“Beauty on the outside doesn’t reflect how I am on the inside.” Is there truth in this? Yes. But nowadays this statement is used as an excuse not to be healthy, rather than trying to be meaningful in any way.

40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese — the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S.” “80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise,” Honestly, I could write this whole thing throwing statistics in your face and hopelessly expect you to change. But scientists have been doing that for years and that hasn’t got anywhere.

We live in a society where a quick option to anything is the norm. Is there something you don’t know? Whip out your phone, Google it, and there’s your answer (assuming it’s from a reliable source). This has absolutely murdered society in every single aspect of life. Meaning, people don’t have the willpower anymore to work hard and burn off fat. People are happy to look at themselves in the mirror every day and accept being overweight. Not only is this from an aesthetic point-of-view bad, you are knowingly hurting yourself and setting yourself up for hurt later in life. “High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke are not only killing millions of Americans annually.”  And the people who are not happy with themselves either shrug it off and find some general quote to back up why they are the way they are (i.e. the first quote above) or “we spend over $20 billion annually on weight loss schemes, from diet books and pills all the way up to last-resort surgeries like lap-bands and liposuction.”

Now if you ask an obese or overweight person, why they are the way they are, they would respond with something like, “I’m not fake and don’t pump myself up with steroids or equivalent.” That’s true. People who get their good image from unnatural ways are no better. But that’s not a good enough excuse to be the way you are. People use celebrities, like Meghan Trainor, to convince themselves that what they are doing is right, (by the way, she’s lost a lot of weight, you cant use her anymore.) There are people out there who have a legitimate and valid excuse for being obese, such as people who have lost limbs. But does that account for the entire percentage of people who are obese or overweight? Do most people have a perfectly valid excuse for being that way? No.

Now you’re thinking, how does this guy know what he’s talking about? Very simple, I was obese my entire life. My entire life was populated by doctors and yes men who just acted nice and threw statistics to my face. Then one day I just looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to change. That’s all it takes. It was incredibly hard. I limited my calorie count to 1200 calories a day, (believe me, it’s not a lot) and started exercising more. It took me about a year to go from 200lbs to 150lbs. As more years passed, I exercised and weightlifted harder, gaining muscle mass. I am around 180lbs now. When this happens, you can increase your calorie count. I learned how to work hard and let nothing stand in my way. The effort required to lose obesity is a lot. But the rewards and lessons you gain are invaluable.

But let’s think about this. “Beauty on the outside doesn’t reflect how I am on the inside.” I just told you a story where my determination helped me lose weight and not be fat. My personality (my inner self) changed how I am on the outside. Your body is used for self-expression: clothes, piercings, tattoos etc. Who you are on the outside reflects how you are more than you think. If people realized this, then people would realize the importance of a healthy body, and in turn a better life.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Why Obesity is the worst problem in America today by Bobby is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

10 Comments
  1. Tanner 3 months ago

    Hi Bobby,
    I constantly think about my health and weight everyday. Looking to see what is the healthiest meal on the menu. I am not the skinniest guy out there, but I am not hugely overweight either. The only thing that I partly disagree with you is when you say statistics are not working. Many people have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. So this can be a reason why people won’t start trying to lose weight. But I think the most effective way to lose weight is actually experience it. If an obese person has a heart attack or diabetes, this can be life changing in a way that they try to not let it happen again. Another to experience it to watch documentaries and movies about lives of the effects of being obese. And speaking of weight, what do you think about BMI? Many people and doctors use BMI to see if you are underweight, average, overweight, and obese. But in recent years doctors and others are saying they are not as accurate that people say they are. This article from LiveScience says that, “BMI doesn’t take into account fat, and it doesn’t indicate where fat is distributed on the body”. Do you think BMIs should still be used to see whether or not you are healthy?
    Source: https://www.livescience.com/39097-bmi-not-accurate-health-measure.html

    • Author
      Bobby 3 months ago

      Hi Tanner,
      I’m glad you brought this to my attention. I agree with you that the most effective way of trying to lose weight is weight gain itself, and then some people are able to look in the mirror and want to change their bad habits. But what I was saying was that once people are obese or have an unhealthy body and don’t care, statistics are relatively useless because obesity and unhealthiness rates have gone up. I never considered the fact that BMI was inaccurate, (I never considered it absolute) but after some reading, there are some problems with it. Know however, there are other more expensive ways to measure fat, or you can just look at yourself in the mirror and see if you’re fat (this won’t work for everyone because people can be happy with unhealthy bodies). So this is not entirely a scientific matter, there are some obvious signs to see if you are unhealthy. But the article I read will admit this, ” BMI may still prove useful yet — if doctors combine BMI with a comprehensive evaluation of their patients’ medical history and lifestyle habits to get a meaningful, if not yet perfectly precise picture of their weight-related health.” From:http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/26/why-bmi-isnt-the-best-measure-for-weight-or-health/
      So BMI should still be used, they still tell you something, but they’re not end-all-be-all.

