If this works for you I’d love to share it on your site! Absolutely love your video. And as always you rock. Atchka, Ive always wanted to tell you that the work you do makes me feel safer somehow. Thank you for standing up to all the bullies out there! You’re definitely a hero!
Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer, and thank you for sharing your heart-rending, and uplifting, story of defending your sister against a bully. No child should have to go through that, but thank goodness she had you to protect her.
To me, this means they are hard at work spinning the data to reflect the multiple conflicting claims they have made about the 75% statistic.
With that in mind, I no longer want to read their research paper. I don’t need their spin.
Instead, I want Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to release the raw data, so that we can read it and judge for ourselves. The raw data will not take weeks to gather. Presumably, this third party research firm has the raw data and Strong4Life chose to sit on it, rather than analyze and publish it in a transparent fashion prior to their shame campaign.
So, we are calling on Strong4Life to release the raw data and let us judge the content for ourselves.
Of course, I couldn’t wait for the report, so I did a little sleuthing of my own and discovered a quote from the man who is in charge of this campaign, Ron Frieson, chairman of the Strong4Life campaign. Last May, when the campaign launched, Meredith Vieira interviewed Frieson on The Today Show.
During the interview, Frieson said something that caught me completely off guard. I’m not sure, since Strong4Life refuses to release the results, but it seems as though Frieson revealed some of the results of their research in the interview:
The parents said it was more important for their kids to be happy than to focus on their weight, assuming they would grow out of their weight issues.
Okay, so how does Frieson know what parents say is more important? They asked parents, either through a survey or a focus group. And what did the parents say? They would rather their kids be happy than focus on their weight, assuming they would grow out of their weight issues.
Did the researchers ask something like, “Assuming your child grows out of their weight issues, would you rather your kids be happy or focus on their weight?” Is this the 75%? Because Frieson makes it sound as though they asked parents if they would rather have kids worried about their weight or happy AND told them to assume that their kids would not be fat adults. Given all of that information, how would you respond? How would any good parent respond?
"Well, even though I’m assuming they won’t be fat adults, I still think it’s more important for my child focus on their weight than be happy."
Again, until they release the raw data, I’m just going to assume that this is the 75% question.
But Frieson goes on to chide those parents who would dare wish happiness upon their children over size obsession.
But the fact is, Meredith, these kids are 10 times as likely to become overweight adults than their normal weight peers, and we already know they are suffering from low self-esteem, from depression, and in addition to that, loads of clinical types of issues.
Frieson then went on to say*, “The solution, therefore, is to plaster the state with billboards that will give them even lower self-esteem and a greater incidence of depression.”
We’ll talk about the clinical types of issues either tomorrow or Monday, but let’s focus on the mental health of these children. Ron Frieson acknowledges, and Dr. Stephanie Walsh, CHOA’s Medical Director, agrees, that fat kids suffer from low self-esteem and depression, and this is their answer?
How might these posters contribute to low self-esteem and depression? Did they ask any parents that?
I guess the communications department of CHOA decided to take the George W. Bush approach and simply state what they want you to believe while ignoring the absurdity of the claim all together.
Of course, they haven’t always cited the immunity of children from the messages of these billboards. In this same interview, Vieira asked, “You’re aiming it at parents, is that correct?”
Aaaaaaah… I haven’t seen such hard-hitting questions since George Sylvester Viereck’s 1923 interview with Adolf Hitler, when he asked the budding Führer, “You’re interested in purifying the German race for our own good, is that correct?”
So, Vieira basically tells Frieson, “You’re aiming it at parents, NOT KIDS, right?” and Frieson responds:
Well actually, we want parents to be aware, but we want educators to be aware and we want other kids to see these kids who may very well relate to them.
Wait, you want fat kids to see these ads?
Now, after thousands, if not millions, of fat kids have seen these ads day in and day out for eight whole months, your staff says, “Nevermind, we’re only aiming the ads at parents.”
From the very beginning Ron Frieson, the chairman of Strong4Life, indicated that they intended for these ads to reach fat kids. You can’t change intention once you achieve your goal. You have reached the fat children of Georgia, Strong4Life, and now you are reaping the consequences.
