Read part one here, if you haven't already. Okay, here's part two: I…
Get Ripped And Stay Ripped – Insights From Women: Part 1
This blog post and its’ sequel are going to be commentary’s/analyses of this Ted Talk by Whitney Thore. She is extremely obese and has been for a while now. This video is an excellent insight into the mindset that causes weight gain in many people, and the rationalisations that go through a persons mind. I’m going to look at some of the problems in this video and see what we can all learn from it.
Note: Before we start, I want to say that obviously shaming someone for their weight is a horrendous thing to do, and not only is it nasty and vindictive, but people should have better things to do than verbally abuse someone because of their weight. This is obvious, but I just want to clarify for newer readers.
How Not To Empower Yourself
Back in 1997, Whitney was in the locker room at school. From my understanding, there came a moment whereby the girls were required to weigh themselves, and Whitney flushed with embarrassment in response to (assumingly) weighing more than her colleagues.
Then she showed a picture of her 1997 self on the screen….and she wasn’t remotely fat. Therefore, how could she be embarrassed when there was nothing to be embarrassed about? Doesn’t really make sense, does it?
I can tell you for a fact that my self-confidence as a teenager wasn’t particularly high. It was pretty damn average. I was confident when it came to sitting exams and doing academic related stuff. I was confident on the football pitch and doing just about any athletics or sports. But I wasn’t remotely confident when it came to social environments or girls or anything like that.
In fact, I believe this lack of inter-personal confidence acted as one of my primary motives for going to the gym all those years ago; wanting so badly to “just gain a bit of muscle”.
This is the polar opposite of how Whitney responded…
“After that incident, the emotion I associated with my body was shame. Shame followed me everywhere like a shadow.”
Yep, you were severely under-confident, and unfortunately, the darker side of human nature can be that certain personalities prey on weakness. This is especially true during high-school, but it still holds true to some extent during adulthood.
Now, how do we eliminate weakness and empower ourselves? Hint: it is NOT what poor young Whitney did:
“I knew I had to act…..so I grabbed my Father’s toothbrush and shoved it down my throat….and there began my lifelong journey of eating disorders.”
On a slight tangent, that’s precisely why I never recommend “making up for it” after a dieting screw-up, as the cycle tends to be a negative one that you don’t have the willpower to overcome. Just relax, calm down, and take a methodical approach. Start again tomorrow. Relax.
No, the real way to empower yourself is to set goals, achieve them and conquer.
I don’t care what the current social narrative is on achievement and self-confidence in our weak and entitled culture, the truth of the matter is; PERSONAL POWER IS DERIVED FROM PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT. Not running away from your problems, blaming other people and/or stuffing your face with copious quantities of food.
I know that seems too simple for people to wrap their little brains around, but it’s that simple. Empowerment doesn’t come from bitching, moaning and complaining. That’s fake. That’s just “rah-rah” and emoting. Real mental strength comes from personal success from the past, and in the present moment.
In her case, it would come from:
- Fitness goals
- Relationships/man goals
- Career goals
- Family goals
- Travel goals
And I can guarantee that if her teenage self did reasonably well across those areas, she would not look anything like she does now. That is, she wouldn’t be life-threateningly obese.
The Greatest Killer Of The Human Mind – An External Locus Of Control
I feel sorry for Whitney, and I know that bullying is a horrible thing. I realise that the human condition is one which tends to focus on and magnify negative emotions when it does experience them. But it’s a bad habit that we all must get rid of.
Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING she says, either directly or indirectly implies that she had no control over her emotions, her eating habits and ultimately, her current life-threateningly obese state.
I’ve written about this before, and how if we want to get stuff done we need to have an internal locus of control, otherwise our lives will be completely controlled by the whims of others.
“Shame followed me everywhere…”
Yes, you were cursed by God. Nothing you can do about it.
“I noticed that my body was changing…”
Yep, it just changed. As if by magic. It just happened. Hahaha. This reminds me of when people get into relationships/marriages/cheat on eachother/have kids “by accident” and the implication is that both parties were just helpless to the almighty “unseen” powers and nobody had a choice in anything.
“The magical tooth fairy appeared and cast a spell over us…and it just….well….it just happened! I just couldn’t help it! I just became pregnant. I was SO SHOCKED, I JUST HAD NO IDEA!”
Well what did you think was going to happen when you “accidentally” stopped taking the pill, honey?
Or; “I just magically GAINED 50 POUNDS! I was so shocked!”
Well, when you were sat there at the table at 9:25pm every single night chowing down on cookies and ice cream, did you expect that to make you SKINNY?!?
Oh God (chuckle), please help, my sides are actually hurting.
“To say that my weight gain was difficult was an understatement”
Oh come on you’re not fooling anyone. Gaining weight is great fun. You get to pig out on great food all the time. It’s absolute heaven!
Sure, being unattractive isn’t fun. Not having sex with anyone in ten years isn’t fun. Having a half-decent sex life is a pretty basic requirement for self-confidence.
But gaining weight?
Nah that’s great fun. Stop lying. Losing weight is what is not fun.
Long-term vs short-term guys. Gaining weight = short-term happy, long-term miserable because you can’t get laid. Losing weight is very difficult, but remember it’s = short-term less happy, long-term very happy, and frankly, very empowered.
You can screech and preach on stage at a TED Talk all you like. But human beings who know they aren’t attractive to the opposite sex always suffer dysfunction of some kind. Some become really passive and withdraw. Others become very aggressive and seek power elsewhere; often in politics or career. Either way it’s bad.
“It’s like I had been forced into some social experiement against my will…like I had been forced to put on a fat suit and parade around”
Are you serious?
I’m sorry, but you’ve now taken it to another level. I know you’ve suffered in the past, and for that you have my empathy. Young kids should not have to suffer through bullying.
But, I’m sorry, “A social experiment against your will??” Are you completely insane? Do you need locking up in a mental asylum?
Take some damn responsibility for your actions! Grow up! If you want to save your life, stop eating so much damn food!
For heaven’s sake. If you could epitomise a weak mindset, it would be that right there. This is the mindset that I absolutely despise. It’s the result of, and is actively encouraged by, a Collectivist, Socialist culture, and it absolutely rots the soul. Awful stuff.
The one area of your life which you have COMPLETE control over, is your health and fitness:
NOBODY CAN FORCE YOU TO EAT MORE FOOD THAN YOU NEED. NOBODY CAN FORCE YOU TO STOP EXERCISING. WE LIVE IN 21ST CENTURY WESTERN CIVILISATION WITH A LOT OF PERSONAL FREEDOMS. WE DON’T LIVE IN NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS, THEREFORE DARLING, YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE NOT BEEN FORCED INTO BECOMING ENORMOUS.
When talking about a guy that she once went on a date with and she later saw (100 pounds heavier or so):
“It was like he looked straight through me. Like I wasn’t there.”
Well duh, looks matter. You can either accept it and play to win, or be miserable. It’s a similar concept to guys who completely resign from dating just to sit on their Xbox’s, all because they can’t accept that women like confident, non-needy, good-looking guys. It’s not that difficult people. Men are biologically wired to like attractive women, whether you like this or not. Women are biologically wired to get turned off by needy, under-confident men, whether you like this or not.
Accept reality for what it is.
Does Whitney come round eventually and accept reality? Does she lose weight? Does she turn her life around?
Stay tuned for part two…