Sunday, December 30, 2012

The futility of fat acceptance

A fat man losing weight explains why there is no point in attempting to make the unacceptable acceptable or the undesirable desirable through propaganda:
[T]he upshot is that I realized that in my day-to-day life, when I’m interacting in person with other people, I’ve always — always — had a subconscious awareness that I was fat, and that being fat was disgusting, so therefore I was disgusting. I suspect this may have had some impact on my confidence in social situations.

Of course, I always resented that, and always resented the efforts to shame me into losing weight, which is one reason why I hate calling this change in my eating habits a “diet”.
What this reveals is that all the "fat acceptance" talk is a lie.  It is pure propaganda.  The fat people know, much better than the slender people, that fat is disgusting.  They feel it.  They live it.  To talk around it and pretend otherwise is a lie and it really doesn't fool anyone.

Now, does this mean getting in a fatty's face and telling her to stop being such a disgusting pig?  I don't know, maybe.  I don't know the best way to help a food addict kick the habit.  The only thing that is certain is that whatever approach is currently being utilized in the USA really isn't working.


taterearl said...

"I don't know the best way to help a food addict kick the habit."

It's more of a cycle type thing. People are unhappy, stressed...turn to food...become fat...become more unhappy, stressed...turn to food. Wash, rinse, repeat.

For men it's probably unhappiness they can't get a woman...for women it's unhappiness because they want to be in control which increases their stress levels. Stress and obesity go hand and hand.

Combined that with food that is basically feed and drinks laced with sugar and you have obesity.

Anonymous said...

There is usually also a lack of exercise. Neglecting that element of hygiene is worse than not showering.

John said...

Maybe the concious recognition and acknowledge of the disgust will provide the motivation to continue for this fellow. I have seen that people who claim to have low self esteem and don't, can't, or won't see the source of those feelings stay in the cycle. All this crap about parental issues, social issues, etc are just excuses unless someone sees the problem in their present situation and chooses to do something about it and continue on a path to improvement until the desired result is achieved.

HalibetLector said...

Speaking as a 280lb man who's having difficulty losing weight, the only thing negative reinforcement (also known as "fat shaming") does is get us to dig our heels in out of sheer contrariness. Knowing you're fat is one thing, being told by others that you're fat makes you angry. For most of us, there's a real issue at work and simply yelling at us to lose weight isn't helpful.

Speaking for me personally, it's been years of high stress and bad food to help combat that stress. Everybody and their mother likes to give fat people dieting advice. Most of it is more harmful than helpful. I've done a lot of research on human biology, why the paleo diet is so great for some (and not so great for others), intermittent fasting, etc. I supplement with vitamin D and Omega 3 and all that jazz.

My problem is I still work in a high stress environment and I still haven't been able to break the cycle of high stress that I blunt with bad food throughout the day. I really need to find a low stress job in my profession (I'm a computer programmer).

I think it's worth noting that "they just need to exercise more" is yet more horrible weight loss advice. Most weight loss is a result of diet. Even as I gained the weight, I was active. I use a bicycle as my sole means of transportation around the city. I lift weights. I believe the exercise has helped keep my weight stable despite the stress and bad diet, but it isn't actively helping me lose weight on its own.

Cail Corishev said...

Yes, it's a lie. No one wants to be fat. (Mybe a few psychos, but no more than the number that want to be the opposite sex, or something equally twisted.) Sane people who claim to like being fat are in denial and trying to make the best of a bad situation because they don't know what else to do, but they're crying (or screaming) on the inside.

Being fat sucks. I know how much it sucks for a man, and it has to be a thousand times worse for a woman. As a man, I can be 40 pounds overweight and still get interest from women if I have the right swagger. A woman that heavy is lucky if any attractive men see her, let alone approach her.

That's why I hate it when people toss out, "Hey, fatties, push the plate away and go for a run." If it were that simple, no one would be fat, because -- in case you've forgotten -- being fat sucks. If you think we haven't tried that....well, get down on your knees and thank God right now that you haven't had to. The fatty sitting on the couch devouring a box of cookies isn't thinking, "Hmm, I should have a salad and go for a run, but nah, I'd rather eat these and stay fat." No, she's thinking, "God, why am I doing this to myself? Why can't I stop? What's wrong with me? I know these things are killing me, or at least my social life. They don't even taste good anymore; why can't I put them down?" Then she eats another one.

The other thing is, most fat people have tried hard to lose weight. They've thrown themselves into various diets, starved themselves, started running programs, etc. The problem isn't that they don't try, but that the things they're trying don't work. One summer my two sisters wanted to lose weight and get in shape, so they asked me to do a 5k training program with them. (I was somewhat overweight, but much less so than they.) I did it, not because I expected to lose any weight, but to prove to myself I could do it. After 12 weeks, starting from a point where I could barely run 60 seconds without stopping, I was able to run 5 miles straight, and they both worked up to 5k.

Here's the thing: none of us lost a pound. We went from zero exercise to large amounts daily, but they kept serving up traditional "healthy" American meals involving plenty of potatoes and grains. I knew that would prevent any weight loss, and it did. It took a heck of a lot of willpower to get out there and run every day, so you can't say we were weak-willed; according to conventional wisdom, we were doing it right and should have been burning off the pounds.

It's definitely a cycle, although I think it generally starts with modern food, not stress, but it could be either one. Everyone in my family started plumping up at around 20 or so, when we moved away from our mom's relatively healthy four-food-groups home cooking and discovered fast/junk food and soda. Once you get fat, your fat cells tend to take charge, your hormone balances change, and it becomes much harder to lose it than it was to gain it. Stress and depression, which go along with being fat because of the aforementioned sucking, cause inflammation and lean the hormones further in the wrong direction, so it's easy to see the downward spiral. I was lucky enough to discover low-carb and stop my fattening at about 60+ pounds and work it back down, though it's always a struggle. The others weren't so lucky, so I'm the lightest by far now.

