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I understand there isn't enough time in the day, people eat because they're depressed, gaining weight because you have had a child, etc. (most common reasons/excuses), but what I seriously don't understand is how people let themselves get so overweight and never do anything about it (even when they're aware of it and especially when they're unhappy about it). The thing that baffles me the most is that most overweight people seem to be aware that if they get healthier than a lot of the not only physical, but mental issues (depression, low self-esteem) will begin to get better. I just don't understand it and I really would appreciate some good insight. This question, for me, is most important to understand because of my parents; I don't want to lose them so early in my life because they never consistently try to make themselves healthier. It really is one of the things, out of my control, that makes me most sad. I appreciate any honest, real, and non-sarcastic answers most. Thank You.
TristVinter TristVinter 22-25, F 18 Answers Nov 13, 2012 in Image & Weight

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I have been battling my weight for 30 years...at some point it's just easier to give up.<br />
I've not given up yet, but I certainly understand those that do. I have friends that can eat anything they want, live a similar lifestyle to myself, and remain skinny. I look at a slice of pizza and gain 2 pounds. I live on a 2000 calorie a day diet just to not gain more. I work hard, I'm 6'2", and my ideal weight is 190. I've been as high as 300, and as low as 240...I haven't been 190 since college.

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The friends you describe as thin still, I call, "skinny fat." Meaning, they might be skinny, but they're most likely still pretty unhealthy, on the inside. Good job for your hard work! The extra added years in life will thank you. :]

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Thumbs up to you. It is hard work to keep your weight some what normal. I work on it everyday myself and then people think I am just lucky.

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I'm the same; good for you Alexa! However, I will admit, it is somwhat annoying that people assuming it's luck rather than being aware of what your body needs, not wants.

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The one line in Austin Powers was supposed to be funny but for some people I know it's true. "I eat because I'm sad, and I'm sad because I eat." It can be overwhelming and because they don't know how to get motivated or break the habit they remain the same way. Other people, they try and try but get discouraged when they don't get instant results or when a few methods don't work out. Thing is, every body is different and each body needs different things.

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The last line, definitely so true. I wish more people wanted to figure out what their body needed to be healthier, happier, or whatever else. Lately, to me at least, it seems like more people want to focus on the outside without realizing their inside. How can we know what's going on with other's if we don't understand ourselves?

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I don't know I am fit.. but I can tell you as someone that has lived in Europe, most of it has to do with diet. We are very fixated on quick wins here in the US and people believe that because something is fat free or zero calories it is good for them. If you look at the difference between a supermarket in say Spain vs one here in the US, the answer is simple... processed foods.

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Yes, this is a cultural reason. I have also lived in Europe as well as the Middle East. One of the main reasons I am moving back to Europe in a year and a half is because of the food in the US. Thank you for your answer!

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Like any addiction/crutch people use in life. Some people are shopaholics, can't afford it, in debt up to their eyesballs, hell don't even wear or use the stuff they buy. Others drink, gamble, use drugs. It is easy to look at weight loss equals less food, but food is all around. An alcoholic can avoid the bars, pubs, you can't escape food.

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But doesn't this go back to low self-esteem, depression, and/or other mental health reasons; are people just too unaware as to why they overindulge on food? I would think it'd be one of the most obvious of addictions to notice over-eating becoming out of control due to the quickness you can notice it with your appearance.

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I don't think you understand depression and low self-esteem to be honest. You are focusing on the fact that yes eat less, healthier food choices and exercise more results in weight loss. If it was just so simple there would not be a mullti billion business in helping people to diet. I can't explain it more sorry, you seem to be hung up on food aspect of it. Depression and low self-esteem are really difficult issues to deal with in life. Those have to be treated before the weight loss.

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Trust me, I truly understand depression; however, I do understand that I do not understand the low self-esteem. When you're dealing with childhood PTSD followed by complex PTSD, depression is not something you can escape. I have been a hermit for three years of my life, locked in a mental institution before where the doctors convienced my parents I was crazy and wouldn't let me out - later, they realized that the doctors had to do that to avoid a law suit since they figured out there was nothing "wrong with me" except I dealt with PTSD (this was when I was 17). I had to grow up and learn how to 100% rely, and believe in myself, in order to mentally get through being held hostage (for five months), treated for things that I didn't have, with no one to talk to, but doctors that admitted later (in trial) that they knew they were doing this to cover their own *****. Trust me, I understand depression. What I don't understand is people not helping themselves.

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You went through a lot sorry. I have depression too, even attempted suicide once. What has made the difference for me is getting HELP. You don't know what is going on in peoples' lives. When people are ready to address their underlying issues, they lose weight. Because losing weight is not simply eating less, it is a whole change of lifestyle. Or they lose weight and then put it back on and then some. Would you go to an alcoholic and say you need to help yourself? They have to want help or it does not work.

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That's exactly what I needed to hear, but really didn't want to! It's just that, I don't think I'll ever being able to comprehend why people wouldn't want to help themselves; it must run deeper than depression and/or low self-esteem. This is what makes me really the most sad when I see someone who appears to be in their 30's weighing over 350 lbs. or whatnot; because subconsciously or not, to them, they obviously want to die. It really breaks my heart for them and whoever else loves them. Thank you for replying.

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Again no, depression is a very serious illness. Self esteem issues can lead to people having casual sex with random strangers etc. You have to let go of people not wanting to help themselves idea. Number one is admitting you have a problem and a lot of people not just overweight people live in denial. Not every overweight person is unhealthy, morbidly obese yes. Yes like some naturally very skinny people are not anorexic.

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I have addressed this in replies to other people that have posted in this discussion question.

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I think it's mostly a combination of two main factors 1 - instant gratification (it's easier and quicker to grab a donut than it is to go for a walk or lift some weights.) People want to feel good NOW, which means drinking, smoking and eating unhealthy or fattening food. They don't want to invest in long term goals which might be painful right now (exercising and dieting), but rewarding in the long haul. AND<br />
2 - a lot of people use food as a replacement for love. If they feel lonely, bored, angry, sad, horny or any of the multiple manifestations of a lack of love, they reach for food to fill that void.<br />
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I used to be very overweight, and lost 85lbs by exercising and watching what I ate, but It was necessary for me to get positive about my life first

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Congrats for your hard efforts; physically and mentally. I really wish more people would understand it at the level you have so they would also benefit from the positive changes.

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But if you don't mind my invasiveness, what got you to change your ways to be able to get more positive about life in order to pave the way to your success?

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I had just turned 30 a couple of months prior and I remember lying on my mom's sofa and shoveling food into my face and I thought "This is it. I can't stand this anymore". I'd always dreamed of being thin and sexy and in shape, and I'd never before had the motivation to do it. I had just broken up with a long term boyfriend, I was and I was drinking and smoking a lot of pot. I just got sick of it all of a sudden. In reality though, it was all the tiny little things. Being ignored by men, my clothes never fitting, feeling self concious and hating my body. I hope your parents have that epiphany moment too, but if they don't, there's really nothing to be done about it. At least you are healthy :D Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Good question!

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The reason that we as nation are over weight is: We have food every where we look. We have the fattest poor people on earth. I researched this and found any country that is very rich are very fat. We are little kings and queen. Our nation is full of spoiled people. We don't walk or bike places. We have TV and computers that make us sit for hours. The other issue is we grab for the same bad foods every day. instead of thinking a veggie or apple would make my body healthy.. we don't think out of the box. The super morbidly obese on average die at the age of 60. The obese people on average die 6 years before the normal weight people do at the age of 82 for men and 85 for woman if they are being medicated. So they die at the age of about 76.

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I like your answer, but the most overweight country in the world is actually American Somoa; and has been for some time. If you're talking about the US; yes, it is true (minus one small error in upmost).

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Oh, and Norway has always been one of the richest countries in the world; also, one of the most fit.

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a victim of sexual abuse might, gain weight so they wont be preyed on as much. thyroid conditions lack of proper diet frustration with the life long battle. the search for happiness through food... emotional eating.

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I'm a victim of sexual abuse (age 8, 15, and 20; no not ever from being a drunken idiot or looking for sex/love in the wrong places; kidnapper, doctor, and co-worker) and I haven't ever given up on myself to where I "protect" myself with weight (an unhealthy amount/lifestyle or anything else that could cause early death. I am beginning to think complex-PTSD creates a much stronger survival instinct or mode to go off in one's mind.

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Maybe it's like a kind of living armor to protect themselves emotionally? If you are so obese that women reject you before they even get to know you, they don't get a chance to get close enough to reject you where you get emotionally hurt by it.

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But would people consciouslly do this to themselves just to avoid rejection or do you think this is more of a subconscious thing, in your opinion, of course?

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I'm no psychologist, but my guess is it's mostly subconscious. Maybe for 1% it's not, but for most it would be. (That's my guess.)

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Last night, my bf's friend died. He was grossly overweight and last weekend was at the hospital with chest pains, vomiting, and sweats. He left the hospital against medical advice. I told my bf that he's had a heart attack and will be dead in a week--I missed by a day. If he was of normal weight, he would be alive today. I think he was in his early 50's. Very sad. Nice fellow.

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I'm really sorry for your loss.

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Thanks, but it is not unusual for obese people to die before their time--so I expected it.

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Yah, obesity is one of the easiest ways to predict someone's mortality rate; I suppose that's why I'm so scared about all this, for my parents. :[

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"and never do anything about it" there it is right there, most tend to do something about it, get frustrated and don't. some just don't feel that they'll be unhealthy if they've got the weight, because a lot of overweight people, aren't unhealthy. media and society just tells people that a person who is overweight, is unhealthy.

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Well, later on, I said, "never consistently try to get healthier." I should had said, "and never consistently do anything about it" for better clarification to begin with. Also, I said in my initial question, "so overweight;" here again, I should had said something like, "so overweight that is literally is unhealthy," but we are only allowed so many characters; sorry for the confusion.

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I'm not confused. I know that those that are overweight, aren't always unhealthy.

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That isn't what I was explaining.

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Oh, I know. You think that people who are overweight aren't bothering to try to get healthy. You don't understand why they'd choose to stay unhealthy.

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Simplistically put, yes (keeping in mind that I understand that not everyone who is considered overweight is necessarily unhealthy).

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You equate a person being "so overweight" with being unhealthy, so yes, you feel everyone who is overweight, is unhealthy.

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There is a word you are missing; "so". Anyway, there are too many variables to judge me off of just these simple words here: only one example, I have a friend who is considered overweight, but in above than normal good health. He is considered overweight due to his BMI; it says he is overweight due to his height simply because of how much muscle he has. You are far too quick to judge and your biases are obvious; therefore, you are not understanding my motives in writing and within my explainations. It would be a waste of time for me to respond again, but thanks for the feedback you wrote on this thread.

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I don't know this either... I've been depressed for a long time, but when I start eating a lot and gain some weight I just make myself eat less, or eat healthier foods. I don't understand the lack of willpower that so many people have.

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Is it lack of willpower? I am beginning to think that it is the structure in which they're raised. For me, I was extremely active growing up; swimming, biking, gymnastics, etc. so when I become lazy and notice a slight of extra weight, I don't physically feel bad about myself, I literally feel more weighed down, physically held back, and I don't like that. However, that doesn't apply to my parents who were both physically active until their mid-30s (now in their 60s). I understand age makes you have less energy, but they have seriously let their health go down the tubes (type-2 diabetes, gout, liver issues).

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Everyone is different, I have depression and at it's worst was severely underweight. If I am stressed I don't eat. Nothing to do with will power.

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My husband has those issues and is 56. I am normal weight 21 BMI. I does nothing about it. He worked hard one year and dropped 50 lb. He gained it back quickly. The deal is 95% of people gain their weight back plus more. So I don't push him. I just try to set a good example.

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for my best friend it was because his wife all of a sudden turned into a frigid ***** and he stopped caring

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Idk, perhaps they just enjoy eating what they like too much. If I notice I'm putting on weight, I typically fast for a day or so and it goes back down no problem.

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