Friday, September 9, 2011

Fat Haters

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.


  1. Having lost 80kg, you do need to not only get your head right, but you need to have it as a priority and put your life on hold and everything else comes second for a time until you learn the new behaviors.
    I went on to do a personal training course, and one of the key things they teach is the psycology of how to work around things, and figure out answers to questions that have not even come up. ie "What will you do if somebody has a birthday and work and brings cake?" Deal with it now before it happens, this way you do not panic, end up eating it and fail.
    Also what you need to do is ask "What happens when you do fail?" as in fail on a meal, fail to make a workout etc. Get those things in place BEFORE you can address diet and exercise :)

    Yes , obesity may be gross to some people, to others its not necessarily a choice but a place they found them self without knowing how they got there or how to get home.

  2. Liz, thanks so much for your comments. I think that people need to hear what you have to say and it makes so much sense. This is why I love you to bits. #VoiceOfReason :)

  3. Well put Ness.
    As a society, we have this crazy idea of what is attractive and normal. A little overweight is gross, a little skinny is gross - where do we find the middle ground?
    I've lost weight and gained weight. Its been a struggle for my entire life and I cant imagine that ever changing. People are quick to judge me and its taken years and years and years of trying to ignore that so that I dont let it bother me too much and I dont eat my emotions. Its tough and I'm tired of it too. But I have to keep an eye on it all day.
    Those who judge weight can keep their judgements to themselves as far as I'm concerned. However I try and remind myself that we are all human and its easier to throw out comments to possibly deflect what we are thinking inside. And most people have something about themselves that they are not happy with ... that they hide on the inside.