Fat Bashers of The World Unite… in ignorance… again… sigh

Here we go again, yet another story about lazy, fat bastards. I’ll apologise for the language but I’m going to use it anyway because sometimes the ignorance of people and the media feeding out more fuel for hate just really annoys me and I want to use the term I hear most ‘normal’ people use when they talk about us weirdo fat people.

For anyone who’s not here in the UK or not heard of it, there’s been some news today that the powers that be in the EU have decreed that obesity CAN be considered as a disability in some instances. Unlike some ‘journalists’ who are spouting ignorant rubbish over this story I will refer you to some sources of more information about this issue:

BBC News Item 18.12.2014

The Guardian Article 18.12.2014

ACAS website 18.12.2014

What this really centres around isn’t allowing lazy, fat, pie eating morons to sit and indulge their food passions and claim disability benefits, but around encouraging employers to acknowledge that obesity CAN be a disability and as such provision should be made where possible to enable sufferers to remain in work just as they are obliged to do for any other disabled person. Let’s face it obese people who are not at work are a double scourge so keeping them at work is a good thing no?

Contrary to what some hateful people think, this does not mean the installation of pizza vending machines outside office doors, or lard fountains next to water coolers for the ‘normal’ people, but things like more substantial chairs which will not collapse at the weight of anyone over a normal weight (which let’s face it could be a person who is taller or more muscular than average).

Personally I don’t want to be termed disabled. If I had to have a label put on me I’d rather it was for my mental condition than my physical. What obesity does to me in my  head is far more disabling than what it does to my body as most obese people would confirm.

I don’t care whether obesity is a disability or not, I just hate that this ruling and reporting of it has opened the flood gates to a torrent of fat bashers yet again. And guess what, people struggling with an eating disorder such as over eating, the root of obesity, do not need fat bashers making them feel miserable, bringing attention to them and making them feel so miserable that they head for their comfort blanket or self harming mechanism … food.

The level of ignorance is striking. I read this ignorant blog post*  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my laptop to comment and so left an awful typo laden comment from my phone (I can’t get to grips with that auto correct which invents words which do not exist). She states (this is the abridged version) that unless people are mentally affected by their obesity they should pull themselves together and lose weight complete with obligatory picture of cake tumbling from the sky.

This person purports to be a ‘freelance journalist’… oh dear, this makes me sad. As a commentator on anything which one does for a living shouldn’t one seek to understand what they are talking about first? Probably got her training at some Micky Mouse centre and clearly not very good at it or else someone would have employed her. Stereotyping am I? Making assumptions am I? Feel the burn, it is what she did to me and every other obesity sufferer out there.

Anyway back to my point, if she could have taken some brain cells for a walk and given them a bit of exercise she might have been able to ask herself if she would be mentally affected by carrying around an extra 10 stones or more? If she might be mentally affected by not being able to bath or clean herself. If she might be mentally affected by being sniggered at every time she left the house? If she might be mentally affected by people writing such nonsense suggesting she should pull herself together and stop being a lazy fat glutton. If she might be mentally affected by not being able to dress herself in the morning? If she might be mentally affected when she stepped into a gym to try to do something about it and idiots like her sniggered, pointed and giggled? If she might be mentally affected by going to bed every night wondering if this is the night the heart attack is going to come and leave the children motherless? And with all that going on feel totally disempowered to do anything about it, knowing better than any skinny person what needs to be done but not having the mental strength to get on the right road and make a difference, not knowing where to go for useful support, not money making scams like slimming clubs and ignorant GPs (I know they aren’t all ignorant thank goodness but many are), not understanding the underlying issues which have led you to this state because it didn’t happen over night or knowing that a life time of diets and exercise has not worked, all it has done is made you bigger and bigger.

