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The Ironic Effects of Weight Stigma

America is fighting a “war on obesity”—or is it a war against obese people? Media campaigns targeting obesity depict fat people in dehumanizing and stigmatizing images. Do these messages help people lose weight? Read More

How many times do we have to learn this rule.

What a surprise ;). The authoritarian model doesn't work in forcing people into weight loss either. It's just abusive. But with that said, what will we Puritans try it on next I wonder.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

This makes a lot of sense to

This makes a lot of sense to me. Any time I perceive myself as at-risk for something, and then people are hard on me about it, it makes me shut down and get worse at the thing. Like, for example, I'm sensitive about whether I'm smart enough for my job (I'm an engineer) because I didn't go to a prestigious school like my coworkers. When someone's hard on me about not figuring something out, it makes it even more difficult for me to get my work done. This article seems to be describing the same mechanism operating in people who think they're fat. If someone is hard on me about my weight, suddenly managing it becomes much more of an ordeal. I think this happens in all sorts of situations, all the time.

People who don't want to

People who don't want to change their behavior will use any justification to see themselves as helpless victims. Psychologists abet them in that by tying self-indulgent behavior to some childhood angst.

Trying to cajole someone into losing weight will not work either. It's not just that harsh methods don't work. NO methods work until a person wants to lose weight more than they want to pretend that they'll do it tomorrow. Yes, there's a lot of procrastination amongst perpetual dieters.

Over-weight people hate being fat, no matter what they say about loving them 'as they are' because they know deep inside that 'fat' isn't who they are. It's a mistake they made that is time-consuming to fix and that takes more self-control than they've become used to demanding of themselves.

Yes, they're lazy and self-deluding. That's what I was when I was overweight and no amount of psycho-babble will convince me otherwise. I went through the gaining weight and I went through the losing weight and it was ME doing it every step of the way.

Gaining weight was pure self-indulgement. Losing it was pure self-control and self-denial of the things (like sugar and fat) that I had conditioned myself to crave. It's not any more psychological than that.

Maintaining a healthy weight is like brushing your teeth and doing the dishes. You have to do it every day. Each individual has to actually get up and walk, run, or something to stay fit and maintain muscle tone, and they have to choose to abstain from over-eating. It takes effort but it's worth it.

Considering how you've turned out...

... I really wouldn't encourage anyone to follow your example. Your bitterness and judgementality glare through in every word you type. You say "it's worth it", but nowhere in your posts does it sound like it's made you happier to be thinner. Maybe you hated yourself when you were fat, but you certainly don't sound like you love yourself now!

Del, Thank you for your


Thank you for your words. People like this are far too obtuse to understand science and would rather rely on one person's experience, their own. Fat fist raised to you.

I assume you're speaking to

I assume you're speaking to me. If I sound angry, I'd say you're projecting. You're weak and can't handle straight talk. You want your emotions to be coddled. As long as you want to be babied, you're weak.

I'm very happy, thankyou for ass-uming otherwise.

If you're fat, stop whining and shooting the messenger. Go for a walk and whatever you KNOW you shouldn't eat today; don't eat it.

That's all it takes -- self control; no excuses. That makes me happy in my own life. I see no reason it won't work for you. But as I said; first, stop whining. It's weak. Weakness is what keeps you from changing your habits.

You might want to look in the mirror.

"You're weak and can't handle straight talk. "

I've had a life so hard that people who learn about just a few things I went through have trouble even believing me. I'm not weak; I'm strong. Strong enough, for example, to admit that I don't know anything about other people's life circumstances, and thus that I can't tell them what to do to get better.

"You want your emotions to be coddled. As long as you want to be babied, you're weak. "

I was never babied, even as a baby. I was subjected to child abuse of all sorts: sexual, physical, and psychological. I had to be my own mother's mother. As a result, I don't allow myself to be coddled, even when I need it.

"Go for a walk"

That would be against my doctor's orders. The only type of physical activity I'm allowed is swimming on my back.

"whatever you KNOW you shouldn't eat today; don't eat it."

I do that. I would wager I probably eat more healthily than most thin people out there.

"That's all it takes -- self control; no excuses."

Again: I'm under orders never to exercise that level of self-control again, because last time I did that, I nearly killed myself, and I definitely destroyed my thyroid gland. Oops!

"I see no reason it won't work for you. "

See, this is where YOU are weak: you're too chicken to admit you don't know everything there's to know. You're too scared to admit that life isn't all clear and cut. I'm not the weak one here; you are.

"But as I said; first, stop whining. It's weak. Weakness is what keeps you from changing your habits."

I kicked my abusive mother out of my life without whining to anybody about it. I quit the brain-washing church I had been raised in without whining about it. And so on. The few people who know about these and other massive life changes I made, keep asking me how I have the courage to do half the things I did, but for me, it's not courage: it's just doing what I have to do. So telling ME that I'm weak... Yeah, I'd say that YOU are the one projecting, here ;)


There is no point in defending yourself against someone who is attempting to pick a fight- this is a character flaw within them that does not reflect your own character

Its ok to be fat if that's what you want to be and vice versa

It's just an article - don't let it or anyone else dictate your identity


Today Show's Jenna's a really

Today Show's Jenna's a really flighty ditz who doesn't have any idea what's coming out of her mouth at all. I wouldn't even worry about her. I mean, really, if anyone takes anything she says seriously, they really need to re-think that decision. She's just an overpaid wino-whino, that's all.

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Alexis Conason, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in practice in New York City and a researcher at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.


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