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Self ‘Fat Acceptance Movement’ .. Healthy or Not?



 
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SIMLANNA
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8/18/13 9:40 P

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I think that self acceptance is vital to being successful and healthy.
That having been said, people need to understand the risks of being overweight. Even if they aren't unhealthy at the moment, the risk is always there.





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EMPRESSAMQ
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8/18/13 9:36 P

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I think acceptance of oneself is absolutely a necessity to be healthy, at whatever size.



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CIRANDELLA
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8/18/13 5:41 P

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It could be risky, in terms of one's health, and the chance of adverse medical consequences resulting from obesity rises with age. I lost weight solely for health purposes.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

- Winston Churchill



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PTREE15
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8/18/13 12:27 P

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Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone is going to be a size 2. This movement, or whatever it is, has come about, I think, because people, Americans at least, are generally larger than we were, say, 30 years ago. Just look at how clothes sizing for women has changed: Back in the day when I weighed 128 pounds (5-toof-6), I barely got into a size 10. Now, at 10 pounds more, I am getting into sizes 6 and 8, and even a size 4. The marketing people figured out that women don't like having to buy bigger sizes. It doesn't help that our celebrity-obsessed society sees dangerously thin actresses/models at every turn.

In the meantime, type 2 diabetes is setting records. That's not healthy, at any weight. The way Americans eat has changed dramatically over the last 30 years as well. There are far too many convenience food in our diets. Processed food is what's killing people, whatever their weight is. When I was a kid, we did not snack every day/night. Treats were reserved for maybe once a week. Fast food was eaten even less frequently. And before anyone goes on about this happening because women started working full-time, stop already. My mom was a single parent who worked full time and still managed to put decent, healthy meals on the table every single night. There was salad at every meal and water for drinking. No soda, unless we had pizza or something, which, again, was a treat. It's about priorities and taking the time to put healthy, delicious food on the table. It can be, and has been done.

So, accepting being overweight and healthy is one thing, but accepting morbid obesity is another. Our bones, no matter how big, were not meant to carry 400 pounds.

I don't think people should discriminate against any group, but I don't think accepting morbid obesity is a good thing. Generally, it's not healthy in the long run.

"Turn off your television. Go do something."


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BERRY4
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8/17/13 11:50 P

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At this stage in life (50's) I find that health is more important to me than what I weigh. I want to be healthy first...and then if possible, my "ideal" weight. To think differently right now, for me, is crazy-making.

"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible."
~C. Malesherbes~

"Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."
Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)





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GOALWTIN7
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8/17/13 2:28 P

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I think you can be 20 pounds overweight, be active, eat healthy and not have health problems. The woman in the video was morbidly obese. Being from the health industry I believe that much fat does cause health problems and therefore the movement is not healthy. Your blood pressure may be good and no visible signs of bad health if you are younger and obese but it is slowly doing havoc to your insides and when you get older it will come out in the form of heart disease and even certain cancers. As the doctor said in the video, your body is not meant to carry that much fat.

I think it is POP therapy to go around saying I love me just the way I am. I hope we will all improve and grow till the day we die.



AUBRETTE
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8/17/13 2:04 P

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I think you have very succinct points, Avrilleon, and I generally agree with them. I'd just like to point out there is a difference between "acceptance" (positive, loving, unconditional) and "resignation" (I'll always be this way, it's useless to fight fate, etc.) You can accept your obese body and still want to be stronger, faster, fitter. That's the trick, loving who you are even as you let it go.



AUBRETTE
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8/17/13 1:59 P

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This is an amazing discussion and I'm glad people are talking about it. I think it delves into the deeper issue of WHY we are losing weight. Is it to be socially acceptable? Sexy? Beautiful?

Fat Acceptance is a movement encouraging us to accept real bodies as beautiful, regardless of health. It is an opportunity to establish people as worthy simply because they are people. As a Christian, I love this kind of radical grace.

Some people worry that if fat people are encouraged to like their fatness then they won't change. That's ridiculous. We are not on a weightloss journey, much as Sparkpeople likes to throw that lingo around. We are embarking on a "healthy LIFESTYLE". If you can't get up the stairs, play with your kids, or you have diabetes or heart problems then THOSE are the motivators for change. Sparkpeople encourages these kinds of personal, not physical, motivators.

Let's take beauty out of our aspirations. We've already got it, we just need to find it.

I've found these websites helpful, one is an anonymous gallery of real women's bodies at various sizes: www.mybodygallery.com/

Here is a story of a seemingly fat woman who is also an Olympic weightlifter. She's strong and healthy, even if her physical appearance goes against what we think that is: www.stumptuous.com/olympic-weightlifter-ma
ryse-turcotte




SCHEALTHNUTT
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4/4/13 6:35 P

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Probably not. While it is ok to love yourself, I fear that many would use that to avoid looking at the unhealthiness of the situation. You need to love yourself enough to become healthier, a step at a time.