I don't have a problem with using some "tough love" and telling fatties exactly what they're doing to themselves. I know I'd do better if people pushed me on it -- or at least stopped offering me pie. But we need to accompany that with weight-loss advice that actually has some hope of working -- low-carb, paleo, meat & vegetables stuff. Otherwise, we're just pushing most of them into further useless yo-yo dieting and despair.

Rigel Kent said...

"I don't know the best way to help a food addict kick the habit."

The short answer is that there isn't one. By this I don't mean that it's impossible for a fat person to get healthy, just that there's nothing that someone else can do that will "make" them do it. It's a decision they have to make themselves. That said, people do vary and some might profit from outside assistance.

However I would certainly not suggest getting in anyone's face about it. Unless you know the person very well and have good reason to believe it would be helpful in their case. And even then I would recommend caution in your approach.

As the article you quote indicates this negative reinforcement can sometimes have opposite the intended effect. A person that it is directed at can come to believe that the shaming is not just about their physical form, but about them as a person.

In other words if they try to change their physical form they are somehow saying they are bad people. I know that's not very logical, but by and large people aren't logical. Which is not to say I agree with the positive reinforcement represented by the "fat acceptance" people. It is worse, much worse.

With the negative at least there is recognition that there is a problem. With fat acceptance they pretend the problem isn't the fat, but peoples close minded reaction to it. Why if people would just be open to fat all of that hypertension, heart disease and adult onset diabetes would just blow away like a fart in the wind!

I despise this kind of poisonous wishful thinking that in some cases actually stops people from taking action to make their lives better.

Anonymous said...

Why waste the time and energy required to shame the fat? I just try to pretend that they don't exist because they are grotesque. They're non-human as far as I'm concerned and my mind just processes them as livestock.

taterearl said...

When I was at my heaviest I was exercising just as hard as I am now...but I was eating terrible and was full of anger/stress.

The weight came off easier and quicker with a better attitude and healthier food. I've heard exercise is about 15% of the solution and diet is 85%.

Jestin Ernest said...

Now, does this mean getting in a fatty's face and telling her to stop being such a disgusting pig? I don't know, maybe.

beyond the obvious problems with usually inducing behavior the opposite of what you SAY you want them to do when you harangue person X over issue Y there's a further problem:

anyone with so little base to their personality that they can be 'forced' into a behavior change simply by you yelling at them is really NOT worth having on your side in the first place.

Aeoli Pera said...

How much of the solution is stress? (Just curious, never been a problem for me.)

Steve Canyon said...

I weighed 270 pounds on January 1, 2001. January 1, 2002, I weighed 180.

No magic cures, no miracle diets. The foods with tons of calories I was eating, I quit eating. Instead of sitting around after work, I'd work outside, go to the gym, and took a couple classes (auto-body) that required me to move around and do physical labor. Unsurprising, increase in motion burns more calories, and limiting one's self to 2000 calories a day means that you're going to burn off fat (and some muscle too).

No one shamed me into doing this. No one hassled or harangued me into action. I shamed myself. I looked at how I was at 28, and knew at 40 it would be orders of magnitude worse and acted. Discipline, willpower, setting a goal each day and trying to hit that goal and not focus on the end-state all helped me do it.

Until the fat person decides that their current world-view is unacceptable and unworkable and sets about changing it, all diets and shaming are ultimately going to be unsuccessful.

Karen said...

There is no easy answer but fat shaming when I was younger contributed to an eating disorder for me. I eventually recovered but then chose to use food like a drug when some terrible things (deaths in the family) happened one after another a few years ago. I gained 70 pounds extremely rapidly with a whole new distribution of the fat on my body, possibly because this occurred just following 4+ years of extreme calorie restriction.

I had been married about 3 years when this happened. I've owned it from the beginning - I did this to myself by using a poor coping mechanism. It's been 8 years and I have made many attempts to lose it. My husband has never shamed me for it and I've never given him the 3rd degree to try to make him admit that it's a turn-off, but I also know there's really no way around it. Fat is not sexy. He once gained about 30 lbs when he took a sedentary job for a year, and if I'm honest, I found him less sexy.

I think one big problem when it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is simply misinformation about what it takes. Most people don't want to do the work - they really believe there's either a magic bullet pill/supplement or that starvation and misery and spending 2 hours at the gym every day is the only way to get there and stay there.

This past summer I decided to stop trying the same old stuff and try two things that would be different. One was to keep a detailed food diary. The other was to start strength training. I found a free website where I could keep the food diary that also helped me figure out some important things about the number of calories I could eat and still lose weight. I also found a good strength-training program. I'm happy to say I've lost 36 pounds since the end of July and expect to meet goal in 2013. It actually is simple (though not easy) and I'm absolutely not starving as I eat about 1600-2000 calories per day, depending on how much I've exercised. I never exercise more than 40 minutes a day, tops. My body shape is rapidly changing for the better with strength-training.

Interesting thing I've noted at work is the reaction of the overweight women who were once my friends. I'm a woman and have been mystified my whole life by the hierarchy that exists among groups of women and how fluid it is. I've lost friends over my weight loss. I don't talk about it unless asked - now that it's noticeable, I get asked about it a lot. Not that anyone has jumped on the 'diet and exercise' bandwagon. Eyes glaze over when I explain it. The assumption seems to be, since I'm not using a magic pill, that I must be starving. Cupcakes and donuts appear magically on my desk when I step away. I'm urged to eat more every day when people see my lunch or snacks that I bring. It's too bad because this has been surprisingly simple and not painful at all, it just takes a long-term view and a willingness to stay the course.

Ashley said...

So because one person thinks their fat is disgusting then that must mean fat acceptance as a whole is a lie?

Josh said...


Do you think Michael Moore is an attractive man?

Mike M. said...

HalibetLector is right on target. Shaming is worse than useless...unless your goal is to afford overweight people a good workout beating you into a better-mannered pulp.

Support is a lot more useful. Especially for long-haul weight loss. When you're looking at a 1-2 year effort, it gets very, very discouraging.

And I can say from experience that stress, travel, and long hours don't help.

stg58/Animal Mother said...

Easy solution:

Eat grains, potatoes and dessert once a week. Eat meat, vegetables and some fruit every day.


