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 Post subject: Half ton man
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:06 am 
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Elephant
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I saw a documentary yesterday that raised some questions for me.
You can download it here (I think you have to register first):
Half ton man torrent

Imdb info here

The documentary follows a bunch of morbidly obese people, one of them starting of at over half a ton (>1000 ponds) and it also analyses the causes for this desease (apart from the obvious ones). It also takes up some of the problems when going from fat to thin.

It starts of by showing how the paramedics have to break down a wall to get Patrick out of his house and into the ambulance. He hasn't been out of bed for years and he can't turn and lie on his back becausee the weight will make him stop breathing.
When he is arriving at the hospital they can't do anything until he loses weight so they put him on a strict diet. Even though he knows he is dying from this desease he still tries to get the staff to get him regular coca-cola and other snacks.
He manages to lose enough weight to get a stomach shrinking operation (they talk about him losing stones all the time so I have no idea how much he lost as I don't know how much a "stone" is).
After the operation they send him home. He is still eating the same stuff as before (cheese, porkchops, coke, fries, etc) but of course (because of the operation) a lot less of it.

Patrick has a wife. While he was lying in his bed, immobilised, she fed him the things he wanted because she thinks that shows that she loves him. His wife is of course also very obese.
They have never had sex. They want to but they can't because of the condition that they're in.

They also follow a man who is morbidly obese, gets thin and then becomse obese again. He and his wife is talking some about the changes, mostly psychological, that he was going through during these altering stages.

The doctor who made Patricks operation is blaming genetics. He says that there are genes that make some people unable to stop eating. I've made the observation (as the doctor says) that at a dinner with 100 people and really good food, about 10-20 of these people will not finish their meal because they feel that they've had enough. He says that fat people can't stop thinking about food and this is because of their genes.
I think it has to do with dopamine resistance in the brain. Another doctor also explains that dopamine resistance actually gets better if you stay away from the things that trigger the dopamine release and excersise regularily (which betters the resitance). Much like insulin, really. Of course the brain is more complicated than the bloodstream due to more hormones being released that have different function for our emotional life but still the similarities are there.

As you know, I have lost a lot of weight (about 50kg, 110 pounds) and I have made some observations along the road.
The world of the fat is different from the world of the normal. If you are fat you can stay away from some of the problems that the "normal" have to deal with every day. Obesity signals more problems than just the fat itself.
When I lost the weight I was put in a lot of new situations that I had no training to handle. People (both women and men) were interacting with me more and i different ways. Women are flirting with me on a dayly basis. People smile more in my presence than before. Now I've gotten used to it and appriciate it but at first it was very confusing and actually a little scary.
When you are fat people expect less of you and you don't have to be a part of the real world. When you are normal you get thrown into a whole new reality where the expectations are higher. You have to make more decisions every day than you did before. As you get training and losing weight at the same time, your confidence goes up which only enforces this even further. Other people may be even worse off than me as I used to be somewhat of a leader in the am. football team I was playing in.
I think coping with these things actually sets alot of people back from losing more weight.
I've seen some women on the 'net talking about this. Beautiful women (i.e. healthy and normal weighing) gets training for situations all the time. They are often leaders of their groups (because they have more training in handeling differnt situations?). They usually have a game plan when they go out (they know that they have to). They know when a guy is flirting with them and the reactions comes "natural".
A person that don't have this training (i.e. one who goe from obese to normal) can get confused and scared as the world around them changes.
Men don't talk as much to each other about these things but I'm certain that alot of men that are in the same situation are feeling the same things.

Back to the obesity itself. Who's fault is it that a person is obese and what can be done about this problem? Here are a few suggestions that I've seen floating around:
* The individual.
Even though the temptations are strong it's up to the individual to make better choices.
* Government.
The government should set the supply and demand out of balance by raising taxes for junk food or simply forbid people to eat unhealthy.
* Corporations.
The companys selling the unhealthy food should stop diong it even though their making money on it because people obviously want the unhealthy stuff.

Either way you turn it we have to make up our minds on this because if this continues the medical costs are going to astronomical and this of course affects us all.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:18 am 
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Great info thanks :) FYI, a stone is 14 pounds I think. Either 14 or 12... I can never remember, it's a considerable amount. I weigh about 11.5 stone, which is about 150lbs or something.

I think that the individual is ultimately responsible for being overweight. There are other factors, but theoretically, will-power could overcome these. Depending on how tough the other factors are, it can be harder for some people than others. For instance, some people just are more hungry than other people, like you were saying, they think about food more. For those people it is harder to eat less. But it's not impossible.

I agree about people treating you differently depending on weight. It's same with any change in appearance really. I used to be obese too, and the change was very dramatic when I lost weight. It underlined to me how shallow people are. Now when I get a compliment or if someone flirts with me, I am generally like "Uhhh whatever" because I know how shallow it is; and a concern with 'positive' appearance means a concern with 'negative' appearances too. To compliment someone on their appearances is to either not compliment someone else who looks like crap, or it's even to go as far as insulting that person. I think it's better to treat people equally. People might ask me why I give compliments to bodybuilders, but to me that's different because I am complimenting the work; nobody is born muscular, so it is worth complimenting the dedication. If someone gets fat then thin, it was their own fault they were fat to start with, so it's not worth complimenting. It's like if someone hits themself in the face with a hammer then stops, you don't compliment that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:10 am 
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Cool, good info. I've also observed different reactions from people after a weight change - but from a different direction. I used to be really skinny, and when you're a really skinny, weak looking guy people try to bully you more often. Now that I'm more muscular, I usually get treated with more respect.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:34 am 
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A stone is indeed 14 pounds.

I saw bits of the documentary last week, interesting but sad viewing.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Richard wrote:
I agree about people treating you differently depending on weight. It's same with any change in appearance really. I used to be obese too, and the change was very dramatic when I lost weight. It underlined to me how shallow people are. Now when I get a compliment or if someone flirts with me, I am generally like "Uhhh whatever" because I know how shallow it is; and a concern with 'positive' appearance means a concern with 'negative' appearances too. To compliment someone on their appearances is to either not compliment someone else who looks like crap, or it's even to go as far as insulting that person. I think it's better to treat people equally. People might ask me why I give compliments to bodybuilders, but to me that's different because I am complimenting the work; nobody is born muscular, so it is worth complimenting the dedication. If someone gets fat then thin, it was their own fault they were fat to start with, so it's not worth complimenting. It's like if someone hits themself in the face with a hammer then stops, you don't compliment that.

I think it's only partly concious.
Funny thing for example:
Young children react by looking longer at people with symmetrical faces.
Men with symmetrical faces are better dancers
People with symmetrical faces have better immune system and better genes
Attractive men have better sperm
Some research seems to imply thet women seems to be more attracted to men that have more "sturdy looking" features (high testosterone) when they are the most fertile and tend to go for more baby-faced men (trustworthy) the rest of the time.
Good article
One more, from BBC

So, for me, it's not only shallowness that makes people react to certain features.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:46 pm 
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It depends what their reaction is, it may or may not be a shallow reaction. Some things are just how they are and you can't get around it, but most of time time, behaviour can be controlled logically.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:01 pm 
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I agree with you. One can control the feelings that submerges from the instincts.
But you still get the reactions and as I said, I think alot of people are not aware of their new reality (as normal weighing people) and actually likes the more hidden world of obesity. Whether you like the reactions or not, you still have to make decisions from these new reactions.
This can set people back to obesity. Not because of eating disorders but because of psychological comfort (not being able to cope with the new reality).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:35 pm 
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Harr, I sometimes think about it, somehow making myself less attractive or more ugly whatever, so that people treat me according to how I am and due to how I appear. But it's a bit pointless really, I wouldn't become obese again, it only has that one advantage, and about 5 disadvantages.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:46 pm 
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But once you've lost weight it's not possible for you to know whether this person is just reacting to your good looks or really likes you. You will end up bitter and suspicious! At some point, you have to give people a chance; their shallowness *will* surface at some point anyway. But you shouldn't (in my opinion) judge them so quickly, based on an assumption that they are attracted to you now only because you've lost weight -- you would be projecting :) As well, you may be selling yourself short; you may be more attractive in other ways than you think, and you may be giving out a better vibe of confidence which others are picking up on now that wasn't there before. Confidence is *very* attractive.

I think, in general, that women are much more "forgiving" for lack of a better word when it comes to looks. I see women with overweight men and accepting of physical "flaws" (as popular culture defines) much more than men. MUCH more.


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