Manifesto for the Overweight Woman

by Carol Hess on January 4, 2012

I’m supposed to be working on my business plan right now, especially since I’ll be launching my business toward the end of this month.  But I can’t stand it one minute longer.  I am shelving the business plan for as long as it takes to write this rant, I mean post.

I don’t have a choice in the matter. After all, what I’m about to rant about, I mean write about is why my business is being born.  This is my mission.  This is the truth I’ve been put on this planet to tell, the message I’m here to deliver.  And I can’t wait one more minute.  Not even if it makes business sense to do it.  I just can’t.  It’s too damned important.

(Warning:  I’m going to shout.  I’m going to scream.  And I’m going to use swear words. So you may want to keep the kiddies away from the computer screen.)

Okay.  Here goes.

At this time of year, every single friggin’ time you turn on your television or your radio or your computer, what do you hear?  Every single friggin’ time you open up a newspaper or a magazine or a tabloid in the check-out line (c’mon, you know you do), what do you read?

Lose weight.  Lose weight.  Lose weight. (Or some variation thereof.)

It’s the official mantra for this holiest of seasons, the New Year’s Resolution Season – the holiest of seasons for the weight loss industry that is.  Not so holy for the rest of us, especially those of us with challenges in the weight department.

For us it’s an opportunity to do one of two things:

  1. Spend money on yet another weight loss product, program, or promise that won’t work, so we’ll end up feeling really, really bad about ourselves; or
  2. Not spend money on yet another weight loss product, program, or promise we know won’t work but still end up feeling really, really bad about ourselves because we’re still fat and we’re about to give up trying to do something about it.

That’s some lousy choice, and it makes me f**king mad. (I told you I was going to use swear words.)  Yep, I definitely take this personally.  You better believe it.  Guilty as charged.

I have spent most of my life trying to lose weight.  And I’ve failed.  Miserably.  I have gone from someone who could have stood to lose 10, maybe 15 pounds to someone who needs to lose 150 pounds.

How on earth did that happen to me? Why on earth did it happen to me?  It happened because, for the past 40 years, I’ve bought the weight loss industry’s bullshit.  I am their poster child.  No, not that one.  Not the poster child who loses weight and keeps it off.  Those poster children — the ones who keep the weight off — are few and far between, very far between.

Nope, that’s not me.  But I’m still the weight loss industry’s favorite poster child.  Actually non-poster child, come to think of it.  They don’t take photos of me.  They just take my money.  They love me because I’m so desperate to lose weight that I buy their bullshit, even when I know it won’t work.

And make no mistake.  It is bullshit. If the crap the weight loss industry is pushing worked, there would be no obesity epidemic, right?  We would all be slim, right?  Each of us wouldn’t be spending an average of 50 years of our life trying to lose weight, right?

Of course the weight loss industry wants us to believe it’s not their fault we’re not losing weight.  We’re not losing weight because we’re screwed up.  It’s pretty scary to contemplate that every overweight person in our society is flawed, damaged, weak-willed, stupid, or just plain f**ked up.  I prefer to believe it’s the weight loss industry’s so-called solutions that are f**ked up, don’ t you?

Here’s what else I prefer to believe.

I prefer to believe that a clothing size does NOT determine my worth.

I prefer to believe that a number on a scale does NOT tell me who and what I am.

I prefer to believe it is not about how much I weigh; it is about how much I live.

And when I can get that — I mean really, really get that in my heart of hearts — and when I can start living my life from that truth, that’s when I’ll lose the weight once and for all.  And that’s when the weight loss industry will lose a customer once and for all.

Okay end of rant, I mean post.  Back to the business plan.  Let me hear from you, okay?

(Click on the link above if you want to see a really amazing video put together by Hungry For Less, www.hungry4less.com.)

 

by Carol Hess

14 comments

Categories Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing, The Mind Game, Weighing In (Rants & Raves)

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Big Girl Bombshell January 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm

You KNOW I am in that same category…but I am so grateful you wrote this.

I mean really, really get that in my heart of hearts — and when I can start living my life from that truth, that’s when I’ll lose the weight once and for all.

I KNOW the same thing!

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avatar Carol Hess January 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Yes, I know you know it, Jules. We need to keep reminding ourselves about it over and over and over. Because it’s so easy to forget with all the messages telling us something different. And that is what my business is going to be about — reminding us! So glad you stopped by and joined the conversation here at Star Polisher. :)

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avatar Sandi Amorim January 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

So much money, time and energy spent on an industry built on lies. It’s disgusting, and it’s sad. So fucking sad that we’ve bought into it for so long. That we believed the lies instead of the truths you’ve written above. For they are that Carol, truths of the most profound kind, truths that needed to be said. And need to be heard.

So keep ranting my friend. The world needs you.

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avatar Carol Hess January 5, 2012 at 1:28 am

Thanks, Sandi. Not to worry — I plan on ranting for a long time to come!

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avatar Sandi Amorim January 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I wish there was a LIKE button because I’d hit it 100 times!

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avatar Carol Hess January 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm

We’re working on getting that LIKE button ready for you, Sandi!

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avatar Beth January 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Oh boy, did I ever need to read this today!
I know how amazing I am despite my extra… well, way too many pounds to mention… but I, too, need to tattoo it on my heart of hearts and LIVE!
Thank you for standing on your soapbox and shouting out a right proper rant!
Bravo.

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avatar Carol Hess January 5, 2012 at 1:34 am

“…need to tattoo it on my heart of hearts and LIVE!” Yes, yes, yes, Beth. Way too many women postpone their lives because of how much they weigh. I call it “weighting” to live. Life is way too short to do that. Thanks for your support, Beth. Much as I love standing on my soapbox as much as the next person, it can get a tad lonely. So I’m glad to have your company. PS: I used to live in Kenya — about 3 miles from that “farm at the foot of the Ngong hills.” Heading over to your blog, which I know I’m going to love and which is going to make me miss Africa even more than I already do.

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avatar Charlotte Rains Dixon January 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Well said, Carol, well said. Thanks for taking time from your business plan to rant!

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avatar Carol Hess January 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

Thanks, Charlotte. I’ll take a rant over a business plan any day of the week. :)

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avatar San D January 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I found your site through Kate’s site (eatthedamncake). I am with you on the weight loss shouting. I, too, have struggled with my weight. And what a struggle it is. For every pound you lose, you find that you know you will gain them back unless, and that’s the big word, UNLESS, you are willing to allow the consumption of food (or the lack thereof) to have power over you. I found that I could successfully lose the weight, but then had to chart every calorie, time every step, and deny myself the basic pleasure of eating what other’s ate. Enough already. I can get around, I can laugh, I can write, I can do everything I could do when I was thinner and pissed. And, PISSED is the operative word here.

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avatar Carol Hess January 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Hi, San D. So glad you found your way to Star Polisher. It sounds like you have made peace with your weight and have figured out what works for you and how you want to live your life. Congratulations. Those are huge accomplishments in the face of the weight loss propaganda that blasts us every day about what we “should” think, believe, and do. You are shouting down the shoulds! Good for you!

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avatar Sonja Gwosdezki January 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

Hi Carol. Great post. I can feel your frustration an it is the same kind of frustration that I feel regularly as a complementary Health Practitioner and Wellbeing Empowerment Coach as I watch with despair as women go on quick fix weightloss diets that only result in short term weightloss and long term health damaged. Basically the Diet industry needs you to stay feeling fat and frumpy. I have been working in the area of clearing the Emotional component of illness and self sabotaging behaviour for 20 years now. Unfortunately in my experience when we are willing to look at what is below the surface, lasting change can occur. The sad thing is that I often speak to women about concept of nurturing yourself slim rather than battling your body, but most eyes glaze over in favour of another quick fix diet. Going on any program designed to change your weight without being prepared to look at the Emotional Eating triggers or the Self judgement and sabotaging beliefs is next to pointless
.I watched the video Hungry4less and agree with it whole heartedly. Its totally what I believe is important and their approach is similar.
SO I say Yeah for increased of self approval, self acceptance, focusing on your gifts. Find a way to do this first, support yourself with good nutrition aimed enabling you to live a healthy vibrant life. Wishing all the best. Sonja

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avatar Carol Hess January 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

We are a society that demands instant answers and instant fixes, and that just plain doesn’t work with weight loss — as you point out so well, Sonya. Being overweight is a symptom. You can treat it with diets, but the only way to cure it is to get down to what’s causing it — i.e. the emotional eating triggers, poor self esteem, and sabotaging beliefs you talked about.

What confuses me about myself and others is why do we do the same thing over and over and expect different results? Why are we so “insane” when it comes to this area of our lives? I’m very big on accepting responsibility for our actions, but in this case, I think we are being helped to remain insane by the diet industry and thin-worshipping society that surround us. So glad to have your professional point of view here at Star Polisher, Sonya. And thank you for the work you do.

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