Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fat Acceptance Is A Ruse To Avoid Weight Loss

Why can't society just accept fat people for who they are? They're human beings too and should not be scorned by others just because they carry around a few extra pounds. When are we going to stop begging people to lose weight when it is quite possible to be healthy at any size?

Have you heard statements like these from some well-meaning people? The "fat acceptance" movement has taken root in this country with groups like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance promoting their viewpoint that fat is beautiful and nobody should be forced into losing weight if they don't want to.

I'm sure many of my longtime readers remember how this woman got so mad at me over this blog post because I dared challenge the premise that being fat is okay. The notion of accepting fat people for who they are sounds pretty good on the surface, doesn't it? If I'm fat, then it's my choice to be this way so LEAVE ME ALONE!

Okay, fine. But as someone who used to weigh over 400 pounds, I not only have a right to speak out, but I would also say that it is my responsibility to share with others that remaining obese is not an option when there are viable ways to shed the pounds even when you think you've tried everything.

Unfortunately, we have people pushing "fat acceptance" like Kim Barto who believe strongly that weight loss is overrated. She is a senior at the University of North Carolina-Asheville just up the road from my hometown of Spartanburg, SC and she recently wrote this op-ed piece for The Citizen-Times about this very sensitive subject of America's obession with weight loss which Barto describes as "urealistic" and even "harmful."

Barto attempted to provide evidence to support her theory about American culture hung up on dieting by noting that eating disorders have risen sharply while more and more people express concerns about their weight. She contends that this is leading to higher rates of mental disorders that sometimes leads to suicide attempts and even death.

Morbid thoughts indeed. But what Barto is conveniently forgetting is the fact that TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE AMERICANS IS OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE and the rates keep going up and up! So it stands to reason that weight loss is on our minds as a country because it needs to be. We're FAT!

In Barto's world, though, she doesn't see anything wrong with people remaining fat if that's what makes them feel good.

"A wide variety of body types are normal, depending on one’s bone structure, metabolism and genetics. It is fruitless and misleading to expect everyone to conform to the same weight. Whether you are naturally muscular, chunky, twiggy, curvy or tiny, trying to change your body can be frustrating and even dangerous."

Now wait just a minute, Ms. Barto. What is so "dangerous" about someone trying to lose weight? When I weighed an abysmal 410 pounds at the beginning of 2004, many would say I had put myself in a bad situation, even a potentially "dangerous" one. My health was on the decline with breathing, blood pressure and cholesterol problems among other ailments. I was quite literally a ticking timebomb just waiting to explode.

But then I started livin' la vida low-carb and changed my life forever. Sure, I could have just accepted my fat for what it was and begged people to not judge me for my weight. However, it wasn't about my image, but rather my health. It was better for me to go on the Atkins diet than to remain obese. I honestly believe I may not be here today had I not lost 180 pounds two years ago. Weight loss not only was a desire, but a necessity for me to survive.

It kills me how people like Barto like to bring up the point about how 98 percent of dieters gain back their weight and then some within five years. To that I say SO WHAT?! What the heck does that have to do with the person who needs to lose 50, 100, 200 pounds because their health is in disarray because of their obesity? If diets fail then don't go on a diet. Instead, find a permanent lifestyle change you can do for the rest of your life.

My weight loss is still less than three years old, so I suppose it is possible I have time to regain my weight, too. Should I just throw my hands up in the air and just assume the weight will come back on my body? Is giving up hope for lasting weight loss success the answer? Heck no, it isn't. Weight loss is a journey of choice that YOU and ONLY YOU must make for yourself if it is something you need to do. Fat acceptance is nothing more than a ruse to avoid necessary weight loss. PERIOD!

The problem is that too many people are in denial about their weight problem to begin with. In other words, people HAVE too easily accepted their size and it is now taking a toll on their health. Rising obesity rates is creating financial problems for Medicare because of the extra healthcare costs that are involved with obesity-related diseases. The unintended consequences of fat acceptance is declining health among all age groups.

Lamenting the weight loss profits totaling nearly $50 billion a year, Barto said this is all just so ridiculous and people should stop trying to lose weight while lining the pockets of those who don't care about their health.

"What a paradox, that dieting should be such a lucrative industry in a country with such high obesity rates. Someone is obviously profiting from fat phobia in a big way. Take a nation of insecure people, bombard them with images of impossible beauty standards, and they will greet the latest fad with open wallets. Couldn’t those billions of dollars be better spent? Instead of trying to buy happiness, think of all the good that money could do if diverted to cancer research or stamping out hunger."

Oh please, Ms. Barto. There's no conspiracy to trick people into thinking they are fat to get them to buy weight loss products. Have you looked around lately? There are a LOT of people who are FAT! It literally breaks my heart to be in a public place like a restaurant and see someone whose belly sticks out in front of them at least two feet. My first thought is, "God, I can't believe that's how big I used to be." Then I remember the hard work I put into losing my weight and wish so desperately to help these people get healthier, too.

While everyone is trying to get their piece of the proverbial pie in the diet industry, it is up to the consumer to be smart about what choices they make regarding their own health. They can't rely on a company like Nestle to provide them quality products for a healthy diet. Misleading marketing ads exist out there and people need to educate themselves about what is best for them. This blog post was the perfect illustration of the business model for being in diet market.

Barto contends that people can be in "good health at any size."

"Too many dieters harm their bodies and psyches by skipping meals, purging and popping pills in the quest for skinniness. We should eat for nutrition and well-being, not solely to lose weight. Amidst all the deprivation and guilt associated with eating, we often forget that fresh, simple food is a joy in itself."

Does carrying around a big pot belly cause harm to our bodies, Ms. Barto? It most definitely does, which is why people need to lose weight. I don't advocate starving yourself, throwing up or taking the latest magic weight loss pill to get there. But a healthy low-carb lifestyle has been proven to be the most nutrient-dense and balanced nutritional approach I have ever come across in my life. There's no deprivation, but rather indulgence to the max on this amazing way of eating.

Concluding her article, Barto said it is time for a "change in mindset."

"Let’s embrace diversity of size and question the source of our insecurities. Find the weight that’s healthy for you, individually, without comparing yourself to the skeletal models on TV. Life is too short to hate your body."

I agree with the point that the warped image of what "normal" is from Hollywood is wrong. But there are ways to deal with your weight problem and get healthy that fall outside the realm of these unrealistic images. Heck, technically I'm still obese despite losing over 180 pounds! But am I worried about that? HA! Yeah right! My body is much better off now in the 220's than it was at 410.

Wouldn't you agree, Ms. Barto?

You can e-mail Kim Barto at

9-23-06 UPDATE: Well, it looks like the fine pro-fat acceptance folks over at the "Big Fat Blog" didn't take too kindly to this blog post.

Here's an excerpt:

"We must be making waves if people feel this threatened, no? Articles like Ms. Barto's demonstrate that more people are considering just loving their bodies as they are, and getting off the hamster wheel that is the diet industry. And somehow, HAES and fat acceptance are bigger scams than, say, low-carb dieting? Calorie counting? Grapefruit diet? WeightWatchers? Jenny Craig? Slim-Fast? South Beach? NutriSystem? It's sad, really, and it's equally sad that this article came from a supposed news source."

Ahhhhh, you gotta love these people. They feel oh so happy with being overweight that they can't handle it when someone tells it to them straight. I make no apologies for what I wrote because it is my sincere belief that people who over carrying around extra weight need to make a lot more changes in their life besides their diet. But, to each his own. :)

9-27-06 UPDATE: Well, now I've heard straight from the horse's mouth. Kim Barto was kind enough to respond to my concerns about her article today in an e-mail:

Hi Jimmy, thank you for taking the time to write in response to my column. I'm glad that Atkins has given you the motivation to get in shape and change your life for the better. But I must take issue with your assertion that my column deals with "fat acceptance." Obviously, obesity causes health problems--no one disagrees with that. The main point of my article was health, i.e. making the lifestyle choice to get active, eat a balanced diet and find the weight that maximizes your physical and mental well-being. I'm not advocating the total abolition of weight loss here. What is the problem is a nation of young women (and some men) who are taught to believe there is something wrong with their bodies, when in fact they are within the normal parameters of a healthy weight. Believe me, as a college student, this is something I encounter every day. You would not believe how many of my friends and acquaintances obsess about their weight, even if they are naturally a size 6 or 8, skip meals or suffer from eating disorders.

One of my professors took a survey in class one day; he asked all the females to write on a slip of paper whether they considered themselves "fat." Nine out of ten said yes, and this was a class full of active, athletic women. He has done this exercise for several years with the same result. It is truly scary how much these impossible standards of beauty skew people's perceptions. But perhaps you are not aware of the extent to which advertising and runway models affect self-image, since you are not a young female. I was not kidding when I said that these societal messages are warping the minds of girls from elementary school onward. If you don't believe this, I suggest you look up some statistics on pediatric eating disorders. It's a horrifying phenomenon when seven-year-olds make themselves throw up.

I'm flattered that you thought enough of my writing to post it in your blog; however, I think you may have missed my point. From what I've read of your post, we're talking apples and oranges. But thank you again for writing. I do appreciate hearing what my readers have to say.

Kim Barto

THANK YOU, Kim, for clarifying your comments. I appreciate that you took the time to explain what your motive for writing the column was and for sharing your thoughts on this very important social subject. Take care!

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Blogger Newbirth said...

Here's from a free weekly inmy local area.

Fat Acceptance

9/19/2006 11:19 PM  
Blogger Ronald said...

I hope they enjoy having no energy. Many social problems related to obesity. Not to mention the variety of health problems.

I know I don't want any of these. No sane human would.

9/20/2006 1:07 AM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

The Fat Acceptance mob, are dead against diet talk. This is why I could never fit in with that crowd.

9/20/2006 5:18 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for posting that link, newbirth. This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. UGH!

9/20/2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

I don't think fat people should be discriminated against but i seriously doubt if there are any fat people out there who are truely happy. It is just to hard to function when you are overweight and if people wanted acceptance being fat the diet industry wouldn't be rakin in the dough. A fat person who is happy being fat doesn't shell out the money to buy those products and since it is a millions of dollars industry obviously there are a lot of fat people who don't want acceptance they want a normal weight. Obiviously Jimmy I am able to post again. Bet you are just tickled to death to be reading my 2 cents again!

9/20/2006 6:57 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

GREAT comments, Tess! And YES, it is good to have you back. You always have a peculiar take on most of the subjects I write about. :D

9/20/2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger The Happy Low Carb Taco said...

I used to think that being fat was ok. I was fooling myself.

Reasons I lost weight:

1.My doctor said I was pre-diabetic. (At age 19!)

2.I was tired of not being able to buy nice clothes.

3. I was spending a lot of my money on food. A LOT. (Mainly expensive processed junk.)


5. I was ugly. You should see my driver's license photo, when I weighed 220 pounds. It's hideous, quite frankly.

Being fat (long term) is NOT ok. PERIOD.

If you think that being permantely obese is alright, and you tell others that, then you're spreading a socially irresponsible and dangerous message. That's why I HATE organizations such as the NAAFA just as much as I hate Hollywood's ideal image. Both are equally damaging.

Sorry, I get on a bit of a soapbox regarding this...

9/20/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I completely agree with you, Jimmy, that fat acceptance does not lead to a healthier person, society or nation. I also agree that obesity is a problem in epidemic proportions in the US.

Having said that, I think you completely misinterpreted this woman's article.

She spent a lot of time talking about anorexia and other severe eating disorders related with dangerous thinness.

I don't think that she was saying "accept yourself, even if you weigh 400+ lbs." I think she was saying that a person can be beautiful and wear a "Large;" that not everyone has to wear a "Small" or "Extra Small."

I believe her point is to accept your build and not have unrealistic expectations. What I think she meant is more along the lines of BMI being bogus. Everyone in the world who is a given height does not have to weigh within the same 20 lb weight range to be healthy and accepted.

I think she was addressing co-eds who are thinking about or already involved in dangerous behavior to lose weight and constantly obsessing about being too fat, when they may already be too thin.

I believe her point is to just eat healthy and find fun ways to exercise instead of feeling guilty about eating and punishing yourself with exercise.

I don't think she's talking to us or about us, Jimmy. So let's cut this poor girl a little slack.

9/20/2006 12:00 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Jenna,

THANKS for your comments! I'd agree with you that she did point out all of those other things, but the underlying theme was "Be happy with the weight you are at."

I'm sorry, you can't do that if you are in dire need of weight loss. You MUST do something to take the weight off if you are carrying around extra weight.

