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Weight prejudice
Old 10-03-2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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Weight prejudice

I have fought with my weight all my adult life, ever since my ankles got busted up in the Corps. And I have fought this "weight prejudice" ever since. I haven't been under 300 since 1988. In that time I have belonged to one SWAT team and two riot control teams, one of them as the team leader. I'd run the same 2 miles as they would, under full tactical gear, and under the 20 minute time limit. I could carry any member of my team further and faster than anybody else on the team. I'd do all the same calisthenics they would. And I can participate in a "forced cell entry" as well as any lightweight. I have earned the respect of every team member I ever worked with because I didn't ask for, or need, special accommodation. I'm a big boy, but I have trained myself to work through that.

But the unknowing public routinely demonstrates a prejudice against me and others my size. New supervisors, who haven't worked with me before, have to be shown that I can function well. Something they never expect of the lightweights. I even had one stuffed shirt put me in for a "fit for duty" exam purely on the basis of my weight. That pompous SOB wouldn't even use my name when talking about me. He always referred to me as "that fat LT". It really blew his mind when he came out to the field one day and saw "that fat LT" leading the way for his team through every exercise and drill.

Being overweight doesn't make a person less of a neighbor. It should not be a stigma which causes people to point, stare, and talk behind their hands. We know we're overweight. We know it's not good for our health. We know we should lose some weight. When will society learn to judge us based upon our performance rather than our appearance? Seriously, who is healthier and happier? One of us, or the bulemic bone-bag who forces themselves to regurgitate so they can stay a "perfect size 6"? Give me the happy plus sized woman ANY DAY!!
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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People do make judgments based on appearances. Just as you might pigeonhole thin people as obsessed about their weight an appearance, many look at a fat person and see someone who can't/won't push away from the table for their own good. Fair? Nope.

I knew an Army artillery officer who took serious issue with the Army weight and fitness standards. He was a lean guy himself, but the standards were forcing him to punish many of the enlisted guys who worked for him (put them into the weight control program, reduce their NCOER points, etc). They loked fat, some were fat, and they didn't look good in their uniforms. They were also good at their job, which was setting up 105mm and 155mm guns quickly, rapidly humping scores of rounds and propellant bags to the guns in a 1 minute period, then tearing things down and scooting before the return fire came in on their position. Being a "gun bunny" can be grueling work, and the folks that can do it best won't be marathon runner types--it's chunky linemen you want. Still, a regulation is a regulation, and some of the best guys in his unit got docked for being porky.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:21 PM   #3
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I know it can be frustrating to be judged by one's appearance. It isn't fair and it can be hurtful.

I never gave much thought to how I perceived a person by their appearance until I started to volunteer at our local police station several years ago. Most of the male officers are young and bald, the women are young and petite, and the upper ranks are getting older.

Do some people that don't know who they really are consider them as skin heads, barbie dolls, old pharts? Probably. And then there are the narcs that wear baggie clothes and never shave.

It takes confidence and a love of self to move on. All of "my" officers have pride. Don't let those who don't know you wear you down.

Besides, all of us on this forum are FIRE'D or are on the way to retirement. Do most of us "look" the part? No. But we know who we are.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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Everybody make assumptions on appearance...

How many guys have seen a knockout blond with an ugly looking guy and say 'He must have money' or 'He must be hu## like a horse'.... when in fact he just might be a great guy that the girl likes..

And how many geeky guys have been left standing in the corner why the pumped up steroid sport stud with no brains gets the hottie It is LOOKS...

Should it be? Well, it seems society thinks so and it shows up all over the place..

Can someone overweight do some things that are 'not the norm', why yes.. I remember seeing a 20/20 or another one of this 'fat' guy who ran marthons... he started to run to get healthy, but stayed fat, like 280 or so.. but could finish marathons... and I could not even come close to even walking one....
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lthrnckpa View Post
Seriously, who is healthier and happier?
I'm pretty sure that the studies show that people who are active and 'fit' are above average in health, even if they are above average BMI/weight. Fit and overweight I think even trumps the 'right' weight, but inactive.