  2. Anthony 3 months ago

    Bobby I agree with you, I think we as a society have no good understanding of our eating habits and I think there should be taught a healthier lifestyle methood for all people to reach middle ground. I myself am underweight and I am unsure what to eat and how to maintain a healthier weight that is middle ground. My mom for most of my childhood was overweight and she wanted to change, like you, and she did she lowered her calorie intake and made sure to consumer protein that could be turn into muscle from working out. I think people have many ways to look at eating habits and I think it’s unfair for everybody either if they are skinny or overweight to be judged for. People need to realize that we have been force fed “fab” diets that can be harmful, and Americans have an extreme selection to consume unhealthy foods (which let me say food stamps does not pay for healthier food instead they force people on these food assistance porgrams to buy unhealthy food, how is that fair?). I believe people need to shape up and redefine a way of living that is middle ground for everyone.

  3. Emma 3 months ago

    Bobby,
    I see a good deal of validity in your opinion but ultimately I find it really harmful. There is a widely accepted fallacy that being “overweight” is synonymous with “unhealthy”, which is very often not the case. When you see an obese (not overweight, there is a difference) person dining at fast food restaurant and eating massive quantities of fried food washed down with soda, there is a problem in that. This kind of obesity, poor diet, and lack of physical activity can lead to serious health problems. This is an audience worth addressing of the dangers of obesity. It is wrong, however, to imply that just because someone is “overweight” that they are unhealthy. My body type is thin and I weigh only a little over a hundred pounds. By society’s standards, I have a relatively “acceptable” body. But you know what? I’m the first to admit that I eat really poorly. I indulge in a ton of junk food and I wouldn’t be caught dead exercising. Yet my body still appears “healthy” because societal standards have declared that a thinner figure is “healthy” and “right”. I have countless people in my life who weigh more than me and appear heavier than me yet exercise regularly and eat really well. I can name so many people whose bodies may not reflect society’s standards and what we see in media as “healthy” and “beautiful”, but they are exponentially healthier than me and people with “better bodies”. There are so many different body types in this world and they need to be celebrated, represented, and accepted. We can’t all look the same and we shouldn’t. It’s wrong to tell everyone who is “overweight” that they need to change their bodies. It’s really harmful and fuels a toxic society. I agree with the importance of healthy living, but you need to be careful how you address this issue and who you are addressing.

    • Author
      Bobby 3 months ago

      Emma,
      -This post was focused on obesity primarily. I mentioned the word overweight to cover the whole spectrum and be more general, because I realize obese is not the correct term to describe all unhealthy people, and if I was too specific, then the unhealthy people reading this wouldn’t have cared. I didn’t want people to walk away from this post thinking “Oh I’m not obese, I don’t have to worry about this.” If you can think of a better term to describe these people, please inform me.
      -I’m sorry but your story is vague and I can’t respond properly. I can’t tell in your sense of overweight if the people you are describing are fat and unhealthy. “I have countless people in my life who weigh more than me and appear heavier than me yet exercise regularly and eat really well.” Are these people fat? Do they look unhealthy? How unhealthy are they? We all react to fat and caloric intake differently, if that’s the case, then they have to be more cautious about the foods they eat and the time put into exercise to be healthy and maintain a proper physique.
      -“There are so many different body types in this world and they need to be celebrated, represented, and accepted. We can’t all look the same and we shouldn’t.” This is what I was talking about when I was referring to general quotes. You are trying to be meaningful and I appreciate it, but people will read that and misinterpret it and not feel obligated to live a healthy lifestyle. They will use this quote as an excuse not be healthy. This is fueling a relativist and lazy society. In the most general sense, you are correct. Everyone has different stories, genetics, and environmental factors they can’t control, but they can still be healthy and fit if they really wanted, no matter what body type. None of the above seals your fate and prevents you from being healthy.
      -“It’s wrong to tell everyone who is “overweight” that they need to change their bodies.” Technically I am overweight. But if I took off my shirt, you couldn’t tell. But this is due to my muscle mass comprising a good deal of weight. If this is the sense of overweight you are referring to (I can’t tell). Then I or you shouldn’t have to worry about those people because they are already healthy.

      Thank you for the courage to comment and challenging me, I understand it must be difficult. But I’m glad we were able to converse.

  4. Hunter 3 months ago

    Bobby,
    I find this piece interesting, particularly because of how easy you mention it is to change. As someone who has not had to battle with obesity, but from an outsider’s perspective, I’ve never seen it this way. I feel like the general perspective on obesity from someone who is obese is not that they feel comfortable that way, but that they do not want to be displaced in society as a result. I think this is largely where the “beauty on the outside does not reflect who I am on the inside” idea comes from. I agree that statistics are not a good motivator, but have you considered the people who simply do not have the time or the resources to change their lifestyle? I am thinking of the single mothers whose little free time is dedicated to earning enough money to get her kids through school and get them dinner at night. Those individuals may not have time. Now, to be sure, there are people who can spend beyond their means and have plenty of free time to change, but I will echo Ethan in his question of “is it a mental illness in your opinion?” Can mental illness contribute to the problem, or is it entirely a matter of character? Consider this article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psych-unseen/201406/is-obesity-psychiatric-disorder … It talks about how we are already treating anorexia and bulimia as psychiatric disorders, and they are simply inverse mirrors of obesity, so perhaps it is time to tackle obesity from a mental perspective, rather than a physical one. It is fantastic that you are mentally capable of overcoming this obstacle, but do you believe that everyone is fit in the same way to do so?

