This thread is by no means intended to be disrespectful to anyone. I am just wondering peoples opinions. This comes after reading an article about how "society is destroying itself by becoming more accepting of overweight/obese individuals". Do you think that it is okay for so many to be fat and they should be able to do what they want, or do you believe that by accepting obesity as more of a "norm" now a days, that we are in turn helping with the struggles in the health care system and encouraging those to be overweight since it is slowly becoming more acceptable. Thus, putting less pressure on those to lose weight?
As stated before, this is just meant to be an informal discussion and not an attack on anyone. I like hearing others opinions, even on controversial topics as this is when you always seem to learn new things. It also helps you understand where other people come from and may help shed a light on your own opinion and create a new understanding. With that said, I am staying neutral on the topic until others have posted as I do not want my words to sway the opinions/ideas of others who disagree with me!
It is not okay to accept being fat if it causes your health to deteriorate. I think there is plenty of research and data to prove that being seriously overweight affects your health. If your fat is causing you not to be able to live the life you wish to live then you need to do something about it.
I don't understand why people are allowed to get so obese that they qualify as disabled and can get a scooter to ride around on because their bones can't hold up their weight. Hellooo, you are killing yourselves.
I think it's okay to be big boned, it's okay to be chubby, as long as you personally are okay with the way you look and it is not causing your health to be at risk, I think that is okay. That's speaking about being chubby at most.
Personally, I do not think being obese should under any circumstance be a norm. It is not okay for people to accept being obese when it is a health risk. It should be required for these people to get better and to get out of a situation which causes their healthy lives harm.
It should be required for these people to get better and to get out of a situation which causes their healthy lives harm.
This seems to me like a slippery slope. First off, while we can probably agree that most obesity is caused by controllable factors, some cases, at least, are not (endocrine disorders and the like). Second, there are a myriad of different lifestyle choices that one can make that prevent optimum health. It would be, I would think, a double standard to say that not "fixing" your obesity is unacceptable, but that not "fixing" your low veggie consumption, smoking, or to take it to the extreme, a woman's lack of childbearing or decision not to breastfeed (both of which lower lifetime breast cancer risk) is OK.
And what of the people who are normal weight, but don't have healthy habits? Or the people with healthy habits who are overweight? Are we really saying it's not OK to be heavy, or not OK to have unhealthy habits in general? In which case, who decides which people have habits unhealthy enough to warrant intervention?
Also, I think that such a judgment on whether "fat is OK" is super premature at this point. The fact is, we haven't finished untangling what causes cancer, heart disease, or other poor health outcomes. We have some correlations, but no empirical, no-doubt-about it evidence, around so many things related to weight and health. For example, no one has ever shown that a formerly obese person who then loses weight has any decrease in mortality compared to their obese self. There are ten million questions like this, and we're still teasing out the answers. And I'd hate to mandate that anyone do anything until we know exactly what they need to DO.
I look at my mother in law who was a a lifetime at a normal weight, but never very fit and she isn't that unfit. But her health problems are Creeeping up and many of them were preventable with exercise or less sugar (blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart problems and high cholesterol). Just exercise would have prevented most of it.
Eta: I think they should concentrate less on fatness and concentrate more on lack of fitness.
Restart 5/18/15 began at 263.9. All time high was 275 in 7/03. Low in Summer 2012 of 169.
A for the first 50 pounds lost, plus a for every additional 5 pounds lost on the weight loss reboot:
As we all know, there are so many factors that go into becoming obese and staying obese - just prescribing diet and exercise as the simple solution is much too.....simplistic.
I know that there was a time a few years back when I had just accepted the fact that I was now destined to be overweight and unhealthy. There was nothing I could do about it. My blood pressure was so high, I saw stars every time I got up from bed or a seated position. My legs and ankles and feet were so swollen with edema that I actually heard squishing and swishing when I walked. I was winded going up the stairs from my living room to my bedroom. It hurt to move. I pretty much gave up.
If I heard another doctor tell me that "losing weight" was what I needed to get better, I thought I would scream. It's like telling a single welfare mom that "getting a high paying job" is what is needed to get off of welfare. Duh! Now where is the genie to grant my three wishes and make the magic happen?
Although my obesity and health issues began with a difficult pregnancy and preeclampsia, there were also major emotional and addictive components to my weight gain that weren't going to disappear overnight. Food was my friend and no one was going to take my best friend away from me! Not without a fight. I knew people looked at me in disgust and also blamed me for the health problems I was having. I knew people saw me as someone selfish who had a completely preventable disease that I was refusing to do anything about. I didn't know how to help myself. You can write it down on paper, memorize it, recite it - it doesn't mean you actually "know" it.
I think that people who are obese and stuck and want to do something about it do deserve our help and the best health care they can get. I did a lot of reading of "fat acceptance" blogs when I was fat. The women (it was mainly women) who wrote them were vibrant and stylish and living life to the fullest. They claimed to have no health issues and said they were in better shape than most skinny people. I don't know the ages of the bloggers I read, but I would guess that they were in their 20s or early 30s. I think that the older you get, the more being overweight affects your health. I became obese in my late 30s. I couldn't relate to being a vibrant and curvy woman, because being obese had a horrible impact on my health and I felt ill all the time - to the point of being virtually housebound. However, if you are curvy and healthy and love being a large woman - go for it!
-I AM MY OWN CHEERLEADER!
Last edited by guacamole : 03-15-2012 at 08:18 PM.
Accept physical obesity? No, I don't. I don't like it that it may make health insurance premiums go up. (just like smoking) I don't enjoy seeing obese people, especially kids. Is it my place to tell them to get healthy? Absolutely not. I don't want to force anyone to do anything with their bodies. I would be willing to encourage a healthy lifestyle, if that's something they are in fact looking for.
Now, if someone is obese does that make them fair game to be treated badly? No way. I don't accept obesity, but I don't approve of the "fatties" name calling and social stigma attached to it. I've had it done to me and will never do it to someone else. I'm teaching my son the same.
What I think is sad is the number of obese people who have just accepted their obesity as something they can't do anything about . I have heard some of them say, " I have gained a lot of weight, that's just the way I am." Or "I just can't lose weight, no matter how much I try". Of course their diet consits of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and plenty of bread and butter. I don't advocate the entire country be model thin but I would like to see people be more health conscious. many times just losing 10-15 pounds can improve health.
i know *plenty* of ppl who are in superb physical health but they are definitely packing. many strength athletes are fat, although the sport is now trending less toward the old-skool "overstuff then cut" routine and more toward "just put on what you need, no more".
i think when it comes to being in charge of someone else's health - ie, children - it is vital they be taught proper eating habits and that includes just not having the crap in the house. it's not fair for a child to be told "no, you can't have chips, they're junk" and then dad's tipping the bag back while watching the game or mom's tucking into ice cream while on the phone to her bff.
I tried desperately to lose weight most of my life, and then I encountered the "fat acceptance" rhetoric that suggested that dieting CAUSED more obesity than it cured, and it made me wonder whether dieting actually had made me super morbidly obese. I wondered if I had never dieted, would I never have become overweight (or at least never become obese or heck, if I only had never become morbidly obese, maybe "not dieting" would have been better).
I decided to give up dieting and accept my weight and see what happened.
As it turns out I gained a few pounds over my last highest weight (as always happened after I quit any diet), but what I didn't do was start up another diet - and the weight gain stopped.
Wow, I thought - what if I had never dieted? What if my parents would have not put me on my first diet in kindergarten? What if I had not dieted through all of gradeschool, middleschool, high school and college?
I don't know, but I am glad that I stopped dieting. I didn't have a "better plan" to replaced the dieting, but I did know that I had to stop doing what I'd always done, or I was going to get what I always got - which was weight gain, not weight loss.
It took me a years to discover how to get the weight off, and it was NOT with a traditional diet, or even anything that resembled mainstream weight loss advice. I had to learn to BREAK THE RULES, in order to get healthier and get the weight off.
At the time I decided to stop dieting (as I had always been taught, counseled, and told to do it by everyone including the people who were supposed to be the experts), it was the best decision I could make. I knew that what I was doing wasn't working (and was doing the reverse of what I wanted) so all I knew was that stopping the dieting train wreck was necessary.
So before we judge folks for "not doing something" about their weight, we have to have a workable alternative for them, and right now we don't.
My current doctor is a godsend. He's a bit chubby (not obese, in fact most people wouldn't even call him overweight at his age, but being a doctor he would like to lose the 20 lbs that he could lose if he were able to). When I asked him if he could tell me how to lose weight, he said, "if you find out, come back and tell me."
He is perhaps the first doctor who "got it," because he'd tried (and failed) to lose weight himself. He did suggest that I might find low-carb helpful as some research recently (at the time) had found that folks with insulin resistance (which I had) lost better on low-carb. He warned me not to go too-low, and I started experimenting with carb levels.
For myself, I had to stop "trying to lose weight" in order to do so. And this I think this may be a method that might work for many more people, but it's not an "acceptable" strategy (ironically, except by the "fat acceptance" community).
I decided that my goal was going to be getting healthier, and that I wasn't going to worry or focus on my weight at all. I would start adding healthier diet and exercise habits into my life, slowly only making changes that I was willing to commit to forever, even if no weight loss whatsover resulted.
At first, I got no weight loss (but I was getting healthier - obviously healthier. And isn't that the goal everyone "says" they want - or is it really just that we despise fat people and "health" seems a reasonable excuse to pin our contempt upon).
The only weight concession that I made, was that I would consciously work to prevent weight gain. And if I lost so much as a single pound, it would become one of the pounds I would struggle to maintain.
For the first two years, I didn't lose, but I didn't gain either (or to be more accurate, I gained and lost the same 5 to 10 lbs).
Then the weight started coming off, because all those small changes had started to accumulate. I went from essentially bed-ridden to being able to go to the gym 3 times a week and exercise 20 to 60 minutes.
I only was able to lose weight by following the HAES movement within the fat acceptance community (the goal to work at getting healthier without addressing weight at all).
The only concession I made that was not in keeping with the Fat Acceptance rhetoric (at least to my knowledge) was my goal and focus on "not gaining." In a very small way, I did make it about the weight, but the weight was no number ten on my priority list, not #1.
We can't see whether someone is trying and failing, or even if they have given up because it's the only solution they can see: I still wholeheartedly believe that if I had not found a way to successfully lose weight, I would be better off not trying to lose weight at all than to continue trying and failing.
If I had learned to focus on healthy behaviors and had learned to "not diet" in first grade, maybe I would never have been overweight as an adult. I don't know, but I do know that the dismal diet success rates is not because people aren't trying their damndest, it's because our most common methods are WRONG for most people.
And unless we're going to FORCE thin people into healthy behaviors, it's the ultimate in hypocracy to do so with overweight folks.
However, what is sad is that we do virtually the opposite - we PUNISH fat people for any public attempt at getting healthy. We all know that it's socially taboo for a fat person (especially a fat woman) to be seen being active or exercising in public. If she dances, swims, or bicycles - she faces more ridicule than if she's sitting on a park bench eating an ice cream cone.
We've taught obese folks that they don't have a right to those things. Being active is something to be done in public only after the weight is lost, not as a way to lose the weight. The alternative is public derision.
The nastiest comments I've ever recieved or witnessed being thrown at another person were always when "we" (the fat folk, usually women) were breaking the stereotype:
eating a salad (who does she think she's kidding, she's probably going to go home and eat three cakes --- HA HA or maybe a small child).
in a health food store (stares and eyerolls, and comments on what we "really eat")
swimming (well duh - we all know that anywoman who isn't a supermodel should never even be in a swim suit, let alone actually swim in it).
dancing (more stares, eyerolls, laughing, namecalling or worse - blatant flirting and even attempts at stealing our partners and even spouses away from us, ecause obviously we're not competition for any thinner woman - and I do mean any thinner woman)
bicycling (why this is really damned hilarious, apparently. I've even seen it ridiculed in magazines - with the suggestion that such a person exercise at home so as to spare society from the horror of seeing buttcheek spillage).
Since I was a teenager, I was always horrified when I attended meetings for weight/eating issues such as Weight Watchers, TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly - great group by the way), OA, at how many women voiced their shame in attending the group (and how many let that shame prevent them from returning).
One of the most common factors/components of agoraphobia is weight issues (real or imagined). Many women are trapped in their own homes because they fear being seen in public at all (and may even believe they don't DESERVE to be seen in public).