But the 'stereotype' has some basis. Probably the majority of overweight people are 'couch potatoes'.

-ERD50
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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I have had diabetes since the age of six. I was always thin as a side effect of having poorly controlled type one diabetes. I always thought fat people just needed to eat less and that shouldn't be so hard, right?

Then at the age of 42, I got a kidney and pancreas transplant. Now, all the calories I ate were either used up as energy or STORED AS FAT instead of being dumped by my abused kidneys. As Rodney Dangerfield said in one of his movies, I "ballooned up nicely." I gained 70 lbs in 8 years.

No matter what I do, I just can't seem to eat less. I have much greater empathy for fat people now that I are one.

Mike D.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:27 PM   #8
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Interesting Mike...I know 1 kidney transplant guy and he is stays pretty slim.....I have had endocrine problems (pituitary excess of couple of chemicals which I had limited control with medicine for years and finally had gamma radiation to my pituitary to cure a couple years back) and followed some of the stories of people with Cushings (nasty excess of cortisol) and others and it is pretty difficult to get diagnosed with some of these...One of the common complaints is the bias towards gaining weight that many doctors have...To some extent, I view it simply as looking down their noses rather than concern for their patients....
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Weight prejudice
Old 10-05-2007, 11:41 PM   #9
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Weight prejudice

Quote:
Originally Posted by lthrnckpa View Post
I have fought with my weight all my adult life, ever since my ankles got busted up in the Corps. And I have fought this "weight prejudice" ever since. I haven't been under 300 since 1988. In that time I have belonged to one SWAT team and two riot control teams, one of them as the team leader. I'd run the same 2 miles as they would, under full tactical gear, and under the 20 minute time limit. I could carry any member of my team further and faster than anybody else on the team. I'd do all the same calisthenics they would. And I can participate in a "forced cell entry" as well as any lightweight. I have earned the respect of every team member I ever worked with because I didn't ask for, or need, special accommodation. I'm a big boy, but I have trained myself to work through that.

But the unknowing public routinely demonstrates a prejudice against me and others my size. New supervisors, who haven't worked with me before, have to be shown that I can function well. Something they never expect of the lightweights. I even had one stuffed shirt put me in for a "fit for duty" exam purely on the basis of my weight. That pompous SOB wouldn't even use my name when talking about me. He always referred to me as "that fat LT". It really blew his mind when he came out to the field one day and saw "that fat LT" leading the way for his team through every exercise and drill.

Being overweight doesn't make a person less of a neighbor. It should not be a stigma which causes people to point, stare, and talk behind their hands. We know we're overweight. We know it's not good for our health. We know we should lose some weight. When will society learn to judge us based upon our performance rather than our appearance? Seriously, who is healthier and happier? One of us, or the bulemic bone-bag who forces themselves to regurgitate so they can stay a "perfect size 6"? Give me the happy plus sized woman ANY DAY!!
Good for you do not let anyone put you down. As a person you should be treated with dignity and respect and when these individuals discriminate against you or anyone else because of your/their weight they are showing their ignorance.

All I can say is keep up the good work and just maybe one day like MLK advocated with race people will look at the quality of your character instead of your weight.

I tip in at about 210 lbs (5ft 8 in) and I love the person that I am. I too struggle to lose weigh (because of health issues) and I feel your pain on that issue. But guess what continue to do the things that make you happy and the H E L L with their ignorance and attitude.

GOD BLESS
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:23 PM   #10
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Had a friend when I was in the Marines that was just a big bones fellow, and always had a tad of a belly, BUT he could run 2 perfect 300 PFTs in a row.

They always gave the guy hell, but he was strong as a ox, and if I had to be pulled out of a burning foxhole, I would want him to do it.

His 300 PFT generally kept the brass quiet about it, but every new officer or staff NCO that came gave him hell, until he ran their asses into the ground.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:00 PM   #11
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I never struggled with weight; neither did my wife. From my limited personal experience I tended to think that overweight people either didn't know how to stay slim, or didn't have the self control to apply what they knew.

