Fat shaming vs. necessary dialouge on obesity

McElroy

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This PSA is supposed to make every parent think of what they feed to their kids and other health-related stuff, and it's also about the parents themselves - what kind of an example they set. It doesn't have anything to do with actually losing weight as an adult.

Anyway, it can be tough. I weighed 105.4 kilos last May, and so for the first time in my life I took a conscious effort to lose weight. It took a while to get it to drop at all, but now I'm at about a hundred, and I'm hoping to get it down to 95. I'm the kind of guy who bulks up both muscle and fat really easily, so I'm definitely not going back to being a thin teenager.
 

Catrixa

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Mike Lemond said:
tl;dr: Put down the French fries, spend a few minutes on the treadmill.
This is equal parts true and unhelpful. The thing most people who are naturally skinny or worked to become skinny forget is that obesity isn't always just a lack of knowledge about weight loss. If it was, this simple sentence would be all they need. "Oh, I just need to exercise and not eat this bucket of french fries? Why didn't anyone say something!?" This isn't how the world works. If it was, we'd have solved the obesity epidemic a long time ago, and wouldn't be having this conversation now.

Food is pretty powerful stuff. Your body is hardwired to prioritize fats, sugars, and salts over everything else, even if you're full (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_hunger). And today's society says, "if it doesn't happen immediately, it's not working!" in regards to diets. Hell, many people will go on "quick" diets just so they can lose weight and be "done" with it. People don't want answers that require them change for long periods of time, much less forever, which is what they need to do. Then they go back to the junk food, because it's what they wanted all along, and the cycle starts again. Eventually, they believe they're incapable of losing weight and give up trying.

Every day, we're bombarded with food/messages about food that's super appealing. I've been on WeightWatchers for 3 years, and it really shows you just how much crap food is shoved in your face every day. It's even harder if you're surrounded by people who eat tons of junk food. It's so easy to say you're not the kind of person who can lose weight, or you have a hormonal disorder, or you're genetically predisposed. But it's hard to find it within yourself to lose weight anyway. To stop eating crap, despite all the hurdles. To not stuff your gob when you feel kinda hungry. People need more support than flippant statements about diet and exercise. It's technically that simple, but actually doing it is much more difficult.

Tl;dr: Convincing someone to lose weight isn't as simple as saying "diet and exercise, now go." They have to understand and commit to this for the rest of their lives, which is usually a huge change people aren't naturally willing to make.
 

bjj hero

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senordesol said:
It seems like a rather strange obsession.

I'm a rather rotund gentleman myself, and I recognize that is going to be a medical issue at some point. That said, I'm able to function normally in every day society, I work, I go home to my family, I contribute, and I pay my taxes.

The hell are people so concerned about my waistline for?
How I behave and my lifestyle choices do affect others. In the uk my taxes support the nhs which is paying for all of that type 2 diabetes the larger gents seem so fond of, the cardiac issues, the gastric bands and the raft of weight related illness. There has been an increase in the purchase of oversized stretchers, beds, hoists, scales seats by services spending my tax money. Then there are the disability benefits and the like. Maternity services are dealing with hoards of weight related complications, I could go on.

Air travel is a bugbear for me. Ill be charged a fortune for being 5lbs over weight with my luggage but the guy next to me who is 10 stones heavier pays the same price for his ticket as me? I'd institute a preflight weigh in myself. Why shouldn't my combined weight with luggage set my price?

Im not asking for forced starvation or out right shaming but for people to be responsible for their actions when their lifestyle choices affect those around them. Its not that hard. Its just diet and exercise.
 

senordesol

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bjj hero said:
senordesol said:
It seems like a rather strange obsession.

I'm a rather rotund gentleman myself, and I recognize that is going to be a medical issue at some point. That said, I'm able to function normally in every day society, I work, I go home to my family, I contribute, and I pay my taxes.

The hell are people so concerned about my waistline for?
How I behave and my lifestyle choices do affect others. In the uk my taxes support the nhs which is paying for all of that type 2 diabetes the larger gents seem so fond of, the cardiac issues, the gastric bands and the raft of weight related illness. There has been an increase in the purchase of oversized stretchers, beds, hoists, scales seats by services spending my tax money. Then there are the disability benefits and the like. Maternity services are dealing with hoards of weight related complications, I could go on.

Air travel is a bugbear for me. Ill be charged a fortune for being 5lbs over weight with my luggage but the guy next to me who is 10 stones heavier pays the same price for his ticket as me? I'd institute a preflight weigh in myself. Why shouldn't my combined weight with luggage set my price?