Fat acceptance sometimes is the first step in getting better. First by realizing that fat does not strip a person of basic human rights and dignity, and secondly by realizing that fat is not the most important issue. Health does and should "trump" weight.
If we really were "health" oriented, women (and more and more young men) are risking not just their health, but their very lives by extremely unhealthy and even life-threatening weight loss.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
To be obese is sometimes a "work in progress" thing that people deal with for long periods as they seek better health, fitness etc. Making it thru this transitional phase with a good attitude, accepting that I am fat for now -- serves me a lot better than beating myself up about it for the duration. Jeez!
Text to World:
Accepting physical obesity?
Other people don't have to love fat physiques. Everyone is attracted to whatever it is they are attracted to.
Healthwise? That's between you and your doctor and I'd expect a doctor to tell you the honest truth about the problems with being overweight/obese. Whether you do anything with that info, that's your business. But I'd expect a doctor to tell you the truth, with some decorum, but not shy away from telling you.
Socially acceptable behavior -- not it isn't nice to make fun of fat people. ANY people for whatever their perceived difference -- being another gender, being another color, being another religion, orientation, whatever.
I'm not going to presume that a stranger I see is the person they were. For instance -- larger person in a scooter? I won't presume THIS is their starting point. They could very well have progressed from being a shut in. And just starting to get about again. So good for them! Why presume they do NOTHING about their health?
With people I do know? There depending on the situation I might venture something like "Hey, are you ok? I've noticed that you don't look quite yourself."
I was recently talking to a friend about another friend who seems to have been drinking a lot more and showing the weight gain from that. So we're concerned about what may be going on under there. I thought I was imagining things but friend confirmed so now we've decided to gently approach drinking friend and inquire. Could very well tell us to mind our own biz, which is fair enough. On the other hand, if your friends and fam don't ask because they care for you, who will?
I watched "My 600 lb Life" on TLC. The one boy that I felt so bad for lived with his parents, and they nearly forced him to eat after his operation. His parents were also overweight. Yes, it would have been "easy" to do it after surgery......but not when you don't have support. That show was a real eyeopener for me. I was never close to 600 lbs.....but I saw that I could head in that direction. (We all can)
When I look at tv, I see how our world is becoming.....larger. To the point that some clothing manufacturers are redoing the sizes. 6 is now like an old 8. So to me, adding a bit (or even more than a bit) has not just become the norm, it is now just who we are. Is it right? I don't know. What I do know, the "healthy" weight that the old insurance charts state for me is 95 lbs. There is NO Way in Hades that I will weigh that....and personally that would not be healthy for me to even try it. I used to be VERY athletic and not even considered chunky but was never 95 lbs. I had muscle and with it....weight. Now I have weight and a scared up belly that will never be firm again. I am ok with not being 95 but also not ok being 170.
Anyhow......I do think that being 600 lbs should not be accepted.....by anyone. However, being a healthy weight....no matter what it is.....should be ok. I know I am not healthy right now....and that is unacceptable. No one should accept it. However, when I get to a lower weight (my goal is 130) I can only hope I will be healthy. I will at least know I have changed my eating habits and exercise routine. That to me (no matter my weight) should be acceptable. By everyone.
I walked past a church hall in our street earlier today and they're painting the kitchen and store room and they'd cleared out some furniture they don't need or use anymore. Out front was what would have been built as a four seater in the 1950's. It had 4 distinct sitting places. But it would generally have to be used as a 2 seater today.
It's true we're on a slippery slope. But people who are bigger (lets face it that's a lot of people!) need to feel accommodated and cared for in public spaces. I think "tough love" is something they need to sign up for when they're ready.
What I'm really not OK with is people filling their shopping carts with toxic junk that's being marketed to them in a way that leads them to think they're doing no harm to themselves and their families.
I have a problem with the marketing of junk as something else, NOT with the people...
I'm especially not OK with these standards being modelled to kids.
Eta: I think they should concentrate less on fatness and concentrate more on lack of fitness.
Great point. Fitness is definitely something is often look over when it comes to losing weight, people often only focus on eating less. Same for skinny people, they eat like CRAP because they know they are naturally skinny but they still do harm to their bodies and will develop similar diseases if they don't take control of their diets.