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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 16, 2017

Is There a Problem with Weight Loss Culture?

By Mark Sisson
148 Comments

Inline_Is_There_a_Problem_with_Weight_Loss_Culture_08.16.17I recently read a piece from the New York Times in which the author, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, recounts her lifelong struggle with dieting and body acceptance and her relationship to food. She tackles the failure of most “diets,” the fat acceptance movement, the Weight Watchers-as-support-group phenomenon, the Oprah Winfrey body weight yo-yoing. What makes it an effective article is that, rather than cast herself as dispassionate journalist reporting the facts, Akner is elbows deep. She herself is the subject as much as anything else. It’s a powerful article. Go read it.

The article doesn’t come to a neat conclusion. There’s no prescription at the end. It meanders. It explores. It’s messy. I think that’s exactly how most people feel when trying to tackle this diet/health/bodyweight/eating thing: confused, lost, conflicted, overwhelmed. Go look at the comment section from the article, and you’ll see that pretty much everyone got something different from it.

Some were outraged that the writer would argue that being fat is perfectly healthy (she wasn’t).

Some chimed in with their preferred diet, the one that worked for them. I saw a few mentions of paleo, even.

Some recounted their weight loss journeys and struggles and failures.

Some admonished her for not mentioning exercise.

Some gave her diet advice.

It ran the gamut. The comment section was all over the place. Everyone had completely different reactions to the same material.

The article wasn’t about what works, what doesn’t. It was about the insanity of living in the diet-mindset, where every bite of food is analyzed, every calorie label scrutinized, as the people around you drink regular soda “as if it were nothing, as if it were just a drink.” It was the author wanting to accept her body but realizing she couldn’t—and the agony and insanity that results.

I get why we have convoluted things like hypnotic lap bands (hypnosis so good it replaces bariatric surgery) and food relationship classes where you learn how to eat and appreciate raisins. Because people are flailing around inside an obesogenic food system trying to find something, anything that works. But since they’re searching within the confines of the modern food environment, nothing works. Nothing sticks.

It’s also why I think finding a baseline is so helpful, a fundamental starting place that transcends the boundaries we’ve erected. Whatever your life story, you’re still a human. Your ancestors were hunter-gatherers at some point, and the modern industrial food system is novel to your physiology. Eliminating the major offenders—excess carbs and sugar, refined vegetable oils and grains—and restoring the attitudes that used to be normal—fat and meat are perfectly healthy—are suitable for everyone. You can tinker with macronutrient ratios, recent ancestry, “to keto or not to keto,” and all the minutiae on your own time. But those basics work as a starting place for everyone I’ve ever encountered.

You just have to step outside the obesogenic food system that’s been constructed for you.

But look at me: I’m just giving diet advice all over again….

I think my takeaway, however, has to be this: You should never accept your mutable limitations. It’s true that some characteristics can’t be changed. You can’t make yourself taller or shorter. You can’t force yourself to be an introvert or extrovert. But a large portion of what we consider to be shortcomings to our health, happiness and well-being can be improved upon. Like the amount of body fat you carry.

And let me be clear. It’s not about sinking into despair because change can’t happen in a day. It’s essential to accept the process and yourself in it. As for body acceptance, a “goal weight” isn’t necessary. In some cases, it’s counterproductive. You don’t need to turn success and failure into binary options. Better is good enough. Movement is enough.

As much as I sympathize with the author of the piece—and it’s a gut-wrenching, powerful piece, hard to read in parts—I can’t budge on even the mere entertaining of the notion that maybe being overweight or obese isn’t so bad for your health. Those are dangerous waters to tread.

The science is settled. Excess body fat is harmful (not to be conflated with “extra” fat in the right places, which—depending on gender and pregnancy status—can actually be healthy). It secretes inflammatory cytokines and directly causes insulin resistance. It weighs you down, increases the stress placed on your joints. It makes free and full movement more difficult. No one should labor up and down stairs or be unable to hang from a bar or grunt with exertion when they get up from the ground if they can avoid it. And most people can avoid it simply by losing excess body fat.

Even if the fat itself is neutral (it’s not) and merely indicates deeper health problems, losing the fat tends to resolve those problems (or go a long way toward it).

What I found most interesting is that I think the author understands this, too. If not explicitly (she discusses the evidence both for and against the idea of fat as intrinsically harmful), certainly implicitly.

Her inability to accept her overweight body despite wanting to and thinking it’s the “right” thing to do maybe suggests a deeper, subconscious acknowledgement that being fat is unhealthy.

But couldn’t it be social pressures at fault? Many of the commenters, and the author herself, default to the idea that acceptance is “good” and imply that “society” is to blame for our inability to accept our overweight bodies. This argument falls flat for me. Society is made of humans, who are biological beings. Society is therefore a product of biology. Society’s norms and mores don’t emerge out of nothingness. They develop for real reasons. They may be bad reasons, or good ones that become corrupted, but they are real things that arise out of human biology. It wasn’t as if a council of elders long ago decreed that being obese is bad because it’s “ugly” or “unseemly,” and it just stuck. Far more likely is that society has (by and large) deemed excess body fat undesirable because, the fact is, it’s a net negative for human health.

Something in me thinks that people who claim to love their body despite being obese are ignoring or drowning out that inner voice spurring them toward change. Loving who they are as people is of course something else. Nor is anyone talking about physical perfection here. But if they truly do love their excess body fat, they do so at the peril of their health. Self-love doesn’t erase the physiological ramifications of being obese. That’s my central concern.

This weight loss business is hard. I’m not suggesting it’s easy. But hard things are often worthwhile things. In fact, difficulty can be an indicator of worthiness. It’s true that our culture and its food system don’t encourage choices that help us build and sustain our best health. Fortunately, however, we get to decide for ourselves.

Thanks for reading today, everybody. I’d love to hear your thoughts on weight loss culture—for all its truth and shortcomings. Take care.

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TAGS:  body fat

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148 Comments on "Is There a Problem with Weight Loss Culture?"

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Elizabeth
1 month 8 days ago

I have not read the New York Times piece yet, but I think Mark’s piece here is very thoughtfully written. I can’t imagine the struggle of fighting with your body throughout your life..I’m fortunate that weight has never been an issue. But I do feel that the basics of real food are a good place to start. Cut the processed carbs, the vegetable oil and the sugar and eat real food. And loving and accepting yourself the way you are doesn’t mean you can’t be trying to better yourself at the same time.

saladmaggie
1 month 8 days ago
I have not finished the article yet, but I have some immediate thoughts on the whole weight loss / diet phenomena and in fact our society in general. Yes, society may be to blame for our aversion to overweight bodies. But is not society to blame for the institutions that have propelled us into obesity? When humans are forced to work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week to make a living… isn’t it hard not to turn to food as comfort? When you can’t pay a bill, or you can but you feel trapped in your job to do… Read more »
Shary
Shary
1 month 8 days ago

Maggie, what you’ve described so clearly is the growing trend toward “victimhood” whereby nobody wants to take responsibility for anything. It’s so much easier on the ego to excuse one’s self, put spin on an issue, and place the blame elsewhere rather than shoulder the responsibility ourselves.

Sorry, but no, society and its institutions are not at fault for our individual shortcomings. That’s nothing but a crutch. As long as we are unwilling to accept responsibility for our own actions or lack of action, nothing can ever improve.

saladmaggie
1 month 8 days ago

That’s an interesting point and something I wasn’t thinking of as I wrote this. And I do agree somewhat. I do wish that we (society) had more emphasis on community and focused more on lifestyle changes rather than strictly diet changes. Perhaps that is still something to be addressed on an individual level as well. Healthy eating is something that I personally have always been able to prioritize, but I can empathize with others who haven’t been able to.

Alex
1 month 7 days ago
Say that to the people in Syria getting love bombs dropped on them. Or people in Africa having their families slaughtered by private militias of large corporations. Or the south American people intentionally given HIV infected blood Or the people of India and China. Our ruling overlords can be very cruel. Just because you have certain options does not mean the rest of the world does. The way society is structured there will always be people working 50-60 hour weeks night shift in factories and mines (and that is not healthy). Yes that doesn’t have to be you but it… Read more »
Marge Fiore
Marge Fiore
1 month 7 days ago

You have a good point here, Alex. In the absence of great dangers, and terrible adversity, we magnify the small issues… Not to mention, I can all-too-clearly imagine how the American obesity problem sounds to starving people in the back country in India, or other places where food scarcity is a daily reality.
Our obesity problem is very much a “first-world problem”!!

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago
Alex, not too long ago, yours could have been my post if the subject of world affairs came up. It got so bad that I would feel sick and anxious reading about the very situations you describe with people in other countries. I’d give to every charity I could, whenever I could, but for health reasons I had to toughen up, just a little. I had to learn the concept of putting on my own oxygen mask before putting one on someone else. In the same vein I need to work on getting my own physical and mental health in… Read more »
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago

*choices; *there

David
David
1 month 4 days ago

The world is not overpopulated with Europeans or North Americans.. and curiously those populations tend not to be the ones who are starving. Maybe your antinatalist rant would be more effective targeted at the third world. People don’t get “badgered” into thinking about kids, it’s part of our biology, true “primal” living.

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 3 days ago

Yes, actually people ‘do’ get badgered into telling people when they’re planning to have kids. I’ve seen it in young newlyweds as well as with couples in their mid-late 30’s. And there is overpopulation in developed countries. One need only look around and talk to the professionals who deal in adoption and child welfare/poverty to know that.

Shary
Shary
1 month 6 days ago

Alex, I wasn’t speaking globally or catastrophically. Some people truly are victims through no fault of their own, as you point out. However, on a smaller, more individual scale, not all victims are blameless. Some set themselves up for their own victimization through their unwillingness to assume any personal responsibility..

JustineFL
JustineFL
1 month 7 days ago
It’s neither one nor the other. Blaming “societ” for all of our problems only reifies the power of this abstract concept to rule over our daily lives. At the same time, Maggie is right – our current western worls is structured in extremely unhealthy ways that make it an uphill battle towards health. But talking about “individual reaponsibility” bypasses all of the structural/contextual elements of obesity that truly are outside of our control (see Julit Guthman’s work on obesigens if you are interested). Having spent most of my life battling an eating disorder, the “just get control” over eating, your… Read more »
JustineFL
JustineFL
1 month 7 days ago

Also, apologies for typos. I blame the iPhone. ?

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 month 6 days ago
Thank you! While it’s human nature to avoid taking responsibility, it is the mark of a mature person who does. My friend’s professional expertise is in Behavorial issues in,training, clinical, and therapeutic scenarios. Boy, do we have some interesting conversations, including our own lives and experiences; we were a couple many years ago and we can now talk very detached about ourselves. Maybe it’s a sign of my “old age-ism,” but I honestly think the pervasive sense of being a victim is new. When I worked at a Boy Scout camp in 1999, I was appalled at how un-male most… Read more »
Mike H
Mike H
1 month 4 days ago
You just described my experience with scouts in the 70’s, my dad’s in the 50’s, and my grandfather’s in the 30’s. Try as I did, my kids were not into scouting so I couldn’t repeat your experience in the 90’s. I was homesick and crying and my scoutmaster literally said “buck up.” When I got home my dad told me that “in his day we were tougher….” A couple days later my dad and grandfather were talking and my grandfather told us how kids in my dad’s troop were homesick and crying n the 50s and then my grandfather told… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 month 4 days ago
Mike, I fully accept the possibility of what you are saying. No doubt that I’ve some selective memory at work. And BS camp was the first time I experienced being homesick. I don’t recall crying, and maybe I’ve forgotten my buds that did, but if so, it’s because it wasn’t rampant. We were dropped off (mostly from station wagons!) on Sunday afternoon. No one called home, no one got calls unless it was an emergency. Thursday evening parents and family visited, then back home Saturday. In 1999, there were pay phones outside the camp office. Most kid were allowed to… Read more »
Dawn
Dawn
1 month 7 days ago

I work 10-14 hours a day, usually six days a week, and still find time for healthy meals, exercise, and hanging out with my crowd. It’s tough, yes, and there are some things I have to give up (more walks in nature, which I dearly miss; I substitute walks around my two-acre yard), but it’s necessary. If someone is struggling to make time for important things, I suggest reading Brian Tracy’s books on time management and overcoming procrastination; they’re also available as audiobooks.

TomB-D
TomB-D
1 month 7 days ago
Maggie, as an architect, I concur that our environment affects our quality of life!–at least that’s how I see your post. Many of us get established in suburban environments that build in isolation, so you wind up not connecting to friends as much as you like, or spending a lot more time in the car. In addition to more people moving back into cities, there’s also a growing movement called cohousing, in which people create communities to provide stronger social bonds; these are not “intentional communities” or religious groups, just people who want to be able to share meals, child… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer
1 month 7 days ago

I love what you wrote here. It really spoke to me. I’m an American who has lived in Europe for the past 8 years, so I identify with much of what you write. Interestingly, I’m reading a book now titled “The Nordic Theory Of Everything” which is a really interesting discussion of this.

