Culture not only teaches us disgust of "fat people," but also teaches us the lifestyles that will help us add fat to our bodies.
I'll agree with the first part certainly. The second part about teaching lifestyles I'm not so sure about. IMO it is more to do with how diets have changed over the last 60-100 years as a result of agricultural/industrial/economic change in general, and how we've gone for the high fat, high sugar foods that would have been a rarity previously as a norm or even convenience. Nutshell is I don't think it is culture - I think it is evolution. Times have been hard for Hom sap as a species for much of the time - still is for many - and grabbing the most calories when it can is an advantage. In the age of plenty it is anything but.
On an individual level, how can we go against that? Discipline
- just like any one of a dozen undesirable behaviours wired in to our evolution.
I'm sorry, but I really do not see anything fundamentally wrong in what xJimx has been saying.
[quote]I've been getting a lot of criticism for daring to suggest that some people are overweight because they eat too much & exercise too little
Equally, I genuinely do not see the connection of fat as a feminist issue as anything other than utter nonsense. Are there fat women? Yes. Are there fat men? Yes. Are there in fact more obese men than obese women? Yes. (in the US at least - 68.8% of men are obese vs. 61.6% of women - Wang & Bedyoun, 2007 Epid. Rev. 29:1) Naturally there are specific and sensitive issues with regard to the complex interactions between gender and obesity, but if xJimx is making a broad statment such as the above and is being attacked for reinforcing patriarchal stereotypes, someone is talking bollocks.
You can talk about "slow metabolisms" as much as you like. One of the key things in an otherwise healthy person which will slow your metabolism (apart from starvation) is particularly lack of exercise and overconsumption. Chicken. No-Egg.
People find all kinds of reasons why they can't mend their ways with regard to food and exercise, going into all kinds of esoteric realms of slow metabolisms or big bones or self-diagnosed dicky thyroid or something hormonal. It's over complicating the matter and ducking the issue. Once you simplify it down to making a change from
Calories in > calories out
Calories in <= calories out
Things can change very rapidly indeed. Simples. If only because that equation is the easiest thing to change of all the possible explanations, and being honest about it is step one!
Contrary to (very) popular assumption, I am not one of the ubermensch that grace the front of Men's Health. I speak as a reformed fat bastard. I used to weigh about 19-20 stones. Not sure how it came about, but dodging PT and using food as fuel for workaholism would be two good guesses. I'd make excuses about slow metabolism, and I genuinely do nurse an injury that gets in the way of phys quite badly at times. I'd go on the bathroom scales and feel worthless and eat something sweet to make myself feel better.
But the bottom line was about four or five years ago I decided the excuses stopped. More exercise, less cake. In months I lost about five or six stones and started living something resembling life.
It takes effort, it takes willpower, it takes the support of friends, family and even strangers on the street and it takes discipline. No small amount of good luck and mental positivity too.
If any one of those factors lapses, then (as in my case in the last six months) it becomes an uphill struggle. I find it immensely disheartening that we send the somewhat schizophrenic message that EceGled mentions because it is immensely counterproductive. Without the basic respect for fat people as worthy people in their own right, very few of those wishing to change will be able to.
When I lost weight, people suddenly seemed to say, hey, you're OK, you're looking well, fit, whatever. They had time for me. I was acceptable. It was only then I realised the default of mild contempt those people had probably viewed me with previously. Same me. Different waist size. Completely different attitude. I've pleaded this before to Gym Queens in general - it's a statement of the department of the bleedin' obvious. Every time you write off someone as a fat knacker, they get written off as a fat knacker. So don't.
Meanwhile, in an alternate universe to the Marjorie Dawes mentality, fat is becoming the norm. In school I was one of four fat boys out of three hundred. Today, just over a decade later, I'd probably have ranked as average to thin in comparison. What has happened there? What has changed in such a short timescale? It worries me immensely for the sake of those children.