Im not asking for forced starvation or out right shaming but for people to be responsible for their actions when their lifestyle choices affect those around them. Its not that hard. Its just diet and exercise.
"It's just changing everything about your lifestyle, gosh. What's so hard about that?
 

bjj hero

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senordesol said:
bjj hero said:
senordesol said:
It seems like a rather strange obsession.

I'm a rather rotund gentleman myself, and I recognize that is going to be a medical issue at some point. That said, I'm able to function normally in every day society, I work, I go home to my family, I contribute, and I pay my taxes.

The hell are people so concerned about my waistline for?
How I behave and my lifestyle choices do affect others. In the uk my taxes support the nhs which is paying for all of that type 2 diabetes the larger gents seem so fond of, the cardiac issues, the gastric bands and the raft of weight related illness. There has been an increase in the purchase of oversized stretchers, beds, hoists, scales seats by services spending my tax money. Then there are the disability benefits and the like. Maternity services are dealing with hoards of weight related complications, I could go on.

Air travel is a bugbear for me. Ill be charged a fortune for being 5lbs over weight with my luggage but the guy next to me who is 10 stones heavier pays the same price for his ticket as me? I'd institute a preflight weigh in myself. Why shouldn't my combined weight with luggage set my price?

Im not asking for forced starvation or out right shaming but for people to be responsible for their actions when their lifestyle choices affect those around them. Its not that hard. Its just diet and exercise.
"It's just changing everything about your lifestyle, gosh. What's so hard about that?
In that case youre the first person Ive met where diet and exercise are everything in their life. It does not make anything I said any less true.
 

senordesol

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bjj hero said:
In that case youre the first person Ive met where diet and exercise are everything in their life. It does not make anything I said any less true.
I'm only suggesting one thing you said isn't true: the 'not that hard' part.

Are there things you do that keep you from going to the gym -things that you might enjoy? You'd better drop 'em.

Can't afford a gym? Better work harder so you can.

Like to unwind the end of the week with a burger and a beer? Not anymore, tubbo.

Going from big to fit requires a constant awareness, motivation, and discipline to make and *not* make certain choices each and every day. This cannot be argued. It requires the forgoing of many things you might have found pleasurable in favor of things that require considerable effort, time, discipline, and even pain.

Getting fit if presently unfit essentially becomes a second job, except it can take years to see any payoff.
 

Lieju

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There's too much focus on weight, when healthy lifestyle should be the focus.

Of course, everyone can outright see your weight, without knowing how much of it is genetics, how healthy you actually are (since losing weight is considered almost always good people who lose weight because they're ill get congratulated on it), etc.

Furthermore people's view of 'fat' is not necessarily healthy.
My body-weight index is normal (has always been apart from half a year or so when I became overweight due to medication)and I've always been called fat, and try to guess how many people my weight are given any other roles than objects of ridicule in movies etc.

Don't focus on the fat.
 

senordesol

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archiebawled said:
Intermediate results can be encouraging, for instance, I can now run for a tram and not end up gasping for breath and sweating. I'm delighted by that improvement. I've also gone down by a trouser size. They took a few months, and I'm not yet a healthy weight, but I am seeing a payoff now.
Hooray for you.

Seriously. Good job.

But as I said in a previous post: what works for you won't necessarily work for everyone else.

What you want for yourself, isn't the same as what everyone wants for themselves.

And that's okay.
 

Lightknight

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Dead Century said:
Eh, there's a world of difference between overweight and obese. Obesity is caused by a level of self-destruction I can't understand.
They bring it upon themselves, almost like someone deciding to chug a 2 litre of chocolate milk in one sitting.
It's simply an addiction like anything else. People generally get comfort from eating and let's say they had a mother who loved to cook for them. They may associate eating food with love and make it a way to treat depression.
 

Booklover13

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archiebawled said:
Booklover13 said:
2. It is far easier to maintain a weight then to lose it. Most people can not keep weight off because their body is freaking out. Going below a certain weight will put a person's body in starvation mode. Note that this is based on what the brain considers "normal." This set point is easy raise and hard to lower. Your body will fight to get back to that point and this is why a majority of weight lost is eventually back. I'm not saying that it isn't possible, just that most people with success stories are exceptions not rules.
Could you provide a (medical) citation for that? I was under the impression that most people gained weight back because they fell into bad habits, or stopped their diet.

The NHS website doesn't mention anything about starvation or a set point (and they have a pretty extensive section on weight loss). I've only heard about set point weight and starvation from people who claim that and calory deficiency (i.e. burning off more than you consume) almost instantaneously cause your metabolism to drop so much that weight loss becomes (almost) impossible.
The best I could could find at the moment is this article from the American Diabetes Association website.

http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/52/2/232.long

I wish I could give more firm stuff but I looked this stuff up a few years ago I don't remember where I found all the info. The Wikipedia article on homeostasis also references it but I do not consider that reliable enough source to cite.

Homeostasis is the ability for a system to regulate itself and maintain consistency despite outside factors. There is an area of the brain dedicated to this, the hypothalamus, which is in charge of hunger, body temperature, thirst, and all those little things that we need to remain consistent to survive. The article I did link is looking at this in terms of insulin(also on the list of things regulated), but also does make mention of weight gain and loss and how the system seems to favor one over the other.

Also in terms of people keeping off weight that number is about ~20 according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition when "defined as losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining the loss for at least 1 y"(http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long). It then goes on to state that that the maintenance success rate increases if you can maintain the loss for 2-5 years. Which also makes sense with in my argument, since that is representative of the body changing that set point.
 

bjj hero

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senordesol said:
bjj hero said:
In that case youre the first person Ive met where diet and exercise are everything in their life. It does not make anything I said any less true.
I'm only suggesting one thing you said isn't true: the 'not that hard' part.

Are there things you do that keep you from going to the gym -things that you might enjoy? You'd better drop 'em.

Can't afford a gym? Better work harder so you can.

Like to unwind the end of the week with a burger and a beer? Not anymore, tubbo.

Going from big to fit requires a constant awareness, motivation, and discipline to make and *not* make certain choices each and every day. This cannot be argued. It requires the forgoing of many things you might have found pleasurable in favor of things that require considerable effort, time, discipline, and even pain.

Getting fit if presently unfit essentially becomes a second job, except it can take years to see any payoff.
I disagree. When youre unfit you make massive gains in fitness and weight loss. Its the change from doing nothing to taking up regular exercise and eating properly. I work out at least 4 times a eeek, running, martial arts, circuits and boxing. I fit this around a job a job, a part time job and a family. It can be done. And if youre exercising right you can get that beer and a burger too in moderation. Youre right though, it needs willpower. I wasnt born double jointed or with superpowers. I just know how to say no. And I have to supliment those who cannot financially. Where is the responsibility? In the uk Ive seen tonnes of fun get free gym membership from his doctor to a gym I couldnt afford to attend, I pay for my own training and always have. I get this is cheaper than surgery or treating his long term health problems but that wouldnt be an issue if he had to pay to sort his own mess out.
 

senordesol

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archiebawled said:
senordesol said:
archiebawled said:
Intermediate results can be encouraging, for instance, I can now run for a tram and not end up gasping for breath and sweating. I'm delighted by that improvement. I've also gone down by a trouser size. They took a few months, and I'm not yet a healthy weight, but I am seeing a payoff now.
Hooray for you.

Seriously. Good job.

But as I said in a previous post: what works for you won't necessarily work for everyone else.

What you want for yourself, isn't the same as what everyone wants for themselves.

And that's okay.
Oh absolutely; I think I phrased that poorly, I meant that if somebody wants to lose weight and get healthy (as I do) then the intermediate results can provide a boost that helps them to keep going. So whilst a payoff of, say, "be able to run 5 miles" might still take me (and them, and anybody else) a long time, looking at it in terms of progress ("I can run for 2 miles, I couldn't do that X months ago.") is (in my opinion) more helpful than an absolute ("After X months, I still can't run 5 miles.").

(and thanks :))
That's fantastic! Well done.

I'd like to remind everyone that I'm not arguing that a healthy lifestyle isn't beneficial and shouldn't be pursued. That's not what I'm saying at all. By all means, if you find proper diet and vigorous exercise workable and substantive in your life; fucking do it!

All I'm trying to point out here is that being big does not make one the 'pitiful', 'diseased', 'lazy', 'disgusting blight on society that shouldn't exist' that several posters have already claimed.

Some of the kindest, most generous, happy, and hardworking people I know are big people. Their discipline and dedication to their chosen crafts -albeit not physically demanding- has resulted in some truly stunning accomplishments. For anyone to judge them based on their size and nothing else makes that person...well, I'm just going to say it...a scornful, baleful, and just plain awful person.

bjj hero said:
I disagree. When youre unfit you make massive gains in fitness and weight loss. Its the change from doing nothing to taking up regular exercise and eating properly. I work out at least 4 times a eeek, running, martial arts, circuits and boxing. I fit this around a job a job, a part time job and a family. It can be done. And if youre exercising right you can get that beer and a burger too in moderation. Youre right though, it needs willpower. I wasnt born double jointed or with superpowers. I just know how to say no. And I have to supliment those who cannot financially. Where is the responsibility? In the uk Ive seen tonnes of fun get free gym membership from his doctor to a gym I couldnt afford to attend, I pay for my own training and always have. I get this is cheaper than surgery or treating his long term health problems but that wouldnt be an issue if he had to pay to sort his own mess out.
You only make 'massive gains' if it works out; if you're wiling to endure the pain and frustration for long enough. Not everyone is. Not everyone has the discipline. Not everyone is willing to sacrifice the other things they love just for the sake of picking up heavy iron plates just to put them back down.