Rig D
Rig D
1 month 8 days ago

Thanks, MDA, for the recent troll purge on the forum.

Spazgrok
Spazgrok
1 month 8 days ago

I have a problem with the whole “fat acceptance” movement. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, until I found you forever ago. I have friends who have given up and while it’s great to accept your body at whatever size you are, it’s not ok to do so and then pound down mac & cheese and oreos every night. At some point, you have to take responsibility for your health and stop being lazy.

Eric
1 month 8 days ago
Mark’s article and the NYT piece remind me of the This American Life Story about the reporter that lost and kept off weight using phentermine, (similar to amphetamine.) This story is a perfect compliment to the contents of these articles. Instead of dealing with self love it deals with love between people when one is or isn’t obese. Would her husband have ever loved or married her if she had been fat and does that mean that her marriage is built on a lie that she is skinny? Act 2 if anyone wants to give it a listen / read.… Read more »
Tai Anderson
Tai Anderson
1 month 6 days ago

That story makes me cry messy tears.

Anthony
1 month 8 days ago
Having helped literally hundreds of people lose weight there is a huge difference between accepting where you are while making healthy changes and flat out ignoring the health concerns that come along with being obese. Being happy with yourself while still being overweight is an admirable thing (I know plenty of skinny folks who still struggle with self-acceptance). However, embracing obesity as if it is some kind of new fashion trend is a dangerous place to go. I have never encountered a client (been a fitness director for 12 years) who was whole-heartedly happy with being obese. I have however… Read more »
Shary
Shary
1 month 7 days ago

+1.

Woubbie
Woubbie
1 month 7 days ago

Beautifully put, especially “there is a huge difference between accepting where you are while making healthy changes and flat out ignoring the health concerns that come along with being obese.”

Timothy
1 month 8 days ago
The primary theme of human evolution is concentrating nutrition. Over millions of years, our ancestors unlocked new ways to pack more nutrition into smaller spaces. Better hunting; tool use for food prep; cooking; all emerged hundreds of thousands of years ago. All enabled the unique suite of human adaptations we take for granted. As our ancestors’ brains grew larger, cultural innovations supplemented their innate abilities. They learned to exploit seasonal foods, fermentation, food combinations, a whole universe of nutritional lore handed down from generation to generation. In the last 100 years all those millennia of progress have been wiped away.… Read more »
Melanie
Melanie
1 month 8 days ago

Very powerful.

I am wondering what “cargo cults” are?

Timothy
1 month 8 days ago

The name comes from aborigines who saw American planes bringing cargo, and built their own planes out of straw hoping cargo would come to them too.

In other words, total misunderstanding of cause and effect.

Deeper explanation here:
https://urbanprimalistcom.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/cargo-cults-of-health/

Dave
Dave
1 month 7 days ago

Great insight. Our food system is broken and a lot of people don’t realize it until later in life, when substantial damage has already been done. It really is about the quality of food, and reconnecting with the traditional cuisine that many of us have lost touch with.

paleoprimalguy625
paleoprimalguy625
1 month 8 days ago
The thing with which I struggle is that I will never feel good enough in my body no matter what it looks like. There have been times when my body fat has been really low, and I still only see the flaws. I know Mark has talked about accepting that one’s ideal body composition may not be the covers of Men’s Health, but that is much easier to say that it is for me to do. I still feel lousy when I look in the mirror even if I am healthier than I was before. Society may well be a… Read more »
Sheila
Sheila
1 month 8 days ago

Wish there was a “like” button.

Beth
Beth
1 month 8 days ago

Without reading your comment first, in think I may have just said the same thing. ?

Ant
Ant
1 month 7 days ago

Spot on.

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago

LIKE!!

Starmice
Starmice
1 month 6 days ago
One strategy that I’ve found very transformative for me is to talk to my body like it’s my favorite pet. For instance, I don’t point out all my cat’s flaws – I tell him how beautiful he is and what a good cat he is every day, so I started doing that to my body. I dry brush it before my shower and say “Who’s a good body, you are! Who’s a pretty body!” Just like you’d say to a beloved pet. It’s silly and makes me laugh but it feels nice. When I exercise I try to take time… Read more »
Joelle
1 month 6 days ago

This is cute. 🙂

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 5 days ago

Yes! A therapist once asked me if I’d treat an animal the way I treat myself – I was horrified by the thought. She then pointed out that I, in my freshly envelope, am an animal. It had a powerful and lasting effect on the way I treat myself.

Colleen M
1 month 8 days ago
A different perspective: I am overweight. I have struggled with it my entire life, despite having 4 siblings with no food or weight issues growing up. I’ve been normal weight for years, then overweight for years. Sometimes is is pretty easy to lose, sometimes the scale will not budge, even using the same methods. I think for anyone who has struggled, they know the issue can be complicated. It is not really a 1 + 1 = 2 situation all the time. There are many factors at play-physical, habitual, psychological, communal, genetic, etc. For many of us, we have to… Read more »
Beth
Beth
1 month 8 days ago

I so agree with you, Colleen. I may have said something similar. My comment is awaiting moderation because I used the “s” word, I think (not the sweat word).

People should be viewed as worthy because they are PEOPLE. We should view ourselves as worthy because we are PEOPLE. Sometimes accepting ourselves has less to do with “being ok with being fat” than it has to do with loving ourselves because we are not ashamed of the caring, capable people we are, regardless of size.

Stefan M
Stefan M
1 month 8 days ago

Have you ever been on the Primal Blueprint for a continued time length? If so, were you still overweight?

I’m curious, so hit me up.

bharris2455
bharris2455
1 month 7 days ago
Stefan M, I am a 60 year old female and I work with a trainer 3X/week because of physical issues. I have struggled with weight my entire life (well, since the age of 9). I have been Paleo for the last 6 years. Other than the 15 pounds I lost right away, every pound lost was/is excruciatingly slow. To the point that year before last, I quit keeping track of my food. Still devotedly Paleo, I gained back all the weight that I had lost. This year with an osteoarthritis diagnosis in my left hip, I have had to really… Read more »
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago

bharris2455 Reading about your 27 lb weight loss put a big smile on my face– I’m very happy for you. I know what it’s like to be menopausal and feel like I’m swimming upstream and not getting anywhere (I turned 60 in January), but I’m hoping that my weight will start moving again. I lost quite a bit in the beginning, but have stalled. Thanks for sharing 🙂

bharris2455
bharris2455
1 month 6 days ago

Tee Dee
Thanks for sharing. I also turned 60 in April. I had to really focus on macronutrients and be pretty strict with Fat/Carb and Protien ratios. A little higher carb on days I work out. A little higher fat on other days, plus a cheat/splurge meal (5 Guys Lettuce wrapped burger and half a small fry) once a week. Best of luck to you, I know it is possible!

