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When ´Fat-Shaming´ May Be Necessary
Jewish World Review, by Alicia Colon

Original Article

Posted By:Toledo, 7/11/2018 6:38:23 AM

My mother and the nuns always taught me never to make fun of anybody´s looks, especially those who were born disfigured, dressed funny or were overweight. As a child I was very thin and was called skinny melink by my brother who would compare me with a Halloween skeleton. That all changed when I was 12 and my father died and I found comfort in food and so began my battle with weight that I still cope with today. So I understand how difficult it is to deal with a weight problem but….. I´m not sure when it became a self esteem


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Udanja99, 7/11/2018 7:36:15 AM     (No. 11690340)

Amen, Alicia. I had the same experience you did but it occurred when I was 8 and realized that I was absolutely terrified of my abusive father and that my mother’s odd behavior was alcoholism. Food became the only source of comfort in my life.

Though in the 50’s and 60’s I was referred to as “chubby”, by today’s standards I would look like almost every other “normal” child or teen. I am horrified by the rampant obesity in young people today.

As an adult I have managed to keep my weight under control, but it’s a daily battle with lots of ups and downs. But in my line of work I see obese and morbidly obese women all the time, some walking with canes, some with walkers, some with scooters and I can’t believe that people choose food over the ability to live a normal life. And I also can’t believe that they care so little for themselves and those around them. Obesity, like alcoholism and drug addiction, doesn’t only affect the user.

As to Hollywood and feminists promoting obesity, do any of them ever wonder why people like John Candy and Mama Cass Elliot died of heart attacks in their 30’s?

I applaud you, Alicia, for saying things that desperately need to be said.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: abuela10, 7/11/2018 7:46:43 AM     (No. 11690348)

It had to be said.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: coyote, 7/11/2018 8:03:20 AM     (No. 11690368)

Very good article, Alicia.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: TexaTucky, 7/11/2018 8:42:06 AM     (No. 11690431)

Trouble is, whether the microphone used to assess someone´s image out loud is justifiable tough-love or pure mockery, the hearer hears condemnation.

I´m all for not praising people for staying obese, but I´m not for telling them what to do with their bodies. Nobody successfully loses and keeps off weight because of someone else´s motivation.

The irony is that too many of the Tough Lovers I´ve seen cajoling loved ones to lose weight were no Skinny Minnies themselves.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: sabre460, 7/11/2018 8:52:01 AM     (No. 11690451)

I love Alicia no matter what she weighs!

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Rather Read, 7/11/2018 9:20:06 AM     (No. 11690493)

So true. I went through a fat period and I hated it. I couldn´t do what I wanted to do and I couldn´t find clothes that fit. So I lost weight and kept it off. I will never be super skinny, but I am not fat anymore. I work with a woman who is morbidly obese and the quality of her life is terrible. She can´t even walk anymore.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: strike3, 7/11/2018 10:15:01 AM     (No. 11690567)

The problem is completely psychological and that is the only type of therapy that can cure it. If you control food volume and quality and find enough things to do to keep yourself from thinking about food, obesity will not be in your future. I have been watching a 400lb neighbor lady for about eight years struggle up three steps each day with her cane while her daughter carries the daily load of groceries up those same steps. The gallons of soda and bags of snacks are usually supplemented by a nightly delivery of pizza. Surgery will not result in weight loss if the fixation on food is constant it only reduces intake for a very short time. To feed the fire (pun intended) the lady works in a hospital cafeteria and no doubt performs quality control on their food all day long.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Dignitary Protection, 7/11/2018 11:10:47 AM     (No. 11690648)

I go to the YMCA gym almost five times a week, I bring my Brad Thor or Matthew Betley or Ben Coes book with me to read while I´m on the elliptical.
I watch overweight people attempt to work off their obesity. Working out is fine and it helps tremendously, but no amount of working out comes even close to limiting your calorie intake.
I know, I´ve been fighting with weight my whole life and I still am.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Hazymac, 7/11/2018 11:28:52 AM     (No. 11690667)