Then I had a son who really struggles with weight, in spite of eating well, exercising regularly, etc. It started when he was 16 or so, and has continued with some yo-yo-ing since. My other son has no problems.

So I now know I was wrong in how I viewed it. Though thankfully I am not the kind of person to say things to people, or make suggestions or whatever, so my ignorance of reality on this issue didn't cause me to say cruel or hurtful things. I am sorry that my son struggles, but I am glad that my eyes have been opened.

Ha
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:28 PM   #12
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I used to be pretty heavy (250 pounds). I became fed up with it and made a commitment to myself to slim down. I worked out for 30 minutes every day but really focused on my diet. Calories in, calories out... that's all it comes down to. I have a protein shake for breakfast, a low fat, high protein lunch, a sandwich (tuna, chicken, etc) for dinner and another protein shake right before bed. Staying on this diet was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The food I ate was not very exciting especially after the months went on. Every time I went out with friends to a restaurant I would crave a cheeseburger, coke, fries, lots of sides, toppings, and sauces, etc... massive portions... you start to realize how unhealthy most people's diets are.

I dropped like a rock to 180-190 and have stayed here since. I moderated my diet a little but not by much. I feel 200% better at this weight than I did at 250 and not just because of how other people react. If anyone wants to slim down and they are already active at work my advice to them is that it's ALL ABOUT THE DIET.

70 pounds of fat = 245,000 calories
the diet i followed above is about 1500 calories per day
adult males burn ~ 2500-3000 calories per day
so your net loss is 1000-1500 calories per day
so you can lose 70 pounds in anywhere from 163-245 days

it's simple math... not cheating is the hard part.
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it is better to be fit and healthy than fat or thin
Old 10-06-2007, 09:51 PM   #13
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it is better to be fit and healthy than fat or thin

DW read an article in a magazine on health and weight that concluded that if you had a choice of being fat & fit or being thin & out of shape, then choose fit every time.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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BigRitchie, personally I never did hit a 300. I had a wall on the run, just never could seem to break under 20 minutes. Still, when you look at the civilian side you realize just how few people can actually run 3 miles under 20 minutes, and still do 20+ pull-ups. They're either great runners, or great lifters, but very seldom both. Kind of wish I could still run, it sure helped keep the weight off. I only run for emergencies at the joint now, and I hurt for 2-3 days afterward despite copious amounts of meds. Oh well. 14 more months to go. I am paroled as of 12-31-2008
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:08 PM   #15
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lthrnckpa;
When some of the less than stellar runners on the teams caught any flack they had a pretty good comeback line; "running promotes cowardice - we accept the fact we gotta stand and fight!"...On a SWAT team I'm sure you see those who gravitate to pumping iron or hitting the track - professionals should understand the merits of each - at least you are holding your own.
None of it means squat without good health...

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Old 10-07-2007, 02:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I never struggled with weight; neither did my wife. From my limited personal experience I tended to think that overweight people either didn't know how to stay slim, or didn't have the self control to apply what they knew.

Then I had a son who really struggles with weight, in spite of eating well, exercising regularly, etc. It started when he was 16 or so, and has continued with some yo-yo-ing since. My other son has no problems.

So I now know I was wrong in how I viewed it. Though thankfully I am not the kind of person to say things to people, or make suggestions or whatever, so my ignorance of reality on this issue didn't cause me to say cruel or hurtful things. I am sorry that my son struggles, but I am glad that my eyes have been opened.

Ha
Not to judge you or your son or anyone deemed "overweight", but I wonder if it's both-and. You mentioned that you once thought they didn't know how to or didn't have self control. I think this might still hold true. And that is not a judgement of the people.

For us in this ER forum, we find so many people that "think" they are doing the "right" things to be financially well off, but according to the ER forum's basic principles these people aren't on the right track.

"I don't get it. I budget every month and put in money to my 401k, but I still don't have enough saved for retirement. I'm just unlucky"... Uhm what about that brand new BMW you just bought and all those lavish vacations? "Oh, didn't think about that."

What if we put that analogy to people with weight problems. They may "think" they are doing the right things and eating and exercising right, but they may not be on the right track in terms of nutrition or exercise.

Yes, you, your son, or anyone may want to be fit and not overweight, but what do they do to get there? Same as all the financial cr*p out there, they get the nutrition and exercise cr*p out there and question why their "get rich quick schemes"/ "get in shape quick schemes" don't work. Not saying everyone's looking for a quick way out, but I wonder if most people really have the real knowledge and wisdom available to them?

Just like we have the ER forum here for personal and investment financial advice and how not everyone is in tune with it, I think there is a knowledge base of nutrition and exercise that not everyone is in tune with.

What do you all think?
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:49 PM   #17
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Not to judge you or your son or anyone deemed "overweight", but I wonder if it's both-and. You mentioned that you once thought they didn't know how to or didn't have self control. I think this might still hold true. And that is not a judgement of the people.

What do you all think?
I think there's a tremendous amount of variabilty from person to person on just how much work/willpower is required to maintain a healthy weight. Due to internal weight "setpoints," metabolism, fat storage efficiency and probably variability in the timing/strength of hunger cues, some folks have a much harder row to hoe than others.

Unfortunately, the grim reaper and ol' man arteriosclerosis don't give a damn about how hard you've had to work to be thinner. If you are fat, you get into their express lane.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:55 PM   #18
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Not to judge you or your son or anyone deemed "overweight", but I wonder if it's both-and. What do you all think?
I think that you are judging both me and my son, while piously claiming not to.

_ _

Ha
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:16 PM   #19
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Not to judge you or your son or anyone deemed "overweight", but I wonder if it's both-and. You mentioned that you once thought they didn't know how to or didn't have self control. I think this might still hold true. And that is not a judgement of the people.

For us in this ER forum, we find so many people that "think" they are doing the "right" things to be financially well off, but according to the ER forum's basic principles these people aren't on the right track.

"I don't get it. I budget every month and put in money to my 401k, but I still don't have enough saved for retirement. I'm just unlucky"... Uhm what about that brand new BMW you just bought and all those lavish vacations? "Oh, didn't think about that."

What if we put that analogy to people with weight problems. They may "think" they are doing the right things and eating and exercising right, but they may not be on the right track in terms of nutrition or exercise.

Yes, you, your son, or anyone may want to be fit and not overweight, but what do they do to get there? Same as all the financial cr*p out there, they get the nutrition and exercise cr*p out there and question why their "get rich quick schemes"/ "get in shape quick schemes" don't work. Not saying everyone's looking for a quick way out, but I wonder if most people really have the real knowledge and wisdom available to them?

Just like we have the ER forum here for personal and investment financial advice and how not everyone is in tune with it, I think there is a knowledge base of nutrition and exercise that not everyone is in tune with.

What do you all think?
I do not entirely agree. I have always had excellent financial discipline (retired at 48 ), and
have always enjoyed exercise, averaging about 8000 miles of cycling plus lifting and some
hiking for the last 25 years. I am able to recite calorie tables for all the foods I eat. Lack of
knowledge about food / exercise / weight is not a problem.

However, I have also struggled with weight my whole life, because I eat too much. I tracked
my exact eating for over 10 years, and (surprise) found a close correlation between
(food in minus exercise) and weight change. Simple lack of will power in this one area.
One year when I rode over 14,000 miles I gained 9 pounds.All those little snacks
late at night add up.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:26 PM   #20
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Not to sound flip, but I think some people are hungrier than other people.


Quite a few years ago I got a serious illness and I had to be fed intervenously for about a month. Because I was nauseous all the time I wasn't hungry and lost more weight than was healthy. When the illness was gone I was hungrier than I have ever ever been and that hunger continued for several years. Needless to say I gained weight. I told my doc that I was hungry all the time and she just shrugged her shoulders.
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