Things Fat People Are Told

By Katie, 6:47 am

When I wrote a post in honor of Fat Talk Free Week, I pointed out that while we often discuss our struggles with negative self-talk, we shouldn’t forget that fat talk can also be directed at others. I was referring to off-hand comments like, “she really shouldn’t be wearing that top…”

Turns out that’s not the extent of it. Not even close.

I recently stumbled across Brian Stuart’s attempt to expose fat stigmatization by asking people to share their experiences on Twitter via the hastag #thingsfatpeoplearetold. On his blog he posted a sample of the responses he received in just the first twenty-four hours.

They left me with my jaw hanging open in dismay. Here are a few examples.

*Possible Trigger Warning*

  • “No one will ever love you.”
  • “Fat people are stupid. If they were smart, they wouldn’t be fat.”
  • “But have you really, really TRIED to lose weight?”
  • From the window of a passing car: “Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
  • “He didn’t get you candy for Valentine’s Day, did he? You don’t need it.”
  • “Are you sure you didn’t just imagine them checking you out?”
  • Said by a surgeon during a C-section: “Take this fat out while we are in here.”

Believe it or not, there are many that are even more cruel that I chose not to re-post here, even with the trigger warning. :cry:

It all begs the question, what is going on here??? How can anyone be so downright vicious?

Honestly, I don’t think the people who say these things are simply cold-hearted and hateful. Rather, I think the urge to pull other people down in such an outright, ferocious way stems from a place of deep insecurity and pain within the discriminator. And the only way they see to ease that insecurity and soothe their own self-image is by trampling on someone else’s.

I find it incredibly sad and horribly sickening at the same time.

The second question we inevitably ask is, what can be done? I personally like the three-pronged approach endorsed by Linda Bacon of Health at Every Size. In an interview she emphasized that in order to see positive change, we need to 1) work on our own self-acceptance, 2) encourage self-acceptance in others, and 3) fight the institutionalized prejudice – including workforce, educational, and medical discrimination – that hurts those who do not fit the idealized body size every day.

I’ll join that fight, and I hope you will too. Then maybe someday, fat people will no longer be told such hostile and ignorant things.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Were you previously aware of how deep anti-fat discrimination and cruelty runs in our society? Like I said, I knew it was bad, but didn’t realize it was this bad. Or at least not this open and outright.

74 Responses to “Things Fat People Are Told”

  1. Simply Life says:

    oh that makes me so sad to hear that…

  2. Skinny Sushi says:

    I think it’s about fear. I think people see someone (like me) who represents (for them) a lack of control over a very public aspect of their lives, and it terrifies them. If I could get fat, they could too, and that would be letting go of something in a way that is obvious to everyone who looks at you.

    • Katie says:

      Very interesting point. The question for me is, what are they afraid of deep down? It’s probably a fear of not just the weight gain, but of the stigma that comes along with it. But by making these comments, they are enforcing and increasing that stigma. It’s a sad cycle.

  3. Kelly says:

    I agree with Skinny Sushi above. I think people are cruel to mask fear. It is a fear that they could become overweight too. I truly believe that when peoplee are mean to other people they are merely projecting their own fears onto others. It is sad, disgusting and appalling.

    • Katie says:

      I agree; when someone is that cruel – about any subject, really – it has much more to do with them than with the person they are trying to insult.

  4. As someone who told herself things like that for years (even though I was never overweight) and found myself in an eating disorder because of it, I cringe every time I hear someone (my own brain included) make fat comments. I don’t understand how this is considered acceptable conversation.

  5. Tamara says:

    The thing is, for something like “fat,” it’s easy for people to cover up the fact that it’s discrimination because they’re “helping.” It isn’t bullying to tell someone they don’t need Valentine’s Day candy, because you’re really concerned about their /health/ right? And the best way to “motivate” people is to tell them they’ll be lonely forever unless they conform their bodies to others’ ideals. My mother was a good parent, bless her soul, but when I was going through my awkward teenage plump stage she did resort to telling me I had to slim down so she could dream about attending my wedding in ten years :o

    • Katie says:

      Eek! This is an excellent point; even people with the best of intentions often end up fat-talking and shaming those they love.

  6. McKella says:

    I didn’t understand how deep “fat hate” ran until the last couple of years. It’s really scary to read studies of how children are being taught to hate fat people from their negative portrayal in childrens’ books. Think Dudley in Harry Potter, Piggy in Lord of the Flies, Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…the list goes one. Overweight people are among the last groups that society doesn’t seem to mind making fun of, but hopefully that’s changing.

    • Katie says:

      What an excellent point! I hadn’t thought of it in regards to children’s books, but it’s so true. No pressure or anything, but if you’d ever be interested in writing a guest post for Health for the Whole Self on this topic, I’d be up for it!

  7. Alaina says:

    I used to be called “fat cow” and I had people tell me that I’d never have any friends. It took me years to work up to this point, where I do love myself and I have self-confidence. And because of what I went through, I don’t say things like that to anyone, because you don’t know what is going on in their life. It is just downright cruel.

    • Katie says:

      I’m so sorry you went through that, Alaina. But it makes you all the more admirable now. Congratulations on becoming the confident, assured woman you are today!

  8. Jen says:

    I am glad I read this. I am trying to learn self-compassion and while for a minute reading the tweets did trigger the awful self critic in me, but thinking for a minute put an end of it. Thanks for letting me know about that hashtag.

    • Katie says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jen! I hope that while the tweets can be triggering, they can also be empowering in the sense that if we would never say those sorts of things to someone else, why would we say them to ourselves?

  9. Becca says:

    I weighed about 200lbs at the start of my pregnancy, but have been lucky to carry it in a way that doesn’t show as much as it could. Maybe it’s that, or maybe it’s that my husband is a 6’5″ rugby player, but I haven’t had too many nasty comments from people in recent years.

    My younger sister, however, who is much slimmer than me was told by a nurse yesterday that it was “probably a good thing” that she hadn’t been able to eat in 24 hours due to tonsilitis. He then suggested she try Atkins. Great – the best possible thing to tell a student who ditched all science subjects as soon as she could!

    The thing people seem to miss is that I – and other fat people – am not looking for an excuse, not looking for a way to get out of doing any work to get healthy. Sure, a helping hand would be nice – I’d love cheap, processed junk to be taxed heavily and the money used to subsidise fruit and vegetables, but I appreciate that’s never going to happen while our governments are wooed by the companies who make cheap, processed junk.

    What we really need is a bit of understanding. Anorexics aren’t called names and force-fed, they are given counselling and psychiatric help because guess what? When people do things that harm their health, it usually means there’s a big, underlying problem.

    I’m embracing the Spanish attitude when it comes to the f-word. I don’t know if US Spanish speakers do the same, but my best friend calls her daughter “gordita”, or “little fatty” as a term of endearment, and in turn, she is also called that by her husband. Neither are at an unhealthy weight, but the recognition that a bit of squishiness is perfectly ok is an awesome thing!

    • Katie says:

      LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Thank you for such a thoughtful and insightful comment; the idea that what is really needed is a bit more understanding and compassion is spot on. I’m sorry to hear that your sister was treated with such insensitivty.

  10. Alexis says:

    Fat is the last PC target. No one defends overweight ppl yet we make up almost half the population. Unfortunately, we don’t defend ourselves either. We are so beaten down that we agree with what no other group would believe about themselves, let alone tolerate the attacks.
    When I was 6-7 my next door neighbour and her brother would run around me in a circle calling me Flubber. So, I knew about this discrimination back then. I also knew if I told my mother why they were teasing me, she would agree with them. So I suffered in silence… and ate over it.
    I don’t accept my wieght, but because I’m physically uncomfortable, not because some clothing designer wants to save 3 cents by not designing shirts with darts.

    • Katie says:

      Alexis, I can’t thank you enough for this comment. I appreciate you sharing such a personal and difficult experience; it makes my blood boil that you went through that, and makes me even more determined to expose this kind of stuff for the horrible bullying that it is. Congratulations on emerging so strong and articulate regarding the issue.

  11. Becca is spot on!! Yes!!

    As someone who grew up in a family where being fat was a character flaw…where being fat meant you were lazy, stupid, ugly…insert negative adjective of your choice…it’s taken me a looong time not only to love myself, but to not feel the same way about others!! Believe it or not, I used to think, “well, I am not as fat as her, so I must be better.”

    Awareness is the key! And we’re getting there…thanks to bloggers like you :-)

  12. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for writing such a great post. I’ve heard, seen, experienced some and read them all. You just have to look at the comments on any news story about health, size or even food and the amount of vitriol out there is downright scary.

    When somebody who is not overweight calls themselves fat, they don’t usually mean they feel like they have an excess of adipose tissue on their body. What they mean is that they feel all the negative things about themselves that they hear, read or personally feel about fat people. That they are slovenly, gluttonous, lazy, unloved, ugly or any other adjective that in reality has nothing to do with size.

    One of the blogs that I enjoy reading had a post last week about stopping fat talk and even though she said she realised it was more about physical appearance her big solution was to simply say “Be positive” and “Stop. You’re smarter than to put yourself down like that” which couldn’t be farther from missing the point if it tried.

    It is not actually calling yourself fat that is the problem. It’s that seeing fat as a convenient negative is an easy way out, instead of using the words that get down deeper to the real issues of self worth and personal ownership of problems.

    • Katie says:

      Sarah, I completely agree. In my personal experience, my struggles with food and body image have always been merely the surface, covering up some much deeper issues in my life. We can’t truly heal until we dig down and face those issues.

  13. One of my patients told me tonight about walking in the grocery store a couple years ago and a woman in a car driving by and screaming, “Do you really need to go in there for more food, you fat b***h!?” I could barely contain my tears in hearing that from this beautiful, strong, courageous woman in front of me. Despite hearing these stories at least weekly, it never ceases to amaze me how cruel people can be. I try to remember that even those who are saying such awful things must be so troubled themselves.

    • Katie says:

      Ashley, your patients are so fortunate to have someone like you with whom they can share these kinds of difficult stories. Thank you for the amazing work that you do. And I completely agree that the ones who are perpetrating this kind of hate are deeply troubled and struggling themselves.

  14. Jannifer says:

    It’s sad that people would say such hurtful things, no one should have to hear those things.
    Sometimes I do get a little angry when I see overweight people with their children and their children are also overweight. It just makes me think that it’s not fair what they are passing on to their children.

    • Alexis says:

      I feel the same way. When a chubby 5 year old is walking around with a 44oz soda it makes me want to yell at the parent. There is too much information out there to justify that kind of parenting. No one with a tv can say they don’t know what they’re doing to their child is harmful.

      • Becca says:

        That’s such an interesting one. I feel that same frustration and wonder how – when you’ve gone through the pain of being large yourself – you can allow your child to go through it as well.

        My husband and I have discussed this at length, having both struggled with our weight despite very different attitudes to food from our parents. My parents are bingers and dieters who promote the food=reward and food=love message, while his have always had very healthy attitudes to eating.

        Our conclusion is to try to downplay the relationship between food and appearance while – most importantly – promoting fun physical activity as a family. That’s the plan, anyway! The reality of parenting, I’m sure, is quite different.

      • Amanda says:

        Policing another parents right to parent is just a slipery slope into discrimination. Pushing your own beliefs about health or parenting on another person isn’t ok and assuming that someone is being ignorant is harmful within itself.

        Your comment should be added to the post above as hateful things fat people are told.

    • Amanda says:

      How do you know that they are ‘passing’ something on to their children? Are fat people not allowed to reproduce? I was a fat child, with fat parents, who is now a fat rights activist. My whole life I have been active in sports, my parents are hard working physically and/or otherwise. My father who is now 70 years old still does contruction for 8-12 hours a day, yet is 300 pounds. So when you look at someones family the only thing you should be angry at is yourself for holding such prejudice.

    • Nicole says:

      My husband and I are fat. My kids (7 and 2) are, so far, not fat. However, given the fact that weight is between 70 and 80 percent heritable, the only way I could be sure not to have fat kids is not to reproduce at all. Is that where you’d like to go? I feed my children a wide variety of healthy, whole foods–just like my parents did for me–and make sure that they are active, just as I was. You cannot tell just by looking at someone–kid or adult–what they eat or how they live. I’d like to think that my husband and I–though fat–have a lot of great things to pass on to our kids: musical talent, brains, compassion, beautiful blue eyes. My “genetic stock” should not be cut off simply because I am the descendent of Swedish famine survivors.