While I definitely agree the college students who do not need to lose weight should heed the advice that is given in this column, I believe this sends the wrong message to those women and men who are overweight or obese.

THANKS again for sharing your thoughts.

9/20/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger ira said...

I usually never disagree with you on anything (except politics) but this time I do.
Some people just can't lose weight, whether it's on a low carb or low fat diet, and it seems to me that the last bastion of bigotry is against fat folks.
It's not okay to discriminate against people of color or gays and lesbians, but it's pretty acceptable to discriminate against "people of girth".
Sure, it's good to lose weight, and sure, lots of fat folk ought to do more exercise and diet, and sure, most people would benefit from a low carb diet as I did, but most fat people are pretty desperate and deserve more sympathy than attack.

9/20/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Suzique said...

Hiya Jimmy:
Gotta chime in on this one. I agree that the "fat acceptance" movement can be used by fat people as a justification for giving up on weight loss. But I worry that bashing the FA folks also encourages those who are not overweight to continue their practice of America's last acceptable form of bigotry--hatred of overweight people. I have had strangers "moo" at me as I walked into a restaurant--not lately because now I would beat the crap out of them but I was younger and more timid then : ). The part of NAAFA (is that their name?) that fights for the rights of fat people to hold jobs and walk down the street minding their own business without being harrassed or ridiculed is not a bad thing. I know you don't support the public ridicule of overweight people, Jimmy--nice guy that you are! But the "fat acceptance" movement does have a "human rights" component that we shouldn't totally discount. Just my own 2-cents!--Suzanne, aka Suzique,

9/20/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Suzique! I can certainly appreciate a group advocating non-discriminatory policies towards fat people, but to encourage them to accept their overweight or obese bodies without any attempts to get healthy is agregious at best. We should support these people in their efforts, but not condone their "who cares" attitude regarding weight loss.

9/20/2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Ira,

You know that I'm all for sympathizing with people who struggle with their weight. In fact, I can EMPATHIZE since I was there once myself. As I said to Suzique, I don't think fat people should be as discriminated as they are, but that does not give them license to stop trying to lose weight.

We're splitting hairs here a bit, but I'm not talking about the rights of overweight and obese people (which they have many), but rather the responsibility that they have to get their weight and health under control.

Telling me to accept you as you are when you are clearly an unhealthy fat person is something I cannot do. I'd be abdicating my responsiblity as someone who has overcome a monumental weight struggle if I did that.

9/20/2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger 1Peter3 said...

There's a problem with labeling people as overweight or obese, and that has to do with how it's defined.

Jimmy, you admit that by the current standards, you are still considered to be obese!

And yet:

~ You have lost 180 pounds. (probably closer to 190 by now?)
~ You have 11% body fat, which is very low by anyone's standards.
~ You are very healthy, muscular, and appear to be of very normal weight.

And yet You are still considered to be obese, in spite of how much weight you've lost, how healthy you are, and how little body fat you carry.

What I mean is that you're 6'3", right? According to the BMI charts, you should weigh under 200 lbs. With only 11% body fat when you were at 240 lbs, where is this extra weight loss supposed to come from? The only possible answer is that you will need to begin losing muscle in order to meet the standards of "normal" set by the Almighty BMI charts.

In other words, as long as you have a BMI over 24.9 (according to the CDC), it doesn't matter how healthy you are, it doesn't matter how little body fat you have, it doesn't matter how much weight you've lost and how long you've kept it off - in the statistics that are reported to the CDC and in the media, you will still be counted as one of the tremendous number of overweight and obese in the US!

Something is seriously wrong with how we define "ideal" weight in this country, if YOU can be considered obese!

I'm not denying that we have a weight problem in this country. Far from it! I'm still one of the obese, who also happens to actually look obese. But I'm working on it, it's just going very slowly, and in tiny fits and starts.

When I was in my early 20's, I had a year or so when I was within the "normal" weight range for my height, but I had very little muscle, which makes me believe that if I ever manage to lose the rest of the fat I need to lose (as oppposed to weight, which includes bones, mucles and other non-fat body composition), I will still be considered among the overweight, if not still considered obese.

My point in all this (yes, I'm finally getting to it) is that in the referenced article, I didn't see an indication that Ms Barto had a problem with people who were seriously obese/morbidly obese trying to do something to improve their health, since she didn't specifically mention those who had such serious weight problems. What I got from it was a sense that dieting to waif-like thinness was crazy. In fact, at one point she said:

Instead of saying “feel the burn” or “no pain, no gain,” try “feel good.”

Isn't this what you were really after when you lost all that weight? Didn't you want to finally feel good physically? Mentally? Emotionally? I know that's really my goal. Being a "normal" size is just a nice side effect of losing some of that weight.

But dieting in this country has gotten way past the point of people doing it to feel good. From what I've seen, it's not the ones who are morbidly obese and suffering with multiple physical problems caused by that obesity who are usually spending all that money on the diet clubs and special diet foods. It's the ones who have 10 vanity pounds they want desperately to lose. (or 5 pounds, or 3 pounds, whatever - they just to get down to what they percieve to be an ideal dress size or look)

You pointed out that she says:

Rather than focusing on weight loss at any cost, we should aim for good health at any size.

But she then immediately says:

Too many dieters harm their bodies and psyches by skipping meals, purging and popping pills in the quest for skinniness.

Notice, she says "harming bodies and psyches", and "quest for skinniness", both of which indicate to me that she's not talking about people who truly need to lose weight (50 lbs, 100 lbs, or more), but instead those who just can't stand the fact that their body is quite naturally a little bit larger (5 lbs? 7 lbs? Maybe even a shocking 15 lbs?) than the skin and bones hollywood and fashion runway ideal.

She's a college student - the very line she used near the beginning of her article:

As long as the starvation look is in vogue...

And this at the very end:

Find the weight that’s healthy for you, individually, without comparing yourself to the skeletal models on TV.

indicate to me that she's around women who are very normal sized (or even very thin already), and yet are determined to lose still more weight.

When she says:

Ninety-eight percent of dieters regain all the weight they manage to lose, plus about 10 extra pounds, within five years.

... what that tells me is that once again, she's not talking about people who are seriously overweight, because every time I lost weight and then gained it back, I gained it back much quicker than 5 years (more like 5 months, or even 5 weeks), and unless I only lost 10 pounds to begin with, I'd gain a lot more than an extra 10 lbs too!

She also says this:

We should eat for nutrition and well-being, not solely to lose weight. Amidst all the deprivation and guilt associated with eating, we often forget that fresh, simple food is a joy in itself.

That, as far as I can tell, is truly the credo of a low carb way of eating for life - forget the idea that you're depriving yourself of all the starchy, sugary "goodies" out there, just enjoy real food the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and you'll also enjoy good health, not just from having lost a lot of excess tonnage, but also because you're eating foods that are naturally good for you.

But this is just my personal take on the article, and I for one had to agree wholeheartedly that it's about time someone called a halt to the use of waif thin models on the fashion runways, because it presents an ideal that exceedingly few people could ever hope to achieve, and the styles modelled simply won't look the same, even on a body that does fall into the normal BMI range.


It took me so long to compose this (and convincing Blogger to accept that I'm not a bot spamming your blog!) that upon finally seeing a preview, I notice someone else has made very similar comments about the topic. I see your point - I just don't think she's directing her comments at people who truly need to lose weight, but instead at those who don't really need to lose weight.


Oh there's been several other comments already... going to try to preview again and post it.

9/20/2006 2:09 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS 1Peter3! More great comments. My central point is this: there are a lot of people who DO need to lose weight and they have bought into this "fat acceptance" movement hook, line, and sinker.

Their bellies are protruding out so far that they can't see their shoes; their thighs are bigger than most people's waists; their bottom side could NEVER fit in a movie theater or airplane seat.

THESE are the people I am talking about. It's one thing to accept your body for the way it is and you are generally considered by your peers as at a "normal" weight. But it's yet another thing to deny the aboveforementioned characteristics are any part of that.

THANKS to everyone for your FANTASTIC comments.

9/20/2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Here's the furor that erupted when I mentioned fat acceptance on the low-carbers forum.

low-carbers defend their fatness and bash me

9/20/2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a reply I posted to fellow blogger and friend Newbirth on her blog when she recieved a lot of flack for stating that NAAFA is not helping anyone by promoting "fat acceptance".

