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TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/14/13 12:06 A

There are those who don't understand - who think that being fat, is "catching"

In this article, a Facebook user states

"I thought I was making fun of myself and this realization when I logged onto Facebook and wrote, “A fear worse than fatness comes on in the night.” "

The post had garnered a few "likes" before I logged off the site and went to bed."

After that, a Facebook argument ensues ... and this article gets written and discussed in the comments, at length ..

I am finding, a similar fear (at least at first) of my having a communicable disease - with my diabetes ... no matter how popularized and popular such awareness of the disease is, in this country ... and - believe me, I do mention it - my orientation to food is strange(r) than normal for a social occasion; I don't comport myself like a lifelong, natural thin person - either in lacking a more subdued attitude, or in the graceful cockiness that natural thin women may have ...

This is probably why compassion has not developed among children where one thinks it could, or should ... for either condition ...

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 8/14/2013 (00:07)
ERICREH Posts: 4,159
8/13/13 12:27 P

I think the people who are obese and say they are happy with it are in denial. Shaming people for any reason is not acceptable, but we should all have enough pride to try to be the best person we can.

MEBAZI SparkPoints: (22,543)
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8/13/13 12:18 P

This topic is so true. I've been experiencing burn out with my healthy lifestyle. I went super hard for 6 months straight and I fell off.....I lost 53 pounds. I never could imagine how difficult it would be to get that laser focus back. I feel like I'm stuck in a shaming situation. I have thee BEST advice for myself, I just haven't chosen to take it. I am almost there....I'm truly tired of the "weight" on my shoulders....good news is, I have not gained.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,413
8/13/13 10:38 A

There is no easy solution.

Just like Anarie said, some people will think any talk of obesity is fat shaming. When it is really not, but I was a witness to it. Its a long story.

And we have gotten to the point where nothing but absolute praise of everything we do is bullying or shaming. Or generally being a hater.

Definitely true bullying and fat shaming leads to weight gain. I know because I have experienced that too. And I wasn't that overweight, but someone shamed me so instead of proving them wrong I ate a quart of Hagen Daaz

TCANNO SparkPoints: (337,832)
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8/13/13 3:41 A

This would depend on the mind set.
If someone doesn't want to loose weight they are going to try to prove you wrong.
I have a friend who hate to be hungry so will not even think of portion size. If we go out he eat 2 or 3 200gram packets of peanuts (portion size 25 gram or 8 portions)

He is not quite obese but overweight.

You just can't help him.

All he say to me is you have done well I don't know how you did it.

There is no helping some people.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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8/13/13 1:09 A

Interesting discussion.

Something else to think about is that our society has a vested interest in people being healthy. Being overweight, eating a lousy diet and not exercising drive up health care costs. We need our health care professionals to talk to people honestly about weight and nutrition and exercise.

Do we need our doctors and nurses shaming us? No, but we need discussions on how to be healthy, how to keep our kids from being fat, how to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

We have a generation in their 30s that are expected to not live as long as their parents. We see Type 2 diabetes in young children. Obstructive sleep apnea from obesity is damaging hearts. We are a nation that is slowly eating ourselves to death, partly because it is acceptable to be obese, to overeat, to not exercise.

I see the issues and have no real solutions. We could try to tax away the problem, increase taxes on junk foods and whole milk etc. like we have with alcohol and cigarettes. And spend the tax money on nutrition programs and subsidizing healthy foods. (Unlike taxing cigs to pay for early child hood ed! That one still makes me mad.)

We need clear and concise education on what is a healthy diet, not junky feel good stuff like it's okay to eat fast food in moderation...WTH is moderation and when have we ever practiced it?

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. As I said, good discussion!

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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8/12/13 3:25 P

I like what JMOUSE99 said about families all eating the same at home and not to single out the overweight kid in the family. Healthy eating for the entire family. I like when she said that even the normal weight kid can say when offered junk food, "we don't eat that in our family." Shaming would be someone in the family saying, Johnny can't have that as he needs to shed some weight. I have seen parents do that and the kid just looking like they want to die. I'm sure the kid ate in secret after that.

JMOUSE99 SparkPoints: (192,311)
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8/12/13 10:01 A

SHERYLDS wrote "But again weight related suggestions have impact (aka fat shaming)
suggest a weight loss camp...and there is a stigma
weight loss group...stigma
they want to eat bigger portions of their favorite foods (usually not veggies).
they love snacking, along with their friends...
suggest they don't eat the junk food their friends are enjoying...stigma
maybe they don't do as well on physical activities as their slimmer friends, so they don't join in as often..or get picked...stigma.
so how do you avoid fat shaming while still changing a child's unhealthy behavior."

