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Do you believe obesity is not your fault?

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Old 05-04-2013, 08:12 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by joefla70 View Post
. . . we all have to play the cards we are dealt.
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Originally Posted by stella1609 View Post
I feel like personal responsibility is highly underrated these days.
I agree with both of these comments. A few weeks ago, I was listening to the radio and heard someone say this: "You have to bloom where you're planted." I really loved that because it not only reinforces the control we can ultimately have over our behavior but also how we can flourish if we take that control.

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So, I wonder if you all believe that people of, say, the 1940's, 50's, 60's were on average morally superior to people today, since so many of us are behaving in such a blame-worthy manner?
Well, "morally superior" is a loaded phrase, but actually, I do think they were "better" than us in many ways. Today, we're "softer" and more spoiled than people in the past. We're more self-centered as well, IMO. I think this is partly because we have so much excess. (I always think of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. As a nation, we've met all our basic survival needs, but unfortunately rather than reaching the improved "self-actualization" stage, all the excess has made us worse). It seems to me as if the people back then just took it for granted that they could not have everything and anything whenever they wanted (e.g., most didn't expect to have a great house as newlyweds as many couples today do). Now, did this translate into their eating? I think it may have. Women of my mother's generation can be almost militaristic about their diet when they have to. I think my generation tends to whine more and have this "woe is me" attitude when we have to deprive ourselves. Now maybe all of this is exacerbated by changes in our society (more fattening food that is widely available, fewer places for intuitive exercise, etc.), but I definitely believe it's also a difference in attitude.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #62
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I am not saying that we don't hold some responsibility because ultimately we control our own behavior. But you will never really understand or control your eating habits until you understand the root of them. A lot of times, it involves depression, bad examples, etc.

The human brain is incredibly complex, scientist are still trying to understand why a person does anything let alone understand emotional eating which involves a variety of different reasons.

One of my favorite movies is Grosse Point Blank and it has one my favorite quotes "Don't forgive and forget, forget about forgiving and just accept."

I think this can be used for us. Forget about blame or fault and accept this is where you are and think about where you want to be and put yourself on the path to achieve that.

Self-blaming often leads to depression and negative feelings (and over eating if that is how you deal with depression). We already have so many people telling us to feel bad about ourselves, from thin people who judge us for being fat to fat acceptance people who judge us for losing weight.

They spend a lot of time pointing fingers at us and we really don't need to waste time pointing fingers at ourselves.

I know I spend a lot of time being sad or angry that I let myself get fat and then stay fat. But I really don't need to waste any more time on those negative feelings.

We should just all focus on the fact that we actually finally decided to do something. Like join this forum. Or take a run or choose a salad over macaroni and cheese. Everyone of those is victories and we should treat them like that.

Okay, so my Lifetime movie of the week speech is over! Haha
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #63
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I hope you guys won't hate me for this response but here it goes...

I've never been obese but my being overweight through age 11-15 1/2 and 16-now (17 1/2) have not been-from my perspective-my fault. I was skinny and healthy from birth to 11.

At age 11 I was put on Prozac-an antidepressant-and during my time on that pill was the first time I was ever overweight. Then I started taking diet pills and lost the weight-went to 110.

And THEN I was put on Abilify-an antipsychotic ALONG with Prozac.... 10x worse. Went to 180 pounds-even though I was taking diet pills... at least in the beginning... till I gave up. Stopped taking Prozac and changed to Lexapro. Maintained 180 but still had a VERY terrible increase in appetite side effect so I couldn't lose the weight. Was given Topamax-an anticonvulsant with a decrease in appetite side effect-to counteract it and give me back my original appetite.


The reason I felt the need to respond to this is because there are people out there whom it really isn't their fault. Severe weight gain is a very common side effect of psyche meds. And then there are people who have illness' and conditions too.

But still losing weight is hard no matter how well controlled you are and we all need encouragement and support. And I personally never had a healthy diet or anything. This place is helping me out a lot.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:53 PM   #64
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My highest, non pregnant weight was my fault.