Perhaps I misunderstood her post and she actually meant that of course ALL obese people are mentally affected by their condition and that they therefore ALL should be classed as disabled. Yeah, maybe that’s it, maybe her seemingly ignorant post was a veiled attempt at support. I doubt it. The fact that she chose to follow my blog which highlighted me to her post was maybe to draw out a response from me, fatty provoking, poking her skinny talon into my bulging waist line, was maybe to have a direct dig at a fatty, or maybe came as an after thought when she realised she really should do some research into what she was trying to talk about. I hope so, I really do.

I’ve lost over 110 pounds as I’ve battled obesity on my own, I’ve been fortunate to come across support on this blog, support from my GP, support from my wonderful PT, support from my amazing counsellor and from my beautiful, faithful children and my patient and kind partner and from my friends who have taken this opportunity to find out about obesity, to ask questions and listen rather than give advice and judge, but it all started with me and it will all end with me. Anyone who has followed my journey knows it has been hard, not in the decisions and choices I’ve made about my food and exercise, that’s been easy but in the mental demons I have had to face and fight and put behind me. Demons I didn’t even know I had. This has been one journey of many throughout my life to beat obesity and I know now I never will beat it, it is an integral part of who I am, it’s in my make up, physical or mental and I will have to fight it forever to stay on top of it and thank God I have the strength to do so and the means to access the things I need to continue this fight. At any time I could relapse, I know that and it scares me but I’m doing good now, I’m getting there, wherever that is. Idiots like the person who wrote that article and then taunted me by following my blog set me back. I shouldn’t let them but they do.

Reading the things I’ve read today including that post have made me want to stuff my face, they’ve upset me because I know that even after 110lbs I am still obese and that people will still be judging me tomorrow when I go about my business, people will be including me as the fat bastard at work when they discuss this ‘news’ tonight over dinner and with idiot posts like the one above they will be holding those ignorant thoughts in their minds and when they see me on the street tomorrow, or on the bus, or on the train, or in a coffee shop they will be judging me to be a lazy, fat bastard who needs to get a grip.

They won’t know that I’ve lost 110lbs in 8 months, they won’t know that I work myself with my trainer to the point of exhaustion and tears, they won’t know that I feasted on a healthy home made Graonla that morning before I left for work and have a healthy green salad packed for my lunch and that I will resist all offers and temptation of christmas treats in the office and that I will drop off boxes of chocolates gifted to me by appreciative students to the battered wives shelter on the way home, that I have a healthy carrot and corinader soup ready for my dinner when I get in before I go and brave the looks of other swimmers to do 50 laps before I sit to work on my business and to mark a heap of assignments before I do my tai chi before I settle down in bed with my pint of water. They won’t know that and because of articles like hers they will just see me as one of those fatties who needs to get a grip and stop trying to get extra money by making out I’m disabled.

More that that I  am made sad knowing that there are many, many people like me out there who aren’t so firmly on the route to recovery as I am, who will be made to falter, withdraw and head back to binge eating to make themselves feel better, there will be people who haven’t yet found the strength to get onto the route to recovery who will be less inclined to do so now as they  mask the shame of having the limelight firmly switched back onto them with a couple of family packs of chocolate.

You’re an alcoholic, pull yourself together. You’re a drug addict, pull yourself together. You’re a gambler, pull yourself together. You’re an anorexic, pull yourself together. You’re a bulimic, pull yourself together. You’re a self harmer, pull yourself together. You’re depressed, pull yourself together.  We don’t say these things for good reason and yet when we tell an obese person to stop eating so much and exercise more it is exactly the same as saying any of those things to any of those other people who struggle with control issues and addictions. Being cruel is never kind, deluding yourself that you are remotely near kindness if you say that to an obese person is sad, you are a nasty, ignorant, judgmental fool. If you want to help us fat bastards, go and research obesity and make a proper journalistic attempt at writing a balanced article.

Yes I’m disabled, I battle an invisible illness in my head daily and I live with the knowledge that it can resurface at any time, it affects everything I do.

Yes I was disabled when I was at my fattest, I couldn’t take care of my own needs, I had to call my daughter to put my bra on and panicked at the thought of my daughter leaving home and having to rely on my son to do it for me, panicked even more on the days when she would leave the house before I’d got dressed and sit crying on my bed, feeling so much self loathing because I couldn’t put my bra on. I’d wonder how this had happened to me, how had I gone from a size 10 twenty something to a near 50 heap of fat?

