Fat is offensive and obesity should be banned!
How fat is too fat?
Why people get offended by the words fat and obese
A 320 pound woman in good health became offended when her doctor told her she needed to go on a diet because her body mass index (BMI) showed that her body was over 35 percent fat and her weight was 180 pounds heavier than what it should be for someone of her height.
Rather than go on a diet, she took offense and reported him to his superiors claiming he had discriminated against her based on her weight and not on her physical ability. The woman worked in a factory all day, standing on her feet and moving. She said she was so tired when she got home that she did not have the energy to work-out and that she had never had issues with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain, diabetes or any other issues often associated with excessive weight gain. She also claimed she had a healthy diet and consumed no more than 2000 calories a day for which her doctor said she must be lying because there was no way she could gain all that weight on 2000 calories a day.
A man in his late 20s, who had joined the military was also accused of being overweight, not by his doctor, but by his training officer who stated that the man must lose 20 pounds in order to qualify for a program for which he had applied, even though he met and exceeded all the goals of the physical fitness test.
The man lifted weights regularly and claimed that the BMI test was inaccurate because his excess weight was in muscle not fat and that if he lost his muscle weight he would not be able to perform at his current level of efficiency on the PT exam, yet even his teammates felt he was too fat and needed to lose weight.
These are just two examples of what many refer to as weight discrimination: judging a person by the pounds they carry rather than on their actual physical ability and health.
In both cases the people were offended by what was said to them and became defensive. Both felt they had been discriminated against. Though both admitted they would like to lose some of the weight, both felt that the comments made toward them were biased and unjust and more opinion than fact.
Is being fat really that bad and who is to judge?
No one likes to be called fat. Calling someone fat is like calling someone ugly or retarded. It carries a derogatory implication even when conveyed by a doctor or physical trainer to a client, which is why many in the medical field feel the words fat and obese should be banned and replaced with terms such as lowered body condition or increased Body Mass Index (BMI). focusing on the condition rather than labeling the person.
Some people roll their eyes at the political correctness of dealing with a growing girth rate among civilized nations where fast food and sugary drinks, lack of exercise and an unwillingness to work hard and sweat seems to be a growing trend among children as well as adults. Yet, making people feel as if there is something wrong with them or that they are weak willed or lazy or uneducated because they choose to eat a doughnut for breakfast rather than an organic wheat grass smoothie is not the best way to address the problem.
Many people overeat because it is the one thing they can control in their lives. Eating makes them feel free from outside forces telling them what to do and when to do it. Eating staves off boredom and fills an emptiness that arises not only from the rumbling of the stomach but from something deeper; some desire that is unobtainable.
Scientific research has also shown that overeating is often a symptom of neurotransmitter imbalances and evolutionists tell us we are hardwired to survive by eating as much food as we can during times of plenty to make it through when times are lean.
If you want to test that theory, see how you behave when you know you will have to go to school or work with no break for eight hours and see if you find yourself eating food even when you aren't hungry or binge eating when you do have a break and then feeling sick, swearing you will never do that again and then repeating the pattern the very next day.
So is being fat no different from being gay and if we defend one as a right or freedom of choice, should we condemn the other as a character flaw which needs correcting? Should we deny fat people equal medical coverage or make them pay more to fly on a plane or ban them all together from riding a ride at the Fair? Do we really discriminate against people with large body mass? Can you blame someone for getting cancer and if not, then why blame someone for getting fat?
Why are we offended by fat people? Why do we criticize and say things like, "they have really let themselves go", and why do we stress out so much when we gain too much weight and often call ourselves names and say, "there is no hope, I just can't lose weight,"
Does food have some strange and magical power over us that makes us consume it even when we are so full we feel uncomfortable and what is the actual health risk of fat and how much fat is too much fat?
The current method of determining healthy body weight is the BMI chart
The most widely used weight chart today is the Body Mass Index Chart (BMI). It is not the most accurate, but does a good job at giving a preferred range of body weight per height for men and women. There are also charts for children.
