I came across this article this week:
Selling the "Skinny Dream"
I've written and rewritten this blog post all week. Something about the above referenced article just bothers me, but I can't seem to express what it is in words. It's just off somehow.
So, I give up and am going to ask YOU! What do you think? Am I missing something?
There's an obvious answer, and a non-so-obvious-but-very-insidious answer. First is the obvious answer: Being skinny is not a magic bullet. Being fat was just one of her problems. She had many problems, being fat was one of them. She found that being fat was not causative of her other problems. I think we all know that.ReplyDelete
Here's what's bothering you:
To take a hypothetical example, if another one of her problems was "I have no friends", and she thinks, "being skinny" will solve "I have no friends" - well, that gives some insight into exactly why she doesn't have friends, doesn't it?
If she thinks fat causes All Her Other Problems, then she's then blaming fat for All Her Other Problems, thus not taking responsibility All Her Other Problems, thus contributing to the cause of All Her Other Problems.
As someone who was severly overweight, I can say that I never had the idea that if I just lost weight all my problems would disapper. I did lose a few friends in the process though who were my "fat friends" who got jealous that I lost the weight and they did not.
But to think that losing weight is going to solve your problems and make you a different person- not so much. I'm still the same me I always was, a healthier one yes, but still the same person.
But I think it's like anything else, we (general we) often look for the quick solution to our problems, so if someone thinks that's weight loss and when the weight is gone the problems remain, sure they'll be disillusioned.
I agree with Heather and Steve! (Hi Heather!!!) While losing weight will help most people feel better, it's not going to fix your life. It's up to you to fix your life. Now, some people may find that the new activities etc. they enjoy improve their lives, others might not. I loved the fact that the one woman was accomplished, happy, etc.--but she was so heavy, all that happiness was at risk, because her weight put her at risk for problems. Of course, that's the woman who the article said has the headaches now!ReplyDelete
I lost weight several years ago, a good amount, though I was not obese. I feel better now. I feel more comfortable in my body, my clothes, and I definitely have more energy. But are my kids better behaved? Have all my complaints gone away? Of course not.
Come to think of it, maybe this is what is off about the article: it's about people who thought weight loss was the magical answer. And it's not. BUT--I do think it's helpful to state of mind, for most people, and being a fit and healthy person (at any weight) I do think can contribute to one's happiness. But 1+ doesn't equal anything. You need at least another number to make an equation.
I *think* what most perturbed me about the article was that it spent so much time focusing on the negativity - how unhappy these newly healthy people were - rather than really hammering home that A)happiness comes from within, and is not a function of bodyweight, and B)better to be unhappy and bitchy than happy and short-lived.ReplyDelete
It's another example of how the media misses golden opportunities to actually inform in regards to health and wellness. It's a sexier story to say that poor unfortunate people are misled. Ah well.