A recent comment on my Fat Mission page, from Dana:
There are skinny people who eat Twinkies and Ho-Hos, drink gallons of soda, and are still slender. Subtract the cakes and you have me until age 21. I could literally eat or drink anything and not gain more than five pounds, and only five pounds, and that was it. My weight range was 130-135 on a 5′6″ frame and I’m medium-boned with wide hips so I carried it fine.
Then I went on the pill in 1995. Then I got pregnant later that year. On the pill I gained about ten pounds; when I had my first child my weight reset at around 175-180 and stayed there for years, with the exception of dropping down to around 160 during a couple of years that I was extremely stressed out and living on next to nothing. It could be noted that I ate less, but I had never been a huge eater to begin with, and at that point I was not getting adequate nutrients from what I did manage. I’m sure it didn’t help that I was donating plasma for grocery money because I was between jobs.
The next time I had a major weight gain was with my second child. Got back down to my reset pre-pregnancy weight of 180 and that lasted maybe three or four weeks, max. All of a sudden I regained all my pregnancy weight, with interest. The big change I underwent during that time was going vegan, and I was breastfeeding my daughter, too, which supposedly helps moms lose baby weight. Go figure.
Type 2 diabetes figures strongly on my mom’s side of the family; we have Native American ancestry with a corresponding poor tolerance of grains and sugars. (As in, my grandmother’s mother was full-blooded Cherokee or very nearly so, and Mawmaw qualifies to register with the tribe, if she has not already.) I have Native American ancestry on Dad’s side as well. With all of this in mind and having found Dr. Atkins’s books, I decided to try low-carbing. And it does work for me but undoing a lifetime of bad eating habits (some of which I had reason to believe were *good*, such as eating whole grains, since everyone from my stepmom to the national media to random doctors were telling me so!) takes some time, work, and patience. It is like quitting smoking. Rarely is a person successful on the first try. Likewise I have jumped on and off the wagon with proper eating. I am hoping my present efforts will be the last time I have to fight with this. It seems like much less of a fight this time around, at least, which is a good sign.
It’s possible I have thyroid issues on top of the other metabolic problems. Upon investigation I have found that hypothyroid seems to be an underdiagnosed condition and that many doctors gauge thyroid function solely by TSH values, which is not always an accurate measure. I had never gained that much weight that quickly as I did after my younger child was born, and I also experienced weird skin problems in the beginning, unexplained of course. I don’t have health insurance at this point so it may be some time before I have any idea what’s going on. If my current dietary efforts cease to be successful I’ll see what I can do about getting labwork done on my own dime. It’s expensive, so unfortunately that’s a last resort.
But it is important to note that I don’t think my obesity is the central problem. That’s just aesthetics. I don’t understand why people are making such a huge deal out of it when they don’t put up hate sites about people with red hair or green eyes or who are left-handed. You probably think “hate” is a strong word, even mock-worthy, but at bottom that’s what you’re doing, and so is everyone who comments here agreeing with you. You behave as though people like me pack on the pounds just to offend you personally. You should learn to be a bit less self-centered, if not for the sake of others than at least because it gets boring after a while. Try being someone who started out good-looking to the point that I was never without a date when I wanted one, and gradually becoming invisible and having people consider you subhuman. Maybe if you are ever disfigured in an automobile accident and have to observe random strangers glance at you and then quickly look away, you might have an idea.
Getting back to the point, the obesity isn’t the central problem. I have been having other signs of insulin resistance, and this is no joke; my mother was diagnosed at forty, and I’m thirty-five. Losing the weight will be a side-effect of compensating for the insulin resistance, nothing more, although of course I will be pleased to see both happen.
Because, y’know, I had no idea who you were until today, so certainly could not have packed on all this weight four years ago, and fourteen years ago, with the goal of irritating you foremost in my mind. I am sure that if any overweight person not on a self-hating spree comments here after me, they’ll tell you something similar.
Getting back to the smokers’ analogy, I have trouble understanding why *they* keep hurting themselves. Some of them do try to quit. Some of those succeed. Of those who aren’t trying, I have to assume they aren’t ready to quit, or they aren’t sure how to quit. Everyone is on a continuum with this if they have a bad habit to break. But obesity isn’t a habit. Eating might be, but there are slender people out there gorging themselves on chips and soda, and they gain no weight from it, or not enough to make them overweight. If obesity had a consistent cause across the board then there should be no slender people with bad habits. I suppose it is too much to ask to request that you reconsider your position but perhaps others will reconsider theirs.
And the only reason I am telling you all this is to offer up data for consideration. It actually is none of your business why I am overweight, and I owe you nothing in terms of losing it. And I am likely to be very annoyed if I get down to my goal weight and start getting attention from men again, too. I am the same person I was a hundred pounds ago. Same personality, same values, same skill in bed. If I have lost my personal worth because I happened to store energy in some of my cells, I’d rather not associate with people whose standards are that shallow.
The problem of obesity is very real, and as you may read in my latest post, it is growing, and it’s not just the overweight that is growing, it’s the very overweight, or obese. To ignore that the obese are more likely to have health problems than any other size, is unfortunate. I am trying to bring this particular issue to people’s attention in a very particular way. If it is not your brand, then I am not offended, and I’m sorry that you were offended. As I have said, I welcome all viewpoints. I welcome you to comment on any of my posts in the future (or the past for that matter).
Now that your gut reaction to attack me personally has passed, perhaps you are now willing to discuss specific points regarding obesity. You assumed that because I have pictures of fat people at the top and use the word “fat” quite liberally, and because of my title, that I hate fat people, and therefore I hate you. Try this out, look through my posts, go through the Fat List page, and imagine each post you read to be on a blog with the title “Healthy & Happy!” or “Life Tips” at the top, or something positive like that. With no assumption that the author hates people for their looks, you wouldn’t know the difference.
I admit, however, that my earlier posts were certainly more aggressive and negative than the latter posts. Even though I realize that the language I used in those posts may not be constructive for anyone, they still make a point, and so I let them be.
That being said, I am not afraid to admit that I do judge people… as does everyone else, including you. As I talked about in one of my very early posts: FAT is the new Black!, I believe overweight people are judged on their choices in life, not on their looks. Obviously, the image of an overweight person does make some people make assumptions about their habits, or their lifestyle. You describe your life (at length, thank you) in an effort to explain why you are overweight. I don’t see how you wouldn’t concede that people like you are not the majority. The majority (being obese), is mostly the way they are due to bad habits, not a life full of changes, hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, and possibility of thyroid problems as you say you are. It would be ignorant to thing that it is false to make assumptions about overweight people because you think that it may be possible they could each and every one have gone through things that are out of their control, like you have. Some have, but most haven’t.
This is where I point you to a specific sentence in my Fat Mission:
It kills me that there are so many people that complain about their situation, but do nothing about it.”
Think about that sentence. Fat people in particular don’t bother me. People that complain about their situation, even though they put themselves into that situation, are the ones that bother me. This is not always fat people. They are just who I have chosen to focus on, because I believe that things as simple as bad habits are the easiest things to change for a person that is overweight due to those bad habits, as opposed to.. say a severe addiction to alcohol, or a mental condition that causes OCD so bad that a person is not able to function in society. I believe the vast majority of overweight people are victims of bad habits, and of not being in the right mindset to understand that they need to make sacrifices in order to make the changes to be healthier that modern medicine tells them they should, and they know they need to make, for themselves. No one else. Not even me.
Getting back to the smokers’ analogy, I have trouble understanding why *they* keep hurting themselves. Some of them do try to quit. Some of those succeed. Of those who aren’t trying, I have to assume they aren’t ready to quit, or they aren’t sure how to quit. Everyone is on a continuum with this if they have a bad habit to break. But obesity isn’t a habit. Eating might be, but there are slender people out there gorging themselves on chips and soda, and they gain no weight from it, or not enough to make them overweight. If obesity had a consistent cause across the board then there should be no slender people with bad habits. I suppose it is too much to ask to request that you reconsider your position but perhaps others will reconsider theirs.”