I did not pay attention to portion sizes, food choices, and drank to much beer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:15 AM   #65
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Personally, I only started to succeed with lasting results when I stopped looking to blame anyone for my weight issues, including myself. When I did play the blame-game, it was usually solitaire - even as an overweight 5 year old, I blamed myself.

I think assigning blame and fault (whether aimed inward or outwards) is generally counterproductive, making the problems worse, not better. Taking the blame out of weightloss has made the process easier, more enjoyable, and best of all, more successful.

So to answer the question, I don't know what or who is to blame for my weightloss and I don't care, because 30 plus years of blaming mostly myself, and occasionally others such as my parents, did me no good at all. Blaming no one has helped me lose more weight and maintain the loss than all my blaming years combined.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:24 PM   #66
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I've been obese since childhood, so while it's my fault for staying this way, it wasn't my fault for getting that way in the first place.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:10 AM   #67
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I think obesity is really complicated. Sure, people are to blame for their own actions. But, some people have a genetic predisposition to obesity - that isn't their fault. Some people have illnesses that limit mobility and lead to obesity - again, not their fault. So while there can be some personal culpability, it isn't the whole picture, imo.

And this will be different for everyone. For me, it's 100% my fault. I come from a family of "normal weight" people and I'm not. I like food and don't like exercise, but that trend is slowly changing, lol. But my circumstances don't apply to anyone else.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:32 PM   #68
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I don't think any of us can take on 100% of the "blame" for our weight, because we cannot seperate ourselves from our environment or our genes. We can't know how our weights might differ if our genetics, environment, choices, culture, socio-economic, education....... had been different.

Even a fat person in a thin family could inherit recessive traits or even could have been exposed to one of the viruses that can accelerate or interfere with the function of genes that regulate hunger and metabolism.

I am also the only super-fat person in my family (and the only one to have been obese or even overweight as a child). I am adopted.

Of course, being adopted, I do wonder whether obesity (especially super obesity) runs in my biological family, and to what degree? I wonder have they too struggled as hard to manage their weight as I have - and have they been more or less successful?

I do wonder sometimes what my life would have been like if I had been the thinnest person in a family rather than the fattest. Even if my weight were exactly the same.

Would people (including myself and my family) think differently of me if I were the only 300 lb family member in a family of people weighing 600 or more - rather than my actual life of being one of the few family members to have exceeded 225 lbs and the ONLY to exceed 300 lbs (let alone nearly having reached 400).

I don't really care where or with whom the fault lies, but it is mindblowing sometimes to realize that I'm not only the fattest person in my family, but that I weigh twice ascmuch as most of them and once carried almost 200 lbs more than the second-fattest.

My parents did the best they could, but they weren't really prepared to deal with a child with an appetite like mine. For the times (the 1970's mostly) our diet and the food in our house was on the healthier side of the spectrum. Too high in fat, carbs, and calories, but significantly better than average. I saw and ate more junk at friends homes.

My mother and grandmother had weight problems, but only in mid-adulthood and never to the degree I did, even as a child. Even as a child, I ate more than most adults (even if I had to sneak food to do it).


I think I was carb-addicted even as a child.

I think "blame" often interferes with understanding. If I blame only myself, I stop looking for connections to anything but myself. The more connections I identify and understand, the more control I have over them. I can more easily manipulate my environment to break those connections.

Personally, I think willpower (in the white-knuckle sense) is highly overrated. I think it makes more sense to set up your environment so that you almost never have to white-knuckle it.

Who or what you blame doesn't matter in the least. What matters is what you do to deal with the situation you're in.

Even if I'm dead wrong about the causes of my obesity - even if I blame the "wrong" person or thing - I can still succeed at weight loss and weight management. I don't have to be "right" to succeed.

I think that "whom to blame" is not nearly as important as our society makes it out to be. I don't think fault needs to be addressed at all. Identifying influences can be important, but I think more important is trial and error and doing more of what works, and less of what doesn't.

Blame and fault don't have to be addressed at all.

