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Old 08-04-07, 06:46 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Worst UK Export Since Mad Cow

We are 'celebrating' the one year anniversary of the "fat buddying" website Fathappens.com. The site is connected to Anne Diamond, a UK television 'personality' who had bariatric surgery prior to participating in a celebrity weight loss television series - a surgery she failed to disclose beforehand. (I guess this makes her the British Star Jones.)

The quotations below are from my visits to the site in July and October 2006. I disguised myself as a whiny fat person to sneak in, and I fit in perfectly. On the news page I found:

"Here we look at the news of the day - how it affects us and, as importantly, does it help perceptions that fathappens? Or does it just reinforce the prejudice that fathappening is your fault?"

The spammer who alerted the newsgroups to the website, Tony F., posted two stories in this forum - one on a drug and one on bariatric surgery for teenagers.

Moving on, the site's diet 'expert' shares this news flash with us in her response to a frantic letter complaining of mean-spirited siblings:

"Let's get this straight - and this is where I feel a lot of campaigning is needed - it is not your fault. If you could do something about it, you would. The only people who say that you can change everything simply through diet and exercise has never been fat themselves and has never had much of an eating problem."

Oh really? Moving on, we read:

"... you live in a world which is making it impossible for you to cure yourself."

And:

"Diets - are we by now agreed that they don't work?"

And:

"...we're not living in our parents' world. Once upon a time, we all shopped for groceries at the corner shop and bought our meat from the butchers down the road. Now food is a marketed commodity. It's all brand names and additives.... It's not surprising some of us face an uphill battle to keep our weight down, and more still suffer from obesity."

There's more, if you have the stomach for it:

"It's a cop out to say that everyone must take personal responsibility. That's what they said about smoking 50 years ago. Obesity sufferers need more compassionate and practical help than JUST being told to diet and do more exercise."

The author of the above 'logic', Anne Diamond, goes on to suggest the government ban certain foods to protect fat people.

In another letter, Ms. Diamond plays agony aunt:

"Gosh Fran, you have bought into the idea that being fat is your
fault...It's not your fault - but it is your burden."

It appears Ms. Diamond has swallowed the entire set of fat lobby arguments whole hog,
so to speak. In fact, all Ms. Diamond does at her website is stress that:

1. Fat people are victims of:
A. Genetics
B. The food industry
C. Society
D. Their relations.
E. All of the above.

2. Fat people can cure their obesity with:
1. Some medical miracle of the future.
2. Surgery.
3. Pills
4. All of the above

"Fran" should have been advised to try eating less and better, and
exercising. It works.
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Old 08-04-07, 08:44 AM   #2
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Hopefully they won't find out about the "fat gene."

This kind of stuff really gets me boiling though. I find it very hard to believe that yourself isn't at least a little to blame if you're overweight. At my highest weight a couple years ago, I was near 300 pounds. And it wasn't because genetics, the food industry, society, etc. It was because I ate way too much and did no physical activity.

I'd love to see their excuse for the "freshman 15." Society says that we are supposed to gain at least 15 pounds our first year of school, so if we do (or gain more) it's ok, because there was nothing we could do about it? Come on!
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Old 08-04-07, 09:37 AM   #3
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Hopefully they won't find out about the "fat gene."

This kind of stuff really gets me boiling though. I find it very hard to believe that yourself isn't at least a little to blame if you're overweight. At my highest weight a couple years ago, I was near 300 pounds. And it wasn't because genetics, the food industry, society, etc. It was because I ate way too much and did no physical activity.

I'd love to see their excuse for the "freshman 15." Society says that we are supposed to gain at least 15 pounds our first year of school, so if we do (or gain more) it's ok, because there was nothing we could do about it? Come on!
Careful Joe. You might come across as someone being mean to those helpless fat people. You don't want to spread "shame and disdain" at the helpless wretches, do you?