And as we go forward with this campaign, the ads that are to follow are directed more at healthy eating and kids encouraging their parents to get involved.
The second part of the campaign we call Activate, so you’ll see Maya and you’ll see the rest of her counterparts become much more active, extremely happy about their journey to become more healthy.
Not only do they have Phase 2 and 3 outlined, they actually play a clip from Phase 2 during this interview. And it looks interesting. It’s in color and the fat child and (presumably) parent are dancing and laughing and having fun. From the brief glimpse we get, it seems to be a positive ad. So, why continue with Phase 1?
Phase 2 is in the can. Phase 2 is complete and ready to roll. But Strong4Life has not progressed to Phase 2.
This isn’t something I can answer. Only Strong4Life can answer that, and they are keeping mum on the details.
Strong4Life is playing cruel games with the children of Georgia. They are gambling with the mental and physical health of fat kids, and blaming everyone but themselves for the consequences of these ads. They have attempted to position the ad campaign as a temporary blip in a long-term strategy of health and wellness.
Eight months is not a temporary blip.
Eight months is not merely a phase.
Eight months is a campaign of terror, pounding fear, self-loathing and judgement into all the children of Georgia.
Strong4Life is arming bullies and attacking fat children, and it must stop.
Today, we are inviting people to join our Call to Action. We are done contacting CHOA directly. You cannot shame people who delight in the controversy of their hatred.
Instead, we are focusing on building a coalition of voices to stand against CHOA and to demand that the billboards come down. In our Call to Action, you will find the long-term strategy that we will be pursuing, including a list of email addresses to professional organizations and the Twitter accounts of celebrities who have spoken up in defense of fat people and positive body image.
We need everyone who believes it is wrong to shame and stigmatize children for being heavy. We need everyone who believes in that dieting and weight loss is a losing game. We need everyone who believes that all children, regardless of size, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
We need your voice.
Please, join our Call to Action, and help us to continue pressuring CHOA to end this Shame Campaign. Thank you.
I know you do because you’re on Tumblr. You’ve probably got, like, three hours to kill, and if I can just have a fraction of your time (after you finish reading this), then you can make a direct, positive impact on the life of a child who feels like absolute shit right now.
In Georgia, there’s a billboard campaign featuring fat children over horrible messages.
There’s even one that says “Chubby kids may not outlive their parents.” Chubby kids? Not obese or motherfucking huge, but “chubby”? Seriously? Fuck you, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
In response, we are organizing a campaign to pressure CHOA into ending this “phase” of their advertising campaign. Today on the Facebook group, we are discussing long-term strategy. We are also planning to invest in a billboard near the location of CHOA’s billboards and we will need artistic and design input, as well as a photo of happy fat children to counteract the dour fatties above.
And for those who agree with the CHOA spokesperson, that a “wake up call” is needed? I suggest you read up on the well-documented health effects of stigma and bullying, which this campaign has already inspired across Georgia, including one young girl who has been bullied more since the ads began, and as a result had suicidal thoughts.
If you have five minutes for this girl, and the many others like her, then call and write the Surgeon General’s communications officer and ask that Dr. Regina Benjamin issue a statement condemning Georgia’s billboards.
Mary Beth Bigley 202 205 5642 email@example.com
And ask Michelle Obama to condemn these billboards as well. We can improve the health of children everywhere without resorting to shame and stigma. Help us ensure that no more children are targeted by a multi-million dollar campaign for humiliation and ridicule.
We are bringing this campaign down and you can either be a part of it and help us by making phone calls and email, or you can go about your lives talking about activism and blogging like it matters.
Fat children in Georgia have had to endure this torment for long enough and we are taking a stand. If you can’t be bothered to stand with us, then go fuck yourself with the Washington Monument. Thanks.
After mentally exhausting myself from writing this monster, I did some cursory research and stumbled across something that blew my fucking mind. I have to share it.
It turns out that Dr. Stephanie Walsh, the Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta who we’ve been calling all week, has a profile on Sharecare, a website where people can ask medical questions and get a response from a medical professional.