Sometimes it feels like assigning blame is considered far more important than fixing the problem. If it could be proven that people succeed more when they don't blame themselves, I suspect there'd still be a lot of people focused on assigning blame. It h,feels sometimes that our culture as a whole feel it's more important for a fat person to take on all of the blame than to lose the weight.

Who or what you blame shouldn't be more important than what you do about it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #69
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We are in the over feeding generation. Companies try to sell a lot of stuffs like, supplements, snacks, new lifestyle with foods/sodas/drink/etc. Food-pornography through advertising, when the portion from the restaurant is larger than we need, when we takes more supplements than what we need (and freak out of lack of them). It is though to stay slim in such environment.
Anyway, honestly, I still have control to put in to the mouth what we need (not just what we want). The way I become overweight is my own responsibility.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #70
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I'm on the fence. In my situation and environment growing up it was basically inevitable and I really did spend many years being slightly chubby, now I'm just fat. But anyway, in a way yes because I've educated myself as much as possible on diet and exercise but I don't put it to good use half the time. But than again part of that reason is due to depression and anxiety that causes overeating and lack of interest to exercise. I mean even when I pack gym clothes I struggle to work out. Genetically I'm predisposed to a lot of the illnesses I have now. So in my case you can honestly blame my jeans but I guess I just need an extra push. The thing is, I have a handful of reasons why I want to lose weight and then I get depressed, partially because I know the majority of my reasons are for superficiality purposes.

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Old 10-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #71
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I feel like "If you want to take credit for losing it, take responsibility for gaining it."
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:22 PM   #72
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I think there's a big difference between taking blame and accepting responsibility. I can take responsibility for messes I had no part in creating.

If someone eggs my car on Halloween. I am not to blame (unless I threw the eggs at my own car), but it is my responsibility to deal with the mess. How (or even whether) I choose to deal with it, is also my responsibility..

If someone (again, not me) eggs my neighbor's car, I can also CHOOSE to take on some of the responsibility of dealing withnit, by helping my neighbor clean up the mess.

You could argue that helping my neighbor might be credit-worthy on some level, I suppose, but do I deserve any credit for washing my own car, even if I did not create the mess? Personally, I think the answer is no.

I don't take any credit for the 100 lbs I've lost. In fact, the first twenty I had nothing to do with at all. When my pulmonologis predicted I'd lose some weight without trying as a result of sleep apnea treatment, I thought he was crazy intil it happened.

Even the next 80 were more a result of my accidentally stumbling across efforts that were successful.

I've also changed how I see weight management efforts. I now look at it as what I do to take care of and even reward myself, rather than something that deserve credit or praise.

Taking credit for weighloss seems more like taking credit for brushing your teeth or getting medical treatment when you're ill or injured.


We don't generally praise people for dealing with every day life events and even crises: "Hey I gotta give you props for brushing your teeth and bathing. Boy, that sure is great how you got chemotherapy for your cancer. Wow, good job on going to work every day and not ending up in prison. Good job on finishing high school, and bonus points for doing so without a reen pregnancy. Hey, it sure is awesome how you feed your kids every day."

Weight loss is difficult, and an aspiration many people value, but I'm not sure it should rank up there with any of the things we give people "credit" for.

Mostly, I think weight management should be a matter of personal priority, no more noteworthy or credit worthy than making any other life choice whether it be choosing whether to have children, or whether to pursue one career or field of study than other.

I don't get it when people are angry that friends, relatives, and acquaintences aren't acknowledging their weight loss with gushing praise. Why should anyone else care or be interested in how you attempt to modify your body (or not)?

Sure it's great to have friends who share your goals and interests whether it be in body piercing or weight loss, but why would you expect to receive or take credit for doing so?

I do find it interesting though that I started having true and lasting success at weight lost, after I decided that I deserved neither blame nor credit. Maybe because it took the pressure and stress off. Or maybe because my success has AND failure has less to do with me (and more to do with luck) thand I ever thought before.

I do know that even though the losses have been slow, I've worked FAR, FAR harder most of my life to lose even ten pounds as I have to lose the last 100.