Another great think piece by Alicia. Those who haven´t ever had to deal with obesity are fortunate. At the moment I am shedding weight on a meat and water diet, essentially Atkins, which works well if followed, from 200 to 183 now, on the way to 165 in a couple of months, which was my playing weight back in the day. (I´m about the same frame size and height as Tom Watson.) There is a sign on my refrigerator door reading: "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." That´s a true statement. Those of us who´ve gained too much and want to be thin again fat shame ourselves in ways that even our internists wouldn´t dare. And we obey. (For me, it´s like quitting smoking. I just decided I didn´t want to be a smoker any longer, and quit. Within a month the smell of cigarettes became sickening to me.)

Losing weight always involves making yourself a bit uncomfortable, a bit hungry. Like the wild animals outside my door, I am getting used to eating only when my body needs the food.

One of my closest friends, dead at 63, weighed between 300 and 450 during his adult life*. He lived in the kitchen, had his television tuned perpetually to the Food Channel, studied that food, could barely get out of bed during his last two years, and could even make an astonishing noise like the call of a bull elephant. We all loved him dearly, but when the bad news reached me, I wasn´t surprised.

*A friend gave him a Corvette during his last decade. By putting the seat back and telescoping the steering wheel forward, he was just able to cram his bulk into the car. He never tried again. It was humiliating.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: ladydawgfan, 7/11/2018 11:33:52 AM     (No. 11690673)

Another problem is painting all fat people with the same brush and assuming that just pulling back from the table will solve the problem. This is not always the case. Sometimes there are other medical reasons at play.

In my case, PCOS took over my hormones and my body as soon as puberty hit. I went from being a small to normal sized child to being an overweight teenager in one summer, despite being active, riding my bike constantly, walking everywhere, and not having access to junk foods due to low funds.

My doctors were baffled. PCOS was not widely known back in the 70´s and 80´s so, while they were testing for everything else, they didn´t know what they were looking for. Meanwhile, even though I was watching what I ate and exercising, my weight continued to grow. The worst part were the accusations of gluttony by people who didn´t know me, as though I lived my life to stuff my face.

For my part, I eat a light breakfast, my main meal at lunch and a light dinner. I rarely snack between meals and rarely after dinner. I am allergic to gluten and also lactose intolerant so my diet is governed by these two factors.

One last point. I am trying to lose the weight on my body. It didn´t suddenly appear and will not suddenly go away. It is not a coat that I can unbutton and pull off. You have no idea whether I am going up with my weight or am FINALLY on the way down. Your careless comments could impede my progress. Think about THAT before confronting your next fat person!!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: corndoggies, 7/11/2018 11:48:41 AM     (No. 11690697)

I heard a theory the other day that being against "fat shaming" was a feminist plot so there are no beautiful women left. The world is so bizarre I think it might actually be true.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Connor, 7/11/2018 11:50:15 AM     (No. 11690699)

An overweight person knows they are overweight. Trust me. It is none of your business.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: thewarden, 7/11/2018 12:11:56 PM     (No. 11690724)

I think the real issue is why is anyone’s appearance your business? Whatever happened to saying nothing if you don’t have anything nice to say? Because I was ‘smart’, I was tortured mercilessly in grade school and into high school—and I wasn’t fat nor was I ‘ugly’, but the kids told me I was so I began to believe them. It gave me a terrible self-confidence issue I still deal with today. I never said anything mean to anyone because I understood the pain. Fat people know they’re fat. And, your comments may actually make them fatter. And I agree with some others here, there are indeed physiological issues that cause weight gain—the old joke ‘it’s a thyroid issue’ can be quite true. How about we all just MYOB?

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Reply 14 - Posted by: lanika, 7/11/2018 12:31:32 PM     (No. 11690746)

I believe the issue expressed here is about the morbidly obese not just the overweight which the author fully understands personally. When a loved one is killing themselves with food it is criminal not to address the health at stake or to enable their death..

