Fatness Does Not Equal Ignorance

First go read this about the proposed fat tax in America.

I used to be one of the masses who believed that education alone could save us. Save us from everything (including obesity) because obviously, ignorance is the enemy. And no, I am not promoting being an idiot. When it comes to being overweight, there always seems to be an underlying current of ‘they should know better’ and that once you learn the wonders of calorie counting and regular exercise, that is the matter sorted. If the deviant behaviour (e.g. eating) continues, a little bit of shame therapy (do you know how many blocks of butter you are putting on your body by eating that ice cream everyday?!) might just do the trick.

I don’t think anyone is under any illusions that their third bar of chocolate is doing them any favours. And of course, for your body to run at its peak of health, balanced eating and regular exercise is  major component. But I know girls who eat like horses and are a consistent size 8. I know girls who are far fitter than most people I know and maintain an “overweight” BMI. So who here needs to be taught the education of weight loss?

I am pretty knowledgeable on nutrition and weight loss. I pay out of my own pocket to see a dietitian, I research on the internet and I have in the past lost over 60lbs (until I had some sense knocked into me and stopped starving myself.) I know how much I should exercise, how much I should eat, how much protein I need and which carbs are preferable. I am anything but ignorant on living a healthy lifestyle. So why am I still fat?

Well for one, I come from a family of women with big boobs and hourglass figures and no matter how much weight I try to lose, there is no changing that. That is just the way I am built. Secondly, intellect is not as strong as emotion (in my brain anyway) and after months of therapy, I am finally seeing patterns in why I do what I do. I do not eat because I don’t know any better. I have enough guilt, shame and logic to know better than to overeat. So why do I still do it? Because it calms me, because it soothes the compulsion, because when I feel like I am not good enough for anyone or anything then I honestly don’t give a fuck because what’s the harm in ruining already damaged goods? There are many a reason why I am fat, but ignorance is certainly not one of them.

Whenever I watch a weight loss show, I am struck by how often the presenter gives the impression of lack of knowledge and laziness being the black-and-white reason behind why so many people are overweight. I have yet to hear about the socioeconomic culture of fast food and lack of activity that overwhelms some areas due to poverty. I have yet to hear an address of the emotional issues that accompany the lack of motivation for self care. I have yet to hear of an approach other that calories in vs calories out. All I see is shaming people when they break and then comforting them when they cry before pushing them back onto the treadmill.

If weight loss were as simple as knowing to put down the fork then the obesity crisis would be a thing of myth.

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