Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ooh...A Show To Get You Fired UP!

Jen posted a link to a Nightline special called Face-Off. The debate...fat vs health. I will post the link to watch the program here as well, but you should go to Jen's blog to read the rest of the comments...including mine.

Here is the link.

Thank you so much for posting Jennifer! This leads to wonderful discussion!

The show is about an hour long...so you may not make it all the way through...but if you have the time...GO FOR IT!

My comments and thoughts are on Jen's blog. I will have to say the person I have a problem with is Marianne Kirby. She is the "leader" of the fat acceptance movement. What a horrible, horrible person to be a leader of anything. She can not answer a question. She claims to eat healthy and exercise. She claims to be comfortable in her own skin but watch as she tugs her clothes and fidgets with her hair and face. All classic nonverbal adaptors that point to how UNcomfortable she is in her skin. And the fact that when she speaks she is breathless...you know what? At 327 and as a public speaker...I used to be breathless. One of the most embarrassing things that happened to me was after I gave a lecture on nonverbal behavior was when someone wrote in the comments section of my eval that the fact that I was breathless was very distracting.

As you all know, I think you can and should love yourself at any size. You should live the best life you can. Do what you want regardless of whether you are 300 pounds or 120 pounds. Wear a swimsuit. Sing. Dance. Make sexy time. But I never pretended at 327 pounds that I was HEALTHY! True...I didn't have any comorbidities...but they were coming!

Now, MeME is a nutjob and spins statistics to fit her argument.

I love Crystal and want to be her BFF.

I can't wait to hear more comments from you guys!


  1. Wow - it's an interesting argument isn't it?

    I didn't watch the whole thing - but for my two cents worth - I think what is difficult about this discussion for me is the assumption that being fat is a choice.

    I will put my hand up and agree that being overweight (doesn't that sound so much better!) is not healthy for me. I don't have any health issues but I know they could be around the corner - thus the lapband.

    However - I didn't choose this road for myself. I did wake up one day and think 'wow wouldn't it be cool to see how big I could get!!'.

    I also don't believe calories and the same for every person. My sister can eat me under the table and has always been thin.

    I think it's hard to be a fat person in a thin society.

    Much money is spent on quit smoking programs and yet there's not the same stigma there is if you are addicted to chocolate.

    How about using some of the money that they are concerned will go towards obesity related illnesses and start funding programs/surgeries such as lap band so that those who genuinely can't afford it still have access to a really necessary tool.

    Stop pointing at the person and start helping with a solution.

  2. woops - hopping off my soap box - I meant to say I DIDN't wake up one day and decide to be fat!!

  3. rule number one of being fat and proud: Just because Lane Bryant sells it in your size does not mean you should wear it. (especially on national tv defending us fat people)

    just sayin....

  4. Yeah, I couldn't watch the whole thing although I did watch the first segment. I was getting a lag and it was driving me nuts.

    I think for the most part it's a question of "The Lady Doth Protest Too Much" when it comes to a lot of the heavier people that I know who claim that they eat well and are fat but healthy. What gets on my nerves is when I ask them what their cholesterol level is or what their blood tests revealed and they don't know, they just assume. 98% of the people who tell me that they KNOW they're healthy but are overweight have no idea what they weight because they don't weigh themselves or don't own a scale and they haven't been to the doctor in many years.

    As an overweight person who has struggled with trying to figure out my body, I went to the doctors. I had the blood tests. I was poked and prodded and judged. I knew where my blood sugar was, where my cholesterol was, where my thyroid was. I kept having these tests over and over because I was afraid of contracting any obesity related problems that some of my relatives have had. And the doctor just kept coming back saying, "Well, everything looks really good (long pause)... for now."

    And yes, if I'd continued to carry the extra weight or even worse continued my yo-yo weight issues, I would have most likely have gotten type 2 diabetes by my mid to late 40's like my grandmother did.

    You have to look at things from all sides. Yes, I know I'm "fit" because I can do a lot of physical activities that people who weigh as much as I do or have can't do. But I wasn't eating perfect. It was better than most people who are overweight, but it stood improvement.

    Yes, moderation is the key. Yes, seeing women bigger than a size 4-6 in a magazine is nice. But at the same time, get thee to a doctor! At the very least, get some specific answers and then come chat with me about how healthy you are.

  5. Amy, you picked up on Marianne Kirby's nonverbal behavior. I picked up on it also. Everytime she spoke she was out of breath. At one point, she inhaled deeply and made a snoring sound. She looks uncomfortable while sitting in the chair, which she fills up fully. I'm sure this is how I look when sitting in a chair.

    She says she lives in Florida, so she doesn't have much access to fresh produce. Isn't Florida known for their oranges? She also said that some areas don't have access to fresh produce. I'm sure canned vegtables are better than potato chips or cookies. She never told her weight nor her blood pressure or cholesterol numbers. I'm sure she just doesn't eat broccoli or brussel sprouts.

    I do believe that my genetics contributed to my obesity, but it never told me to go to McDonald's everyday to get breakfast before going to work. I think obesity is a genetic AND behavioral disorder.

    Thanks for sharing this video with us. :)

  6. I think if any fat person is honest, they can admit that even if there were genetic reasons for their weight, there are also a few Hostess or McDonald's related reasons too.

    I agree completely about how breathy she sounded, and honestly, I think she was distracted from her points by how uncomfortable she was and how worried she was about how she looked in comparison to the others on the panel. I felt sorry for her, but I felt a little embarrassed for her too.

    Someone else said that no matter how happy we present ourselves to the public, we're all really trapped inside a prison of our body and would give anything to be thinner and more comfortable. I agree. I'm a very happy fat chick, but man, there has never been one day of my life that if some little fairy had popped into my room with her magic wand and given me my wish, that I wouldn't have chosen "to be thin!" (after more wishes, of course...I may be fat, but I'm not stupid!)

    I love this topic!

  7. Thanks Amy, very interesting! So right about the body language. Does she really feel good about being the only person on the stage who can't cross her legs? It doesn't bother her at all? Riiiigghhht.

    And how do you know you are "healthy" unless you get every test known to man? You don't necessarily know what is happening with your organs, or whether you are messing up your body for life with excessive blood sugar levels, or whatever.

    Just today I saw my gallbladder surgeon, and asked him how everything else looked while he was poking around in there. He told me my liver has some "fatty infiltration." I said, "what does that mean"? Him: "Its from your obesity."

    Well, I sort of knew fat people had fatty livers, in an abstract way, but no one ever said my liver had problems. Luckily, this is reversible....but ONLY by losing weight. Otherwise, it can eventually lead to scarring, cirrhosis, etc.

    And what about the damage to my body from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar (not diabetic, but not good)? Hell no, its NOT okay to be fat if you give a shit about your health and living a decent life.

    I think Marianne is absolutely deluded, both about how healthy she really is and about how much her weight affects her self-esteem and happiness. Who can be happy about barely fitting into a chair, getting breathless just talking, and (sorry) wearing crappy clothes on national TV?

    Whether fat people should be discriminated against is an entirely different question. Duh, of course not. But how can you even have a serious discussion if you are promoting this lie that obesity is healthy?

    They seriously need a new spokesperson! The model and the former yo-yo dieter were the only sane ones on the stage!

  8. I am almost all the way through watching it and I think you could take good points and bad points out of everyone's statements.

    Surprisingly I found Kim the hardest to swallow, MeMeRoth could have made some good points but she has gone too far the other way. Obesity does cost but so do many other things, and there are plenty of skinny people costing the health system also.

    I think I liked Crystal the best and I thought some of Marianne's points especially with dieting from early and the way you get treated within the medical system is accurate.

    I also have PCOS which is frustrating but I have managed to lose weight with it (luckily).

    I think if you could merge all of them into one (and throw the doctor in for good measure) then we would be getting somewhere. I think that you shouldn't attack a group of people for how much they weigh but definately focus more on healthy options and minimising the crap that is now available to us.

    After just visiting LA (from Australia) I was a little shocked at all the free refills you guys get on your soft drink - and I don't think it is just the sugar drinks that make you fat. I am addicted to Diet Coke and have been for years and I definately believe that that helps stretch you stomach (as in any bubbly drink).

    But it was definately an interesting watch. :-)

    I also don't think that large people should be made to pay for two seats - as the population has obviously grown wider I think the airlines should accomodate that and perhaps have a couple of wider seats avaiable on each flight?

  9. Wow - I had no idea this was the person you did that fired up vlog about! (the easy way out vlog.) That was the very first post I read from you. How neat. You had me fired up that day - I even posted a link to your vlog on my little facebook group for lap band. I was picking up on the non-verbals as well. Oh, and the model chick was kick ass. Loved her!

  10. I posted this comment on Jen's site and thought I would repost it here as well.

    Such great discussion.

    The fact is there are many risks associated with being obese and they may not present themselves when one is younger but very few people escape developing some of the common co-morbidities. I didn't have any co-morbidities at the time of my surgery but my surgeon did have to do hiatus hernia repair (this is when part of the stomach slides through the diaphragm into the chest) and was directly related to my weight. Funny thing is I never suffered from any of the tell tale signs, but I digress.

