not healthiest) at any weight. That there was value in exercise (apart from, and independent of weight loss) was a very radical concept at the time. Like many then (early 1990's) and sadly many now, I believed that I owed it to the public at large, NOT to exercise in public so that they would be spared the "disgusting" sight of me in a bathing suit or sweating on a bicycle.

I loved swimming, and basically felt apologitic for my hideousness, but I didn't let it stop me from getting in the water (I think because when I was swimming laps, I knew I wouldn't be able to hear the ridicule). Yet, it still took me decades to feel confident enough to buy and use a bicycle (riding a bike, I would still be able to see and hear any ridicule). I was SURE that I was too fat for a bicycle, convinced that I'd break it (why wouldn't I think that, when I was 11 my mother told me I couldn't ride a horse, because I was so fat that I'd hurt the horse).

I did go through a defensive stage at first. I almost HAD to, because I did get quite a bit of ridicule when I tried to break the sterotypes of what was "acceptable" for a fat woman to do. My mother is still horiffied that I ride a bike (she doesn't say anything anymore, but she makes a horrified face). She doesn't remember telling me as a first grader not to climb on the monkey bars because it "looked ridiculous," and I really should lose weight FIRST - that's great fat kids shouldn't exercise because it looks silly and they might get hurt (which I think was my mother's real fear that because I wasn't as "coordinated" as my brother, that I would get hurt - also at the time a girl that did anything more than jump rope was a "tomboy").

I think for a very long time, and even still today the only thing that matters is the scale's number, not the bigger picture. I did very unhealthy and even dangerous things to lose weight when I was younger, because I didn't care if it hurt or even killed me if there was any chance of my being "acceptable" to my friends, family, and society at large.

If I'd not gone through the FA and HAES movement, I think I still would be there. Hating myself for not being perfect and feeling that I didn't count unless I could be perfect physically, and feeling that no one would ever really care at all that I was great person as long as I was fat.

I cringe when I encounter the attitude that a fat person must hate themselves enough to change. I've done it both ways, and I can tell you I much prefer losing weight because I love myself and know that I am worth treating myself with respect, than to lose weight in order to punish myself for the crime of being fat in order to hopefully at some point become "worthy" of a place in society.

The problem was that when I felt unworthy, I also felt that I didn't matter to anyone (even myself) so when dieting became too painful, I also felt that my faillure ultimately didn't matter either. Since I mattered to no one, what difference could it possibly make if I ate, and at least eating made me feel better for a short time.

People can't be truly supportive of others until they learn how to be supportive of themselves, and I would say these people haven't learned that yet.

Eliana
04-06-2010, 04:45 PM
The whole fat movement I think is good for one reason only and that is that it tries to do away with the discrimination associated with fat. The notion that people who are fat are lazy and uneducated has got to go. I wish fat could be looked at more as a medical problem in the eyes of the public. I do not like that people who are fat feel they are less worthy. It's wrong.

However, encouraging people to stay fat is nothing short of absurd. Sure, love where you are in life, but strive for better. Always strive for better!

MissKoo
04-06-2010, 04:55 PM
yeah, I meant to put something about this too - changing your life and your body for the better definitely doesn't come from a place of hating yourself!

Well put.

IMHO It is NEVER okay for to hate myself or allow others to be abusive towards me because of my weight. This is a hard one, for me. I certainly hate the way I feel because of being obese: back aches, feet hurt, no energy, GERD, and so on. I hate the way I feel enough to jump back on plan. I want to be fit and healthy again and to make this work (again, this is for me) I have to do it out of self-care. Hating myself (which I am brilliant at) hasn't done anything good for me! Ever.

On to what "friends" have to say: time to pull out the "whatever" card. Some people can be so supportive and turn around and be so derogatory. Who knows why? Gotta turn on the filter - good comes in - bad stays out.

When I was in high school my dad consistently referred to me as "fat a*s". Nice, huh? I wore size 13 pants back then - which isn't huge for a tall girl. I ended up going on a crash diet and lost 35 pounds over the summer. I felt sick all the time, lived on diet soda and sugar free gum. But, I bought size 8 pants for back to school. Not a great victory though - I started smoking to ease my food cravings. I thought for sure my folks would rather have a daughter who smokes than a big fat-a*s. How sad.