Which is VERY fortunate, because I don't have a sliver of the energy, motivation, or stamina to put in that kind of effort. Too bad I didn't stumble upon the lucky weight loss boosting cooincidences when I did have far more energy, stamina, interest, willpower, and motivation.

It feels disingenuous to take any creditz for working less than I've ever worked before, just because I stumbled into a few "tricks" that have made success possible.

I might as well take credit for winning a scratch-off lottery ticket.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #73
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Ideally, weight loss shouldn't be viewed as anything but a life choice, but that's not often how it's portrayed. I understand what you're saying and I think it's great you have that perspective, I wish more people did. I lost a lot of weight in high school, and one of the biggest things I can remember is that I did not understand why I got so much more attention from everyone around me (teachers, other kids parents, principal, peers) and it bothered me because I felt like the old me was somehow less important and that because I was healthier they suddenly liked me more. When I recently expressed to a co-worker, who is tiny, that I was trying to eat better, she lit up and was "so happy" for me, and then went on to say how she was trying to get her morbidly obese mom (who is smaller than me) to lose weight..

Though, many people are proud they have lost weight. And perhaps "take credit" was the wrong verbiage. They are happy about it, as they should be. I just see people who are proud of their weight loss, but aren't willing to admit that the reason they needed to lose it was because they didn't have a healthy diet. All I was saying is that if one wants to be proud that they have lost it, they should first acknowledge and accept the fact that they had a part to play in it being there in the first place. To reference your metaphor, it's just like brushing your teeth. If I didn't brush my teeth, I'd have a bunch of plaque buildup. I'd be happy I removed it and I'd feel better, but I'd have to take ownership of the fact that the reason its there is typically because I didn't brush my teeth in the first place.

I do understand that some people have medical issues and take medications that cause weight gain, and some are predisposed to be overweight from genetics. Some things that work for me may not work for you, vice versa, and when you have a medical problem involved, other changes may have to happen.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #74
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My main point is that ownership can be taken without ever bringing blame, guilt and regret into the picture.

I've worked in law enforcement and substance abuse treatment most of my career and have found that blame actually tends to interfere with positive changes and permanent success.

Predictably, people who blame everyone but themselves do not take control of their lives, but surprisingly (to me, straight out of college, at least) people who blame themselves do not fare much better.

The most successful are people who spend the least time engaging in blame, guilt, and regret.

I was taught this in graduate school, and I saw it in the people I worked with (even when I left the psycho-social field for computer science) but it took me DECADES to apply in my own life:

When there's a problem, especially one that affects a lot of people, let's not worry about whose fault it is. Let's just all work individually AND together to work on solving the problem and getting the job done.

More often than not, seeking blame (no matter whether it's pointed outward or inward), usually just gets in the way of actually solving the problem and usually turns people against each other in the process which only makes the problem that much harder to solve.

Crime, poverty, mental illness, and substanced abuse were once entirely blamed on the individual with society collectively washing it's hands of people who didn't have the willpower and self-control to fix their own problems entirely on their own.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the less blame and more people involved in addressing the problems, the more complete and permanent the recovery rate.

It doesn't just take a village to raise a child. It also takes a villiage to support any behavior.

If no one in your village ever brushed their teeth, you probably wouldn't either. Even when we humans "know better," we tend to behave in ways that are consistent with what we see others in our environments do.

We're lemmings (actually more lemming than lemmings actually are - the "rushing into the sea bit is actually a hoax-based myth).

Unlike lemmings, humans acually will jump off a bridge if everyone else is doing it.

Learning to swim upstream and march to a different drummer (to use the cliches) is actually extremely difficult. Our instincts and perhaps even our biochemistry tells us to do what everyone else is doing.

Bucking the "system" is very difficult, especially since there are so few open communities for weight management when compared to other similarly severe problems.

Lack of control over diet and weight (especially if extreme obesity results) often carries more stigma than lack of control over drugs, alcohol, mental illness, sex, unplanned pregnancy, gambling, overspending.

And like those other problems that affect the individual AND society, change will work best if the work is done on many levels by many people.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:44 PM   #75
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I was not referring to anyone taking blame for anything, only taking responsibility.
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