I would suggest that the child's family not single out the child to eat differently. EVERYBODY in the family should eat the same way - healthy, low-fat meals, no junk food, together with exercising together in some way. Outside of the home, *all* the children (obese or not) can say something like "we don't eat that in our family" when others are eating junk food. I don't think it would work that well when the kids are older, but I've read posts from people saying it works for their family when the children are young at least and hopefully you are teaching them good habits that will stay with them for life.

Let me also say I have no kids, so I always hesitate when commenting on how to raise them, but, as I say, I have read posts and articles saying this is the best way to go.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/12/13 7:14 A

That people of a certain, even if slight, degree of overweight - are "othered" in this society?

Ever hear of the "mixed weight" marriage?

Never mind you are equal in (high) social class and in race:

Ever hear of "fat studies"?

Now, I've been on this earth a long time, and I'd never in my wildest DREAMS thought I'd live to see THOSE!

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/12/13 6:42 A

"Let's show people that you don't have to consume something to be happy."

That doesn't just hold for food.

How about ANY resource?

My diet got yeaaah expensive due to medical concerns (diabetes Type 2). It IS $$-expensive! Costco need not apply. Nor any other bulk-shopping emporium. I do not have a car and there are steep hills near home in all directions, plus I live in an expensive real-estate area (and I NEED all my living space) [New York City in the house ...]

Seriously, I do not need to see my nieces' travel pictures (I don't get to go anywhere)
I don't need to see the chazzerai you eat, of course, goes without question.
I don't need to see advanced yoga poses (guess what raised my blood sugar reading this morning? well, practicing yoga & doing housework yesterday. I've got a high-maint sugar management problem...)
Don't need those platitudes anymore ...


With Facebook, it's on and off for me ...
Due to large family of geographic diversity, I CAN'T delete my account ...

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 8/12/2013 (07:01)
LILLITH32 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/12/13 1:46 A

I think the answer is for all of us to be the change. Take our friends out to do fun things that are also healthy. I took a lot of my friends out to run 5K fun runs, and most of them decided to continue running (because it's fun). When you show a person how they can have fun and lead a healthy life, you will find people gravitating to a healthy lifestyle. When people think 'diet', they think of hardship and deprivation. When they think 'working out' they think of pain and sweat and all kinds of unpleasant sensations. However, when they think food and alcohol, they experience positive feelings, because that is what the commercials are conditioning us to do. So, let's change that. Let's show people that you don't have to consume something to be happy. Lets show that working out can be fun, and not some sort of slave labor. Lets show them that making healthy meals is a better choice then running out to MickeyD's. Let's paste articles about the negative effects of unhealthy living to our Facebooks and Twitter accounts. We have changed ourselves - lets encourage people to change by example.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (555,711)
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8/12/13 12:25 A

Some people are so insensitive.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/11/13 11:31 P

@MADELEINESNOW, you wrote:

"I also think it's really insensitive for people to make comments about their weight when they are really skinny. I work with this lady who is really nice but she is tall and very thin. She made a comment to someone about how she should be thinner. It makes people who are even at a normal weight feel bad about themselves."

May I suggest the rundown on this thread from a few months ago:

HAPPYTUHA SparkPoints: (16,381)
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8/11/13 10:02 P


MADELEINESNOW SparkPoints: (619)
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8/11/13 9:53 P

I know personally I've had experiences with my mom and boyfriend making comments about my weight then making comments about anything I would eat. Even today I said I was going to eat a piece of chocolate later and she made a comment " you are really going to eat that "? when she is either eating the same thing or something worse. My boyfriend started to make comments about things I would order when we were out to eat and finally I told them both that their comments made me want to eat more.

I have a huge issue with keeping snacks or treats in the family pantry because I don't want to hear anyone's comments like you are trying to lose weight so you shouldn't eat that.

If I wanted someone's opinion or advice I would ask. Period!

I also think it's really insensitive for people to make comments about their weight when they are really skinny. I work with this lady who is really nice but she is tall and very thin. She made a comment to someone about how she should be thinner. It makes people who are even at a normal weight feel bad about themselves.

8/11/13 9:42 P

I sooo agree with this!!! I love my Mom to death, but she is ALWAYS letting me know if I have put on a pound, so with that being said....I am a HUGE emotional eater. I always said I never would say anything negative to my daughter . And so she is now 28 and I have NEVER said anything about her weight, or anything about per appearance. But she is a BEAUTIFUL daughter inside and out!!!

