“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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October 9, 2022 9:43 pm

Dear, Bobby

I agree with your post and love that you are sharing your story for others to make a change in their own life. I do believe obesity has become a big problem here in America and that’s also because it has become so normal. A quote that you said that really stands out to me is “you are knowingly hurting yourself and setting yourself up for hurt later in life.” I agree with this because although they know that their lifestyle isn’t healthy, they keep doing it because they find pleasure and comfort at that moment without thinking of the consequences or hardships these actions will bring them later on. I also love that you brought statistics and basically called out obese people for their actions and making excuses; however, you didn’t do it from an outsider’s point of view because you yourself, were obese and changed that. That takes a lot of discipline, consistency, and drive! Proud of you Bobby and I hope more people get inspired and motivated from your story.

Syed Nayyar Abbas
Syed Nayyar Abbas
February 9, 2020 10:59 am

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Tanner
January 11, 2018 11:04 pm

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

Anthony
January 11, 2018 8:54 pm

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.

Reply to  Anthony
October 9, 2022 9:52 pm

Isabel,

Anthony, you bring up an excellent point actually. Many people don’t actually know what a “healthy lifestyle” or proper nutrition looks like. This was never taught to us nor promoted by the government like how you say with stamps or coupons or even our fast food sizing that just encourages people to overindulge. I believe requiring schools and colleges to have mandatory nutrition and training classes for everyone as part of their curriculum would help a lot, especially so people know the basics at least and are able to find a healthy balanced lifestyle that works for each individual, and one that they are able to sustain and maintain on their own. Spreading awareness about this issue is necessary and this is a great solution to the problem 🙂

Emma
January 11, 2018 6:05 pm

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.

Hunter
January 11, 2018 3:53 pm

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

Ethan
January 10, 2018 11:34 pm

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/

Sean
January 10, 2018 9:54 pm

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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