Just because it 'can' be done, doesn't mean people want it done. And it doesn't make them any lesser for not doing it.
 

Vegosiux

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bjj hero said:
I disagree. When youre unfit you make massive gains in fitness and weight loss. Its the change from doing nothing to taking up regular exercise and eating properly. I work out at least 4 times a eeek, running, martial arts, circuits and boxing. I fit this around a job a job, a part time job and a family. It can be done. And if youre exercising right you can get that beer and a burger too in moderation. Youre right though, it needs willpower. I wasnt born double jointed or with superpowers. I just know how to say no. And I have to supliment those who cannot financially. Where is the responsibility? In the uk Ive seen tonnes of fun get free gym membership from his doctor to a gym I couldnt afford to attend, I pay for my own training and always have. I get this is cheaper than surgery or treating his long term health problems but that wouldnt be an issue if he had to pay to sort his own mess out.
You do realize this is all just a bunch of conceited preaching? It can easily be reversed. Maybe you don't know how to say no, maybe you're just afraid to say yes. And if you break or strain something while boxing, it's other people financially supplementing you. Where is the responsibility? Seriously, if we're just going to go "YOU SUCK!" at people, everyone can do that.

PS: This is coming from a 190cm, 70kg dude.

PPS: When did "fit" and "healthy" become the same thing? I didn't get the memo.
 

Therumancer

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Shock and Awe said:
If you ask me obesity is nothing more then a disease and should be treated as such. The only difference that it has when compared to others is that the best treatment is not drugs, or surgery; its effort to make good nutritional choices and to exercise. This is the problem. There are people who think that society should have to accept and accommodate a problem that could be solved if they had any self discipline or will to help themselves. The fat acceptance movement is nothing more then people trying to justify their sloth and find excuses not to cure themselves.

This is all coming from a person who used to be borderline obese in highschool(I was a weight lifter, but it was still excessive) to being in excellent physical shape in the span of two years. What did it? Discipline to eat right and exercise more. These people just don't want to do that and like saying that they cant. Are there really people who have some medical problem preventing weight loss? Yes, but that is a small minority.

In short, we shouldn't make people hate themselves for being overweight, but we need to push them toward health like any other patient. If someone is trying to fix themselves then its fantastic. If someone is making excuses they're wrong. If they are spreading lies they are disgusting.
The obesity epidemic is simply something that came with modernization and civilization. The entire first world suffers from the problem, it's just that the US is the only country that loves to air it's dirty laundry, where other countries downplay their problems and keep as much as possible in-house.

The big cause of obesity is largely that people are increasingly sedimentary as a lifestyle, we use machines, we drive, and of course jobs tend to involve a lot of sitting or standing in one place. What's more this is just as exhausting, especially when you add stress into the equasion. Your typical person typically comes home stressed and exhausted physically and mentally, and has a lot of responsibilities other than work.

A lot of solutions that exist in other countries that are less developed don't work for the US. It's easy to intellectually sit back and say "well, jog to work, or ride a bike, leave a bit earlier" but the way first world nations are organized this isn't particularly practical even before you consider safety concerns (permissive first world societies tend to be very dangerous as a result, which is why in a lot of areas people wont' let their kids outside and have adopted paranoia as a way of life... in cities where such a bike, or foot based commute might be most practical, your in the most danger for trying it).

Then there is the whole issue of medication, with lifestyle dissatisfaction, paranoia, and stress at all time highs in the first world, people tend to take a lot of legal drugs for purposes of mood stabilization (there have been articles about this) a lot of these drugs might not directly cause obesity, but some do, and of course side effects can vary from person to person, almost all of these drugs cause things like fatigue, dizziness, and other problems that are seen as better than the alternative which also contribute to people literally not being able to exercise, even if they were to find the time.

The point here is that it's a more complicated issue than just "get up off your arse and exercise fatso" or "put down the fork and do sit ups" a lot of fat people don't even eat that much, it's more about how much they wind up burning. Some people are just lazy, or have eating problems, but that has always existed as a problem and it hasn't been this kind of an epidemic.