Colleen M
1 month 7 days ago

Hi Stefan, yes I have had time of 100% primal, some of 80/20, some of half/ashed, etc. The only times I lost weight consistently was when I was 100%, that is also when the appetite beast calms down too. I started with a Whole 30, then went primal. I should add I also have lots of gut issues, and ended up having emergency colon surgery, and am still recovering, which screws things up. But the last time I was working it 100%, the scale was stubborn, but I was under immense stress, so that might have been a culprit.

Colleen M
1 month 7 days ago

And, Mark-I also wanted to commend you for your bravery in jumping into this topic!!

Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

Colleen I live your response. Spot on!

Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

Meant I ‘love’ your response!

Dave
Dave
1 month 8 days ago
For 35 of my 41 years I toiled with my weight. The negativity permeated the physical and psychological aspects of my entire being. Two factors really prompted the change, the first of which was an absolute disgust with myself. This allowed me to completely scuttle any and all notions that I had regarding diet, exercise and improving myself physically. I compiled all of those failures, condensed them and like an empty beer can tossed them over my shoulder. This was not done while experiencing a grand epiphany, I was exhausted and simply more open minded due to frustration and exhaustion… Read more »
Dale
Dale
1 month 7 days ago

wonderful mindset!
Thank you…

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago

Thanks so much for this, Dave. Very inspirational!

Ida
Ida
1 month 8 days ago
Oh my darlings, no no no….do you have any idea how much hurt you have caused to anyone who has dedicated themselves to try losing weight and has been unsuccessful….and who, against all odds in this narrow minded world, managed to love themselves and the bodies you find so unlovable? This IS fat shaming, and it’s all the more disturbing because it’s couched under your concern for the health of the overweight, as if that makes it valid. We all have different bodies and some people really are unable to lose weight and maintain that loss. And how glorious that… Read more »
HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
1 month 7 days ago
Ida I admire your passion and agree with your essential premise that “fat shaming” is wrong wrong horrible and wrong and is on the same level as racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and ageism. Where we disagree is your assertion that someone in the health and fitness industry, who by definition has the role to help improve all aspects of our health, is fat shaming when suggesting that acceptance of excess weight (i.e giving up) is an optimal strategy. If I hire a trainer or a dietitian to help me with my fitness / health I expect them to respect me… Read more »
Bandalheira
Bandalheira
1 month 7 days ago

Agreed. Race, age, sexual orientation, gender, etc aren’t the best comparison in my opinion because they cannot be changed. No one is born obese, it is something that results from various inputs, it’s not an immutable qualityof a person. A person may naturally be bigger or carry more bodyfat, but that doesn’t mean being obese is just something to sit back and accept. There is a vast difference between fat shaming and trying to help people be the best version of themselves.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 month 7 days ago
Shame on those who cry “fat shaming.” Being obese is NOT evolutionarily acceptable. I will not pretend you are OK even if obese. This is PC’ism amok. (And I am a die hard liberal, but I don’t have blinders on. Have you ever looked at the grocery carts of obese people? In the majority of cases, the obesity sources are glaringly obvious. OK, maybe some folk are doing their best thinking whole grains, etc., are good for you. I’ll cut slack. But 95% of the time the cart is filled with utter CRAP that doesn’t take a genius to see.… Read more »
Fatcattn
Fatcattn
1 month 7 days ago
OnTheBayou – Wouldn’t it be so nice and tidy if it were that cut and dry. It isn’t. If it was, I would be the thin, fit person that I try daily to be. I never wanted to be overweight. There is no junk in my shopping cart. I’m allergic to corn so that eliminates most of the grocery store, all of fast food & most restaurant foods. No sodas, nothing in a box. You would find all the organic, grass fed & finished, low carb, no sugar, wild caught, healthy fat, buzzwords foods. Many things I have to order… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 month 7 days ago
I reread my post, I read yours twice. I think I was fairly tolerant, not holding perfect weight as the standard. And just because I point out that most of the time said obese people have poor shopping habits doesn’t mean everyone does. A general comment is just that. No, it’s not simple. No, it’s not easy or fun. No, it’s not fair. Yes, will power and self-discipline suck. I was skinny as a bean pole as a teenager, slowly gained to a good weight by middle age, then later, kept on going to 43% over ideal. It isn’t fair… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
1 month 6 days ago

Eat less and one will lose weight- I wish! I eat less and only GAIN presently. It’s backward with me, sadly.
Working on ridding my life of STRESS so I can sleep more than 4 hours or 2 hours at a time, eat more than one meal a day without gaining FAT. A work in progress. ?

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago

On the Bayou: how do you explain ancient art depicting individuals (usually women) who are clearly obese? The anatomical accuracy of these drawings and figurines make it plain that they were taken from life. Some of this art is 35,000-40.000 years old.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
1 month 7 days ago

Sure, Venus of Willendorf.

Since I wasn’t around then, I can only make conjecture. Perhaps a fertility rite for select women? I have a vague recollection of such a thing, contemporary Africa, the women eating and eating to meet the cultural standard.

But I wouldn’t call such things anything like the norm. Especially since HG’s had to be pretty active.

Paul
Paul
1 month 5 days ago
Here in Australia where I live I’ve seen the same thing.The best person to deal with this would be the Finance Minister rather than the Health Minister. (Or in the States the IRS rather than the Surgeon General) What I am saying is that we should treat junk food the same way as we deal with tobacco and tax the backside out of it. While I am no admirer of Russian president Vladimir Putin, one has to give devil his due where he deserves it viz his recent pronouncement that: “We as a species have the choice to continue to… Read more »
Shary
Shary
1 month 7 days ago

Ida, I agree with most of your comment, but we part ways completely when you accuse Mark and the people who have commented here of “fat shaming.” Telling it like it is might be uncomfortable for some people to read, but nobody is shaming anybody here–other than you in your last sentence.

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago

Agreed, Shary. I didn’t see any fat shaming here and it’s highly unlikely to come from people like us on this thread who have struggled and endured ‘others’ fat shaming us throughout our lives. Sorry, Ida, but as was said above, you’re the only one who is shaming others here.

Linda Sand
Linda Sand
1 month 8 days ago

Shaming the overweight often makes them want to eat more to comfort themselves. People who have been sexually abused often use weight to hide themselves in hoping the abuser will no longer find them attractive. Being kind to one another whatever we look like is good.

Beth
Beth
1 month 8 days ago
Wow, Mark. What a thoughtful piece. This whole topic just makes me sad. I do struggle sometimes with which is worse: this “fat acceptance” culture that seems to be emerging? Or the “perfection” culture that we have had for so long? I don’t believe that someone’s size dictates their worth. People of all sizes give love, receive love, and contribute to society. And yet many of your success stories’ authors have written about wanting to play with their children or be active outside of work, but until they lost weight, they just didn’t have the energy & stamina. They weren’t… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
1 month 6 days ago

And, even though some of us look a bit more plump than we want we may still pass the LGN test. ?

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
1 month 8 days ago
Just read the Times article–excellent piece–and thank you for covering it, Mark. The psychology is fascinating. For myself, having lived “Primal” for about 5 years, almost reaching an ideal body composition, then adding some weight, expectations can be insidious, like a mean, nagging voice. I’ve realized that unless I move a lot more than I do, I will carry a few more pounds than would be ideal. But I move a lot, have a business to run, a busy family life, and yeah, a bit more stress than is ideal. My health is good, energy is good, blood panel has… Read more »
Ontario
Ontario
1 month 8 days ago

“Something in me thinks that people who claim to love their body despite being obese are ignoring or drowning out that inner voice spurring them toward change.”

I agree, Mark. But I’m not standing beside you while you start dodging.I have an aversion to flame throwers. LOL! I can see that one-liner making it to some obscure “obesity, love your body” forum somewhere. You will suddenly become the anti-Christ of the fat-acceptance movement.

But thanks for the read and great thoughts on that article.

Ion Freeman
1 month 8 days ago

I read the article. Her fundamentally confused relationship with food — and if you haven’t read the article, I’m not being mean, that’s a big point — reminds me to wonder what’s going on with Ray Cronise’s Kickstarter project “Our Broken Plate,” which was to answer exactly that question

Jenny
Jenny
1 month 8 days ago
I now understand what it is to enjoy a lifestyle that keeps the weight off and have a good life. I could wall paper my home with the number of books I got each time I joined weight watchers. Now, a change, the new ww holistic plan has helped me lose 40 lbs to now be 132 with over a 10% loss in body fat . I am 5’5″. They now encourage so much that is in mda. Even “forest bathing” last weekin our meeting. It is so much about creating a shift that allows me to live and not… Read more »
George
George
1 month 7 days ago

Being a man it has always been easy for me to lose weight. I have recently lost over 50 pounds just by eliminating junk food, processed foods, etc. I eat three times a day with a select balance of everyday food that I prepare myself – vegetables, protein, carbs and fat – all strictly portion controlled. The concept of dieting is very simple, eat the right foods in the right amounts. Overcoming the mental and physical obstacles is not so easy for some.

bagohammers
bagohammers
1 month 6 days ago

My Dad used to lose weight by cutting out his beloved apple pie and ice cream. LOL! Sadly the 5 women in the family weren’t so fortunate.

Stephan
Stephan
1 month 7 days ago

Thanks. Just what I needed to read today. Much appreciated.

John Black
John Black
1 month 7 days ago
Mark, thank you for the article. I’ve gone up and down throughout my life entire life too but at age 48.5, I am facing a situation that what I have done several times in the past to lose weight is not working. I have been eating fairly well for about 4 or 5 weeks now and I have not lost weight. I’ve almost eliminated sugar and bad carbs. I eat carbs, only from fruits and vegetables. I lift weights. I am fairly strong for my age. I also walk or run a few times a week. I’ve been down a… Read more »
Patrick
1 month 7 days ago

Couple of things you might look at John. One is eating enough fat to become “fat adapted”. There is so much anti fat propaganda in the media it can be hard to eat enough. The second is intermittent fasting without which I personally cannot keep my weight right. It can be done but it does require some effort and understanding. By the way I am 59 so it is definitely not age related. H.ave a look at intermittent fasting

Rios8456
Rios8456
1 month 7 days ago

It’s almost always hormonal when a weight loss wall is it. And yes, it’s age related in the sense that hormones tend to become deficient and/or unbalanced as we age. I hit the weight loss wall last year and found out (through my own research, not my doctor) that I have a thyroid problem. No, it didn’t show up on my doctor’s exam. But through my own research and treatment, I realized what the problem was. So, research hormones and ask (but don’t rely on) your doctor for help. May pay off!

Clay
Clay
1 month 5 days ago
If it worked in the past and now it’s not, I would guess age related too. I surf for a couple hours a day, supplement with HIIT on my spinner bike, planking and pull ups. I eat super clean, high fat low carb but I’m 51 now. Guess what, it gets harder every year. Harder to keep the muscle mass, harder to keep the leanness. Ive noticed at ever decade or so, you body shifts. So you have to shift too just to maintain. So it appears I know how to manage my 50’s now and when I hit 60… Read more »
John Black
John Black
1 month 5 days ago

Depressing… 🙂

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
1 month 5 days ago

Oh to be 51 again Clay! I felt great and in some ways was at my physical peak at that age … which maybe is a sad commentary on my fitness prior to that LOL.

Captain Ron
Captain Ron
1 month 7 days ago
I have so many thoughts on this. I’ll try to break them down logically. 1. As a former fat man (350 pounds, now down to 190-ish, hopefully forever), I was never happy with my body, but I was happy. It may sound weird, but I had accepted my weight and molded my life around it. It took hitting the floor, hard (literally) to wake me up and make me do something about it. Everyone has to find their own motivation, and until you find it, nothing will work. Now, looking back, I see just how miserable I was and I… Read more »
Anne
Anne
1 month 7 days ago
This is a really tough one for me…I went from a “healthy” standard American diet (little bread, mostly sandwiches/salads, limited sweets, little to no processed food) to hardcore Paleo in early 2014 to combat stomach problems. I completely cut out alcohol, sweets, all grains, all legumes, all dairy, went completely grass-fed and pastured, even limited my beef and meat intake, and ate something like 75% of my daily calories in organic vegetables. I jumped onboard the exercise train and began working out 1.5-2 hours every day, very intense weightlifting with HIIT, went outside, did hiking, etc., and followed the primal… Read more »
Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

Excellent points!

Stefan M
Stefan M
1 month 7 days ago
That’s a telltale sign of the FAT: “Female Athlete Triad”; a common cluster of disordered eating, osteoporosis, amenorrhea. It does result in infertility. Your sure-win ticket to FAT (lol) is overtraining, on top of caloric restriction, on top of inadequate macronutrient ratio (you need glycogen & insulin for fueling grueling anaerobic efforts), on top of too little recovery time. Low, chronic baseline inflammation levels… Infertility… Hormonal imbalance, moodiness, fatigue, sleep disorders, frequent injuries. It strikes me, in all honesty laid bare, that all anectdotal shortcomings or malfunctions attributed to the Primal Blueprint practice are the result of fallacious thinking: mostly… Read more »
Jamie
Jamie
1 month 7 days ago
I have lost 68 pounds by not eating sugar or carbs of any kind. I was always thin until I had my second baby and ended up in a wheelchair due to slipping a disc in my back and my thyroid collapsing. My son was 11 lbs at birth. I went through rehab so I could walk again, but the stress of the traumatic birth and subsequent collapse of my thyroid caused me to be unable to lose the pregnancy weight as I had done before and I also gained weight while unable to walk. It took me over two… Read more »
Liz
1 month 7 days ago

And still, in all of this discussion, nobody addresses the great question posed by Gary Taubes – why do we accept that some animal breeds are more prone to gain and carry weight than others? The specific example Taubes gave was cows. If a farmer wants to fatten up a cow, he knows which breeds will fatten the most quickly. Nobody questions whether it has anything to do with the mindset or socialization of the cow.

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago

I am so glad that you raised this point! Even within breeds (which are all the same species). There are individuals that fatten super fast, while others are what farmers call hard doers. These individuals eat just as much fattening food as their chubbier kin, and get just as little exercise, but may never reach the weight of fat-marbling of some pen-mates.

Cassidy
Cassidy
1 month 7 days ago
Mark, Thank you for this post. Really. As someone who has struggled with weight all my life, I truly appreciate your calm and rational perspective. A wise man once said, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” 🙂 I have some goals that I have delayed without honestly intending to do so (i.e., I would commit halfheartedly… I would “try”), and I have definitely noticed that the silly tug of war taking place in our minds is exactly due to being bombarded with contradicting messages. After all, isn’t it so much easier to convince ourselves that we should take… Read more »
Ijana
Ijana
1 month 7 days ago
I completely 100% agree that being overweight is physically unhealthy. There’s no way to deny that really, all the science backs it up. But my question is, isn’t mental health just as important? I’ve had eating disorders on and off since I was 17 (21 now), and I know full well that being overweight is unhealthy, but if I try and lose weight and am not extremely careful with the method I use, I get in a bad place mentally. In my opinion, while ideally being your average weight is the best for you, I do indeed have to learn… Read more »
Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago

Mental health is absolutely at least as important as physical health. Fortunately, the more I replace grains/sweets/booze with fat, the better I feel and cope in general. It’s a shame we reach for sweet things when we’re stressed since they just seem to amp up anxiety whereas fat is very calming.

Ross
Ross
1 month 7 days ago
“Society is made of humans, who are biological beings. Society is therefore a product of biology. Society’s norms and mores don’t emerge out of nothingness.” Society is a product of philosophy. Philosophy is about how we relate to reality, make sense of the world around us and acquire knowledge. Morality (how we treat ourselves), ethics (how we treat each other), and politics (how society is organised) comes from that philosophical basis. I know you didn’t mean it this way, Mark, but be careful with the society-from-biology angle as that’s the same justification for eugenics, racism and all that flows from… Read more »
Jim
Jim
1 month 7 days ago

“And most people can avoid it SIMPLY by losing excess body fat.” Thanks! That helps a lot! SIMPLY lose fat, that”s all. What’s wrong with you fatties?

Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

Yes…..it really did come across as too ‘simple’ didn’t it? I agree.

Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

“As for body acceptance, a “goal weight” isn’t necessary. In some cases, it’s counterproductive. You don’t need to turn success and failure into binary options. Better is good enough. Movement is enough.”

This was the single most important take away I had from everything you said, Mark!! Our society is obsessed with a certain type of physique and ‘look’ to the point of nearly ostracizing/ shaming anyone outside this ‘ideal’. Movement is better than non-movement. Some weight loss is better than none. EOS! To each his own path and choice.

Jim
Jim
1 month 7 days ago
By spending 2 to 3 hours a day obsessing over food I lost 50 pounds in the 1990’s. Whe I stopped obsessing I regained 70 pounds. In the 2000’s I lost 80 pounds. I spent about 4 hours a day planning meals and exercise and logging my food intake. So far in the 2010’s I’ve regained 90 pounds. I don’t have time to obsess 5 hours a day to lose weight and then gain it back with bonus extra fat. I’ll probably do it, but if I manage to lose the 100 pounds I ‘should lose” I sure hope I… Read more »
Melanie
Melanie
1 month 7 days ago

Hi Jim,
I am wondering what you were doing in these 2-4 hours per day, in which you were planning your meals. I can understand that you do not have that much time to continue. What I do not understand is why it would take so long??

Jim
Jim
1 month 6 days ago
It was 2 to 4 hours per day obsessing over food and exercise. Planning, buying, cooking, logging, scheduling times for buying, cooking, exercising. Dealing with hunger and cravings. I had more trouble losing weight than I had quitting smoking from 3 1/2 packs a day (cold turkey). And it was all wasted as I gained back everything I lost and them some. What I have learned is that is if I do manage to lose weight, it will get worse when it comes back. That is what my weight loss experience has taught me. But I fell so lousy now,… Read more »
Allen
1 month 7 days ago
If I may add my opinion and thoughts on this article, I think the author of the NYT piece displays perfectly the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. I would imagine that Grok didn’t spend any time looking in the mirror worrying about how he was going to look at dinner that night in his new threads. I think the biggest primary hurdle we face is WHY we want to change from what we are right now. I didn’t get results by feeling bad about myself and punishing myself for it (Which is really what all diets are, a form of… Read more »
Chantal
Chantal
1 month 7 days ago
I have not read the article referenced in your post so I can not comment on it directly. What I know is that at the age of 47 I have spent the better part of my life at war with the very machine which sustains my life. I have hated my body since as a young child of 6 I was told to suck in my tummy. The message I received early in life was that my body and my appetite was not to be trusted. Last year, at the end of my rope, in tears and desperate for help… Read more »
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 7 days ago

So glad to know you finally found what works for you, Chantal–all the best! 🙂

Melinda Trotti
Melinda Trotti
1 month 7 days ago

There are cultures that are not White that do indeed praise “fat” – particularly fat women’s – bodies as beautiful. I think that it is important to remember this aesthetic as a powerful assertion of one’s culture.

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 6 days ago
That’s very true Melinda, yet I’ll never forget seeing a documentary about a particular culture in Africa that wanted new brides to be fat. They had the idea that it portrayed a voluptuous, fertile image if the young woman packed on a good 50lbs or more. The bride-to-be was made to eat and eat and eat, regardless of natural hunger signals and was not allowed to take on any physical work so that she wouldn’t burn off what was being gained. But the most unforgettable aspect of all was when the young woman was interviewed on her own. It broke… Read more »
Melinda Trotti
Melinda Trotti
1 month 6 days ago

I am so glad you are doing well! I am White and was constantly harassed as a child and young woman about any ounce that I gained by my family which created an obsession and constant discomfort about my appearance. However, I am observing that no one on this forum seems to acknowledge that cultural understandings of what is beautiful and desirable in the White culture and cultures that are not White are quite different. Health and comfort with one’s size and appearance interact in culturally complex ways.

Michael
Michael
1 month 1 day ago

This is so true! I have a friend of Caribbean origin who is naturally very thin and flat-chested. Her relatives are constantly berating her for not putting on weight and achieving a fuller figure.

Lisabeth Robinson
1 month 7 days ago
Hmmm, I’m going to stir the pot a bit. I understand that on this forum it is likely all participants are people interested in good health and being lean. However, if someone accepts their body size, really what business is that of mine? As someone who is normal weight, yet has spent WAY too much of her life obsessing and angsting over perceived imperfections, I don’t feel that I have the right to pass judgment. As an educator, I’d like to see our young people–ESPECIALLY our young women–pay more attention to developing skills that will make them leaders in their… Read more »
Jenny
Jenny
1 month 7 days ago
I’m with you there! I’ve always been normal size/weight, but spent most of my totally obsessed with weight loss, unhealthily restricting food in terms of quantities and types. Going Paleo, while it helped me with healthier eating, also enabled me to be the most eating disordered I have in my life, where my life revolved around orthorexia and dieting, not people, not adventure, not true growth. Just lots of fear and control and weight loss that ultimately became hormonal and metabolic issues. Finally, recently, I’ve made a peace by telling myself that I love myself unconditionally whatever size and shape… Read more »
Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago

LIKE!!!

Beth
Beth
1 month 7 days ago

Beautiful, Lisabeth.
You must be a wonderful role model for your students.

Marge Fiore
Marge Fiore
1 month 7 days ago

I read the article. It made me sad. There should be a way for people to strive for greater leanness and health WITHOUT SHAMING THEMSELVES AND HATING THEIR BODIES!!! We, the human animals that we are, ARE programmed to eat more food than we need when it is plentiful, since through history, you never knew when there would be a famine. So, in a time and society where the famine never comes, we have a problem. People do get their emotions deeply invested in this, and those without a problem tend to be judgmental, and there we go… 🙁

A ghost
A ghost
1 month 7 days ago
I’m really glad to hear Mark express this feeling. The fat acceptance thing regularly makes me grind my teeth, especially when children are told to accept their flab and resulting poor health by the very people who fed them all the junk in the first place. I always want to tell those being subjected to the fat acceptance propaganda: You are worth better than that. Even if you were a really horrible person, even if everything the little nagging voice in your head or the bullies in the playground say about you were true (which it probably isn’t), you would… Read more »
Tom Nikkola
1 month 7 days ago
As humans, we all know that we can do, feel, and look “better” because we have a drive toward personal growth and improvement. Even those who have a fixed mindset subconsciously know they could get better, which is why they get so ornery when they’re faced with that fact. When someone knows they “could” lose weight, but they’re not losing it, it sets up for a huge emotional battle. Unfortunately, so many look for the quick fix, even though that has never worked in all of history. Your point, Mark, when you stepped into giving diet advice shouldn’t be overlooked.… Read more »
Dawn
Dawn
1 month 7 days ago

“Something in me thinks that people who claim to love their body despite being obese are ignoring or drowning out that inner voice spurring them toward change…Self-love doesn’t erase the physiological ramifications of being obese. ”

Thank you for saying this. There is a critical difference that often seems to be missed between “It is okay to be overweight” and “I am not less worthy as a person because I am overweight.”

Deb
Deb
1 month 7 days ago
Having lost 157 lbs myself many years ago thru diet and exercise, I find it difficult and down right annoying to read all the “love yourself the way you are” and the anti “body shaming” articles that are constant these days. Yes, you should practice self love, it’s important for your mental health. BUT anyone who says “I’m happy as I am, I don’t need to be a size ‘whatever'” is only (in my opinion) using it as an excuse to give up. I am very proud of what I accomplished many years ago and know that we all only… Read more »
nina araqeeb
nina araqeeb
1 month 7 days ago

Has anyone noted the bodies of the ancient goddesses? They are mostly extremely FAT!

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 7 days ago
I do think that we have to think more about “society” – because not all societies (cultures) reject fatness or even obesity. Indeed, in some societies, thin is NOT in, and the skinny are to be condoned with. Mark appears to be suggesting that there is an inherent biological drive to seek leanness, expressed subconsciously by the group as a social organism. Were this true, there would be no deviations across space if through time, yet a cursory search of, say, US historical norms, or a current-day cross-cultural evaluation, reveals high variation in body size values. I think Taffy made… Read more »
Lisa
1 month 7 days ago
Thank you Suzanne and Gracie. It is so hard for humans not to think in binary ways- all this or all that. Fat acceptance should be termed “human acceptance” and seen as part of social justice. Excess adiposity does usually have negative effects on health as that tissues is more metabolically active in terms of releasing harmful substances, increasing insulin resistance, hard on the joints, etc. But how a person experiences their body varies and quality of life is in the eye of the beholder. And of course, lower levels of fat (as Mark pointed out) are protective to organs… Read more »
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 6 days ago

Thank you, Suzanne. I also roll my eyes at the idiocy of a ‘size zero’. Loved your remark about women getting down to their skeleton and still trying to squeeze into a “0” 😉 Right on with regard to those who are thin, yet prediabetic/diabetic. We’ve gotten too far from reality and still love making sweeping generalizations about one another based strictly on physical appearance.

