One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Is it Ok to be fat?

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Yummy Sushi Pajama brought this video to my attention this morning and I couldn’t stop watching!

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I have SO many mixed feelings about this I can’t even begin to unravel my thoughts. I’m just going to let it stew a bit. You can see the whole Face off by clicking here.



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Discussion

There are 48 comments so far.

    Heather

    March 3, 2010

    It was a very complex thing to watch. I am interested to see how other people felt about it…

    Nia

    March 3, 2010

    Hey Roni,

    I am listening to this video now (saw it on your FB)… Holy smokes. I’m siding with Kim Bensen (former obese woman) and MeMe Roth (head of National Action Against Obesity).

    Sigh.

    I’ve struggled with my weight forever… I’ve come to the realisation that it’s all about eating right and exercising. I finally get it. There is no way that being overweight is HEALTHY!

    OK rant over :)

    Thanks for the “food for thought” :)

    Tamela

    March 3, 2010

    I can’t get over MiMi Roth. She may have a message but she’s a bigot, plain and simple and her hatred of obese people overshadowed any value to her comments. I would have liked to hear more from the 2 women seated closer to the middle of the panel-the plus sized model and the woman who lost over 200lbs. When they got a word in on the debate, they sounded much more well-thought and succinct in their opinions and didn’t have such a biased attitude toward the “other side” like the other women did.

    I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life, and more so since having children and hitting my 30’s. I’m overweight. I hate to look at myself in the mirror and buy clothing, but overall I’m very healthy. I exercise regularly, my cholesterol and blood pressure are perfect and I eat a balanced diet-lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats. But I still struggle to the point that I’ve had my thyroid checked and see an endrocrynologist. She basically told me a) I’m in perfect health and should be happy and b) I have a genetically slow metabolism and will have to struggle more than most to see marginal weight loss. I left in tears but I still watch my calories and try to be heathly. It’s a personal struggle and this Mimi’s opinion was so one sided in this debate it really made me angry.

    French Fancy

    March 3, 2010

    As I’m out of the USA (I’m in France) I wasn’t able to view it – what was it about?

    I watched that the other night and I was really bothered by it.

    roni

    March 3, 2010

    Oh that sucks French Fancy! Can you see this one… http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/ ?

    Liz

    March 3, 2010

    This is a loaded issue. Meme Roth was a little unbending in her views but I don’t think anything she said was incorrect (though she may have found a nicer way to say it). There is really NO arguing that being medically obese (defined as BMI greater than or equal to 30) is associated with high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, certain cancers, infertility, etc. etc. Not to mention that in turn, each of these maladies puts you at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes, the #1 killers of people in this country.

    There is less evidence showing these outcomes for the moderately overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and perhaps some evidence suggesting those on the lower end of being overweight (BMI around 25-26) may be as healthy or healthier, depending on what you count as “healthy”, as people in the normal-range BMI.

    I agree that we should stop discussing dress size or number on the scale and start promoting healthy eating and exercise. Let’s talk about choices, options, getting off the couch! I think people, myself included (BMI 28 right here!) are paralyzed by the idea that we have to make 180 degrees of change and stay that way FOREVER. It’s just overwhelming to take the average American diet (large portions, high in fat, low in veggies and fiber) and try to make it perfect in one day. Better to say, “Let’s eat more veggies today” and see what happens. Then maybe next week you can start thinking about adjusting portion sizes, a little, even if you’re still eating twice the calories you need, small changes will add up over time.

    Great link Roni!

    Tania

    March 3, 2010

    I too agree that I would have liked to hear more from the plus size model and the women who lost 200 pounds. To me the other two were totally biased against the other point of view. Also, I felt Meme was too skinny and the other woman was obviously obese.

    I’m sorry, but at as high of a weight as that one woman clearly was, there’s no way to say she doesn’t have health consequences because of that extra weight. I’m 27 and overweight and I feel the consequences of my extra weight, like sore joints, even at my age. Plus I weigh far less than that woman, so I can only guess the aches and pains she feels from all that added weight.

    Then there’s the argument of being genetically predisposed to being overweight. Both of my parents are overweight and struggle with their weight and I feel that I do have a slower metabolism than a lot of people. My best friend is a size 4 and she always jokes that she can eat more than me and it’s true, she can. However, I don’t think she ever had the bad habits I had of getting fast food. Plus, just in general she tends to be up and moving more, whereas, I’m naturally more sedentary. But when I’m conscious of my choices and I exercise and eat well, I lose weight. Whether it’s harder for me than others is irrelevant. At the end of the day if I do the things I know are healthy I lose weight. And when I make poor choices I gain. That’s just how it is. We just need to be cognizant of our choices on a daily basis and take responsibility for the consequences whether they be good or bad.

    Meme was probably “healthy”, but I believe a little more weight would make her even more so. She should have more muscle mass to keep up with her level of activity. The other two middle of the road women definitely appeared to be the healthiest of the bunch.

    Bottom line, we need to all be focused on eating healthily and exercising. If we’re getting fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in our diet and exercising we’re going to be much healthier and we’ll reduce so many health risks associated with eating poorly and inactivity.

    Alison

    March 3, 2010

    I am with Tamela, Meme came off as a biggot and I found myself tuning out her good points because of it. I also wish I had heard more from the women in the middle they had a much more balanced view. Marianne Kirby, the fat acceptance woman also came off as extremist and unwatchable at times.
    I was anorexic, clinically as a pre-teen. I spent time in a hospital getting over that and swung the other way in my late teens (yes, food issues galore) The damage that I did to my metabolism at such a formative time will haunt me the rest of my life. I fear as I near my goal weight that that anorexic mindset could come back and its something I’m working hard on. Losing weight for me is a nightmare, I have had my basal metabolic rate tested and it is sad, and I did that to myself (I also think my parents bare some blame for not intervening sooner but I was involved in a competitive sport that worshipped thinness and pressured us all to weigh less and less).
    I am fat and healthy. I am losing weight to improve my health as I firmly believe fat and healthy will not always be the case. When I weighed 250 pounds I had low blood pressure, normal to low blood sugar, low cholestrol etc. My doctor said she wished she could tell me that I was unhealthy but I was not, but that I would be eventually. I think you can be fat and healthy, not morbidly obese but overweight. But at 180 pounds I am healthier and far more fit than my sister who weighs 100 pounds (she is only 4’10” before you start thinking she is underweight) But I work out every day I have better blood sugar and cholesterol and blood pressure but if someone looked at the 2 of us they would say she was the more healthy of us.
    There is also plenty of research that BMI is a flawed measure of health. I have a friend who is overweight by the BMI scale but she is well within the normal range, on the low end in fact, of body fat. She is larger boned and very muscular. So who defines fat? and why is it okay to discriminate against the fat.
    Sorry for the long comment just got lots of thoughts going.

    Jzbell

    March 3, 2010

    Tania – I’m with you. Both the model and the formerly obese woman seemed to have the right idea – perhaps because they have each personally experienced both sides and the consequences of healthy or unhealthy habits. I wish they’d have had more opportunity to speak. The “fat acceptance” lady was just a wiseass. She insisted that she has “healthy” habits, but refused to give any specifics, and her mocking of the “action against obesity” woman was uncool and uncalled for. While they both may have valid points, neither articulated it very well. They both were too extreme and entrenched in their own view to see the reasoning of the other panelists.

    Personally, I have always struggled with my weight. I was never as heavy as the woman onstage, and I’m about her same age… and yet I could feel the effects of the extra weight – getting winded easily, etc. I worked my butt off, lost a bunch, was healthier and happier than ever in my life… and then I suffered a huge personal tragedy, gained most of it back, am now saddened when I look in the mirror or think about the fantastic shape I was in last year. But here I am again, working hard and relearning all the things I already know about eating well and exercising. Because the fact is, it works.

    Thanks for the link and lively debate.

    janine

    March 3, 2010

    I just happened upon this. On my daily stop…and could not take my eyes away!
    So thought provoking.

    I am debating showing this to one of my classes to spark some debate, and then have them create some graphics to go with it….

    still thinking!

    always love stopping here Roni!!

    gotta get back to finish it up!

    Thanks for the link!

    janine

    LesleyG (justrun)

    March 3, 2010

    Extremes aside, why someone wouldn’t always err on the side of health is beyond me. And both people who are extremely over and extremely underweight KNOW there are lasting physical and emotional affects. I really believe that.

    LesleyG (justrun)

    March 3, 2010

    Extremes aside, why someone wouldn’t always err on the side of health is beyond me. And both people who are extremely over and extremely underweight KNOW there are lasting, dangerous physical and emotional affects. I really believe that.

    Wow, I don’t know what it is about hump day, but there have been some great posts today on several blogs. This is a tough one. I think the right answer is, as it usually is, somewhere in the middle. We can argue all we want, but obesity is unsafe, and that’s not going to be disproven. I found that only 5% of dieters were still thin after 5 years a very sobering fact. Is America suffering from a discipline problem instead of an obesity problem, or does dieting just not work for most people?

    mousearoo

    March 3, 2010

    The whole debate was a gong show. Meme and Marianne do not come across well for either side and it’s sad that Crystal & Kim didn’t get as much face time as they should.

    The issue truly is more about the health and safety issue around obesity. I fount it odd when asked about healthy eating in moderation and exercise, Marianne couldn’t provide direct examples of her habits but continually claimed she was as healthy as a skinny person (I almost want to use quotes but do not want to put words in her mouth if she did not directly say them. I do hate to use the term, though).

    Blaming the diet industry for making us fat and blaming fat people for the rising costs of health care just make for better rants and ratings, it would seem. We all know what is good for us, which is healthy eating in moderation as well as activity, but not everyone is able to do it for whatever reason. You need to be accountable for your health, that includes what you put in your body, what you do for activity and how often you seek professional health for all that ails you, both visible or not.

    Brandi

    March 3, 2010

    This video got me really riled up. For many reasons.

    The first and foremost being that Meme and the advocate for it being OK to be Fat were so caught up in their own biases and opinions that it became obvious they weren’t even listening to the other side of the debate. Meme had some great points but I found myself ignoring her because she was rude and threw out of bunch of random facts that most people throw out without putting them into context. I was glad they kept interrupting to put those facts back INTO context.

    The obese woman, and yes she definitely was obese, just kept shaking her head when Meme was talking because she too was obviously so bitter and biased against the ‘skinny’ argument she refused to just listen. You could tell she was just waiting for a time when she could speak. And lets face it…her arguments were weak at best. She had good points to make but they got lost in her ramblings and eye rolling. In fact, I almost stopped listening to her when the first thing out of her mouth was “I bet this is the footage they use cause they always show the fat people eating”. That screams to me “I have a giant chip on my shoulder and I’m gonna keep being fat just to spite you all”

    AND I’m sorry if there are those of you who disagree, but you will never ever be able to convince me that she, at her weight, is leading a healthy lifestyle. Slow metabolism or not, you don’t get to be that weight unless you are doing something unhealthy. End of story.

    I got really fired up when Meme threw out her own daily calorie intake and exercise plan. She did it simply to cause a stir. She WANTED one of them to tell her that it wasn’t healthy. You could see it all over her body language and I find that to be annoying. She wasn’t making THAT point for anyone but her own pride and ego. Get over your OWN issues Meme and THEN be an advocate for something like anti-obesisty.

    Lastly, I really do wish the other 2 would have spoken up. They clearly had lived both ends of the spectrum and they had amazing stories to tell. If Meme and Marianne had just gotten over themselves for 2 seconds they would have been able to hear some amazing things.

    As a person who has been there and back again and is now at a nice healthy place, I can honestly say 2 things:

    1) Being fat sucks. It hurts. And people commenting on it hurts worse. There is no avoiding it. I don’t care how ‘comfortable’ you say you are.

    2) The obsession with the numbers and the sizes has got to stop.

    Being Healthy is the key. making smart decisions for YOURSELF is the key.

    BigTickles

    March 3, 2010

    sigh… where do I begin?

    I will just sum it up this way. First, we as a society, need to get the focus off of the scale and dress size and instead focus on health…IMO

    I am a researcher by profession and am trained to take my biases out of the picture. The only thing that I look for when making a conclusion is the numbers. So, Like Dr. Oz would say…let’s look at the numbers… your actual bloodwork. If all your numbers are within normal range AND an internal scan of your organs comes back and says that your organs are functioning normally, then go ahead and be obese. However, I doubt that will happen.