I don't know much about fat acceptance or HAES. People generally have very strong opinions about obesity - they may not understand why it is so prevelant or they could be angry at overweight people for being overweight (that happens all the time). Can't control that. Just keep on doing what you're doing to get healthy and slim and feel good about yourself for doing it! Regardless. And I will, too!

kaplods
04-06-2010, 05:24 PM
Most of the fat acceptance stuff in the 90's (when I found it) was NOT about intentionally trying to stay fat - it was (at least on the surface) about eating healthy and exercising, and letting the weight be whatever it is.

The problem (as I see it) was that FA sponsored dating events that weren't just fat-accepting, they were fat-as-a-turn-on. I think the NAACP would have been a very different sort of organization if it sponsored events where white men could meet hot black chicks (and call it race relations).

The FA is so closely tied with not just chubby chasers (men, mostly with a sexual preference for large woman), but also fat fetishists and feeders (folks who are turned on my seeing their partner binge eat and gain weight - sometimes it's the eating, sometimes it's the gaining that is the turn on - and some will leave their partner when they can't gain any more weight - often at the point the person is immobile).

Because deviance is so closely tied with FA and even HAES, I don't think either will ever gain much respect. Which is rather sad. Understanding that obesity is unhealthy, and doing something about it has to be separated from both the fat = evil AND the fat = sexy crowd.

I am sexy, my fat (and my foot, for that matter) is not. If I guy is attracted to a woman in high heels, there's nothing wrong with that. If he can't have sex with her unless she's wearing high heels, there's a problem, and the same is true of any fetish. In a fetish, the fetish is more important than the person.

As long as FA is tied to fat fetish, I don't see it helping much. Which is too bad, because some of the ideals are awesome. It was in a FA magazine, BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) that I first red articles about VERY fat women being very active, bicycling, kaayaking, even horseback riding. I discovered that even a 300 lb woman could ride a horse, if it was the right horse. I would not have broken the horse's back as my mother told me when I was a fat kid (at weights between 175 and 225 lbs).

The paralyzing fear we associate with fat is a greater enemy than the fat itself. I would love to see the day when no one is terrified of being seen in a bathing suit or how silly they look when being active.

GirlyGirlSebas
04-06-2010, 05:30 PM
I love myself and I am happy. I have many wonderful qualities that have absolutely nothing to do with my weight or appearance. But, perhaps it is time for some tough love for myself? Being 100+ pounds overweight is not healthy. Those people may be happy now, but how long will they feel happy when the aches and pains and obesity related diseases start to destroy their bodies? My recent lab results show me that my weight and horrible eating habits are starting to impact my health. And, this does not make me happy!

PeanutsMom704
04-06-2010, 05:54 PM
as a follow up to some of Kaplods points - I agree with about how the FA movement has gotten twisted away from the original concept. Obesity/overweight is the last "safe" prejudice and it would be wonderful if that could be turned around. But it's hard to sort out the fat fetishism from the people who use these concepts as an excuse to stay fat from the real issues of discrimination and of portraying a healthy and active lifestyle for people of all shapes and sizes.

I find it incredibly sad that people are out there promoting the concept that you have to be unhappy to lose weight - either as motivation for the loss, or as what it's like to go through the process. I wasn't unhappy with mySELF when I decided to commit to this process, I was unhappy with the impact my weight had on my body and my life, and possibly even my longevity. So it was the opposite of unhappiness that made me make that decision - I wanted to enjoy my life even more, and add new activities and experiences that I couldn't do at my then size and fitness level. And I am the opposite of unhappy right now, too. I enjoy my food, I never feel like I have to go hungry and I reinforce to myself every single day that food doesn't equal happiness and "enjoying life" doesn't mean living a life centered around unhealthy food choices.

I would be totally on board with the HAES concept if people truly meant it, but I see it going the way of the FA movement and becoming a rationale to make poor choices that result in weight gain. Not everyone leading a healthy life of good food choices and reasonable amounts of activity will become skinny, but it's pretty unusual to lead that lifestyle and continue to gain weight (and depending on what weight you start off at, to at least lose some even if that's not the primary focus).

teensie3
04-06-2010, 05:57 PM
I think that kaplods has made some really great points. I agree that FA has helped me as well. I was at a point where I hated myself so much that I didn't have the desire to change my ways. I wasn't worth it. Then I came across the idea of acceptance at any size and it has become important to my journey. I needed to find some love for myself as I am now before I could turn that love into change and become who I want to be in the future. The truth is, a lot of fat people give up and think they can't do things because of their fat and that's simply not true. Is there more pain, sure? Can they do everything, no. But they can do a lot more than what they (or society) give credit for and taking the step to do those things is loving yourself as you are. I like to swim. For years I wouldn't do it. Last year, as I was on the journey of accepting myself as I was, I spent half the summer at the pool. That is being healthy at any size. I think the principles behind the idea are good, but as with any theory, it can be stretch, molded, and blown out of proportion to be something it's not.

Back to the OP, sounds like there is a lot of fear going on with your friends. Defend yourself where you feel it is needed, and let it go where it is not. Hopefully in due time you will be supporting them on their journey to love themselves more as well. Either way, what others say is about them, not you, so don't make it about you.

bythenumbers
04-06-2010, 06:40 PM
I agree Matt, this is their issue, not one you have to worry about.
You are an inspiration and have done an amazing thing in taking control of your body. Those who say otherwise are weak and insecure.
They can't be happy for you because they are not happy.

Be proud of what you have done, don't let anyone take that accomplishment from you!!!

PaulaM
04-06-2010, 07:17 PM
While I agree that fat is one of the last things you can still mock and make fun of, and that maybe that group did open some doors against fat discrimination, I still think they are misguided. As in all these groups, some people take it too far and become fanatics. Maybe somewhere there are some hugely obese people who can run and do sports, but the majority are going to encounter health troubles at some point. Being morbidly obese can even cause you to get cancer. How can anybody think it's ok not to even try to improve your health? I was slim for years, and now fat for years. Every single thing you do from sitting to walking to cleaning house to exercising is easier when you are not fat. The human body was not designed to carry an extra hundred pounds with no repercussions.

Having said all that, I can honestly say even at this weight I have never hated myself, thought I was worthless or not sexy etc. I still find my body beautiful with all its roundness because it's the house I live in. So far it has allowed me to get up every day and live. I will try my best every single day to achieve better health through fitness and good nutrition. No group can convince me that's a bad idea.

dragonwoman64
04-06-2010, 07:58 PM
Health At Any Size is a wonderful idea, but I'm not sure that it really can apply to any size. Obesity takes a terrible toll on the body.

It's good to feel compassion for the people who said those things, because they are struggling themselves. Perhaps they are overweight and have had difficulty losing, and are feeling discouraged--and they would rather try to be happy as they are. That's OK--but they don't need to tell you what to do.

You're doing great, Matt.

Jay

this was exactly my reaction. you've done an amazing job, Matt, and you look terrific.

myrrah
04-06-2010, 08:42 PM
I dunno, I weighed 100 lbs more than I do now and honestly I don't feel that different. When I eat healthy I feel much better than when I don't, regardless of size. I never have knee problems now and I did sometimes have minor knee issues before. I took up running for awhile and wouldn't have done that at my former size.

But I used to be able to walk for hours, I had two healthy pregnancies (one at 270 lbs and one at 240), two natural births, one at home. I was not fast but I was also not debilitated by my size and I could do a lot of things physically.

I can also cross my legs at the knee now, that is new. But really I don't feel that different, I can barely believe I used to weigh 100 lbs more. The biggest gain is the increased social acceptance and approval, really.

eta - I also used to have PCOS, which I suppose I still do but I no longer have symptoms. But again healthy eating was the crucial factor there, as my symptoms were vastly improved even when I was at a much higher weight.

rockinrobin
04-06-2010, 11:01 PM
I dunno, I weighed 100 lbs more than I do now and honestly I don't feel that different.
.

Oh but you can be certain that your heart feels a whole lot better!!!

And what about lowering your risks of certain cancers? There are many kinds of cancer associated with being overweight. For woman, there's breast, cervical, ovarian, colon and gall bladder, just to mention a few.

You may not *feel* all that different, but you have done wonders for your health and your future. Wonders.

Congratulations on the spectacular loss. :carrot:

myrrah
04-07-2010, 07:19 AM
Thanks. I don't mean to downplay the loss - it's true it's huge, I worked hard on it and I'm very happy about it. I guess I just question some of the things we think about being fat. I personally believe fatness is/can be one symptom of imbalance/unhealth. I don't think it causes much itself, unless you are really really fat. Kwim? And I don't like the judgments we put on people over their size. Nor do I like the idea that HAES is necessarily a bad thing.

I used to be into the fat acceptance ideology - I am not any longer. With that ideology I was just getting fatter and fatter. There would certainly have come a point where fatness itself became a huge problem for me. I was halfway thru morbid obesity on the way toward super.

But HAES I think can be a great way for people to start to live healthier without 'going on a diet.' A lot of people are averse to going on a diet, and for good reason. IME healthful eating/activity improves health a LOT, regardless of size. And really, isn't weight going to very probably drop off anyway when someone changes their habits for the better? At least if they are extremely fat it likely will. It strikes me just as a choice not to focus on size as the primary thing.

ValRock
04-07-2010, 07:34 AM
You know... honestly. HAES is a nice concept. It's always good to feel good about yourself. BUT, I feel like it's also a huge copout. It's easy to abuse your body and then turn around and say "it's okay, I love myself". Can you really truly love your body when it makes you out of breath to walk up stairs and you're shoving all kinds of unhealthy crap into it? As harsh as the reality is... I don't think so.

Loving yourself TRULY loving yourself means taking the steps to get healthy. You are doing that... and maybe they're not ready and it's hard for them to hear.

JayEll
04-07-2010, 08:10 AM
I think that Healthy At Every Size can be a great approach--as long as people don't fool themselves about what healthy means.

I was a "healthy" obese person for a number of years. I ate "mostly" healthy foods (just a lot of them), and I "tried" to exercise regularly. But it's easy to get a distorted view of what that means or what it does for you.

My fasting blood glucose came back at 109. That's borderline diabetic. I didn't "feel" that!

Now that I have REALLY been exercising regularly, and lost weight, my fasting blood glucose is around 85.

My blood pressure was never high--but now it's 106/60.

My cholesterol was 209, and now it's 192, and my bad cholesterol has dropped from high to normal.

You can't really feel these differences! Diabetes and high blood pressure are called "silent killers" because you don't know you have them without testing.

So--yes--HAES is good if it encourages people to become physically active and eat better foods. Some may use it as a cop out, but that's their problem.

Jay

graceandbalance
04-07-2010, 08:58 AM
For me, eating fatty or sugary foods is like an addiction, and when I think about it in that context, the current fat acceptance movement seems misguided. I think it's good and necessary to reduce the stigma associated with being fat - as with drug addictions the stigma of being addicted can really get in the way of the person seeking help, even though the addiction is usually a result of a certain brain chemistry. And I think that a lot more people would seek treatment for both food and drug addictions if they were seen purely as a health problem, rather than a moral failing - so reducing the stigma is not just good for making people feel better about themselves, but is also essential for treating addiction. But in the case of drug addiction, its clear that people should still seek help even as they start to feel better about themselves. Few people think that drug addicts should just stay the way they are, even if its perfectly understandable how they got there. Why should it be any different with fat people?

I've accepted myself as a fat person in the sense that I feel much less shame about it than I used to - and I think that will be essential to me having the patience to lose weight over a long period, rather than trying to lose it really quickly and failing over and over again. Shame only gets in the way of me taking care of myself.

TJFitnessDiva
04-07-2010, 09:24 AM
I haven't read every response :lol: Just saying that now ;)

Matt...I would just flat out ignore them. It sounds like they are justifying the way they are because you make them feel bad. I've been getting a lot of friends getting defensive to me and trying to reason with me they are eating whatever is in their hand "because". I don't police, I don't ask, I don't really care what they are eating in the first place though. It's their business and it annoys the heck out of me that they get all defensive as soon as they see me.

As for FA and HAES....I have no experience with them but from what I read they remind me of PETA :P They might have a good "idea" to help out those in need but the extremists are the ones that stand out & totally turn me off. I'm all about loving yourself (the bottom quote in my siggy is what I live by) but that should make you want to strive for better, ya know?

fra
04-07-2010, 09:42 AM
I can only speak for myself, but i can tell you that "who I am" is much more closer to where I am now weight-wise, than where I was when I was obese. There were so many things I wanted to say, but felt I couldn't. Things I wanted to do, but wasn't able to. I never accepted me back then because I felt trapped in someone else's body. I now recognize myself in the mirror as the person I always pictured me to be. So.

myrrah
04-07-2010, 11:10 AM
I haven't heard the cancer + obesity link ever. How closely are these two things correlated? If not that closely, I think it's a red herring. What about that recent study that ppl who are overweight live longer? Why not raise that as quickly as the 'cancer' thing?

*Health* at every size focuses on health. It's a choice to prioritize health over size/dieting. I don't see what is so wrong with that. Diets fail, a LOT. 98% of the time or something?

I'm not saying it's wrong to choose dieting. I chose it myself. But the judgment is kind of hypocritical and misplaced. Also this idea that fat must = not being able to do basic physical things. I think it is often true but is also exaggerated. When I was morbidly obese I could do all kinds of things. On youtube there is this 'obese and pregnant' series with a vid of omgz a 300 lb pregnant woman!!!!11!. Well I was 270 and pregnant and the experience was absolutely nothing like what they portray.

I think if health is the focus, let people do it how they want. Dieting to try to be a particular size has its own downside. We choose it, so great. But it doesn't make everyone else wrong.

TJFitnessDiva
04-07-2010, 11:23 AM
Diets fail because the person doing it stops following their plan (excluding people that have medical problems like PCOS that make it difficult to lose even more) ;) I don't pay attention to any statistics on any of that....I'm not a statistic lol Sure I have my battles but my determination will see me though.

I thought I was healthy too at my highest weight and really my numbers were good for a person for my size. It could have been because I wasn't obese my whole life or any number of factors though and I know now it was a time bomb just like if I had anything else that went undiagnosed or untreated.

For the record I lost the weight for pure vanity reasons.....having even healthier numbers from my doctor is icing on the cake ;)

Shmead
04-07-2010, 11:38 AM
If nothing else, being overweight makes the detection and treatment of cancers more difficult and dangerous. This may be in part because, as is often alleged, the medical establishment tends to always see weight as the problem when someone is overweight, and because overweight people are reluctant to go to the doctor because they feel ashamed, but there are practical reasons, as well: it has to be harder to detect a lump when there is a lot of fat, and all the medication is developed and tested on people of "average" weight: when they have to scale these things up for people on one extreme or the other of the bell curve, they are making an educated guess.

PaulaM
04-07-2010, 11:42 AM
I have heard that a lot of the machines they use to detect problems don't work right when you are too fat, they were just not designed to be able to see through all that fat. And in many places the facilities don't have the "jumbo" sized machines for people to fit into, such as MRIs etc. Huge people can't always be cremated and can't fit into regular sized coffins. If you start researching any of this you will be shocked.

matt_H
04-07-2010, 12:53 PM
I just want to thank everyone for the comments here! Its been very interesting to me to read your take on these things.

Wanting to lose weight is not because you don't love yourself as you are, but you love yourself and want to live!

kaplods
04-07-2010, 03:34 PM
Drug addicts are people who need our love and support and fat people are just lazy and disgusting. It's a sterotype that is frightfully common (held even by many doctors).

I thought it was very interesting on a recent Dr. Phil episode (I rarely watch, but the topic was interesting) that Kelly Osborne was on talking aobut the fact that she got a lot more negative attention for being fat than for being a drug addict, and I think that says it all.


As for cancer, My aunt and uncle both died of cancer. My uncle of pancreatic cancer. They were the thinnest members of our family. They also ate sugar and salt like they were food groups.

No conclusions can be made from just two cases of cancer, but their lifestyle does make me wonder. They ate mostly junk food, they were very sedentary, and they lived in virtual darkness for decades. They kept the curtains closed because "sunlight fades the drapes."

However if cancer is tied to sugar/carbohydrate consumption (becaue carbohydrates become sugar in the body), and not directly to fat then a lot of people can be misled into thinking that they as long as they aren't overweight they can eat as muc of that crap as they want, or that losing weight is important, but how they lose the weight and what they eat isn't important.

I think that focusing on the scale number can be counterproductive. Because anything that doesn't seem to immediately and impressively result in weight loss isn't seen as important. Some people experience a small gain or slow-down of weight loss when they first start exercising. They can conclude that exercise is counterproductive or not important, because it doesn't necessarily translate to pounds lost on the scale (at least not for some time).