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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
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4/4/13 4:19 P

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Very excellent points, Anarie. I can't say I ever really thought about it in those same terms, but I find myself agreeing you with on several points. Definitely some good insight.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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CHIHUAHUAMOM2
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4/4/13 4:15 P

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I have never accepted my weight! I have been thinking about this topic more and more lately...since I am almost 50 years old, and my weight has only gone UP. My doctor keeps telling me I am in the obese category because my BMI is 33. I am five feet tall, and weigh 167 right now. I carry this around with me every day in my head (I'm obese, I'm obese.....) and I am tired of it. I do have some health issues that have cropped up since the weight gain. I am on blood pressure meds and my cholesterol was elevated. So....losing the weight would indeed help with those two problems....plus I am on 3 anti depressants so I am sure they aren't helping. I want to accept myself and I wasn't really worrying about it too much until my recent check up....and when my father found out how much I weigh. Yes, skinny people can be unhealthy too....I hate that extra weight is associated with being unhealthy, among other things. I actually feel like my boss treats me differently since I have put on weight.....(sigh)


“Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be”

¯ Karen Ravn

"Every time I hear that song, I go back....."

~Kenny Chesney


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ANARIE
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4/4/13 4:06 P



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I think there are at least 2 issues here-- in the current discussion and in American society at large.

First, there's a huge difference between obese and slightly overweight, but no one seems to recognize that. KJ's coworker is an example-- at size 12/14, she might be overweight but she's not anywhere close to obese. If you weigh 10% or 15% more than your "healthy" weight, there's no reason to believe that you're at death's door and agonize over a once-a-week burger or a Hershey's Kiss. If you weigh twice what you should, on the other hand, you're not "overweight but fit." You're a ticking time bomb, health-wise.

Not everyone who's a normal weight is healthy, and not everyone who's morbidly obese has heart disease. That's true. But it's like saying that smoking isn't a problem because non-smokers can get lung cancer and some heavy smokers never do. That's also true, but we know that you're hugely more likely to get lung cancer and several other deadly or disabling illnesses if you smoke, just like you're hugely more likely to get diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers if you're obese.

This all-or-nothing, "anything over a 24 BMI is gonna drop you dead where you stand" attitude is really dangerous, in my opinion, because it leads people to think that if you're not perfect, you're a failure. I've heard people argue that a health education program for low-income morbidly obese people was a waste of money because the people in it only lost half of their excess weight. Every 5% of excess weight lost reduces the risk of diabetes, so that program probably cut their chance of getting diabetes (and the taxpayers' chance of having to pay for diabetes care) at least in half, yet it's "not worth it" because the formerly morbidly obese people are still overweight. Similarly, when you read studies about the "diet failure rate," they count any re-gain as a complete failure. Somebody can lose 150 pounds, regain 20, and they'll point at her and say, "See? Diets don't work." You see it on the individual level, too, where someone who has 10 pounds left to lose gets all miserable and self-critical and wants to give up.

But at the same time, why the heck do we need acceptance for obesity anyway? There's no "diabetes acceptance movement" or "lung cancer acceptance movement" or "hypertension acceptance movement." People with other health issues don't face anything like the same level of discrimination and disdain. What's wrong with us as a society that lets people look at an obese person and say, "Eww. You must be lazy and gluttonous if you got fat."? You don't look at someone with a severe poison ivy rash and say, "Eww, you must be dumb if you couldn't stay out of the poison ivy patch." Yes, people often have some control over whether they become or stay obese. But people often have some control over whether they get in a car wreck and become paraplegic or brain injured, too. When was the last time you saw someone in a wheelchair from an accident and said, "Well, it's his own fault for driving too fast. He should just suck it up and learn to drag himself around on crutches."? Do we look at the parents of a child with Down Syndrome and say, "Meh, you don't deserve any help. You were over 30 when you got pregnant, and everybody knows that increases the risk. It's your own fault."? Almost every health problem is the result of a choice, or at least could have been prevented with enough foresight, willpower, and/or effort. Yet if you make jokes about someone who's fat, people either laugh or ignore it, but if you make jokes about someone with skin cancer, you're a complete a**hole.

Someone earlier said, " Once I get my health in line, my size has nothing to do but follow."

I think that's absolutely true. I think that once you develop healthy habits, your obesity days are pretty numbered. I don't know anybody who has developed a strong, consistent exercise program AND eats a healthy diet with controlled calories and yet has remained obese after a year or more. Overweight, yes; obese, no. But developing those habits is one of the hardest things a human being ever has to do, and people who are struggling to do it deserve help and sympathy just like people who are struggling to re-learn speech after a brain injury.

So I guess "acceptance" depends on who's doing the accepting, or maybe on the definition of acceptance. Others should accept the obese/overweight without having to think about it, just as they accept people with any other health problem. If accept means "don't be a jerk," they should definitely accept. But to the individual with the health problem, acceptance tends to mean the same as resignation or denial. They should be given support and encouragement NOT to accept it. They shouldn't accept it or ignore it any more than someone should accept any health issue that can be controlled. And most of all, they shouldn't be allowed to believe that it's hopeless to fix it. It's incredibly hard, but so is recovery from any health problem.



