Ok, so, I have been made aware that I all unintentionally and unknowingly walked right in to a political fire storm.
One group of people do not like it when there are programs to fight against obesity. They feel we should accept all shapes and forms and fighting against overweight stigmatizes those who are bigger.
One group of people feel that we are exclusively to blame for obesity, and challenging this personal responsibility takes empowerment away from obese people. They do not want to hear excuses for our overweight.
The media tend to present an extremely one sided view – diet and exercise, life style choices – are the focus of the media. They seem to not really know what to do about the problem, or maybe they don’t really aim to do anything constructive with it. They just want a story!
Someone else told me they were reluctant to use the “o” word, because people had gotten sick and tired hearing about it.
So here is my answer to all this.
I have a deep respect for people of all sizes, and if you are comfortable with your size then I think it is great, no matter what that size is. Truth is, when we gain a certain amount of weight it becomes painful, interferes with life enjoyment and can potentially have serious consequences to our health. I encourage everyone to do something about their weight before it gets to that level. You and only you know how your body feel and what you are comfortable with. Please do not let me or anyone else tell you what you should weigh, look like or feel like. However, if you are currently experiencing discomfort due to your weight, or if you are worried that you are headed towards discomfort due to your weight then I encourage you to take back your power. Weight can be controlled and you will most likely feel the better for it.
Obese people are not exclusively to blame for obesity. That is just a much to one sided point of view. Please engage the conversation with an open mind. You might just learn something!
And to the media – well, I sincerely hope you guys will engage with me in a constructive conversation about obesity.
And to those of you who have gotten sick and tired of the “obesity” word, I have this answer. As long as 300,000 people die each year from obesity related health complications we simply can’t afford to ignore the problem. The people who die are people you know and love.
So, at the moment this is my official answer to those issues. Maybe it will change, it will most certainly evolve as I start to walk and engage more people in a conversation.