    Of course, not everyone will be able to afford one of those internal MRI thingys. So I will say, just look a honest look yourself. Do you have constant aliments? Are you out of breath? Is it hard for you to function in normal activities? Are you always tired? I am currently overweight mostly from birthing two little ones but I know this is not the lifestyle I want them to see. I want to be able to enjoy life with them, not on the sidelines because I am unhealthy. I am currently on my journey back to being healthy. I think being and staying healthy is journey and we should stop focusing on temporary fixes.

    Mehgann

    March 3, 2010

    I have to say, I would have been classified as “obese” a few months ago. I am now in the “overweight” range. I was very thin as few as two years ago. I almost killed myself to get there, eating the most unhealthy diet you could possibly imagine. I followed that up by a caloriefest that lasted years and ravaged my body. In a record amount of time, I was obese. Now, FINALLY, I am learning to be healthy. I wasn’t healthy when I was thin, I certainly wasn’t healthy when I was obese, but I AM healthy now, at overweight. I hope to be in a more reasonable range by the end of the year, but there is no way that you can say a skinny person is more healthy than a fat person. Health is determined by so many more factors than that. I really thought Crystal Renn was brilliant…I wish I could have heard more from her.

    Mick

    March 3, 2010

    The face-off was disappointing, after I thought about the whole thing for a while. Kirby and Roth are so emotionally invested in their arguments, they couldn’t realize they were arguing two different things altogether..which is body image and a healthy lifestyle. The main connector is where society fits there, but the arguments they tossed back and forth were ignorant of each others views.

    What’s sad is we didn’t learn nearly enough from the two other participants who survived their body image and health issues. However, I don’t think it was Nightline’s plan to address the issue, but instead generate the discussion.

    It’s a good viewing option, but it didn’t give you much to walk away with.

    Sarah

    March 3, 2010

    Wow! I’m in the medical field and I get so frustrated at overweight individuals with ailments that CAN me corrected and/or made better with losing weight.

    Crystal should be on Meme’s side, all she wants is people to be at a healthy weight and eating right!

    Mary Ann can’t even breath long enough to debate.

    chrissie

    March 4, 2010

    Is “Health At Every Size” possible, maybe not at every size, but health at many sizes, including overweight and even obese is possible. It’s about lifestyle, not the numbers on a scale or the size of your body and lifestyle is something that you can’t see when you look at someone or sit next to them on a seat on an airplane.

    Nikki

    March 4, 2010

    I realize that there is a 26 year age gap between my mother and I, but I’m going to throw this out there. I am 30 and considered obese (my BMI is 30.2, so just barely). I wear size 10/12 pants, which is under the “average” for US women. Most people may consider me as overweight, but not generally obese. My numbers are all normal, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. and despite that I am trying to lose weight because I realize as I get older they probably won’t be. I exercise daily and watch and track the food I eat, although this has rather recently been solidified. I go to the doctor annually for preventative care and have never had any significant health issues related or unrelated to my weight, even though I have nearly always been on the “chunky” side.

    My mother, on the other hand, is 56 and has a BMI of 20.0. She wears a size 2 and has for most of her adult life, other than when she was pregnant with us kids (4). She has high blood pressure that requires medication.

    So, really, which one of us is “healthier?” She is on medication, I am not. She requires more medical attention than I do. If I were not consciencious about my health, I would not go to the doctors at all, but do dutifully go annually for my physical and gynocological exams.

    Brenda Kaye

    March 4, 2010

    Wow. This was fascinating. Weight is such an emotional issue for everyone. Thank you for posting this; it is going to give me something to think about!

    Katherine

    March 4, 2010

    I’m with the fat woman (forget her name). Conflating health with fatness is the wrong emphasis, and the health risks of fatness are overstated. Why go to “war on obesity?” Proposing laws and regulations to stigmatize fatness or police food choices is scary stuff – on many levels, not least of which is our basis as a liberal democracy with individual freedoms, and our desire not to stigmatize classes of people. And the claim about obesity costing the non-obese so much money is kind of dubious – I wonder if someone can honestly sort out the facts and statistics on that one.

    Having said that, I am working really hard not to be fat, and I will probably work hard for the rest of my life to maintain a lower caloric intake than I naturally want to eat. I’m doing it because I want to attract a husband and not be disrespected by people around me. I want to be attractive, and fatness is not considered attractive. I also am an athlete, and if I want to continue to play sports and do triathlons in a reasonably competitive way, then I have to have a reasonably low body weight. And finally, eating clean, whole foods is nutritionally superior to processed, fake foods, and I feel better in body and mind when I eat cleaner and when my body is leaner. Following nutritous diet with low-ish calories usually keeps one from becoming obese, but there’s still going to be a range of fatness even among people who eat clean. So the emphasis on fatness is the wrong emphasis.

    Trenia

    March 4, 2010

    I think first and foremost it’s important to bridge the gap between weight loss and body acceptance. While I think Marianne didn’t present the strongest argument I think her point was not so much about being healthy as much as the social stigmas associated with being overweight. If you’re fat society feels like they get a pass to treat you horribly and talk to you however they see fit. That to me is what the fat acceptance movement is really about. And truthfully, most people could care less about the health of fat people, what they worry about and fear is that all of the things associated with fat i.e. lazy, stupid, unworthy will somehow rub off on them. And the healthcare/insurance debate is a non-issue for me because the real problem is that health and wellness is a commodity in this country and not a right as it should be.

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin, I’ve lost 100lbs and have kept it off but I was also quite active when I was 100lbs heavier but I was an emotional eater and that’s what caused me to gain weight. But I don’t think being fat automatically equates to being sick, my great grandmother lived a healthy life until she was 98 years old and she was a size 18 at 5’3.

    I think people have to be a little more open, just because one person is miserable and sickly at 200lbs doesn’t mean the next person will be.

    This was an awesome post. I watched the hulu video and then clicked the link and watched the whole Face Off.

    I have mixed reactions about it, and I am still thinking about it actually. And I am posting about it on my blog on Saturday’s post. I left you some link love since I borrowed it from you! Thanks!

    Christine

    March 4, 2010

    I am still working through my feelings about that Frontline episode. I am not an extreme person, so I have fears when it comes to both the Fat Acceptance Movement and the War against Obesity. I want to meet somewhere in the middle, where it is more comfortable for me.

    I do wish we focused less on bodies, and more on behaviors and social and environmental factors. I feel like those are really the sources of unhealthiness. Focusing on the bodies ends up placing the labels “good” and “bad” on them, and that is not right. We all know how much damage that does. Also, just because one is a “healthy weight” does not always mean one is healthy or not a risk factor for the top illnesses.

    Still need to mull some more…

    Jen T

    March 4, 2010

    every time i come to your page, i see that hairy belly button and it cracks me up!

    oh and i also agree with what many commenters have already said! :)

    Wendy

    March 4, 2010

    I will watch that again and again and try to take away points from both sides. Very interesting.

    Something I find ironic about most comments on the video is that most people remember MeMe’s name, but call the opponent “the obese woman”. Does that speak volumes to anyone else but me?

    Lauren

    March 4, 2010

    Wow, that was really interesting, thanks for posting that.

    I think that Meme makes some valid points but some of what she says bothers me. I think that it is important not to ignore the correlation between obesity and health issues, but what about the correlation between obesity and unhealthy habits like junk food and a sedentary lifestyle? We need to remember that correlation does not equal causation. Isn’t it possible that an obese person with those unhealthy habits could drastically improve their health if they improved their lifestyle, even if they didn’t lose a ton of weight? Meme focuses on the wrong things. I think that a number on a scale is not the most important indicator of health for most people. In fact, after years of battling anorexia, I know that the number on a scale or an exact amount of calories can be incredibly harmful.

    Also, I think that Crystal Renn made an important point when she brought up the issues of pesticides in apples. If HEALTH is the only concern, than why does Meme focus only on things that have empty calories? What about all the low cal low fat food that has unhealthy crap added to it? Have you ever seen the long list of ingredients in fat free ice cream or sugar free fat free yogurt? By ignoring anything else that can result in health problems, the issue has become about fat people rather than how healthy an individual actually is.

    love2eatinpa

    March 4, 2010

    very interesting and thought provoking. thanks for posting it, roni!

    Katherine

    March 4, 2010

    I agree, Wendy, that it speaks volumes that many commenters refer to MiMi by name, but many only remember Marianne as “the fat woman” (as I did). Might suggest that, subconsciously in our minds, MiMi has personhood and individual identity in a way that Marianne does not. It’s an interesting insight about the human mind – how we deeply internalize what’s acceptable and what’s not, and subconsciously react to people accordingly.

    Wendy

    March 4, 2010

    Katherine, I posted my comment before I left for lunch and while I was driving, I realized that I had not named her either. I guess I’m a part of the brainwashed media that tells me that thin matters, fat does not. That’s sad to me, an obese woman, that I’m taught that MARIANNE doesn’t matter enough (and I don’t matter enough) for someone to remember my name.

    Brianna

    March 4, 2010

    I just watched the whole debate from the link, and I actually thought that some of the best comments came from one of the audience members, a doctor that the moderator invited. He challenged MiMi’s stigmatization of fat people, but also pointed out that while an obese person may be healthy at one point in their life, being obese puts them at a greater risk (not a certainty, by any means) of developing a number of conditions and health effects, and that risk can be lowered by improving their diet, exercise levels, and yes, losing weight. He said that our health care system should move from a treatment based health care system to a preventative health care system, which I totally agree with. I also agree with him that any doctor that does not discuss the potential risks from being overweight with their patient does a disservice to that patient.

    That being said, the other speakers had great points about moving away from a focus on the scale and dress sizes and such. I think that we should look at all of those numbers – weight, BMI, etc. – as broad, generalized indicators that are only one piece of the puzzle of figuring out someone’s health and what they need to do to improve it. Those numbers, like nutrition data, calorie counts, WW points, are tools to help a person achieve a healthy lifestyle, not the ultimate answer as to when that goal is achieved.

    Katherine

    March 4, 2010

    I thought this article was useful – and it pertains to this discussion:

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/jan/14/campos-what-is-normal-weight/

    Sandi

    March 4, 2010

    I think moderation is the key here. The two ladies who were pretty extreme in their views unfortunately got the most air time. Neither obesity or anorexia are healthy. If they would have given more time to the two other ladies I think a more balanced viewpoint would have come across. I think they wanted the shock factor though, and that’s what the extremes accomplished. I could have related to Marianne when I was her age, but now I’m older and have suffered some of the consequences of obesity. Now I’m not so cocky about obesity being okay. I’m afraid that Marianne might have to eat her words in twenty years when she starts suffering the consequences of obesity. I know I have had to. I learned the hard way that an obese person can be healthy for awhile, but it more than likely won’t stay that way. I feel a thousand times better now that I am a healthy weight. I wish they would have made the point that healthy is moderation, not either extreme.

    screwdestiny

    March 4, 2010

    Well, that was a rather interesting debate. Thanks for posting it on your site. There were several things about it that bothered me though. For instance, the way Crystal constantly tried to demonize wanting to be at a healthy weight by saying that led to anorexia or obsession with working out. No, it doesn’t. It may have for her, and it may for others who are mentally unstable, but for the general populace, wanting to be at a healthy weight does not mean wanting to be a size 0. I read a ton of weight loss blogs, and a lot of them don’t even want to be “skinny”, they just want to feel good and look normal. So saying that it leads to anorexia and bringing up all the negative things with that was a cheap cop-out. However, I did like that she brought up the fact that there are plenty of thin people out there who are just lucky and seem to be able to eat whatever they want and not gain weight. They’re still doing stuff that is damaging to their health, but they are not judged for it. They’re probably not charged higher insurance premiums either.

    It also bothered me that Marianne said that she got to where she was by yo-yo dieting. She got to where she was by giving up, like Kim said. If yo-yo dieting was the ’cause of obesity, then why wasn’t Kim still fat? Marianne got to where she was by either overeating, eating the wrong foods, lack of activity, or a combination of those. Because I’m sorry, but for someone who is as morbidly obese as she is, if she was eating a low-calorie diet of healthy foods (which she implied she was doing) then unless she had a thyroid problem, she would not be at that weight. She simply would not be taking in enough calories to allow her body to stay that size.