David V.S. said...

Earlier comments are wise.

If you want to help someone lose weight, offer to sit down and work out a schedule for both of you to go on walks. (If you live the person, also try some beginner strength training together.)

Saying anything more than "I'll spend time doing this-or-that with you" is unproductive, because the overweight person has already made the plans or attempts you are about to suggest.

Food bloggers call "people giving weight loss advice" by the nickname "compassion trolling". It appears passive-aggressive: I can pretend to be sympathetic but am really behaving like a comment troll by pushing buttons without any productive words.

tz said...

Read (or listen - to Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calories or the more recent Why We Get Fat.

Search Gary Taubes on You Tube for some lectures.

Or see

Even if you're fit, it is a very good read. The science here has also been perverted. Research knows what made people fat. They knew by the early 1960's. It was nearly unanimous. But that is not what the government adopted as policy.

Carbohydrates are literally addicting. In experiments, there was no problem getting someone to eat 10,000 calories in starches and sweets, but if someone has kicked the habit after going low-carb, they couldn't get them to eat much more steak, eggs, pork chops, salad, no matter how appetizing. They had trouble maintaining the caloric intake while they were getting thinner by the day even when they could - they had more energy and became more active.

What you are told: Stop eating fat. Fat makes you fat because it has more calories. Replace fat with carbs. 100 calorie "fat-free" sweet, starchy snacks. The Government that told you to vaccinate your child says eat based on the food pyramid - grains and starches should be your mainstay.

What happens: Carbs cause insulin to be released. Insulin tells to fat cells to take all the circulating lipids and store them. Yes, when you eat something that puts glucose into your bloodstream, the insulin triggers a "store" reaction, so you are starving inside since the food is being stored instead of being released as energy. Fat tends to release leptin which suppresses the appetite. Carbs don't so you are permanently hungry and require herculean asceticism to drop even a few pounds and are always fatigued and exhausted and have no energy.

What you should do: Basically, Atkins. Go under 20g of carb per day for 2 weeks, then gradually go up just a little, but no more than 50g/day. It will be awful for a few days but you will lose the addiction and won't be hungry. EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT OF ANYTHING WITH NO CARBS. Eat eggs, meats, fish, vegetables, even carb-free snacks. Pork Rinds are zero carbs. Eat whenever you are hungry.

The answer to heroin addiction is not methadone addiction for the rest of your life, it is to break the addiction, not fight it 24/7. The answer to carb addiction is the same.

Stopping the carb intake will shut off the insulin, so the "store" will become "release", your stored fat will provide energy (though watch you get protein, vitamins and minerals - and some salt, a bullion cube a day works). You will not be hungry. You will have energy.

And once there you will be able to keep the weight off.

I did not mention exercise. That is secondary. If you are telling your body to store the energy, exercise is just going to make you more hungry ("working up an appetite"). Your brain and muscles can burn ketones as easily if not more easily than glucose. Most people report they think more clearly in ketosis. Once you are in ketosis, and body thinks of fat as energy to burn you will have a lot more energy. (see the link).

Beefy Levinson said...

I used to be overweight. What got the weight loss ball rolling for me was a good friend of mine sat me down and said, "If you drop a few pounds you'll look better, feel better, and get more chicks." And he was right.

If someone had gone the "You are a disgusting fatbody Private Pyle" route, I'd have probably blown them off. Some people need tough love though, no doubt.

TLM said...

Halibetlector & Cail Corishev

Both of your posts are the equivalent of a chick saying she can't lose weight because of her "thyroid" problem. Good grief, quit making excuses and looking for sympathy. Losing weight and maintaining that loss is simply the ability to discipline one's own behavior.

And the dude that said he doesn't see fat people is spot on. It's hard to pay them any mind as we have been hard-wired to be disgusted by that type of appearance. They do tend to be thought of as livestock, they are just there, pay no mind to them.

Doom said...

All I know is that even being as fat as I am is disgusting to me. I weigh around what that fellow weighs, but I doubt if he is over 6'5", either. And I have lost a lot of my belly in the last few years, down from 44, pushing 46 to 40 pushing 38 waistline. Then again, I had an undiagnosed heart failure, with an ejection refraction hitting 15% as an excuse.

I'm getting to swimming this January. Not to lose weight, or I should say girth because I haven't lost an ounce really. No, I'm going to try and fight to bring my heart up to specs and to get back in shape. It's going to be tough. Meds have brought the heart up to 21%, but it's still pretty tight.

I used to bench at or above 2.5 times my weight, swam 9 miles a week, and was... solid. 240 and a 31 waistline... I hate this. So, yeah.

stg58/Animal Mother said...


Good luck with your plans. What is an ejection refraction?

Hoots said...

I would warn anyone who is severely overweight to be very careful taking up running until he/she trims down significantly. Running is very stressful on joints and ligaments even for a healthy person, and injuring oneself will be a huge setback (especially mentally) in the quest to lose weight. Start with something lower impact - elliptical, swimming, walking, rowing, whatever. The most important rule of physical exercise is: don't injure yourself. If you think you're a fatass now, just wait till you're immobilized. And of course, change that diet.

stg58/Animal Mother said...

The most I have run in a while is 1.7 miles as part of a Crossfit WOD. I agree with Hoots, running hundreds of miles will hurt you. I am lucky I escaped from 9 years of running in the USMC with no joint damage.

Philalethes said...

TLM, you are... I believe the technical term is "an asshole". You also may be a sociopath, but I wouldn't want to get close enough to you to tell.

Halibetlector & Cail Corishev simply joined this discussion by presenting honest pictures of themselves and the difficulties they're experiencing with this very vexing problem—which is after all the subject of this discussion. Obviously you have not experienced this problem, or you wouldn't be so contemptuous of their efforts and hardships. Perhaps someday you may be so fortunate as to experience some suffering of your own, and have people around you respond to you in this way; then you may begin to gain some understanding of what it is to be human.

