Certainly the fat jokes about Christie should go. It's his bullying approach to politics, and his Republican politics, that deserve the focus of our criticism. We all should be more sympathetic to how difficult weight issues can be.
On the other hand, I do think, if not taken to excess, a little bit of social pressure helps, as long as it's motivating, not too cruel or harshly shaming. I have never blamed others if they didn't find me physically attractive when I was fat. I don't find fat very attractive myself, and I'm not going to hold a hypocritical double standard. Chemistry is chemistry. People can't just will themselves into physical attraction for the sake of political correctness.
For my own case -- although I certainly don't hold everyone else to this standard -- my weight really is a matter of personal discipline and effort. My highest measured weight (it may have gone higher during some long, unmeasured spans of time) was 263 lbs, back in April 2012. For my height of 6', that's about 35.7 BMI -- so not as severe as you got, but still quite bad enough. I'm now 178 (BMI 24.1), and even though that's near the upper end of the "normal" BMI range, most people think I look not just normal, but skinny now.
I lost weight once before in the 90s, coming down from a then-top weight of maybe 245 (I never weighed myself until after I noticed I was losing weight), and I kept myself fit and trim for 7-8 years. Then I slowly let my fitness slide when life circumstances made it more difficult to stick with my diet and exercise routine.
For a while I just didn't care. I didn't feel like the first 10-20 pounds I regained was such a big deal. And when that didn't seem like a big deal, the next ten on top of that didn't seem like a big deal either. Eventually my excess weight started to bother me a little, but still not quite enough to get me exercising and eating better again. I had never been a "rah, rah, feel the burn!" exercise enthusiast. Exercise was never better than a dreary chore to be done as far as I was concerned, which made it tough to stick to it for as many years as I had once before, and even tougher to return to it. Fitness was a fond memory, but the process of staying fit was anything but.
And oddly enough, for as much as people often recommend exercise to battle depression, I suffered the worst episodes of depression in my life while I was fittest I'd ever been. This made me fear that I might be prone to exercised-induced depression (turns out there is such a thing), and, whether it was merely another rationalization for hating exercise or not, that factor only added to my reluctance to get back to exercise and better eating.
It took a series of little shocks, spread out over a few years, to make me resolve to lose weight again. One of the first shocks I remember was when I was given, as a Christmas present, a visit to an indoor skydiving session. It turns out that there was a top allowed weight of 250 lbs. On the skydiving center's scale, in my winter street clothes, I came out to 253. They let the few extra pounds slide. When I was in the skydiving chamber, even though I'd previously watched others flying all around through the air while I waited, I barely managed floating 2-3 feet above the floor.
Then there were growing twinges of knee pain. Finding myself pushing off on the arm of the sofa to get up. Having to give into buying jeans with a 40" waist (I'm now wearing 30"!), and then having those 40-inchers starting to get tight. Suddenly having to chase after an escaping cat, but feeling I was mired in molasses up to my thighs the moment I tried to run.
The final straw came when my wife bought a new bathroom scale. I stepped on it and saw 270! It turns out that the scale had to be calibrated first, but even when that was done, and I stepped on the scale buck naked, I was still getting 263, which was bad enough. I think seeing that first uncalibrated, clothes-on weight of 270 was a good thing for me, however, because I not sure a "mere" 263 would have been, of and by itself, quite as much shock as I needed.
The next day I began regular exercise, and greatly improved my diet. I've been at it ever since. I lost 50 lbs in six months -- just in time to meet my first goal of losing 50 before turning 50. I've been under 200 for a full year now. I've been at my current weight of 178 about six months.
Having lost a lot of weight now twice in my life, and that first time having kept it off for many years, and showing all the signs that I'll again keep it off for many years to come, I can't, for my own case, ever accept any excuses about my weight being some weird biological or medical thing beyond my control. For me, discipline matters. Not being lazy matters. If I regain the weight I've lost, I will consider that a personal failing, and I think rightly so.
This time around I dumped the low-fat diet I used during the 90s. I didn't suffer too much from hunger while losing weight this second go round, and I hardly ever feel myself going hungry now that I'm eating to maintain my current weight. I still don't love exercise in general, but I've found stuff to do that I at least find more tolerable, and a few activities (that I unfortunately can't do often enough to be my main source of exercise) I actually do enjoy. The bad depression I'd experienced in the 90s did not recur.
One reason I'm not as tough on others as I can be on myself, however, is that I know I've got advantages working for me that others won't have (a gym at work, a very short commute that frees up time, getting an appetite suppressing effect from exercise), and I also know, having done it myself once before, how easy it is to fall off the wagon.
Christie could conceivably recover from the bridge debacle, but he will be even more completely and truly out of the running for 2016 if the media finally look beyond Christie's well-crafted Sandy PR to see the far less inspiring real story behind his role in the storm recovery effort.
"Where is the money? Only 24% of Allocated Sandy Relief Funds Have Been Distributed" (as of 11/12/2013)
"Was Christie the Hurricane Hero?"
"Watchdog: Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has raised $32M, doled out $0"
A capital-C Conspiracy that is, not just two or more run-of-the-mill zealots colluding with each other.
(1) I don't deny that a Big Conspiracy is possible, perhaps even likely. Pope Francis is certainly making enemies in high places.
But I also think it's the kind of crime easily committed by a lone assailant, working completely on his/her own. Francis seems to love moving around out among the people, in ways I suspect often leave his personal security somewhat lacking.
No matter how possible it is for one person to plan and carry out such an attack, however, if the news reports that it's a lone gunman, you won't believe it.
You will not. You can not. Everything that could point to that simple explanation will seem contrived to you, untrustworthy. It will be the "official story", which is, in and of itself, a damning comment. The "official story" is always and only for suckers.
You will find "inconsistencies". Someone will have said something the day before that sure sounds like it foreshadows the upcoming event. Perhaps a few more cardinals than usual will be in Vatican City at the time, "clearly" there to be ready for the next papal election. Some transfer of funds within the Church will seem very suspicious. Some billionaire CEO will have recently met with some archbishop. There will be unexplained sounds. There will be odd glints and shimmers and puffs of smoke found in videos, played endlessly on YouTube with arrows and red circles drawn in to point them out.
Further, I marked item (1) for a reason. I can say (1) as many times as I like, but if I express any skepticism about the inevitable would-be conspiracy theories, you will either ignore that I have said (1), or treat it as a throw-away disclaimer. You'll be sure that I must actually be a shill or a dupe for the dreaded "official story", totally unwilling to question authority, like you so bravely do.
If anyone calls you a conspiracy nut for whatever wild theories you spin for what "really" happened, you'll snap at them, asking them what's wrong with "questioning" the official story. It will be clear from your tone and attitude, however, that your "questioning" is really damn near 100% certainty that only a big plot motivated by evil corporations, corrupt governments, and threatened church conservatives could have done it.
Lone gunmen? Puhlease!
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