Dr. Walsh answered a question about how to help an overweight child and she proposed the following answer, completely oblivious to the hypocrisy contained within the red box:
Tell me, Dr. Walsh. You begin by advising that you not “judge your child” or “make jokes about their weight” and that it is important to help that child maintain their self-worth and increase their self-esteem.
Can you help me understand how these billboards achieve any of those goals?
Let Stephanie know what you think:
Stephanie Walsh Medical Director of CHOA 404 785 6104 This is her admin, Janet, so please be polite. firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re also asking people to contact Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s communications officer to ask her to speak out against these ads. Please join us.
Mary Beth Bigley 202 205 5642 email@example.com
I’m not going to post the whole thing, but today’s post on Fierce, Freethinking Fatties is all about how Children’s Hospital of Atlanta has received over $375,000 in donations from Big Food corporations, most notably Coca-Cola. But that’s not even the one that will make your eyes pop out of your head. Read it and rage.
Then, take action.
We are calling on the Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, to repudiate these ads. Please, please, PLEASE call AND email to let them know what you think of these ads and request kindly that Dr. Benjamin speak out.
Mary Beth Bigley Communications Director 202 205 5642 firstname.lastname@example.org
I know I’ve been asking a lot of people lately, but we are very close to shutting down this vile shame campaign, but we need every single voice joining us. If you want to see what kind of effect we’re having, check out Strong4Life’s Facebook page, where, yesterday, a Fatty Flood filled their wall with messages shaming them for attacking kids.
Then check out their Twitter page, where they have maintained radio silence for 24 hours, just hours after promising to provide the research underpinning their campaign. And, while you’re at it, check out their sister Twitter site, Scarred4Life, which is not a parody site run by me, I swear.
And, most importantly, keep calling and writing to CHOA and telling them what you think of the campaign.
Linda Matzigkeit (doing interviews in defense of the billboards) Vice President of CHOA 404 785 7824 (This is the number for Kim, her admin) email@example.com
Stephanie Walsh (doing interviews in defense of the billboards) Medical Director of CHOA 404 785 6104 (This is the number for Janet, her admin) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin McClelland (who they direct you to for complaints about the billboards) Public Relations Director for CHOA 404 785 7600 email@example.com
Children’s Foundation 404-785-4483 firstname.lastname@example.org
But what struck me as odd is that for someone with a short fuse and a sharp tongue, I’ve remained remarkably civil toward Strong4Life. Those who have seen me fly off the handle may find it hard to believe, so I invite you to scour my Twitter for offending passages. I have, and I haven’t found anything even remotely resembling a personal attack.
Then it struck me: I joined Strong4Life’s Facebook page yesterday and posted two items. As it happens, I screen capped both of them in anticipation of censorship and I think you may find this interesting.
Pretty straightforward, not a single insult. But it’s the second post that cut them soooo deeply that they kicked me out of their group with the following explanation:
Okay, so they will not tolerate swearing, threats, harassment, vulgarity, or anything else that debases the purpose of their community or staff, the purpose of which is to debase fat children. Got it.
So, what did I say that violated these terms? Well, a young woman posted on Strong4Life’s page that her sister had experienced an increase in bullying since Strong4Life began, and that her sister had recently attempted suicide. Pay particular attention to the compassion Strong4Life exhibits toward the girl, then see if you can spot the offending section from my response.
Brace yourself for a torrent of profanity!
Not since Andrew Dice Clay has such vulgarity been uttered! Not since the Lenny Bruce trials have the limits of free speech been strained by the fowl and detestable language of the common man! Hide your kids, hide your wife, for the language contained is not suitable for the faint-hearted among us! Oh the humanity!
So, here’s the takeaway from Strong4Life:
Shaming Fat Kids = Good
Shaming Strong4Life = Bad
That’s when you know you’ve crossed the line.
I am now friends with the young woman in the post and I’m trying to find out if everything is okay. I’m not certain that her first comment is 100% accurate, but neither is Strong4Life, and rather than expressing concern for the young girl’s sister, they warn her that they “take reports of this nature very seriously.”
Well, I should fucking hope so, since you’re a hospital. (Oh no, actual, written profanity! My ears, they are melting!)
Finding out whether her sister is really experience this severe of a trauma is important, but even more important is supporting this girl, especially if you may be the one contributing to her torment. Would it have killed the Strong4Life Facebook moderator to maybe say “I’m sorry” or “Is there anything we can do?” or “How about we take down these horrible billboards already?”
Speaking of billboards, Ragen Chastain (aka Dances with Fat) contacted me with an idea that she and several others were brainstorming: our own billboard placed as near to the Strong4Life billboards that will encourage and uplift fat kids as a way to counteract the damage already done.
We’re still in the planning stages and looking for prices, but once we are ready we will be requesting donations to pay for the billboard.
Also, Ragen, Marilyn Wann and I have gathered together to create a website dedicated to this campaign at Stop Strong4Life. It is still in its foetal stage, so give us some time to flesh it out, but we will be requesting copies of your letters to Strong4Life, as well as asking to repost any and all articles on this subject.
In the meantime, please sign the Change.org petition, and continue calling and writing Strong4Life, every day, and ask yet another person to join our campaign. You can also join our Facebook page, as we continue to build up pressure against this horrible campaign.
Linda Matzigkeit (doing interviews in defense of the billboards) Vice President of CHOA 404 785 7824 (her admin’s number, so please be polite) email@example.com
Stephanie Walsh (doing interviews in defense of the billboards) Medical Director of CHOA 404 785 6104 (her admin’s number, so please be polite) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin McClelland (who they direct you to for complaints about the billboards) Public Relations Director for CHOA 404 785 7600 email@example.com
Children’s Foundation 404-785-4483 firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to reduce the amount of bullying that gay teens endure, which contributes to an astonishing 20% increase in suicidal ideation among gay teens according to one study, the Atlanta School Board has released a new advertising campaign to address the heart of the matter.
In fairness, it’s modeled after the anti-bullying efforts of Strong4Life, which I learned about through this Twitter exchange.
Wow, Strong4Life has resulted in fat kids being bullied less? And it’s covered on NPR, no less? This I have to see:
Gayla Grubbs owns a sandwich shop in Griffin, Ga. Her son Sam, 15, is obese. Grubbs says she’s not upset by the anti-obesity ads that have raised controversy here.
"I was being bullied a lot because of my weight, and after I started losing it, it cut down quite a lot. They don’t call me names or anything like that anymore," Sam says.
"It’s a self-esteem issue," his mother says. "If you feel better about yourself, you’re going to carry yourself differently; and so that has helped."
Emphasis most assuredly mine.
Let me get this straight: Strong4Life’s anti-bullying solution is stop being so fat?
An article in the June 2005 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reported that teens who perceive themselves as very underweight or very overweight were between 230% and 250% more likely to have suicidal ideations compared to those who perceive themselves to be the “right weight.”
Keep in mind, this is actually the kinder, gentler version. Left on the cutting room floor is the part where, after hanging her head in shame, Bobby’s mom looks into his eyes and says, “It’s because God hates you, Bobby.”
But these kinds of cruel, in-your-face ads are necessary, CHOA insists.
"It has to be harsh. If it’s not, nobody’s going to listen," says Linda Matzigkeit, vice president of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the pediatric hospital running the campaign.
I pointed out yesterday, CHOA justifies this campaign as a “wake up call” since, according to their research, 75% of Georgia’s parents don’t know… something… about fat kids. CHOA can’t seem to keep its message straight, as we just had this exchange:
And yet, in the video with Bobby, the warning appears to indicate something else entirely.
Which is it, CHOA? Are parents unaware of their child’s official fatty status or are parents unaware that there’s a childhood obesity problem? Because those are two very different issues.
After repeatedly requesting this “survey” that CHOA did, the results of which seem to be the total justification for targeting fat kids, I finally got a partial answer, albeit from our own vesta.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta chose the straightforward approach after its survey of two towns in Georgia found that 50 percent of parents did not know childhood obesity was a problem and 75 percent of parents with obese children did not think their child was overweight.