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Reply 15 - Posted by: Udanja99, 7/11/2018 12:48:14 PM     (No. 11690771)

#12, it’s my business when another person’s obesity invades my personal space - like on an airplane. If someone is going to take up half my seat, they should pay half my fare. Either that or buy two seats.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: ladydawgfan, 7/11/2018 1:23:02 PM     (No. 11690798)

My apologies for the second post but I had to address #15´s comments.

When I fly, I usually do so with my sister, who is smaller than I am and is tolerant of my size. If I am alone, I take a window seat and scrunch myself into the side of the plane as far as I can, usually to the detriment of my own comfort. I share the armrest as best as possible and never drop my tray unless I am having something to drink. Dropping my seatback down slightly allows me to sit at an angle to allow for more room for my seat mates. I do my best to respect their space. Would that THEY afforded me the same amount of respect!

I am painfully conscious of the preconceived prejudices of people concerning us fatties. We are expected to smell, to ooze onto others´ space, to snore when we sleep and to eat constantly.

However, if you really want to complain about people encroaching on your easement, flightwise, complain to the airlines. THEY are the ones who insist on packing passengers into 17" seats. Compare that to the average movie theatre seat measuring 23" and you will know why you feel so cramped.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: ussjimmycarter, 7/11/2018 2:19:33 PM     (No. 11690904)

When I got married I had a 30 inch waist and I´m 6´2"... Now I am lucky to get into 42´s at age 64. I disgust myself! Being fat will kill you faster than anything you can do. It causes heart problems, cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of other problems! Fat shaming is a good thing. I do it to myself to lose weight!

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Reply 18 - Posted by: rubberneck, 7/11/2018 5:54:44 PM     (No. 11691162)

TV star Crissy Metz (in the article): If you can´t love who you are now, you can´t get to the place you want to be.

If you love who you are now, you´ll want to take care of yourself.

I´ve been overweight to some degree since I was 10 or so. (It´s an issue, and I ignore it at my peril.) HOWEVER... being "overweight" is not the same as being "obese," where your excess poundage is affecting your activity in a major way. You can be overweight and still be healthy. (I could stand to lose 10-15% of my pounds... but I ride a bicycle 5000+ miles a year, and have for 30+ years. If it weren´t for the cycling, it might be 25-30% instead, unless I took alternative preventive measures... like maybe being more careful about my calorie intake.) The metabolism-slowdown associated with getting older is a demon!

All of that said... I´d never feel right about "fat shaming" somebody else. Unless they were parading it in my face, kinda like the alternative-sex "pride" people tend to do. Don´t be PROUD of it! (I´ll probably live to see official Fat Pride Month.)

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Catherine, 7/11/2018 7:37:10 PM     (No. 11691262)

Wonder why we can call doing illegal drugs and alcohol a disease and the way your body craves or uses food calories is a personal weakness. And the doctor´s prescription - diet and exercise - how well has that worked for the last 50 years. Some people have bodies that metabolize differently. Some are restricted in what they can and can´t eat. I never look at an overweight person and decide they sit on the couch all day eating cookies. Those who have never had a weight issues should consider how lucky they are. Yes, lucky. I read, years ago, about a study somewhere conducted by a hospital. They had 30 people in one area, all fed the same all activity monitored to keep it as close to equal as possible. At the end of the month, some had gained weight, some lost and some stayed the same. We are NOT all created equal.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: TnEm, 7/11/2018 8:43:03 PM     (No. 11691316)

Obesity is not caused by a lack of character.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: billa, 7/12/2018 2:07:08 PM     (No. 11692136)

I am no physician, but I do believe that in addition to the psychological aspect, there is definitely a metabolic rate aspect. Both my father and I are quite thin, but we have kind of hyper personalities so we burn calories at a higher rate than other people.

Also, we eat really small portions. This means we can literally eat anything we want. But the key to eating those small portions and getting full, is that you talk a lot during dining and take like an hour or so during each full meal.

However, this is a very difficult life-style change if you are used over indulging (like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner type eating). Good luck.

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