the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Our Acceptance of America’s Ample Individuals
October 27, 2009, 10:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Recently, I read an article in the Huffington Post about Club Bounce. It’s a club in California that caters specifically to the over weight crowd. And while I’m incredibly tempted to make so many jokes here, I’ll just laugh on the inside instead of getting stoned.

This made me think back to the network television show, “More to Love” (which some on Twitter affectionately nicknamed “The Fatchelor”), which aired last season. The concept was a dating show; a “larger than life” version of “The Bachelor” with a hefty man out looking for love. All the contestants, of course, were also overweight. (While I won’t go into the hundreds of sidebar topics I could here, it was interesting to note that it seemed the producers consistently gave the ladies challenges that would seemingly bring back their worst childhood memories as a fat kid — swimming pool, sports, prom, etc.)

Are we, as a country, too accepting of fat people? Do we, for the sake of political correctness, not confront people’s issues and unhealthy habits? Would we rather gloss over the uncomfortable topics and turn a blind eye as our friends and family eat themselves into disease and even an early death?

Oh, sure, let’s be polite; people aren’t fat. That’s not the “correct” term. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone — they’re big boned. They’re thick. Large-framed. Plus-sized. Portly. Chubby. Chunky. They have “a little extra.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Wait. Yes, there is. And you know what? Let’s call it like it is — they’re fat. They’re overweight. In some cases, they’re obese. Being fat, nine times out of ten (I don’t know what the tenth time would be but I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt), means that you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle. And that’s not acceptable. God has given us these bodies to use, for His glory. I don’t think he’d much appreciate us trashing His temples. Especially since they’re on loan.

Oh, and let’s not forget that gluttony is a sin. I know that gluttony can apply to all sizes of people, not just fat ones. I also know that it would be very hard to become obese or overweight without being, at some point, gluttonous.

Now, go ahead, make the excuse that it’s not your fault you’re fat. I’ll wait…

Done? Ok.

Here’s the thing — ultimately, it is your body, is it not? You live in it? Move in it? Keep it alive? Every day? So how is it not your responsibility?

I understand that there can be genetic predispositions to certain diseases or that certain drugs may make you put on a few pounds, or even that you “don’t know how it got there.” However, the fact remains that you can, yes, can change things. No one is force feeding you massive, or maybe just regular, quantities of unhealthy food and keeping you from exercising (if they are you may want to consider filing legal charges). It may be difficult with work and school and church and family and just plain life but to be honest, we make time for what is important to us. If it was important to you to be healthy and in shape, you would be. Or at least on the road to being there, making progress.

And you know, I love and appreciate those of you who may be overweight and are still uber-confident in yourselves and your full-figured-ness, but honestly, I can’t help but wonder if that’s a defense mechanism. I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m just asking the question. No need to answer.

Listen, I’m not saying that everyone should be a size two or even a six; I know certain people are build differently, and don’t deny that. You have to be healthy for you. What I am saying is that we have to stop making excuses for ourselves (and those we love — especially if we really love them). Stop lying about the situation and call it like it is. Maybe if we weren’t so accepting of the problem, more people would do something about it.

But that’s just my opinion. What do you think? There’s no denying that America has an issue with weight, but are we too accepting or are we not accepting enough? How much is too much?


9 Comments so far
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You know I purposefully left class early just to read this blog? I was almost worried that what you posted may offend someone. It’s not at all offensive. It makes people think about what they are doing to their bodies. It’s not fair to censor what you say for fear that someone may get upset. It’s the truth, America as a country was once titled “the fattest country” I have no idea if it still is, but we deserve it.

Comment by Ria

My only question is how would you address this issue with a friend if you are the smaller friend? Any recommendations …?

Comment by Krystle

I would make subtle suggestions to do healthier things. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Invite them to the gym or to go for a jog. Or you could just have an outright intervention. You know your friends and what they respond best to.

Comment by CreativeStu

…and sidebar..have you read “I kissed dating good bye” by Josh Harris?

Comment by Krystle

I haven’t. I don’t really read Christian dating books. Or for that matter, dating books in general. Your thoughts?

Comment by CreativeStu

I too shy away from dating books, however this book was recommended by a friend of mine *male* as a good read. I guess for me it is helping me with my “transition” so to speak in this “dating” world as a young Christian. I may not agree with everything the author is saying, however seeing a different perspective doesn’t hurt a bit. Now in saying that, I won’t go buy Steve Harvey’s book tho LOL… I just limit my intake in a sense.

Comment by Krystle

I agree with this blog. You can be healthy and a size 14 and unhealthy at a size 4. I’m personally a size 22 and working toward that 14. There are a lot of excuses I and my fellow fat people can come up with but like you said, the bottom line is if it were that important to us, we would do something about it. Not sayin it’s easy because it’s no where near easy, but it needs to be a priority. I like this blog very much.

Comment by Kat

Just want to add that a lot of non-fat people have unhealthy diet and exercise habits.

Comment by NSL

I think the fact that you prefaced this post with how you needed to hold in your laughter at fat people speaks to how there IS a stigma attached to being overweight. Isnt Club Bounce doing what you want: getting those big people to work out?

Loving yourself is of course a defense mechanism when aside from the one show where someone who is your size is the star, every other show the fat person is the slob, the slow idiot, or the sad pathetic person who is constantly apologizing for their weight.

I’m fat–I dont use any new terms because I view fat the way I view thin–a description of the body that actually means nothing until society attaches something to it (which is why thin people are fine being called thin while overweight people come up with more flowery language).

So, to answer your question, no we are not more accepting. And if shame worked in getting fat people to lose weight, trust, there would be no fat people.

Comment by Allison @ Entry Level Living

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