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Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:25 AM

Bill Maher and fat shaming.

This is edited from a reply in another thread. I wanted to share this to the board at large.

I used to weigh 365 pounds. I weighed 300+ pounds for about 25 years, after getting there about 5 years out of college. The looks and comments that I got about my weight didn't do me a damn bit of good, and didn't make me want to lose weight any worse than I already did. They just hurt. That's all. They didn't go any good, and they hurt.

After decades of trying, and after having 2 stents put in my coronary arteries, I finally came up with a diet plan that worked. I lost 150 pounds in 3 years. I made the mistake of not exercising, and actually developed type 2 diabetes when I lost a lot of muscle mass. I started working out this summer in a pit of despair over an ex-girlfriend, and have gotten my fat/lean mass into normal range for the first time in probably 30 years. Yesterday, I put on a suit that I wore as a best man when I was 23 and in good shape, and it fit well. Yes, for some reason, I carried it around for 30+ years. Anyhow, I'm down to 211 and that includes about 10 pounds of new muscle. So I'm not overweight now. I'm still trying to get another 20-25 pounds of fat off, but I'm in better shape, I think, than most men my age. I'm even having trouble getting my insulin dosing right because the diabetes really seems to be waning. It may go away entirely with more exercise and weight loss. I'm hoping so. I consider myself to be really lucky to find something that worked, and to have a body that was able to respond to diet modification and to exercise. That's not the case for a lot of people.

Every time I see someone who's really overweight, I ache for them. I wish that they could find their own method of weight loss, if that's what they want. I know how they feel. I know the looks, I know the comments, I know the rude jokes. I know how so many people give themselves permission to treat overweight people horribly. I know how any time someone overweight eats anything in public, they're going to get looks and comments. I know the awful physical feeling in my back and knees. I know the self-loathing every time I saw my reflection, or folded my clothes, or had to buy a 3XL shirt or pants with over a 50 waistline. I know how much it hurts, physically and emotionally, every day.

And fat shaming just makes it hurt more. It does no good. It does not serve as motivation. I remember being a shirt and tie guy at a department store and approaching a customer looking at the extra long ties. I asked about her husband's measurements and said, "it sounds like he has the same issue I have looking for ties" which I intended to say was a long torso. She looked at me and said, "a fat gut?" with an incredible amount of contempt. Later on, she expected me to ring her up with a smile. I refused to ring her up and got someone else to do so. She complained to the manager and he started to dress me down in front of her - until she called him a "little f**" for not firing me on the spot. Only then, he tossed her from the store. That was over 20 years ago and it still pisses me off, and hurts.

You might call say Maher's spiel is "tough love" and it was pulled out of context. I say that anyone who advocates fat shaming is a piece of crap. And all too often, "tough love" is just an excuse for someone to be an asshole and feel virtuous instead of ashamed. There is no rationale for fat shaming. PERIOD.

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bill Maher and fat shaming. (Original post)
GaYellowDawg Sep 15 OP
democrank Sep 15 #1
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 15 #2
madaboutharry Sep 15 #9
Karadeniz Sep 15 #3
quickesst Sep 15 #4
tecelote Sep 15 #6
Jim__ Sep 15 #10
quickesst Sep 15 #20
SeaTownBlue Sep 15 #5
eShirl Sep 15 #11
WhiskeyGrinder Sep 15 #17
LisaL Sep 15 #19
ooky Sep 15 #23
TexasBushwhacker Sep 15 #31
NCLefty Sep 15 #7
Kurt V. Sep 15 #8
JonLP24 Sep 15 #12
jb5150 Sep 15 #13
JonLP24 Sep 15 #14
USALiberal Sep 15 #16
USALiberal Sep 15 #15
cwydro Sep 15 #24
Runningdawg Sep 15 #29
Bettie Sep 15 #32
vercetti2021 Sep 15 #18
Johnny2X2X Sep 15 #21
cwydro Sep 15 #25
Johnny2X2X Sep 15 #33
KentuckyWoman Sep 15 #22
Auggie Sep 15 #26
Archae Sep 15 #27
LisaM Sep 15 #28
TexasBushwhacker Sep 15 #30
fleabiscuit Sep 15 #34
Skittles Sep 15 #35

Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:55 AM

1. Thanks for this, GaYellowDawg.

Your weight loss must have taken an incredible amount of determination. I hope the hurt goes away as well. Iím sending a hug. Chin up, pat yourself on the back, go forward.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:34 AM

2. Weight Loss Is A Rock Fight ...


The Weight I Carry

I weigh 460 pounds.

