To obese or not to obese.

Image: Me not being a fatty.

One of my favourite comedic moments of all time comes from Ricky Gervais and his insanely accurate portrait of fatties. Google it. ‘it’s a disease… no it isn’t!’ and so on. I find obesity extremely frustrating. I was a child fatty. The fattest at school. I remember smashing hot chips, chocolate, caramel… what ever I could get my mouth around. I was a kid who didn’t have it properly articulated to me that, calories in must = calories out, or you will ultimately need two seats on the bus. ‘Just a ticket for one thanks driver!’

As an ex-fatty, I know it isn’t a disease. It’s a choice and once you understand that it’s your choice then there really is no excuse. People jump up and down about all sorts of things. I’m just going to briefly but passionately jump up and down about this! If it didn’t have such a huge impact on everything then whatever. But, it does. So let’s have a look at some pretty simple examples…

  • Obese people cost Australia around $8.6 Billion in healthcare per year.
  • 2 of 3 adults in Australia are obese people. This is really really sad.
  • Obese people brush their own teeth. Drive their own cars. Pay their own bills. Choose their own meals. Have access to mirrors, scales, logic and the word NO.
  • We are on the brink of a world food supply crisis. Perhaps eat for one instead of 4? Surely a good start.
  • Orthopaedic surgeons would rather work on non-obese people for a plethora of reasons.
  • 1kg of extra weight equals 3kgs on a hip or 5kgs on a knee. Wait… what did you say???!!!

There is a brilliant show on the ABC called, Health Report. It is hosted by the wonderful one and only, Norman Swan. In July 2017 he had David Hunter (Professor of Rheumatology at teh University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospitals in to discuss managing osteoarthritis. See my links page for the transcript, it is truly insightful. One thing that stands out is the statement around 1kg = 3kgs of pressure on a hip. If this isn’t a gigantic elephant in the room i’m not sure what is. Even at 5kgs over weight, that is 15kgs on a hip. This is huge.

I know from my current, extremely uncomfortable position that carrying my 1yr old baby around is almost un-manageable. So how would I function, at all, if I were personally 10kgs over weight? Simple… I wouldn’t. And so the cycle of fact continues. Obese people are putting immense pressure on endless facets of their own lives (remember I was super fatty until starting teen years) our health care systems, our global food supply systems and well again, this list is and can be extremely long.

As a professional in a big corporate, we are inundated with information and insight about things, whatever they may be. The problem is, insight is nothing without experience. Most fatties have forgotten what it is like to be, not a fatty, so where is the experience? So all this stuff about being lean and heathy sounds kinda cool, but who cares? Well I do! Why? Because I have personal insight into being a fatty and being fit and lean. I have an understanding of how much better you feel when you are lean. What it allows you to do, feel, see and experience. It’s truly life changing.

It’s great to have real information about eating balanced food and doing some exercise. In theory it appears to be so easy to be not-obese. I mean, isn’t it? Seriously, what is all the fuss about? Do this, do that, eat this vitamin. Visit this doctor, visit this website, take these pills, get this operation, seven minute abs? Really? I feel like i’m taking crazy pills! How bout none of that. Usually, obesity is the outcome of something else anyway.

Self believe. Self worth. ‘I’m fat who cares’ Bullshit, you should care. You should care. You need to find what it is that makes you doubt yourself. Doubt your ability, doubt your capacity to be anything more than a fatty and tackle that beast. If you treat yourself as well as you treat your best friend or close family member, you would never be in this predicament.

My doubt stemmed from my dad never giving me compliments, or telling me ‘yes you can’ so naturally, I spend that time believing… no I can’t. Luckily for me, I broke that flaw and was able to develop self worth, self belief. Noted I don’t want to speak badly of my dad. He was fantastic. Just not good at the old ‘Go John go!!!’ game.

My advice, find a passion. Find something that needs you to be healthy. Then, not so magically… obesity will take care of itself. Perhaps while you are there it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to peel a carrot and steam some vegetables for a few minutes. If you’re totally clueless and thing protein bars and health shakes will keep you thin, then I recommend getting a big glass of reality and pick up on these learned facts.

  • If it comes in a wrapper. It’s probably full of junk
  • Soft drinks and sports drinks are truly evil
  • Beer is full of sugar. It will keep you fat and sad. Sorry, fact.
  • Vegetables are your friends. You will get better at vegetables.
  • You are worth fighting for. In our society with ‘treats’ everywhere… it truly is a war. But fight this one. It is of global importance.

In summary, being a fatty is not ok. You need to act and you need to be accountable. I love lots of fatties. But I am always thinking… please please please find a reason to believe you are worth it.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Cuz,

    A bloody inspirational read, which is exactly what you promised. You’ve always been a champion in my eyes. This blog and the medical process you are embarking upon again proves it.

    I’ve been left thinking about the ‘to be or not to be a fatty’ issue, specifically in regards to my own ridiculous swings into fatdom.

    There’s always been a reason or excuse for my weight increases. First pregnancy, then the second pregnancy, then cancer. After each event I would at some point hit the ‘fuck this’ button and sort myself out, never feeling comfortable in a fat suit.

    My most recent and current venture into fatty-land has of course occurred after Ty’s death, before which I was hovering around a fit 65kg. I’m now 80kg…ugh.

    I have felt it happening but truly haven’t had the motivation or wherewithal within myself to sort it out. I often hear myself comment to friends about my decrease in health and increase in weight. The response is usually along the same lines…”It’s ok, you don’t look bad”, or “It’s ok, of course you’ve gained weight, who wouldn’t!”, or “It’s ok, you don’t need to be worrying about this right now.”

    But the problem is, it’s not ok!!!! I do need to worry and I am worrying! My weight ratio impacts my mental health and every other part of my life, parenting and sense of self.

    I know we share mutual friends who are obsessed with health, so I’m obviously not referencing their attitudes. But it is concerning from a community-health perspective that my personal comments and worry about weight gain (code for “PLEASE HELP, I’m out of control and can’t seem to break the cycle!”) are usually met with the notion that becoming obese is an acceptable response to trauma.

    Obesity should be understood as being a trauma unto itself!!!

    So yes, you’ve inspired me to look deeply within for a reason to get moving again. Bingeing on chocolate and sitting still isn’t going to bring my husband back, but it may well eventually take my kids Mum out if I don’t sort this…shit…out!

    I miss the feeling of joy that a bounce in my step brings. My kids need me to stay ‘young’ for them. Let the game begin…and may your upcoming surgery bring the bounce back into your giant step again!

    xax

    1. Wow. Well, my aim of this was to help people find it in themselves to believe they can and they are worth it. If you find that purpose, it becomes so much easier to achieve. You stop battling with food and start seeing yourself who you are. Nice one! Xxxx

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