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Hunter

    • Author
      Bobby 3 months ago

      Hunter,
      I will repeat what I said in my post. “There are people out there who have a legitimate and valid excuse for being obese.” But what most people consider “legitimate” and “valid” are not. If I had to respond to your example, exercise would help her stay healthy and even reduce her stress levels.

      -I responded to Ethan’s question. So I would read that response and come back over here because I’ll develop it more. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna go through the whole article and respond to all the points it makes:
      – “•One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia.
      •Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia.
      •1.1% – 4.2% of females suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.” From: https://www.mirasol.net/learning-center/eating-disorder-statistics.php
      As compared to “40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese — the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S.” “80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise,” obesity is a way worse problem. So we have to be careful here and not jump to conclusions, because it could have a much more adverse effect on the population.
      -Obesity is a behavioral problem yes. But like I said when responding to Ethan, that’s not a good enough excuse. Everyone has different environmental/genetic factors, but no matter what, you can still be healthy if you try really hard enough. I’m sorry that everyone has to face it differently, but that’s how it goes. But we should hold people to a higher standard. Today people have a relativist viewpoint, “you live life your way, I’ll live it mine.” People nowadays aren’t able to look at or analyze themselves, and always look for something else to blame or find deeper meaning when there is none.
      -If you classify obesity as a mental illness, you are indirectly implying no responsibility towards the person, when it’s the total opposite. Why would people have any want to get healthy if they think it’s a disease? The article also says, “Participants in the survey also rated psychotherapy or counseling as the most effective treatment option for obesity by far, beating out both diet and exercise.” But counseling doesn’t make you get healthy, diet and exercise does, and it would take a certain type of communication for them to tell them to be healthy, i.e. being nice is not gonna cut it, they have to be demanding and strict. And in today’s sensitive and relativist world, that’s not gonna happen. So treating obesity as a mental illness would be a waste of time, money, and just worsen the problem.

      You asked me if everyone is fit to handle obesity. People don’t think so, but they can. Learning to beat obesity teaches people necessary skills needed in their lives, such as determination and commitment. If we started spreading this message around, rather than teaching people to be socially acceptable with being obese, the world will be a better place.

      Thank you for commenting, I enjoyed answering your questions.

  5. Ethan 3 months ago

    Bobby. I disagree with your thought on how you think the stats are ineffective with change. People get scared of what out countries exterior outlook may look like in a few years. I enjoyed your post, it had great structure but I must ask, do you think people are born with obesity? and is it a mental illness in your opinion? I know a couple of people who cannot help being over weight, but thats they way there body is built. I do want to make it clear that I do not believe that being obese should socially acceptable because there health and lives are at risk. Thank you !

    http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/aaic-2015-coverage/mental-illness-and-obesity/article/479564/

    • Author
      Bobby 3 months ago

      Ethan,
      I wish it was different Ethan, but stats don’t affect people that much anymore. If that was the case, people would have listened to the growing cases of obesity these days and the problem would have lessened, or at the very least stayed the same, not grown exponentially.

      Obesity is NOT a mental illness. Even if it was, it shouldn’t matter. Genetics and environment factors do have an effect on the body, and not everyone has the same factors. But it doesn’t matter, if being healthy was really important to you, you would do it. People are gonna compare obesity to mental illness as an excuse to be how they are, because that’s exactly what I did my whole life, “I’m just born this way.” People can work past these genetic effects with exercise and dieting/calorie counting, “The data they gathered generated some interesting results, highlighting a 30% decrease in FTO’s weight gain effects with just simple aerobic activity on a regular basis. While it doesn’t completely undo the negative effects FTO can provoke in the brain, exercise has been proven to seriously limit its power.” But again, ” A fairly recent study determined that those who find themselves stricken with the knowledge of their FTO genetics often resign themselves to their “fate” and initiate binge eating that only serves to worsen their problems. The study’s data noted that, after learning of their genetics, subjects consumed more food in the 90 days following the study than they had prior to it.” From: http://www.leanbodyinstitute.com/genetics-and-obesity.html

      And if obesity was a mental illness, what would that mean for me? My fate wasn’t fixed. Some of the healthiest people out there have been obese, because they realize the detrimental effects of being fat and they devoted their life to health and fitness. They were able to work past their specific genetic or environmental problems and be healthy.

      Thank you for bringing this up, and I enjoyed having a conversation.

  6. Sean 3 months ago

    Bobby,
    I am very passionate about this topic as I know you are, Statistics and people telling you to lose wait are not good motivators especially for an issue as large as obesity. I feel where you are coming from especially because I’ve been wanting to join the military and im slightly overweight for my size. Now it wasnt advertisements or the prospect of going on diet pills or whatnot that convinced me to lose weight. It was my own personal conviction to make myself healthier. All of these inspirational quotes that make being obese is ok is making everything worse. Yes it’s great to appreciate your own body for everything it is but its equally important to recognize that one needs to stay healthy in order to lead a great life.

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