  15. Kat says:

    I was just thinking the other day about how we treat those that are heavy and obese so much different than those that are emaciated, even though the two are rather connected and share a lot of similarities.

    It’s really odd to me… and I think (as it often is) compassion is the answer

  16. [...] appalling and violent ways. (And if you think she must be some strange, isolated example, check out #thingsfatpeoplearetold on Twitter — and prepare to lose your [...]

  17. Amanda says:

    Every person I know who has made comments about other fat people, or myself normally have some disordered thinking when it comes to weight and health. A lot of this comes up, especially for women, because our bodies are still considered public property to be discussed, shamed and policed into conforming to unrealistic ideals.

    It always amazes me when people don’t believe or cannot comprehend why the things I have been told throughout my life are because of the size of my body. Those people also participate in it, but don’t notice that they are shaming or policing others.

    • Katie says:

      It’s a mirror, really. Judgments of others are less about the person being judged and more a reflection of the judger. There’s this desire to raise themselves up above the other person, as if to assert their superiority – which is usually a sign of masked insecurity. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Amanda. They are always welcome here.

      • Amanda says:

        Oh I agree that it is about being superior to others. The action of speaking about others in many ways stems from believing that bodies are there for people to judge and comment on. If you stop thinking that you have the right to make negative comments, it stops the action from happening. It changes the conversation from, “Oh they are just insecure” to “They do not have the right to talk about your body or dehumanize you.”

        I can tell you from personal experience that is far more effective in stopping body shame. It also makes you see people without judgment easier.

      • Becca says:

        That’s so interesting, Katie. It reminds me of a book we read in French class called Boule de Suif, in which a group of very different people share a carriage fleeing the Prussian army during the Franco-Prussian war. The aristocrats had no fear of talking to a prostitute, because they were secure in their position, while the bourgeois characters shunned her, for fear of being associated with her lower class, which was closer to theirs.

        Maybe it’s not such an awful characteristic to make judgements, so long as we recognise why quickly, and don’t allow it to affect our treatment of others. It could even be an excellent tool for self-improvement.

        I think we need to criticise ourselves less for our thoughts, and worry more about what we do with them afterwards.

        • Katie says:

          @Amanda – I like your point about the underlying beliefs and attitudes that lead people to think that body-judging is acceptable. In essence it seems to stem from a flawed way of viewing the purpose of our bodies, which at the core isn’t about display. Interesting!

          @Becca – I agree that our own judgments can be a door for self-reflection and greater self-awareness. We can become more compassionate people by examining our own judgmental thoughts, in whatever realm they may be.

  18. Diana says:

    Thank you for writing on this important topic. It has always amazed me how much more prejudice is acceptable against fat people than against almost any other group in America.

    I’m not sure it is fair to blame these statements solely on the insecurities of the person making the derogatory statement. I’m sure this plays a part, but there’s a lot more going on here. I simply can’t make myself believe that insecurity and hate and evil are soo pervasive! There must be a bigger picture.

    As a chubby little girl, I got a lot of these comments growing up, especially from my own father who really, truly believed he was looking out for me. When you look at most of these derogatory statements, they are really just people’s (twisted) ways of looking out for the people they are talking to. If you really believe that being fat is equivalent to a medical emergency and a lifelong curse of never being loved, then naturally you are going to tell people what you perceive to be the “hard truths” in order to look out for them. The problem is, these are not truths, they are prejudicial messages ingrained in us through our culture.

    I believe it is the collective emotional “laziness” that allows people to remain close-minded and make these statements, which is ironic considering that one of the major misconceptions of fat people is that they/we are lazy. It takes a lot of motivation and courage for every citizen to understand the complexity of the weight issue in our culture, and for most people it isn’t worth the trouble, or they are not even aware that there is a broader perspective. Unfortunately, this goes for naturally thin people and fat people alike. We are all taught to hate the fat on ourselves and on one another.

    Articles like this one are a great step! I believe many people who never second-guessed the culturally accepted prejudice may shift if exposed to enough of this… because, as I said before, people can’t truly be that evil. We are all trying in our ways to love and protect one another. With some broadening of perspective, this inclination will be put to good use once more.

