I get it, I’m overweight…

Yes, I’m overweight.  Yes, I’m a lazy ass.  Yes, I’m out of shape.  No, I don’t need your condescending attitude about it just bc you’re thin.

Why don’t I jog? My breasts are so large, even just jogging is excruciating for my back/shoulders which are already in pain most of the day.

Why don’t I just hike more or climb stairs? My left hip will need to be replaced soon due to bone deterioration from medication I was on for years and my left knee was injured when I was a teenager.  I’m actually supposed to avoid stairs at all costs, but take them because I feel like a lazy ass when I don’t.

Why don’t I lift weights? Much like my hip, most of my joints are extremely weak and prone to dislocation.  My shoulders are a big issue.  Growing up with an abusive father, my body as been beaten and battered for years and parts of me are just falling apart.

None of this is an excuse for not being more active.  I can walk around my block.  I can do small things to make myself more active and help myself shed these unwanted pounds.  Trust me, despite my lack of action, I know what I need to do to change myself.

What pisses me off about all of this is there is one person in particular (a friend of a friend, who I don’t particularly like and only put up with because he’s invited everywhere and it isn’t usually my place to say something) who feels because he has a fast metabolism and is stick thin, he is qualified to “train” me and any of my other friends who are either overweight or just want to improve their athleticism.  BULL.SHIT.  I’ve seen him work out.  I’ve seen him ATTEMPT to run an extended distance.  Being thin is not the equivalent of being fit.  Don’t tell me I should start running when I know that isn’t the best way for me to get my cardio in.  Don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat when all you eat is fast food.  In fact, just stop talking all together.  I didn’t ask for your advice or help, and trust me, I NEVER will.

The other thing he loves to do is invite me and my friends on “epic adventures” aka “I’m gonna drive us all up to some woodsy area, and we can smoke pot and drink beer”.  Fine.  I don’t see why we have to sneak weed into a wildlife preserve or hike to the top of some mountain just to sit and drink, but if it makes you feel like you’ve done something with your life, sure.  What makes me want to hit him with my car is when he comes up to me and says “don’t worry, the hike isn’t that bad, you’ll be able to make it to the top.”  EXCUSE YOU, DOUCHEBAG.  I can hike.  Despite my complaining, I can do it.  I’m not going to pass out before we hit the top.  I’m not going to cry.  I might be a little winded by the time we get to the top, but I’m not incapable of walking the few miles to the top of wherever the fuck you want to take us.

I used to dance competitively.  I used to be thin.  I used to workout every day AFTER taking dance classes for hours.  I gained all of this weight as a side effect of the drugs I was on from 15-22.  It slowed my metabolism.  Weakened my bones.  But it didn’t make me incapable of swimming laps or hiking for the day.  Just because I’d rather go to the beach than hike up a mountain with you, doesn’t mean it’s because I’m just too goddamn fat.  Maybe, just MAYBE, we blow you off because you think you’re better than everyone in EVERY way and have no problems showing that, constantly.

Yes, I’m overweight.  Yes, I need to be more active.  No, I don’t need people who have no idea what they’re talking about “reassuring” me that I can do a certain physical activity.  My legs are almost pure muscle.  I’ll make it up the fucking trail.  Don’t tell me you’ll make it easy for me.  I’m overweight, not disabled.  I’m not on crutches.  I’m not in a wheelchair.  I’m just out of shape.  You want to “help” me?  Shut up and let me do my own thing.

Then again, this guy rates himself as a 9 on the 1-10 scale and going by looks alone, he’d be lucky to make the scale.  Add in his personality and he’s definitely somewhere in the negatives. So, I’m not surprised he thinks he’s the god of health.

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Gluttony

I love food.  No, you don’t understand.  I can eat.  All of my friends share this same sentiment.  We even say we are “getting our FP on”, with “FP” standing for “fat pride”.  But there is a difference between eating and overeating.  To overindulge is something we all might have done on occasion.  Ever squeezed in dessert when you knew you were stuffed?  What about people who eat to the point that they cannot walk?  That is an example of gluttony.  Want to be utterly disgusted?  Check out this woman.  She wants, that’s right, she WANTS to hit 1,000 pounds.  Gluttony.  BUT gluttony is not only food related.  Some people (we like to call these people “attention-whores”) thrive on attention and being the center of the spotlight.  Some people thrive on fame and will do anything to obtain it.  Ever heard the phrase “glutton for punishment”?  Gluttony, though usually linked to food and over eating, is not only about food.

