web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



On The Topic Of Weight – A Different Opinion


Dear Ms. Novick:

 

There once was a time when I sincerely believed that I was open-minded regarding people who are overweight. I now know that I am not, and can never be, open-minded on the issue, and accordingly, make no such pretensions. I do not expect this missive to gain me any popularity, but certain things must be said, so I will say them.

 

Please do not get me wrong − it is highly appropriate, desirable and commendable to take pains to avoid hurting other person’s feelings. But if, indeed, one cannot even so much as allude to the issue of weight when conversing with a fat person, what then might induce fat people to take responsibility for the effects of their physical conditions upon other people? The answer, in a word, is “nothing!”

 

The social taboo against even mentioning the issue of weight serves to facilitate fat persons’ irresponsibility and unaccountability for their weight.

 

And so, the obesity epidemic is driving up health insurance costs which individuals and employers must pay.

 

On a more individual level, if I cannot even obliquely mention weight, how am I to deal with the obese woman sitting next to me on the airplane, whose flab protrudes out into my own seat so I cannot comfortable sit in it? Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that it’s a night flight, and the cabin lights have been switched off, but I cannot stay up and read because her obese belly obstructs the reading light?

 

Can I say anything to my fellow passenger without hurting her feelings? Am I supposed to complain to the flight attendant? And yet, the fatso lobby whines that it is discriminatory for the airlines to require people who cannot fit into one airline seat to purchase two seats to accommodate their bigsize.

 

And then there is the problem of the person in the back seat of my car, who is too fat to buckle him/herself into the seatbelt. If he/she doesn’t buckle up, then, in the event of a crash, he/she becomes a projectile in motion (and a very heavy one, at that), which would crash into the front seat occupants (including me) and cause grievous if not lethal damage. If I ask him/her to buckle up, he/she is forced to implicitly or explicitly say that he/she cannot reach the seat belts because of her body bulk. If I offer to help him/her buckle up the seatbelt, then that, too, indirectly implicates his/her weight (which, according to Novick, is a hurtful form of bullying).

 

And what of our Rosh Hashanah houseguest who was too fat to take care of her own personal hygiene? Where is the responsibility and accountability? There was none!

 

And then, there is the issue of stealth snacking. I know of no scientific study on the matter, but it seems that a significant percentage if not a majority (or even a totality) of fat people nosh on candy or other munchies at times other than meal time; moreover, there often is a secret candy stash in places such as automobiles, bedrooms, offices, etc. If the noshing is done “unofficially” at times other than meal times, then, somehow, it doesn’t figure into the fat person’s calculus of his or her calorie intake. If we so much as mention this, we are being hurtful bullies, but if we don’t mention it, then we are being facilitators.

 

In our effort to spare the feelings of the obese among us, we have become facilitators of their irresponsibility. So maybe there is some merit to harassing, singling out, hounding, maltreating, tormenting and discriminating against fat people. At least it just might induce them to take responsibility for what their bodies do to the rest of us. Trying to humor the fatsos has failed miserably!

 

You quite likely will disagree with the foregoing perspective. There is an excellent chance that you will be alienated by it, and you might even have negative feelings towards me personally on account of it. Nevertheless, the issues of responsibility and accountability must be part of the dialogue on acceptance of obese people. The problem is you seemingly would have the matter of weight never mentioned at all. And that means no dialogue at all!


TVQ


 


My response next week

 

You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “On The Topic Of Weight – A Different Opinion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Sections Stories
Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot together in concert.

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

Mordechai-082214-Armoire

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Einhorn-082214-Water

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

More Articles from Ann Novick

When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.

Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.

Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.

Dear Ann,

I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.

Dear Ann,

Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.

Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.

Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-the-topic-of-weight-a-different-opinion/2008/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: