Have I become Fattist?
I have never smoked. Nor have I been a drinker of alcohol to any real extent. There is absolutely no moral reason that I am not a smoker or drinker. They are simply not what I wanted to do. But for most of my l have been overweight. Fat, there I said it; I have been fat.
Now however, I have lost about 4 stone with still a few to go. I feel so much better than I did before. I have more energy and generally feel fitter and as a bonus everyone who knew me when I was heavier are now telling me I look great. Who doesn’t like a bit of praise now and a gain?
As I said, I have never smoked or drank alcohol to any great extent. I have never been against people who do. Well, apart from family members, and this is out of genuine concern for their health. As a non-smoker, I suppose I didn’t like being in a smoky atmosphere so I was against smoking to some degree, but not in a judgemental sort of way.
So I would consider myself not to be smokeist or drinkist. I am not sure if these are even words, but I mean them in the same way as saying, one is not ageist or sexist.
So why do I now find myself looking at people who are grossly overweight, as I used to be, and thinking to myself, why don’t you do something about your weight.
Is that bad of me? I am not thinking it in the same way as “for goodness sake lose weight” or “what is wrong with you, just get fit”. I just think that they could feel so much better and be much healthier if they could just lose some weight and be more active.
Why did I lose weight?
I went for a routine eye examination and it was suggested that I go along to the doctor to get my blood pressure checked. “No hurry”, the optometrist said, “just get it done the next time you go to the doctor”. Well, as a man who hasn’t visited the doctor for the past 20 years I thought I better just make an appointment.
To cut a long story short, my blood pressure was far too high. I was also told that my cholesterol and blood sugar levels were also a cause for concern. The doctor suggested an immediate change in lifestyle.
To be perfectly honest with you the doctor wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know, but her words rang in my ears. From that day to this, with a few exceptions and cheats, I have eaten a lot healthier and walked for about half an hour each day.
The thing I keep asking myself is, why I waited for the doctor to tell me that I needed to lose weight and get healthier. Why didn’t I do it? It isn’t that I didn’t know I was well over weight or unfit, I did.
Funnily (or not so funnily) enough the same kind of thing happened to my father many years ago. He was a heavy smoker from his early teens. He said, for as long as I knew him, that he would like to stop smoking. Yet did nothing about it. I am sure over the years he made some attempts to stop but obviously he didn’t. Like me, one day he went to his doctor when he was about sixty years old. His doctor told him that if he didn’t stop smoking immediately he would have a year to live maximum. I have no idea if this was a scare tactic by the doctor or if this diagnosis was real and true. Whichever it was, it worked; big time. As far as I know he didn’t smoke another cigarette from that day forward and lived well into his seventies.
So again, I am asking myself. Why did he wait to hear those words from the doctor before managing to finally quit?
I think it must be fear that did it for him and for me. I believe that there are only two emotions that make us do anything in life. These are pain (fear) or pleasure (reward). What motivates us is the pain of not getting something or the pleasure of getting it.
Obviously, the pleasure of getting into slimmer looking clothes and feeling healthier was not strong enough for me to get healthier and lose weight. It took the fear of what the doctor told me to jolt me into action.
How did I lose weight?
The answer to this is easy, I just did what I should have been doing for the 20 years previously. I just stopped eating processed food, takeaways and ready meals. Then I started eating fresh simple homemade meals.
On the exercise front, well I don’t exercise. All I do differently is make sure I walk at least 30 minutes at a reasonable pace most days.
I was obsessive about the healthy eating and walking for the first few months and after a revisit to the doctor and an appointment with a food nutrition expert I eased off and allowed myself a few treats.
I am still losing weight but at a slower, probably more controlled rate. But I am still losing. I still have about 2 stone to lose. The thirty-minute walks are getting slightly longer in duration and faster. I am less out of breath at the end of each walk.
Back to my original question, am I fattist?
I don’t think so. I don’t want to be a preachy person and I would never suggest people should lose weight or get healthier. That is not my place. I have discovered over the years, each person is responsible for him or herself. There will be a time in their life when they decide to do lose weight and get healthy for themselves, or not.
The ‘or not’ bit is a bit scary because being fat and not being fit can only end in one way. Death! Ill health is inevitable if we don’t look after ourselves. Heck, illness can come to those who are already fit and slim. But why give illness a head start by not doing all you can to cut the odds?
I am happy for you to contact me if you can relate to this article