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Posts Tagged ‘choices’

OK, I stumbled upon this article from June of ’08 on the UK’s Daily Mail site when I was searching for some inspirational stories. Basically, this is of teh $t00pid! It made me want to bang my head against my desk.

Basically, this is a story of a woman who entered a weight loss contest in the UK, and won. She let all her success go to her head and became selfish, vain, and greedy. As a result, her marriage fell apart and she lost access to her kids. Within this article, she blames the fact that she lost weight on her poor choices, instead of herself. Seriously, you have to read this for yourself!

Oh, how the stupid hurts my brain!

Thrilled by the chance to dress in fashionable clothes at last, she embarked on an extravagant spending spree – landing the family £10,000 in debt.

Dazzled by the compliments and new-found attention, she was drawn to the world of parties and clubs, while her husband wanted to stay at home.

Her euphoria turned to despair and depression as she lost her job, her marriage collapsed and finally she lost access to the children she adored.

‘I had never had any sort of attention before and I revelled in it,’ says 42-year-old Melanie. ‘I turned heads for the first time in my life.

‘The compliments went straight to my head, and as it changed me, everything that I held dear started to crumble.

‘Now, when I see slimmers beaming on the front of glossy magazines, my heart sinks. Having a new, slender body does change your life totally – but it nearly destroyed me in the process.’

There were only two comments in the article. One was giving accolades to Melanie for being a strong woman and getting what she wanted out of life, and the other one wasn’t so kind (which is good cause quite frankly he’s right).

This woman somehow blames losing weight for all her problems. Her problems however came about by how selfish she became, not due to her weight loss. Ignoring her family and kids, blowing all that money. The sad thing is she seems to still blame her weight loss and her newfound “fun and freedom” – rubbish! She said before she lost the weight her kids came first. Well Yes she is a parent, when you are a parent your kids come first, not going bar hopping with your co-workers.

I only hope he kids can come to terms with their selfish mother, and not blame themselves for what she did. I hope the father was able to be there for them and was able to fill in the lost hole.

It does mention that her husband was the sedentary type and enjoyed watching TV more than being active, and she found that she actually enjoyed her new, healthier lifestyle. That I can see being an issue in a relationship like that. But instead of trying to work through it, or maybe focusing her newfound energy and fitness on enjoying time with her kids, she became a vapid, selfish twat and partied and drove her family into debt for new clothes. I can see how her hubby might have had a problem with that, and why her kids might have had less respect for her.

‘If I see slimmers smiling from the covers of glossy magazines, my stomach churns, because they don’t realise that their entire life is about to change beyond recognition.

Melanie adds: ‘I’ve found happiness again, but I’ve learned a hard lesson. Would I have lost all that weight if I had known what was going to happen? No – it turned out to be the most costly diet in the world.’

Melanie has a new partner who is more compatible with her, and she’s repaired her relationship with her children (who are all either older teens or living on their own). That’s nice and all, but this pisses me off because it plays into Fat Acceptance’s ideals that losing weight turns you into a selfish and vain person. I’m going to set the record straight that while losing weight really can change a person’s life, it’s usually for the positive, and it is this woman’s already weaker character that caused her to let it go to her head, not the fact that she lost weight!

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Shame is a funny emotion. We feel shame usually when we’ve done something unethical to others, or when we’ve done something embarrassing. It seems that shame in our culture is now looked upon as something no one should have to feel for any reason and to be avoided at all costs. The thing is, feeling shame is often the first step towards making a positive change. If you feel shame about something you’ve done, you know that it’s something that should be corrected, and it can motivate you towards taking the first steps that’ll make it right.

Some people in the Fat Acceptance movement claim that anti-obesity, health-related ads are “shaming,” and that a doctor telling you that you should lose weight for your health is “shaming” and that pretty much anyone who claims that fat is a choice is “shaming” to fat people. Also, in our very politically correct society, shame in general is looked upon as something always to avoid. The thing is, anyone who’s personal choices leads them to be a burden to others should feel some amount of shame. You can compare it to someone so addicted to drugs, alcohol, shopping, or gambling that they’ve burned through the family savings accounts and fail to provide for their children because of their vices. If someone loves food so much that they’d let themselves get so bad that family or friends have to take care of them, they should feel some shame about it. FA will probably agree with the drug addict/alcoholic analogy, but if you include fat people in the equation they feel it’s unfair. But I tend to disagree because eating too much food for your body to use in your normal activity level is a choice. If the only person who has to live with the choice is the choice-maker, that’s fine. But if someone else has to somehow care for the person who makes the self-destructive choice, we’re crossing over into the territory where it becomes someone else’s problem as well. For one to allow that to happen, one should feel ashamed.

Instances where shame shouldn’t be a factor do exist. For instance, a child should never feel ashamed that their parents divorced, a victim of sexual or any other kind of abuse should never feel ashamed of the fact that they were a victim of said abuse. If anyone gives their 100% best effort at something and failed, they shouldn’t feel ashamed, but rather proud that they tried and be motivated to try harder for next time (nobody can be the BEST at anything at all times). But if someone makes a choice, and that choice yields bad results for not only the individual but those in the individuals life, then shame is warranted, and can be a positive emotion.

Basically my main point is that shame can sometimes help a person get better. If an alcoholic feels intense shame that he let his alcohol abuse hurt his family, and it can motivate him to give up alcohol and make right those wrongs, then shame is a good thing. If a person who’s let themselves become disabled because of their weight and their spouse or parents have to care for them and they feel ashamed because of that, then maybe they’ll be motivated to lose enough weight to be independent again. I’m not saying one should feel ashamed for not looking hot in a bikini or speedo, here, but if one gets fat enough that they need assistance doing normal things, perhaps they should feel some modicum of shame.

While we’re on the topic of caring for a disabled loved one, I will say this: if your spouse is in an accident which renders them disabled, and you end up taking care of them, that’s understandable. If your spouse eats their way to a size which they become disabled at, and you end up taking care of them, that is unfair. The reason for that is getting fat was their choice, while an accident that makes a person have a disability was not a choice. The reason I bring this up is the “for better or worse” vows at most weddings. A lot of fat spouses will argue that their spouse vowed to love them unconditionally, but that’s unfair if the “condition” was brought on by choices. What the “for better or worse” vow was created for, was for cases like the first scenario, where something bad, outside of your spouse’s control, happens. It’s not an accident to eat too much, exercise too little, and get very fat. It can FEEL like an accident if you’re not watching yourself then one day wake up to realize how fat you’ve gotten. It’s an accident when you get in a car wreck and become a paraplegic and can no longer do certain things for yourself. Alcoholics and drug addicts are shamed for making life hard on their families, and their addictions are the results of choices. So if someone is FAT and is a burden on their family because of it, it’s wrong for them to be shamed, too? I don’t get it.

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