I see fat people every day… we all do. What goes through your mind? Maybe you see one when you go to the store or your local park. Maybe you see one when you look in the mirror. I could be politically correct and use terms like “obese” or “overweight.” But I’m not a very politically correct type of person. I call things like they are. The truth is, I’m the opposite of a fat person. I’m a skinny person… a VERY skinny person… TOO skinny. I am thrilled to keep my weight above the 100 lb mark. You know, when I go to the doctor, and they have to use the big weight on that scale – the one that says 100. I get excited.
We all have thoughts/judgments when we look at other people. We can’t help but notice the size of a person. So, what are your thoughts when seeing people of different sizes?
My thoughts have changed dramatically over the past couple of years.
It used to be that if I had a fat friend, the friend would constantly make comments when we were together such as, “How do you stay so skinny?” or “I wish I looked like you” or other comments that showed they felt insecure with their appearance. I often felt that they were fishing around for some reassurance that I wasn’t thinking horrible thoughts about them. I never understood this at the time. I used to think to myself, “Who cares? We are different sizes. So what? I don’t think any less of you. It’s just that our genes are different. We were dealt different hands in life. Somehow I got the skinny genes and you didn’t. Seems so unfair. I feel sorry for you because there’s nothing you can do about it.” I never verbalized those thoughts, but that was how I viewed it at the time.
I felt very lucky to be able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. In fact, a fat friend and I could sit down and eat the exact same meal, but I wouldn’t gain weight and he/she would. Why? I just figured it was genes. It was just the way it was.
So, how do I view things now? Well, I can tell you one thing for sure. I still don’t have an ounce of judgment within me. That part hasn’t changed. It’s a fact that two people can eat the same meal and have different results when it comes to the scale. I’ve always known that it couldn’t be solely based on what we were eating. If it was, I should have weighed 2 tons! What I didn’t understand is that genes are only a small piece of the puzzle.
The latest research is unlocking some fascinating keys about obesity. They are coming to understand that it’s actually based on metabolism which is based on the health of your microbiome. Micro what? Microbiome. Microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria that live in a little village in your large intestine. The balance and health of this ecosystem within you has a huge impact on your metabolism (and thereby your weight). You can be genetically susceptible to having a certain type of ecosystem. You can also be lacking certain bacteria that your mother was supposed to give you at birth but wasn’t able to because she herself didn’t have a healthy dose to give. This is an oversimplified explanation but gives you the overall concept. In general, the reason two people can eat the same thing and have different results is directly related to the way their body metabolizes the food which is directly related to the health of the bacteria village called the microbiome.
My microbiome was super messed up… leading me to be very unhealthy. Mine was just messed up in the opposite direction of many others… my metabolism was (and still is) too high meaning I can’t keep weight on. Truth is, I have never been any healthier than someone who weighs 300 pounds. I was just unhealthy is a different direction. So, I don’t judge the person who is unhealthy. I am certainly no better than they are. Well… I’m getting better. Now that I know these things… I am using my knowledge to gain power over my body and be healthier. Doing the best you can with what you have is all that matters, after all. The good news is that you can change your microbiome. There are specific things you can do that will have a big, and often immediate, and also lasting change on your pant size. So far I’m up 7 lbs :).
So, what do I think now when I see fat people? I feel sad inside. I feel sad because they probably feel self-conscious (like I have felt when weighing only 95 lbs). They probably feel like people are looking at them and/or talking about them. They have probably tried many diets to no avail. Just like I tried to eat nuts and avocados and ice cream to gain weight… with no results. Why? Because it isn’t about the food, the calories, etc. It’s about your metabolism. It’s about the health of your digestive system. So, when I see fat people, I feel burdened to share with them that they have power they know nothing about. I want to tell them that there is a way out, and they do have more control than they realize. I want to tell them that I don’t judge them for having a body that’s unhealthy. I have been in their shoes… only in a different way. I’ve been asked numerous times if I’m anorexic or on drugs. I’ve been talked about. I’ve been stared at. But I’m having victory. I’m taking care of myself.
I hope to look in the mirror and see a person at a healthy size. I hope to look around town and see people at a healthy size. I don’t want to see fat people anymore. Not because I don’t think they are beautiful but because I want to know that everyone is taking care of their bodies and achieving health. So if you know someone who needs to know this… please share. It may save their life!
For a good introduction to this… I highly recommend the book “The Microbiome Diet” by Raphael Kellman, MD.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share a comment below.
P.S. I sure hope I didn’t offend anymore with this post. My heart is truly to help not to harm.