    I thought Crystal was great. We can't all be zeros and should focus on on finding a balance. Healthy eating and exercise and enjoying food can all happily co-exist.

    I also strongly believe that we need to return to eating real food. So much of what we eat is highly processed and modified from it's original form. I'm a work in progress and doing the best I can just like everyone who else is trying to acheive balance.

  11. I am one of those people that was (and still is) fat, with co-morbidities, and on a clear path to complete disaster. I think it is completely delusional to think that you can safely weigh in at over 300 pounds. If you stay there long enough on will come with the sleep apnea, trouble breathing doing normal activity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty livers, heart disease, and the list goes on and on and on.

    I think there is a huge difference between wanting fat acceptance and claiming you can be both morbidly obese and healthy. I think you can definitely be overweight and healthy but obesity has proven health risks.

    I really wish there were a fat advocate that would stand up (or sit down, as the case may be) and tell it like it really is. We, the obese of our nation, need support. We need to be empowered to take control of our lives. We need to have better health coverage for solutions instead of every step in the right direction being a hugely expensive battle. We need better education for our children such that they understand about good food choices, practical exercise habits, and healthy lifestyle choices. Healthy foods should be more affordable and fatty, high calorie, diet busting foods shouldn't be the cheapest option for a family.

    There are so many things a fat advocate should and could be doing. Sitting around and claiming it is possible to be fat and healthy is just a waste of air.

  12. This video really caught on. I watched about half the show and started to get ticked off mainly with MeMe but only because of her know-it-all attitude. I have always been into exercise and eating right and declared my weight wasn't an issue but now I have weight related health issues--I will stand up and declare my weight is responsible for high blood sugar (almost diabetic needing drugs), high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was diagnosed with fatty liver and already have changes to my heart. So if the band doesn't help me lose the weight, I am doomed.

    It was interesting to read the article mentioned by Kristin-http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/24/meme-roth-obesity-nutrition about how MeMe eats. She hedged what she would normally eat and sounds anorexic to me. The interview was mid-afternoon and she had not eaten that day and wouldn't until she had done her 4 mile run. She also talked about being embarrassed by her fat relatives. Not a good role model.

  13. I just came back to read the other comments - great discussion.

    I think Marianne missed a great opportunity to get across the most important point - that it is not only HARD, but VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight the traditional ways. Rembemer the statistics - something like 2% of repeat dieters will be successful in permanently losing the weight. We need more solutions. Surgery, like the lap band, is one of the ONLY proven solutions. If it can solve all or most of the health problems related to obesity, why not make it more available and affordable? Wouldn't it save money for everyone in the long run?

    That will never happen, of course, because the Jenny Craigs and WWs and Alli people are making way too much money off our obesity and chronic dieting. Sad because these diet programs do not work for the vast majority of people.

    So rather than promoting the lie that obesity is healthy, and rather than pretending that it is easy to lose weight and if MeMe can be thin we all can be, we need REAL solutions.

  14. Marianne has asthma, which she also had when she was thin. This is why she sounds 'breathy'. Marianne also had an eclectic and unusual taste in clothing way before she was the weight she is now. She could care less what other people think of her clothing. Without knowing anything about Marianne, how can you make realistic judgements about her or her life? She does in fact eat brocolli and other vegetables on a regular basis. As for the person who said Florida is known for its oranges, hell, is she meant to live on oranges alone? Good grief...

    And Marianne is NOT the leader of the Fat Acceptance movement or the Fatosphere or anything else along those lines. She is PART of those things but there is no leader. Marianne writes a Fat Acceptance blog, co-moderates a fat fashion community and has co-authored a Fat Acceptance book with Kate Harding. She has never claimed to be the 'leader' of anything to do with FA.

    So many other comments I could make in regard to the comments already here but I can see it is hardly worth the effort. Do some research into the side effects of lap banding and see how great you think it is then.

  15. Anonymous-thanks for you view from the other side.

    A couple of things though: she may have asthma, but as someone who has family members with SEVERE asthma...you are not out of breath when speaking unless you are having an attack.

    Did you notice that I have the lapband? For over a year? And that this is a lapband blog? LOL, research done. Two thumbs way, way up.

    She was introduced as the leader of the FA movement. DId you watch the show?

    I always think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to leave a comment without posting your name.

    I have no doubt that the woman eats veggies. But you dont become morbidly obese on veggies and exercise. I can say this bc I weighed 327 and was fat for the last 20 years of my 30 years on earth. Everyone who wrote comments in fact is fat, was fat, knows what it is like.

    her fashion has nothing to do with being fat.
    It was a bad outfit. Yikers!

  16. I used to be so breathless too...will read up on all the comments and post about it but I thought the skinny girl was quite abrupt.