I agree with you that NAAFA is doing a huge disservice to the very people they are trying to help. I think their hearts are in the right place, but they are taking the wrong approach. People who are overweight or obese SHOULD find a way to love and respect themselves as they are. They will need to love and respect themselves a lot to give themselves the awesome gift of weight loss and improved health. Even if they are currently healthy (as I was excpet for BP in the "pre-hypertenson" range) they would be likely preventing a lot of future health challenges by losing weight now. I still think the country as a whole has a very negative image of folks that are morbily obese and I do not believe in discrimination against someone based on size. I have also noticed that it is more and more "normal" to be overweight and if you are working on improving yourself, people can be very judgemental. As you know, when I started losing weight I was considered morbidly obese (I was about 120 pounds over my ideal weight). I did recieve a lot of support (with a few people here and there just waiting for me to fail). As I have gotten closer to what I think is the new socially acceptable size for a "normal" female in the midwest (I am a size 12/14 depending on the cut of the clothing)I have fewer and fewer supporters on my quest to lose weight. Instead of being the largest female in my office, I am now pretty much in the middle as far as size goes among the females in my office. Comments I have gotten lately...her "why do you think you still need to lose weight" me, "because I'm still fat" her "you're not fat, you're just a sturdy girl like me, we'll never be skinny". "you don't need to be on some extreme diet like that""you should just be happy with the size you are""be careful, if you think you are still fat you could end up with an eating disorder""you are so extreme, can't you just try one of my cookies"Now, I AM proud of what I have accomplished so far, but I am not going to let that make me lazy in pursuing my ultimate goal (goal weight is 135 which is on the higher end of the range for my 5'4" frame). I DID have an eating disorder called compulsive eating, and I am still recovering from that, but, I will never have anorexia or bulimia as I love to eat and hate to puke. I have noticed people are comfortable with your size if you are a little bit bigger or the same size, I think because it makes them feel normal. My grandma and my mother-in -law still try to feed me things like apple salad and sweet potatoes because they are "good for you". You know, I think I get judged more now for what I eat than I did when I was morbidly obese and eating candy and chips every day. In general, people are judgemental. They judge people who do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, that is human nature. I can easily fall prey to the "my way is the best way" mindset on everything, not just diet, and I work on that all the time.But, telling people, "your size is fine, eat whatever you want as long as you are happy" when they are morbidly obese is just irresponsible and wrong. When I look back at old pictures of me (when I wore a women's size 24) I wish someone close to me had said something. My whole family always told me I was beautiful, which I do appreciate, because I think having that in my self image gave me the drive I needed to lose the weight. I just wish someone had added on to that somewhere that they were concerned about my health. I was 31 and had gained a clothing size about every other year over the last 6 years with no sign of stopping. I was tired of not fitting comfortably in chairs. I wanted to buy clothes from the misses section. I knew I had a pretty face but when I looked in the mirror I was sometimes shocked at how fat I looked. My self image did not match that person looking back at me. I guess I am saying if we have a person close to us who is morbidly obese we should not judge them, but love them enough to express our concern. Then help them find that drive and courage deep inside them to either try to improve their health or prevent future health problems for their own benefit and for the benefit of the people they love.

9/21/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger LindaLCforLife said...

Conservative medicine is to blame for this. I think these people have just given up out of despair. They have done everything they are told by doctors and nutritionists everywhere, yet nothing works for them. It's a way of survival for them, it's their way of handling what they think is a hopeless situation. These people need our support, not criticism and mockery. They get enough of that as it is.

9/22/2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm not mocking or criticizing them for TRYING to lose weight. I'm simply saying they should not STOP TRYING to lose weight if they need to. There is a HUGE difference. THANKS for sharing LCLindaforLife!

9/22/2006 6:35 PM  
Blogger LindaLCforLife said...

I said they need our support!

Support for trying to lose weight? Yes!

Criticism and mockery for their self acceptance of their body habitus? No!

Sorry you misunderstood.

9/23/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Nope, didn't misunderstand what you said, LindaLCforLife. Knew what you meant as clear as a bell! I was merely reiterating the central theme of my column. THANKS again!

9/23/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger renegadediabetic said...