It didn’t make me want to lose weight, it made me want to feed my self loathing with a few more cakes. Yes I was disabled and I always will be. Do I want a label slapping on me? No. Did I ever? No. It was enough and is enough to cope daily with the label of fat lazy greedy bastard that I don’t want either. So take your narrow ill informed opinions and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine because all you do is harm and damage. If you really want to help read the hundreds of blogs like mine out there which give real insight into the workings of an obese person. You know what? You find some incredibly intelligent, talented, good people who are caught in a hellish trap that I hope you will never get caught in through any addiction you may have or develop in your life time.

*Edit: the author of the post did contact me to say she had not meant to cause offence and is sensitive to the issues and had changed her post to reflect this. This comment is in the comments section of this post. I didn’t get a chance to read it and thank her on the post before it was apparently deleted. I am glad that it made her think twice about how she puts her views across and sorry if I offended her but sometimes that taste of your own medicine is quite bitter. Of course it was her opinion and we are all entitled to those but having made one person rethink how they can affect people who are struggling with this awful problem is a good thing, sometimes we have to step out of the shadows and put forth our contrary opinion or things never change.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Fat Bashers of The World Unite… in ignorance… again… sigh”

  1. ech hem. I am not fat hating at all. I wrote that blog post in about 10 minutes and didn’t think about the consequences of my words. I’m not at all fat hating, the people who strive to loose weight are to me inspiring and before it was be being forced to put on weight. My blog posts were aimed at some people that I know, that don’t help themselves the way I know they can, the way I know that everybody can. I know so many wonderful people who strive to be adventurous, productive and have a very normal life. I also know people who use it as an excuse not to leave the house and not to do anything at all. I’m a tough love kind of girl, and through my writing it makes me look like such a cow but my intentions are good. I have updated my blog post with thought to the way that I meant it. I would like you to read it and hopefully understand where i was coming from and forgive the way i brashly, irrationally and insensitively laid things out previously.

    Like

    1. Thank you for this, it has calmed my sadness somewhat at what I saw. I tried to check the adjustments and thank you for them but the post appears to have gone.

      I’ve read a lot of similar posts and horrible things on facebook today and I was at the end of my tether with it all. I felt how it made me feel, I developed that hollows hungry feeling that wasn’t there and hasn’t been there for a long time when I read it and the sadness and despair I felt for all of the other people like me who are trying to combat this horrible condition made me want to eat. Eating is what I do when I’m despairing, it’s what I do when I’m sad, when I’m offended, when I’m worried, when I’m stressed, when I’m grieving… eating is my cure all, it’s what my body and mind turn to when in need of some comfort or reassurance.

      I’m glad that you do recognise that and I hope that you can see that all fat people no matter if they have a legitimate eating disorder or not, a legitimate emotional crutch in food or not are probably depressed and on a cycle that is difficult to break and none of them are happy to be there. Yes some are waiting for a magic wand that isn’t coming and finding it hard to motivate themselves to eat healthier or exercise more or are simply uneducated in how best to do that or ill equipped in terms of knowledge and resources to know how to do it on a tight budget or how to fit it into their lifestyle or even how to just change habit that they have fallen into but I’d still bet that most of them really do want to change and that they are not happy. This fat bashing, the one remaining permisable form of bullying and discrimination is not helping at all. It keeps people out of gyms, it even makes people not want to eat in public but hide away and eat and when you take a person who struggles with food and put them in a secret dark place with food at their disposal they will likely stuff their face and over indulge, when had they felt confident and unscrutinised enough to eat in public they just might have had a healthy meal or at least something healthier than the crazed private binge they go on when at home.

      Obesity is so complex and attitudes are changing within the medical and health professions but we have a way to go before the media and individuals pick up on that message. I firmly believe that when fat bashing stops, when skinny folk welcome a fatty into a gym, smile and comment on how well they are doing after a few sightings that there will be fewer fat people in the world.

