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Perceptions, opinions and why everyone has one... (even if it is WRONG)

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I am a cooking show junkie. Probably not the best thing for a girl waging war on her fat and going for WLS. In fact, I did try to stop watching them. But I am hooked. Now I just try to get ideas and figure ways to make a version that I can enjoy. (without guilt) Anyway, getting off topic. I was watching one of my cooking shows the other night. It was the end of the show when they run the spoiler for the next show. It is getting down to the wire of contestants and things are getting heated. Then they show a clip of one contestant speaking of the other and she says "Time for that COW to go!" And there you have it. I was shocked. Not at the fact she said it , no. The girl is the "Barbie" of the show. Tall, thin, young, blonde and beautiful. The woman she was speaking of is a bit older, a single mom. Very middle America type, heavy set. Now the second woman can be a total witch when she wants, which is often. But the fact the "pretty" girl referred to her as a cow...Where is the moral outrage? Why haven't I seen news reports about another show having bigoted contestants? Another popular show has been the topic of all kinds of reports for the contestants being racist and bigots. So why is nothing being said about this clip? I will tell you why. Because weight / fat bashing is the last acceptable form of bigotry left in the United States. When someone uses racial slurs most of us get offended because we know it is wrong. When someone is discriminated against for their religion or sexual preference it is wrong. Yet many, MANY people still find it perfectly acceptable to use a person's weight as a form of ridicule or to discriminate against them. When the girl said "cow" to reference the other lady, she was making a comment about her size. Instead she could have made a remark that is about her personality, but no. ( She could have said b*tch and been completely correct) This person went right to the slur that would hurt the worst. And as an overweight (ok, obese) American I was very disgusted by it. But I will also be the first to admit I am conditioned by it. And I think that every person who struggles with their weight is in the same boat. Even those who practice "fat acceptance", who claim to be fat and proud. I think deep inside, in the core of our souls we are all hurt by any mention of our weight. It is such a tricky and delicate subject. A lot of people get heavy because they eat too much and do too little. A lot of people have emotional issues that contribute. A lot of people have medical problems that have lead to excess weight issues. Our country has a growing population of obesity, yet we all (to some degree) consider thinner people the "norm". An average weight adult is no longer the common folk, they are the exception. Yet fat bashing runs rampant. That is a fact I just cannot wrap my head around. I guess if I really put thought into it I come up with the analogy of comparing heavy people who fat bash to black people saying the "N" word. It is wrong. It hurts. It is a trigger that strikes at the very heart of the person it is unleashed on. Yet someone who IS that uses the term... well somewhere in our psyche we believe if we say it then we deflect it. It isn't me, it bounces off. I am not what I say. It is the only thing I can justify it with. But I think the constant ridicule conditions us to be defensive. We tear ourselves down just the same. I have seen a lot of recent chatter about how people deal with questions about their weight loss. Most of the posts have been very defensive and negative. It is a topic no obese person wants to discuss, unless it is on our terms. I have seen folks say how a coworker would ask about their weight loss and they thought that person was rude and nosey. Really? Put the shoe on the other foot a moment. If you knew someone wouldn't you be at least curious ( if not concerned) if they suddenly lost a lot of weight? I am a compassionate person by nature. I would want to know if that person was ok, was anything wrong. I would want to help them if they needed help, and support them if it was something they wanted. So if people ask me about my weight loss I plan to be very open about it. I understand there are a lot of people who are against WLS. They have the misconception that "diet and exercise" is all you need to be healthy. For some, yes. But my diet and exercise needs help. I blame tv and media for the wrong attitudes. All the extreme weight loss shows that are not really reality. My reality doesn't allow me to put my life on hold for x amount of time so I can hole up with a personal trainer and dietician. I cannot fit in 5 hours a day to work out. I don't have a $1000 gift card to buy all my healthy food and fresh produce. These kind of shows ingrain the idea that diet and exercise will melt the weight in no time, so we must just be lazy or happy being fat. People will have their opinions. I have learned to live my truth and let them believe as they will. I know I can't change attitudes like that, so why fight and try? At the same time I do not have shame for my choice. I am not going to lie. And if asked, I will be honest. Because when it all boils down I know I am being true to me. And maybe my truth will somehow influence someone. I do know I am raising my daughter to be one less fat basher in the world. At the end of the day everyone matters.

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