Btw, I'm 5'9" and well under 120 lbs last I checked; most doctors would regard me as unhealthily underweight. I think I once got up as far as 130, maybe 30-40 years ago some time. So I'm not defending "fellow fatties" here. But I do understand that people suffer, and that different people suffer from different things. Didn't someone once say something about "Judge not, lest ye be judged"?

I also have a close friend who has been struggling with serious overweight for a long time—as well as numerous other serious problems (depression, PTSD, etc.), all of which I expect are related. He is also highly intelligent (and quite a good SF writer in my opinion) and sympathetic, and has provided a lot of help and support to many people. I too have been struggling with some of the same problems, and despite our many differences, I feel he has been a great help to me, as the only person in my close circle who understands what it's like to really want to die.

So I often wonder what I might be able to do to help him with his weight problem. As several posters have made clear, getting in his face about it would not help, but more likely only exacerbate at least one major cause of the problem.

I knew a guy once who, any time he heard someone mention suicide, would hand them a pistol. "Tough love", maybe, and maybe sometimes helpful; but it's wise to be very careful when stepping into another's troubled mind in such a way. The guy himself was a serious, chronically depressive drunk, by the way. But I wouldn't judge him either; I'm sure he had his reasons. Being Irish, for one.

All that said, I certainly agree that "fat acceptance" as a movement (there is one?) is a very bad idea, though typical of much of the pervasive sickness of our culture these days. I've wondered why so many people these days have gotten so fat. I must be mostly the "food" most people eat, I figure. I've always been conscious of eating healthily, prepare all my own meals from organic raw materials, etc., so this is all kind of foreign to me. I simply amazes me that people actually eat the stuff I see when I go out in the world. But it's a big world, with lots of difference in it.

I'm pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of fat people know they are fat and feel badly about it, and that making them feel worse won't help. Neither, of course, will lying about it, adding to the thick fog of lies that already oppresses our culture. Which in itself is part of the problem, adding to the stresses everyone feels in an insane world. Neither time nor space to try to figure it out here, but I'll just say that as a non-fatty I recognize what a horrible problem it must be to those who suffer from it—many if not most of whom I believe have made serious efforts to solve it—and applaud those efforts and wish them success however possible.

Brian said...

Philalethes has to be a woman, sticking up for her fat friends. Further evidence that shaming won't work: too many women will stand up for other fat women, if only so it will be accepted and she can avoid shame when she herself becomes fat.

Retrenched said...

Two questions for the "fat acceptance" crowd...

1. Do you believe that human sexual attraction triggers are socially and culturally constructed? For example, do you think that men are socially conditioned to prefer athletic 19 year old blondes to 300-lb. 40 year old women?

And if so, then....

2. How much social conditioning do you think it would it take for Brooklyn Decker to want to have sex with me?

That's the important issue here, I think.

A said...

I agree with tz 100%.

I discovered The Primal Blueprint a year ago and it is basically low-carb, high veggies and grass-fed meat sort of stuff. It is the only thing that is working. I was 190 lbs at 25% bodyfat January 2012, and I am 170 lbs at 13% bodyfat now. I dropped over ten percent bodyfat by dropping grains and sugars (also beans, rice, and potatos) from my diet. I workout less and I don't jog at all, I do sprints, walk a lot, and only do compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, benchpress) and core exercises at the gym. I am way fitter (and so is my wife) than I ever was in the past, when I tried eating whole-grain nonsense, oatmeal, carbload before a workout, jog as much as I could and all that. I definitely binged on junk more than once this past year, but having made the general transition the binges made me feel really awful, I would lose an entire weekend feeling hungover and comatose if I binged friday night.

People should really try dropping grains and sugars completely for a month and see how they feel.

The problem is, though, that despite my good progress, increase in energy, elevated mood, having not gotten sick once, and generally being much healthier I still have not been able to convince one person in my family or my wife's family that what she and I are doing works. It just seems that people have to be in a particular place in their life where they are open to something new and different that makes sense to them in order to attempt a transition. It also makes me realize, like how Vox constantly reminds us, that most people do not accept the dialectic. Hell, a lot of people don't even seem to accept visible results, they will always chock it up to my wife and I exercising or being young to deal with their cognitive dissonance. Lately, I don't even have the heart to bother with people who continually complain about wanting to lose weight and who then argue about carbs and fats and nutrition with someone who has successfully dropped body fat without losing any lean body mass.

SarahsDaughter said...

Love Crossfit! Throwing iron around is such a good stress reliever and mood elevator. The WODs keep it anything but boring. Though, now that I'm old ladyish I do have to wrap my wrists and knees.

Stg, two of the trainers are advocare nuts, encouraging me to do the 24 day challenge to break through the plateau I'm at. The one gal has a smokin hot bod - whatever I need to do, I want to look like that! Anyway, any pros/cons about it? Not to derail the post, email me if you'd rather.

Ashley Pariseau said...

I'm glad some people are saying that shaming is useless, and you can say that for shaming of all kinds, not just for fat people. Shaming is also not making people skinnier, that's for sure. The truth of the matter is, not all bodies react to food and exercise the same way. Some people can lose weight easily by eating less and moving more, some just cannot, just as some people can gain weight easily by sitting around and eating junk and some people can still stay thin.

About fat acceptance, I do think some people have tried every form of what society tells us to do to lose weight, but it just won't happen. So then they choose to just accept the fact that they are fat and love themselves anyway. I recently saw a documentary of one girl that starved herself for several weeks and worked out like a maniac and only lost 5 pounds at the end of it.

Philalethes said...


Sorry, struck out. I've been a man all my life (except when I was a boy). And I don't have "fat friends"; I have one friend who happens to be fat, and is struggling hard with it, and I care about him, and, not being the drill-sergeant type that so many seem to confuse with masculinity, I see no reason to shame him about it, both because it's unkind and because it's counterproductive. In fact, I believe a significant part of the reason why my friend is fat is because he's been shamed mercilessly in the past—for not being someone like you or TLM, for instance.

Shaming may be an appropriate tactic in a situation where someone has done harm to someone else (i.e. a defense against aggression of some kind), but it becomes just another kind of aggression if you're butting into someone's life without being asked.