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SIMPLYME160
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4/4/13 3:45 P

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Me to, i'd like to know if some that accepted their weight continue to gain or maintain. My best friend accepted her weight at age 58 at 400 lbs. She maintains. Once she told me she gained a "few lbs" and would like to lose it. I told her about SparkPeople and I joined to see what the site is like and if Spark can help-it does for Me, I lost 20 lbs since Christmas even though I'm not a avid tracker. She told me she has no interest in any site. Soooo. good question. maybe that question should be asked in a Spark poll.


Its not exercise, its going outside to play!


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SHERYLDS
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4/4/13 2:34 P

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Most people here would absolutely agree that no one should shame a overweight/obese person.
Most people here would absolutely agree that a HEALTHY person loves and accepts themselves...at any size. .. period

I just wonder what happens when an obese person Stops trying to lose weight?
given that so many of us have experienced gaining weight on occasion Even while we were trying to lose weight...what happens to the person who says...
I'm not going to try to lose weight any more.
Do they try to maintain their weight ?
Even maintenance requires a person to monitor themselves.
Even normal range people monitor themselves ... but they Usually don't have the same eating behavior/relationship/reaction to food that obese people have.


USA EST


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SIMPLYME160
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4/4/13 2:18 P

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I am overweight/obese and healthy by my doctors standards, My "numbers" all in the normal range I am moderatly active.. My dad died young, thin healthy fit- a sudden heart attack. My mom died of cancer, also thin, healthy fit. My parents were never junk food addicts and always lived a healthy lifestyle, so rarely junk in the house except for a small amount of candy for Christmas and a small cake for birthdays. We exercised daily indoors or out.. Out diet was mostly vegetable based, dessert mostly some type of fruit,, any meat was baked or broiled, or in soup and plenty of fish. I was considered underweight as a child and teen. So don't think being "normal" or overweight matters. Enjoying life! Thats what its about! If a overweight person is truly unhappy, then the mentality and motivation sets in and they will lose no matter how long it takes. Thats the prupose behind sites like Spark. Others can accept themselves..But No One should judge a person because of size. In some countries, the larger women are considered the Most Beautiful!


Its not exercise, its going outside to play!


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AVRILLEON
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4/4/13 1:48 P

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I think this can be broken down into various things:

1. Accepting that you are simply a human being, who has great features and flaws, with grace and humility is a wonderful thing. It takes great self-awareness to understand and accept yourself as you are and it's certainly not something I have achieved so far at any weight.

2. Striving to be the best person you can be is part of the human condition - in all of us is an innate need to be "better" at something, well-regarded by our peers, and satisfied that we have done our best, at anything.

3. It is not right to discriminate against anyone, regardless of the reason; no-one should be thought of as a lesser person because they are overweight.

4. No-one is truly "healthy" if they are obese. I don't say this to hurt anyone (I have a BMI of 30 myself and am working to reduce this) and my deepest apologies if this offends you. But we all know that heavy people have increased risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart attack, and many other illnesses - this is a fact.

5. So while I applaud anyone who can accept themselves as they are, I think that they should try to slim to within a good weight range for their height. What I mean by this is that I think it's fantastic for you to love and respect yourself at any size, without self-blame or anger, but it's a great act of love to think of our duty to our loved ones, and reduce weight/ become active so that we can live stronger and longer with them. My mother died of cancer and although it's taken me time to take action, I'll do anything to reduce my risk of dying the way she did - it's been three years and still, when I think of her last months, it's like a horror movie of pain, suffering and torment. So while I strive to accept myself as a human who will make mistakes and fall from time to time, I won't accept myself as a fat girl and will keep fighting to get healthier.



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SIMPLYME160
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4/4/13 1:35 P

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Hmmm, can a anorexic underweight person give up and accept themself- healthy or not. Same thing. Many obese or overweight persons are healthy, fit, have active lifestyles and accept themselves. Many thinner people are not happy with their bodies, fit , healthy and lazy. The Media, Weight Loss corporations, and insurance compnies are Trying so much to make the overweight feel guilty in order to profit from them. Discrinination on the Highest Level! Its about self love and acceptence. Respecting your body, mind and soul, no matter a persons size. Humans were not made from a One Size Fits All Mold! If someone is not happy with their weight either over or under weight, only they have the power to change ot accept.


Its not exercise, its going outside to play!


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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
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4/4/13 1:28 P

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Thank you, BunnyKicks!! I couldn't have said it better myself. And I'm not going to try. I'm just going to add my hearty "Amen" to everything you just said.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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BUNNYKICKS
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4/4/13 12:54 P

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I really do not believe this movement is an attempt to deny, dispute or disregard the health impacts of obesity.

It's all about accepting people as they are... anti-discrimination. For example, there's another thread floating around here about whether airlines should charge by the pound. From a Fat Acceptance point of view, such a proposal seems shaming, penalizing, discriminatory. "Tickets should be charged by the individual without regards to their weight."

And then of course it carries on into accepting oneself... one's VALUE and WORTH as something SEPARATE from one's weight. Honestly, you cannot shame yourself into personal growth and change. When you have no feeling of self-worth, you can never feel worthy of deserving to make a positive change. And when you feel that you only deserve good things, health, happiness "once I am thin" - wellll what is this? A life sentence to misery? Why? I mean, it's bad enough that one must live with/deal with the health risks of obesity - is there to be NO enjoyment or pleasure in life, either?

