Last night I watched ‘Embarrassing Fat Bodies’ on TV. It was pretty heart-breaking and maybe a little disturbing; but I could not look away. I saw a great deal of tweets about this about how people were disgusted, or it made them want to vomit. It also saw the fat haters come out and add their 2 cents worth on Twitter.
Fat hating no longer surprises me given the fact that I have been overweight/obese all my life and every day I have my own version of ‘Embarrassing Fat Bodies’ to contend with. The horrible comments left on weight-loss blogs no longer affect me that much.
For the most part I expect that people that are overweight have their own reasons for getting to that place. For me (like many) it is eating more than I am burning. So from a TOTALLY simplistic point of view my energy ‘in’ is way more than my energy ‘out’.
I am neither a doctor nor a medical professional, but I expect that in some cases medication, genetics and health plays an issue.
I happened to scroll back through the tweets, and one particularly annoyed me. It was basically that it’s clear how people become obese and again it was ‘just’ about food and exercise. I personally realise that this is how I got obese and I am sure most people realise that as well; however there are often deeper things going on. So by just saying “you are fat because you eat FAR too much and do no exercise” is like saying that nothing else is going on for you at all. So the problem will be easily solved by eating less and exercising. Sorry but I disagree. Yes, you can eat less and exercise but you are bound to revert back to learned behaviour if you do not get to the root of the issue.
I remember when I first watched Kepa (you can see his journey here) on TV and his advice was that you needed to get your “head right” first and essentially the rest would follow. Kepa lost 129kg over the course of about 2 years so I think that he knows what he is talking about. He did not have an operation, he just got some help, started to change the way that he ate and eventually starting moving. It was a struggle, but he is healthier, happier and living the life of someone his age. I appreciate sometimes you have to push through to get your head right, but it can definitely be done.
There is my friend Liz who lost 80kg and got fit, well and healthy. I can still remember watching her for the first time on morning TV. I was blown away. You can check out her website here. She started by not eating enough and realised that this was not the way. She did her research and starting eating well, and exercising. :)
If you have never ever had a weight problem or never been obese please do not feel like you have the right to tell fat people why they are the way that they are. You are only seeing the outside and not what is going on in the inside.
I wrote a blog a few months ago about my weight and the emotional side of things. If you want to see people breaking through their mental and emotional barriers just watch any version of The Biggest Loser.
I strongly believe that we should be supporting families in the community and teaching them about healthier choices, cooking and baking from scratch so that they can teach their children. We should be encouraging schools to grow small gardens so that perhaps children can take this knowledge home to their families. A garden does not need to be a huge expense and I know friends who use their scraps to create compost, to then create a small functional garden. You can also have a look at Kat’s blog here.
I also believe that physical education should be compulsory in schools until 6th or 7th form; with varied activities as not all children are runners. Get your families out for walks or even playing in the back yard. Limit children’s TV, gaming or internet time and just get them moving.
Oh and by the way do not even come at me with the fact that my weight is causing a “DRAIN” on the public healthcare. I have private insurance and very rarely go to the doctor. I am also on track to my weight loss goals for Christmas and next year.