Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Ready to do Anything but Exercise and Eat Right

"If I lost the weight, maybe I wouldn't have to take so many medications" says one woman.

"If I lost the weight, maybe my back and knees wouldn't hurt so much" some guy tells us.

"If I lost the weight, I could run around with my grandkids" another woman adds.

What are they talking about? Why, how for many, many years they've longed to get rid of that spare tire wrapped around their hips. And now, after years of dithering and wishing, they are going to DO something about it.

What are they going to do? Join a gym and exercise something other than their gums and texting digits? Cut out salty and sugary snacks? Add fruits and vegetables to their diet? Stop guzzling soda and juice drinks? Get off the couch and take a daily walk?

Nope- when we hear each person in turn confidently tell us that "I'm ready," what they mean is "I'm ready to have a 'minimally invasive procedure to place an adjustable (by WHOM?) silicone band around the upper part of my stomach, so I can feel full without overeating."

According to the website, the band "creates a pouch without permanently altering any organs." Oh well, that's good news, at least. But seriously, it's bad enough that millions of people think that they are one exercise machine purchase, one set of pills, or one insanely dangerous diet away from losing weight. Now they are being told that they are one simple, safe and "minimally invasive" surgery away from looking like those models in the magazines. Funny how Quick-Fix messages will always drown out doctors and common sense, which have been telling us for decades that the only way to safely and permanently lose weight is to affect a lifestyle adjustment and introduce your body to regular servings of fruits, vegetables and exercise.

Clearly there exists a massive population of people who are willing to eat up these quick fixes (no pun intended) yet jam their fingers in their ears and chant "can't hear you, can't hear you" when reminded about the exercise and diet thing. The snake oil and surgery salesmen who sell the miracle cures are, I'm sure, eternally grateful for them.

(How DO you "adjust" a band wrapped around your stomach, again?)



    "Eat less, move more!"


    "How about I fat ass it for you?"

  3. I don't remember the man's name but I do remember a stand-up routine in which the comic said that there should be an infomercial with a slogan that made sense: "Stop Eating, You Fat Bastard!"; the only accessory was a strip of duct tape that went over the purchaser's mouth so that the fat bastard would stop eating. Too bad that such a campaign would never really succeed owing to its requiring the fat bastards to stop eating.

  4. I agree with you that many people are living an unhealthy lifestyle - sedentary jobs, followed by a weekend on the couch and unhealthy diets. However, there are still many people (such as myself) who DO follow a healthy lifestyle and are still overweight/obese due to medical conditions.

    I am 5'6" and have PCOS ( I eat 3 small meals a day, consisting of whole grains, veggies and lean proteins, and work out at the gym 3 days a week. My weekends are spent geocaching. My cholesterol is spot on, I don't have diabetes, my blood pressure is 120/80 and "other than my size, I am healthy". I carry 260 lbs on my 5'6" frame. It's frustrating to read comments like yours that say "all the fat bastards need to do is stop eating". Healthy and unhealthy bodies come in all sizes (look at the anorexic supermodels). Unfortunately for some reason it has become acceptable to act hateful and bigoted toward larger people, and in my perception the problem is getting worse.

  5. Jennifer- dreaded was quoting a stand-up comic, not speaking for himself. I agree that bias against overweight or large people is disgusting and totally unacceptable. However, I think you are missing a point here- stomach "staples" do nothing for people who are overweight/obese due to a medical condition. They are advertised for people who simply cannot control their food intake and aren't willing to do devote themselves to regular exercise.

    This isn't about people with medical conditions. It's about people who are willing to do anything OTHER than exercise and eat right to lose weight, who are willing even to have surgery if it means they don't have to change their lifestyles. If you are healthy, it doesn't matter how much you weigh, in my opinion. If you are Unhealthy, all the pills and stomach staples in the world aren't going to fix your real problem- that you just don't take your body seriously enough to treat it right.

  6. I understand DC was quoting a stand up comic - but it IS reflective of the basic assumption that the ONLY reason people are overweight is because they sit on the couch scarfing big macs. Which may be true for some but not true for others, but does perpetuate the stereotype that overweight people are lazy.

    Oh and I do hate the commercials - mostly because they show a simplistic solution (horrendous body modification) for a complex issue. Insurance will only cover that surgery with documentation that you have made good faith attempts for at least one year to lose weight with diet and exercise (score one for insurance companies - hopefully this restriction has motivated people to make some healthy changes). Unfortunately, there are many people who will cash in their life savings to pay cash for this incredibly dangerous procedure.

    I'll be honest and say I have considered the surgery. It would probably be effective. But I have also had an abdominal cesarean and an appendectomy and am not really wanting to go through the pain of abdominal surgery a third time. I'll just continue to live a healthy life in my large body...and speak out against discrimination where I find it.