Talking tech since 2003

By now you have likely seen the Dear Fat People video created by Nicole Arbour (YouTube star/comedian). I wasn’t going to comment on this, but an email made its way into my inbox this evening from a PR rep who represents Rachel McCord, a fashion/lifestyle blogger, who runs a site called The McCord List and I since I can’t escape this video I’ll share some thoughts. According to the email, Ms. McCord started a petition to have the video taken down from YouTube for violating the site’s terms of service–and apparently, it was, at least temporarily, because it now appears to be back online. So… now what?

Well, as you may know I’ve been battling my weight for a few years now and as I’ve written about before, in early 2015 not only did I decide to change my eating habits and lifestyle, I also made the decision to get a gastric sleeve procedure (which I did get on July 1). Since March 2015 I have lost 62lbs (that equates to approx. 30lbs before the surgery and 32lbs after surgery) and I’m still going strong!

nicole-arbour-dear-fat-people
Nicole Arbour in Dear Fat People video.

Now that we have all that out of the way, let’s address the video by Ms. Arbour. I was (well, I still am) obese. I mean I guess I was never like morbidly obese but I definitely fall in the medical categorization of being obese and likely Ms. Arbour’s as well because my weight was affecting my health. In fact, one of the main reasons I decided to change my lifestyle and have the surgery was because I found out my liver was becoming “fatty.” In other words, it was slightly enlarged and just not as healthy as it should be (you will be happy to know that a recent blood test has shown my liver is in perfect health again). Nonetheless, while Ms. Arbour’s video is certainly mean spirited and not funny, I wasn’t upset by it and I don’t believe you should be either (whether you’re fat or skinny). Let me explain why.

I don’t know the true intentions behind the video, but in my opinion, the unfortunate thing about Ms. Arbour’s video is that if it wasn’t mean it would rack up a few hundred (maybe thousand) views and die a silent death. If it wasn’t so mean and actually provided useful information, tips, and encouragement, it likely wouldn’t have gone viral. That’s just how things work. I have a strong feeling Ms. Arbour and her team weren’t as concerned with “starting a conversation” about fat shaming and weight as they were with making money from a viral video. The world could definitely have done without “Dear Fat People,” but since it was created and put online we can use it as an example.

During the 6 minute video Ms. Arbour is right about one thing: if you are obese and it is affecting your health, you should seriously consider seeking a lifestyle change and medical help. Again, as someone who is currently dealing with all of this, I’m doing this for me, but also my family and I’m sure the same would be the case for anyone. I have a lot I want to accomplish in my life, why put unnecessary obstacles in the way?

Clearly though she’s wrong about pretty much everything else, fat shaming is real. People make fun of people for various different reasons, including being fat, challenged, or just flat out different than what is considered “normal.” In none of those situations does being jerk to someone else actually help — so don’t do it, just don’t.

I consider myself lucky in the sense that I never really had issues making friends and as far as I know I’ve never been made fun of for being overweight. But let me tell you, now that I’m losing weight, I definitely feel better about myself. Just having your clothes fit better is like a whole new world. Anyone is capable of losing weight, here are a few things I’d definitely recommend:

  • Find a support group to be there for you and hold you accountable.
  • Celebrate each pound lost with a high five.
  • Set small goals to hit.
  • Make smarter choices — an orange, not orange juice.
  • Cut out all juices and soda (even diet). Drink water, crystal light, and/or diet Snapple.
  • Incorporate some exercise. Even just walking on a treadmill or outside for a bit is good!
  • Before you open the fridge/freezer/cabinet ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”

I have a lot more tips/advice, if you want to chat I’m more than happy to, you can email me.

What this whole “Dear Fat People,” video comes down to is this was an extremely bad idea for a video that was green-lit and put online. Don’t let the video (or anyone who is a jerk) upset you. Live your life for you. At the end of the day you should always do what you think is best for you.

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