I have been reading your blogs for a couple of months and decided to weigh in on this one. I know first hand the damage obesity can do to your health. I January, I was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. I have been fighting with my weight most of my life. For over 20 years I tried to follow the low fat dogma with total failure. I eventually balooned up to over 350 lbs. I tried Weight Watchers and lost over 50 lbs initially, vowing I would never get over 300 lbs again. However, the insatiable cravings took over as they always did and I was unable to stay there. While continuing to attend Weight Watchers, my weight went up and down, eventually ending up back where I started, plus. By last summer I had given up on losing weight. I figured it wasn't going to happen with the constant cravings. By this time I as also being treated for sleep apnea and elevated blood pressure. Then in January, during my annual physical for work, my blood sugar was 258. When I went to my doctor, it was over 400. At diabetes education, they told me to eat low fat and follow the food pyramid. With medication and laying off sugar, my blood sugar came down. However, I still had the cravings and found myself pigging out on carbs as I always had. My wife had been suggesting a low carb diet and I finally came to my senses -- they were telling me to keep doing what I was doing before -- the very thing that got me into this mess. I chose to follow the Schwartzbein Principle. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein started in medicine working with diabetics and just watched them get worse on the American Diabetes Association diet. She realized that the carbs were the problem. When she had the restrict carbs, they got better.

My glucose control is much better than the ADA standards and almost to normal, non-diabetic levels. At one point my doctor wanted to put me on Lipitor, but I didn't like the prospect of the side effects. My cholesterol came down, so that's no longer an issue. I've lost 80 lbs since I peaked out last summer. The cravings are gone and I've made low carb a life style. I'm not fully recovered, but I'm on the right path. I only regret that I didn't come to my senses about low carb sooner.

I can appreciate the frustration that other overweight people feel. I've been there, thinking I was doing everything right and not seeing any progress. However, being obese is bad for your health. I think you need to find the right approach for you and stick to it. The medical establishment needs to abandon its one-size-fits-all approach and at least acknowledge that some (and probably most) people are better suited for low carb. I agree with some comments about unrealistic expectations of thinness, eating disorders, etc. Fat people do need to learn to love themselves and love themselves enough to improve their health.

9/23/2006 12:54 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, renegade! THANKS for sharing and don't be a stranger on the comments. You are welcome to post here anytime. Take care!

9/23/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger LindaLCforLife said...

I'm not sure if my previous blog on this went through or not, ignore it if it did, but I'll start over again:

Renegade is just one example out of thousands who go through this hell with the conservative medical establishment with their weight and health issues. Believe me, I see it everyday. I can't say what I would do in their shoes, but I might just give up too.

I think the FA, or those who believe obesity is acceptable, are living in denial, but I don't think bashing them for it is constructive either. Like I said before, I think it's a coping mechanism. No one can do anything to "make" another person decide to lose weight. Hopefully, as science makes more progress in confirming the benefits of low-carb eventually they will find a way, like renegade.

9/23/2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger kemibe said...

Jimmy, I blogged about this as well before taking notice of your post.

This is a difficult subject because so many people confuse its many facets -- it's absolutely uncalled for to malign or discriminate against people for being heavy, but combating injustice in this area should not be coupled to a frivolous dismissal of the medical realities of being markedly overweight.

It wasn't Kim Barto's intent to highlight obesity-related problems, so I don't hold her accountable for not expanding on these. But like you I felt that elements of her editorial were misleading.

9/25/2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for sharing the link to your comments about this subject, Kevin! You are exactly right about the myriad of facets to this topic. While I was probably harder on Barto than I should have been with my comments, my objective was to point out how damaging the "fat acceptance" movement is to people who sincerely need to lose weight for their own sake. I appreciate your take on this issue and welcome you back to my blog anytime. Take care!

9/25/2006 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fat acceptance movement is a misnomer. It isn't about accepting fat people by not picking on them.

Fat Acceptance is about the glorification of obesity and denial of science, by stating that obesity has nothing to do with ill health.

I've argued for sometime with the fat acceptance crowd over at

I'm very glad to see others expose FA for the fraud that it is.

6/04/2008 8:04 PM  
Anonymous ProudFA said...

There is a fat acceptance movement that is honest about it and actually speaks for the vast majority of fatlings. This is not the man hating all girls club like NAAFA or big fat blog. We are not ant diet and we do not hide behind the genetics excuse. We are gluttons and we promote gluttony. All fat acceptance promotes gluttony. The difference between us and them is we are honest about it.

We welcome voices of dissent and we do not censor. Feel free to stop by and let's agree to disagree.

3/27/2009 9:10 PM  

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