Fat People Are Lazy

“Fat people are just lazy.”  hammock

Grr! How often have we heard that one? I believe that statement is one of the reasons that fat discrimination and prejudice are still acceptable in our society. I would like to think that we have evolved beyond such narrow thinking, but in a culture where we have to remind each other that “all lives matter”, that’s not the case. This happened, in one of my classes. We were discussing weight management and the effect that movement/exercise can have on obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular health. This course was about becoming a personal trainer or coach and focused mostly on exercise. The professor asked why people don’t exercise more in today’s world when we know so much about how good it is for us. The first answer he got was from a 19-20yr old guy sitting in the back. This guy clearly spends a lot of quality time in the gym – he is very fit. His off the cuff response was, “Because they are lazy and don’t want to do the work!” This is going to be a person who works to help people get fit?? I’m sad for people like me who want to get help and end up with a trainer who holds them in contempt.

But a lot of people have that view of us. We haven’t yet reached the place where we call it a “disease” like we do for alcoholism now. And I’m sure there are a fair amount of people who think having a drinking problem is not a disease but just plain undisciplined. However, it’s acceptable to view overweight people that way. Why? I think it’s because obesity is such a multi-faceted problem.

What makes a person fat?     dna person

Think about it! How many different elements or issues go into making a person fat? Genetics? Sure, there’s DNA that’s against us. Environment? Of course! Did we grow up in a fat family or a fit, active one? Personality? Yep. Are you the type of person who deals with life with addictive behavior or are you one of those (people we love to secretly hate) who needs to go for a run when life gets stressful? Ultimately though, fat comes down to, at its most basic level, what we eat and if we exercise. And that is something we control. No one but me holds the fork or makes up excuses why I can’t work out. That’s what people who think we are lazy see. They don’t have trouble controlling that so can’t see how we do.

It’s a tricky issue and hard to combat because most people who think we are lazy don’t say so to our faces. Also we have to overcome that opinion in ourselves. We’ve all heard it growing up. “If you’d just try harder and have some will power!” I think that’s where the real damage can happen. We know inside that there is some part of this problem that is about our being able to control ourselves. That’s where the shame comes in (and oh boy is there shame!). We should be able to control or fix this with just our will power. That’s one of the reasons that gastric by-pass surgery is looked at as an easy way out. We alter our body from the inside instead of conquering or controlling it through force of will.

Do you see us or just the fat?    fat women on street

The people that call us lazy don’t see us, not really. They just see the fat or that we are wasting our body. They don’t see what it takes inside us to try yet again to beat this demon. They don’t see how much work and effort it takes for us to go out in public with our biggest flaw on display for the world to see. They don’t see that of course we know there is some part of this that’s about our ability to control ourselves. They also don’t see that it’s just a small piece of the whole and that obesity is an all-encompassing pervasive problem that affects every single aspect of our existence.

So next time you hear that fat people are lazy, first, pray for the patience to coexist with idiots. Then be comforted that I see and know that lazy has very little to do with it. If you have friends or family that see it that way, send them here and have them read. They may just get a different perspective on the whole thing. And if you’re struggling right now with believing you’re lazy or don’t have enough will power, don’t panic. The more we talk about this, the stronger we get. I’m here, I see you and I know what it’s like.

ALWAYS A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU?

Sleeping Lady w/coffee

Finally! The “new year, new you” craze has settled down! While I am all for the attitude of fresh start every January, I was getting tired of so many posts and pics about “starting fresh” or “new you” or “leave 2017 behind.” Don’t get me wrong! I believe in having resolutions and/or goals for the new year. But I have a hard time with the concept of starting totally over.

So..What? We just wasted 2017?

No matter what came at me the previous year, I’ve always felt that starting completely over was kind of like wasting that whole year. Sure, some years have brought horrible losses like death of a marriage, death of a family member, sickness, financial loss but I like to think I learned a lot from those things-even if it was only that I can keep getting up the next day. It feels to me that if I were to start totally over and not take any of 2017 with me, then maybe I didn’t learn anything from what I went through.

Or maybe I’m just superstitious and REALLY don’t want a repeat of the “lessons” I learned in 2017!

New Year…Another Chance Maybe?     

Either way, I think it should be New Year, Another Chance! This blog is mostly about post op gastric bypass surgery, being obese in America, and that fat is the last acceptable prejudice. But it’s also about how we overcome those things, so considering that, combined with my New Year’s goals, you’ll also be hearing about my health/weight goals and what I am doing to achieve them. I am fully committed to accepting myself as I am (finally!) and sharing how I go about doing that, but I am also aware of the need for improvement in my health.

What is it REALLY like??

I think if I can share what it’s REALLY like to try to be accepting and loving of self while also admitting to the fact that I need to improve my health and lose weight, maybe more of us can do it together. I mean, we don’t want to talk about the days when nothing goes right, and we just make grilled cheese for supper, or pick at the chocolate all day until we have eaten the whole bag, do we? Usually what we see is the talk about transitioning to healthy eating and living and two weeks later the kids LOVE kale chips and ride their bikes for an hour every day…Oh! And they have given up their tablets, devices and game consoles with happy smiles!

yoga feet w/hands

Well, that is magical thinking for sure!!

How about REAL change?                                  

I believe it’s possible to make real change, not overnight change and still accept and give yourself a pass for the bad days. The more we talk about these sticky issues the more likely we can make real progress. So, I’ll be posting about my health goals, changing my eating habits, how I go about doing that. I’ll also be posting the trials and (I hope) triumphs of changing eating habits of two very picky kids. My first goal is to get them to understand that Mommy isn’t trying to kill them when I put something different or (GASP!!) green on their plates! Wish me luck, pray for me, do an interpretive dance, but most of all, check in here and leave me any feedback, ideas and/or tips you may have.  Should be an interesting ride!