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Coming to Terms With Obesity

Here is a brief video excerpt from a recent talk on the issue of accepting the reality of living with obesity.

(e-mail subscribers will have to visit my website to watch).

Appreciate your comments.

Edmonton, AB


  1. Your patient has a point.

    I watched an interview with a mother who put her 7 year old on a diet, with the support of her pediatrician. The mother wrote an article for vogue, which turned into the memoir Heavy. (You may have already heard of it.) The comments on the Today show site demonstrate what your patient emphasized. The comments talked about not giving children everything they want to eat, about children they feel are too ‘big’, but nothing about play. Not one person spoke about the mother’s own problems, the way she’s unaware of what society will pass along to her daughter, nor about play.

    It was all about food and calories.

    People’s out-of-balance relationship with their bodies fuel their comments. The people who call others ‘fat’ or lecture about other people’s weight really don’t want to deal with their own inside issues. In an era of photoshop and spanx, we forgot no matter if a person loses weight, or not, people still have to cultivate some kind of self-awareness. Nobody wants to deal with the inside, nor truly question what we told by society. By the way, Dr. Sharma, that also includes your colleagues in the medical profession.

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  2. Your patient has a strong point. I’ve been through RNY and Have lost 70% EW, which puts me me into a happier, more active, and healthy body and life. But by the BMI- wise I am still technically obese. I am proud of what I have done, and both my nutritionist and my surgeon think I have reached my goals and may be done losing unless I really work hard to go farther. I am emotionally in balance with my body, and with all of my co-morbidiities gone, I am healthy in my size. But I still face discrimination, hostility, abuse, and unhelpful ( and terribly misinformed) “intervention” from society.

    However, I will say this too: I now realize that a part (but certainly not all) of the hostility I felt when at my SMO highest weight was a.) a social anxiety reflection of how I felt about myself projected onto others, and b.) a negative reaction from others that had less to do with my size and more to with the unconfident, fearful, sad, self-loathing way I was presenting myself. I was, essentially, helping others treat me badly and assuming the worst about what it meant about me when they did. I don’t know if your patient engages in these behaviors or not, but I find them pretty consistent among SMO folks – not surprising given the negative messaging we have internalized over our lives.

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