CHOA decided to print ads insulting and degrading fat children, shaming them for being too big, and telling them that the bullying can stop once they lose the weight. That decision was based on a survey of two towns in Georgia, which they have turned into “75% of Georgia parents” not knowing that childhood obesity is a problem.
Here’s what I want to know from CHOA: how was this sample taken? Was it representative? Were these interviews done in person, door-to-door, or over the phone? Exactly which two towns did they choose? What are they demographics for the people who answered your questions? What is their education level, socio-economic status? What were the questions you asked and what answers were they allowed to choose from? Finally, where are the results of this study that justify your cruel and hostile campaign against fat children?
These unanswered questions, along with the sketchy way in which the results are have been repeatedly misrepresented, are just another piece in the puzzle. Do you want to find out the answers? Don’t care what the answers are because you just want them to tear down these billboards?
Also, I now have the most accurate phone numbers for three contacts at CHOA, including Linda Matzigkeit, who justified the harshness of the campaign for NPR. I have done some phone sleuthing and located the most direct line they have, which will reach their respective administrative assistants (except McClellands, which goes to his voicemail)
Linda Matzigkeit Vice President of CHOA 404 785 7824 email@example.com
Stephanie Walsh Medical Director of CHOA 404 785 6104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin McClelland Public Relations Director for CHOA 404 785 7600 email@example.com
Children’s Foundation 404-785-4483 firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that CHOA Communications Director Kevin McClelland is getting deluged with emails, he is sending out his sincerest, warmest thoughts to each and every person who has expressed their concern with Georgia’s “We Hate Fat Kids” campaign.
It’s particularly amazing how consistent his sincerity is when you compare and contrast his responses in Microsoft Word.
I have it on good authority that Children’s Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA) has been responding to email complaints (keep ‘em comin’!) about their unbelievably fat-shaming campaign (aka Operation Big, Dumb Bully) with a well-crafted response from Kevin McClelland, Director of External Communications for CHOA (if you get a response at all, which I didn’t).
Thanks to Mary Baird, I have obtained a copy of that response:
Dear Ms. Baird:
We want to thank you for reaching out to start a conversation around one of the toughest challenges we face in Georgia for our children. We really appreciate your point of view and want to thank you for the work you do with children. We also want you to know our intent with this first phase of our anti-obesity campaign is to capture the attention of parents and caregivers who are ignoring the severity of this health crisis.
Raising awareness is just the first step of our campaign, and the campaign is only one part of the Strong4Life movement. The campaign will also focus on delivering solutions that will help Georgia families get tools and resources to become healthier, as well as on community partnerships that include schools, early childcare centers, physician and provider training, as well as efforts to encourage policy change.
Experts agree that behavior change will not occur until families are ready for change. Too often organizations skip the important first step of creating awareness and ensuring readiness to change before jumping straight into education and programming. Simply put, if you are not ready to make a lifestyle change, the likelihood of success is minimal.
We know that this ad campaign alone cannot change the childhood obesity crisis in Georgia. Further, no one organization or group can turn around this epidemic on its own. It will take all of us, as a community, as a society, coming together to admit this is a health crisis and most importantly, working together to make a difference at all levels - government, schools and early childcare, camps, physicians and other health care professionals, instituting policy change – it will be a monumental task, but if we work together we can achieve it.
Thank you again for your concern and for joining the discussion on this important issue.
"See? It’s just the first phase. It doesn’t really even count. There’s gonna be, like, 50 more phases. Don’t get your panties in a wad."
You’ve wanted to do something about this fat hating culture for a while now, right? You’ve wanted to give a piece of your mind to the $60 billion diet industry, right? You’ve wanted to have a real and lasting impact on how our culture treats fat people, right?
Well, this is it. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Yesterday, I wrote about out the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA) has not only created this horribly shaming campaign against fat children, but they are delighting in the “controversial” status of it. They don’t give a damn about the kids who see the billboards and internalize the shame. They think that’s part of the “success” they want to see.
We need to tell them otherwise.
