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Old 04-06-2010, 05:54 PM   #31  
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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).
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #32  
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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.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #33  
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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!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:17 PM   #34  
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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.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:58 PM   #35  
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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.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:42 PM   #36  
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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.

Last edited by myrrah; 04-06-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:01 PM   #37  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:19 AM   #38  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:34 AM   #39  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:10 AM   #40  
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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
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:58 AM   #41  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:24 AM   #42  
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I haven't read every response 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?
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:42 AM   #43  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:10 AM   #44  
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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.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #45  
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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

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