TV programme last night


Carpe diem
Did anyone see that programme on TV last night with that big comedian Rick something?

It was basically talking about fat discrimination and how society & designers should be doing something to accomodate a society that is becoming fatter.

What do you think? Do you think companies / councils / designers should be making seats wider? Turnstiles bigger? Loos larger?

My opinion on this (and this may sound contraversial) is no - they shouldn't. You may be surprised to hear me say that when I was almost 22st at my heaviest and found many everyday things such as using a public loo very difficult.

The thing is, I think that finding these situations difficult kept me out of a 'comfort zone' and reminded me every day that I was an unhealthy weight. Tortuous though it was, I was never allowed to settle into my obesity.

If I'd suddenly been accomodated comfortably then maybe I'd never had become sick to the back teeth of being so overweight and maybe I'd have never been pushed into doing something about it.

I am absolutely AGAINST discrimination against people for ANY reason (including their weight) but I think that issues such as the width of bus seats aren't a matter of discrimination but of economics e.g wider seats = fewer seats = fewer passengers = raised fares ... and who wants higher fares?

What do YOU think?
Totally agree with you girl. I do believe that the more accommodating society becomes the more comfortable we will be being overweight.

the main reason i started this diet was because i couldn't get any nice fashionable nice clothes for my size. if i could have maybe, just maybe i wouldn't have got so far in this diet. cos i know now i can find nice fashionable clothes in a size 14/16 i'm quite comfortable and finding it slightly harder to keep going.

none of my reasons for dieting was for health/family life etc etc

Gen x
Really interesting post Debbie

I watched the programme last night too surprised myself by also deciding at the end that bigger seats/turnstiles/theme park rides/toilets etc is NOT the answer. In my opinion it would be ignoring rather than facing the extreme health risks associated with obesity, which is an ever growing epidemic. I know in the USA they have restaurants for "larger" people with extra big chairs etc. and in some ways it seems to be embracing the problem rather than attempting to address it, even though no-one should be made to feel uncomfortable/awkward due to their size.

I work in intensive care and see many people who have an impeded recovery from illness or more complications as a result of their weight, and certainly this has increased since I started nursing 16 years ago. It occured to me that I could end up being one of these people unless I started to make some changes - health implications were definitely among my reasons for losing weight, particularly now that I have children - I want to be around for them, have the energy to do stuff with them, set a good example when it comes to eating habits so that they do not end up with the issues around food I have always had. I find it heartbreaking to see so many very overweight children these days, as I know from experience how miserable it can be and how many different problems it can often bring when its hard enough growing up anyway.

I know it is different, but since the health risks of smoking have been known it has very gradually become harder to indulge with many more smoke free areas in public places and terrifying warnings on cigarette packets (certainly scared me enough to become an ex-smoker!). This would be a much harder issue to address with food as there are so many refined/processed/junk food options available very cheaply (lived off them all for most of my life) that it makes it difficult to make sensible choices and these foods do not come with health warnings.

I totally agree with Debbie in that I could easily have settled into my obesity if things were more "accommodating" and in some ways I am relieved this is not the case.
I saw this programme too, Debbie - and I absolutely agree with you that it would be economically ludicrous for manufacturers/designers to design wider seats to accommodate overweight people. Mind you, I do think Ricky Grover was presenting the programme in rather a 'tongue-in-cheek' manner which I found quite endearing and very entertaining.

However .. I do take issue with High Street fashion stores not stocking larger sizes simply because (and no-one had the guts to admit this) they don't want 'fat' people (ie. anyone over a size 16 usually) seen wearing their clothes. I feel really angry that overweight teenagers are discriminated against in this way - and, in my opinion, this really is discrimination - and are made to feel 'invisible' and less important than their skinnier friends who are able to shop anywhere they like.

And did anyone else feel uncomfortable watching the scenes at the 'Big Person's Club'? I'm not sure I can quite put my feelings into words properly - but it just seemed rather sad to me that this kind of segregation is felt to be necessary just so fat people can go out and enjoy themselves and wear whatever they wanted without feeling that they were being ridiculed by others.
I agree with your post as well Debbie. I have only had a weight problem since returning from living in the US. In 18 months I gained over 5 stone, but didnt really 'see' it as a problem as I blended in.

I must admit that although I have never had a problem myself with such things as seatbelts, rides, turnstiles, I know that if I had not ended the weight gain when I did I would soon have faced this. One of my motiviations was to be able to buy nice fashionable clothes, and I think the fact that I can only shop in one shop helped in that decision, if everyone did size 22 clothes I wouldnt have had the push I needed I dont think.

I felt the programme ignored the health issues associated with obesity to some degree. Weighing 27 stone will never be good for your health, and at some point you will start to develop medical problems because of your weight, by adapting society with bigger toilets makes it harder for people to face the stark reality of needing to lose weight.

I hope Mike (Icemoose) wont mind me saying this but I remember reading his Blog about when he went on the plane to florida and how uncomfortable the seats were and how he struggled to fit in, and then not been able to ride the rides in Disneyland. Same as me not fitting into fashionable clothes. Without these stark realities would we have made the decision to lose weight? I think probably not. If plane seats were made wider and all clothes made bigger it would be easier just to stay as we were.

On the other hand the part about how many employers have said they would not employ fat people was appalling. No-one should be discriminated against for any reason including their weight. And whilst I am of the opinion that changing things to make life easier is not the answer, I also think there are changes needed to rid discrimination.

Finally....there was a later programme about the 34 stone teenager who had weight loss surgery. She was 19, 5'6 and decided to have surgery done. I myself dont know a great deal about surgery, but I thought to myself how glad I was to find VLCD. In the first 6 weeks she lost 2st 4lbs which was a brilliant achievement, but she risked her life to do that with the operation, and I was quite surprised that the results appear to be similar to weight loss on VLCD. But she felt it was the right thing for her and good luck to her with her weightloss.

Enough said from me I think.

I more or less agree with the above. However, no-one CHOOSES to be morbidly obese - I certainly didn't. I didn't eat junk food, and didn't binge or pig out at all. I was nearly 22 stone, like Debbie. I could hardly walk, was in constant pain, my BP was sky high, and I just didn't know what to do. My carb intake was low anyway, and yet, my BMI was 55. All the medical advice I had seemed useless to me, I felt I knew more than they did about nutrition. I felt hopeless. Lighter Life & Cambridge were the answer for me, they have allowed me to step back from all food and re assess my attitudes and needs. I wish I'd known about Cambridge years ago.
Now I am focussed on being in the 2% (how do they KNOW that??) of people who keep the weight off, and this is what I want all WeMitts to do eventually.
In the end, we have to make friends with our demons, we have to live in the world of food again. We CAN do it, we'll show the world that MOST WeMitts keep their new slim figures. Yes, it will be difficult, but we'll help eachother, as we always have done.
Ann x
hiya Texasgirl

i watched the 34 stone teenager also and all the way through just wanted to tell her about VLCD because like you realised that the weight loss of the huge surgery she had was very similar to on a VLCD. It was very sad to see her at the end where her emotional problems were really getting her down. there really is no quick answer is there!!

Gen xx
Okay! no one wants to be fat and I who was slim for years never in my wildest dreams did I think it could happen to me and it did!!!

In a perfect world we would all be slim and healthy and happy...Dream on!

People who end up obese or morbidly obese like myself get there because on the inside there is a lot of emotional crap going on that is too painful to deal and I wore it in the form of a fat suit...

Some people wear it on their arms with needle marks.

Some people work themselves away from their families.

Some people shove it up their nose.

Some people climb mountains, jump off bridges or play golf etc.

We all find a way to survive and our coping is manifest in our drug of choice that we use to remove us from our own realities...

The thing about discrimination is that once you start where does it end....

There is over 300 million people in the world with this problem and some like myself will find a way back and some won't...I say, there but for the Grace of God go I.

In a healthy society we accomodate all people, size, shape and form.