@Retrenched: In fact, there have been societies (in Polynesia, for example) where being fat has been not only accepted but celebrated (and considered sexually attractive, difficult though that is for me to imagine). Has something to do with food scarcity in a feast-or-famine pattern, I believe. A fat woman would have a better chance of lasting through the next famine with her children, presumably. Human beings are very adaptable.

Given what's available to most people as "food", perhaps a case could be made that we now live in a sort of a feast-or-famine environment. It's nuts; thankfully people are beginning to figure it out.

Emma said...

Fat acceptance as it is, is kind of disappointing to me. It's just acceptance of yourself despite feeling fat, gross and less worth due to being fat. Yes, if someone is hopelessly fat, maybe it's best to somehow accept themselves anyway, to avoid self-hate. But why pretend being fat is as good as not being fat, if that's not how you really feel?
On the other hand, there is a community that is into fat for real. Fat fetishists. That's what I'm talking about.

SarahsDaughter said...

I'll add - it was shaming that absolutely worked for me. However I'd been going through a long process of getting my thinking straight about a lot more than just weight. I'd bounce back and forth from 10 lbs over my ideal weight to 40 lbs over. I think it's fair to say I'm committed after this last year. I'm down 17 lbs, I'll be getting my body fat percentage done in a couple weeks, it should be encouraging since I've dropped 4 sizes in my favorite brand of jeans.

It may be a personality thing regarding what works. I don't do anything in response to niceities and politeness, my personality responds best to "in your face" truth.

Doom said...


An ejection refraction is the amount of blood your heart expels on each pump. It's supposed to be in the 50-75% ranges. About the lowest it goes, roughly, is 10%. But there is about a 33% risk of stroke and heart attack per year at even 15%.

And, thank you. Took em' 25 years to find it, but the meds and some other changes seem to be helping.

TLM said...

Yes, I'm an asshole. And you're a typical fat enabler. The tubbies are always bitching about their lack of acceptance in society, blah, blah, blah. What about the visual torture Ive been subjected to the past 15 years or more. Everyday I have to see you fat asses wobble around and I'm sick of it. People were not like this when I grew up in the 80s. My previous post was very tame. If I'd been mean I would have called those whiners a bunch of Fatty McFatFucks. Quit the excuses and lose the weight homo.

Stingray said...

Sarah's Daughter,

Small world. I had never heard of Advocare before about 6 hours ago. My husband met a dealer and he came home to tell me he bought me the 24 day challenge. I've been out of the gym for most of the fall so he thought I might like a kick start getting back on track. He just ordered it today so I expect it to be here in a couple of days. If your interested, I'll let you know how I like it.

SarahsDaughter said...

Yes, please do, Stingray. I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing it. Though, I'm being a bit frugal, I heard it's on sale as of the 1st so I'm waiting until then. We'll be in this together. :)

SarahsDaughter said...

TLM says what a lot of (dare I say most) people think.

Fat acceptance might silence voices, it won't change thoughts.

My daughter is ticked that there are two fatties on swim team that have better times than she does. She was explaining her dismay and need to get working on her times to my obese sister and included the fact these girls are fat. Later that night she told me she was worried my sister would be offended.

Should someone's obvious sabotage of their health and longevity be something my daughter should limit her speech for?

If so, I have a few words for the anti-smoking campaign.

MMR said...

I once worked with a lady who was a leader of a fat acceptance organization. I remember she would go on TV to give her spiel on the topic. This woman was severely obese. Huge. She couldn't walk one foot in front of the other. She would more rock back and forth and somehow shuffle forward while doing it. It was disturbing to watch. At her desk she had all sorts of "it's great to be fat" signs. I remember one said "FATITUDE". I haven't worked with her for years and last I heard she had the stomach band surgery. Guess being fat hadn't been so great after all.

Anonymous said...

I've been mildly overweight a couple times 220 to as much as 240 on a 6' 2" frame...did the Atkins thing 2002-03 & got down to 170-180 when I was going through the big D & knew I'd be back on the market...married again & three more kids & it crept back up to 220 as of this last July...said enough, started Atkins again but now discovered Paleo (similar to Atkins, but seems smarter to do). Now sitting good ar 180-185, slowly replacing remaining fat with muscle...never going back!

I try to tell people about what I'm doing & most don't get it...98% of us are blue pill when it comes to food...sometimes I think "why bother", lets the cows & roundies keep it up with high fructose corn syrup & breads & all the other crap our fine government in cahoots with food keep pushing on the numbskulls in this society.

Aeoli Pera said...

Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Life gives you fat, make soap and an army of testosterone-starved young men.


mmaier2112 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stg58/Animal Mother said...

My daughter is ticked that there are two fatties on swim team that have better times than she does. She was explaining her dismay and need to get working on her times to my obese sister and included the fact these girls are fat. Later that night she told me she was worried my sister would be offended.


I am afraid your daughter is not going to be happy about this, but fat people have an advantage ( to a point) in the water. They have to work less to stay buoyant. Why do you think most athletic black people have trouble swimming? Low body fat means less buoyant weight. There was a black guy in my platoon in boot camp who had been recycled three times because he couldn't pass the swim qual. He was an absolute specimen on dry land; in the pool he was worthless.

My Combat Water Safety Swimmer(CWSS) instructor, Cpl Argo, was like the Michelin Man. In the water he was a graceful creature.

The pool is a different animal. Tell your daughter not to worry that much if a fat kid beats her.

rycamor said...

At one level, it is an obvious fallacy to state that some people cannot lose weight. Starving populations have never had fat people. So yes, I went there. Also, people who spend the whole day at strenuous manual labor are rarely fat. I should know, because even as a fairly trim teenager I spent a few weeks loading trucks for UPS and dropped 20 lbs.

But aside from the brute force methods of caloric restriction or constant exercise, each of which have their own set of risks, I see the problem of obesity as complex, including gut bacteria, glycemic rates of foods, nutritional profiles (some people do better with more proteins and fats, others better with more vegetables), the nutritionally-depleted nature of modern industrial food, and of course the ever-present psychological issues of food as a coping mechanism. I'm sure there's more, but this covers the majority of it.

