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Obesity is NOT your Fault!

Obesity is NOT your Fault!

It is not your fault. 

It is not your fault that you have obesity. You did not choose to have obesity.

 

Then what is it? 

Obesity is a chronic disease. Obesity is a risk factor. Obesity is a symptom. 

Just like diabetes. Just like high blood pressure. Just like high cholesterol. These are all chronic conditions. Even if you follow a perfect diet, workout for 3 hours per day, drink 6 glasses of blended grass clippings and apple cider vinegar, rescue puppies on your lunch hour, talk to a therapist, align your chakras before bed, and manage 8 orgasms a day with the perfect partner, you can still have a chronic disease.

Please note many of the above I do not recommend as a part of a healthy lifestyle, but you hopefully get the point I am going for. Quite frankly all of that sounds f*cking exhausting. I mean 8 orgasms a day? Would sex even be fun anymore at that point? I feel like we need to start treating friction burns as well.

Anywho, when it comes to chronic conditions can our lifestyle affect them? Absolutely. No one is saying they don’t. You can do all kinds of things that are ‘healthy’ which may reduce your risk of developing or help to better manage a chronic condition but at the end of the day the chronic conditions we develop throughout our lives are largely out of your control. Everything from your genetics to the people you hang out with are going to affect your health. Yet when it comes to obesity – we see the individual living in the larger body and we go, ‘it’s your fault. You did this to yourself. You need to put the fork down.’ Does anyone ever say to the patient with cancer, ‘O shit, you have a tumor in your breast? Ya that happened because you started wearing a bra at 14 years old instead of waiting until you were 16 years old.’ Ok typing that out I actually wouldn’t be surprised that some internet troll has actually said that to a patient with cancer, but for those of us who are not emotionally broken we wouldn’t ever say or even think anything like that.

PS. If we were dig deep enough into an internet troll’s past, we would likely find that them being an a*shole is also not their fault. Likely the environment they grew up in and the mental health conditions they are dealing with are major contributors.  

 

Obesity ≠ Cancer

Of course the other internet trolls will be jumping out of their seats to say, ‘Well cancer is different from obesity!’ How is it different? Both are conditions with underlying pathologies that we don’t fully understand that are determined largely by genetics, dysfunctional physiology, environmental exposures etc. Exercise and consuming more whole foods may help to prevent either condition, but again as I highlighted above it is not guaranteed. Neither technically kills you directly. Cancer can grow into your various organs impairing function leading to organ failure, heart attacks, or strokes. In obesity fat tissue in particular visceral fat tissue can lead to fat around the heart which can lead to heart failure. Both are harmful and potentially deadly due to their indirect effects. 

So just because you have cancer or obesity does that mean you are unhealthy?! No. People with both conditions can be perfectly healthy and lead productive fulfilling lives. Not every cancer needs to be cut out and not every person with obesity needs to lose weight. 

In fact, Obesity is defined as an excess amount of fat tissue that POSES a health risk. NOT ALL FAT TISSUE POSES A HEALTH RISK. Furthermore, losing weight does not automatically confer health benefits and even if people do lose weight and experience improved health, is it because of the weight-loss? OR is it because of the behaviours they have started to engage in? Based on the literature you could make an argument for either side or both in particular when we are looking at the extreme ends of the spectrum. 

 

…so, not my choice, right? 

If managing obesity was a choice and all you had to do was eat less and move more you would not have a weight issue. I would not have written this blog. There would be no obesity epidemic and I would likely have gone back to school at this point to be a psychiatrist. 

You are not a failure for not being able to lose weight. As we should show the internet trolls empathy and compassion we need to do the same for ourselves. By no means am I excusing their behaviour but realize they are going through some effed up sh*t that we know nothing about and they are doing the best that they can. 

Obesity is not your fault. Be kind to yourself. 

Sending you my love.

– Dr. Dan

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