Yesterday, over a thousand people read that post. Imagine if a thousand people called CHOA each day and demanded that they end this campaign. You are one of those thousand and we need you to use your voice to send the message that this is not acceptable.
I have two direct contacts… the first is the PR Director, Kevin McClelland. When I call CHOA, they redirect me to him. The second is the Medical Director, Stephanie Walsh, who is handling all of the interviews for this campaign. I want you to call them and email them, flood their voicemail and email, telling them exactly what you think of this program.
Kevin McClelland Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 404-785-7600 email@example.com
Children’s Foundation 1687 Tullie Circle NE Atlanta, GA 30329 404-785-GIVE Fax: 404-785-7355 firstname.lastname@example.org
Then, I want you to share this information with one other person who you know will be pissed about this campaign as well. Give them the numbers or emails and ask them to call and support us.
Today, we are focusing directly on CHOA, but next week we will begin to target CHOA’s corporate sponsors.
If you want to change this culture, you have to take action, and this is a quick and simple bit of armchair activism that will directly impact the lives of fat children in Georgia.
Imagine driving down the highway and seeing one of these billboards with a cruel, heartless fat joke underneath. How would that make you feel? CHOA thinks it makes fat kids feel “motivated & empowered.” Do you agree? If not, call them and tell them.
The following post on this horrible fat-hating campaign in Georgia originated on Fierce, Freethinking Fatties. Please help us put some pressure on the hospital that is funding this effort. Contact information is at the end of the article. Please, please, please reblog and share with everyone you know. Every voice makes us louder.
A while back, Deah expressed her disgust with Georgia’s Strong4Life campaign, which targets fat kids with hostile, depressing, shame-filled billboards and advertisements like these.
And if, for some sick and twisted reason, you want to see fat kids reading degrading scripts on self-loathing, check out this video stream.
Yesterday, I checked out Strong4Life’s Twitter account and my blood pressure spiked as I saw tweet after tweet sharing links to articles that were lambasting them for the needlessly cruel campaign. The fucking assholes were BRAGGING that pretty much anyone with a fully functioning conscience was pissed that this shit is happening. So, I plastered my Twitter account with criticism directed at them, and today they responded both to me and other critics. Their response? They had to issue a wake up call. Besides, it’s aimed at adults, not kids.
Bullshit. If you’re a fat kid and you see a FUCKING BILLBOARD of a fat kid talking shit about how horrible it is to be a fat kid, do you think that kid is going to say, “Hey Mom, I’mma let you handle this one.” No, you ignorant assholes, they will take that cruel fucking message as a direct assault on them.”
No treadmill? Roads don't exist to be gawked at. No weights? Furniture. No machines? Gravity works wonders for crunches and push ups. No stair machine? Climb some real stairs, a tree, who cares just go UP. No money for healthy food? Then no money for poptarts. Coupon. Subway. Excuses? I can't hear you. Harsh? You don't see success by wishing. So get out and DO IT.
Ah, yes, the Bootstrap Mentality applied to exercise. Nothing better than shaming people for not having access the kinds of facilities and equipment that help make exercise more convenient for people to engage in.
Let’s break this bit of bullshit apart, shall we?
No treadmill? Roads don’t exist to be gawked at. Yeah, but fat people apparently are. Ask any fat person (particularly fat women) who take your advice and go for a walk on those roads and they can share with you incidents of harassment and hatred from passersby that will make your skin crawl. You want to know why you don’t see fat people walking outside for exercise that often? It’s because the world is full of assholes who make it as unpleasant as possible for them to do so.
No weights? Furniture. Are you fucking kidding me? So I should just bench my fucking couch, is that what you’re saying? Because when I began weight lifting last year, the trainer I worked with emphasized the importance of a slow and gradual increase in weight (around 10% per week) to build muscle and prevent injury. But you say, “Fuck that, just lift some furniture.” Nevermind how heavy it is. Nevermind the lack of incremental weights. Nevermind the possibility that I could drop the fucking couch on my head. What matters is that your self-righteous finger-pointing should motivate those without access to a weight room to do something. Way to go, Dipshit McGee.