Also by concentrating on poundage, and BMI people can get a number in their head that makes no sense. My husband has a friend whose weight puts him in the obese category. This guy asked his doctor if he needed to lose weight and his doctor laughed, and told them that he could lose up to 10 lbs, if he wanted to, but more than that and he'd have too little fat on his body. (He did lost the 10 lbs, but he's still in the obese category. You should see this guy in shorts with his shirt off, he's all lean muscle. Any more muscle and you'd start to suspect steroids).

I have a friend who is my height (and I'd kill to have her body, espcially her arms, she looks great in sleeveless tops, no jiggle at all). She's not rail-thin, and could lose a few pounds (only in her hips), but constantly calling herself fat. I asked her why one day and she said, "Well, I weigh ____ lbs, what would you call that." My jaw dropped open and she had to convince me that yes, the weight was accurate and recent. I showed her pictures of myself at that weight to contrast the difference.

She's HEAVILY into sports, especially kickboxing, so BMI is probably a lously standard for her.


I knew this could be true, I had no idea until I met these two people how someone could seem overweight by the doctor's charts or BMI and be at not just a healthy weight, but an athletic weight.

That hubby's friend could be considered "obese" is a crime against nature.

synger
04-07-2010, 03:54 PM
I think that focusing on the scale number can be counterproductive. Because anything that doesn't seem to immediately and impressively result in weight loss isn't seen as important. Some people experience a small gain or slow-down of weight loss when they first start exercising. They can conclude that exercise is counterproductive or not important, because it doesn't necessarily translate to pounds lost on the scale (at least not for some time).

Also by concentrating on poundage, and BMI people can get a number in their head that makes no sense. My husband has a friend whose weight puts him in the obese category. This guy asked his doctor if he needed to lose weight and his doctor laughed, and told them that he could lose up to 10 lbs, if he wanted to, but more than that and he'd have too little fat on his body. (He did lost the 10 lbs, but he's still in the obese category. You should see this guy in shorts with his shirt off, he's all lean muscle. Any more muscle and you'd start to suspect steroids).

I have a friend who is my height (and I'd kill to have her body, espcially her arms, she looks great in sleeveless tops, no jiggle at all). She's not rail-thin, and could lose a few pounds (only in her hips), but constantly calling herself fat. I asked her why one day and she said, "Well, I weigh ____ lbs, what would you call that." My jaw dropped open and she had to convince me that yes, the weight was accurate and recent. I showed her pictures of myself at that weight to contrast the difference.

She's HEAVILY into sports, especially kickboxing, so BMI is probably a lously standard for her.


I knew this could be true, I had no idea until I met these two people how someone could seem overweight by the doctor's charts or BMI and be at not just a healthy weight, but an athletic weight.

That hubby's friend could be considered "obese" is a crime against nature.


BMI is SUCH a poor way of measuring whether someone is overweight or not. It is great for trends, which is how insurance people and scientists use it (and why it was developed). But it was never intended to be applied on a personal level, without some framework in place to explain how muscle can increase the weight number without meaning "fat".

According to BMI Johnny Depp, Will Smith, and George Clooney all come in as overweight. Tom Cruise came in as "obese" as did Arnold Schwartzenegger (when competing).

This is a really good blog post (http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_05_09.html) about the issue. BMI is NOT a good indicator of healthy weight, especially when you're looking at someone who has a good bunch of muscle.

myrrah
04-07-2010, 04:44 PM
Great points kaplod.

TraceyElaine
04-08-2010, 08:48 AM
I've had quite a few people infer (and down right TELL ME) that being thin wouldn't make me happy... that I had to learn to love myself at any size. You know what I told them? That it was LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF that helped me make the decision to STOP ABUSING MYSELF and get healthy!!!!!!

You are doing wonderfully Matt. They ARE jealous. I've been there. I've been pushing 400 pounds. I told myself that I loved myself just the way I was.... You know what that was? An excuse to freaking eat myself to death.

*hugs*

AMEN to that. Matt you have done an amazing job and people who try to minimize or negate that in some way are obviously insecure. Don't let em get you down.

matt_H
04-08-2010, 01:06 PM
This is a really good blog post (http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_05_09.html) about the issue. BMI is NOT a good indicator of healthy weight, especially when you're looking at someone who has a good bunch of muscle.

Great blog post you linked! Thanks :)

The BMI is being used now in ways it was never intended. I'm a statistician (no lie) so that is my professional and learned opinion. :D