So I was going to write a really irate post - actually DID write it, but am going to delete it - about how pissed off I am about certain weight loss/health bloggers (and there are lots of them, this is not about one or two people, I promise you) assuming that obese people just need to eat less, eat better food, and exercise more so that they can lose weight and stop making excuses. The point of my tirade was that those bloggers completely discount the fact that many folks who are morbidly obese are dealing with some form of mental illness, and that makes the "eat right/move more" equation simplistic and, frankly, insulting. When getting up, taking a shower, and going to work every day is nearly more than you can bear (as it is for me more mornings than not), please don't make things worse/add to my plate with guilt about other things I'm not doing that I should.
Do you think we WANT to be morbidly obese? To be figures of scorn and ridicule? To feel uncomfortable in our day to day lives because it's sometimes tough to breathe due to fat circling our midsection? Better yet, do you not think we've tried and even succeeded at overcoming first our mental illness then our eating and sedentary lifestyle? Oh yes, friends, it's not about losing weight - been there and done that several times - it's about figuring out how to keep it off when something comes along to knock you off the comfortable routine of healthy living that you've carved out. And when you're dealing with manic depression or anxiety disorder or binge eating disorder, even when it's under control, it's always there in the back of your mind...a tried-and-true coping mechanism for when everything is too much. Add in the fact that many of us having been using food inappropriately to deal with our mental/emotional issues since before we even have clear memory of doing so, and you ought to be able to see that this is not a simple matter of "put down the fork and lace up some walking shoes" for us.
Now I understand that there are lots of people running around with mental illness who are of a healthy body weight and do not abuse food. I also understand that there are lots of victims of early childhood abuse who are of a healthy body weight and do not abuse food. I can't explain why some of us turn to food to make it all OK and others don't, I only know that it's true. And that if we had some physical illness we wouldn't be made to feel guilty about not just being able to put down the fried chicken and walk or bike to work every day, but mental illness is just not accepted or acceptable in our country, and that makes me sad.
Um, OK, so it appears that I really DID write a tirade. (Twice, in fact.) If I've offended anyone, I'm really sorry, but it will be worth it for me if even one person examines his/her preconceived notions about the morbidly obese and perhaps chooses to offer support and kindness instead of scorn and proselytizing.
So much for the awesome post I was going to write about how the right shade of lipstick can change your life, huh?