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Thread: Being fat = being a failure as a person?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Fat = failure? I think a lot of people see it that way, the same way they see poverty as a moral failure and not as the result of an environment that all too easily reinforces it. "Well, if you just ate less and exercised more..." is right up there with "Well, if you just worked harder and spent less..." And it's hard to hide either condition.

    I will say, however, that, IMHO, Kate's story in This Is Us is not being told well. Randall's life seems to get a fuller treatment, with the flashbacks showing the events in his childhood that helped make him who he is now. Neither Kevin nor Kate seem to get that kind of introspective screen time and their flashbacks don't seem to go beyond their childhood insecurity and angst to illustrate why they are who they are now. It's a great show but that's my frustration with it.
    Very true, both statements.

    I notice that the actors playing Jack, Rebecca and Randall are first in the cast list, so I guess their characters are more prominent in the series. I do like Randall a lot. He's my second favorite character. And based on some new episodes, he'll probably tie with Jack. But while I find myself enjoying the other characters and wanting to know more (William is wonderful and Kevin is delicious to look at), Kate's character is just unappealing to me. I want her to stand up and ROAR!

  2. #12
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post

    At the same time, I would hate to minimize the potential health risks of poor eating choices leading to metabolic syndrome and obesity. There's a difference between being a healthy endomorph and being unhealthy because of lack of exercise or overconsumption of processed foods and carbohydrates, causing insulin spikes and inflammation.
    I read somewhere that while we think fat/obese people are the biggest drain on healthcare, that the biggest drain are athletes because of the propensity for expensive surgeries, physical therapy, and treatment that sport injuries require. Even for non-professional or competitive athletes. And ironically, I can attest to that. I'd never had an xray, MRI, or anything until I started trying to be 'fit' and injured myself. I broke my big toe, damaged my foot arch - twice! - and damaged my knee. All of these injuries are on my right side. I gave myself plantar fasciitis, which appears will never go away, and damaged my knee pretty good, and I'm sure I'll have that pain for the rest of my life.

    I believe eating disorders that lead to obesity are a subset of stress-related coping mechanisms. Similar to hoarding, depression, anxiety, etc. I don't think they can be controlled by a desire to 'eat right' because they are a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I have been watching junk tv and have seen several of the “My 600lb Life” episodes on Youtube. Their struggle is so hard.

    I go up and down in sizes so I can relate sort of, but then not so much sometimes. It is too bad that reality tv highlights these people. I wonder if they get paid? I always wonder about the source of income for people on this show. Because they dont leave their house, they dont have a job. Although one person DID have a job as a teacher. She earned my respect for getting up every day and doing the little bits of walking that she was able to get through the day. It must have been exhausting for her.

    And then there are the villians who are so very juicy as centeal characters for this exploitive show. The young man Stephen at 700 lbs and his younger brother at 550+ were tv gold. Good Brother and Bad Brother, and Stephen played that to the hilt. But now that his time in the limelight is over, I wonder how he is holding up.
    I wouldn't be able to watch this. Too painful to see people's disorders and struggles presented as entertainment. Can't watch Hoarders either.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I can only tell you my cynical take on it. The food industry, which I believe is mostly responsible for the chronic obesity in the United States....would rather its customers believe it is their own gluttony that causes it....rather than the toxic products that the food industry sells for profit. Easier to blame you than to sell healthy food. It’s a real shame.
    WS - You're reply reminded me of something I read in a book a couple of years ago, and I haven't been able to find it so I can reference it. But I'm gonna keep looking.

  5. #15
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    I wouldn't be able to watch this. Too painful to see people's disorders and struggles presented as entertainment. Can't watch Hoarders either.
    Geila, You make a good point. I can't imagine there would ever be a show presenting someone's struggles with chemo treatments or bi-polar illness as entertainment.

  6. #16
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    I guess you all don't watch a whole host of things then, including a lot of documentaries, Greek tragedies, and the show Intervention.

  7. #17
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    Fat = a highly pejorative label.

    I never watched an episode of "This Is Us", but this discussion thread is thought-provoking.

    The food industry (with a few fascinating exceptions such as a nearby Co-op and many of its suppliers) operates on the profit motive. There are countless examples. Consider General Mills, maker of Cheerios. Original Cheerios had 1.2 gram of sugar per cup. In 1979 the company introduced Honey Nut Cheerios, containing 9.7 g sugar per cup. In a few years HNC became the top-selling cereal in the US, and I understand that it still is. Mind you, product promotion played an essential role, with television advertising on Saturday morning cartoon shows. General Mills paid the Heart and Stroke Foundation to give a "Heart Healthy" endorsement to Cheerios on the basis of the soluble fiber content. So grownups may regard HNC as a healthy benign choice.

