Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ugly People vs. Obese People

I've fought my weight all my life. Up until I got pregnant with my first son, I did fairly well. I was a size 12/14 and at nearly 5' 10", that's pretty good. When I got pregnant though, all bets were off and like so many uninformed first-time pregnant women--I ate for two--literally. I still carry that weight today, 18 years later.

This morning I fired up my computer and on my iGoogle page, I found an article titled Surgery is no Quick Fix for Teens. The article itself is fairly interesting, since I have been considering bariatric surgery of some kind. After all, I've been eating non-fat, sugar-free, mostly fruits and vegetables for nearly two months--plus exercising regularly--and the results are not what I hoped. But--that's the case with dieting and exercising, it is far harder to lose the weight than to gain the weight. So many people give up because they get disheartened, and for other reasons.

What prompted me to write this blog post though, were the horrendous comments from the readers who obviously never had to fight weight gain. The condescending way they talk about "fat people" the holier-than-thou put-downs they sling without thought, are the very reason obese people often remain obese.

Why don't we see the truly obese working out in public gyms? Because of the very people who make those comments. Why don't we see exceptionally heavy people swimming or walking in our communities? Because of the type of people who would make fun of them. While they may not be the original cause of the weight gain--they are definitely a huge part of the problem when it comes to getting fit and healthy again.

For a real-life example, I chose to go on a "power walk" not that long ago. I was four blocks from home when a car full of guys drove past me. One of them hung out the window and barked at me. Yes, literally barked at me--just to let me know he thought I was a "dog." I haven't done that again since. Now I work out quietly in the back of my house on a second-hand stationary bike.

So if you know someone who is feeling self-righteous about looking good, or loves to condemn those who are out in public struggling to lose weight, please, please, remind them that anyone actually doing the work of getting healthy deserves their support, not their derision.

Just my thoughts today.

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