Incidentally, in the only exchange I've ever had with someone from fathappens.com, they compared me and other folk to the "KKK waiting for the next black person to come along." (The 'fat acceptance' movement's comparisons to the civil rights movement are disgusting.)
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Old 08-04-07, 10:54 AM   #4
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I'll address this again: The "Fat" gene is a survival mechanism if you are in a preindustrial society with frequent famines, and a lethal expression in a post industrial society of plenty, if you aren't aware of it's physiological effects and how to counter it's effects. Joe, once upon a time, it was thought that the Earth was the center of the universe, and DesCartes believed in a clockwork universe, but new knowledge has shifted our paradigm to another view, true? It's not the knowledge, but how you use it. Suppressing this, for example, would remove valuable knowledge from those individuals that desire to counter this gene expression by living their lives in a manner which is healthy for their particular physiology, true?
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Old 08-04-07, 11:07 AM   #5
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I'll address this again: The "Fat" gene is a survival mechanism if you are in a preindustrial society with frequent famines, and a lethal expression in a post industrial society of plenty, if you aren't aware of it's physiological effects and how to counter it's effects. Joe, once upon a time, it was thought that the Earth was the center of the universe, and DesCartes believed in a clockwork universe, but new knowledge has shifted our paradigm to another view, true? It's not the knowledge, but how you use it. Suppressing this, for example, would remove valuable knowledge from those individuals that desire to counter this gene expression by living their lives in a manner which is healthy for their particular physiology, true?
Or in practical terms, you think someone may give up exercise because they only lose five pounds instead of the ten their workout buddy lost, and they'll assume exercise is not for them without knowledge of the fat gene?
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Old 08-04-07, 11:15 AM   #6
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Or in practical terms, you think someone may give up exercise because they only lose five pounds instead of the ten their workout buddy lost, and they'll assume exercise is not for them without knowledge of the fat gene?
Exactly!
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Old 08-04-07, 11:44 AM   #7
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I was being sarcastic about the gene in this thread. I'm definitely a fan of sharing knowledge. The only time I have a problem with it is when that knowledge isn't used as it was intended, like the whole excuses for being overweight thing. Neil's example is a good one of using that knowledge for good purposes. I am not ok with the tact taken by the people in the original post. While it is important to make people feel accepted no matter what type of body they have, I don't think it's ok to go about it in such a way to make it seem like they can blame anyone and anything except themselves. I do agree that this is a very complex issue and the blame can certainly be spread around, but that also includes the person who puts the food in their mouth.

All that being said, I have no problem whatsoever with people who are overweight. I've been overweight since elementary school, and I have no problem with myself in that regard. The issue that I have is with people who are already overweight and try to make up reasons for why they are the way they are. I became overweight so young because that was about the time that my mother didn't completely control what I was eating. Then it became a habit of eating more than I should have. After a while I found enjoyment in video games and TV and other sedentary activities. I was comfortable with myself at my weight. Then, within the past couple years, I decided that I didn't like the way I looked anymore and I wanted to change it. I overhauled my diet and lost close to 60 pounds. Then I was happy with myself again. Then I started ballooning back up over the past year and decided to once and for all end my life as an overweight person.

Sure, there were good reasons for why I became so overweight, but then I realized that I could change what I was. Blaming society and the food industry would do nothing to make me like I wanted to be on the inside.
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Old 08-04-07, 11:50 AM   #8
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many people are just looking for an excuse to play the victim, and live out their lives this way. I know some who do that with other things besides weight.

what about paraplegics? they have a bullet proof excuse, but many of them get out and live anyway.

the thing they are not understanding is that all of those things they blame it on may be true, but it's your only life and you still have to deal with it. those are the cards you're dealt and it's up to you how you want to live. if you're looking for an excuse to avoid life you will find it.

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they compared me and other folk to the "KKK waiting for the next black person to come along." (The 'fat acceptance' movement's comparisons to the civil rights movement are disgusting.)
Quote:
if you aren't aware of it's physiological effects and how to counter it's effects.
speaking of the race issue, there have been studies that show that animals prefer other animals that look like them. I think people have natural tendencies toward racism, but that doesn't mean you have to live that way. I find it ironic that some would use that argument about "fat acceptance", I think the civil rights movement was about overcoming natural tendencies and environmental pressures toward racism and deciding to live in a better world, not just saying "that's the way it is, there's nothing you can do about it".

bb
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Old 08-04-07, 12:01 PM   #9
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speaking of the race issue, there have been studies that show that animals prefer other animals that look like them. I think people have natural tendencies toward racism, but that doesn't mean you have to live that way. I find it ironic that some would use that argument about "fat acceptance", I think the civil rights movement was about overcoming natural tendencies and environmental pressures toward racism and deciding to live in a better world, not just saying "that's the way it is, there's nothing you can do about it".
bb
Fat acceptance is about finding any excuse or comparison imaginable to justify their behavior. Is it any coincidence that NAAFA chose a name very close to NAACP? W. E. Dubois is probably rolling in his grave.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:13 PM   #10
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All that being said, I have no problem whatsoever with people who are overweight. I've been overweight since elementary school, and I have no problem with myself in that regard. The issue that I have is with people who are already overweight and try to make up reasons for why they are the way they are.
Fat people often think all thin, or at least thinner, people despise them - witness the new poster who read "shame and disdain" into the supportive posts here in Clyde-land. While I'm sure some thinner people do despise the obese, most don't, as I've discovered. I'm still coming to grips with the fact some people might actually LIKE me, instead of just tolerating me - I used obesity to keep people at a distance.

What is annoying to those of us recovering from obesity, as well as some thin folks, is the constant mantra of "I can't" chanted by the obese. One reason I like the Clyde forum, and Tom, is that the mantra here is "I can", followed often by "You can too!"
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Old 08-05-07, 06:17 PM   #11
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Sure, there were good reasons for why I became so overweight, but then I realized that I could change what I was. Blaming society and the food industry would do nothing to make me like I wanted to be on the inside.
Bravo, Joe, bravo!
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Old 08-05-07, 06:41 PM   #12
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Fat people often think all thin, or at least thinner, people despise them - witness the new poster who read "shame and disdain" into the supportive posts here in Clyde-land. While I'm sure some thinner people do despise the obese, most don't, as I've discovered. I'm still coming to grips with the fact some people might actually LIKE me, instead of just tolerating me - I used obesity to keep people at a distance.

What is annoying to those of us recovering from obesity, as well as some thin folks, is the constant mantra of "I can't" chanted by the obese. One reason I like the Clyde forum, and Tom, is that the mantra here is "I can", followed often by "You can too!"
I've started noticing this as well. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with my mindset, but now it seems that I get a lot of waves when I'm riding and the driver's usually have a "good job" look on their face. I think I'm impressing them because I take mostly backroads around here with giant climbs on them. As a matter of fact, today I was on a mini-mountain and the entire way up as cars were passing me, I was SURE they were thinking "there's no way I could ever go up this hill on a bike."
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Old 08-05-07, 06:50 PM   #13
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I've started noticing this as well. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with my mindset, but now it seems that I get a lot of waves when I'm riding and the driver's usually have a "good job" look on their face. I think I'm impressing them because I take mostly backroads around here with giant climbs on them. As a matter of fact, today I was on a mini-mountain and the entire way up as cars were passing me, I was SURE they were thinking "there's no way I could ever go up this hill on a bike."
Oh that's much better than what I was imagining them thinking... Thanks, Joe!!
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Old 08-05-07, 06:51 PM   #14
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I've started noticing this as well. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with my mindset, but now it seems that I get a lot of waves when I'm riding and the driver's usually have a "good job" look on their face. I think I'm impressing them because I take mostly backroads around here with giant climbs on them. As a matter of fact, today I was on a mini-mountain and the entire way up as cars were passing me, I was SURE they were thinking "there's no way I could ever go up this hill on a bike."
I wasn't thinking of a cycling context, but I agree with you. I've ridden with a number of Bike Forums posters - freemti, Neil Fein, guybierhaus - and I'm finally getting past the feeling of surprise that they'd want to ride with a 385 pound non-cyclist. And the reason is I'm finally accepting the fact I am not a 385 pound non-cyclist.
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Old 08-05-07, 07:57 PM   #15
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Ah yes, that type always gets me. I detailed it in my blog, but I always get the questions... and the reactions. I wish I could sum it up in words, but when I detail I've lost weight by actually, you know, working hard at it they sigh, shrug their shoulders going back into their world of depression. No miracle drug, sorry, it won't help you.

Fat acceptance, while I'm glad it's there for some, it's a quick way to a triple bypass.
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Old 08-05-07, 08:49 PM   #16
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I feel the need to clarify a couple things. For one, I did not read "shame and disdain" into all/most of the posts here in Clydeland, rather I was surprised to feel it was present in the particular post where I commented. Specifically the fat=whiny comments struck me wrong.
For two, fat acceptance is NOT about finding any excuse or comparison imaginable to justify their behavior. I read a lot of fat acceptance sites & blogs and that's pretty contrary to the message I've heard. I don't know what that fathappens site is about, but the fat acceptance sites I read are not about finding the magic pill or outlawing McDonald's -- the message I've heard is more about deciding to stop hating & accept your body *today*, to go to the party or get on the bike even if you don't look like a model in the clothes. To stop telling yourself that your body is so offensive you should strive to be invisable. And to fight the assumptions that fat = lazy, stupid, sloppy, sweaty, and less worthy of equal pay, or decent health care.
And that's why I was thrilled to find the Clyde forum -- because you all got on the bike anyway. Maybe you're getting on to facilitate weight loss and I'm getting on to facilitate fun, but we all decided to get on the bike. Now, if only that cute pink & black fat cyclist jersey came in my size . . .
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Old 08-05-07, 09:28 PM   #17
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I feel the need to clarify a couple things. For one, I did not read "shame and disdain" into all/most of the posts here in Clydeland, rather I was surprised to feel it was present in the particular post where I commented.
It wasn't a "particular post" when you posted:

