[a weight loss story]

*kathrynoh at nemesis dot com dot au*



The other night I was reading a book that said we don't judge or mock hippos for being big, so why do we mock people who are big.

I thought about this for a minute and, while I don't condone judging, I realised hippos aren't fat. Hippos aren't overweight, they are the size they are meant to be. People talk about being as fat as an elephant or a pig or a hippo but no animal (with the exception of pets with stupid owners) is ever overweight.

There is a question that I'm still trying to figure out (and I think I've talked about this before) but I'd be interesting in hearing other people's opinions on this. Would you say people who are obese have a mental problem?

I don't actually like saying "mental" problem. Maybe emotional problems is a better way of putting it. I mean, if someone has anorexia or bulima then you'd definitely say it was an emotional problem not a physical one. If someone has an addiction to drugs or alcohol you'd also say it was an emotional problem. Do you think someone can eat to the point that they make themselves sick and endanger their health without it being an emotional problem?

I guess that's why I've always had an issue with "fat acceptance". On one hand, I definitely don't believe that you should hate yourself because you are fat. In a perfect world, size wouldn't affect the way you treat yourself or the way other people treat you. But I think it's too easy to say - so what if I'm fat, I'm happy the way I am - and not do anything to fix the problems.

If I were 20 kilograms underweight and I said I was happy with how I look, people around me wouldn't accept that. I'd have an issue that needed medical attention. But I could be 50 kilograms overweight and the people around me will just ignore it.

I guess I do want to be a hippo - I want to be the size I'm meant to be - that is the size I'd be without emotional fat.

I totally agree with everything you said! and there are like a thousand things it's set off in my head I need to think it more...

But I wanted to say I do agree (well in my situation at least - because I know there are people who in their lives gain because of medication like radiation or thyroid problems) but in my case - being normal healthy gal I am, it's emotional.

I have linked so closely experience//feeling emotions with eating that it's not subject to just the negative ones. I eat when I want to celebrate or am happy too.

I am slowly learning of other ways to 'cope' or 'feel' about things and it's bloody hard.

As for the whole underweight//overweight thing, I think it depends who it is because I know that as much as I wouldn't tell someone I don't know who's overweight that they really should get in shape, I wouldn't tell a skinny stranger they're underweight and need to gain too...maybe it's seen as rude to publicise other's "issues" but I'd only ever say something to family or really close friends.

Thanks for the entry tho has given me lots and lots to think about.

By Blogger Dee, at 4:41 pm  

Oh Kath, you say such sensible and wise things.

I wouldn't say that people who are obese have a mental problem - most of them I would say would know how big they are. I think they just lack the motivation and self-respect to do something about it. And because telling someone that they're overweight is considered very insensitive, if someone is 50kg overweight, as you say, it's likely there's no one pushing them to do anything about it apart from maybe their doctor.

I've been reading a book called "Charm School" by Kathy Buchanan, a modern girls etiquette book, just for fun, and there's a section on what is considered polite and rude to say in certain social situations - "if someone gets a bad haircut", "if someone is blushing" - and there's a section on if people are under/over weight or have lost a lot of weight.

I love getting compliments about my weight loss but I hate it when people start asking how much I weigh, saying I look too skinny and should stop losing weight. It's insinuating that I don't know the best for my body. It's funny how people think "you look anorexic" is a compliment.

The overriding principle is that unless you are their doctor, another persons size is none of your business. Commenting on how skinny someone is can be as emotionally damaging and insulting as saying someone is fat. If someone has lost a lot of weight, the polite thing to do is to say how healthy and happy they look.

It would be nice if we could just be allowed to find out what our own body's natural weight and shape is - what we're meant to be - and accept it, and be comfortable with ourselves, without the eyes of society watching us, judging us, making us think that we'll never be good enough.

This has turned into a very long comment! Sorry!

Hope you're having a fantastic week.

And how's the book going?

By Blogger Philippa, at 9:29 pm  

See, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder w/Panic Attacks, a 'true' mental illness. I've always been curious if that had anything to do with me being larger and not doing anything about it. Because once I was diagnosed, I was able to think more clearly about who I am & what was good for my body

The main cause I find with my being overweight is that food was a reward/punishment system. Once I was programed that way, it's a hard battle to break. I'm trying to find other ways to reward myself for accomplishments, like my Italian Charm bracelet I'm starting.

By Blogger Paige, at 1:49 am  

This is a really great post and I think I am going to disagree with the other commenters but hey, that is what makes this such a great topic :).

I can't say "all" in this case, but I do believe that a lot of people that are obese do have mental problems, or rather emotional ones. In my weight loss efforts, I had tried everything from The Grapefruit Diet to Jenny Craig and back again and every place that I went had a class or classes focusing on the emotions behind eating and how to deal with them. I also spent some time going to Overeaters Anonymous as my Dad is a big 12-step person and really identified with the emotional issues behind eating.

Now, like one person said, some people are obese due to health issues such as thyroid or what have you but I believe there is a large percent of people whose addiction IS eating. I don't know if addiction is what I want to call it, but maybe just the way that they choose to stuff down emotional problems like a habitual drug user or alcoholic would.

By Blogger snackiepoo, at 4:59 am  

Paige - I have panic/anxiety attacks as well and I actually always wondered just the opposite...if the panic and anxiety disorder and the dumb meds made me want to eat more. So I feel ya.

By Blogger snackiepoo, at 5:01 am  



current weight:
76.6 kg

start weight:
110.1 kg

total loss:
33.5 kg

goal weight:
70 kgs



boobs: 100 cm

waist: 81 cm

hips: 109 cm

thighs: 50 cm


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