Love Mini xxx
Long and rambling post - avoid if easily bored

I am a food addict - I always have been and I always will be. This addiction caused me to peak at at least 22 stones (I was probably more at some point but never had scales that weighed that high) I was getting to the point that even Evans largest size didn't fit and I had nowhere else to shop and as I can't sew/knit etc for toffee I was wearing shirts which were nothing short of raggedy in that they were at least 8 years old but I had nothing else to wear.
I have been shooed out of "normal" shops by snooty assistants saying they have nothing in my size (I wasn't buying for me but my size 10 friend), I have had to ask for a seatbelt extender on a plane and been unable to pull the meal tray down, I have been unable to get thru turnstiles at football/rugby grounds/underground stations etc., chairs have given way beneath me, I've been unable to sit in restaurant booths, I could go on and on BUT at all of these times I never felt I was being discriminated against any more than I feel I'm discriminated against because I can't reach the high shelves at libraries/supermarkets/my kitchen etc! Those often highly embarrasing and humiliating experiences were simply a consequence of my obesity and not I felt/feel a result of discrimination.
Perhaps I was too mired in my own misery at being super morbidly obese to notice it as discrimination, or more likely I didn't want to attract any attention to myself as my self esteem was already rock bottom and extremely fragile. I can certainly state categorically that none of those experiences made me feel bad enough to want to lose weight. I already felt like sh*t and wanted desperately to lose weight but didn't know where to start.
This next bit doesn't show me in a good light at all but it's maybe all the more shocking cos it's TRUE -
A little over a year ago I was taking my son to his trampolining class at the local sports centre. As we walked in I noticed a woman coming towards us - she was grossly fat, had no neck, hardly any facial features, scraggly hair, badly fitting clothes. My first instinct was disgust and I immediately made small minded, nasty assumptions about her intelligence, morals and social status! As I got nearer to her I realised it was my reflection - I was looking at myself, I had automatically discriminated against myself. That really shocked me and bothered me an awful lot, firstly that that was what I looked like (I've eschewed cameras/mirrors etc for years) and secondly that I could be so judgemental even when I knew I was fat too.
Knowing that I was discriminating aginst fat people and realising that other people most definitely were doing so against me was soul destroying but I didn't know what to do, I'd tried every diet known to man, even indulged in dodgy practises that I won't go into here, but had done pretty much everything I could think of to lose weight. I knew that I couldn't go to WW or SW as I was running out of time to lose this weight and the thought of losing 1 or 2lbs a weeks for the next 3 years made me feel even more desperate. I thank God/my friend who told me about LL/the inventors of CD/my CDC/ everyone whose posts I read or posted on here and DHH/all the friends I've made thru the boards/my shrink/my ever-patient friends and family who put up with me being a VLCD bore, that I discovered CD and it worked for me. This isn't the lightest I've been in my life but for the FIRST time ever I appreciate wearing size 12 trousers - I'd love to lose more and fit size10 but if I don't it's not the end of the world and I'm not a failure because of it.

So, do I think fat people are discriminated against NOW - yes I do.
Do I think it is right - NO.
Should we be looking to accomodate them more in society? - yes, why not, everyone deserves to be treated fairly. And in the same vein I think the health service should be more empathetic and less judgemental about obesity issues - 95% of which, IMO, are psycholgical issues and should be treated as such. If I took drugs or smoked I'm pretty sure I'd be offered a hell of a lot more support if I asked for help from my GP than when, as a super morbidly obese person, I asked for help, I was told to "eat less" D'uhhh - think I'd figured that already I just didn't know HOW to do it! Cutting food out of the equation was precisely what I needed when I started CD.
I wonder whether new drugs/stomach surgery etc are chosen as the "easy" way out - a physical barrier to over-eating when really what I needed was to understand WHY I feel compelled to eat and WHAT I can do to fight this addiction. I wholeheartedly agree with you Mini when you say that lots of people have demons which manifest themselves in many ways.
In my opinion the best way forward for society as a whole is to be as all inclusive as possible, to treat everyone fairly (not equally - fairly) and to respect the life choices made by others, even if we don't agree with them. I believe that bullying/nagging/taxing people into submission doesn't work, those that are able to help themselves will do so when the time is right for them and those that are not able to help themselves are to be pitied for their lives are hard enough.
Sorry to go on, but I needed to get this off my chest:confused:
Thank you AKB for your wonderful post, for I am so moved by your honesty, compassion, understanding and humility.

Love Mini xxx
AKB, you put your heart into that one didn't you? Your experiences and honesty really show that the life of a very overweight person can be pretty miserable. However you have sorted yourself out and you deserve the applause. However if you hadn't you would still have deserved to be treated with kindness and understanding and That is what is lacking.OK, some people can cope with being big and can even be happy(if you believe it, which I don't) but most people want to change and they need help to do it. I have found this forum the biggest help ever and am lucky to have found it. It is great to be able to talkabout these difficult issues with folk who understand. Do I think chairs etc.. should be made bigger? No not really, but I hate to think of people suffering just because they don't conform to the 'right' size or shape. Humiliation is a ghastley thing and most people on this site have experienced it at some point. Did it push them into dieting? No, generally it sends us straight to the biscuit tin. I think that there should be loads mor free support for people and lots more information available. I had no idea that VLCD still existed until I found this site. I cannot understand people risking their lives to have surgeery when there are other answers out there.
Hi Barb,

There is this place I go to and they have seats and one type of seat I could not sit in as it was too small and I got stuck in it one day, so I am all for bigger seats:)

I think showers should be bigger and beds in hotels, some have started but I feel more could be done in this area.