    What I really liked about the discussion was bringing up how we should not just focus on weight (even though that is an important thing), but more on the actual bloodwork, etc. I think a lot of people, even if they presume themselves to be healthy, don’t know this information, and we really should because that can truly show us how we’re doing. I also liked the doctor’s point about preventative measures, and how a big preventative measure is being a healthy weight.

    rollercoaster

    March 4, 2010

    I didn’t read all the comments but I agree that somewhere in the middle is just the ticket.

    I wish someone would have touched on the emotional side of this eating debate. The fact that only 5% of people who diet keep the weight off after 5 years should tell us something!! Dieting doesn’t work for most (Roni has commented about how damaging the diet-binge cycle is as did the very overweight woman in the debate).

    I wish someone would start a normal eating movement using cognitive behavioral therapy…why can’t weight watchers use it in their already established program! They would have a MUCH higher success rate if they did. So many people would be helped out of this diet-binge cycle.

    Lastly, I also wish they would have touched on the food industry. Unhealthy food is cheap and those companies put a LOT of money into making people fat so they keep buying their food. Capitalism at it’s worst. We really have a small chance of being able to fight against that. For those of you who have seen Food, Inc. you know what I am talking about!

    I am glad to see that the debate is going on, though. Hopefully someday we’ll stop using “good” and “bad” when it comes to weight and food.

    An interesting article:
    http://www.bulimia.com/client/client_pages/futureofintuitiveeating.cfm

    rollercoaster

    March 4, 2010

    And one last thing, why is it always that people who are overweight just lack discipline?!?!??! OMG some people diet over and over and over again getting bigger and bigger becuase of the emotional side of eating!

    If it were just about trying hard, all those people out there that have been dieting for 10 years should be toothpicks BUT THEY AREN’T! They are struggling with a frustrating and difficult issue and looking to the wrong solution because the diet industry points them in the wrong direction!

    Jamie

    March 4, 2010

    I saw a few comments saying Meme was a clear and outright bigot. I’m not sure that is the case. Sounds like she grew up watching her once healthy father get obese and then every health difficulty that followed b/c of that. Same with her mother. They showed a picture of her grandmother who is clearly morbidly obese, if she’s still alive I’m sure she watched (or is watching) her deteriorate and succumb to all that comes with that. I’m in healthcare myself…on the Med-surg floor….I can tell you about 3/4 of the people that come through that hospital, on that floor, have illnesses and complications due to their weight. It’s terrible to see…the diseases are ugly and ravaging. Its frustrating…..

    Nicole

    March 5, 2010

    I think the one thing in the video that stood out to me was when the audience was asked who likes to be called fat- and people raised there hands!!! Who in their right mind likes to be called names?!? It’s insanity!

    David

    March 6, 2010

    Fat abuses the body. It is unhealthy. Fat people cannot physically perform in life the way fit people can. And of course, the social ideal is solidly against being fat, try to deny it all they want. Sorry Mr Rogers Neighborhood fans.

    Alison

    March 6, 2010

    I think that modern medicine and science unequivocally proves that obesity puts a body to many many health risks – predisposing the body to a long list of diseases which can affect lifespan and quality of life.

    I did not like how Meme took her position. I agree that the two women (who were less forceful in their approach) sitting next to the interviewer made the most sense. The two women closest to the audience had too much emotional attachment to their opinions, crippling them from seeing the situation sensibly.

    Meme particularly bugged me the way she self-righteously stated that while her family members were obese, she worked hard to eat only 1300-1800 calories at 5’6 she only weighed 120lb.

