The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, March 13, 2006

Who Is More Foolish? The Fool Or The Fool That Follows It? 

To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of this article in the Washington Post:

For more than six decades, Michael Berman has lived as a fat person. At 5 feet 9 inches, he has weighed as much as 332 pounds. He has been known to eat three racks of ribs at one sitting, or a 40-ounce steak, or a whole box of saltines. In 1986, after dropping a few pounds, he spent $2,100 on three custom-made, pinstriped suits in gray, blue and brown. By the time the suits were ready, 10 weeks later, they no longer fit. Eleven years after that he gave them away, having never been able to wear them.
But forget the notion that fat people can become slim, he says in a part memoir, part self-help book scheduled for release this week. They can -- and should -- manage their weight. They can -- and should -- find an exercise program they can stick with. But fat adults will always be fat. They are in the grips of a disease over which, in the end, they do not have complete control.
Yes, that's what he's saying. "The idea that you can slim down by willpower is a bunch of horse manure," he says. If "nonfat" Americans could be convinced of this, perhaps they'd start relating better to fat Americans. And if fat Americans understood why they're fat and accepted that they will always have to shop at Rochester Big and Tall or Lane Bryant, they could begin "Living Large," as Berman called his book.

Bull Shit!

The rest of the article is actually pretty good. While the first part talks about his belief that fat people can't get thin, the rest is an interesting look into the life a fat person, and how he's coped with it. If the article had stuck to that topic, and not delved into his crackpot foolish assertions, then I would have found it rather interesting, and even worthwhile overall.

After all, not everyone cares if they're fat or not. And making that lifestyle choice does have consequences. So I think it is worthwhile to have an honest discussion of what those consequences are. But the fact that he tries to cover up his choice with the silly idea that it was out of his control is downright insulting. When I read things like this, it always pisses me off.

As some of you might know, I've not always been the slim, athletic, debonair, heartbreakingly gorgeous... where was I going with this? I used to be significantly overweight. I blogged about my weight loss experience some time ago here, if you're interested in the details.

I won't kid you. Losing weight is not easy. It takes time. But then again, gaining weight, while easy, also takes time. There are no magic pills, and there are no overnight miracles. It takes dedication, desire, and support. But it is possible. I'm proof. Being fat is not a disease. It's a non-medical condition that you've brought upon yourself, and which you choose to accept.

I'm not sure which is more sad in this case. The fact that Berman deluded himself for so long that he couldn't lose weight, or that he will convince others of the same thing, and lock them into the same fate that he chose for himself.

Via Right Off the Shore.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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