stacked deck

I’m angry. I recently read a blog posting about people who are resorting to brain surgery to lose weight. The post itself was just a quick recap of what the surgery was about, no biggy, but the comments were another story.

“These people are just greedy! . . . how far we’ll go to avoid practicing discipline and restraint in our diet.”

 “How about incurring a proper LIFESTYLE…I can’t stand people who say they’ve tried ‘everything.’ Because this just shows me they are an uncommitted ‘hopper.’ And these lame hoppers NEVER see results because they are driven by instant gratification, not discipline and focus.”

 “What’s more appalling is their complete lack of will power combined with choices they KNOW are harmful for them, and then on top of that, NOT doing anything about their state of health. They’re just ASKING for it.”

The last comment was in response to me posting about how I thought their attitude towards the obese was appalling and that their ridicule and disdain didn’t help these people. You can’t shame someone into lasting change. 

So, based on these comments, fat people:

  •  are greedy
  • avoid discipline
  • lack restraint
  • live improperly
  • are uncommitted
  • are lame
  • are hopeless
  • are unfocused
  • want instant gratification
  • lack will power
  • make bad choices
  • don’t take care of themselves
  • want to be abused and ridiculed

 Is it just me, or do fat people sound human? GOD FORBID!What I don’t get is how people think this sort of attitude – the “shame them into change” thinking – is in any way helpful.

Shame does not beget change.

I’m completely flabbergasted by people’s attitudes and I find it sad that even fellow primals bash the obese and post randomly snapped pictures of obese people on their blogs.

Where is the fucking compassion!? Where’s the encouragement? Or if you can’t muster that, how about going with the timeless advice “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

As primal people, we understand a little bit that the deck is stacked against those trying to drop weight, especially given the conventional dieting propaganda circulating ad nauseam.

Here’s my take on why the deck is stacked.

Dieting conflicts with our survival mechanism
Losing weight is the most unnatural activity we can actively engage in as human beings. It goes against our bodies design, or ancestral make-up. 

We were made to store food in times of feast so that we could survive in times of famine. Our bodies hold tightly to our fat reserves for survivals sake.

Poor food supply
Our food supply is nutritionally inferior and at risk for contamination.

  • grain fed livestock
  • improperly rotated crops (used up soil)
  • genetically modified crops and animals
  • preventive antibiotics injected into livestock
  • cages and confined animals standing in their own filth
  • larger fruits and vegetables with less nutritional value per ounce
  • pesticides and fertilizers
  • ultra-pasteurized and homogenized and irradiated products
  • bleached, refined, mystery additives
  • over sugared, and over salted

Yummy? I don’t think so. The food supply leaves our bodies wanting, craving nutrition that it’s not getting. Sadly, so much of this food is touted as healthy and good for us.

Misinformation abounds
Conventional wisdom (cw) says higher carb, lower fat diets are the way to lose weight. Grains for GOOD for you. Red meat and eggs are bad. Saturated fat is bad. The body doesn’t need a lot of protein to function. These beliefs fly in the face of our ancestry where red meant and saturated fats were a staple in our diets.

Bad Science + lazy media = false gospel. Where do I begin with this? What do I say that hasn’t been said 1,000 times before and better. One has to wonder how the media can regurgitate the same bad science over and over, perpetuating the same tires message, and still make it somehow riveting enough that the masses buy into it.

Diet Industry. It doesn’t care what it’s selling as long as it’s selling. There’s no accountability, no consensus, just fad, fad, fad. Snip this, swallow that, solution after solution with rarely seen results.

Government policy. Seriously, where do bureaucrats get off thinking they have the inside line on nutrition, health, and food supply issues? It’s all posturing and knee-jerk reactions. It’s tainted by lobbying and special interests and money under the table. The system is broken when you’re rewriting nutritional guidelines ever 2-3 years to appease all the special interest groups. Stop it!!! You should not be in the business of making nutritional recommendations. PERIOD!

Doctors are doling out medical advice based on a chapter of nutritional training that was thrown in with a conglomerate of other topics. The chapter on nutrition was probably influenced by the governments’ food pyramids (I can pull out my college nutrition course book from the late 90’s and show you the food pyramid espoused in it [and that was a whole semester dedicated to nutrition!]).

Sure, they can keep up to date with nutrition science, but do they really read the scientific literature with their critical thinking cap on, in their spare time, after a long day of rushing patients through to appease the health insurance companies they answer to? More likely, they’re gleaming bits and pieces from the media (disclaimer: I have no idea what is required to maintain a medical license so I’m totally talking out my ass here).

Convenience
We’re all busy people these days. Who has time and energy to prepare a nutritious home cooked meal after a 12 hour day away from home, interspersed with errands and kids? Who can blame people for swinging through the drive thru or picking up a pizza (inferior food) in between all the madness?

Okay, my rant is dying down. The bottom line is that there’s a lot stacked against people who are trying to drop the weight. And I haven’t even touched on the additional struggle of being morbidly obese and all the intricacies that can be at play there.

Being obese myself, it’s exhausting facing 150 extra lbs every day. Some days I can’t find the energy to try. There’s way more than just the physical weighing me down, there’s a heaviness of spirit too. Some days the only way to move my body in the right direction is to have my spirit moved first. I need the encouragement to try, the hope that today I can do something to affect my body for the better.

And something that kills me is those people who make insensitive comments to me or are telling me I need to lose weight (out of their concern for my well being), when the day comes that I cross the finish line, they’ll think they played a key role in me getting there and pat themselves on the back.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?

Please, give me and other fat people compassion and encouragement. Your ridicule does not move us closer to healthy. Your disdain does not inspire us to persevere. I can imagine how frustrating it must be when we don’t do the things we should. Believe me, we’re frustrated too.

But don’t forget that we’re human.

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