While a heavily muscled person may appear to be obese by these charts, it is rare that this is the case and most doctors and caregivers will take muscle mass into consideration.
Having "big bones" or a larger frame may add a few pounds to your total weight as well, but research has shown that the amount is not large enough to make a major difference in body weight. It is estimated that a "big boned" or large frame person will weigh no more than 20 pounds over that of a "small boned" or light/small framed person and barely ten pounds more than a regular framed person.
BMI charts are a good guideline, even though not perfect. One would think most people could look at their own bodies, naked in the mirror and tell if they were fat or not, but this is also a deceptive method of weight measurement with many women convincing themselves that they love their curves and claiming they don't want to look like a stick in reference to thin, model-type women.
Anorexics think they look fat even when they are starving, so self evaluation is not always the best way to determine if you fit within healthy guidelines for body fat percentage.
The average woman is composed of about 25 percent fat. That may sound like a lot, but women need a certain amount of fat to keep hormone production at optimum levels, not just for reproductive purposes, but for maintaining health in general. The lowest amount of fat, known as essential fat, for a woman is somewhere around 13 percent. If you go any lower than this, you run the risk of having certain body functions shut down and the inability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals.
The average man will have a body fat composition in the 18 - 24% range, but once they hit 25%, the standard for the average woman, they are often considered to be obese! One might wonder how you could be normal weight and have average fat at 24%, yet be considered obese with just one percent more fat, but the closer both sexes get to having 1/3 of their body composed of fat, the greater the risk for type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer.
Research done by the Nurses Health Study showed that increased weight gain lead to greater incidents of headaches, gastric reflux, gallbladder disease, decreased fertility and vertebral disk disease to name a few!
While weight charts and body fat measurement tests may not be perfectly accurate for all people, they do give a very good guideline for those who are not sure what is healthy and what is not.
How to measure BMI
Unless you are a mathematician, it is easier to calculate body mass index (BMI) with a free on-line formula. BMI is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.
There are other ways to measure your fat percentage as well, but the BMI calculator is the most convenient.
Encourage people to have fun by biking, hiking, swimming or walking and not being judgmental, just encouraging
How do you tell someone they are fat and need to go on a diet without offending them?
Never tell someone they are fat, even if they ask! Fat is a derogatory word for most people who are fat or consider themselves to be fatter than they would like to be.
Rather than focus on the fat, focus on healthier eating; tips to cut back on consuming too many calories and ways to have fun while moving the body more to burn more calories and gain fitness and physical strength.
Sometimes challenging your entire group to a weight loss or increased fitness challenge while offering support and rewards for those who make the effort is the best step toward a healthier lifestyle.
The goal should not be so much about losing weight and getting thinner but about feeling better, looking better and having more energy and even more brain power!
The best ways to lose weight are by keeping a food and mood journal; writing down everything you put in your mouth, even a breath mint or stick of sugar free gum. The journal allows you to see how often you eat, how mindlessly you reach for food, how frequently you depend on food and drink to boost your mood and how you feel when you are hungry or have eaten too much or pass up on your favorite fattening treat.
Many people feel deprived when on a diet. Diets seem more like punishment or having the fun sucked out of life. It seems unfair that your coworkers, friends or family can eat twice the caloric intake as you and still be thin and the temptation is to turn to weight loss shakes, pills and metabolic boosting products that likely contain dangerously unsafe levels of stimulants or pulverized and powdered processed foods that have little real nutrient value.
Scientists have repeatedly found that the nutrients in whole foods is much more easily absorbed and utilized by the body than powdered concentrates, yet millions of people buy into the quick weight loss drinks, shakes and formulas which cost more money to buy than healthier fare like fresh fruits and vegetables.
You could pay two to five dollars a day for a highly caffeinated powdered drink formula or take that same money and buy a couple of bags of fresh frozen vegetables, a bag of fruit and a head of leafy green lettuce enough to make meals for three days in a row.
People do not need you to tell them they are fat. They already know they are, even if they pretend that they are not. I have had countless women, especially, tell me they are skinny when they have at least five inches of fat overhanging their belt line.
It is easy to look at one part of your body and ignore the other or see your rib cage or hip bones sticking out and think you are skinny, when the reality is that you have more fat than is healthy and could use some intervention. Women especially tend to feel fat when they are bloated or gassy and thin when their stomach is not protruding, but overall body fat should be taken into account, not just fat around the belly or thighs.
It is okay to have some wiggle and jiggle on your body, but when your belly interferes with your ability to bend over, pick something off the floor, see your feet or cuts your breath off when you wear tight fitting clothes, then it may be time to think about eating smaller portions and getting more physically active.
The best way to encourage a friend or family member to lose weight is to invite them to participate with you. Go on a walk, take the stairs at work. Make a stair challenge to see how many flights you can fit in on your lunch break. Trade recipes for lower calorie tasty treats.
One of the best things a friend did for me was to introduce me to banana "ice cream". All you do is cut up two bananas in half inch chunks, freeze overnight, place in a blender with a little vanilla or cocoa powder and eat like ice cream. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the treat.
Measuring and packaging healthy treats in small containers also makes it fun to snack while controlling portion size. One hundred calories of peanuts, eighty calories of watermelon chunks, oranges and apples cut in easy to bite slices or 100 calories of peanut butter as a dipping sauce are great little treats over typical nutrient poor processed snack foods.
Eating things like apples, beans, broccoli and whole grains will also fill you up faster on fewer calories. You can still eat meat in stir fries, but eat less of it and the more spices (not necessarily hot ones) you add to food, the better it will taste and the more satisfying it will be.
Invite friends, fat and thin over to your house for a healthy cooking party or get your work, church or social group to host weekly fun exercise classes with low calorie pot luck dinners or start a walking or running team with the goal of raising money for a local charity, even donating a dollar per pound or inch you lose to a homeless shelter or food bank.
Think of your body as a temple not a store house. You want to keep the priceless goods and get rid of the junk that clutters your life and does more to enslave you than to free you.
Make exercise and healthier eating fun. Don't temp friends who are trying to diet. It is not fair to eat their favorite foods around them or bring home fattening foods and even get upset when they don't want to share them with you. Even if you are not overweight, you could probably stand to eat healthier foods and support the attempts of others to get healthier too.
Learn to limit fat and sugar and nutrient bare foods from your diet, but don't cut them out entirely. It is better to eat a homemade oatmeal.raisin, flax seed cookie than to eat a bag of Oreos which are mostly oil and sugar with no beneficial nutrients, but both still have more calories than you really need if you are trying to lose weight, so you need to be realistic.
If creamy things tempt you, try eating a small container of yogurt with fruit rather than a pint of decadent ice cream and don't buy goodies for the kids or the spouse thinking you will not eat them, because you know, you more than likely will and then blame it on the kids and spouse rather than yourself!
Losing weight is often a long term struggle. Most people who diet and lose a lot of weight will gain it back within six months, but that does not mean you should stop trying! It is better to keep yourself in balance and diet to maintain a certain weight and fat percentage than to drop the weight quickly and regain it again, adding even more poundage. It's a lot easier to cut out 100 calories a day than 1000 calories! You just have to be mindful of what you eat and why you are eating it.
The bottom line
Losing weight is not just about self control. Weight gain can be caused by medicines, low metabolism, genetic predisposition and a whole host of other causes which are often out of our control, but we are still responsible for our personal health.
When we gain weight we become more vulnerable to injury and many diseases associated with weight gain.
While you may never be a skinnie minnie or a muscle mike, you can take personal steps to better health. Read food and drink labels. Know now many calories are in that coffee creamer or doughnut hole. You may find that eating a whole doughnut means you take in less calories than eating four doughnut holes! Smaller, even healthier does not necessarily mean less calories.
