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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Taking personal responsibility for your food, your weight and your life

Last week on a trip to Perth I sat behind a 200kg woman and her 130kg daughter in the back row of the plane and found myself pinned to my seat for the duration of the 4hr trip - trust me, the irony of this situation is not lost.

As I sat there, unable to move, work or even get up to walk around easily I was considering if it was inappropriate to tweet this experience when we landed. Yes, I knew that there would be some backlash - "have some compassion, imagine what it is like for her", "It is not her fault", "you don't know her story" but then there was something nagging inside me that thought, "sure, it is not lucky to have genes that leave you predisposed to gaining weight" but at what point is it about taking responsibility for self and acknowledging that you have a problem and making an effort to change it?

I have no issue with over weight people, in fact much of my life is spent helping overweight people but I do have an issue when their decision to be overweight impacts others. Trust me, this woman felt no remorse for pushing her seat back as far as it could go, nor did she order the breakfast cereal when it came around. There was no evidence that she was sorry for the issues she was causing on the plane and she became very aggressive with the attendant when he refused to let her move to a spare row because he wanted to leave it for a young family with 2 small children.

As is the case with all life areas, we move forward when we cease to become a victim and take responsibility for ourselves. When we start to inconvenience others, then that is a definite sign things need to change. The upcoming season of The Biggest Loser will again highlight the issues with have with behavioural obesity in families across Australia. Let's hope bringing the burden of Australia's growing weight issues to the attention of many more people will encourage more Australians to take responsibility for their weight and their health. That or we need to start building bigger planes