The Obesity Battle

30 Nov

I am an avid fan of The Biggest Loser. I love watching the show and even own the Nintendo Wii Biggest Loser game. I only started watching it during season 5 as I previously was too depressed to watch it due to the fact I was overweight and doing nothing about it unlike those on the show.

For the past several years on the day before Thanksgiving, they have aired a “Where Are They Now?” special about former contestants. I just watched the episode from this year this past weekend. It was so sad that the season one winner, Ryan Benson, who lost 122 lbs had gained all but 10 lbs back.

At first you’re reaction is “how could you do that?” Probably the second reaction is “what a lazy person! I can’t believe he blew it.” Granted I had the same reactions, but then I stopped myself. It isn’t always a question of laziness or willpower, especially for the majority of the contestants on the show. Obesity is a disease. Over eating is as real of a disease as alcoholism or drug addiction. Yet there is a huge stigma and shame attached to it that has been shed for the most part from alcohol and drugs.

Ryan’s experience goes to show what an awful, life-long battle weight is. If someone could lose 122 pounds and win a weight loss TV show and $250,000 and yet gain it all back, then this isn’t about willpower. This is about a truly awful disease that so many Americans struggle with and lose the battle.

People who are overweight are ridiculed, teased and bullied daily for their size. Not to mention the self loathing they inflict on themselves. Yet, this is still allowed and obesity /over eating still isn’t completely acknowledged by the general public as a real disease.

Trust me, people who are overweight want to be thin more than anything. And trust me, they try. But just like an alcoholic who tries not to drink, they lose this battle daily.

Next time you see an overweight person and are tempted to judge or make fun, ask yourself if you’d make fun of an alcoholic or drug addict. Remember it can be the same battle and that they are probably trying very hard to beat this demon. Give some encouragement to a friend or family member you know who is trying to lose weight. Words can go a long way in getting someone to that next pound lost.


6 Responses to “The Obesity Battle”

  1. Ava Aston's Muckery November 30, 2010 at 8:18 PM #

    I agree with you, Ryan is an incredible guy and I would defend him to my death. There is absolutely nothing different with Ryan losing weight and gaining most of it back, which is teh trend of most people, with the exception had had to do it in the public spotlight. My heart goes out to Ryan!

    He is an incredibly great father to his kids and loving husband to his wife. Good luck with your on going battle!!!



    • Noel D. December 1, 2010 at 5:27 AM #

      Thanks! So far I’m winning the battle, but that can always change. I really hope Ryan is able to get the help and support he needs to lose the weight again so he can be around for his family.

  2. blackhuff December 1, 2010 at 4:16 AM #

    It is true that obesity is a disease. Many do suffer from it and most people who are thin, don’t believe that obesity is a disease. They believe that obese people just don’t have willpower or are lazy (in the sense that they don’t make food rather they buy it prepared.)
    I wish more people can come to realise that obesity is a disease, ask me, I know.

    • Noel D. December 1, 2010 at 5:28 AM #

      It absolutely is a disease, and I agree there needs to be more awareness.

  3. Laura December 1, 2010 at 9:40 AM #

    NPR *just* released a story today along these lines:

    • Noel D. December 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM #

      Wow! That is seriously fascinating. Thanks for sharing. I believe it given my experience with food. Crazy stuff.

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