      I apologise if your post became the focus of my despair but I just know that there will be many people who are having a hard time tonight because of this renewed media focus on fat people being the scourge of society. We’re just normal people struggling to overcome a condition that we don’t want, regardless of how we came by it, we want it gone as much as perfect people want us to be slim, but with so many perfect people with a strong opinion on fatties losing weight, you’d think they’d be a bit more gracious and understanding when we are trying to do something positive about our situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in the US so I’m not in touch with what is going on in the EU, but everything that you said is completely relevant here in the US. I agree with you 100 percent on everything you wrote. I have been obese for the past 37 years. I’ve managed to loose 70 pounds but it’s taken 2 years. And yet I’m still over 300 pounds. My turning point was when I heard the phrase “nothing tastes as good as healthy feels”. So I’m not dieting to loose weight. I’ve been changing my life to be healthier. Dieting only cause me to gain weight. I often tell people the I dieted myself into obesity. Wishing you the best on your continuing journey. Here’s to ignoring the fat-bashers and staying connected to the people who support us.

    Like

    1. Thank you for your comment and a very similar thing happened to me, it wasn’t about me losing weight and how I looked anymore, the turning point for me this time (and so far so good this time) I just wanted to live longer, I didn’t want my children to have no mother while they are still so young. For me it is all about prolonging my life this time and I can not say (although I have blogged about it) how happy I was to find that I had transitioned from super morbidly obese, to morbidly obese, to just obese. It meant I had already, long before goal, reached a point where my weight was less likely to kill me, far less likely than it had been a few months earlier. That gave me so much incentive to carry on, it was a real boost and my next step is overweight and I can not wait to be just overweight and no longer have that label attached to me. Of course normal is the goal, we all want to be normal and I will get there, but knowing already how much life I have bought myself with this effort is the single most amazing reward for trying.

      It’s not just the obese v morbidly obese thing, it’s the way I make more of my life now, I pack so much in, I sleep better and less and I have more time in the day to just live and more energy to live and so in more ways than one I have bought myself time and time is the one thing on this Earth that we really don’t have enough of anyway so the last thing we should be doing is shortening it.

      Every time I’m tempted to make the wrong choice or skip the gym I remember that and it makes me keep on working at this.

      You’ll do it, keep the reasons you had in the beginning in your mind and keep all of the new reasons you find along the way in there too. I used to actually say to a cake or some chocolate if I was tempted in a shop “Do I want you or do I want to live longer?” and vocalising that made my choice clear and I’d leave it alone.

      I do sometimes have a treat but only when I am strong and in control and I know I can have one thing or a normal sized piece of something and be satisfied. If’ I’m stressed, tired, feeling bored or low of mood or worried treats are firmly forbidden a I know I won’t stop, I distract myself instead, I get away from food if I can, I go for a walk, I take a bath, I start making something in my craft room I phone a friend for a chat and I find that after that my craving has gone.

      I write down my coping mechanisms into a little paper notebook and I read it now and then and it kind of reinvigorates me, a bit like a book of scripture (if that’s not sacrilegious) it just tops me up and makes me strong again.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have been inspired by so many people myself and I know now I’m closing in on the end of this how valuable it all was even that I didn’t want to listen to at the time. My favourite was the guy who had 500lbs to lose who said he couldn’t lose 500lbs so he didn’t start but then he realised he could lose 5lbs and so he made that his target to lose 5lbs and when he’d done that he went for another 5lbs and another and another and he had shed over 200 last time I checked. Sometimes it’s just the way we view our challenges that stop us from overcoming them. If any support or advice can help someone to feel the freedom I’ve been feeling then I am happy.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re winning and it’s so much of a better feeling than failing for sure, we know that but sometime we’re so lost in a wilderness and if God is showing you the way out that is amazing.

      I don’t think some people who comment on fat people realise how much time, effort, money, blood,sweat and tears we put into trying to change ourselves and often for me it has been insensitive behaviour or comments of others which ha knocked me off the wagon.

      Tough love works for some, it works for me in some situations but I do feel that obesity has to be tackled in a more sensitive and supportive way, it’s a hand holding exercise to support someone who is going through this, not a rap on the knuckles and whoever or whatever we find to cling to to get us through thanks be for them or it.

      I have blogged about how much more spiritual I have become on this journey, I’ve learned to believe and have faith in myself and that has kind of led me to another kind of faith and belief altogether, I’ve felt very much upheld on this journey, I’m just so much more holistically in tune with myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

      I love that we are getting there, slowly but surely step by step.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of those subjects where I’m torn with what I believe to be right and wrong. In some instances where hereditary diseases, such as over/under active thyroid, make you put on weight and make it very difficult to lose weight, I agree, provisions should be made. I do not agree, however, that we should accept the growing waist line of the UK (and other countries) as a normality. In the UK the average dress size is now a 14 for a UK woman (a US 10) which means there are a large number of people in the UK that are above that size. I don’t think that’s healthy and I don’t think we should encourage it.

    I’ve had many friends in the past who have been overweight and have claimed that they’re ‘big boned’ and ‘I can’t lose weight, no matter what I do’ – usually they’re eating a Mars Bar or McDonald’s at the time. It’s these people I don’t have sympathy for, the people who want everything given to them on a plate. There is a ‘everybody is against me’ attitude floating around the UK at the moment, which blames everybody else. If you’re fat, do something about it. Think you have an illness? Go to the doctors. Do exercise, TRY. Don’t sit there and wait for the world to give you everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you do have something of a point in that some people hover overweight where they could lose it with a couple of subtle changes to lifestyle and who account for perhaps the vast majority of overweight people but still miss that obesity often has underlying causes of addiction, self harm and control. When you see a young girl starving herself to death you feel sympathy for the mental issues driving her actions nobody jokes about how easy it will be to carry her coffin or begrudges her medical assistance or psychological intervention yet if that is a young girl eating herself to death the joke is most definitely on her.

      Its easy to not understand I dont understand alcoholics or smokers or drug addicts or gamblers. I dont understand people who need a partner to feel whole and stumble from one unhealthy relationship to the next, I dont understand the need in some people to take endless selfies, what is going on in their narcissitic minds? Why do people cover themselves in tattoos or piercings or dye their hair every week? I dont understand how people can have so much cosmetic surgery. I dont do those things, I find them unhealthy and I dont understand how people can be slaves to these things but I dont judge those people. I dont feel I have a right to form a conclusion as to why they have their unhealthy addiction, somethimg in them drives them to do what they are doing to their body and mind and they probably dont know what it is or why, they are probably in denial about the damage they could be doing, they perhaps should be discouraged so why do we offer them support, kindness, understanding and not fat people? Why do we demonise fat people yet normalise the damage other people are doing to themselves? Why do we obsess about fat people and not about anyone else? Why is it OK to mock fat people but not people who destroy their brain and liver with vodka every weekend? We need to think about the media and the way it focuses our hatred on groups within our society and we need to look at ourselves and ask ourselves if we’re doing any good, if we are helping and if we are so pure and without ‘sin’ to cast judgement on someone who is suffering or struggling with a debilitating condition before we open our mouths to voice our opinions. Do we appreciate that what we are saying and doing could cause harm?

      I always ask people in the gym and at the swimmimg pool what they think when they see a really fat person come in. They invatiably say they winder hoe anyone ciukd get into that state, how anyone could let themself go that bad. Two people have said to me that they feel happy that the person is doing something positive and both of those struggle to maintain their own weight. If thin people care so much about people getting in shape you would expect them to be more encouraging. Ive seen many times people mocking fat people for eating a salad in a restaurant joking that they’ll have their real meal when they get home I’ve seen pictures taken of fat people with a diet coke on social media with hundreds if nasty comments underneath and of fat people exercising too. I read a blog about a lady whi went out on her bike to exercise and was chased by people videoing her to put on you tube, like a freak. Did she go back out on her bike again? Of course not. What do thin people want? Until there is an end to the bullying and victimisation fat people will get fatter.