    • Katie says:

      Thank you for this wonderfully-written and insightful comment, Diana! While I do believe that the insecurities of the insulter play a large role – and hence it’s not really stemming from a place of evil – I agree that that doesn’t always tell the whole story. In some cases it really is about wanting to help, a topic I’ve discussed in relation to the fine line between accountability and shaming (link below, if you’re interested).

      I agree that stepping out of society’s overarching perspective on weight takes a lot of courage. I’ve always thought that true body acceptance – both of your own body and others’ – is really radical and rebellious in some ways.

      http://www.healthforthewholeself.com/2011/01/the-fine-line-between-accountability-and-shaming/

      • Diana says:

        Katie,

        Radical and rebellious — yes! Your response resonates with me, especially the piece about acting from insecurities not being the same as acting from evil. I suppose this gets way out into the stratosphere of the nature of evil debate, which isn’t really important in a sense. What I take away from all of this is the importance of having compassion for the insulter as well as the insultee, to realize that this is a loaded issue for every single person in our society, and to continue on the courageous (radical!) path of active, loving acceptance.

        I look forward to reading more of your articles, starting right now :)

  19. McKella says:

    Hey Katie, I found something you and your readers might like! This is Meghan McCain’s rebuttal to body-bashing targeted at her skin cancer awareness project: http://powerwall.msnbc.msn.com/politics/shut-up-about-my-body-glenn-beck-1688120.story
    Enjoy!

    • Alexis says:

      I guess he thought he could punish her for being a “progressive” and be funny at the same time. Epic fail!

      • Katie says:

        I love her so much. Her ability to snap back in such an intelligent and articulate way is just awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  20. J says:

    The first one on that list was told to me, by my Dad, when I was 6 years old. I hadn’t realised love was conditional until then. I knew parents would disapprove if I did naughty things, and I could get that, but to have love withdrawn cos of my size was a problem.
    When I go to adolesence I grew, I put on the fat reserves required to turn a girl’s body into a woman’s one. I also had hormones raging round me and of course argued with my parents (show me a teenager who doesn’t)
    This cracked my relationship with my parents, especially my Dad. I am his only girl. He’s now in his 70s and we’re not close. How can we be? He basically told me that he would not love me if I was fat, and I am fat. So he doesn’t love me.
    I used to think my Dad was my whole world. I am so obviously not good enough though. I wish I had a Dad who could love me for me and not look at me with disappointment in his eyes. Thats really, really hurts. I tend to ignore it these days as his problem. I have a husband who adores me and lots of great friends. I know I am lovable – I just wish my Dad could see past my fat.

    • Katie says:

      I have tears in my eyes. I can’t thank you enough for sharing what is certainly a very difficult experience. Honestly, I feel sorry for your dad because he is missing out on having a relationship with someone who is obviously very smart, kind, and beautiful.

      • Sarah says:

        Hi,

        I’m a 20 something, living at home with my parents. This pretty much describes my dad. My whole life he would seize opportunities to berate and humiliate me about my weight. Being an emotional eater, he actually just made it worse. I’ve been struggling with our father-daughter relationship even more recently. He’ll make plans with me and then forget or tell me he has better things to do or say, “How am I supposed to remember.” I think if it or I was important he would. And he is certainly nicer to my brothers wives, fiances, and girlfriends, all of which are about 95 lbs. Anyway, I was talking to my mom about this last night while also updating my Facebook status – when he came calling because he needed me to fix his virus ridden computer. I worked until about 1 a.m. and am still working the next day at 4:30 pm. I was being helpful and organizing the files that became scattered and found a powerpoint he is keeping with pictures of me in various stages of fatness. Awhile back I lost about 50 lbs on WW, but then gained most of it back when my mentor went mental, stopped talking to me, and broke my heart. I ended up gaining most of it back. I know that if I was thin he would love me, but it shouldn’t be required, should it?

