After reading an article today regarding the discrimination of overweight female students – who are turned down for university placements – I started to become a little despondent. More so after reading the comments left at the bottom of the article…although it was a Daily Mail piece…
I have been turned down for jobs on the basis of my weight, and the rational part of my mind understands why. Image in business can be important and so my ‘look’ might not portray the image required. I said that I can understand it, I didn’t say however that I agree with it. Personally, I think that it is bollocks! If people are capable of doing the job and work well with the team you have, does it matter what shape or size or colour they are? Does it matter if they are covered head to toe in tattoos, or have body piercings, or have bright pink hair? I think a level of eclectic-ness is a good thing…a melting pot of cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, blah, blah, blah.
What really annoys me though is the thought that I might be sitting here today without my PgDip and Masters because of my weight. How on earth does my weight correlate to my success from an educational perspective? If you read the comments left by the readers of the article it could be that fat people are lazy and have no will power…so how are they expected to turn up to lectures, or to submit their coursework on time – surely they will spend all of their time in the university canteen?! For goodness sakes people – get a fecking grip! I would love to get hold of a few of these commentators and engage in a battle of minds with them…but obviously I am far too busy eating crisps and lazing around in bed with a tub of ice cream to find the time to do this!
One of the reasons that I became involved with HOOP is that I am passionate about ‘the voice’. Despite the impression that I may give, I am not referring to my own voice, but rather to the collective voice! As an obese person – super morbidly obese I was once called – I have experienced varying degrees of discrimination from surprising and not-so-surprising people and organisations, and have found myself in situations that I really shouldn’t have been subjected to. I don’t wish to stand here and bang a drum and shout about how unfair it all is…what good would that do? What I do wish however is to highlight such issues to those in a position to do something about it – policy makers, thought leaders…those willing to be responsible for making a change. This is why I am passionate about HOOP – as I feel that they are in a prime position to influence such people.
Raising money to help those with obesity issues can be a challenge – excuse the pun – a huge bloody challenge. Most UK taxpayers are happy for their money to be used to fund research in areas such as cancer treatment, or to support those living with cancer…but when it comes to obesity it is a different story entirely. “Obesity is self-inflicted surely? So why should I help? Can’t they just stop eating and get off their fat arses and move a bit?”…and at a base level, I guess they are right – I can’t argue! I caused my obesity, I was a greedy madam who used food to soothe and abuse myself, and I loved my sofa! But forgive me for pointing out that a number of medical issues that the NHS, and therefore the UK taxpayer, deal with are caused by our lifestyle choices or our poor decisions in a lot of cases. Smoking, drinking, drug taking, using sunbeds, driving recklessly…where do we draw the line when it comes to who we help? You don’t want to help a fat person, but is it okay to give an alcoholic a liver transplant, or an ex-smoker a new lung?
I don’t wish to start a huge debate about all of that – my views are my views – I don’t think that we should discriminate full stop…if someone needs the help of the NHS then they need the help of the NHS…that is what it was set up for; to help those in need…and in the majority of cases I think that the NHS do a great job. There are prevention programmes to cut smoking, to cut drinking, and to cut excess eating – and some of these prevention programmes are working, which is fantastic. What we struggle with from an obesity perspective is help for those in need – what intervention, other than surgery, is on offer for those living with obesity and extreme obesity? Again, I won’t go into too much detail here…there isn’t much detail to go into really though…as there isn’t much help on offer!
The focus needs to be on getting into the minds of people like my ‘fat professor’ who told me that surgery was still my only option and that I wouldn’t lose weight without it…since that last meeting I have lost another 1.5st though I think! Policy is often written without direct consultation with those that the policy affects. So people with immense levels of knowledge in their field will sit in a room and decide what is best for you…without consulting you – but based upon what their education taught them; their qualifications decide what is best to do, not consultation with those in need of the service – crazy! And when I say ‘you’ I mean the collective ‘you’ – the elderly, the obese, the drug users, the alcoholics etc.
Anyway, I am in danger of rambling! Channel 5 have offered HOOP the opportunity of becoming involved with a documentary that they are making regarding relationships and weight issues – and would like you to take part in a survey, which can be completed anonymously, so that your contribution can be heard. If you feel it is right for you, you can go one step further and speak to Channel 5 about taking part as one of the case studies. There is a part on the survey for you to be able to do that. I think that contributing to such documentaries will go some way towards breaking down the stigma attached to obesity and will perhaps educate the likes of the plonkers who commented on that article I mentioned earlier. To take part in this survey, please click here – go on, get your voice heard…mine isn’t big enough alone…despite what my other half might tell you!
Right then, the usuals…
I was up early and on the treadmill this morning, despite a dodgy foot and low blood sugar levels. I think that I might need to go and see the doctor as my bloods have never been that low! Silly things, like the weather, has been known to affect diabetes…but usually sends blood sugars up – I always knew I was a special case though! I worked on my other half’s project for a while, finished my exercise and then we headed off to see the horses. They were fine and so once we had checked their water, we headed off to the shops. After this I grabbed lunch and then went to my sisters for another babysitting session. This was entertaining as usual…we tried to make bead bracelets, but doing this with a two year old boy was not fun. This evening my sister and I watched the new Jessie Pavelka show – I think she is now a fan of his! I am going to relax for a bit and watch a new series on Channel 5 later which has two of my favourite Irish actors in it…I love an Irish accent!
Breakfast: Banana and two Alpen Light bars (1 x HEB).
Brekkie was the usual – and lovely too. Lunch was just some garlic, mixed herbs, chopped tomatoes, mixed beans and onion – so a kind of soup / stew thing…it was quite tasty though for something thrown together so quickly. Dinner was great – pasta mixed with LowLow cheese, garlic, herbs, onion, courgette, peppers, mushroom and spinach. And the crisps came out today…they were meant for yesterday, but I ended up eating the Special K things whilst babysitting. No point in buying Snack a Jacks if you have French Fries in the cupboard!
Exercise: 2 x 30 minute treadmill sessions and 1 x 15 minute BodyPump / Swiss Ball session.
My foot is giving me a little grief today, but I just carried on and will see how it goes over the next few days. It is nice to see that my recovery times are getting much shorter…progress is being made!
Thanks for reading…
Weight Loss Bitch xxx