I honestly don't see it as a "lazy" way out. Let's face it - we all know the statistics... not all of us are going to end up thin and running marathons. I doubt I'll ever wear a size 6! And I AM OK WITH THAT. Honestly!!!

I find the "health" thing has some annoying components to it. Yes, carrying extra weight correlates to certain health implications. But so does a lot of other human behaviour - smoking, drinking, drugs, stress, participation in extreme sports, dangerous occupations or risk-taking behavior, sedentary lifestyle, improper nutrition, exposure to pollution, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

So why single out The Overweight as being "lazy" for "choosing to accept" the health risk of their body fat?

I'm actually getting a little dismayed by the feeling that there is actually quite a lot of "fat shaming" going on here. As might be obvious, I have bristled up a lot at the word choice of "lazy."

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DADOFSPARKGAL
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4/4/13 12:28 P

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Let's be very clear - the risk from being fat and obese is a scientific fact. Life insurance companies will charge you a higher premium for being fat and so will health insurance companies if they are allowed to properly assess premiums with health risks. The appropriate steps to minimize the risk of obesity are to lose weight.

Losing weight and keeping it off are incredibly difficult for many people - thus the explosion of obesity around the world. If you are obese and heavy I absolutely applaud you for embracing the person that you are and having a fantastic self image. I feel the same way if you are a smoker. It would be my wish for you to be able to attain a more healthy weight but I respect you regardless - but I really do hope that no one believes that being fat and then also being healthy over time are compatible.



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SHERYLDS
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4/4/13 12:27 P

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There may BE people who Prefer being obese, but I would wonder WHY?

But if an obese person accepts their obesity and decides NOT to try to lose weight anymore, what does that mean?
Do they watch what they eat so they don't gain more?
What do they consider HEALTHY eating?
Do they weigh themselves?
or does that all become irrelevant when they stop trying to lose weight?

I guess what I'm asking is ...
if someone is obese, and they stop trying to lose...are they okay with gaining even more?
I gain unless I'm being careful. and I AM STILL TRYING TO LOSE? emoticon


Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 4/4/2013 (12:39)
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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
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4/4/13 12:02 P

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Yes, you can accept the fat... that's the whole idea. Fat is what gives you padding and curves so if those things are ok, then fat is ok. Believe it or not, there are people who actually prefer being fat, and are not only at peace with their inner self, they are at peace with the way they look also. And trust me, they are more than aware of the "risks," and most are taking appropriate steps to minimize those risks. And they aren't just making excuses to be lazy because most of the people who embrace the movement also embrace movement in general. Radical, I know...

emoticon

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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DOLLIE6
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4/3/13 11:44 A

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You never accept the fat but you are at peace with your inner self. You know you are a good person, smart and pretty but you do need to lose the fat for health sake. There is nothing wrong with curves and a little padding. Just not enough to give you trouble.

I am transforming.


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GRIZ1GIRL
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4/3/13 11:38 A

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You have to like yourself inside...even if you hate your packaging. However, this sounds to me like just a great big justification for being FAT! It's another excuse for why you're not working your ass off to lose weight! It's not easy losing...it's not easy maintaining. But being fat?!? It can be downright deadly....

It Is What It Is.... :)


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VASHLUVER1
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4/3/13 11:18 A

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I believe it is both healthy AND unhealthy. It's great for confidence and self-esteem. Everybody should love themselves at any size. The problem with this movement is that it makes people forget about the health risks of being overweight or obese. At the same time, it's definitely possible to be a very healthy and fit person and not necessarily being thin. So I think it's ok as long as they try to make healthy food choices and don't live a sedentary lifestyle.



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MIRANDAFRM2
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4/3/13 10:51 A

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It also depends on your age, you might not have heart issues now but could develop them later if your weight stays too high. Most people are not going to look like models and be able to run a marathon but I think your doctor would have to be the one to tell you your lifestyle and weight is ok for now. Beating yourself up and expecting to be perfect can't be healthy either, physically or mentally. I would say eat healthy exercise and don't smoke. Go to the doctor every year and see where you are at and enjoy life to the fullest. :)



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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
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4/3/13 10:05 A

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I think most of us agree that any healthy lifestyle includes a healthy self-image, which is what Fat Acceptance attempts to address. It also attempts to address the marginalization of fat people. The idea that “obesity is a major health risk” is a generalization perpetuated by the diet industry. Follow the money. That’s not to say that too much extra weight cannot cause health issues, but it’s not as across the board as we are lead to believe.

I am considered “morbidly obese” based on my BMI, and I have little if any health ramifications due to my weight. I have thyroid issues, which are genetic. I have normal blood pressure, cholesterol, no diabetes or even pre-diabetes, and a healthy heart. I have recognized a need to be more active and to eat healthy more often in order to ensure a healthy lifestyle, and those two goals will likely lead to some weight loss. But I’m not worried about the number on the scale or on the inside of my jeans. Those numbers don’t define me or validate me. To me that’s what Fat Acceptance is all about.

