Enough with Bill O’Reilly and angry little men. I found a great new blog today. It’s called The art of Living Bodaciously:
Pat was a chip off the same block. There was something very sinister about the way she handed out a pair od skipping ropes with the strict demand that the lucky recipients had to use them daily.But what distressed me more was the revelation of the Slimmer of the Week. One member, I’ll call her Jean, was much heavier than all the others. I’m guessing she probably weighed in at more than 350lbs and this was reflected in the much larger amounts she was losing each week, and for each of those three weeks I attended, she won the prize.
But along with the box of fresh fruit she received, she also had to endure the leader’s lengthy speech, a speech which lingered somewhere between patronising and humiliating and left me feeling horribly uncomfortable. It wasn’t enough for Pat to praise her loss, oh no – on top of this came the revelation that this week Jean had been able to mop her own kitchen floor for the first time in ten years!
The next week, Pat shared the revelation that Jean’s husband was totally unsupportive of Jean’s efforts – in fact, on the way to class he’d stopped off at McDonald’s and eaten a whole Big Mac meal right in front of her. I should point out that tears were sliding down Jean’s face at this point – and there was more; Pat barked, ‘Tell them what he did last week, Jean,’ and Jean was forced to tell the class how her husband was buying bags of doughnuts and eating them in her presence to taunt her. I was weeping too, by this point; it all just felt horribly, horribly wrong and I stopped going. I think it took about a month for Pat to stop texting me and stop sending me postcards reminding me that I had x weeks to ’shape up for summer.’ I was relieved to be out of it.
The weight-loss industry comes in many unpleasant forms, capitalising on vulnerability and cashing in on low esteem, but for me, the wrongest thing about it has to be way that shame (and isn’t that awful sense of cheek-burning shame hideous to even imagine, let alone experience?) is used as a tool, no, a weapon, for people to use against themselves in the name of corporate profit. I’m no psychologist but I can’t for the life of me work out how positive change can come from a point of such negativity.