Splurge rarely and savor the splurge. Learn to love fruits and vegetables. They are not really that expensive if you buy them in season or frozen and thawed. Add them to salads and low calorie deserts for a more satisfying fulfillment of your taste buds.
There are all sorts of tricks to eat less and eat better for better health and a better mood.
If you or someone you know has struggled their entire lives with weight gain, encourage them. Do your best to only eat food if you have prepared it yourself. This makes something like hamburgers and french fries seem like work, whereas tossing a salad seems easy!!!
Make lunch a week ahead and freeze or refrigerate portions to eat at work so you don't buy that half of a chicken sandwich or salad thinking it is a good choice and not realizing it really contains an entire weeks worth of fat and over 1,500 calories when you thought it was closer to 500 calories!
Sometimes it helps to think that the food industry is out to get you with their smooth advertising ploys with the fizzing coke flowing over shapely pieces of dripping wet ice that has you drooling even though you are not thirsty.
Make water taste better by adding citrus, just a squeeze or a slice or try the numerous brands of herbal fruit tea like blueberry which has 0 calories and a lot of taste. If you have a Walmart nearby you can purchase a box of 20 reusable tea bags for under $3 and just drop one bag in a bottle of cool or cold water (no need to boil). Celestial Seasonings
Don't fall for things like Skinny Tea which promises to make you lose weight in one week. Most tea, especially green tea, has no calories and most of the weight loss comes from its diuretic abilities to make you urinate excessively! Though, many teas also contain caffeine to rev up your metabolism and all sorts of anti-oxidants to supposedly flush out toxins, but again, a glass of plain water will do just as good in that department.
Speaking of which, water is one of your best friends. Try drinking a glass before eating to help fill you up, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go so you won't be tempted to buy soft drinks or fruit punches. Add a little water to juice to cut back on the sugar but not the taste and drink your drinks hot or cold for a more refreshing and satisfying experience.
You can even freeze a half filled water bottle and then add more water to it so you have ice water which is more refreshing in hot summer months.
A glass of warm herbal tea with no sugar or artificial sweeteners added can help calm you down at the end of the day better than a glass or wine or bottle of beer!
If you find yourself gaining weight again, do not beat yourself up. You would not attack your friend and call her or him fat, ugly, loser, etc. so don't do it to yourself!
Do not punish yourself by forcing yourself to binge eat, almost crying that you have no will power so might as well shovel it all in and start fresh the next day.
Try not to keep temptation in the house. It is possible to give up the foods you love and not miss them and it is easier to lose weight when you cut back on simple carbs, sugars, white bread, plain white potatoes, rice, pasta, added fats, etc., but don't eat boring and bland foods continuously or you are more likely to binge on the foods you love when or if you go off the diet. Food needs to taste good and be convenient for most people to stick with the diet plan.
Choose food with a higher nutritional content. Red potatoes tend to have more sugar, but higher nutrient levels that traditional mealy russet potatoes which are mostly starch. If you crave a baked potato, try cooking a small red or gold potato and savor it. They are often so creamy and tasty that you can eat them with no condiments, not even salt.
Try sprinkling chives on boiled eggs or putting oregano flakes or dill on a salad and cut back on the dressing. Fresh, farm raised chicken eggs naturally have more flavor and nutrients than mass produced caged hen eggs and are healthier for you and the environment.
Take trips to the local farmer's market and invite your friends to come with you. Go to free cooking seminars or encourage a business near you to host one where healthy tips for eating better are the norm.
If you make eating healthier and getting fitter a priority in your life, you will be surprised at how much better you feel and you will automatically find yourself reaching for healthier food alternatives, turning off the TV and computer and getting out more and enjoying life. Who wouldn't want to do more of that!?!
Be an encourager, not an enabler or criticizer. Motivate and excite people to live a healthier lifestyle and if they refuse to listen, don't feel like it is your job to evangelize them. Just keep setting a good example and help in any way you can and chances are you might wear them down enough to get them to see that there is a better way of living if they just take the first step and keep on moving forward!