Gracie
Gracie
1 month 7 days ago
I love this piece, and the NY Times article that inspired it. It does broach a very touchy subject. While I agree with Mark that excess fat is likely detrimental to one’s health, I disagree that because “Society’s norms…don’t emerge out of nothingness” that we shouldn’t consider them with a very critical eye. Social pressures and norms around weight may have begun as a biological distaste for a state of poor health, but I believe they have evolved far beyond that to the detriment of many people’s mental health. My own experience with – and recovery from – anorexia are… Read more »
shannon stoney
shannon stoney
1 month 7 days ago
I read that article too. I thought it was better than most “fat-acceptance” diatribes. I have several women friends (one is a physician) who insist that being obese is not really a problem. One even said that she would change doctors if her doctor told her to lose weight. Fine, that’s her right if she wants to live that way. But I think it’s crazy, for all the reasons, mentioned above. I know a great many people in my age bracket who have had to have knee and hip replacements because they have been overweight their whole lives. One friend… Read more »
Shary
Shary
1 month 6 days ago
The amount of nutritional ignorance that is out there is definitely appalling, including among medical professionals who should know better. I suspect that a good percentage of people who can’t lose weight on what they assume is a Paleo/Primal/Low-Carb diet aren’t really low-carb at all and don’t realize it. Success does require a bit of boning up on what causes weight gain/loss and what doesn’t. People these days often don’t comprehend that you actually have to cook your own meals. You can’t just eat out of a carton or a box or in a restaurant and hope to lose weight… Read more »
Jimmy Smith
1 month 7 days ago

To me, the biggest issue that our society faces in terms of the “weight loss culture” are the actual practitioners. While I truly believe that everyone enters the industry with good intentions, individual bias enters into play and the practitioner is at fault.

It’s really easy to write someone a diet and hand it to them because YOU know it’s good but is it really good for them?

Thorfinnsson
Thorfinnsson
1 month 7 days ago

I don’t sympathize with the authoress at all.

She’s fat, failed to lose weight, and is now lying in order to rationalize her choice to stay fat.

I would sympathize if this was a double-digit IQ working class person.

But this lady is writing for the New York Times. She claims she tried Atkins and South Beach…those diets work, and not just for “certain body types”.

This means she simply gave up.

While we can and must do our part to fight the plague of poor nutrition advice, fat people should also be shamed.

Lisa
Lisa
1 month 7 days ago

Thorfinnsson- you should feel ashamed of your self-righteous attitude.

Thorfinnsson
Thorfinnsson
1 month 3 days ago

Why?

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 6 days ago
Thorfinnsson; you obviously have a right to express your opinions like everyone else, but did you happen to read the comment by Lotus Rising? She is a perfect example of someone who did the diets ‘that work’, yet she could not lose any weight until she got help with her severely underactive thyroid. You have no idea what others may be dealing with, so take it easy on your judging of others. And since when did it become ok to “shame” someone for their physical appearance. We can shame someone for unethical, immoral or criminal ‘deeds’, but not for their… Read more »
Thorfinnsson
Thorfinnsson
1 month 3 days ago
No, I did not read the comment. Thyroid problems exist, but they are rare. Generally speaking someone is fat because he prefers being fat to discipline. I’ll make allowances here for less intelligent people given how we’re bombarded with poor dietary advice. Harder to figure out which diets work when you’re not bright. There is nothing wrong with judging people, and shaming people who do things that are bad is a good thing–including shaming people for slovenly fitness and appearance. Shame and judgment are powerful motivators, which is why dingbats are always saying it’s wrong…they personally don’t want to deal… Read more »
Tee Dee
Tee Dee
1 month 2 days ago
Yet, even among the slim and healthy they tend to agree that shaming and humiliating can have some very negative effects on others because it’s really no one else’s business. That said, your insulting manner is a good indication that trying to convince you of anything is futile. People like you can shame, but those who are the recipients of it can simply scoff at your attempts and acknowledge within themselves that you haven’t the slightest clue as to what they are dealing with; such as in the case of people like Lotus Rising. Perhaps while you’re busy pointing and… Read more »
Thorfinnsson
Thorfinnsson
1 month 2 days ago
Shame and humiliation are supposed to have negative effects on people. Perhaps we should shut down the prisons because they make people feel bad? The authoress of the NY Times piece is a woman in the arena and part of setting the national conversation. Her piece encourages giving up and embracing lies. This is shameful conduct. People’s health have second order effects that impact the rest of us. We all pay the bill in increased healthcare costs, reduced labor productivity, and if I’m going to be frank–living in a physically uglier society. As to Lotus Rising, she is the exception,… Read more »
Mrs. Sweet
Mrs. Sweet
1 month 7 days ago
Good post; interesting comments. Here are mine: I’m pushing seventy and have lost almost 50 pounds over the past 22 years and kept it off, through dietary modifications and exercise. The eating plan requires continual tweaking as we learn more about food and bodies. (Oh – I’ve also had breast cancer twice.) Upon reading the article, I was struck by the notion that some folks may fail because they employ a diet with an end point rather than a lifestyle change which is perpetual. If you react badly to certain foods, you probably will continue to do so. Add to… Read more »
holly plyler
1 month 7 days ago

I think the dialogue needs to change to “you need to be healthy to lose weight” instead of the other way around
Lymphatic problems, hormone Inbalances, heart problems can all cause weight gain.

Take lipedema for instance. 10% of women have it and it causes FAT THAT DOES NOT RESPOND TO REGULAR DIET AND EXERCISE. Yet we ignore it.

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 5 days ago

Like!!

Lotus Rising
1 month 6 days ago
I could not loose weight whatever I did. Not on Primal, not on Paleo, regular exercise is a challenge because it might take a week for me to recover from it. I lived for two years on a anorexic amount of Paleo, 500/800 calories per day and I did not loose weight. Until I figured out, for myself, (thanks doctors for the last twenty years of ignoring my symptoms) that among other autoimmune diseases I need to inject B12 and I am severely hypothyroid. Since I started taking natural desiccated thyroid the weight started melting away the second time I… Read more »
Dannii Bridge
1 month 6 days ago

Thank you for this. It comes at a time when I realise that health is health and to live a healthy life, the consumption of food outside the way we are designed as humans to eat is detrimental. Full stop. Having Familial hypercholesterolemia I have battled against the standard western diet but having previously lived a primal lifestyle and then rejected it on the advice of doctors, I was lost and became sick and unhealthy, wrapped up in a negative spiral of what to do, which diet to follow! I am not lost anymore. Inspired. Thanks Mark!

2Rae
2Rae
1 month 6 days ago
I have not been overweight my whole life, actually I’ve been rather stable until I hit menopause at 37 like my mom and grandma did. However, every few years I would gain 5 pounds pretty much out of the blue, no eating more food, exercising less, just bam, more girth. I finally was 30 pounds over my normal weight. During this time I did not feel like me, my opinion of me was not based on society’s opinion, only my opinion. Fast forward to about 5 years ago, I was able to lose the extra weight by using HCG drops… Read more »
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