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,318
8/11/13 9:18 P

well said ANARIE...thanks

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
8/11/13 7:29 P

It's a paradox. The only way to take shame out of something is by discussing it openly. We learned that with breast cancer; no one would EVER talk about it out loud until Betty Ford came out and said, "I had breast cancer. I had a mastectomy." I'm pretty sure she was the first person ever allowed to say "mastectomy" on television. And that openness led to people being able to say "mammogram," and to high schools being allowed to teach girls how to do self-exams, all of which has led to breast cancer being basically curable.

But anybody who tries to talk openly and frankly about obesity will eventually get accused of fat shaming. Even here, where we're presumably a little less sensitive, you still read members who are furious because their doctor weighed them. God forbid the doctor use the word "obese," even though that's the medical name for the condition. But other people are furious because their doctor doesn't look at them and offer weight control help without being asked. And some of these are the same people!

And does anybody remember the stink when a state health department weighed and measured schoolchildren and sent the information to the parents? It made headlines as "Schools sending fat letters!" when in fact a) it wasn't the school, b) the letters never used the word "fat" or anything else except the BMI number and the MEDICAL term for it, and c) the letters were sent to the *parents* of every child, not just the overweight one. The only way that letter could shame a child was if the parents showed it to him/her and told him to be ashamed.

If you can't name and measure a medical condition without being accused of shaming, then there's no way to treat the condition.

I don't know how to fix this, because I've been on both sides of the situation, as the obese woman who wouldn't even go to a doctor out of fear of being shamed and as the person here who will write the words "morbidly obese" and refuse to tell a 350-pound person that they shouldn't worry or try to lose weight until other aspects of their life are calmer.

But I do kind of think that if we insist on using the word "obese" when it is scientifically, objectively true, and especially if those of us who ARE obese use it objectively, repeatedly, and unashamedly, it will eventually start to lose its shaming power so we can talk about treatments, just like saying "BREAST cancer" let us say mammography and self-examination and lumpectomy versus radical mastectomy. Forty years ago, we couldn't say those words out loud, either.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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8/11/13 2:42 P

Fat-shaming out loud is mean and bullying. Why would anyone think it would be beneficial to a person. I am not concerned with adults losing weight, even loved ones. They are adults and it is their decision to live a healthy life or not. I can only choose a healthy life for myself. I am concerned for children when adults make so many decisions for them. I would like to see only healthy food choices in grade school, physical activities encouraged by parents. Unfortunately adults who choose an unhealthy life style pass it on to their children which I find very sad. That is why I would like to see schools educate children about living healthy as some will go home and start to talk about this at home and maybe some changes for all will be made.

8/11/13 2:04 P

I am not a supporter, either, of name calling, but what I do believe is that any amount of coaching (good or bad) is not going to make a difference to a person needing to lose weight. Just like any other bad habit like smoking or drinking, it is the ultimate decision of the person needing to quit the habit or to lose the weight -- and the point here is that you never know what will be the changing point for those people -- seeing a close one die, not being able to climb a set of stairs, seeing themselves in a picture, etc., etc. I really don't think shaming hurts or helps that much -- it's an individual decision and when the time is right.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,318
8/11/13 11:15 A

I'm not supporting fat shaming.....
but who better to find answers than the spark community

if fat-shaming is a sensitive issue to know it is a totally sensitive issue to children...meanwhile, childhood is where healthy habits can be trained and really have tremendous value to a person's life.

But again weight related suggestions have impact (aka fat shaming)
suggest a weight loss camp...and there is a stigma
weight loss group...stigma
they want to eat bigger portions of their favorite foods (usually not veggies).
they love snacking, along with their friends...
suggest they don't eat the junk food their friends are enjoying...stigma
maybe they don't do as well on physical activities as their slimmer friends, so they don't join in as often..or get picked...stigma.

so how do you avoid fat shaming while still changing a child's unhealthy behavior.

JMOUSE99 SparkPoints: (192,311)
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8/11/13 10:47 A

All I can say is that in my personal experience any kind of ``shaming`` just made me more stubborn. I started to eat healthy and exercise when I was ready to do so. No ``advice`` from anyone else would get me to lose weight - I had to decide to do it myself.

There are no easy answers in this and everyone is different. However I strongly believe that any kind of shaming to try to get children to lose weight is WRONG.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,318
8/11/13 10:05 A

Thank you SUZIEQUE77...that was a great example of what I'm asking.

we are torn between
not saying something avoiding the possibility of hurting someone,
but watching them continue unhealthy habits..
saying something trying to help but possibly pushing them into emotional overeating

So to those totally against any weight related comments...