    Here is a quote that I’d like to throw out there. It comes from a book I just picked up from the library today. “fit from within” by Victoria Moran. Chapter1 (accepting yourself for what you are and not what you weigh)

    “Every age and culture has had its physical ideal, but only in recent history has that ideal been foisted on us hundreds of times a day through magazines, movies, and TV. The implication that even normal weight isn’t thin enough makes it hard for a lot of people, women in particular, to value themselves. If you are over weight, it’s even harder. The suggestion, subliminal or stated, that we should all have a supermodel’s body is as preposterous as suggesting that we should all have Albert Einstein’s IQ. If mathematical theorems were valued as highly in the mass culture as fashion spreads and celebrity profiles, we’d be lamenting the paucity of our intellects instead of the flabbiness of our thighs.

    Get clear on this: being fat is not disgusting. Child abuse is disgusting. Tying up a dog outside all day and night in every kind of weather is disgusting. Homelessness and stravation and weapons of mass destruction are disgusting. Overweight is a state. A situation. An inconvenience certainly. A threat to health in many cases. A sign, perhaps of self-indulgence or indifference or emotional distress. But not disgusting.”

    I think there are two very distincts sides of the obese discussion. How one looks to others (and feels about themselves) from a cosmetic standpoint. And then secondly, how one’s weight (and eating habits) affect the health of their body and also the efficiency that the body runs.

    I am disgusted by Meme’s line of thinking that “fat” people are cramping her style and they should all start working on self control and exercise. It’s way more complicated than that as we all know!

    Mehgann

    March 6, 2010

    Well said, Alison.

    Jen (aka KUrunner)

    March 8, 2010

    You can be fat and fit; you can be thin and unfit. You can be fat and unfit; you can be thin and fit. Maybe we should be focusing on something other than a number on the scale.

    That being said, I hate Meme Roth. She gave an interview last year about how she maintains her weight by eating healthy and working out. After a little bit of prodding, she then admitted that she doesn’t eat anything until she works out, even if she can’t get to the gym until bedtime. Doesn’t sound all that healthy to me.

    K

    March 13, 2010

    It seems to me that health should be emphasized more than dress size and appearance. I found some of the comments from the lady who was advocating fighting against obesity to be rather well….”harsh, and hurtful”. Although I agree that weight gain can contribute to the associated health risks of many diseases. First and foremost people are still people!! And I don’t think that people who have never struggled with weight problems can really understand all the psychological effects that contribute to being labeled as the “fat” person. And I totally agree with Katherine in that making legislation to stigmatize “fatness” or policing food choices is just the wrong approach to promoting healthy habits. And to be really honest I find it down right unconstitutional.

    So although I have said what I have said. I do think that health awareness should be encouraged. But to ALL people instead of just pigeon-holing people who are overweight. Health awareness should be about feeling healthy and having healthy levels of cholesterol etc, not dress size. It seemed that the woman who was for fighting against obesity didn’t have any concerns about people who appeared thin and “healthy”. But in reality have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health related problems. I also have to say that the woman who proported that it was okay to be overweight seemed to struggle with admitting that there are associated health risks with being overweight. And I don’t think that is very beneficial either. Anyway, thanks for sharing it was interesting to see all the different points of view.

    Penny

    March 15, 2010

    I have a lot of thoughts after watching the video.
    But the foremost thought on my mind is that Meme Roth is a complete heifer and I dislike her immensely.

    RG

    March 26, 2010

    Very interesting. a lot of people have talked about meme roth before, but I was surprisingly impressed. Crystal Renn seemed clueless about the difference between being fat by most people’s standards and the standards of the fashion industry. I loved Kim’s balanced viewpoint. The 95% number irritates me as a damn statistic, saying that dieting doesn’t “work” is about as useful as saying “unemployment assistance doesn’t work” because 95% of the people lose their job again. The goal of dieting is to lose body fat, period. The goal of healthy eating is to learn maintenance, managing your emotions and food choices and habits. These are two separate processes, and I find both are necessary. I have to have good habits 90% of the time, and I have to know how to self-correct when I wake up 10-15 pounds heavier than I should be because I’ve been depressed, my habits got worse, I was traveling, I went through a life crisis, etc.

    Finally, I thought the biggest point was that even JuJu is at 37% bodyfat, which is overweight. It’s taken a few years, but I think I’m a lot better at judging that % for myself, using calipers and tape measures and even visual inspection. An unhealthy focus on “the number on the scale” does lead to muscle loss since muscle is easier to lose than fat.