In the study, clinically obese people were asked a series of questions about their weight, body style and health habits. Here's the kicker ---- 3 out of 4 obese people DO NOT describe themselves as obese when asked about their body type. Also, 52% of them describe their diet as "healthy."
Hello!!! I look in the mirror at my pendulous gut, triceps fat and double chin, and if anything, I am HYPER aware of them. At least I am right now.....
When I first read this study, I thought, "How can anyone have more rolls than an Italian bakery and NOT see it? How can they have more chins than a Chinese phone book and believe that their diet is healthy?"
Then I realized, I started at over 400 pounds, and didn't I ignore THAT for many years? We look at ourselves from the neck up, don't we? For years, my body was nothing but transportation for my head.
When we finally stop and look, I mean really look, at what we have done to ourselves and what it has meant to the quality of our lives -- the pain is excruciating. Trust me, I have been through a lot in life -- having become a widowed mom in my twenties and having it go downhill from there for many years-- but nothing that life hands us hurts more than what we do to ourselves.
I think what is WORSE for me than the actual fat is having to own the actions that put it there. Yeah, there's genetics and the habits from upbringing, but in the end, it is me who decides to eat something or not eat it. Genetics may provide the gun, childhood environment may provide the bullets, but it's us who load the guns and fire them.
It hurt and was so incredibly overwhelming the day I looked in the mirror at the 400 pounds of sagging flesh and became consciously aware that I am not a victim of anything except my own bad choices. Fat did not happen to me against my will, like bad weather falling out of the sky. I put it there, it did not land on me like rain.
So, I can understand those 3 out of 4 obese people who when asked, say they are not fat. It's not just the fat and all of the pain, limitations and embarrassments that they are denying---but the responsibility for the fat.
Yeah, as long as you either deny that fat exists or act like you are the victim of fat, it politely relieves you of the responsibility of having to deal with it -- at least in our own minds. That is, until something happens that drives home how huge the problem has become.
Some of the WORST habits that we fat people have are denial, playing the victim and procrastination. Lord knows, there are plenty of others that we can name. I personally don't believe that we can improve our health and change our bodies for good until we deal with this inner stuff first.
Hey, I am not trying to depress people here but to offer hope. The sooner we own the actions that put us in this boat, the sooner we can own the process of change. We did it, we can undo it.
I am trying to remain "connected" and responsible for each choice I make regarding my health and fitness. And more and more, I am trying to be careful about the words that I use with regards to food, eating, exercise and this whole journey I am on. I asked my DH to help me by pointing it out if he hears any "victim speak" coming out of my mouth.
I had this habit of referring to my fat as the dragon I must slay and would talk about being my own hero. My DH pointed out that calling it the "dragon" made the fat into some external foe that is attacking me instead of an unhealthy state that I created myself. In calling it the dragon, I am not owning it.
He is right. I stopped calling it the dragon and after all of these months I STILL catch myself using phrases and having feelings that externalize the problem and make me a victim of the fat. Other times, I own the problem and have outright RAGE against myself for letting it go as far as I did -- so self-forgiveness has to be part of the process too.
Let's get this done -- Finally do what we gotta do inside and out to get past this. This is soooo hard, I know. But we can do it one step at a time.
Do something good for you today! Make at least ONE choice that gets you closer to your goal.
You matter. You are beautiful! You can do this!