Wednesday, 13 October 2010

We All Have To Die.

Now, this isn't the cheeriest of posts - but perhaps it is, in it's own way. I have been reading something in a lot of blogs lately that is annoying me.

I read so often that fat people will say they are 'dieting' because they 'don't want to die'.

Like it's inevitable. Fat = death. *Sigh.*

Bloody hell. The scaremongers out there will not let the big people exist easily, will they? We have been led to believe that extra poundage is SO dangerous that fat people (who dare to exist) are on a collision course with death. You are fat. Game over.

Can I just point out that we are ALL going to die, of something, one way or another?

I will also say right now that I am aware that being overweight does us no favours. I know it puts an extra strain on the heart. We are likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels too. I know it makes us susceptible to all manner of illnesses. I KNOW that.

You know that too.

It's not sensible to be overweight, not at all, but fat people exist!

We aren't merely great mounds of blubber on our way to meet our maker - that is the way we are portrayed so often of late - yet so many bloggers seem concerned that their fat is a death sentence. Big guilt trip that they have well and truly messed up their lives.

I'd say their way of life is more likely to be a death sentence, because fitness rather than fatness is a more crucial indicator of premature death. Fat people can be relatively fit! There were fat people around in my childhood and youth and being overweight didn't carry the stigma it does today. I guess we moved more then?

EVERYONE is going to the same place if you like - the day when we cease to exist. From the minute we are born we are heading in that direction. It's a weird and scary thought, but it's true.

A fat person may live longer than the thin person jogging down the road in front of them. Thin, healthy joggers drop down dead. Linda McCartney, right-on vegetarian died young of cancer. Footballers collapse on the field and die. An old schoolfriend of mine (thin too) died of heart disease. A colleague dropped dead in the workplace. He was slim and fit - a gym-user. Conversely, there are lots of tubby middle aged people about. I know of people who have smoked all their lives who've lived into their 90s. My rounded mother lived to be 86 - and she smoked too when she was younger. Life is a bit of a lottery. We can help ourselves, obviously, but genetics come into the equation too.

Hospitals all over the world are full of thin people on their death-beds. As you are reading this, THIN people are popping their clogs, kicking the bucket, checking out, giving up the ghost.

We die. Thinness is NOT a guarantee of long life. Thin or fat, our lives end.

Death gets us - one way or another. Sad but true.

A reliance on fast foods and sedentary lifestyles has caught up with us. Of course we are right to be concerned. Fast foods are everywhere. We drive, we have jobs that don't involve movement. We watch TV, sit at computers, play online games. We weren't designed to stagnate.

Now I'll go on to say that it is sensible to try and lose weight if we are carrying an excess of it about. We know that. We can help ourselves. We can lead healthier lives and we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to do that. We owe it to our children that we bring them up to run about, move lots and teach them  to eat nutritious foods.

The point of this post is that we are what we are. We may be fat (some of us) and the chances are if you are reading this you are overweight, or have been overweight at some time.

Right now we mustn't waste our precious days fretting about illness, early death and seeing ourselves as being at the head of the queue to meet the Grim Reaper. That's my point.

We are here and this is our life.

Oh I do more than my fair share of moaning and whining about my fatness. But, despite it, I am content because my life is OK. I don't like my shape but I like my life. (* sings* I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly!")

I am a fat woman, I need a kick up the arse occasionally to remind me I am being slothful, over-eating and have other options, but I have a lot going for me, one way and the other, and I'd like to bet that you have too. Right?

We are more than our weight, we are more than our flabby, waddling bodies. We exist, and we have a right to the space we take up and the air we breathe. We are not one step away from the grave - no more than our thin brothers and sisters are - and I am sick to the back teeth of that message being put about.

We know we aren't in prime condition, we know our weight holds us back, we know we get out of breath easily and we know our cholesterol levels and blood pressure might be high. That is NOT good news - let me stress that, BUT being fat is not a crime and not a certain death sentence. Every single one of us has a tale to relate. We all have mismanaged our food intakes and lifestyles for one reason or another. We aren't greedy bloaters who deserved to be scorned, deserve to die young and have to be labelled defective.

Last summer I was on holiday - 'at the seaside', as we say here. On the promenade were all sorts of adults. They came in all shapes and sizes. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and more or less every single one of them seemed to be enjoying the experience. They looked carefree...they looked as though they were really enjoying LIVING, enjoying their lives, just as they were. It was a snapshot if you like, of what it is to be alive. Some of them were fat, yet they were smiling, enjoying the experience just the same. One man licked an ice-cream cornet, a middle aged couple sat on a bench, tucking into their fish and chips. They weren't thin.

I bet the last thing on ice-cream licking man's mind was..."Oh dear. I am big and here I am eating an ice cream. Oh no. How unhealthy. I am going to die."

The other couple most definitely weren't having a discussion about the merits of a lettuce leaf as opposed to their bag of tasty fish and chips. "Oh George. We really should have had a salad you know." Were they discussing the 'Death Is Upon You' rating of a deep fried cod? I think not.

What I am saying is, fat or thin, this is it. It's our life, our short time on the planet, right now.

Life in a fat suit isn't much fun. We know that. We blog about it. It isn't particularly healthy or clever to ignore a body starting to bulge, a chin starting to multiply, thighs rubbing together painfully when we walk, or all the other discomforts we feel and know about all too well when we are overweight. It's good that we determine to lose pounds. Working towards a smaller, fitter body is a sensible thing to do.

In the meantime however, stop seeing your fat as a death sentence, stop thinking diabetes is inevitable or your life is over or coming to an end because you are big.

That's intense, nasty pressure - and in all probability a message promoted by drug companies, insurance companies or the slimming industry - with government backing. They have a lot to gain (money, money, money) by making you ultra aware of your awful 'short-comings'.

"Oh gross! Don't you feel bad about yourself, you horrible, unhealthy fat person?"

What better message to bandy about than the pernicious "Hey fatty. You'll be dead soon!"

Think about it. Misery anyone?

Cigarettes are still made and sold, dope is available if you know where to look for it. Drugs abound. Alcohol can be bought easily and is often served with food. Motor bikes have powerful engines. Cars can go fast. We can kill ourselves in so many ways, but we can also determine to lead rich lives too. Today.

Those rich lives can be enhanced further if we get our weight down with a sensible diet and tone up our bodies through movement. They might not be better lives. Problems will still find us. We will however be better equipped to deal with whatever comes our way. Do it on your terms, for you and not because the world despises fat people.

Don't let anyone slap a 'Dying - Waste of Time" sticker on your forehead because you are fat. I see that despair in so many blogs.

Don't let anyone have you believe that you are merely death warmed up. That is grossly misleading.

You shouldn't be told time and time again that you are living under a black cloud because your shape doesn't fit the modern blue-print. Where is the joy in that? "I am fat. My life is over."


That is not fair.

You may be a fat person leading life in a fat suit, but yours is just as valid as the thin person's next door. You are just as worthwhile too. One day it WILL all be over, but please make sure you enjoy the journey and appreciate your life while you have it.  Right now. Being fat does have health implications, but all manner of things can cause death. Today you have life. You will I hope be around for many, many more years to come. You increase that chance by becoming a healthy weight, but for all of us, thin or fat, like it or not, NOW is all we have.

Now, bugger off and go and enjoy your day. Go on. Have fun. x x x


  1. FG: One of my biggest challenges has been just living in the moment. My personality tends toward chewing over (literally) past regrets and having lots of anxiety about what may happen in the future. Life is short and I really, really, really want to learn how to be present in this moment.

    As I watch the Chilean miners being rescued it is just one more reminder about how each day should be treasured.


  2. I thought a long time about whether I should comment on this because I really do agree with you, there is a bit of Chicken Little, "The sky is falling", atmosphere out there. I expect a part of this is due to the fact most bloggers are here having reached a personal tipping point. We are, no doubt, more polarized than the average person.

    Recently I discovered during a visit to my doctor, and the battery of tests I was put through, that I have managed to eat my way into adult onset diabetes. So, in my case, the sky has fallen. It's not necessarily a death sentence and I can, potentially, through diet and exercise still reverse it.