Those are the hardest words Iíve ever had to write. Nobody knows that numberónot my wife, not my doctor, not my closest friends. It feels like confessing a crime. The average American male weighs about 195 pounds; Iím two of those guys, with a 10-year-old left over. Iím the biggest human being most people who know me have ever met, or ever will.

The government definition of obesity is a body mass index of 30 or more. My BMI is 60.7. My shirts are size XXXXXXL, which the big-and-tall stores shorten to 6X. Iím 6 foot 1, or 73 inches tall. My waist is 60 inches around. Iím nearly a sphere.

Those are the numbers. This is how it feels.

Iím on the subway in New York City, standing in the aisle, clinging to the pole. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and donít visit New York much, so I donít have a feel for how subway cars move. Iím praying this one doesnít lurch around a corner or slam to a stop, because Iím terrified of falling. Part of it is embarrassment. When a fat guy falls, itís hard to get up. But what really scares me is the chance that I might land on somebody. I glance at the people wedged around me. None of them could take my weight. It would be an avalanche. Some of them stare at me, and I figure theyíre thinking the same thing. An old woman is sitting three feet away. One slip and Iíd crush her. I grip the pole harder.

[ ... ]

What the hell is wrong with me?

What the hell is wrong with us? As I write this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 79 million American adultsó40 percent of women, and 35 percent of menóqualify as obese. The obesity rate among American children is 17 percent and climbing. Our collective waistline laps over every boundary: age, race, gender, politics, culture. In our fractured country, we all agree on one thing: second helpings.

[ ... ]


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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:46 AM

9. I read the article at the link.

I think you should start a new OP so others will read it. He tells his story so beautifully that I think I will read his book when itís published. Thanks for posting.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:46 AM

3. I'm sorry for what you've been through. I've been slim my whole life, but in old age I've gained 40

Lbs that won't shift. I need your selfdiscipline!❤

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 04:04 AM

4. Why don't we....

..... show the video, and let people who have not watched the segment make up their own mind about context. I'm probably at least 60 pounds overweight, and I am not offended by what Bill Maher is saying. How can I possibly justify being offended by hearing a harsh truth that no one else will voice because of the possibility they may offend someone?

https://m.

As for me, I need to lose this weight. Whether I have the fortitude to do just that is up to me. The one thing I won't do is use being offended as an excuse to keep doing what I've been doing.

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Response to quickesst (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:00 AM

6. I'm cross posting this because I think it is an incredible response by James Corden...

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Response to tecelote (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:56 AM

10. "We don't all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day."

Yes, Maher is definitely delusional about his own imagined superior knowledge of just about everything. I get that he's a comedian, but I don't think he's trying to be funny when he's giving away all this free advice - advice that's worth just about every penny we pay for it.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:45 AM

20. James Corden says ...

.... That he's been on and off of all kinds of diets. He follows that with the statement " I have my good days and I have my bad months".

All that tells me is, spend a couple of days on a diet, see no physical change, give up, then spend the next few months doing what he was doing that made him obese in the first place.

He closes by naming all of the things that can be done to help solve the problem. All those things he named has been around for a long time. It's not a new concept, and it seems not to have had much of an impact. Sometimes a wake up call is needed. That's what Bill Maher has done.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 04:45 AM

5. What Makes Me Angry Is Why Folks Are Overweight And They Don't Have To Be

This once obese type 2 diabetic is all pissed off.

I tried all kinds of stuff / diets to battle my food addiction once I found out I had diabetes and it was bad. My feet ached something fierce because of the nerve damage from blood sugar A1C over 10.

Then after years of doing better / worse I found the SOLUTION.

Keto Diet.

I eat great food, continue to lose weight, and am almost not in the diabetic range. Practically cured.

I see "large" people all the time and I want to somehow let them know they need to toss the 50,000 calories of garbage in the shopping cart, and buy something other than carbs, and watch the pounds melt away like nobody's business.

Ribeyes, cheese, avocados, nuts, veggies, and salads, and mass other great tasting things. All the once thought "bad" stuff is not nearly as bad as 300 grams of carbs a day we all eat on average.

The shame is the fact that no one will admit it is the carbs/sugar that is making us fat. Not lack of exercise so much.

Oh, and my arthritis seems to have disappeared.

Whoda thunkit.

Being not fat is so easy is makes me want to scream.

Drop the bagel.

Just trying to help.

Truly just trying to help.

I fast up to 24 hours occasionally too, and it is a lot easier than I thought it would be. After I was fat adapted it was easy.

What pisses me off is all the crap diets and crap info about dieting. Limiting calories slows metabolism so when we go back to eating like we used to, like 90% of dieters do, we balloon even more.

For the love of god, if you want to lose weight go to youtube and look for keto for beginners. Watch the videos, do what they say, and live twice as long.

Don't spend years with high blood sugar destroying your nerves like I did. Just go straight to the solution. Neuropathy / arthritis sucks.

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Response to SeaTownBlue (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 06:25 AM

11. I'm glad you've found what works for you; no one diet is right for everyone however.

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Response to SeaTownBlue (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:06 AM

17. "Being not fat is so easy"....for you.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #17)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:45 AM

19. Exactly. If it were easy, there would be very few fat people.

I think it's a safe bet vast majority of fat people don't actually want to be fat. We have years of evolution to blame. Fat is stored in the body to be used for energy. When food was hard to come by, it made to sense. Now food is easy to obtain, but body still stores fat to be used for energy.

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Response to SeaTownBlue (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:10 PM

23. I would be careful loading up on the ribeyes and cheese.

I prefer a balanced diet myself. Its a great way to maintain weight. Just don't eat more calories than you would naturally burn, and for the most part you can eat what you want and feel satisfied. We don't want too much or too little of anything. I don't limit carbs. Carbs are the body's main source of fuel, so its important for people to eat carbs. Getting enough of the "right" carbs is important and I agree not eating too much of the "wrong" carbs is very important. But in general, people who follow a balanced diet normally aren't going to be hurt when they decide to have a bagel. Its all about being in touch with what you eat and doing so in moderation. I think for most overweight people they just don't have that knowledge.

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Response to SeaTownBlue (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:34 PM

31. Do you have a Keto friendly PCP?

Because plenty of them aren't.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:03 AM

7. He's not wrong that many, many Americans eat bad food, and overeat.

And that it's a major health crisis in our country.

But he failed to note that many people, for various reasons, simply cannot lose their weight and that shame isn't the thing they are needing more of in their lives.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:27 AM

8. K&R

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 06:25 AM

12. I stopped watching years ago

Your thread is another example of why I do not.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:01 AM

13. "people eat shit, and too much of it",

Maher tells it like it is, and that's why I'm a fan.

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:32 AM

14. I disagree

If he told it like it is he would say fat shaming is counterproductive like the OP who is really telling it like it is.


----

Indeed, Maher is lucky. Most people donít get to host an HBO television show. Most people donít get to host a show in which they can offer opinions without backing them with, you know, scientific facts. If I had made Maherís statements in one of the classes that I teach or at a scientific conference, I would have had a lot of explaining to do and could have been run off the podium, and rightfully so.


This isnít the first time that Maher has insulted entire groups of people by saying something backed by little to no evidence. For example, this is the guy who blamed the lack of diversity in Hollywood on, guess who, Asians. As Greg Evans reported for Deadline, Maher said, ďThe dirty little secret is most movies are made now with an eye to the foreign market, and Asians really are racist.Ē What? His statement lumped all Asians together and called them racist? If Asians were somehow responsible for what Hollywood does, then why oh why have there been so few Asian men as romantic leads in Hollywood movies?

Bruce Willis once said in the movie Die Hard, ďIf youíre not a part of the solution, youíre a part of the problem. Quit being a part of the (bleeping) problem.Ē When it comes to the obesity epidemic, Maher and his comments are definitely not part of the solution. In fact, they distract from finding and implementing real solutions to the obesity epidemic. Itís a shame that Maher is using his platform to spread such opinions about the obesity epidemic. It could be easy to poke fun of Maherís appearance because looks are subjective and no one is perfect unless you happen to be avocado toast. However, shaming Maher for his statements probably wonít change what he says and does, because as heíll probably prove, shaming doesnít tend to change anything for the better.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/09/15/bill-maher-asks-people-to-fat-shame-more-here-is-the-response/amp/

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:40 AM

16. LOL, at least I know much more about you now! nt

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 07:38 AM

15. Nice post! It is amazing how many DUers love fat shaming people they do not like.....

So if they are a GOPer they love making fun of appearance. Disgusting,

Attack their behavior, not their looks!

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Response to USALiberal (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:39 PM

24. This.

Fat shaming is alive and well on DU. People seem to revel in it.

Iíve never had a problem with my weight, but some of the things Iíve read here really make me cringe. I canít imagine how some comments must affect anyone who is overweight.

And if anyone complains, weíre told, ďYeah, well the shitstain does it.Ē Sorry, I would hope weíre better than him.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #24)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:53 PM

29. Fat shaming is the last acceptable form of discrimination.

If it were ONLY BM doing it or the general public at large, that would be one thing, but the medical community are the leaders. I've been 40lbs overweight my whole life. Now I walk with a limp and need regular medical care because I have nerve damage in a foot. Why? Three different Drs told me to lose weight and nothing more. #4 actual examined my foot and found the tumor, large enough to break 2 bones, wrapped around my nerves. Too late, the damage was done, surgery removed the tumor and reset the broken bones I had stood on for 3 years, but people still assume I walk funny, or occasionally need to use a cane, because I'm fat.

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Response to Runningdawg (Reply #29)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:43 PM

32. You are right, it is the last acceptable form of discrimination

AND it has the added bonus of people being able to feel morally superior as well. It also brings right and left together, since they all can look down on fat people, especially fat women.

Fact is, I'm pretty healthy, I eat really well some days, less so other days, and could stand to get more exercise....a bout with Plantar Fasciitis limited my mobility for several months and I never started up as a regular thing again.

OH, and I don't diet anymore which has caused my weight to stabilize within about a 5-7 pound range.

I'm sorry about your foot, but not surprised. Doctors seldom look for a cause for any issue if they see a fat patient. They just tell you to lose weight and leave it at that.

My mother, several years ago, had surgery to remove growths on her adrenal glands. Once she had them removed, she lost most of her belly fat and stopped having random anxiety attacks. I can't get a single doctor to even check my adrenal function because I'm fat, even though, at about age 30, I started having anxiety attacks and gaining weight in my belly, with no significant change in activity level/eating habits. Heck, I had strep and the PA suggested that if I weren't fat, I'd never have caught it!

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:42 AM

18. I have an eating disorder

I blame myself for why I'm fat. Tried many diets. None never worked.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 09:41 AM

21. IMO it's sugar

I was alive in the 1970s. Nobody was into exercise and few people went on diets. Mostly people just ate regular meals and everybody was thin back then.

What happened? Well I think that added sugar happened. People are addicted to sugar and itís milling them.

We didnít just go to bed as a country one night and wake up the next day having 2 in 5 people all the sudden entirely lose their will power for no reason.

Trying to eliminate sugar is so hard, but itís life changing if you can be successful.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #21)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:42 PM

25. Lol, plenty of us were into exercise in the 70s.

Iíve been into exercise my entire life.

But I know what you mean. Itís always striking to see pics of soldiers in Vietnam in the 60s compared to these huge guys you see in Iraq/Afghanistan now. And Iím not talking about the muscle bound steroid types.

Same with cops.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #25)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 05:11 PM

33. Some people did exercise

But it was much rarer than now. There are gyms on every corner now and in the 70s you'd rarely see people out jogging. Jogging and running were just starting to become popular in the 70s.

And diets, virtually everyone I know has tried several diets, including some thin people. Weight Watchers was around back then, but it just wasn't as wide spread as it is now, people trying to control their diets.

I think sugar used to make a much smaller portion of our diets. And the food supply in the US is toxic in other ways too. Meats, milks and cheeses from animals shot full of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Added sugar in just about everything.

People didn't wake up lazy, the foods we started to eat are what changed our health. And it did so in ways that are hard to realize.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 10:07 AM

22. Bill Maher is not a doctor. He can kiss off.

I'm not advocating obesity, not at all. But if it wasn't for that extra 100 pounds I'd have died. I had cancer and was on chemo on and off over 2 years before we finally got the tumors small enough to take out. So far I'm doing good. That 100 pounds kept me alive in all the times I could not eat.

I still have an extra 10, in my late 70's that's fine. People who knew me when and see me know comment on how fantastic I look and ask my secret to weight loss. I drying answer... cancer survivor.

So Bill Maher, or anyone else can bite my saggy butt for all I care. Every BODY is unique. Let people be. If he's so worried about obesity he should be shaming the food industry and cities who made school districts for buses not walkers ... not consumers.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:52 PM

26. Maher is really calling for diet shaming. And he's right to do so. Poor diets are ruining people ...

and putting a strain on health care and health insurance.

We can blame fast food. We can blame processed food. And corporations, stress, low wages, etc., etc., etc. But after all that, it still comes down to what people put in their mouths.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 12:53 PM

27. Once again Bill Maher shows his superiority complex...

I wrote about him being a total asshole here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212458012

And his cult came to the rescue.

Oh yeah! Maher has a cult, "He can do no wrong!"

Just never mind his attack on ALL religion. ALL of it.
(I'm an atheist, BTW.)

Never mind his belief that germs don't cause disease.

Never mind his anti-vaccination theories.

Etc...

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 01:02 PM

28. He should know that food is different in Europe.

I have been to Europe the last two summers and lost weight without trying. In Ireland I lost about 7 pounds in ten days. Part of it was that European towns and cities are more walkable, but part of it's that their food has a lot fewer additives. We need to fix our food. But Bill Maher is a Libertarian and probably would argue against that. And our food system favors the rich -organic food is much more expensive, and fresh food is not available in the food deserts we have in poor areas.

Bill Maher should know better. He irks me.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 02:23 PM

30. I wonder what Bill's weight would be if he suddenly couldn't smoke weed?

LOT's of people turn to substances/bad habits to deal with stress. Bill's substance of choice is cannabis and has been for over 40 years. It doesn't affect his appearance. There are plenty of functional alcoholics that look great on the outside but are falling apart on the inside. Most fashion models smoke tobacco and plenty of actors do too. Anything to keep from GAINING WEIGHT! People like Bill feel entitled to shame fat people because it offends their eyeballs.

Bill may turned to vaping instead of smoking weed and it doesn't have nicotine like tobacco, but smoking cannabis means coating your lungs with tar just like smoking cigarretes. But Bill still LOOKS good and to him, that's all that matters.

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 06:59 PM

34. Fat shamming and off the cuff suggestions are a pet peeve of mine.

Most people don't know anything about it. They should stay in their lane. I usually suggest they start with reading before engaging in a conversation that affects so many. Me included.

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong
https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/everything-you-know-about-obesity-is-wrong/

The Weight I Carry
What itís like to be too big in America
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/01/weight-loss-essay-tomlinson/579832/

"The science is in: exercise wonít help you lose much weight"
https://www.vox.com/2018/1/3/16845438/exercise-weight-loss-myth-burn-calories

"Most of us misunderstand metabolism. Here are 9 facts to clear that up."
https://www.vox.com/2016/5/18/11685254/metabolism-definition-booster-weight-loss

Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies
https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories

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Response to GaYellowDawg (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 08:11 PM

35. thank you

I have never been overweight but I grew up as a GI brat, moved a lot - EVERY school I went to, the bigger kids got picked on. I always went out of my way to defend and protect them, and I did a lot of bully-shaming. It pains me when I see DUers making fun of overweight people, even Trump, who I despise and who does his own amount of body shaming.

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