Also fashion is dreadful for the larger woman and this is something I would like to see a change in and that the clothes are more affordable.

Love Mini xxx
Thanks Mini and "Hear Hear" Barb - I did say I'm a lot of a VLCD bore now!
Barb, you are sooooo right when you say we should all be treated fairly and obese people aren't. Oddly, I had to lose weight before I realised that fact! I think society sees obesity as a self indulgent choice by lazy slobby people who choose to abuse their bodies in this way. Yet alcoholism/drug abuse is often seen as a "disease" (I don't want to get into that debate right now) and the sufferers are to be pitied and helped as much as possible. In many ways those people are seen as victims and they can't help themselves but the obese are different. It seems to be fashionable now to blame the society's problems on obese people - we are the Labour government's latest whipping boy.
I have never met a single person who is happy being obese, I used to pretend I was and I'd make jokes at my own expense before anyone else did but it was my personal protection system. If there are fat and happy people out there then good for them - I'm pleased for them and I admire their self confidence - wish I'd had more.
Since I found CD I've become really evangelical and want to tell everyone but I know every time my friends or family would "help" me by telling me about some diet/exercise regime etc or comment on my size, I'd turn to food and eat my feelings into oblivion. So I say nothing until someone asks me and then I don't shut up:D
Like you I'm convinced that this site and DHH and the friends I've made on my journey have been invaluable - it is so helpful to talk to people who really know what I'm going thru and where I'm coming from. There was nothing lonelier or more irritating to be the fattest person by miles at Rosemary Conley/SW/WW and to stand next to a stick thin woman who was fretting about gaining half a pound over Christmas!!
I'm not decrying her anguish - I'm sure she was just as bit upset about her weight as I was, I just knew she'd never understand my issues. I was completely at sea when the leader would say "Imagine wearing that size 10 little black dress at Christmas ladies" I couldn't remember or imagine wearing a size 20 big black dress let alone a size 10 - she might as well have asked me to imagine having a mermaid's tail or to imagine living on the moon - both are completely alien concepts to me and as such, unimaginable.
I agree with you about the help and support for those of us with "disordered eating" and I know that no amount of removing my stomach/gastric banding etc would make me prefer celery to chocolate. I'd still eat it - it would just take me longer. The 34stone teen, Bethany Walton, is to be applauded because she took control and made a decision. Personally I think she was ill advised and would have done better to go on a VLCD and get psych. help for her addiction. 4 months on, she's still being sick and has lost no more than any equally obese person doing a VLCD properly would expect to lose. Plus there seems to be no dietary regime in place to ensure she's getting a nutritionally complete diet. I hope it works for her and as her stomach is much smaller she is probably less likely to go backwards and regain weight. My chances of recidivism are probably somewhere around the 98% likely which is a sobering and depressing thought. Perhaps it is when we've achieved our goal we should have our stomachs removed to lessen this????
Anja and I have had a thread going for yonks which is entitled "need to be careful forever" because we will, forever, simple as:(
Fantastic posts Ailsa and I agree with everything you've said ... you're story echos mine so closely that I could have written an almost identical account of my own tortuous existance (because it was an existance and not a life) before I began to lose weight.

However, I still don't think that wholesale accommodation of the obese would help the situation: in fact it might inflame matters even more with overweight people being demonised even further by so-called 'normal' society because of the extra expense EVERYONE would have to bear in adapting the multitude of areas the obese find difficult to negotiate.

Far better that resources be channelled into proper help in dealing with the real issues behind obesity instead of the same old rhetoric churned out by doctors i.e 'eat less: exercise more.' (as if we didn't already KNOW that!) There needs to be a properly structured system of counselling and advice on a variety of weight loss methods because as we all know, 'one size doesn't fit all' when it comes to losing weight. There needs to be support both 1-2-1 and in groups: no-one feels motivated being sent out of the doctors surgery with a flea in their ear and a diet sheet in their hand. That approach is NEVER going to work!
What we have at the moment is nothing short of a travesty with overweight people flailing about in a NHS wasteland of non-help and criticism.
If the Government want to see a turnabout in the rising obesity levels then they're going to have to change their whole approach.