The key here for ANYONE looking to lose weight is trial-and-error. Make choices in each of the areas I list above. Try for a month or two, then try something else and check your progress. For me it was a more or less Paleo diet plus weight lifting, and high-intensity exercise (but only about 20 minutes a day).

The world has always had fat people. It's even possible to get fat just by eating lots of fruit (although that probably takes work). But, I think it's obvious by our own desires and our physiology that we were made to be lean and (to varying degrees) muscular. What is sexually attractive is also what is good for making babies, good for surviving and flourishing, and for protecting and providing for children. To appropriate the Apostle Paul's phrase, "Does not nature itself teach you?" We have this innate desire, and most of us are frustrated in this to some extent or another. Of course, those of us here who are Christians agree that we live in a fallen world, so this is no surprise.

The modern world has exacerbated this frustration by wholesale rejection of ancient truths in favor of smoothly-spun lies and half-lies that support the building of a huge power structure for the elite. Again, this is just the natural outcome of the intellectual laziness of most people, who readily
give up the power to examine the claims they are presented with as long as the presentation is done in a convincing manner, never even bothering with some trial-and-error experimentation or basic logic. The Powers that Be of the 20th century recognized this fact and organized the world around it.

This is why we ended up with low-fat diet foods that only make the problem worse, high-fructose corn syrup, genetically-modified foods to maximize factory storage and shelf-life, and ultra-pasteurized dairy products (rendering them significantly less a probiotic source). This is why we have scientists working round the clock for major food companies discovering ways to make their processed food as addictive as possible. This is why we have people spending oodles of money on labor-saving devices so they don't have to move, and then oodles more money on devices to simulate the labor their bodies no longer do. Sometimes, maybe it's worth taking a simple step back from everything and asking yourself "what do I really need?". Often in the modern world we are going around Jupiter just to get to Mars. Unplug.

stg58/Animal Mother said...

Love Crossfit! Throwing iron around is such a good stress reliever and mood elevator. The WODs keep it anything but boring. Though, now that I'm old ladyish I do have to wrap my wrists and knees.

Stg, two of the trainers are advocare nuts, encouraging me to do the 24 day challenge to break through the plateau I'm at. The one gal has a smokin hot bod - whatever I need to do, I want to look like that! Anyway, any pros/cons about it? Not to derail the post, email me if you'd rather.

Yes, Crossfit is great. I have been doing it for about a month now, 3-4 times a week. I have lost 10 lbs on a moderately faithful paleo diet routine. When I finish a workout, and I catch my breath, I have the urge to roar like a beast. If you can do Crossfit, you can just about meet the physical requirements of the typical USMC workout regimen.

I was stationed at Miramar with a fellow sergeant who is from Colorado. He now owns a Crossfit gym in Broomfield, in the Denver metro area. If any of the Ilk live in the area, look up MBS Crossfit. Patrick Burke runs it. He is now a pro Crossfit competitor who placed 16th in the 2012 competition. He will get you in shape, after he grinds you into the dirt. Good training all around.

Johnycomelately said...

Fat is bit like game and taking the red pill, when you've been shoved the food pyramid down your throat your whole life it is difficult to readjust.

Primal and low carb definately works, unfortunately it can be bad advice if you have an auto immune condition and needs to be altered to fit personal circumstances. Nothing substitutes being informed.

TLM said...

How does a fat person wipe their ass?

They don't!

Desert Cat said...

Ashley, the problem is listening to "society", by which I assume you mean mainstream diet and exercise advice. The mainstream is wrong, period. Low fat dieting mostly does not work.

There are several posts in this thread about low carb diets and paleo lifestyle choices that do indeed work for the majority of people who give them a fair shake.

I lost weight painfully on the low-fat regimens years ago. The weight came exploding back as soon as I was off the diet. Then I tried the low-carb way. The fat also came off, but stayed off for years before my reverting to the sugary soda, high carb ways reversed my gains. Now in recent months I have lost about two thirds of what I need to lose, again using mostly low carb and specifically paleo lifestyle choices.

There is no reason to give up. There may be good reason to try new approaches if what you've tried has not worked.

OffTheCuff said...

Insulin also moves glucose into your muscle cells for energy. Without insulin, you die.

Also, vegetable do have carbs, just not a lot.

I enjoy a lowish carb diet, but get your facts straight.

SarahsDaughter said...

I don't think anyone is confused of the facts here, otc, if anyone has looked into paleo, they are well aware of the carb content of veggies. That is not the issue. You've got to know of the dangers of too much insulin, so what is your point?

TLM, you do say that which others think. Just today, at the walmart, seeing massive obese souls driving their electric carts, I wondered how in the hell do these people take care of their bathroom needs. How does a human not internalize their failure and repugnant condition when they need another to assist in bodily cleanliness? This can not be accepted societally.

Stickwick said...

Would shaming work? Don't really know, but it has never worked on the smokers I know. You tell them how disgusting smoking is, they say "it sure is" and keep right on smoking. As one of my longterm smoking relatives put it, there is a battle between her and the cigarettes, but when people give her a hard time about smoking it becomes her and the cigarettes against whoever's bugging her. It's probably like that with most people and their junkfood habits.

Now, what has worked to get the rate of smoking way down in America is the legalized and currently acceptable form of discrimination against smokers. Smokers comprise one of the only groups against which it is okay to freely discriminate, and it has actually accomplished something positive*. Likewise, I think if it becomes acceptable to discriminate against fat people, the rate of obesity would decline. I dunno how exactly that would be implemented, but if done right it would likely be as effective as the anti-smoking stuff.

* The libertarian in me balks at stuff like government-mandated smoking bans in private businesses; preferably this sort of thing would be carried out on a voluntary basis.

Stickwick said...

@ Ashley:

When I first started on my get-back-in-shape campaign, I near-starved myself, exercised like a maniac -- burned 700-1000 calories a day through intense exercise -- and no foolin', I lost less than half a pound in two weeks. I was so PO'd, I hurled the bathroom scale out the window and smashed it on the patio.