KJ – I think your colleague has hit the nail on the head, and has a very healthy attitude. I love that she’s embracing her curves, and still maintaining healthy habits. And enjoying a burger with the hubby or some chocolate from time to time are things that make life well-rounded and fulfilling.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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KJFITNESSDUDE
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4/3/13 8:56 A

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A colleague of mine recently told me that she is just going to have to accept her curvatious body and work with it. She had been rail thin just a few years ago (her mid 20s) and had devloped into a smokin hot woman of 30. She said she always liked her boy-ish cylinder look but now has an hour-glassish look (again, I think she's hot).

She is exercising regularly (walking/light lifting) and eats pretty well for the most part but she admits her & her husband will go out for a burger and shake every now & again and she loves chocolate.

I applaud her descision to no longer beat herself up, as she had done in the recent past, for not losing her curves and a bit in the rear. She also has changed her attire and wear clothes that make my head spin, clothes that accentuate her curves (and nothing from Lane Bryant she's said).

IDK if thats a healthy attitude for her or not but shes much more pleasant to talk to these days
.
This is the kinda skirt she wears now, the model closely resembles her except maybe my colleague is a bit bigger in the rear (maybe a size 12/14?)
media.laredoute.co.uk/images/5/16/BG/5X_32
438_7798.jpg


USING SP TO HELP YOU KEEP TRACK OF WEIGHT LOSs, CALORIE INTAKE AND EXERCISE "IS" THE SHORTCUT!!!!!!
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YOUGOLALA
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4/3/13 8:34 A

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I think you have to start ALL change from a place of accepting what IS, first. If not, change will be much harder.
I'm sure that the "fat acceptance movement", like every school of thought since the dawn of time, includes some people who are doing it for the right reasons ('why should I feel badly about myself just because I'm not stick thin?' and challenging the message society continually sends that if you're not one of the "beautiful people" - by it's narrow definition - then you're nobody) and some who are doing it for the wrong ones ('to hell with society and health, I'll eat ten Big Macs a day and watch 16 hours of TV if I WANT to and you'd better accept me, dammit') ...

I agree with those who say fat doesn't necessarily ALWAYS mean the same level of ill health. Science says that where you store fat makes a big difference in whether it's health threatening or not. But, that being said, I do yoga, and yoga philosophy teaches that overweight (or underweight) represents a fundamental imbalance between mind, body and spirit. So I'm inclined to say, to be the best I can be, I'm actively addressing reversing this imbalance. But I would certainly not judge anyone for making a different decision for themselves. I just think to militantly cave in to a "this is what I am and to hell with you if you don't like it" probably isn't the healthiest mind set. But it sounds like the fat acceptance movement is more about positively accepting who and what you are. That's healthy for anyone.


When you accept what IS, you can create what can BE


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BLUENOSE63
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4/3/13 7:16 A

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You should accept yourself the way you are but go with what the doctor recommends to do ie. eating, exercising



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RONIGH
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4/3/13 5:01 A

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Being overweight or obese is not good or bad. It's all about health. No, any person with weight problems should strive to become healthy. We accept the state of our bodies, but we strive to change it. Please, let's not invent excuses, eating healthy and exercising never hurts.



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SUSANBEAMON
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4/3/13 1:19 A

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being overweight and obese most of my life, and having spent my 20's, 30's and 40's lifting weights and being active (walked 3 miles an hour daily) until tennis lessons aggravated my arthritis, i followed the fat acceptance movement. in those days if i went to the doctor with the flu, the first, middle, and last thing the plump doctor wanted to address was my size. he'd try to write me prescriptions for diet pills with his tobacco stained fingers, and tell me all my problems were because of my weight. i looked hard for a pot who wasn't calling my kettle black. I was aware of my weight. I lost lots of it. i gained most of it back. the biggest weight loss was 60 pounds in 6 months. I gained it all back in 2 months, just eating what i felt was normal. I did go most of those years when I wasn't dieting not gaining but holding my weight at that much too high number. was i a follower of fat acceptance? no, i just accepted me as i was and insisted that others accept me as i was. did i want to be smaller? actually, no. did i want to be healthy? yes, and i tried to be as healthy as i could be. did the way some people tried to shame me, punish me for being fat/big/large bother me? having to deal with small minded people always bothers me and it doesn't matter who they are hating on. But now i have to face the fact that, while my general health is good, my joints are in major upset and i must lose weight so i can continue to walk.



SHERYLDS
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4/3/13 1:18 A

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There is no question that people need to love and accept themselves at any size.
I know that you can be healthy and eat healthy even in the obese category.
But being obese also puts you at greater risk for a lot of health issues that can quietly develop.

I also wonder about obese people who decide they aren't going to try to lose weight any more. What does that mean?

Are they HAPPY at that weight or Have they just given up trying? Are they In denial?

Are they going to eat whatever they want without watching or are they on maintainence?
Even normal range people watch their weight...
do people with self FAT ACCEPTANCE also watch their weight?


USA EST


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ILOVEFOOD590
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4/3/13 1:00 A

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Not every person who is overweight is unhealthy. There are some overweight individuals who are as healthy as the skinny person and there are some skinny folk who are unhealthy. I believe we should accept ourselves as we are. If we decide to change, great. If not, than great. Whether we decide to lose weight to be slimmer (not necessarily healthier) or to keep the weight on... it is all a personal choice.

Peace. Joy. Happiness. They can all be found inside of you!


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DADOFSPARKGAL
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4/2/13 7:17 P

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I recently saw an article written by a woman who stated that she was healthy and overweight at 214 pounds and that she did not intend on attempting to lose weight. She also had children. I wondered what she would teach her children about eating, nutrition and health.

The hard fact is that obesity is a major health risk - the science is absolutely clear. Good self image is incredibly important and its important to have confidence. Fat and happy is absolutely a valid feeling; however, if you can eat right, exercise and attain a healthy weight that is not only a great feeling but an additional gift to yourself and your loved ones. I know for me, that losing this extra weight in 2013 has been fantastic - I hope that we all are able to accomplish our goals and priorities, whatever they may be!

Good luck out there!




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BUNNYKICKS
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4/2/13 7:14 P

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"Shame is not a healthy motivator"

True words!!!! I have never found shame to be a motivator at all... it tends to take me in the opposite direction of where I really want to go....

Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)


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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
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4/2/13 5:37 P

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I’m resurrecting this topic. I agree w/ BunnyKicks. Fat Acceptance isn’t about ignoring health issues, it’s about confronting discrimination of fat people. It’s also about accepting yourself for who you are. It’s about having an honest conversation about how weight really relates to health. It isn’t a cut-and-dried formula of skinny=healthy and fat=unhealthy. I think most of us would agree with that. Just because you are part of the “movement” doesn’t mean you have “given up” on health. In fact, it can mean just the opposite because overall health is more than just your body – it’s mind and spirit as well. Lots of people on SP are getting physically healthy, but how many of them are berating themselves because they still haven’t lost those last 5 lbs or because they had a piece of cake at the office birthday party? I don’t call that healthy. Shame is not a healthy motivator. If you are moving and eating healthy most of the time, I don’t care what the scale says. You’re beautiful to me. And even if you aren’t, I still think you’re beautiful.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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FIRECOM
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3/26/13 7:33 P

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Yes, there have been many heavy men that achieved great success. I think of Taft, Jackie Gleason, Gov. of NJ, Sidney Greenstreet (if you know who that is you are showing your age along with me) and of course, Rush Limbaugh. Rush has been on every yo yo diet on the universe and has been very open about them. The NJ gov has stated that he is completely happy with his weight.

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

Co Leader for Healthy Hearts team.

Leader of Gilbert Speaks team.


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ETHELMERZ
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3/26/13 6:53 P

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I'm waiting for men to take part in this, famous men, like Rush Limbaugh, to accept himself and talk and talk about it, over and over, men also need to admit that they are lucky to be accepted by society, no matter their shape, compared to females. Male tv anchors keep their jobs for years, but women anchors are told to "do something" to themselves, or risk being sent to the staff room.

Plan for tomorrow, but enjoy the heck out of today.


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BUNNYKICKS
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3/26/13 6:42 P

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I understood the Fat Acceptance movement as a social movement to address "fat discrimination" - not necessarily does it mean to accept one's own weight as their choice and destiny. I think you can hold "Fat Acceptance" ideals while still working on a personal program to address your own weight - it isn't being a traitor to the cause. Though I am aware that there is a school of thought within the movement that DOES stigmatize and seek to exclude "those that are trying to lose weight" and "the thin" - that doesn't sit well with me, though. A movement born out of a desire to ensure All Are Included And Accepted shouldn't, within itself, make attempt to exclude.



Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)


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GEVANS7
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3/26/13 6:21 P

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Self acceptance is always healthy. Denial and avoiding personal health issues is not. Many times I threw in the towel, thinking I was too old and it was time to retire to a rocking chair. That was nonsense. I'd rather be old and healthy and still feel attractive than accept inevitable health risks.

It has to be a personal decision. I'm generally happy at any weight but being sick and in pain when I can make changes to better myself is a wiser choice - for me.



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SHERYLDS
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3/26/13 6:10 P

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What I understand as self 'Fat Acceptance Movement' is the person's own decision to accept themselves at the obese size and not to continue trying to lost weight.

When an obese person decides to stop trying to lose weight
are they giving up?

And if they aren't trying to lose weight....
do they try to avoid gaining more? or is that no longer an issue as well?

USA EST


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FIRECOM
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3/26/13 5:26 P

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I was not attempting to equate skinny = healthy. I was referring to my personal case where health problems I had for years "miraculously" disappeared when I got to a normal weight. Over the ages, beauty in women used to be pleasingly plum to the current absolutely under weight to be a super model which I feel is actually ugly.

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

Co Leader for Healthy Hearts team.

Leader of Gilbert Speaks team.


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MRSKATEDUVALL
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3/26/13 4:46 P

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I am not in this journey to obtain a skinny body, but to gain health. I do think that society places the emphasis on appearance, not health and that there are some difinate bias that as a larger wormen, I run into. But the point is, I keep running, I keep going. I wont settle for less than healthy but at a good wieght, I want health, in all it's glory.



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SKINNYIS4PUNKS
SKINNYIS4PUNKS's Photo Posts: 195
3/26/13 4:37 P

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I agree with what many have already said – it is possible to be healthy and fat or unhealthy and skinny. Your size does not automatically determine your health. A person’s size is determined by many factors, and health issues are also influenced by many things other than activity level or what you eat. You could run every day & watch what you eat for most of your life and still develop pre-diabetes. So the number on the scale does not necessarily determine your health situation.

Personally, I am completely fed up with society’s insistence that you must be a certain size to be healthy/pretty/happy/worthy, etc. Horse Hockey! Shaming someone into dieting is not helpful. It does more harm (mental, physical, spiritual) than good, and there is nothing HEALTHY about body/fat shaming. Sparkpeople is a wonderful resource for a healthy lifestyle, and SP users should be the first to confront the issue of fat-shaming rather than argue over the validity of the Fat Acceptance movement. That’s really what the Fat Acceptance movement is about. It’s not about promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s about changing the way society looks at fat people.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Throw the world a curve.

Big Girls do it Better!


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RENATARUNS
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3/26/13 4:05 P

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Yes, I think they're separate issues to some extent. Someone who is overweight or very slightly in the obese category and nevertheless very active is likely healthier on average than someone who is normal weight yet sedentary. I think that on a single-person basis, accepting and loving oneself first can be a very powerful motivator to attain or maintain health, whatever one's current weight. I definitely wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't, on some level, accepted myself first as being worth the effort of changing my lifestyle.

I think there's a couple of potential problems with size acceptance as a movement, though. First, there's a strong element of self-delusion, it seems to me. Most obese people are not very healthy, and in part that is exactly because they are obese. I'm not speaking of obesity leading inevitably to diabetes or heart disease or whatever else the size acceptance movement denies as being the case. I'm talking about the simple fact that, the more overweight you are, the harder it is to be active and fit at all, on many, many different levels. And accepting yourself for who you are can only address some of them.

Second, there is the problem that a weight-gaining lifestyle often doesn't just stop at "moderately overweight or slightly obese but really active". It keeps going, and sooner or later the person winds up weighing enough that serious health consequences become inevitable, no matter who's compiling the statistics.

Third, it could hypothetically dissuade someone who already is unhealthy (particularly in the area of blood sugar) from attempting the one step (changing diet, reducing calories, losing weight) that is all but guaranteed to improve their situation.

So I guess that's where I am with it.


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DIDS70
DIDS70's Photo Posts: 5,070
3/26/13 12:46 P

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Are SIZE and HEALTH separate issues?
I am also going to say yes and no. For example, I am at least 150 pounds more than one of my girlfriends. I am much HEALTHIER than she is. She is on 4 different meds, has heart issues and is at what the world calls perfect weight.
I am not as concerned with my "size" as i am with my health. Once I get my health in line, my size has nothing to do but follow.

:)


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LILLIPUTIANNA
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3/26/13 12:35 P

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One thing the medical world wrestles with often is their obsession with the idea that fat is unhealthy. It isn't always. Several studies have been done on people who are both fat/obese and fit.

I was in a Psychology class when I saw a video about people who can run marathons, lift amazing amounts of weights, and have hearts that are age-defyingly healthy...and they all were obese. I'll be honest, I couldn't run a marathon if a rabid bear was chasing me. So, in my book, they were FAR healthier than I am.

Our cultural expectations are truly what drives our obsession with thinness. If you look back over time, and at other cultures, being heavy is often prized and considered to be more healthy. I see nothing wrong with celebrating big bodies.



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AMALLECO
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3/26/13 11:26 A

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Self acceptance is a HUGE thing. So many of us don't have it at any size. I think it is a marvelous idea. Tossing those things aside for them is to help them with an obsessive compulsion perhaps and that's where things teeter onto the unhealthy. Health can be any size. Yet for everyone there is a size where their heart maybe in dire need of better health.

Ange

Changing My Lifestyle, One Day at a Time.


FIRECOM
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3/26/13 11:23 A

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Great thread and the comments are very intelligent and thought provoking. In my opinion, and that is all it is, is that if one is HEALTHY then it is OK (sort of) to be content with ones overweightness. In my case, I was so heavy at my peak that I could not like my appearance at all but not enough to change my lifestyle.

Than health problems related to the weight situation came into my "life" and the motivation started to change. Then came the yo-yo diet world. This probably caused more problems than it solved.

Now I can see why is was so important to lose the weight. Prior to SP, I always set my goal weight too high and would use that false number to say "I'm done, I made goal" but the health issues persisted.

Then SP came into my life and I dedicated my entire being to getting healthy, no matter what my weight. Lo and behold, as I came down to a realistic goal, my overall health became normal. i.e. diabetes in remission, blood pressure from way too high to trying to get it higher, and other issues as well.

