Obesity: It's Time for A New Attitude

posted Aug 7, 2016, 9:43 AM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Aug 7, 2016, 9:44 AM ]
I often encounter judgment when it comes to people who are obese. In fact, I suspect they are among the most judged in society today. I think the top comment I've heard again and again from people is: "How could anyone let themselves get to that point?"
There are any number of factors that can lead to obesity, including some medications, which can make you gain weight. So can specific medical conditions such in as Derek Mitchell's case in the video below. Psychological and emotional issues can play a role, too, as can addictions to things such as on-line gaming, which leads to sitting for hours on end, likely reaching for unhealthy snacks to keep us going. We don't know what each other is truly dealing with. Each person has a unique story and likely a combination of life factors that resulted in his or her condition. Prevention may not be as simple as you may think in some cases, nor is losing the weight and keeping it off.

"Yeah, but still..." I encourage you to throw that thought out the window. It comes with a judge's gavel and if you're talking about or to a friend or relative who's obese, that doesn't help the person. It's time to turn our
thinking around.
A friend of mine in his 20's decided to get his weight under control a few years ago and went to a gym. He was ridiculed because of his size and someone approached him during his workout and asked what he was doing there. Good grief. He was there trying to take control of his health. He was there to make positive changes. If health clubs are only for the fit, then where's the hope for those who are overweight or obese?

Thankfully, attitudes are starting to change, but I think there will always be those who will judge by what their eyes tell them. It's human nature to immediately jump to a negative conclusion when we see someone who's obese, but we can counteract this by choosing positive actions. I can't imagine the struggles someone like Derek has gone through and still goes through as he improves his situation. I'm sure he encounters harsh stares and rude comments. But that's not deterring him. I love the shot of him reaching a hand out to a lady on the pathway and she responds by reaching out in kind and slapping his hand on the way by. Derek's journey is inspiring others - he's 60 lbs down and counting, and others are following in his footsteps. Next time you see someone like Derek walking in the park, go offer a high-five, an encouraging word, or a genuine smile. Make it an encounter that inspires him or her to keep going... not to give up. Derek's long-term goal is to lose a total of 400 lbs - it's well within the realm of possibility. Watch his story here: