Don’t point or pity, weight loss is harder than it seems

Noelle Pennyman

On YouTube, there is a video by user timtwo12 that combines two existing video blogs by fellow users DeJadela and mrpregnant. In DeJadela’s video, she said she has self-confidence and is beautiful as a plus-size woman, while mrpregnant, who is considerably overweight himself, ridiculed overweight women. He said they are disgusting, they smell, have no pride in themselves and need to stop eating.

As horrifying as this sounds, mrpregnant’s statements are no different than what overweight individuals experience on a daily basis.

It can be hard for people to ignore the growing number of big people around them. Depending on the person, this can be seen as a dangerous epidemic or as a positive trend to get away from the negative body images constantly being pushed at the public.

Either way, obesity is the second-fastest growing preventable disease, according to the American Obesity Association.

Many uneducated members of society believe the cure to being overweight is to stop eating. That’s it! The answer to one of the biggest problems in public health is to stop eating.

If lowering a person’s food intake was the complete answer to losing weight and keeping it off, the viewed “problem” of obesity would be solved by now.

It’s not that simple.

“Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial chronic disease involving environmental (social and cultural), genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components,” according to the American Obesity Association’s Web site.

This means being overweight is more than how much or what a person eats – the cause could be anywhere from emotional trauma, thyroid disease or an injury.

Am I asking for a reprieve on being overweight? Not at all. I am proud to be big. I would rather be overweight than to blend in the crowd of skinny people. If I did choose to lose weight, it would be a personal choice not because it’s what’s expected.

Big people are not asking for sympathy or excuses. They just don’t want to be talked about as if they’re the walking dead.

When I go to my doctor with any kind of problem, she always makes it a point to blame my weight as the cause. I could have a stuffy nose and because I’m big, my nose has to suffer. She also makes sure I leave with the warning that today could be my last day.

I’m not suggesting for people who are overweight to ignore the medical consequences of their weight, but they shouldn’t feel embarrassed to go to the doctor because of what they might say.

Many people, doctors included, seem to have the misconception big people don’t know what they look like. Here’s some news, we have mirrors and we are aware of our size. We don’t need skinny people to stare, point or pity us.

Those who criticize overweight people should gain about 150 to 200 pounds and try losing it within six months.

That’s how long most thin people expect overweight people to lose weight. They can’t give credit to those who are trying because they want to see results now.

Losing weight is incredibly hard, even more so on a budget and with no option of surgery.

The community of big people is too large, no pun intended, to be ignored. We deserve to be accepted and respected like any other minority in the world.

Noelle Pennyman is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].