As others have mentioned, the thing that really worked for me was switching to a primal/paleo lifestyle. I skip all grains, starches, and sugar (other than the occasional piece of fruit). I go for an easy 45-minute stroll every night, do 20 minutes of weights 2x a week, and one session of sprints once a week. The first three weeks were hell, because I was really hooked on sugar; but once I got past that -- with ZERO cheating -- wham!, I started losing weight like crazy. I dropped 2-3 lbs a week easy. Other benefits: my moods have evened out, my hair and skin look wonderful, I have lots of energy throughout the day, and sleep much better. Human beings were not meant to eat the processed, grain- and sugar-laden garbage diet that all fat people indulge in. It's so unbelievably easy to lose weight, if only a person can struggle through those first horrible few weeks and really stick with the primal plan. After that, it's almost no effort at all.

rycamor said...

It's amazing how good other foods can taste once you get sugar out of your system. It's a rare day when I have anything with sugar in it. Generally the sweetest thing I'll have is a shake with things like raw egg, cream, avocado, yoghurt or cottage cheese, nuts, etc... and one frozen banana or a couple strawberries to sweeten it. Result: delicious. Sugar really does dull your senses.

rycamor said...

Re Vox's orginal topic, I find one ironic parallel to modern feminism: the more "acceptance" there is, the more frustrated fat people seem to get with how "intolerant" everyone is, and the more vocal they get in their "reverse shaming".

Not that I have ever been anything but polite to the fat people I know, and I have always encouraged rather than discouraged... but the truth is that at one time or another, almost every fat person I know has voiced their discontent, and their desire to get fit, and then completely dismissed any suggestions I might have. "But I like bread", or "I hate working out" is pretty much the sum total of the response. I just shrug.

LP 999/Eliza said...

And of course, the SAD is a disaster and a half...

I recently caught up with a fat acceptance kinda kid while shopping with the family. It seemed like his estrogen levels were sky high and he had a hamster that just wouldn't quit lying to him. Again very sad and an act of self hatred similar to other abuses people inflict upon themselves.

Obesity is heart breaking when its the meds and thyroid giving out on aging adults - I've seen far too many beautiful men and women pack the pounds on due to horrible medical advice, accidents or surgeries.

I've promised not go all pro ana or into full moron mode here. So I'll quit any further commenting on the matter but people simply don't understand the high that some people get from food or for the feeling from temporary fasting.

Unending Improvement said...

Obesity needs to be fought long and hard, because now I will be forced to pay more in insurance because Johnny and Sally are fat pieces of lard and end up with diabetes and heart disease.

Der Hahn said...

The more I observe the effects of diet and exercise in myself and other people (I've been working out at a gym that combines kickboxing with resistance training and a restricted carb diet eating plan) the more I think the problem with obesity in America is that weight loss programs are driven by women.

This produces an overemphasis on cardio training because women are almost pathologically afraid of looking like "Ahnuld" if they strength train. Cario also tends to be more 'fun' (i.e. Jazzercise and other dance sytle routines) as opposed to grunting it out with weights or resistance bands. I read another article this weekend on a BS study that said cardio was better for weight loss. It wasn't until half way through the article that you found out the group that did a balance of cardio and strength training didn't lose as much weight because they added lean muscle mass. In other words, they got healthier, not just skinnier.

It also produces the overemphasis on low-fat diets because women are more likely to buy into "meat is bad" from a sociological perspective, as well as more likely than men to crave sweets.

So the weight loss industry caters to these consumers since people will buy into diet plans and pills, and then chalk up the lack of sucess to 'hormones' or cheating rather than the fact that the plans just won't work.

I agree with Stickwick above. Eat more meat (protein) and vegetables. Restrict carbs especially fruits. Exercise regularly and balance cardio with strength training.

It's not a magic bullet but it certainly has a higher probablity of success than most of what passes for 'diet science'.

Fausta said...

A few thoughts on low-carb:
I’ve never been overweight, and believe in treating people with respect, so it would never occur to me to shame anyone for their weight.

I've been chronically hypoglycemic for the last 16 years. As a result, I had to develop on my own a way to stay alive. Poor medical advice from incompetent doctors (including an endocrinologist who was furious to find out that I actually am hypoglycemic, because he “didn’t believe” in hypoglycemia) nearly killed me.

It turns out that the way to keep your blood sugars level is fairly simple, by doing 4 things:
1. Eat every 4 hours: Big breakfast at 8AM. Good lunch at 12 noon. Substantial snack at 3:30PM. Good dinner at 7.

What to keep in mind: 
* All foods are either fats, proteins, or carbs.
* ALL carbs are metabolized as sugar. 
* all sugar spikes your blood sugars.
2. Therefore, do not eat anything with sugar added (raw sugar, honey, molasses, cane juice, brown sugar, syrups of any kind). 
Limit the carbs to small amounts (I eat approx. 40 grams of carbs/day, which is 1/2 a small potato).
Liquor WILL spike your blood sugars, particularly beer.
Caffeine tends to spike insulin production.

3. What to eat
Eat all you want of these non-starchy vegetables: green beans, broccoli, sprouts, cabbages, green & red peppers, chilies, celery, mushrooms, onions, carrots, lettuces, eggplant, avocados, kale, collard greens, okra, asparagus, spinach, endive, arugula, zucchini, summer squash.
Corn & peas are tricky - best to stay away for now.

Eat all you want of all sorts of fish, meat, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey, pork, roast beef, venison, buffalo. Eggs. I do not eat anything with soy due to food allergies, but men should avoid soy. Bacon is OK (even when it's cured with sugar).

Eat all you want of all kinds of olives.

Most nuts: peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts are good.

All cheeses except Velveeta & other "processed cheese foods".

Dairy: whole milk, butter (not margarine), cream, sour cream. The fat in these prevent the lactose from being absorbed too quickly. For some reason I do not tolerate yogurt - makes my blood sugars spike.

