As you know if you come here often, one of my favorite hobbies is to take screenshots of Facebook posts and then offer them up for discussion. It’s Friday— and that means it’s time once again for Facebook Fight Fridays!!!
Earlier in the week, co-administrator of this here masterpiece of a blog, Joe Kelley, posted this on Facebook… and you can see the first responses start rolling in…
Normally, I would just go ahead and use names in the above screen shots. After all, once it has been posted on a public forum like Facebook, isn’t it fair game? But this is a very sensitive subject. So I’ve redacted names and photos, except for Joe and myself. And one special guest, of course.
Here is where all of this started: Joe and I were watching an old Dateline or 20/20 or one of those programs with Cokie Couric or Barbara Sawyer or Brian Donaldson or George Rivera or one of those tramps. And someone brought up the subject of overweight people being “picky eaters.” This brought me to a story:
Once Upon a Time… I cooked dinner for several people at my home. It wasn’t a “light” dish by any means— a pasta with cream sauce, wine, the whole nine yards. One of my friends, a larger person, brought a Little Caeser’s Hot-n-Ready Pizza to the dinner “just in case” she didn’t like what I was preparing. She said that she was a “picky eater” and might not enjoy my food. She ate some my food and a piece or two of her pizza. The End.
Thus began the debate. Can someone really be that damn picky? Or is this just rude, bad manners? Does weight have anything to do with it? Could this person have been 105 or 305 pounds and rude is rude is rude?
Perhaps we shouldn’t have posed the question in matter of someone’s size and just presented the story first, but this is what happened:
Now, I’m no small bean myself. So I could absolutely see why some folks were getting mad. Like one person above referenced, there are many people that do eat healthy and their weight never changes. If they want to actually lose weight, exercise must be introduced. And then there are others that can literally shovel in anything they want and remain rail-thin— but are they healthy?
Time for our special guest to make an appearance:
Alexis Kittner is our friend that we generally refer to as “Lexi.” Although she prefers “Lex.” I can’t wrap my head around that one, so I call her “Lexi.” Lexi is at the top of my list for favorite friends that can make fun of themselves. And she can always be counted on to bring a smile to my face…. and clearly make an attempt at lightening up a serious conversation, like she has done above. Anyone that will actually pose for a photo like *this* is clearly insane, which is why I kept Lexi’s name in the screen shot…
You should have seen the snarls she was given by the bikers going by.
Anyway, back to the Great Weight Debate! Things got heated— quick.
So you can see that people are coming to Joe’s defense. I really don’t believe that his initial question was offensive in any stretch of the imagination— because he didn’t give his own opinion.
I finally decided to let everyone else in on the “back story,” which you heard above:
And you can see that Lexi was back with a few choice remarks. I don’t know why she’s not a comedian. Her humor was definitely needed to lighten the mood…
The person at the top of this post brought a much-needed personal story to the debate. And the next comment was one of my favorites— you never really do hear of a “firestorm” coming from a television show or movie when it makes fun of someone that is overweight. With folks pouring their hearts out, I decided to join them:
Here is a photo of me, from my few years of “skinny”…
Now, I’m not vouching for the Rod Stewart-esque hair. But I looked damn good! And I felt even better! However, let me tell you this: I have never worked as hard in my life for something as that 100 pound weight loss. A lot of my progress had to do with a very rigid schedule that I had at the time: I would work from 9 AM to 3 PM. I would drive an hour to school. I would be in school from 5 PM t0 10 PM. Then I would drive home and go to the gym or run at midnight. I would sleep for 7 hours or so and then do it all over.
This regimented, tight schedule helped me stay on track. This, along with a very low-carb diet and exercise, propelled me to great success with losing weight. But it was very difficult and something I worked on every single day.
When I started working as a flight attendant in 2004, all bets were off. I didn’t have a schedule. I was in a different city every night. Barely access to a refrigerator. Layovers of 8 hours, sandwiched between 14 hour days– just enough time for sleep. No time for working out. On the rare occasion that I did have a nice layover in a unique city, what did the crew do? We went out for dinner and drinks! The calories added up because of the lifestyle. Were my experiences worth the weight that I gained and the hard work I flushed down the toilet? I don’t think so— but I can’t take back my choices, only attempt to correct them in the future.
OK, I’ve done the obligatory “pouring out my heart and soul,” now back to you and the story at hand:
I agree with this poster. Food addiction is a real and serious thing. Have you ever tried to start a new diet or a new lifestyle? About three days into it, you’ll go through the same cravings and withdrawals that alcoholics and drug addicts go through, guaranteed.
The poster above was referring to the fact that overweight people and “normal” people are treated very differently in this society— take it from me, who has seen both sides of the coin.
And still, after seeing so much heart-wrenching discussion above, someone has time for a joke:
In closing, the last two comments summed up the whole argument for me: the weight discussion needs to be treated as fairly, humanely and sensitively as any other in our national discourse, including race, religion or sexuality.
What did I learn from this whole episode? I should have separated “rudeness” from “pickiness” when discussing my friend and the “back-up” pizza. Because I’ve been through this myself, it should have occurred to me that any reference to a person’s size was going to stoke discussion that would grow heated and fierce.
With this being said, many people needed to hear the personal stories that came forward because of the question Joe posed to his Facebook Family. Perhaps the next time they are willing to make a characterization about someone based on weight, they will be brought back to this discussion amongst friends and realize that we all have a story to tell.
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