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Are fat people nuts? Some people think so …

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The questions kind of smacks you in the face – but if you’re a big person – I’m talking more than 30 kilograms (or about 60 pounds) above your ideal weight – would you say you have no worries when it comes to your state of mind?

I read an article in The Age the other week that suggested it was a complete outrage and a huge offense for the creator of the infamous Dukan Diet, Frenchman Dr Pierre Dukan, to say that people who are very overweight probably have a mental problem.

“I’ve never seen an obese person who has said, ‘I am well in the mind,” he said.

I won’t pretend to speak for every person out there carrying a significant amount of extra weight – but I think I have alluded on this blog many times that I believe being overweight has little to do with diet and exercise and is so much more about the mind. That’s just me though – what do you think?

As all regular readers of Uforic Food know – I have a good meltdown from time to time. But the people taking offence to what the Dukan Diet King is saying maybe think he is trying to say we all go around looking like this very famous, overweight person:

I don’t think that’s the point he’s trying to make. I think it’s a shame that the stereotypes around mental illness remain and that if you do have one – you must look like a crazy person. I thought we were all enlightened enough these days to know that just isn’t true. I should say (and once again, this is just my point of view) that the Dukan diet is just stupid. It was one of the ways I considered losing weight at one stage – especially after I saw an acquaintance drop a heap of kilos really quickly on it. I was happy for him – but honestly – he kind of looked a bit sick. I guess that’s what happens when you omit so many foods and narrow your diet down to about 100 things. My philosophy from the start has been “everything in moderation” – and after my own experiences – nothing will shake me from that belief.

I personally believe that it is about time obesity was recognised as a form of mental illness. I know that I have had to deal with my state of mind, my thoughts and emotions many more times than I’ve had to consult someone about whether carrots are better for me than apples. I think we all have a pretty good idea of what food is good or bad and that we need to exercise – but it’s the mental anguish and struggle which makes it so hard. I have written extensively about food worry, about self-sabotage.

The following are two of the most relevant sentences I have written on this blog since I began losing weight – and that is because I feel this is soooo mental:

For those people who think weight loss is just about output versus input – as in exercise and food – well, you’re very much mistaken. It’s only a small part of a bigger battle – one of the mind.
It’s a psychological game, and, quite often – you are your own worst enemy.

So, say there is a consensus that weight is a mental health issue as much as it is about anything else – the questions is – what can we do about it? Well, I’m not exactly sure – but maybe it’s something a counsellor could help with? I haven’t gone down that path for weight loss myself – but I know it’s the fact I have met someone wonderful who supports me and helps me to have a positive frame of mind that has made the biggest difference and have made my efforts to lose weight on this pretty successful. That’s comparing it to my previous life where I was surrounded in particular by a person who always brought me down and made me feel bad about myself.

The other thing Dr Dukan said in the article I read was:

“Happiness stops food being a compensation. If you love a man, immediately you will reduce your intake of food – it’s automatic.”

It does sound like something an old sleazy French man would say – but maybe there is something to that notion. If you feel loved, feel worthy and fulfilled – the rest just falls into place?

Of course, nothing is as clear-cut or as black and white as that – but if I look at my life – I really can see evidence that it’s true.

So, dear reader – what do you think of Dr Dukan’s theory? Are we all mentally ill? Or, are we all perfectly sane people who just like to eat a little bit too much ice-cream and hate exercise? It’s interesting. Discuss below 🙂



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