Real Life: I’m Obese

This episode dealt with the lives of three individuals who live with one of the most common health issues in the United States, obesity. The first, Corey, approaches obesity with restitution. He realizes that his weight is a problem and resolves to “fix” his illness with gastric bypass surgery. In his mind he sees the surgery as a cure to eating and a cure to gaining weight, overall making him healthier and “normal”. The second, Amy, also realizes her illness but deals with it very differently. Her life is much more chaotic, everything she does is controlled by her weight. It is almost as if she is addicted to eating, because she is unable to stop. She also realizes all of the effects of obesity, like diabetes, heart attack, etc, but this makes her afraid that without surgery she will die. Finally the last individual, Frances, embraces her obesity, saying that her weight is part of who she is. For her she owns what the others see as a disorder. She rejects the cultural need to be thin, and says that she can be perfectly happy the way she is.

 

They use their different narratives to deal with their lives. Each one comes from a different background and sees the obesity as a different thing for them. Corey uses his narrative to come to terms with his obesity and to do something about it. Amy uses the chaos of her situation seek medical help and avoid the negative ramifications of her weight. Frances makes it her quest to show people that obesity may not be a bad thing and that you can be obese and still enjoy life.

 

Obesity is prevalent in our culture and is definitely stigmatized. I can speak from personal experience. Much of my family is overweight, and my mother was obese for most of my life. She face many difficulties. Finally, around the time my brother announced that he and his wife were expecting, she resolved to do something about it. She had struggled with dieting for years, and finally decided on gastric bypass surgery. It was incredible. It made such a change in her life, she is now down to a healthy weight, she is able to do much more around the house, and most of all, she can play with my niece.

 

The two individuals in the show that took the same route as my mom also found that there was a very supportive environment to help them, but its also a very realistic environment, showing the the true consequences of obesity. As far as rights and responsibilities, I believe that obese individuals deserve to be treated like any others, but it is there responsibility to accept or deal with their obesity.

1 thought on “Real Life: I’m Obese

  1. After doing some web exploring I found several people referencing this blog (http://corpulent.wordpress.com/about/) which is written by a self proclaimed ‘obese’ girl in Australia. She seems to be a big inspiration to others. She practices ‘fat activism’ helping to change the image of overweight people. She wants fat to be more accepted and people to be confident and happy with themselves. Reading your post this girl, Frances, sounds a lot like the Frances (same name, different person) from this True Life episode. They are both confident and happy with themselves, embracing their obesity. I think both of these girls must have had a unique experience that led them to have a lot of confidence because they are going against the grain and have to in my opinion be very strong to do that. For example they probably had supportive parents, and took criticism very well. They were both woman, which in our culture is plagued by magazines and TV shows of skinny (and overly skinny) models that make even regular size girls look too big. It was probably a tipping point where they had enough and they had the support around them to make a stand against the stereotype of obesity.

    Again the blog is:
    http://corpulent.wordpress.com/about/

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