The solutions that would probably help a lot of these issues, are things that would require society wide change, trillions of dollars, and would meet with mass resistance for a lot of reasons. Say for example if a lot of places had their zoning laws changed and business and industrial districts were moved a lot closer to, or intergrated with, residential districts. Right now we've separated them because nobody wants a factory next door, or a tons of crowds tromping past their house to go shopping (along with parking issues and everything else), but it also means someone
can easily have 20-30 miles to commute every day, not to mention that bikes and foot traffic aren't allowed on certain roads like a lot of highways that represent the most efficient way of getting from point A to point B (understand that 20-30 miles can amount to a lot more when you can't travel in a straight line). Of course this leads to a lot of problems in of itself, and one has to wonder if those problems are going to be better than a lot of fat people.

Another solution that would probably help a lot would of course be massive workplace reforms, happier and more content workers of course means less people popping mood stabilizers and narcing themselves out to get through the day, which means more energy, and of course people employing that energy to do things which will cause them to lose weight. Of course for a lot of reasons, namely the desires of big business, we're not going to see happier workplaces any time soon. The school system with it's "everyone is special" attitude doesn't help either because a lot of that depression comes from people hitting the real world, realizing they aren't special, and that they get to be another cog in the machine of society rather than someone at the top or doing all kinds of incredible and fun things. Add to that the sheer amount of competition for other jobs and it's a huge mess.

One thing that has also worked when it's been tried is to have companies integrate a work-out schedule into their time tables. Say providing exercise facilities and then scheduling all employees to work out for 15-30 minutes a day, sort of like a gym class. The problem with this of course is that companies do not want to play people for even 15-30 minutes a day that they aren't working, and employees don't want to give up the pay if they are forced to take an unpaid "break" in the middle of their schedule. In most cases where things like this exist, it's largely at an executive level, because a company actually considers those people real assets, and to be frank they probably aren't doing a whole lot anyway.

That said I have some weight issues and a complex about it myself, and am pretty heavily medicated due to brain damage, so I know what the results can be from that first hand. Some dude popping robust doses of drugs like Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, and similar drugs to get through the day can gradually mess themselves up if they get some of the side effects, and if they wind up getting a generic because of their insurance... heh, well...
 

bjj hero

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Vegosiux said:
bjj hero said:
I disagree. When youre unfit you make massive gains in fitness and weight loss. Its the change from doing nothing to taking up regular exercise and eating properly. I work out at least 4 times a eeek, running, martial arts, circuits and boxing. I fit this around a job a job, a part time job and a family. It can be done. And if youre exercising right you can get that beer and a burger too in moderation. Youre right though, it needs willpower. I wasnt born double jointed or with superpowers. I just know how to say no. And I have to supliment those who cannot financially. Where is the responsibility? In the uk Ive seen tonnes of fun get free gym membership from his doctor to a gym I couldnt afford to attend, I pay for my own training and always have. I get this is cheaper than surgery or treating his long term health problems but that wouldnt be an issue if he had to pay to sort his own mess out.
You do realize this is all just a bunch of conceited preaching? It can easily be reversed. Maybe you don't know how to say no, maybe you're just afraid to say yes. And if you break or strain something while boxing, it's other people financially supplementing you. Where is the responsibility? Seriously, if we're just going to go "YOU SUCK!" at people, everyone can do that.

PS: This is coming from a 190cm, 70kg dude.

PPS: When did "fit" and "healthy" become the same thing? I didn't get the memo.
Say yes to what? I eat what I like and enjoy exercise. Yes I could hurt myself training but the net benefits to my health out weigh this and I pay insurance to cover nasty injuries. The minor stuff often doesnt need treating and just involves rest and (store bought) anti imflamatories and pain killers. Maybe if those with unhealthy lifestyles did the same wed be in a better place. Those who say their unhealthy lifestyle choices affect no one but themselves are deluded. Take some responsibility.
 

Vegosiux

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bjj hero said:
Say yes to what? I eat what I like and enjoy exercise. Yes I could hurt myself training but the net benefits to my health out weigh this and I pay insurance to cover nasty injuries. The minor stuff often doesnt need treating and just involves rest and (store bought) anti imflamatories and pain killers. Maybe if those with unhealthy lifestyles did the same wed be in a better place. Those who say their unhealthy lifestyle choices affect no one but themselves are deluded. Take some responsibility.
Good that those with unhealthy lifestyles exist, so that we have somebody to hate on and feel better about ourselves, ainnit?

But, I stand behind what I said; if we're just going to talk about why other people suck compared to the grandiose image of excellence and perfection that is me, and how it's those other people that need to change and the world will be a better place, well...we're not going to get very far with that kind of rhetoric.