  21. Lanna says:

    My question is.. Why are we so quick to judge? Whether people be fat, skinny, young mothers, disheveled or what have you. The common respons is to belittle them. Why? How did society get this way, and who molded our minds to ever think that this is ok?
    If I could apologize and hug every person who’s ever been treated in this way I would. Anyone reading this, no matter what your size, group of friends, family or otherwise, your situation, age, weight etc, you’re a wonderful person. And damn the person who would ever make you feel otherwise. xoxox
    *from a girl who’s struggled with weight issues, both ways*

    • Katie says:

      I automatically gripped my heart while reading this comment. Our society desperately needs more people like you – people who are compassionate and loving and kind. Thank you for being you. :)

      • Lanna says:

        There’s no proof that being skinny makes you happy.. I’ve struggled with eating disorders cause of my weight, so I know what harsh comments can do. I also know that several people I love very dearly are over weight, but are much better people then the skinny B*****s that make fun of them, everyone has their thing in life, I haven’t always and am not always good at following the example I’d like to set. But just imagine if we all took the time to be kinder to people. I think we’d realize that when we’re kind we feel better, not by oppressing and stigmatizing other people… How I wish the world were different. Words can take or save lives. Damn being skinny. There’s a reason for everything, sure maybe someone likes to eat a bag of chips a day, but who are we to judge, maybe someone has diabetes or some other disease even worse, and cannot loose weight. Or just living is enough work for them. Let’s have a heart, and go against the mainstream.
        Show we care for our fellow man.

  22. DeAun says:

    The one about fat people being stupid really hits home for me. I am in medical school and every time I do poorly, I find that my first, completely illogical thought is that if I were thin, I would be doing better. Each time it happens I find myself shocked that I have to talk myself down by reminding myself that 1) I am in MEDICAL SCHOOL…got to be a little intelligent & educated to manage that and 2) there are plenty of thin people who struggle here too. When I saw that comment, it dawned on me that society has affected me in ways that I am not even aware of much of the time. I want to change that for future generations & my future patients as much as possible.

    • Katie says:

      I too am often amazed at how the messages of society have infiltrated my brain. I’m glad to hear that when those moments strike, you are able to remind yourself of the truth. Congratulations on all that you are accomplishing! :)

  23. Duong says:

    “Fat people are stupid. If they were smart, they wouldn’t be fat.”

    At first when I saw this quote I did find it mean, but when I took a second to ponder it over, it does make sense doesn’t it? I think a more accurate adjective though instead of stupid should ignorant. Is it safe to say that people are fat because they are ignorant?

    There’s tons of information out there on the dangers of obesity and tons of information out there on how to lose weight. If someone lets themselves get to the point of obesity, they’ve been ignorant of the health issues related with obesity and ignorant of all the information available out there on how to not be obese.

    I also realize all the other quotes you stated are mean as well, but if you’ve ever seen the biggest loser, a lot them don’t decide to really make a change until they reach some sort of breaking point. I remember specifically, the one girl’s reason for being on the show was that her own daughter told she watched what she ate because didn’t want to look like her mom.

    • Katie says:

      I have to disagree. More and more research is showing that our weights are determined largely by genetics. We have a bit of wiggle room, of course, but overall our bodies will continually strive to remain at our set point, which is higher for some people and lower for others. There is also a large body of research showing that weight and health are not as closely correlated as we previously thought; it is entirely possible to be healthy at a weight that society deems too high. Regarding your second point, I think that very few people are going to be “inspired” to make a change because someone degraded them. Saying cruel and hurtful things is never helpful. If you want to help someone, for any reason, you should go about it with love and compassion.

    • Amanda says:

      I think Katie’s response covers a large portion of what I would have said, but I would also like to mention that weight loss attempts have a 95% failure rate. That is not to say that weight loss is not possible but keeping the weight off for 2 years + is almost unheard of. The majority of people who do lose weight gain it back within a year and add weight on top of what they lost. Aside from that there are no studies that show weight as the cause of disease, yes there is correlation, but not causation and that is a HUGE difference when we talk about weight. If fatness caused disease then all of the diseases that are normally associated with being fat would not also happen to people in thin bodies. That indicates that it has more to do with behaviors not body size.

      Also, in the last 10 years the diet industry has grown to a 60 billion dollar a year industry, one would think that if diets were so successful and the information on how to lose weight ‘was out there’ then the industry would be getting smaller, not larger.

      Implying that ignorance or stupidity is the reason people are fat is a very prejudicial belief and ignores the actual social context in which fat bodies live.

      • Katie says:

        Thank you for sharing this, Amanda. I truly believe that the diet industry purposefully sets people up for failure because if they lost weight and kept it off, they would no longer need their services! The fact that the diets fail over the long-term helps those companies make more money, and that’s their bottom line.

        • Duong says:

          Katie, I don’t see how you can blame genetics for the increase of obesity. How do you explain the fact that people weighed less and were less fat in previous decades? You’re not telling me that our genes have already evolved or mutated to be obese over just a few short decades right?

          The answer to why there is an increase in obesity is simple really…its that there is a higher abundance of food now, portion sizes are significantly larger, and people are less active.

          The answer to how to lose weight is just as simple…eat less and exercise more. I agree that with the abundance of delicious food choices we have available to us, it makes things more difficult but life is difficult. Not everything is easy. Weight loss and maintenance are simple but not easy.

          • Diana says:

            Duong,

            This is a very complex issue, and you clearly only have a rudimentary understanding… which, of course, makes sense. Most people who have no needed to (and chosen to) grapple with these issue only have a surface understanding which reflect the messages fed by the culture.

            I do not have time to address each and every facet that you have neglected to explore in your arguments, especially because it sounds as though you have already made up your mind. But let me just say that our modern lifestyle, with an abundance of food, chemicals passing as food, and lack of movement is not good for ANYONE but that different people’s bodies deal with it differently. It is a problem, but it is not the problem just of the individuals whose bodies react to this lifestyle by storing excess weight.

            It is people who make up their mind prematurely that keep society from being as healthy as possible. If you really do want to be educated, get to know some active fat people and observe their lifestyle.

            The irony of all of this is that you started out by accusing fat people of being ignorant or uneducated, but in doing so you have only illustrated your own ignorance. It takes a great amount of intelligence and courage for people who are naturally fat to love and care for their bodies despite the attitudes of people like yourself. I hope one day you will be able to see that.

            Best of luck to you if you decide to continue learning about this issue! I hope you will.

            • Diana says:

              *The second sentence should read:

              Most people who have not needed to (and chosen to!) grapple with these issues only have a surface understanding that reflects the messages fed to them by the culture.

              My apologies :)

              • Duong says:

                Diana, I know we are going to disagree about this and there’s no changing either of our minds. You think the issue complex and I think its simple.

                Also, I was once a fat person so I do know about the issues a fat person has to grapple with. However, I decided to lose the fat and transform my body. I used to have a roommate who was close to 300 lbs. He asked me what he needed to lose the weight and I told him straight out that he just needed to eat less. He proceeded to listen to my advice and lost over 100 lbs. It’s all about personal responsibility and deciding to make a change.

                Can we discuss this though without you personally attacking me? Let me ask you this…do you love your body? If so, why is your Diana Banana facebook pics of yourself only from your chest up? Check out my pics on my blog and you can that I am half naked. Who do you think loves their body more? :)

                • Diana says:

                  I’m glad you checked out my site (though I hope you did more than check out my pictures ;-) ) As you can read on my blog, I have already decided to make life changes, I have taken personal responsibility, and I have slowly and lovingly lost 60 pounds thus far. This process has taught me so much, including what I already explained to you. I guess you and I have taken very different things from our experiences.

                  As for your comment about my pictures, I think it is egotistical on your part to assume you love your body more because you post half naked pictures of yourself and I don’t. I do not think posting naked pictures equates self-love. (Porn, anyone?) I believe this is a personal (very personal) choice, and as long as the choice is made consciously, it is a loving and good. In my case, I have thought several times about the issue, but ultimately I decided that drawing some boundaries in my blog-life is the best thing for taking care of myself. This does not mean I do not love my body or myself; in fact, it is one of the ways I protect and care for my whole self. Please respect that and please stop making so many assumptions about people if at all possible.

                  This will be my last message with you, as I do not enjoy the way you approach conversations.

                  Best wishes.

                  • Duong says:

                    Congrats on deciding to make a change and the 60 lb weightloss. If you want to know more about how to make your body look awesome and how I transformed my body, check out my blog ;)

                    http://musclesymmetry.blogspot.com/

                  • Duong says:

                    Congrats on the decision to make a change and on the 60 lb weightloss. I wish you the best of luck with losing more. If you want to take the next step and learn how to make your body look awesome and how I transformed mine…check out my blog ;)

          • Amanda says:

            There are numerous studies that show that fat people eat the same as thin people. Aside from that there are also studies that show that the whole “Calories in = Calories out” mantra is not actually as simple as that. We are not machines, we are bodies and real people who all work differently. I find it amusing that you didn’t even take the time to address my own comment, but I would understand why since after looking at your website I see that you are part of the diet industry that I was speaking about.

            Why we are fatter is as Diana says below me a very complex issue, but weight has actually plateaued since 2003 for our population according to the CDC. Why we got fatter between that is due to many things, including that BMI ranges were lowered in 1999 making millions of people ‘overweight’ over night. This happened even though studies have shown that people who fall into the ‘overweight’ category have longer life expectancies than the ‘normal’ range. Also the influx of chemicals into our food, hormones etc is all part of it.

            I would also ask, how long has it been since you lost the weight? How long has it been since your friend has? Statistically speaking if you have kept it off longer than 5 years then you are a statistical anomaly.

            I also highly doubt that you actually had that much muscle development in 4 months. But good try.

            • Duong says:

              Thanks for noticing my muscles Amanda ;) and it was actually only 3 months :)

              You are right though, I did not develop that much muscle over a 12 week period. What I did do was reveal the muscle I had underneath that fat. And it really did only take 12 weeks. My before picture was taken on Jan 31, 2011 and my after was taken on April 24th, 2011.

              I know it may be hard to believe you can make such a drastic change in a short amount of time, but it is possible…all it takes is knowledge and discipline. I can provide the knowledge, but the discipline is where I’m still trying to figure out how to help others. I sometimes wish I could pack my willpower and discipline in a pill and sell it :)

              As far as my own individual weight loss, I was referring to being fat when I was in high school. Then when I got to college I paid attention to what I put in my mouth and lost weight. I’m a few years graduated from college now, so yes it has been over five years. I helped my old roommate out in college as well and he has kept his weight loss to this day. So you see its not an anomaly, its all about knowledge and discipline.

              In my own personal experience and the experience of others whom I have helped lose weight, calories are the number one most important factor when it comes to manipulating your body weight. When I increase my calorie intake, I gain weight. When I want to lose weight, I decrease calorie intake. This works every time.

              Also I do not work for the diet industry. I may have some ads on my site in hopes of generating some revenue ;) but I myself do not sell any products or services.

              I do agree with you that the diet industry only helps people in the short term to lose weight. The problem is they don’t tell people maintaining the weight loss requires a lifestyle change for the long term.

  24. Erylin says:

    ok studies show that men in particular don’t reach their adult weight until around 21….so if you were a fat kid , you ended up slimming out into a “normal” weight adult. that is part of why this “childhood obesitry epidemic” is such bs. something like 60% of obese kids thin out as they grow up. you cant say “i lost weight and kept it off for more than 5 years” if all you did was finish growing up out of your “baby fat”. That is NOT dealing with adult obesity. SHow me actual weight loss from someone over the age of 25 maintained for more than 5 years. OR show me permanent weight loss of more than say 30-50 lbs (again in Adults not college aged kids that are finishing growing and gaining an adult metabolism)

    • Katie says:

      This is such an excellent, important point, and one that I hadn’t even thought of. We tend to forget that there are a lot of forces at play when it comes to weight loss, including something as simple as growing up!

  25. sarah says:

    Hi,
    Not only have I gained a hundred pounds over about 10 years ,but I am full of fluid, can,t even function, sit up or walk around the block without getting dizzy. I cry from pain, boredom and
    humiliation. I think I have some organ damage which is affecting my appearance and overall quality of life. Noone understands and either I’m a crazy slovenly person who is to be ostracized at best .

  26. Eselle says:

    Sadly there is now a twitter hashtag trending called #fatpeoplenightmares. It is a list of things that we fatties supposedly hate. As you might imagine, it is just more hate speech. The irony is, the content is just like #thingsfatpeoplearetold but contributed by the haters themselves. I wonder if any of them will ever comprehend just how ugly these words make them.

    • Katie says:

      Ugh. That’s really sad. I only hope that someday some of these people have a revelation and realize what they’re really doing to others and themselves…

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