Use all kinds of olive oil. Stay away from coconut oil.

Use apple cider vinegar, malt vinegar or white vinegar. Balsamics are tricky.

Fruit: for now, limit yourself to berries & apples, 1/3 cup or less. DO NOT DRINK JUICES of any kind, not even vegetable juices.

4. The safest thing is to stay away from processed foods. You can grill yourself a steak and some vegetables that'll taste better.

If you, like me, have to keep track of your blood sugar levels, keep a journal where you also write down every thing you eat. That way you can see what makes your blood sugars spike.

As far as exercise, time your exercise so you have eaten 1hr before. Don't exercise on an empty stomach.

One of the best side effects of this approach to nutrition is that your skin, hair and nails look great.

It takes effort, but it's worth it.

Der Hahn said...

Good ideas Fausta. I forgot to add that the eating plan spreads the calorie intake over several small meals a day (no skipping meals) with the goal of keeping you just on the edge of hunger.

Fat-shaming isn't going to have any impact so long as most people are getting bad advice on how to lose weight.

Fausta said...

And, to clarify, with the above approach to low-carb, you are not "dieting"; you are eating all you want of all the kinds of food that your body needs, four times a day.

Fausta said...

Der Hahn,
It's best to eat 4 regular meals (I eat big meals), and not to wait until you're hungry. That's when people hit the carbs.

rycamor said...

Fausta, I think most of your recommendations are great, except for avoiding coconut oil. From everything I have read (example), it's one of the best oils you can use, especially for cooking. Olive oil breaks down when cooked at high temperatures.

In fact, just about everything associated with coconuts is excellent for health. Get 'em whenever you can.

Fausta said...

Rycamor, the brand of coconut oil I tried badly spiked my blood sugars. For people with blood sugar issues, I recommend they take a blood sugar reading after trying it.
OTOH, pieces of the coconut "meat" are fine, and I like it.

Bob said...

I think most of these comments miss the point -- the vote just doesn't change the reality.

Daniel said...

Now, what has worked to get the rate of smoking way down in America is the legalized and currently acceptable form of discrimination against smokers. Smokers comprise one of the only groups against which it is okay to freely discriminate, and it has actually accomplished something positive*

*And something negative: An increase in obesity. A while back, out of curiosity (I don't smoke) I plugged in the historic obesity rate and the historic smoking rate (U.S.) since the 1960s into a graph.

The result? A big fat X. As the smoking rate declined, the obesity rate went up. Personally, I think smoking was only masking a crappy diet and sedentary workforce, but still, the State smoking ban has contributed to the obesity epidemic.

If they want people to get skinny again, part of the federal plan has to be a reintroduction of legal social nicotine.

I've got respiratory issues, smoking is definitely not a desired thing, but libertarian principle says back off State, let me associate with choking if I so choose. Of course, that would never be the direction: if the government ever grasped my wisdom, they'd use it to hook up NICU's to a steady stream of Marlboro tobacco and tar.

Bogey said...

"Now, does this mean getting in a fatty's face and telling her to stop being such a disgusting pig? I don't know, maybe."

Maybe, but you would deserve an ass kicking if you did. I hope if your wife put on a few pounds and an asshole did this to her you wouldn't sit back like some kind of pussy.

Anonymous said...

I hiked the whole Appalachian Trail at one go once, and over half of it a second time 3 years later. That trail runs about 2200 miles from Georgia to Maine, and usually takes 5-8 months to hike (I was towards the longer end WRT time). I lost easily 60 pounds both times that I needed to lose. (My nontrail weight is about 280 at 5'9".) I also lost 20-25 pts. off both of my blood pressure readings (I'm mildly hypertensive, nonsmoker.) I was in my mid and late forties when I did those hikes. I made little or no attempt to control how much I ate, but tried to eat healthy stuff insofar as I could (tough in the woods and micro trail towns).

MaMu1977 said...

Here is a very good reason to avoid breaking the 200 lb barrier: the average EMT in America is about 5'6", 140-150lb. If anything happens to you that would hamper your ability to move (broken ankle or leg, debilitating asthma attack, seizure or worse) the EMTs *will not be able to move you*. Adding insult to injury, that career field is being overtaken by women, which accounts for the subsequent drop in average size.)

So, yeah. Hit 275 or higher if you like, but don't be surprised when an ambulances shows up for you one day and the attendants are unable to move you. Unless, of course, you're only planning to get sick or injured in public places with lots of people around to help them carry your obese carcass.

marfmellow said...

we call people who are fat inhuman and animals but we're worried about their health? okay. LMAO. I love comedy too.

Lisa said...

Everyone these days is getting fat. It's a cultural problem throughout the world. Food is our friend and enemy.

clb03091 said...

Being obese or morbidly obese isn't much different from being a heroin or cocaine addict. The processed foods we eat these days act on our brain like a drug (albeit, a weak one), stimulating our reward response and giving us feelings of well-being, satisfation, elation, calm, etc, not unlike heroin.

Obese peope, like drug addicts, require our sympathy and need assistance. As a former addict AND overweight person, however, I have very little respect for the "Fat Acceptance" movement, which basically amounts to declaring defeat. We all know obesity isn't natural. It's not in our genes, as evidenced by the drastic increase in obesity over the last fifty years, and by our bodies' documented inabiity to cope with pounds upon pounds of excessive fat weighing us down.

It boils down to this: If you are obese, it isn't entirely your fault. A number of factors came together to make you fat- societal, physical, psychological, and biological (there's evidence to suggest that fat people, like drug addicts, are born with a propensity to become addicted to food), however, it IS your responsibiity to fight back, not give up, and do your very best to triumph over your affliction. It's your responsibiity to yourself, your family, the next generation who will look to you, and to society, who will largely foot the bill for your health care costs if we aren't already.

Fat people of the world, stay the hell away from the "fat acceptance" movement! Shed your denial, and feel the shame. Shame is important, it plays a vital role for us. Don't get angry at society. Instead, use your shame as a motivator to fight for your health, as I did when I got off drugs and lost weight. Many have done it, you can too.

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