In my intro post concerning Greed, I stated that what fascinates me about the Seven Deadly Sins is that everyone can or has committed them without even thinking about it.  Large technology companies like Apple get a lot of their revenue for technology gluttons.  People who already have an iPhone, iPad, Macbook, but need the newest version.  They need the best.  They overindulge in technology. Gluttony.

How many of you are gamers?  How many of you spend money you could be spending on clothes or food on your online gaming subscriptions?  How many of you have been to midnight game releases?  How many of you have ignored friends or family because you were gaming?  Gluttony.

What about people who shop themselves into mountainous credit card debt?  Gluttony.

What about workaholics?

What about animal hoarders?

What about people who take vacations every month?

All addicts are guilty of gluttony.  Whether its cigarettes, alcohol, anything.

Gluttony is, simply put, overindulgence in ANYTHING, and if you broaden the definition to include everything that you can “overdose” on, we are all gluttons in some way, shape, or form.  Gluttony leads to waste.  People’s lives are wasted because they over eat.  Money is wasted on products we don’t actually need, but want.  Time is wasted searching for the spotlight.  Try your best to live within your means.  This post relates to the one about greed.  We become gluttons because we are greedy, because we want and can have more.  Maybe if we stopped overindulging, we wouldn’t be as greedy, and the world would be a better place.  Dream big.  =P

seriously warped

Splattered all over the news are headlines concerning a common threat-obesity.  According to several studies and the infamous body mass index (or BMI), in 2007, roughly one third of American adults were obese.  The CDC states that, “American society has become ‘obesogenic,’ characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity. Policy and environmental change initiatives that make healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity available, affordable, and easy will likely prove most effective in combating obesity.”  I find all of this funny.  Not that obesity or morbid obesity is a laughing matter, but if you walk down the streets, how many ridiculously overweight people do you see?  You might be surprised to learn that some of the people we would normally categorize as simply “overweight” are “morbidly obese” by the BMI’s standards.  Why is this?

A BMI chart (test your BMI here) measures your height and weight and then graphs them against each other.  If you are too heavy for your height, you are categorized as overweight, obese, or in some cases,, morbidly obese.  Seems like a good system for measuring exactly how fat or thin you are, right?

Here is the problem, and it’s a big one: muscle weighs more than fat and is not accounted for in the BMI chart.  Your BMI is not based on the percentage of fat you have in you body, but rather, your weight alone.   Therefore, a body builder who is 6’2 and 210 pounds of almost pure muscle is overweight if you refer to the chart above.  I found a neat little image that shows what this large, obvious flaw means:

According to their BMIs, these two men are equally overweight and unhealthy…really? Seriously?  This alone causes our “obesity epidemic” to take a serious slant towards “not so bad”.

Now, I’m not saying America doesn’t have a weight problem.  Our portion sizes combined with the vast array of pocket-friendly fast food deals and our love of sitting in front of a tv or computer for hours is definitely taking its toll, BUT I think the scale of this problem has been blown out of proportion.  Yes, it is a problem.  Yes, we need to take steps, collectively, to fix this problem.  No, judging the health of a person based solely on a BMI chart is not a step in the right direction.

In all honesty, I feel like this is causing a warped sense of self for many Americans, specifically the very impressionable youth.  Much like seeing underweight celebrities and models plastered all over the media, being categorized as “obese” or “morbidly obese” can easily warp the way in which one views oneself.

I have been (for years now) categorized as “obese” and at high risk for diabetes.  My blood sugar levels are all stable and upon first glance, I don’t look like I weigh as much as I do.  The same is true for many people.  When we hear “morbidly obese”, how many of our minds turn to the stories of people too big to walk?  Of people so large they had to be taken to the hospital in a flatbed truck?  How many people picture me?

Yes, this is me.  22 and obese.  Yes, that label has changed my self-esteem and my paradigm of the world.  Yes, it makes me self-conscious.  No, I do not think the BMI scale is completely accurate.  Yes, I believe it is seriously warped.

What about you?  Where do you fall on the scale?  Do you think it is an accurate representation of your weight?  Here is a picture of someone who falls in the same exact category on the BMI index as I do; her BMI is 33.  Has your answer changed?