With the recent BBC Two reality show/documentary ‘Who are you calling fat?’ still looming fresh in my mind, being a ‘woman of size’, I have a lot to say about the issues and debates raised in this programme.
The format follows a reality show where nine people living with obesity are placed together to live in a house. All with differing views, it makes great viewing and sparks the debate off nicely.
The two main camps were the body positivity crowd on one side and those on the other who believe in the medical implications and risks of staying obese.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a strange relationship with food. I can only pinpoint a few times in my life when I’ve been a healthy weight. Apart from being pregnant, I am now at my all time heaviest weight.
Due to a combination of stress, poor mental health and being uprooted from a Church that was my spiritual family for the last 10 years or so, my eating habits have been out of control.
I tried Slimming World which seemed to work for a little while then became unsustainable. I tried following a book called ‘F.I.T, Faith Inspired Transformation’. That seemed to help for a short while too. Then I just gave up completely.
I gave in to what I was sure was an addiction I just could not control any longer.
It was calling to me. The pull was too hard to resist.
“You deserve this”, my brain said.
“You need this”.
I saw myself as a soap actress. The viewer shouting out at the TV.
“Don’t do it! You’re stronger than this!”.
My self control was shot.
All I could think of was the taste on my tongue.
The receptors in my brain already whizzing around at the anticipated pleasure.
It was no good. I gave in.
I grabbed it off the shelf and walked to the till.
As I paid for my item, words going through my head “why am I doing this?”. The guilt already seeping through.
Home. No one in. The way I like it.
Indulging in secret keeps me in denial.
I open the six pack.
Moans of pleasure escape my mouth as my teeth sink into the creamy, sugary frosting of the cupcake.
It was gone in seconds.
I ate them all.
So today I was watching a bit of day time TV whilst feeding my two month old and happened to stumble across a programme on Pick called 'Fat Families'. Being a woman of size I'm usually fairly into this kind of reality TV and thought I'd give it a go. I almost wished I hadn't! Above is a pic of the Huzzey family featured in the episode I'm blogging about.
I was somewhat outraged at the presenter, (pictured left) Steve Miller's use of language. His words were something to the tune of 'being a former fatty myself, I'm here to help these people shift their fat'. I couldn't believe it! Personally, I think the word fat should be banned anyway. You could say I'm just being sensitive but please tell me when this word is ever used in a nice way? In the media, amongst friends, family, colleagues, I feel it is always used in a derogatory fashion. Having been bullied for my weight, I can't say that 'fatty' has great memories for me either.
Talking to a friend from my book group, she commented the one time this word is used in a nice way is talking about babies having fat cheeks. I can go with that, considering all the problems we had with poor weight gain with our little one.
Another part of the programme I didn't agree with was their apparent 'shock tactics'. This involved standing each member of the family in swim wear and subjecting them to a harsh scrutiny of their bodies. This was done by waving a camera at close quarters up and down their bodies and confronting them with this negative body image. The Mum broke down and cried, I really felt for her as I really couldn't see how this was supposed to help. For me it should be about encouragement. Steve had said to the Mum earlier - 'I see you as a glamorous woman', to which she clearly responded to in a positive way. But then he ruined it by adding 'but I just think you could be even more glamorous if you lost that weight'. That may be the case but it just seemed so cruel to me.
As a Christian, I know God loves me no matter what I do or what I look like. That doesn't mean I can do what I like, His grace is freely given but it shouldn't be abused. That's another story for another time, but for this point I'm trying to make, I am God's princess and He doesn't look at the outside. He looks at my heart, He sees my potential and what I'm capable of and He lets me get there in my own time. Not like this annoying TV presenter with his 'build 'em up and knock 'em down' attitude.
The above picture was taken on holiday in Spain where they happened to have a light procession. I couldn't resist having my photo taken next to the Princess carriage! It perfectly illustrates who I am in God and I love the analogy of the lights shining out in the darkness. After all, those of us who have that relationship with God, it is what we are called to be to those who don't know Him.
Back to the programme. One last part I really disagreed with is when Steve was explaining how easy it is to lose weight. That all you need to do is eat less and move more, 'it's that simple'. Well, I beg to differ! In my experience, having this knowledge is one thing, doing it is quite another!
Generally, I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet but my downfall is not doing enough exercise and eating too many sweet things day in, day out. I find it very hard to motivate myself in terms of exercise, you have got to be determined when it comes to weight loss. But trying to cut out the sweet things is even harder. At least when you do partake in exercise you get that lovely endorphin rush. But the pleasure I receive from indulging in sweet things means more to me than the product of being slimmer. It really is like an addiction. Plus I think the signals my brain should receive to say I'm full are screwed. Which leads to me still feeling hungry and having to fight the urge to eat more. So to say that losing weight is simple really frustrates me!
However, it can be done. Just know that whatever size you are, you have something to offer to the world. And if you don't know what that is yet, just ask those around you who love you, appreciate you and can give you the encouragement you need.
I welcome any comments on this subject so please feel free to get in touch.
The Huzzey family - ovguide.com
Steve Miller - Radio Times
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My creative journey in discovering my authentic self as a neurodivergent woman.
Embracing the Neuro Spicy! Here you will find many different topics centring around creativity, deep thoughts, mental health, food and more.