I am not trying to preach here, only giving insight as to my story. Now that I am at a REAL goal weight, I still feel fat. Don't know why this is, but it is true. I can honestly say that I like my body more than ever but I kick myself in the rear for not doing this earlier in my life. I am 77 and if I can "buy" another few years by being healthy, I am up for it.

"It is easier to raise good children than to fix bad men" by Fredrick Douglas.

Co team leader for Living With Diabetes team.

Co Leader for Healthy Hearts team.

Leader of Gilbert Speaks team.


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BUNNYKICKS
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3/26/13 11:05 A

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Are SIZE and HEALTH separate issues?
--Yes, to a degree. One does affect the other but it isn't so cut and dried as "every additional pound adds risk to your health." My doctor continually emphasizes to me the importance of activity - reiterating over and over again, and calling up on "what he heard reinforced AGAIN at this or that medical seminar" - Overweight-but-fit vs normal-weight-but-sedentary, who has the best health outcomes? The fit ones! You CAN be overweight-but-fit and this adjusts your health risk considerably.

As for "acceptance" - I am all for it. Self-hatred undermines ones ability to change. So even though an overweight person might recognize an inner wish to be thinner, I don't think anything can really come of that wish, until the person accepts their value and worth "at any size." Once the battle in the mind is settled, and a person recognizes that their WORTH is independent of their WEIGHT - THEN decisions can be made and actions taken to address the health-concerns-of-weight... and "esthetic" concerns, if there are any.

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 3/26/2013 (11:06)
Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)


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I_HEART_MY_FAM
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3/26/13 10:13 A

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It makes sense to me. My sister and I are about the same size. I try to lose weight all the time, but my weight does not hinder who I am or how I feel. I am confident, assertive and I accept who I am even though I try to lose weight all the time. I do not like my size, but I still love me. My weight does not define who I am. You can be happy and be over weight and realize if someone is going to to judge you on your weight then they are the one with a problem. Now back to my sister she is totally different. she cries about her weight, she makes remarks about herself, she has gotten mean because she is not happy, she dwells on her weight all the time because she told me so and it is hindering who she is. She is like lost in herself. I think all should except themselves no matter what weight they are,that doesnt mean we love being over weight, it means we can love life and love ourselves even if we are over weight. I am way happier then a lot of people who are not over weight. I am happy and I love myself.



YANKEEGIRL6
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3/26/13 10:00 A

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While I'm not satisfied with my weight or my size right now, I'm not going to put my life on hold until I am. I refuse to hole away like a hermit until I'm happy with what I see in the dressing room mirror. It makes me so sad to see "success stories" when people say "I was so miserable being fat and now I lost half my body weight and my life is golden". I don't buy that. If you're that miserable as a fat person that you don't want to leave the house, you probably need therapist worse than you need a personal trainer. I think I'm pretty awesome as a fat girl. I doubt I can get any awesomer as a thin girl but it's still a worthy quest.

I'm also well groomed, well dressed, well read, doing well in my career, have awesome kids and a pretty fabulous life. Even at my heaviest, I dated a lot. Apparently self confidence is sexy as hell. I also happen to think that those things work independently of my weight.


I've got the magic in me.


SHERYLDS
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3/26/13 9:52 A

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thank you HAPPYWRITER7

I've modified the question.

from a personal perspective.....
during those times when I wasn't 'CONCERNED' about my weight...
I put on even more weight.
I'm sure in the back of my mind ... I was in denial...and it backfired.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 3/26/2013 (09:59)
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HAPPYWRITER7
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3/26/13 9:22 A

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This is a loaded question and Im afraid it will turn into a - lets just bash the poeple who beleive this. Ive seen much, much less turn into that on SP. If you know or personally have seen a Spark member who believes in what you read, maybe ask them to come and comment too. Just saying. Ive seen many more nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels attitudes as opposed to I love myself no matter what size I am, and Im only looking to be healthier. Im not sure Ive ever seen an I love myself the way I am, and I dont care what you think - Im not even looking to be healthy... I doubt someone who believed that would be on SP.

"It does not matter how slowly you go up, so long as you don't stop."- Confucius


Never. Lose. Hope



SHERYLDS
SHERYLDS's Photo Posts: 11,486
3/26/13 9:12 A

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I was watching an EverydayHealth . com video called
'Celebrating Big Bodies: Is It Healthy?'
Some overweight women, tired of fighting to fit in,
are trading in their food scales and diet books for a giant dose of self- acceptance.
To be HEALTHY you need to accept yourself.
Size is not WHO you are.
Even obese people can eat HEALTHY and be ACTIVE.
Not all obese people have health issues.
www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-vide
o/celebrating-big-bodies-is-it-healthy
.aspx

Are SIZE and HEALTH separate issuesemoticon

I think everyone should accept themselves at any size.
I don't know any obese people who are satisfied with their size,
don't wish they were thinner, and who really eat healthy and/or exercise.
But the ones I know who are not trying to lose weight..
.find the struggle overwhelming...so they gave up.
I can't help feeling that even if these people are 'healthy' now
they are playing on the edge of a cliff that can crumble easily.


Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 3/26/2013 (09:50)
USA EST


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