The word obesity makes people uncomfortable. When we have conversations about obesity, the way we frame the conversation has a huge impact on the effect that it has on others.
Even though obesity is an important concern for modern humans, I don’t believe that it is proper to label an individual as, “obese.”
I can’t imagine myself — where I am today — ever telling a person, “you are obese.” That seems so rude and insensitive. The word obesity carries a significant stigma because medical researchers have produced alarming studies that suggest there are many dangers of carrying excessive adipose tissue. If you take an objective look at the research, it is undeniable that there are real risks associated with existing in a much larger body for a long period of time.
Nobody wants to be objectified.
This is why I understand the powerful emotional response of people who have been told by doctors or other professionals that they are obese. It’s hurtful and de-humanizing to be judged for your body alone and this can be true in many contexts including romantic and professional.
Many people who have struggled with weight issues feel that they are being unfairly attacked in all areas of society simply for existing. For anybody who has ever struggled with weight, we know that it’s not so simple as just waking up tomorrow and eating better. There are very powerful beliefs that we carry with us that either help us move forward, help us maintain, or cause us to regress. We need motivation, inspiration, and support.
It’s your beliefs and values that help you achieve the body that you have today.
Even though we are inseparable from the messages that society sends us, I know that the most successful people in life are those who take responsibility for their own beliefs without blaming others for their failures. I look at my personal failures and I own them. It doesn’t feel good to think about my mistakes, but it feels good when I stop making the same mistakes that have held me back in the past.
Fat shaming is highly inappropriate and rightfully offensive. However, only you can choose to take responsibility for your own choices. Attempting to change other people will only frustrate you and cause you to lose focus on what really matters. Think about changing the ways that you let other people affect you and perhaps you will become empowered. Nobody can affect you unless you let them.
Life is about balance — but some of us are already way too far out of balance.
It’s a fair analogy to say that being overweight is like being in debt. Carrying excess adipose tissue is literally a metabolic debt and the worst part about being in debt is having to pay interest on your debt.
People don’t realize that body fat is metabolically active and quite dangerous in the long term. Excess body fat releases inflammatory compounds which stimulate the immune system, cause stress on the body, and make it even harder to lose weight. Just like accumulating interest on a credit card balance, the longer you carry excess body fat, the more challenging it will be to pay off the metabolic debt. That’s why it will, “cost more,” metabolically speaking for an overweight person to consume high sugar because it adds to the debt, which adds to the accumulating interest payments which comes in the form of high inflammatory compounds.
People who’ve existed in larger bodies for a longer period of time may benefit from looking at the situation just like a person who has been in financial debt for a long period of time.
How to get out of debt?
Stop spending on things you don’t need: sugars, high saturated fats, alcohol etc.
Start increasing your wealth/income: consume the most nutrient dense foods like green vegetables and probiotic foods.
Focus on yourself: people who are broke are often that way because of their beliefs about money/spending. People who are overweight are often that way because of their beliefs about activity/eating. It won’t get better unless you get better.
The term obesity is meant to be used in the context of the population, not so much as an application for the individual.
Obesity is “diagnosed” using the body mass index, which I am not a big fan of. Body mass index is simply an index of height and weight, leaving no other data to give us indication about the health of an individual.
Because we come in all different shapes and sizes, a person who is “obese,” on the body mass index could be very much a healthy person. That’s why obesity should be spoken of in the context of population-scale issues instead of applying the term to an individual. I personally don’t like labels in many capacities because I find labels to be self-limiting.
How we talk about our bodies and the bodies of others is definitely an area of opportunity for most people, especially parents. Self talk is always an opportunity for all of us.
There is no ideal body, only your ideal body.
I think your ideal body is one which helps you feel empowered, confident, capable and allows you to do whatever you want to do in life. Much of your ideal body has to do with your beliefs about your body and your beliefs about food.
You know you have achieved your ideal body when people’s comments no longer affect you. You know you’ve reached your ideal body when you feel that your existence is a blessing to others and this may even have nothing to do with your physical shape and everything to do with the love that you have for yourself and the love that you share for other people.