I read an article on line the other day that really made me think, so I researched it a bit more. What I have learned is that as much as 90% of overweight people deny they are obese. A lot of people are in denial about their weight, especially men. The reason, at least according to the article I read, is that 90% of overweight people deny being obese because larger sizes are normal now. Pardon me? So because such a large percentage of the population is obese and unhealthy, it’s OK because of the numbers?
If you want to read it yourself, click here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2833165/90-obese-people-don-t-think-weight-problem.html
I have used many of the denials myself over the years. I am big boned. I have a husky frame. Oh one more won’t hurt. Do they sound familiar? You may have used some of these yourself.
Men seem to have the denial problem worse than women do. Men can still be 60 pounds overweight, look in the mirror and see that star athlete they were in college or high school. Have you ever heard a man ask – Do these jeans make my butt look big?
I keep mentioning that I am a member of the group TOPS. I have been to a few regional rallies that have hundred’s of attendees. I can count the men on one hand.
When it comes to the whole weight issue, society is much tougher on women than men. The other problem is that men generally don’t go to the doctor until a limb is falling off, and often by then it is a much bigger issue (pardon the pun) and seems like an insurmountable object to overcome.
When I was at my highest weight, and found out the for my height and build I should be around 190 – 200 pounds, it just seemed completely out of the question. This was the reason that I hopped on and off the diet wagon over the years. When life got to hard, I would jump back on and frankly lose enough weight that people would leave me alone about it. Unfortunately what happened is that whatever weight I had lost all crept back on.
Did you know there is an actual diagnosis for people who are overweight but deny it? It falls into the realm of other eating disorders. According to British author Sara Bird, it is Fatorexia. She has even written a book on the subject.
I told myself lies for years, and used other strategies to hide the obvious – that I was not only fat, not only obese, but I was morbidly obese. What are these strategies? See if these sound familiar. I would just start buying larger clothes that were loose and could hide the fat. I wore t-shirts and golf shirts and would NEVER wear a shirt that needed to be tucked in unless I then covered it up with a sweater. I was wearing sweater vests way after they went out of style just to camouflage an ever expanding waist line.
I avoided looking mirrors. I would not allow my picture to be taken unless I was able to pose and look my best. In fact, in spite of being in show business in my real life, I am still uncomfortable having my picture taken. I also avoided going to the doctor like the plague because in the back of my head, I knew he would mention my weight.
It was only after I diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic was there a serious wake up call. I had to get my weight under control. I had to become aware of what I ate, and what it was doing to me.
Denial takes many forms though. Some things I have seen? Someone at the food court at the mall having a Big Mac, large fries and a diet Coke. Oh that makes it OK, it all balances out.
How about taking ten minutes of aerobics to button up a pair of jeans and then saying they must have shrunk in the wash?
How about eating a whole bag large bag of chips because “they bag was half empty when I started, so it wasn’t that much to start with”?
How about saying “Why go to the gym? Those trainers are a bunch of size 2 people in spandex who have idea what it’s like to be fat. They can’t help me.”
How about saying “I was just meant to be a big person. Besides, I am happy with it, so everyone else should be as well.”
We try to convince ourselves and others with these little tricks but we are hurting not only ourselves but hurting our family and friends. Maybe we aren’t hurting them physically, but they watch and worry about us. I know my wife certainly did. For many years she was worried that I would drop dead and leave her alone.
When it comes to denial, I was something of an expert, and at times can still fall back into those old habits if I am not careful. There comes a time though, when you can’t deny it any more. When was the last time you took a long hard look in a mirror? When was the last time you took a hard look at what you eat and why? Do you still buy baggy clothes to hide the fat?
Often underneath those clothes is a miserable fat person, no matter how much of a brave face they put on. I did that too. After all, aren’t fat guys supposed to be jolly? I learned early on, or at least I thought I had, that if people laughed WITH me, they wouldn’t laugh At me.
Is it easy to give yourself a reality check? Absolutely not, but it is necessary because simply put, living in denial can and will eventually kill you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I am a new blogger and I know there are thousands of blogs you could choose to read. I would like to close by saying please share this blog with someone who may benefit from it, and I will be back next time with more tips, hints and stories.