This is going to be one of those ‘bee in bonnet’ posts I am afraid.
Over the past few months I have seen people taking offence at things that have been written about the obese. Some of these things were worthy of taking offence over, but some were fair points. One area in particular that I have a personal issue with is that surrounding food education.
So often I hear people saying that they just don’t know how to eat healthy food, or how to cook, or how much to eat. This is something that I get a little angry about. Maybe it’s my issue. Maybe I am being too harsh. I don’t think so though. The “I don’t know” excuse is probably the poorest excuse of all. In this connected world that we live in there is no excuse when it comes to food education. Most of us have the internet at home – in 2012 83% of the UK, which is 21 million homes, had it. 83% of adults under 45 accessed the Internet on the go, using their phones or wifi hotspots. We have libraries, we have Internet cafes…there are resources. We have NHS websites and Change for Life programmes…so access to information about food is fairly easy to get hold of. There are cookery courses at local schools and colleges…you can learn.
It is fair enough not to have knowledge of something – you can’t possibly know all there is to know. However, if you are obese then there is clearly a problem. At what point do you begin to wonder if what you are eating is the problem? And at what point do you decide to try and understand a little bit more about the types of foods you should be eating? How long do you wait before taking action…4st overweight, 6st overweight, 8st overweight?
You have to take control and responsibility as nobody else will.
I knew what I should and shouldn’t be eating…a lifetime of reading various weight loss books, articles, and websites has left me with the ability to guess calories in food with fairly accurate results. The same goes for fat contents too…and carb and protein! I chose not to eat well…this is a different story which again comes down to responsibility and psychology. I chose to push my body to near death…it wasn’t an educational issue, it was a self-harm issue.
So why am I annoyed with the education thing? For me it is just laziness. Harsh perhaps, but true! If you wanted to train for a new career you would educate yourself…you wouldn’t expect someone to hire you without the qualifications or experience for the job. Why is your health any different? If you genuinely don’t know, then educate yourself. Why should this be someone else’s responsibility?
I agree that there is a distinct lack of help for the obese out there. However most of this surrounds access to psychological support services. The people I come into contact with know full well what they should and shouldn’t be eating…they just need help with the ‘mind’ elements. They also know that they need to move more too…it’s not about food and exercise, as these areas have been ‘done’ to death!
So when I see do-gooders trying to back up people who claim a lack of education, it infuriates me! Spoon-feeding is what got you to where you are…don’t expect it to get you back out of that position!
I am likely to lose some of you, I am aware of this – you will probably think that I am harsh…but I am just saying it as I see it. There is plenty of information out there…bloody go and find it. Seek out reputable sources – the British Dietetics Association for example have so much information on their website. Search ‘healthy eating’ on Google and you get the NHS Livewell pages which has weight loss plans and healthy eating info galore.
I remember writing once how I thought that it was shocking that someone in their 30s had said that they had “no idea where to start” when it came to making a soup. I was horrified. Others thought I was the devil incarnate to be horrified. To say that you have no idea is just plain stupid…a cooker, a pan and a bit of water is a good fecking start. There are so many easy recipes online! Then you get the excuses about being a really terrible cook…yes, I have set my Mums kitchen on fire, I cooked a roast chicken with the giblets inside in a little plastic bag, I grilled a roast dinner, I cooked a pizza with the polystyrene base still on it…but I still have a go…as nobody else can do it for you!
I heard all the best lines of defence when I wrote that blog post – and so I don’t really want to hear any more. I understand that food is expensive and wasting it through trial and error cooking is not good, I understand that it can cost money to stock a kitchen with pots and pans (seriously…this was one of the defence statements…if you don’t have pots and pans in your kitchen, what the feck are you eating and there is such a thing as one-pot cooking!), I understand that it can be time-consuming (although most of my meals are done in under 30 minutes), and I understand that it can be a pain in the arse to cook after a long day at work.
But do you know what else is a pain in the arse? Being fat. Being abused in the street because of your size. Having sore and aching joints because your body is so tired of carrying you around. Heart disease is a pain in the heart rather than the arse, but it’s a pain all the same! There are lots of things that are difficult to deal with when you are trying to get to a healthy weight…but cooking and learning what to eat is not one of them!
I don’t wish to sound harsh, as I genuinely want to help people and think that everyone deserves a helping hand with stuff. I am not judgemental and would gladly point people in the right direction if they asked for advice. I just don’t like it when people defend the excuses used and get on their high-horse about it. And I am talking about excuses here, not genuine reasons and barriers to weight loss which is a whole other story…and of which I have helped people overcome a fair few of these. Again, I am not called ‘Weight Loss Bitch’ for the sole reason of being a bitch…but I do have strong feelings about responsibility. If you say, “I had no idea how to eat healthily, which is why I got fat, but now I am learning more about healthy eating” then all credit to you…but just don’t use it to hide behind.
I hid behind so many excuses and one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is that of honesty. Face up to the fact that you probably know exactly how to eat healthily, or would know a way of finding out how to do it, rather than using that as a reason to stay as you are…do not enable yourself to stay unhealthy, enable and empower yourself to get the best out of life!
So bring on the arguments…I probably won’t listen to them though as I am not in the mood for the defence of laziness today! But please bring on the questions too…as I have said, I am happy to help!
And I am not in the mood as I am tired…happily tired after my gym session. Today was supposed to be my programme review day. And it was, but I was just set up with the basic ‘do a bit of everything’ programme which was a bit frustrating. I know what I want to do and I just want some guidance regarding the types of weights to lift. So I got chatting to a couple of chaps who looked like they knew what they were doing and they were really helpful! My other half wasn’t impressed though as he asked who the fit, muscly young guy was that I had been speaking too!
I really enjoyed today’s session. I did some work on the cross trainer – and I know that CV work has to play a part…but I am just not that keen on it! Then I moved onto the weights. Although my ‘key’ for the machines must have been programmed for me to lift a % of my weight, as it was telling me to pretty much lift the whole weight stack on each machine…leg pressing 190kg would be a little too far at the moment! So I just switched to a weight which challenged me suitably and will write these down next time I go and make my own programme. I have had enough personal training in the past to know what to do initially. Once I am fitter I will grab a personal training session and go from there.
Other than the gym it has been a pretty quiet day, although I did go and see my cousin whose daughter had set up a Christmas ‘shop’ for pocket money. So I bought some lovely handmade Christmas cards and decorations and left her with a nice pocket money tip! She is such a sweet kid…although I am sure that my cousin would say she can be a terror at times…but she is always on her best behaviour when I see her!
So that’s it folks. I would apologise to any of you that I offend with my rant today…but quite frankly if you aren’t bothered by this kind of stuff too then I doubt you are still reading my blog as I have had rants about other things that are more offensive than this!
Breakfast: Cinnamon porridge with grapes (6 syns).
A lovely food day! Nice warming porridge for brekkie followed by leftover soup for lunch. Dinner was a bit of a concoction – roasted marrow topped with LowLow cheese slices, with chilli on top. The chilli had Quorn mince, a can of Asda ratatouille (1.5 syns…but not enough in my portion for even 0.5 syns), mixed beans, cabbage, peas, chicken stock, Worcester sauce, chilli flakes, and garlic…and it was really tasty…but a definite ‘throw it in and see what happens’ dish!
Exercise: 15 minutes on the cross trainer followed by weights…lots of them – I was in there for about an hour.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx