Are fat people just lazy?

There is a woman, I’m not even going to give her google hits by trying to find out what her name is, who claims that overweight people are just lazy. To prove her statement, she gained weight and then lost everything again. There is one very big flaw in her thinking process: the mind!

My statement is that losing a big amount of weight (and keep it off) is not so much about learning how to eat healthy or adopt an active lifestyle. It is foremost a psychological process. We’re going to explore this more, but let me first tell you something about my own experiences.

As you can read in my weight loss story, I started becoming overweight when I was a child. I was put on cycle of eatingdiets and as a child, I would rebel against it and buy candy secretly. Being overweight brought me a lot of negative emotions, but also negative attention (and a lack of positive attention). The popular and skinny girl in school got the boys, the fat girl was bullied. I started to have negative feelings about myself, not feeling worthy and guess what: food was there for me, it helped me cope and feel better. Shortly though, because after eating a lot of bad food I would feel disgusted by myself and angry at myself because I did this, making me feel negative again and the whole cycle of negative feelings and eating starts again. This became such a fixed pattern in my life, that though I tried diets and exercise, it never changed the way I thought about myself and in that way, the cycle of negative feelings leading to eating. So, it didn’t matter how much weight I lost during those attempts, it always came back to bite me in the behind. Society doesn’t help either, by bullying and the bad image fat people have. So how did it change for me? First of all, I started working and after studying for so many years, it really gave me an accomplished and proud feeling. It helped that I started working in psychiatry. Most of my work wasn’t related to this, but knowing more about how the mind works, really helped me to see it more clearly. I also felt very loved by colleagues and coworkers, which helped my journey even more by feeling that you are good as you are. What helped me the most, is not feeling mad at myself anymore. I’m human, I make mistakes and I can feel guilty about that, but hey, why beating yourself down? It doesn’t help a bit and it only makes things worse. There are also a lot of other aspects of looking at your diet, I’ll talk about that in another post.

Accept-what-is-quoteSo, when I look at this problem in general, I might say that self love and self acceptance is very important in a weight loss journey. But how do you do it? Because, yeah, you want to change, want to become fit and healthy, so you cannot accept and love yourself right now… Or can you? Can’t you love yourself for being so courageous to take this step? Self love is much more than just saying I love myself. It’s being kind for yourself, not beating yourself down after a mistake, finding yourself important enough to take care of, or accepting you have a flaw.

So, I started this story with the woman who says fat people are lazy. For me, it’s easy to talk about my own story, because I broke my own cycle. It is not easy though, to break that cycle! It takes a lot of time and insight, and also the knowledge that this is the problem. So, for everybody who thinks losing weight and getting fit is easy, I’m telling you: yes, everybody can eat less and exercise more, but that is not the issue! The issue is in the mind and please, let us all be more kind to each other, it can make a huge difference in somebody else’s life, and in yours too!

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50 thoughts on “Are fat people just lazy?

  1. Very sensitive and insightful post. We really can’t help everyone, try as we might, but we can certainly help ourselves by writing out our thoughts and being vulnerable to change as you did here this morning. You are spot on about the addiction cycle and about breaking it. I am learning new things about weight gain and if you have access to it where you live Id advise you to purchase the book “Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes. I won’t say more except to say that what we have all been told about weight gain has been unhelpful, obviously, because so many people are helpless to stop it. They aren’t all lazy or gluttons. No one wants to be fat so thinking its a problem of willpower or anything but inevitable in western society is a counterproductive idea. If you can’t get the book for the next few days I will be blogging about it at dcarmack.com. Keep up the fight.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Not at all. Fat people are struggling with body image, lack of confidence, lack of self-worth- being lazy does not even feature when there is so much emotional damage already.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I totally agree! I watched both parts of her programme and was impressed when she started showing some actual sympathy towards people stuck in the cycle you’re talking about. Although she’ll never fully understand how it feels because she’s never been in the cycle properly, I’m glad she realised how hard it is to lose weight.

    She is right when she says that to lose weight, people need to eat less and move more, but it’s bloody hard to do that sometimes and I know that from experience!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am so sorry people still think it’s okay to say things like “people who are overweight are lazy.” You would think that ignorant comments such as those would eventually stop being said…. Good post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well said! Its so much more than diet and exercise. I know that from my own journey. If it was easy, noone would have weight issues. Anyone who has truly struggled with their weight can probably tell you that its so much more than what you eat and when you exercise.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My aunt (my grandpa’s sister) has that way of thinking. She used to be a VERY big woman in her young years and lost her weight, so now she thinks anyone who can’t lose their weight is just “lazy and pathetic”. She’s a terribly mean woman in almost every respect, though. :/
    I have that self-hating circular behavior too….and acceptance is very hard. I can’t stand the way I look and sometimes that translates into just giving up and eating a loaf of bread. Its not pretty.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. You can give someone all the dietary advice in the world, buy them a gym membership, but the thing is, the person has to want to change.

    We’ve been trying to help a family member out, one who really needs to urgently lose weight for health reasons. They’re simply not interested.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Day 12 – Who I Am Kidding? …Myself! | Who I Want to Be

  9. Another excellent post, Floordeboor. I used to struggle with that stereotype. I called myself lazy when I didn’t want to move. It was not until 2011 that I realized I was Not Lazy. After listening to a fit person whine about how helping a friend move a washing machine up flights of stairs made him to tired to do anything the rest of the day, a light went on in my brain. I went online and looked up weights of typical washing machines. Some were 134 pounds, others 150 pounds. I decided that the average weight was about 145 pounds. How would a 130 pound person feel if they had to carry around a washer 24 hours a day, nonstop, for weeks, months and even years. Would they be called lazy if they made the decision to sit on the sofa instead of walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes (with that washer on their back)? Hmm…..I think I will put what I just typed on My Blog. I would also like to reblog your post on mine. I hope you don’t mind. A lot of people will find it very inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. People like who you are writing about irritate me to no end. Myself, I am 260. I “move” 6 days a week (training for triathlons and running events). There is nothing … NOTHING … lazy about me, and I’d like to compare my training schedule to hers (whoever said it). There is a HUGE misconception (I think I even read it in one of the comments) that all you have to do is “eat less and move more”. This is NOT true and has been shown in numerous studies to NOT be true. It’s a common belief and something most people cling to as if life itself depends on it. Weight is lost in the kitchen, not the gym. You can work out 7 days a week and not lose an ounce if you’re eating is not on track, but you get the food right (whatever that means for YOU) you’ll lose weight regardless. Stop eating Low Fat processed crap … cut out the processed sugar and carbs … eating whole natural food, and you will lose weight. It’s a pretty simple concept. Some people can deal with carbs better than others. If it is a natural carb or sugar source (i.e. potato, fruit) than you should be fine.

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  11. I can only say well done you !
    I too was a fat child; but I wasn’t so much bullied as made gentle fun of. Never had a day without being self-conscious about my weight – not one. I have what’s called ‘a strong personality’ and am no longer made fun of, nor have been for YEARS.
    But I doubt I have ever, EVER ! loved myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Weightlifting 101 | Floordeboor

  13. Well said and I totally agree.

    Having had weight issues all of my life I can relate to a lot of what you experienced. Oddly enough and for reasons I really can’t explain (though i have a feeling it might be because I wasn’t by any means the most overweight person in school at the time, though there was no mistaking that I was overweight), I wasn’t the target of bullying in highschool so I was spared that experience. It wasn’t until adulthood that I experienced my first “fat” insult, which was in passing by a group of drunk guys coming out of a club. Needless to say I was mortified.

    So many people think they’re experts on weight loss (as well as every other possible subject) simply because they view the world as black and white and don’t realise that the issue of weight loss and weight gain is more complex than “i eat too much therefore i am fat”. If that were the case then those skinny people (that we all hate lol) who eat fast food virtually every day, who never exercise and yet never put on weight would be fat too, but they’re not.

    Who is this moron you speak of? I want to read the ignorant, ill-informed crap she is posting. >.<

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so glad you posted this. I used to be quick to judge all sorts of behaviours and conditions as laziness — obesity included. Now, after learning a lot more about motivational psychology and learning to care enough to listen to people, I realise the story’s not nearly as black and white. I’m actually at the point (as of about April/May last year) that I’ve gone entirely the other direction, and have started seriously questioning if laziness is even a legitimate concept. I think “lazy” is a moral judgement that tends to dissolve when we understand why people aren’t behaving the way we think they should.

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  15. Breaking the cycle is the most important thing. Unfortunately you are correct when you write about the negative thought process only serving to keep the cycle going. It hard thing for anyone without this kind of experience to understand. Katie Hopkins could do with walking a few miles in my head not just my shoes and she might start to understand. All she did was prove that you can put on weight and then lose it when it is not part of your long term lifestyle. She did this for attention and made comments to bolster her exposure. She is simply a media whore who really should not be given column inches.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well said. It is really hard to break any cycle (any smokers here?), especially when it has comforted you so much throughout life. But what makes this battle even harder for me at least, is that I can’t even imagine being thin and healthy. I lost 5,8 kg over the last three months, which I’m really proud of. But I’m still obese, that hasn’t changed a bit yet.

    This woman you’re talking about, she had just been thin a couple of month (or weeks even?) before she got herself fat. It’s easier to lose weight if you have a clear image in your mind of what you will look and feel like in the end. But let’s face it, most of us who are overweight, haven’t had this experience for years, if ever. So how can this goal motivate us, when we don’t even remember how it feels to be healthy? It takes some real powerful inner strength, and the ability to feel blessed with every baby step you take. To find and keep that inner strength, that’s not lazy, that’s really hard work!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is such a well-written post! I understand exactly what you are talking about, and couldn’t have put it better myself. I am trying to lose weight at the moment (though the reasons why are questionable) and this post came at a very good time for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Self pittying fools..get a life,take responsability your weak (i,m a male single parent also and there the same, whingers) most not all but most are fat because you are lazy..we all know dozens in blighty..,

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  19. The “fat people are lazy” stereotype could largely be due to a psychological effect. Meaning, if you have relationships with several people who *are* overweight but who are at least average as far as being hard-working, you probably don’t think anything of it. But…as soon as you get your button pushed by a single fattie who’s a noticeable shirker, well, there you go, all “those people” are that way, you know?

    That said, I’ve never had much contact with anyone with a serious weight issue until just the last couple years. I work on a project (and sit next to) a portly guy who definitely pushes my buttons. Example: He comes in late, works for maybe 30-45 minutes, disappears for 45 minutes to get some lunch, then eats the lunch (noisily), messages with friends and/or family on and off throughout the day (it’s easy to tell from the next cube what’s messaging & what’s working). In the afternoon he works for perhaps an hour or two, and hey presto! He’s ready to go home. And he’s forever making these moaning & groaning & yawning noises as though he’s soooo tired and he’s working soooo hard. But the thing is, he *never* wants to talk about work. He doesn’t ask questions, there’s no enthusiasm to learn about the work we do, nada, zero. And it’s clear he doesn’t absorb the concepts behind the tasking–he wants to do everything by rote and not have to think. He’s been doing the same stuff for about 3 years, and when I ask him pretty basic questions, he’s clueless. The way it looks to me is that he does the absolute minimum, and then he figures he’s entitled to check out. (It bugs the hell out of me that he’s frequently talking about the classes he’s been taking and all the stuff he’s been learning. Why the f*&k won’t he learn anything at work??!?)

    So I guess I’m on both sides of this question.

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  20. For an interesting look at the cycle you graphed out, take a look at “I Don’t Want To, I Don’t Feel Like It”, by Cheri Huber & Ashwini Narayanan. I love their books (this is only one of them)! They make so much sense to me, so I keep returning to them again and again. Wonderful stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for liking my blog so that I could find yours. This was your first post that I’ve read and I love it! I’ve struggled with my own weight for a variety of reasons. I was fit as a child and teenage, mostly because I was so active riding horses, showing pigs and doing chores in the barn. When I went to college, I didn’t have those things in my life anymore, and it was a struggle emotionally and physically. It wasn’t that I was lazy – I just didn’t have the opportunity to do what I’d been doing the last ten years of my life and I was lost. My horses and animals were my emotional touchstones and without them, I was…drifting. Couple that with the terribly unhealthy food they offered in the cafeteria at the time and I was soon packing on the freshman 15. I’d lose a little over the summer only to gain it back and more once I was back at school. I’d avoid social situations because I was uncomfortable about how I looked, then be sad and hurt and console myself with eating. It is a vicious cycle that is all to easy to fall in to without even realizing it. I went to the gym every day and worked out like a fiend, but really didn’t know how to eat healthy or lose weight because it had never been a problem for me before. So when what I tried didn’t work, I got discouraged and felt even more lost, and yes the cycle continued.

    Fast forward twenty years…I am still overweight, but have made some great health changes in the last several months. I love myself and don’t let what other people think of me stop me from doing things I love. I still get insecure from time to time, but I’ve surrounded myself with people who love me. You are so right in that self-acceptance plays a huge part in weight loss. Now, I’m focusing on being healthy, not on losing weight. And it’s made a huge difference in how I approach my health and my future. Can’t wait to read more!

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