One of the things that concerns me about our obesity ridden society are the innumerable stories people tell themselves to justify why it’s ok to carry excess body fat or even to be obese. This is not aided by the amount of research being done into the reasons people gain fat and subsequently fail to lose it, because people fail to understand the implications of the research and simply use it as still another justification.
Firstly, let’s get this straight…calories in exceed calories out = fat gain. Calories out exceed calories in = fat loss. Can’t get much simpler than that.
Now I do not for one moment trivialise how hard it is for people to lose this excess fat, and I sympathise, I really do. Getting yourself back on track is incredibly hard, and there is very little real support out there for those trying to lose body fat, despite what an increasing rate of obesity means for the future of our society. But no-one is going to overcome excessive body fat issues until they start getting honest with themselves.
So, what are some of the justifications I hear?
Underactive thyroid. A condition which, amongst other things, affects the rate at which the body expends energy. However, body weight gain due to this condition is relatively modest, and due primarily to accumulation of salt and water, not body fat. Said weight gain is usually lost once the individual is properly treated for the condition
Genetic Scientific research has been and is being conducted into the question of whether some people are genetically predisposed to gain body fat faster than the norm. Please note…this does not mean that you will gain body fat no matter what you do. It may mean that if you are not sufficiently active, and are not eating a healthy diet, you may accumulate body fat faster than average. It may also mean that something in you struggles with many of the over-processed and unhealthy foods commonly consumed today. If you argue that fat gain is hereditary in your family because your parents, grandparents, siblings are all carrying too much body fat, then I would suggest you look at what your family has taught you about healthy living. In other words, nurture rather than nature.
Low Metabolism/BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) This is a nifty little excuse. You know why? because people like to assess whether they have a slow or fast metabolism based on whether they are fat or skinny. Ergo “I am fat because I have a slow metabolism – it has nothing to do with the fact that I never engage in physical activity, and have a poor diet”. As for a skinny person having a high metabolism? Do they have a lot of lean muscle mass? If so, then they do have a greater BMR, because it has been scientifically proven that the more muscle we carry, the faster our bodies burn energy. But the way to obtain lean muscle mass is by….engaging in weight bearing exercise.
My spouse/lover/partner likes me this way That’s sweet. It really is, and your partner should not complain if you don’t have the body of a fitness model, because chances are, neither do they. And if you are a woman, childbirth can do all sorts of weird and wacky things to your shape. But if your waistline exceeds the guidelines published by reputable health and medical sources, then your loved one should be encouraging you to change that…and making it easier for you to do so by participating in the appropriate health and lifestyle changes right along with you (now that is true love!). Seriously, does anyone want the person they love to put their health and longevity at risk? And if so, why?
Look at paintings from history, where fat women were considered sexy. Please don’t go here. Historically, in this socio-economic group, it was considered at one point, a good idea to paint lead-based cosmetics on your face (poisoning yourself in the process). Standard medical practice for many ailments was to cup or bleed the sufferer (that’s right, drain blood from an already sick person). Historical fashions in beauty and health had little to do with hard science.
People are attracted to BBW/BHM. Sorry, I don’t understand this one at all. I am not shallow,but I simply do not find an fat man attractive at all. I am not saying they might not be wonderful people, and would make great friends…but there is not one particle of sexual attraction there. And I am not attracted to the gym junkie/bulging muscle men type either. I like men with healthy, fit bodies. I am aware there are people out there who have sexual fetishes for obese people, but I have yet to see evidence demonstrating that it is a popular fetish.
To me, people who come up with excuses justifying their excess body fat, are often people who have given up on losing that body fat. That is an awful thing. Everyone should want to be fit and healthy. If you give up on yourself, you are certainly never going to be fit and healthy. In fact, by buying into this “It’s ok to be fat” mythology, you are probably setting yourself up to gain even more fat.
Basically, in order to motivate yourself into pursuing a healthier lifestyle, you must first of all be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Do not justify the existence of that fat. Simply acknowledge that it exists; acknowledge your feelings about having excess fat on your body; and then ask yourself where you want to go from there. Treat the fat gain like an addiction…you have to look it in the face before you can do anything about it.