    Of course there are better choices! Steel cut oats contain even more soluble fiber, and no sugar unless the consumer puts it there. To porridge the consumer can add real nuts {walnut pieces are fantastic, as are hulled sunflower seeds}, in contrast with the "natural nut flavor" in HNC, which is processed from the pits of peaches and apricots. One particular brand of steel cut oats in national distribution is a product of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, founded in 1978 by by Bob Moore and his wife Charlee. In 2010, at the age of 81, after receiving 3 buy-out offers one week, Bob Moore decided to give the business to his 209 employees through the structure of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

    If a person has a goal of healthy weight, as I have since 2012, I believe it is not a matter of success versus failure, but rather a matter of progress (or lack of it ... try something different). The facts are friendly.

    Not everybody needs to have a goal of healthy weight. For those who do, there is some variation in how "healthy weight" is defined by different authorities. I settled on a certain number of pounds. I would have to lose 10% of my weight to get there. After a little over 6 months I got there in 2012. I was happier about a number of things after dropping to healthy weight. It had nothing to do with emulating certain models. There were abstractions, such as longevity, to be happy about, as well as concrete and sensual aspects. It may have been "all in my head", but I felt more stamina on a bicycle or swimming, for instance.

    These days I am back up to about 3% over healthy weight. I would not say I am unhappy about it. However, it is a deviation from the optimum. It is a fact that motivates me to make choices that I hope will lead back towards the optimum.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Some years ago, I was a size 12-14-16 depending on the brand, and wanted to look a bit more fashionable but was having a hard time creating a 'look' for myself and a friend pointed me in the direction of a curvy fashion blogger. Although her fashion style was not my thing, she had some articles and links to other plus-size bloggers and some of them were very interesting. Over the years, I've checked in on them now and then even though blogging is kind of dead now and most bloggers monetize and the blogs arefull of ads, which makes them unappealing.

    Not that long ago, I read this article by one of those bloggers and it broke my heart. Can you imagine being on the receiving end of this on a daily basis?
    http://authenticallyemmie.com/2017/0...s-me-existing/

    I notice fat people being used as jokes in movies and tv shows. Openly ridiculed and shamed in public, even by family members. And for some, being told they are 'fat' is the biggest insult imaginable. And for others, calling someone fat is a quick way to put them down and feel instantly superior.

    It doesn't compare to the social censure endured by smokers, their behavior is described as a 'bad habit' - heck even Obama smokes; alcoholics have a 'disease' and are worthy of sympathy and understanding. But being fat?

  9. #19
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingLady
    I would be interested in understanding what triggers a person to feel weight is the basis of happiness.
    Concepts of beauty vary by society. In Africa, some tribes acquire body piercings and gages to be "beautiful"; Westerners don't go for that to that degree. A few centuries ago, Western Europeans objectified people whom (collective) we now consider overweight -- people obviously well off enough to spend money on clothes and grooming and who obviously had more food to eat than they needed to subsist; Ruben's paintings are examples of this. I think the era when Twiggy epitomized beauty has passed in favor of a body shape more women can sustain but, for a while, it was "A Thing".

    But the stigma against weight in Western societies remains. Public discourse includes plenty of comments ("jokes" and shaming) about peoples' weight; the kind of comments which would make people think of a person as insensitive (at best) if they were made about skin color or tics or malformed limbs or cleft palates.

    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato
    Not everybody needs to have a goal of healthy weight. For those who do, there is some variation in how "healthy weight" is defined by different authorities.
    A cynical part of me looks at the recent change in blood-pressure guidelines and wonders how much medical-industry profit has to do with it. By resetting the definition of hypertension as anything higher than "normal" millions of people are now exposed to the prospect of being encouraged to take (additional) prescription medicines (and additional clinic visits) to lower their blood pressue to the declared goal. I wonder the same thing about "healthy" weights. Years ago they finally modified the weight charts to differentiate among body types (endomorphs, etc.). How about other biological measurements? Or are the numbers where they are because that way insurance companies can charge extra and maximize profit?

    One need only look at old pictures of the family to reinforce the idea that humans pretty much everywhere are bigger than they used to be, because of better pre-natal care and the greater availability of food, especially protein. In my mother's and grandmother's day, a woman who was 5'8" or so was considered quite tall. That's not so anymore. So is it possible that other body measurements have changed and not necessarily for the worst? Is it possible that, for some body types and/or ages, 140/90 is plain old okay? Will we ever know?
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  10. #20
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    Seems like over-weightedness should be acceptable by now when a majority of our population is that way. Something I noted when working at the university was that there were only two noticeably overweight people among a staff of 50 or so. At staff meetings and events, the food offerings were always "healthy" - no donuts, cake, soda, etc. In my little group, we always had to order food from Whole Foods and even then have offerings for vegans and anti-gluten folk. Blecchh!!

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