    According to the World Health Organization 90% of type two diabetics are overweight and over 85% of diabetics are type two. That's a fairly compelling set of statistics.

    I agree that many can be fat and not get diabetes or hypertension or cancer, but some will and in a greater percentage than those who are not obese.

    I say, don't be a Chicken Little, but don't be an ostrich either.

  3. "I say, don't be a Chicken Little, but don't be an ostrich either."

    Absolutely Glenn. Most of us are aware that health issues are often linked to fatness. Hasn't that message been pushed and pushed? Whilst we are aware, we must also determine to live, to enjoy the here and now, fat or not, and not think there is a golden age over the horizon, in the land of the thin. Other nasty things can attack us there too;)

    Of course a warning like the one you have received will urge you on. It should. To not act would be insane.

    Jo, like you I have had a life full of things I'd rather forget..incidents and times that come back to haunt me. I was slim when my life wasn't too good. No good dwelling on the past or the future. A future isn't guaranteed to any of us - that's why today has to count and should be lived in the best way possible. (That best way might be taking care of ourselves properly, but also living and participating right now, not dreading the future, not letting our big bodies prevent us from joining in, having fun and appreciating the moment.)

    Utopia has room for us all :)

  4. Every day above ground is a good day. A chance to change what didn't work yesterday. A chance to continue what work the day before. A chance to try something new.

    Concerning my weight loss, I feel education is the key to changing what didn't work or starting something new.

    I am a fat person. Fatter yesterday, fat today, and less fat tomorrow? MY fat begins in my head. Between my ears, then escapes to my mouth.

    Today is not such a fat day. My head isn't no cluttered with fat-causing thoughts. (to this minute) I have a busy day after lunch. Not much time for indulging in fat thoughts leading to fat behaviors. I will include my afternoon snack to take away any excuse to eat fat food instead of healthy.

    I am beginning to recognize my fat thinking strategies, counteract them and plan against them before they talk me onto the ledge.

    I liked your thought provoking post. Keep churning them out!

  5. Some people will get your message and some won't. I get it. :) The thing is... when a person is immersed in guilt, shame and fear, they may become disempowered to change. SOME of us work that way. Others are driven by fear, others not. It's important to know who you are - what drives YOU. For me, fear makes me want to curl up in a ball. (unless it's REAL "in-my-face" fear, then I act, of course). I find I am much more empowered to change and live healthy by focusing on the good stuff of life. I am much more motivated when I am driven by love, not fear. The diet industry likes to ram shame, and fear down our throats and the fact is, it doesn't motivate the entire populuation. What we focus on expands - let's focus on what we WANT. :) LOVE your honesty and your blog!!

  6. As a single guy who looks after himself, my weight has been a real pain to maintain. A friend recommended Purity12 weight loss system and I've never looked back. I no longer feel embarrassed to take my shirt off.
    Honestly speaking I was skeptical at first and a little nervous but the staff made me feel really at ease and explained the process in a simple and clear way. It was so easy so I decided to sign up and be a distributor. Try it here.

  7. Thought provoking. Yes, we are all going to die, true statement. This is my life and I want to live more than I have, plus I do not want me babies to care for me when I get what ever I am going to get if I do not take care of me. Taking care of me is what I am choosing to do, because I love my life. I love me. And I want to do more. Period.

    My post today was about Jeffrey Friedman's talk on leptin and obesity. At the beginning and the end of the talk he has some powerful messages about image and obesity and about small things we can do to improve our health. Finally, I see JW commented above. Check her latest post out. It is all about empowering attitudes. Might be a good read for you.

  8. Yep, good point (and loved the 'deep fried cod' discussion).

    Death, the final curtain, whatever you like to call it, don't scare me much. I don't know what it'll be like, but it's going to come sooner or later so not a lot of point fretting it... well, not yet!

    However, for me, the prospect of living with a whole series of health problems (or do I mean 'existing') as I faced becoming less mobile and more dependent on help from others because my own behaviour, leading to all that excess weight, was having such an effect on my health and lifestyle, was a serious motivator.

    Going to take your advice now and bugger off to enjoy the rest of a soggy Thursday :-)