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
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8/11/13 9:48 A

I don't think shaming a person is very often helpful in getting them motivated to change, though I think there might be a few out there who are motivated by some humiliating experience, like having to order two plane seats or something.

I look back on my overweight history. I would say more than likely, any individual insult to me about my weight certainly never motivated me to change. My XH would sometimes say something like "Are you really going to eat that?" (piece of pie or whatever). There is no doubt when he said things like that to me, it made me beyond disgusted, but unfortunately, throughout my life, my way of dealing with stress and unhappiness, feeling insulted, etc., was dealt with by using ... you guessed it! Food.

I cannot fully explain it but for me the combined total of every negative thing I can think of about being overweight has always been my motivator, so in some sense, I think even his insults fell into that category. The times I have been thin in my life, I have received better treatment, felt more confident, never had people say "Are you really going to eat THAT. (Instead they get upset that I don't take the goodies and tell me that I don't need to diet. I"m not dieting to lose weight. I watch what I eat to maintain. Sometimes I bother to explain, other times not. I do this for me and I'm not changing for others.

But another aspect of this is just how do you be sensitive to someone you care about and say anything at all? I do find this challenging and wish I had the answers. I usually try to be supportive if they ask me for support but try not ever suggesting anybody "needs" to lose weight.

Last year my H was on a roll and lost about 35 pounds and he looked great. He even asked me to be his coach and to remind him when he "shouln't." So I did that to some extent but even then felt a little guilty, knowing it might hurt his feelings. But at Christmas time, he made every excuse in the book. I'm going to have this and ENJOY IT! I'll get right back on the plan after the new year starts. Do you know how hard it is to hear your husband say that same garbage I have told myself for so many years? And to know it won't work!!!

My husband is not obese but seems so much healthier in so many ways without that extra weight. But he gained it all back and seems to be somewhat in denial that he gained it all back and never got back on the "plan" (if my calendar is right, it is now August, not January!)

I don't know what to say so I usually don't say anything. I don't want to hurt his feelings and my gut tells me that the only thing that will ever motivate him is himself, like it was before. If he asks me to help, I will.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,318
8/11/13 9:14 A

I think fat shaming takes many forms and
I think a lot of us feel that it is just another way of bullying.
At the same time…I wonder how you get the message out there to people in denial, that
being overweight, And not eating healthy or exercising, is really self destructive.
And that they need to start living a healthy lifestyle.
A lot of people live in denial and tell themselves they don’t care about their weight.
I feel the most pity for the kids … a lot of know what that feels like.

Like it or not…there is a lot of discrimination against the obese

I read lots of Spark Café threads where people get upset about a compliment.
They get upset if the doctor tells them they need to lose…or doesn’t say something.
They get upset if someone questions what they are eating, or orders something they can’t eat.
They get upset if someone does or doesn’t offer them …what everyone else is eating.

A lot of us have been so battered by our weight,
we’ve become over-sensitized to everything weight related.

So I would ask…
How DO you get people in denial, to start living a healthy lifestyle…
And still avoid the concept of any fat-shaming?

TCANNO SparkPoints: (337,832)
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8/11/13 4:11 A

I had this problem with friends last year and I think it makes you stubborn and dig your heels in.

I have now reach my goal and I am giving it back to them, so I have seen both sides.

You can't shame someone who doesn't care

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
8/11/13 1:28 A

I tend to agree with the premise of the original post on this thread.

As with most things in this life, I personally feel discrimination and disparaging of others is counterproductive and wrong.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/11/13 12:17 A

via Amanda Marcotte in Slate. [And btw, I had also been an avid reader of Kate Harding's blog, Shapely Prose, no matter what my weight was ...]

"Having been a reader of fat-acceptance writers like Kate Harding for a long time, I can safely say that there are many people/commenters who are deeply concerned that if we don't shame and insult fat people for their weight, they won't be motivated to lose it. This "idea" was just dealt a major blow by researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine, who that found that shaming fat people about their weight correlates to weight gain, not loss"

This had been a long-term longitudinal study over a four year period. And it had noted that working out by the obese in public was, is and had been discouraged. Many size acceptance activists and advocates have pointed out that the assorted cat-calls, projectiles, shouts and finger pointing from passing cars, to a runner for instance, are not appreciated, at the very least!

Now that obesity is offically declared a disease, and that there is an obesity "epidemic" one would, logically expect compassion - NOT being treated as a leper or the carrier of a communicable disease!!

I believe that we can lose weight!

Ugly - especially internally - is forever!!!!!!!

To see more, plus photo and comments:

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 8/11/2013 (12:12)
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