The below is a letter to the editor I just wrote in response to an article written by David Quick of the Post and Courier> The link to the article is http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/aug/31/is-obesity-normal-accepted/
I read with interest David Quick’s article “Is obesity ‘normal’, and is it accepted?” David has helped to bring the issues of the obesity epidemic to all of our attention and I thank him for that focus.
I refer to myself as ‘The Fat Guy’ and in March of 2009 you could have used me as the poster boy for the obesity epidemic! I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, anxiety, and used a CPAP machine to sleep. I also had bad migraines, asthma, joint pain, and more, much more! ALL of these issues I attribute to my weight of 350 plus pounds at that time.
On March 2, 2009 I decided to go on the journey of my life and for my life. Over the next 363 days I went from 351 pounds to 201 pounds. I not only shed the pounds, I shed ALL of my health issues! No asthma attacks, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no sleep machine or meds, and leading a healthy lifestyle. I am truly fit for the first time in my adult life and I am working to maintain and improve that level of health and fitness every day.
I struggled with the article because I will always view myself as The Fat Guy! It is not easy being overweight and I am definitely aware of the discrimination that happens with an overweight person. I would never refer to anyone else as the Fat Guy or Fat Girl in the room, but I feel it is important to my journey and success to identify myself as The Fat Guy. It helps me stay on track and deal with life each day.
While I do not want to see discrimination of overweight, obese, or fat people, I do not want to celebrate what I know is an epidemic . I read an article by Dr. David Katz that states:
“Obesity is, inarguably, an enormously out-of-control epidemic; among the most pressing public health problems of our time; and well established on the causal pathway to virtually every major chronic disease that plagues our society: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, and more. Despite an appreciation for laudable motives of the “OK at any size” movement, I can’t sign up, because type 2 diabetes in children isn’t OK.”
Let’s not discriminate against anyone for any reason; BUT, let’s not try to make obesity fashionable, accepted, or healthy. It is not healthy and it is the biggest danger to the next generation……………OUR YOUNG PEOPLE! They will be the first generation that does not outlive their parents. Do any of us want that?
I am The Fat Guy and I want our kids to lead healthy, happy, and LONG lives!
The Fat Guy