Right - I'll climb down off my soap-box and go and do the dinner :)
You are so right Debbie, it is no good expecting people to make major changes to their lifes without offering them the help to do it. The support available to people with anorexia is there now, I know it is never enough but it is there. For bulimia, there is a recognised medical approach. For the obese - it's a casual expectation that they must get on with it or die young! No other medical problem is treated with sicuh derision. Right, I'll join you off the soapbox now Debbie!
Hmmmm, I see where you are coming from with the wholesale accommodation to the obese but I don't think it'll ever happen - unless market forces come into play and quite frankly I can't see enough obese people having the front to stand up and be counted - sadly most of us want to remain as invisible as possible and not make a fuss - I'd have put up (I often did) with any amount of personal discomfort rather than complain to MacDonald's that their booths are too small. I was embarrassed/unhappy enough with myself without handing my self esteem on a plate to some rail thin jobsworth for them to poke about at it and demean myself even further. Maybe if there are more Ricky Grovers our position would be strengthened. Do you know I can remember years ago attending a Weight Watchers class where you had to stand in the "PigPen" if you'd gained weight - and these classes were supposed to help us!!!!!

As for the costs, society already has, by law, to make dispensations for the physically disabled et al - look at the new legislation about shop access to those in wheelchairs, material in braille for the blind, hearing induction loops for the deaf etc. Plus all the multilingual translation of official forms/signs etc. I'm unaware of there being a big backlash against the users of these costly services - Sadly, I think the fat are seen to "have brought it on themselves" and so deserve no public sympathy - plus we're too fat to run away when the brickbats come flying;) Let's face it, most fat people don't want to be fat, we want to be normal - whether for vanity or health reasons - that's why we're both on here and doing Cambridge, so it stands to reason that we are unlikely to identify with the fat lobby.

I think you are bang on target about the support and help and I think it needs to be spread wider and start earlier and encompass the food industry etc. At the risk of making a sweeping generalisation, kids don't do cookery as a matter of course in school, nutrition isn't taught, poor quality food is too freely available and we're all buying it and thinking "Great - a tin of beans only costs 7pence" when we should be thinking - what are they putting in these and what are they not putting in these to make these so cheap? Why is it I can buy a cake, all iced and boxed up, way, way cheaper than I can buy the ingredients to make it? It's not all to do with economies of scale but a lot of it is to do with the cheap, unlisted cr*p that is substituted for wholesome ingredients. Cheap, additive filled foods, advertised to children to harness pester power (take the Dairlyea advert - their fatty processed cheese is "great for giving them calcium" - yeah and how much fat?? and why more salt per 100g than the Atlantic Ocean???) are stoking the fires of this obesity timebomb.
Well, I for one am making a stand and am buying and making my own foods from now on! I've made chicken nuggets, onion rings, pizzas (including the dough and pomodoro sauce) and a cake today for my son. We had fun making them together and used wholemeal flour/fruit sugar etc. OK, so I could have made even healthier options (which he wouldn't have eaten) and in a really wierd way it helped me not mind so much about SSing - cos I sooo miss my food and after almost a year on CD can still eat for England and win the gold medal:eek:

Cambridge has given me a second chance to live, not just exist (I hear you Debbie!!) and this time round I'm going to do my best to respect this body of mine - baggy and saggy like ol' BagPuss it may be. I really detest that Gillian McKeith, she irritates every bone in my body, but it's a very true maxim - "You are what you eat!"

Blimey, this is some high horse I'm on now - I've even missed Corrie cos I'm so fired up with VLCD evangelical zeal, too bad that people have to be ready to listen and not just hear to get the message!
I'll shut up now, promise (can you tell I'm not at work and am missing the adult company:eek:? ).....
Bless you! I just feel very passionate about this VLCD topic and would love to see everyone knowing about them and having more choices! You and I both know how good it feels right now - I just wish more people could too!
i watched it as well and agree with everyone that they shouldnt change things because like others if they had I wouldnt have felt more compelled to lose the weight!
I do think though they should have more choice in clothes as I always found it such a nightmare to get anything that looked nice although evans have improved a lot recently.
I think alton towers are good in having the size of the seat for the ride outside the queue to test as it must be horrible to queue up for hours to find you cant fit. I think that was a good thing. x
and as for discrimintation well dont get me started! I got enough stares and abuse at 20 stone so I cant imagine how awful it is for people bigger than that.
The thing that gets me so mad is if you see an anorexic person people feel sorry for them, ok they stare but they are thinking to themselve ahh poor girl but then a 20 stone women walks past and they think eurgh what a slob. So whats the differance? They both have the same problem! an eating disorder just a differant ends of the scale. You dont often find people laughing and pointing at skinny girls do you? it makes me so mad!!! (not that i want anyone to laugh and point at them either but you know what i mean!!)