There are those that walk amongst us who have followed all the advice, diligently dieted and exercised with genuine effort for long periods of time, yet still fail to lose their excess weight.
Even more heartbreaking for those of us who genuinely struggle with obesity are the accusations of sloth and laziness from those thin people who eat junk all day long and show no physical sign of their own gluttony. *Why can*t you just be like everyone else?*, they demand. *It must be all your own fault.*
*After all,* they say in derisory voice, *Losing weight is easy. Just eat less and exercise more. If you don*t lose weight, you are just weak willed.*
Every person who has never had a real problem thinks they know all the easy answers. All those underlying unwarranted generalisations we face from others just about every day of our lives is a little recognised yet very real and severe form of discrimination, based on the same types of wrong thinking as prejudice against race, skin color, creed, gender, and other well recognised forms of hatred.
In fact, life experience has taught me that the less a person *actually* knows about obesity and weight loss, the more they *think* they know.
I spent time a few years ago under the care of some of the most distinguished and knowledgable internationally renowned Professors researching weight loss and obesity from the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Albert Hospital*s Obesity Clinic in Sydney, Australia. I will always remember what Professor Ian Caterson told me one day:
The more we learn about obesity, the more we realise how little we really understand and how much more there is to discover.*
Would any of those permanently thin critics care to explain a man with whom I shared many physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions during my time on the program at the Obesity Clinic? He was normal down the left side of his body, though obese down the right side of his body only.
Next time someone verbally berates you for carrying excess body weight and tries to tell you how easy it is to be lean & trim, try asking them what they would recommend to that man that some of the top obesity researchers in the world don*t yet know.
Then, while your critic is looking dumbfounded and fumbling for some feeble explanation, hit them with a few more questions, such as:
– Why do large birth weight babies have a dramatically higher rate of obesity than normal birth weight babies?
– And, given the above, just what control do you think I*ve got over my birth weight?
– Do you know what your metabolic rate is? If not, why do you presume to think you know mine?
– Do you think everyone has identical norepinephrine levels? Oh, you don*t even know what norepinephrine is, huh?
– Why do some people gain weight during stressful times while other people lose weight, irrespective of their eating patterns?
– How do you expect an overweight person to even be capable of greater physical activity than a normal weight person?
– Name me five minerals (not vitamins) that are vital for hormonal function, and explain which of these hormones has a different effect on brain signals related to appetite and metabolism.
– Tell me what you know about Insulin Resistance Syndrome, what causes it, what its symptoms are, and how to treat it.
– What has the least nutrient value to the human body – (a) 100 calories of pure fat, (b) 100 calories of pure protein, or (c) 100 calories of pure carbohydrate? (By the way – Your critic will probably answer Fat. The correct answer is C. The human body actually requires fats and proteins for various metabolic and physiological functions. Pure carbohydrate has no known unique use in the human body as the body can convert either fats or proteins as required into blood glucose, as it does with carbohydrate.)
– Some of the most successful business people, scientists, philosophers and artists in the course of human history have struggled with obesity. Why do you think such successful and influential people who have changed the course of the world as we know it today are *weak willed*?
When you see the jaw of your critic drop to the floor, as they turn pale and look like they*ve been hit by a runaway train, when their silence shows that their ignorance and prejudice has been thoroughly exposed, just calmly walk away.
At this point, both of you now know that, even though you may be carrying excessive body weight, it is your critic who has the bigger problem.