Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Fat Debate

One correction--the show I talked about in my last post is actually called, "The Price of Beauty." And I lied. I want to be thin, now! Just like all you other little brats. I'm sick of suffocating in my own skin.

I had the chance to watch a Dr. Phil episode which featured two sides of what he called "The Fat Debate." One side featured three ladies all 300+ who were on the "Fat" side, and the lightweights, including Jillian Michaels, on the side of "Thin." So what is the debate--you are either fat or thin, right? Wrong! The big girls argued that there is too much prejudice against fat people, in fact, one lady is the chairwoman of an organization called "Promoting Fat Awareness," something like that. They said the thin folks (on the other side of the argument) had no right to assume fat people were lazy, unhealthy, or disgusting--fat has much more to do with genetics than people will admit. You can imagine what the skinny side had to say. The bald man, personal trainer like Jillian, sported a muscle Tee that said "No Chubbies." The Fatties went crazy over that one. He has a very unique training method--He takes his victims into the torture chamber--weight room--has them do all sorts of crazy contortions, and if they slack off he throws JUNK FOOD AT THEM. Sign me up!! "Hey fatty, you gettin' tired huh, huh!!? Fine! Then just eat more crap, here take this--Hi-YA, and THAT--HEEYAA," and I open my mouth to catch the flying Twinkies--perfect!! This guy argued that fat people make themselves that way and deserve no sympathy from him or the rest of society. If you have to buy two airplane tickets, fine-- your fault for being fat, he argued. He also said that the big girls didn't do themselves any good playing the victim card.

While I understand where the big girls are coming from, I don't think it is ever healthy to play the victim card. Disclaimer!!! I am not talking about people with severe mental, emotional, or medical disabilities. More people with the attitude, "I am this way because of a, b, or c, NOT because of anything I can control." One thing that really helped me lose was being honest with myself. Sort of being my own drill-sergeant. "Hey you! You ate and sat your way into this, so you must walk, run, or jog your way out." It was kind of liberating actually--to realize that I had control over my future. Part of me wanted to say "This is how I am, take me or leave me" and ignore my weight issues. But when I first started seeing results I realized that I have the power to become something better and stronger. In this way, I think that being "Fat" is more of a mental block people put on themselves than a real physical problem that keeps them from losing weight. I had to get over the mental hurdles of changing. I wasn't supposed to go to the gym--fat people don't go to the gym. I wasn't supposed to eat healthy, I am a pig. I can't wear anything but baggy clothes--I am ugly. Just a few of the jumps I had to overcome in the beginning.

This debate had too much talk about dieting and less about lifestyle. I have never in my life successfully completed a diet and maintained the weight loss. So I sat down with myself and said, "I am going to lose weight for real this time, so no dieting." Instead I made a few CONSISTANT changes in my life that I knew I could handle. I cannot quit eating sweats, so I still eat them. I would have a mental breakdown without bread, so it is still in my diet. But I exercise 6 days a week, no questions asked--something I have never been able to do until now. I felt like the big girls just accepted their "Fatness" after failing years of diets. I wish I could shake them and say, "You can lose weight without dieting!" Small changes, a little at a time, lead to better habits, better habits lead to better choices, better choices lead to weight loss--and it doesn't happen overnight.

Lastly, I don't think it is ever appropriate to treat someone with disrespect. Part of being a mature, well-adjusted human being is learning to live respectfully with people who are different--even, FAT! Don't judge a book by its cover. "That's just something fat people say." Hahaha, but really if an adult is making fun of another person because of their size, he or she needs a wake-up call, not the fatty. I know I make fun of myself all the time, but that works for me, it helps me laugh off the outside pressures and just continue on course. But I will never in my life, ever, make comments about another fat person again. It is a very lonely, difficult place to be, and meanness never helps anything. So what do you guys think? Do fat people deserve their plight? Is there too much prejudice against large people? Tell me everything, and again, thanks, without this blog I would be 20 pounds heavier loathing is self pity.


  1. Having lived on both sides of the spectrum, being almost 250 lbs, loosing over 100... I can see how many people treated me different... especially guys (When i was single and dating). That being said, it could also be because I had a tremendous burst of self confidence I never had before when I was super overweight. I do not judge "Fat" people for being "Fat" but I do feel bad for them because I know how much they are missing out on. I had a friend that would literally avoid anything physically active, like hiking, because of her weight and that made me sad because there is so much of life she is missing out on. So in some ways, I feel sad for them but I will never judge them because I too was in their shoes for a good chunk of my life.

  2. Someone very dear to me played the victim card ALL the time when she was overweight. Then she got gastric bipass surgery (I probably spelled that totally wrong). And now she's very thin and has health problems, and she's STILL playing the victim card. So I think it's a persons personality and self confidence that makes them who they are. Being overweight isn't healthy (I don't care what anyone says). But I don't think people should assume overweight people are lazy. You don't know what season or trial they are going through in their lives. We all need to look past the outside appearance. Afterall, we don't have our own hair, make-up, and airbrusher at our side every minute of the day!
    I'm not as eloquent with my words, as you are, hopefully that made some sort of sense. I'll get to loose about 15 pounds next week! Yeah!

  3. I agree with you and the previous comment -- sometimes it is what is going on mentally, and not necessarily laziness. I think that in some cases (not all!) people form addictions to cope with different things, as a momentary escape from whatever is plaguing them. Some people need a cigarette, and others just need a piece of chocolate cake. So the food turns into the vice that helps the person avoid their situation or whatever is bothering them. And then they wake up one day and they realize they've gained a bunch of weight and their coping mechanism is what did it to them. So it's not laziness, but the cycle still definitely needs to be addressed. Besides any serious medical condition that makes it extremely hard to lose weight for whatever reason (I don't know what these conditions are but it's possible), I think it's important to try to be healthy and active to avoid future medical problems because it's not going to get any easier as we get older so we might as well form these habits as soon as possible. and obviously, people who treat others disrespectfully are stupid and "no chubbies" is isolating and offensive. what a jerk! good post :)

  4. "if you're fat you're fat" was what a 5 yr old (greg prychodko) told me when i was babysitting. i was pretty chunky after my freshman yr of college and that was a real wake-up call.
    so, whatever, "my room my rules" - another babysitting kids quote - so same with someone's body. it's there choice how they want to be.
    it is not just a coincidence that america is the fattest nation in the world. we have a love affair w/ food. it's cheap, accessible.
    so in mexico the rules are different, one good friend said, "as long as there are boobs and a butt it doesn't matter what is in between." so they are a little more forgiving to larger senoritas.
    pues, quien sabe bina. come visit!!! or how about i come out there for your next indian buffet. sounds wonderful!

  5. Let's face it, there are people on both sides of the spectrum here and they are both very unhealthy. I think if we quit placing most people on either side of the spectrum, that's where we find the balance.

    It's all about what makes you happy and feel good. If you feel good and happy wearing a size 26, then go for it. (I personally don't think the same can apply to someone wearing a size 0. Honestly, what are they eating or not eating? But that's just my POV.) It's a personal choice but I would imagine that both sides are dealing with similar emotional or mental issues. It's just unfortunate and unnecessary when innocent people are affected by such choices, such as children.

    We cannot overlook the serious problem in our country of obesity. There are far too many morbidly obese people in this country, and that's definitely where the stigma comes from. Let's not forget that it all starts somewhere.

    Anyway, that's my soap box...