No machines? Gravity works wonders for crunches and push ups. Ah yes, because people who have made a lifetime habit of exercising do nothing but crunches and push ups. That’s why they keep doing it. It’s so fucking fun to do the exact same exercise day after day after day after day. Forget finding some form of exercise that you actually enjoy. Pleasure is overrated. What you need is some sort of dull, repetitive action to inspire you to action every day for the rest of your life. Brilliant! (I’ve got news for you, OP, the reason most people maintain an exercise routine for a lifetime is that, in addition to the health benefits, they receive some sort of personal satisfaction and pleasure from the activity itself. Simply telling people to do crunches and push ups does not solve this problem.)
No stair machine? Climb some real stairs, a tree, who cares just go UP. No rowing machine? Just get a fucking boat. No yoga mat? Just roll around on the fucking floor. Geezuz, really, climb a tree? That’s your advice. No access to a gym, climb a fucking tree? You’re like the lovechild of Richard Fucking Simmons and MacGyver.
No money for healthy food? Then no money for poptarts. Coupon. Subway. So, if you can’t afford healthy food, you shouldn’t eat at all? What the fuck? And, depending on who you ask, Subway isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice. It’s still processed food, asshole. The bread, the meat, the dressings are still pumped full of chemicals and preservatives. And what part of “whole foods cost more than processed foods" don’t you understand? Also, preparing healthy foods takes time and over the past few decades, and particularly in the past decade, the amount of free time people have has dwindled significantly.
Congratulations if you have the time to clean, chop and cook fresh, whole meals from scratch, let alone have the kitchen, equipment and skillsets to do so in a tasty and pleasurable way, because, let’s face it, you won’t keep cooking yourself food if you suck at it. Most people do not, so they rely on convenience foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Wealthy people can (and most certainly do) afford healthy convenience foods or eating delicious healthy meals at restaurants, but the poor are supposed cook their own food, regardless of time constraints or affordability? Once more, FUCK YOU!
Excuses? I can’t hear you. A common problem for people with their heads up their asses.
Harsh? You don’t see success by wishing. Success? Success at what? Being a pompous, smug, self-righteous asshole who waves his healthy lifestyle around like a fucking flag? Yeah, congratulations on being the World’s Biggest Douchebag. Your trophy’s in the mail.
So get out and DO IT. You may have thought this was all hard-ass inspirational and shit, but it wasn’t. It was a pathetic, judgmental load of tripe that isn’t worth the time, cost, energy or effort required to print it out and wipe my ass with it. Just because you have the ability to exercise doesn’t give you the authority to lecture others on how to live their lives. There are a whole host of valid reasons why people are unable to exercise routinely, including the judgmental comments of Fitness Nazis like you.
If you want to encourage people to pursue physical fitness, then maybe try a little compassion and understanding. Maybe ask questions without accusing them of making excuses. Maybe sympathize with the fact that people, even those in the middle class, have limited time, money and energy, and are working harder than ever just to stay afloat in this shitty economy, and they don’t need some Gold’s Gym reject wagging his beef fingers in their faces. Just stop being an asshole.
I've been doing it for almost a year, thank you. And I do focus on eating healthy and exercising that's how I lost the weight. It isn't a diet, and I'm pretty sure 99% of these girls know, atchka. What the fuck kind of blog do you have anyway, and why are you following my weight loss blog? Just so you can put down others? We all start out somewhere, and I can guarantee you that in another year I'll still be eating healthy and exercising.
First off, I have absolutely no idea why I’m following your blog. I follow a lot of blogs and don’t keep track of how I find people. But, no, it isn’t just to put you down. And I wasn’t putting you down with this post either.
But for the record, I asked, “Just out of curiosity, of all the people here who have reblogged, how long has it been since you reached your goal weight?”
I’ve studied the issue of weight loss pretty intensely for the past two years and read a lot of research, and there’s one common thread running through all weight loss research: the failure rates are abominable. But those failure rates are based on how long after a person achieves their goal weight, not from the day they start their diet or lifestyle change or whatever you want to call it.
