Saturday, January 26, 2013
I've just read Becky Hand's article in Huff Post's Healthy Living section and, wow, did it touch a nerve with me:
I couldn't agree with her more and excuse me if I go off on a bit of a rant.
If you've been SparkFriends with me for a while, you may already know my story. I lost more than 90 pounds through sensible changes to my diet and exercise routine following many years of yo-yo dieting. I don't believe that weight loss and maintenance is possible through a one-size-fits-all approach but I do believe in using as many tools as we can to help ensure our success, even ones that have become popular to hate such as the scale or BMI.
Although I'd love to say that any article that downplays the negative effects of obesity should simply be taken with a grain of salt, the reality is that these types of articles often aren't. Many people who have struggled with weight management are desperate for quick fixes and will eagerly latch onto excuses to rationalize why they're not making progress or why it's okay to accept living with their obesity. I know this is true for a decent part of the obese population because I once thought the same way, a mindset that's taken me years to change.
What's more, many people with weight management problems also have psychological issues (much as drug addicts or alcoholics do) that compound their struggle to attain and maintain a healthy weight. That's why I find articles that downplay the dangers of obesity so hazardous. It's almost like telling an addict that recreational drug use is okay. Dangling that kind of carrot in front of someone whose weight management issues are compounded by psychological issues is downright irresponsible in my opinion.
So, thanks, Becky Hand, for the thought-provoking article, even if it did rile me up a bit. Hopefully articles like this will inspire a more responsible movement in health-related journalism. And if you're reading this, thanks for your patience. End of rant.