I think that if you read the whole profile, you see that what made her happier was the act of taking control of a difficult aspect of her life, not the weight loss itself. She had a pretty great life before, but her weight and health was one major problem she didn't know how to tackle. I don't think they're implying that she became skinny and beautiful and that made everything perfect; I think they're saying that getting control of her biggest remaining problem let her get more enjoyment out of all the things that were already going well in her life.
I don't think weight is the only issue that concerns our happiness. I haven't read the book you are referring to but I know that for myself, my heavy friends and family members that being overweight has always been a concern. Although we were happy people and we enjoy our lives we all would have been healthier, more active and thus happier to be a little thinner. I have had non Hogkins Lymphoma where I lost much weight during chemo. I kept asking the oncologists what I should be eating and their answer was anything I could keep down. I didn't find that satisfactory to getting well so I began studying nutrition through fighting cancer. Just went for my blood work yesterday (four years out from diagnosis) and they now have a nutritionist on staff and new drugs with fewer side effects.It is nice to report at this point I am cancer free.
For me I don't take offense to that statement in the book as I am on a journey to lose "some" of the weight I gained back after cancer treatment for my health, better mobility and in accomplishing that it will in turn make me a happier person. I don't want to be Twiggy but being thinner, eating healthier, getting stronger and more fit is why we are are all on this website and reading books, watch YouTube sources, and exercising, etc. to get there. Hope we can all enjoy happiness along the way.
Edited by: DURANGOREDDOG at: 3/8/2013 (12:52)
3/8/13 12:15 P
while many of us were unhappy and unhealthy while overweight, you are correct - one does not equal the other.
However, it is a difficult point to discuss, when trying to promote the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices and weight loss.
3/8/13 11:52 A
Thank you all for the kind comments and wonderful perspectives.
@Ruth, I'm sad that you felt that way as a teen. Not sure where these negative thoughts begin, but they certainly have to do with a society that subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) marginalizes those that don't conform with standards. I wonder how many of us started with a small cosmetic weight issue that got out of control because of those attitudes.
I want to be at a healthy weight for a number of reasons, but I want to be happy no matter what my weight (it's a long game to do this right), and enjoy things now not if and when I reach a goal weight. Life's too short.
3/8/13 9:05 A
Well. Personally, I was not happy when I was fat. I was horribly self-conscious and miserable on the inside. Back in high school, I became convinced that the only reason people were nice to me, was because they felt sorry for me. I was terribly shy and hardly ever looked anyone in the eye, let alone actually talk to them. So while some people may be confident and happy etc etc no matter what size they are, I am not one of those people. Almost 40 years later, I have never gone back for a HS reunion.
I didn't get, that weight loss was the key to happiness for Erin, when I read that in the book. I came at it from my personal perspective, which is that perhaps the weight loss and more active lifestyle helped give her the confidence to go after her other goals in life.
And for beating cancer! It is a horrible disease. My breast cancer didn't require chemo, I only had radiation. My DH had colon cancer; the first round of chemo didn't take any weight off him, but the second round was different drugs and even with massive amounts of steroids to help him maintain weight, he still ended way underweight and looked like "dead man walking". I think the weight and chemo thing depends on the drugs that are used for which type of cancer.
Edited by: MISSRUTH at: 3/8/2013 (09:06)
Fitness Minutes: (177,957)
3/8/13 8:38 A
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and congratulations on making it through your diagnosis and treatment. I applaud your determination to reach a healthy weight and not worry about the "thin" culture. Fabulous.
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
3/8/13 6:42 A
Yes I too would like to congratulate you on going through the hell of breast cancer treatment and coming out the other side! You are a warrior -- no matter what size you happen to be!
Good luck on the rest of your journey
Fitness Minutes: (357,047)
17,087 3/7/13 11:34 P
I ques it's all in the interpretation.
3/7/13 11:30 P
Thank you so much for your kind wishes. Congratulations on your weight loss :)
Fitness Minutes: (34,361)
6,094 3/7/13 9:54 P
I've been heavy most of my life and I'm thin now. My blood work is better, so my doctor's happy, and that's all well and good. But I'm still me, with all my foibles, quirks, flat rear end and crappy energy level (due to an unrelated medical problem).
But all that matters to me from your post is that *you* have managed to make it through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and for that I want to give you a big pat on the back, congratulations, and all my best that you thrive and feel well from now on! You're the kind of really heartening success story I love hearing about, and I'm delighted you're here to share your thoughts with us. All the best for the best of health!
Edited by: CIRANDELLA at: 3/7/2013 (21:54)
3/7/13 5:26 P
"to me the quote merely implies that learning to live a healthy lifestyle helped her get herself together and get the confidence to go after the things she wanted in her life."
Yes, that's pretty much my gut-reaction when i read that opening line, too.
Fitness Minutes: (4,770)
3/7/13 5:19 P
I will say being unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle, overeating, and hiding because of my size made me miserable. I still have a long way to go, but am much, much happier and satisfied inside myself with exercise, eating right.
I guess perception is everything.... "Meet Erin. She’s thirty and lives in Florida. Happily engaged and recently promoted at work, she loves her life." to me the quote merely implies that learning to live a healthy lifestyle helped her get herself together and get the confidence to go after the things she wanted in her life.
Fair enough. They should have mentioned she already had a good relationship and was engaged. I totally agree with your take on that, in that case. :)
3/7/13 3:04 P
Thank you for the resources you've listed. I've seen some od the documentaries, very good. I believe that my cancer was partly cause by being heavy and eating the wrong foods. But that's a different point than waiting for life to begin when at goal wait or thin.
3/7/13 3:01 P
Glitter - they could have outlined her success with other words. Turns out she already had a fiance before the weight loss, but reading that opening paragraph made it seem like weight loss was the reason.
I want to frame weight loss in an appropriate healthy context. I believe the influence of society (and pressure to be skinny, skinny=happiness) are behind my bad relationship with food. I was disappointed with how that woman's weight loss was framed. In the book intro there's a claim that they help you deal with the psychology of weight loss...well bad start.
On one hand I can understand why it might be a little upsetting. On the other, though, what if before Erin lost weight, she was miserable, had absolutely no confidence, didn't think she was worthy of anyone because of her weight, and getting healthy changed all that for her? How many people does that really describe? How many fat people are happy and jolly on the outside but inside are broken and depressed, due mainly to being overweight or obese and unhealthy? Of course, ideally, our confidence should come from within. We should love ourselves as we are but work on being better people. No one can interfere with your healthy eating behavior. It is a choice that you make. Believe me. I've been there. I'm sorry you've had to deal with cancer, and then chemotherapy and other carcinogens to try to force it into remission on top of that. (You may want to look into the Gerson Therapy, which the medical field does not want cancer patients to know about. You can watch "The Beautiful Truth" on youtube, but if you have Netflix, it's on there as well.Also, check out "Dying to know", "Food Matters," and "Forks over knives"-all very compelling...compelled my fat arsh to revamp my eating habits.) Healthy eating isn't for other people. Making good choices in what you eat is not for THEM...It is for YOU. It is not about being skinny. Screw skinny! It's about being HEALTHY and all the benefits that follow that! Don't take the easy way out and use this as an excuse to eat poorly. There are skinny people who are EXTREMELY unhealthy, who are sluggish, and miserable, and for one reason or another, don't gain weight. Healthy people who once were not so are the ones who are trying to encourage us to change our definition of happiness. Spark success stories are meant to inspire, not embitter. The choice of what you let success stories do to you is up to you and you alone-as is how you manage your health and longevity.
3/7/13 12:31 P
I quote "Meet Erin. She’s thirty and lives in Florida. Happily engaged and recently promoted at work, she loves her life."
The message, she got engaged, she got promoted at work, she's happy with her life. I guess were to assume all these positive things happened to her because of weight loss? What I find scary about this, is that it propagates the "be thin, be happy" myth. I used to believe it too. I've been at target weight before, and guess what my life wasn't all unicorns and rainbows just because I lost weight. I'll tell you what did happen, I felt slightly more confident, I wore cuter clothes, and I dated men that otherwise would not have dated me (so what).
The message is also that fat people are unhappy. There is no reason for not being happy while fat. Life is more than your weight. Don't let your weight to stop you from doing things (when I'm skinny I'll.....do it now).
Be challenge about the right things, such as health, not finding proper clothes, airplane seats. But honestly, for many of us most things skinny people can do we can do as well. I almost stopped myself from going on a trip because I'm not happy how I look. I challenged this assertion.
I did just come out of treatment for breast cancer (and contrary to popular belief, chemo for breast cancer doesn't make you lose weight, it's the exact opposite. I did lose the hair). After breast cancer, I'm making a point to stop all nonsense in my life. Starting with the myth of being thin. Yes I want to get to a healthy weight, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let skinny people define happiness for me. They can go pound sand. And it's that kind of obnoxiousness that has made me feel negative and interfere with healthy eating behavior.