I’m not here to discourage anyone from eating healthy and exercising. Far from it. If you want to be healthy, then you have to eat a diverse, balanced diet and get the minimum recommended amount of exercise. I am absolutely against caloric restriction for the sake of weight loss, as any study you read on caloric restriction is bound to fail for the vast majority. And if you don’t want to be healthy, Godspeed and good luck.
The problem, as I see it, is that people assume healthy eating and exercise will lead to weight loss, or more commonly, that creating a caloric deficit (calories in/calories out) will lead to long-term (greater than one year after reaching your goal weight) significant weight loss (greater than 10% of your starting weight). I’ve outlined much of the research that refutes these beliefs in this post.
But I don’t say any of this in hopes that you will change your habits. Your habits are awesome, and if you are still eating healthy and exercising in another year, then good on you. But my mission as a blogger is to teach people of what healthy eating and exercise (aka, a healthy lifestyle).
A healthy lifestyle can* help prevent, mitigate or, in some cases, reverse metabolic disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.
A healthy lifestyle cannot ensure that you reach and maintain your goal weight for the rest of your life.
And here’s why: if you look at two people who weigh 200 pounds, the person who has been 200 pounds their entire life will have a faster metabolism than the 200-pound person who recently lost 100 pounds from a starting weight of 300 pounds.
The reason? Your body resists weight loss since it interprets caloric restriction as the results of a famine. Check out this fascinating article on weight cycling for more info. And, again, the body seems capable of holding out for about a year after achieving your goal weight. Beyond that, success stories are few and far between.
The solution? Keep eating healthy and exercising, but stop pursuing an arbitrary goal weight. You set that weight loss goal for some reason. Either you based it on what your BMI “should be” (BMI is bullshit and cardiorespiratory health, regardless of your weight, is the best indicator of health) or you imagine your life will be fucking fantastic once you weight X amount (frequently referred to as the Fantasy of Being Thin) or you used to weigh that amount in high school and want to return there (you can never go back home) or some combination of those reasons, or a totally different reason all together.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter. The goal weight you set is absolutely arbitrary because your body already knows what your ideal weight should be and there’s nothing you can do to make it changes its mind. What is that goal weight, you may ask? Well, it’s the weight you settle at when you are eating a healthy, balanced diet while respecting your appetites and cravings, and getting the minimum recommended amount of exercise (150 minutes moderate, 75 minutes vigorous per week).
It is only by being at peace with your body that your body will ever be at peace with you. Attempting to force your body into a mold that you have decided it should fit in will only result in your body resisting your attempts with greater and greater force. And as the article I posted above said,
By some estimates, more than 80 percent of people who have lost weight regain all of it, or more, after two years. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed 31 long-term diet studies and found that about two-thirds of dieters regained more weight within four or five years than they initially lost.
The key to healthy behavior is not reaching some goal weight you set for yourself. The key to healthy behavior is finding a balance between healthy lifestyle and living life. If your weight loss pursuit is interfering in your ability to live life happily, then you will not sustain it, and caloric restriction will never allow you to live life happily.
For anyone who has been through this merry-go-round before, I highly recommend getting a copy of Dr. Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Size ($10 in paperback, $1.79 on Kindle), which explains the approach I have outlined in much greater detailed, as well as provides exhaustive citations to back up her claims.
I wish you the best in your pursuit of health, but I hope that you will reconsider what “health” means. I’m not trying to dissuade you from any of your current behaviors, only from the belief that weight loss is an admirable and/or achievable goal.
*Some genetically-triggered metabolic disorders are beyond the effects of diet and exercise, in which case you may need medicine on top of that. But one thing you can know for sure is that a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle will exacerbate whatever genetic disorder you have.
Rebecca Jane Weinstein is writing a book called Fat Sex and has just posted an article in the Huffington Post about the subject. Of course, the trolls are pouring in to tell Rebecca what a disgusting, lazy pig she is.
Up until about two months ago, I was a community moderator on Huffington Post who was asked to delete hateful comments toward fat people. I recently had my deletion privileges revoked (HuffPo claims it happened because they are switching moderating systems). In the meantime, hateful comments toward fat people have risen up once again.