Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fat and Me

Earlier this month James at Nourishing Obscurity posted on “Obesity is Gross”.  I left a comment which I believe is worthy of its own post because it gives some of my thoughts on my obesity.

Also I would like to extend  - at some later date – these thoughts to other issues.  With my record, however, these posts are unlikely to see the light.

James’ post started thus.


As one who some time back looked not unlike the shape of the second from the left above but currently looks halfway between N3 and N4, I feel qualified to have a go at obesity.

Someone said the other day that it is a consequence of a lazy brain and low self-esteem and thus exhorting the obese to eat better and to exercise is a forlorn hope, especially as they’ve rationalized it to themselves for so long now.  It’s really, really difficult to get into those eating choices and lifestyle choices and to keep at it.”


My full reply was.

I feel qualified to speak on obesity given that I am fat but then I am qualified to speak for no-one but me.

I don’t want to be fat. I don’t like being fat.

I didn’t choose to be fat despite the fact that I ate the “food” which has made me fat.

I didn’t choose to eat the food which made me fat.

Well, I did choose but I was choosing from a selection of one.

I was depressed, am depressed to some degree, I am overwhelmed by life. I do what I can but choosing good food is beyond me. I can try. I can change for a period but …. life overwhelms again and I revert to what is easy.

I’ve had a GP who exhorted me: “Only you can do it.” Of course, I knew this but I couldn’t do it. That was beyond me.

I am not “in a place” where I can just decide to change and do it. I need support but then I need support in so many areas.

Some may say that I am shirking my responsibility but I am doing all I can every day.

I am fat and unhappy about it.


So many in authority exhort others to do something, or to stop doing something, so that their lives or their children’s lives will be improved.

Then those in authority blame these others and accuse them of being irresponsible for not doing this something as though this were always a deliberate choice.

I suspect many of these others are like me: unable to make any other choice however much they want to change.

Of course, some (or many) may blame me and accuse me of being irresponsible.

Beware because,

There, but for the Grace of God, go you


  1. why do you worry about it?

    Mr '5 by 5' didn't worry about it so why should you?

  2. ...because " I am fat and unhappy about it.

  3. I know that feeling.

    I know I am not fat but I am heavier than I should be for my health and I know I will be happier when I sort out the problem.

    With one thing and another I have not been able to get my head in the right place to make the change. Other things crowd in and make me lose my focus.

    You will see from my blog that I have recently tried to get myself focused to lose weight. When I made the first post it was to shame myself into doing what I knew I had to do. But the whole process for some reason has become quite therapeutic.

    Sorry I am rambling... What I am really saying is that it is difficult to take that positive choice even if you want to and know you should.

  4. Please don't dismiss this comment with immediate contempt, Calum, but have you actually tried eating less? I don't mean trying to try to eat less, which is something very different. I mean actually eating less, because it works infallibly. Now... if you are still reading rather than having given up in a rage... The thing about that strategy is that although at first the task in hand can seem too daunting, the fact is that as soon as the first few pounds are shifted a glow of achievement can be sufficient reward to carry on, and feel better, and happier, as the project proceeds. No project can ever succeed if, at the start, we concentrate too closely on the end. The satisfaction of achieving each little step along the way can be the spur for moving that next little bit onwards. Eating less, not just trying to eat less. It works, and can bring increased happiness within just one or two days. Andrew (half-way through my own project, and a happier man than I was a few years ago).

  5. Andrew, I don't dismiss your comment at all.

    I have known for years that the way to lose weight is to eat less. Put less food on the plate, eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful before making any move to load up the next fork.

    Unfortunately I've not been able to act on this. In fact, I'm not even eating proper meals which makes weight loss doubly or triply difficult.

    My comments are not, in any way, to dismiss or diminish your words - far from it. I need to remember your words and try to act on them along with other necessary changes.

    Thank you.

  6. Well, thus enboldened, may I also, in the light of many of your previous posts) say that as someone who (for complex reasons completely unrelated to weight or health) has also like you had a period on the anti-depressants (some years ago for me) the road to a happier head is probably in there too. While depression may indeed be linked to a chemical imbalance, the trail of cause and effect is complex and the mind can itself undoubtedly do much of the work of correcting that imbalance, if only it would believe so. I know it's complex, not simple. I know that each individual is unique, but I know for sure that just given a little kick start to change its attitude a mind can fix itself much, much more effectively than any little pills can do. I choose my words with care. I know that "a" mind can do this, I don't know for sure that your mind can; but I do suspect it can, and that the tiniest of things can be the first little kick that starts a revolution of change. I don't say these things to try to be smart. I say them because I know from personal experience that such words and thoughts have the potential to help much more than any (easier) words of sympathy, or indulgence, or any bottle of pills. Good luck.

  7. Andrew is right and the way forward is just to focus on a little chink of light - this allows small steps on the forward journey.

    It can be difficult and the path feels like treacle but...

    You have identified the need to make a change, when you take the first step your friends will support you.

  8. Heck. That's the 2nd woman in a week who has said on a blog "Andrew is right."

    Now I'm worried. I must be doing something wrong :)

  9. How can you be wrong when a woman agrees with you!

    Unless of course you like conflict ;-)