      So many issues so many angles to come from but some things are for sure; not all overweight people are unhealthy, not all overweight people are happy to be so and for many obese people there are genuine underlying issues of addiction it isn’t as simple as liking KFC more than lettuce and inherited conditions are not always limited to underperforming endochrine systems.

      Discussions like this are good they raise awareness and they bring about change. When I was a slim young lady who had shed her chubby kid look I was never going to be a fatty again, I was definitely never going to ever weigh 300 pounds, how could anyone do that to themself? It was a shock to find myself there one day and it wasnt from ignorance or a conscious lack of regard for myself, it was a whole history of battling the issues which had made me struggle with my food addiction my whole life which finally got the better of me. My addiction won and the more it was winning the harder and harder it became to fight back but I did it and so many people empathise with my story and are also winning but the people who pass judgement on us dont realise that, I’m still obese I’m still over what you feel is a healthy size for me. I dont wear a badge saying Ive lost over a hundred pounds. If you saw me today in the street you would sunconsciously or otherwise think I should try to lose weight and change my life style, your eyes might linger on me a while, I’d notice that, it would make me uncomfortable and I’d imagine you were having negative thoughts about my appearance because the fat person in me expects that and from what you say I would be right and all of the feel good I’d filled myself with in the gym this morning would be in jeopardy.

      I just wish we could be kinder people and not judge anyone by our own standards and just support and help one another to over come our challenges. Maybe we need to raise some awareness and positively help with this obesity crisis in some way, maybe we need to follow other awareness and health campaigns and develop a sign that we are trying and that we support those who are trying to get rid of this stigma and these unhealthy thoughts which often prevent fat people from making real progress. Imagine that, a ribbon like the AIDS red ribbon or the breast cancer pink ribbon that fat people who are trying to get on track could wear and people who wanted to show solidarity with them could wear to show they were not staring to mock but staring with admiration. I can’t see it happening but wouldn’t it be positive if it did? Imagine gyms and restauants displaying the ribbon to show that they welcome and are equipped to support obese people trying to make a change either with their staff knowledge, their menu or their zero tolerance of fat bashing. That would be so much more effective than demonising and driving fat people to the biscuit barrel.

      If only…

      Like

  4. I think people who have never experienced obesity have a limited understanding when it comes to how difficult it is mentally and physically. Often comments that they don’t perceive as hurtful are made–my brother is like this with his overweight wife. He says things “out of love” that are actually demotivating to her, even though he “didn’t mean it that way”; I wonder?

    On a more positive note, 110lbs!!!!!! Go you! You must be feeling awesomely healthy. I’ve now lost 99 and am done! I’m working on maintenance and continuing to build muscle–I’ll always have to work at it, and I now accept that. 🙂

    Like

    1. That is amazing! We lost two people between us. I cant wait to be able to say I’m done. I’ve also realised that it will be a life long fight but accepting that is part way to achieving it… I hope. Someone said to me that everyime has a lifelong fight to stay slim and I guess they do but if all of our battles were equal and everyone was the same we would all always be winning. Some battles are harder because some of us are weakened in some way. I happily acknowledge that the battles I find easy are hell for someone else and vice versa.

      I also agree that it is difficult to understand somethimg tou have not experienced and well meanimg people can say the wrong things. I recall when my dad died someone saying they knew how I felt and I thought “no you dont because your dad might have died toi but he wasn’t my dad amd you are not me and your relationship was different to ours and you do not have a clue how I feel”. Of course the person meant well but as Bob Marley said “who feels it knows it”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true about it being a lifelong battle. The way I’ve tried to look at it is that being physically miserable with my weight was an everyday battle. Fighting to stay healthy each day is hard but not as hard as feeling miserable! 🙂

        Like

Comments make blogging more fun

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s