"I have to confess I'm a little stunned at the judgemental nature of some of the replies. I expect to see a lot of diet & weight loss talk in the Clyde/Athena forums, but for some reason I didn't expect to see so much "those fatties will just use this as an excuse to continue to refuse any responsibility for themselves". Do people really believe that shame and disdain are effective motivators?" - Tabbycat

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Specifically the fat=whiny comments struck me wrong.
I don't recall posts on the order of "fat=whiny." There were posts about fat people who were whiny, such as Star Jones and her seemingly endless list of reasons why she was fat. But not all fat people are whiny. Nor are all fat people trying to lose weight whiny. I wasn't. Or, at least I wasn't once I stopped making excuses.

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For two, fat acceptance is NOT about finding any excuse or comparison imaginable to justify their behavior.
How else can a woman justify being 450 pounds? Or a man 600 pounds? Incidentally, do you approve of fat acceptance's near constant comparisons to the civil rights movement?

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I read a lot of fat acceptance sites & blogs...
I tried. Too much of fat acceptance literature is fat porn - witness all the erotica in NAAFA's magazine.

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and that's pretty contrary to the message I've heard. I don't know what that fathappens site is about, but the fat acceptance sites I read are not about finding the magic pill or outlawing McDonald's -- the message I've heard is more about deciding to stop hating & accept your body *today*, to go to the party or get on the bike even if you don't look like a model in the clothes. To stop telling yourself that your body is so offensive you should strive to be invisable. And to fight the assumptions that fat = lazy, stupid, sloppy, sweaty, and less worthy of equal pay, or decent health care.
The fat acceptance sites are about justifying a lifestyle that is limiting and self-destructive, and forcing others to recognize such a lifestyle as 'normal'. There's a reason NAAFA is called "the death cult." You seem to have bought into it whole hog - pun intentional.

As for "decent health care", how do you define that while 'living' a lifestyle that medicine universally regards as unhealthy and life-shortening?

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And that's why I was thrilled to find the Clyde forum -- because you all got on the bike anyway. Maybe you're getting on to facilitate weight loss and I'm getting on to facilitate fun, but we all decided to get on the bike. Now, if only that cute pink & black fat cyclist jersey came in my size . . .
You just don't get it, do you? Fun and weight loss are not mutually exclusive. I'm sure there are folks who took up cycling just to lose weight, but the bulk of us took it up because we enjoy it. Those of us who are losing weight are losing so we can enjoy the improved health, mobility, stamina, and overall quality of life that we gain when he abandon obesity. But I don't expect to persuade a fat-acceptor of this, so it's best to let this exchange end here. Another donut, Tabbycat?
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Old 08-05-07, 09:37 PM   #18
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You can call it disdain or prejudice or whatever you like, but if someone is obese and won't do something about it, that's pretty strong evidence to me that person has more problems than I care to deal with, the result being I will choose other people to associate with. But then I'm the same way with alcoholics, heavy smokers and druggies too. So maybe I'm just not that accepting of addicts, no matter what they choose to stay addicted to.
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Old 08-05-07, 09:50 PM   #19
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You can call it disdain or prejudice or whatever you like, but if someone is obese and won't do something about it, that's pretty strong evidence to me that person has more problems than I care to deal with, the result being I will choose other people to associate with. But then I'm the same way with alcoholics, heavy smokers and druggies too. So maybe I'm just not that accepting of addicts, no matter what they choose to stay addicted to.
+1000. Denial is more than just a river in Egypt.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:16 PM   #20
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Ah yes, that type always gets me. I detailed it in my blog, but I always get the questions... and the reactions. I wish I could sum it up in words, but when I detail I've lost weight by actually, you know, working hard at it they sigh, shrug their shoulders going back into their world of depression. No miracle drug, sorry, it won't help you.

Fat acceptance, while I'm glad it's there for some, it's a quick way to a triple bypass.
+10000000000000000.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:29 PM   #21
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That's a lot of zeroes, Neil.

I'll just add +1 to weight loss and fun not being mutually exclusive. When I first got into cycling, I got into it for exercise/weight loss. But now, it seems like I'm trying to lose weight and get more fit so I can do more cycling. I am seriously getting more enjoyment out of cycling than I have out of anything else, except maybe for weight lifting in high school. Soon I plan to start doing that again, and I swear I'll be in heaven.

I must say that reading what I just wrote does sound awfully strange coming from someone who has had the life that I have, namely, a fat life. I used to think that all those people who would go running every day were nuts. It turns out I was the crazy one for opting to sit home and play videos games when I could get MUCH more enjoyment out of cycling. On top of it all, you also get a wonderful sense of accomplishment out of cycling and exercise in general. I don't know if there is a better feeling that reaching a goal that you used to think may have been a little too lofty, even for you.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:23 AM   #22
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I don't recall posts on the order of "fat=whiny." There were posts about fat people who were whiny, such as Star Jones and her seemingly endless list of reasons why she was fat. But not all fat people are whiny. Nor are all fat people trying to lose weight whiny. I wasn't. Or, at least I wasn't once I stopped making excuses.
Here's an example of what a man can do once he stops whining "I can't", and stops making excuses.

At 360, after a month of weight loss:



At 243, a month ago, riding about a hundred miles a week:

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Old 08-06-07, 08:20 AM   #23
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I've been married twice, both times to women who were naturally skinny. They ate more than I did, laid on the couch all day while I worked, and refused to do any exercise program. I've always been very active but have always had to watch my weight. One of them had a medical problem and put on a lot of weight suddenly. It was a revelation to her - I think if you have never had a weight issue then you probably don't understand how much work it is for some to keep the pounds off.

I'm single and dating again, one of my dates mentioned that she had never dieted or worked out, and never needed to. It was a big turn off for me - no way she is going to be understanding of the time I spend at the gym 3 nights a week, or the 40 to 100 miles a week I bike. Naturally skinny people don't understand that I look decent now because I'm working my butt off. If I quit doing it to spend more time with them, then I won't look so good in a very short time.

I do know there is something to the concept that some people can be thin without having to work at it, and others are not so lucky. You can do something about having a tendancy towards weight gain though. It's a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun too. When my kids are home from school they do all the rides and workouts with me too, and that's good "quality" time for sure. I think my kids have a lot of respect for all the hard work they see me doing too.

One thing I try to do though - is not be like a reformed smoker. I try not to look down on those who have not been as successful as I have at keeping the weight off. I have a high school buddy that is well over 500# now and in a wheelchair - I feel sorry for him more than anything because life is passing him by. And, at his current rate life will not last much longer. It's sad really, he was one of the strongest guys I knew when we were young.

Last edited by JeeperTim; 08-06-07 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 08-06-07, 08:34 AM   #24
Neil_B
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Originally Posted by JeeperTim View Post
One thing I try not to do though - is not be like a reformed smoker. I try not to look down on those who have not been as successful as I have at keeping the weight off. I have a high school buddy that is well over 500# now and in a wheelchair - I feel sorry for him more than anything because life is passing him by. And, at his current rate life will not last much longer. It's sad really, he was one of the strongest guys I knew when we were young.
That's good to know. I have fat coworkers and friends, and I don't look down on them either. They are happy with their choice, and I am happy with mine. And after all, it IS a choice, in most cases.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:09 AM   #25
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-Sorry, Neil -- I wasn't clear when I posted on the other thread. I meant *that* thread in particular, and not all the threads here in Clydeland.
-As for someone justifying their weight -- why do they need to? Why is it anyone's business but their own?
-And yes, I don't know alot about NAAFA, but I have heard that it has morphed into something really ugly. If NAAFA is the bursh you're painting the whole movement with, you've barely scraped the surface.
-I describe 'decent health care' as being treated for your issues, regardless of your weight. There are too many stories where people went to the doctor with actual complaints and were told "come back when you lose x number of pounds". There's more to health than the number on the scale.
"You just don't get it, do you? Fun and weight loss are not mutually exclusive." I might not get it. More likely I think I'm starting to get it. But actually I wrote that to see how many people would jump up to explain that they were having fun. (Which was pretty immature on my part, and I regret it.)
Another donut, Tabbycat? What was the purpose of that?
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