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This July 26, 2013 article on the NPR Shots: Health news website, talks about the negative effect of discrimination based on a person’s weight. Research has started to discover that judging people because of their weight doesn’t encourage them to lose weight, if anything it tends to cause those being judged to gain weight.
I know from personal experience that losing weight is a difficult task, but gaining it is super easy. I have had to re-learn how to do all kinds of things starting with what I write on my shopping list, and including learning better ways to prepare food so it is healthier. Cooking and organizing aren’t things that come naturally to me, so not only am I learning to make healthier choices, but I’m also learning new skills so I can benefit from those choices. for exercise, I started by walking to the store near my home 3 times per week, and over time worked to increase the distance and frequency of my walking. Once I reached a point to where I could easily walk most places downtown, I got a bike, which is where I’m at now, and just like walking, I’ve had to start with short rides, but am pushing myself to increase my speed and distance when I ride. I occasionally am able to borrow a vehicle from someone, or get a ride from them, and when I do use a car for transportation, I will purposely park further from the entrance than most people would typically choose to, because for me this extra distance I need to walk to get into the store gives me an opportunity to get a little extra walking and burn a few more calories. I eat food prepared at home probably 99% of the time, but when I do opt to eat out some place I do the best I can to make the healthiest choice I can and since I enjoy salads, I will often get a chef salad or some other type of salad with lots of veggies in it and for a beverage, I love Mountain dew, but in all honesty I’m finding that having a glass of water with my meal not only gives me something to sip on while I’m waiting for my meal, but it also costs less, so I’m able to save a little cash by drinking water.
In January of 2012 when I decided I had enough of being overweight, I weighed about 256 pounds which put me deep into the class of obese, but by making small changes and learning new skills I have managed to get my weight down to 225 as of a couple of days ago. I’m a former smoker, and to be honest, for me it was tough to quit smoking, but it’s been even more difficult to stay on track with losing weight. Not only is food everywhere, but it is a necessity to survival, the problem I have is I enjoy food too much and many of my hobbies have been things like video games and blogging. The first 6 months were brutal trying to convince myself to go for a walk as many days as I possibly could. So I literally had to re-train myself in how I looked at getting up and moving around. I discovered that cleaning can count towards my daily doctor recommended hour of exercise each day, so since I struggled with keeping up with housework also, I developed a cleaning schedule and purposely worked out the schedule so that at least half to 3/4 or the housework I did each day included actively moving around. I did this on top of my walks to the store. Then I got a Nintendo Wii game system and started playing a game called “Walk it out” that combines a simple game with walking to the beat of music. The pace might be slower or faster from song to song, so for me it keeps me from getting bored while I walk. I got an iPod also that has helped when I’m walking outside listening to the music helps me work on keeping a faster pace, much like playing “Walk it out”, I try to walk to the beat of the music on my iPod.
So, why am I sharing all this with my readers?
Well, it’s to show that seeing someone who is obese and judging them based on what you see may not be fair to them. I can’t look at someone else and know whether they are working on making healthier choices in what they eat any more than someone can look at me and decide if I ate salad or a big mac for lunch. I’ve heard people make comments about things I’ve purchased when I’ve shopped, and while they may be right that some things I have purchased aren’t all that healthy, but how does the person making that judgement know if the item is for me or someone else? or if the item is a special treat or not? often times when I’ve heard a lot of judgmental comments as I’m going through the store, I will begin to struggle with the idea of ‘fine, they are accusing me of eating unhealthy I may as well live up to their expectation’ and will end up grabbing a bag of chips I didn’t plan on buying, but now feel compelled to because someone made a judgmental comment. So as I read the article about the research done in Florida on the subject, I didn’t have to think too hard to know that there was truth to what they discovered, because I had experienced it personally.
My bottom line for all this is that people need to actually get to know someone before they make assumptions about them based solely on appearances, it isn’t fair to the person being judged or to the person being judgemental, because the judgmental statements can mean that an opportunity to meet an awesome person will be forever gone all because of a snap judgement.
Filed under: Anti-stigma, Florida, Mental Health, Other States, Physical Health, Research, Weight, Whole health | Tagged: Anti-stigma, Florida, gaining weight, Health, losing weight, Nintendo Wii, NPR, obesity, overweight, Research, the effect of judging an overweight person, weight, weight discrimination, weight issues, weight loss, weight research | Comments Off on “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter”