We’re FAT? Who’s Fault is it?

Another article calling Newfoundlanders FAT.  It’s consistent, dripping out like a WAKE UP call but everyone, it seems, is still hitting snooze!

What’s the REAL issue behind our obesity?  I personally think it’s ALL the things we’re not talking about… the anxiety, the depression, the Culture of Silence; instead of dealing with our emotions we’re eating, drinking, snorting, gambling them away.  And that’s created one hell of an unhealthy province.  We’re. The. Fattest.  We used to be the friendliest.  Now, we’re the fattest, unhealthiest, drunkest province.

What’s it going to take to WAKE UP PEOPLE?  Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian Writer who called Newfoundlanders on the Northern Peninsula FAT, was called ignorant and “he could have been nicer about it” – nice isn’t getting the message across, is it?  And see what we did there?  We made him wrong and changed the subject to – he was unfair, ignorant, we attacked him as a writer instead of saying “Holy fuck, we’re fat, we should do something about that”.

That’s what we do!  We make everyone else wrong.  Karl Ove Knausgaard started a conversation in Newfoundland because of his bluntness, but the #1 thing I hear is people whining and complaining about it.  “Oh it’s the Government’s fault, food is too expensive!  Speaking of the Government, the fucking roads a mess wha?” And we move on.  “Personal Trainers?  Highway Robbery by, I don’t who they thinks they are, charging the likes of that, sure I could have the biggest kind of car payment for that kind of that money every month”.  Priorities Much?  The biggest house, car, the purse you’re carrying seems to be so much more important than the body you live in everyday.  Wouldn’t dare spend all that money on healthy food when I could drive an Escalade”.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with people having nice things and spending their money on whatever they please, BUT, when you’re driving an escalade and complaining about the cost of food, then you might want to take a look at your priorities!

We make it about everything and everyone else, we play the victim and blame others because then we don’t have to look at ourselves – eating jiggs dinner every week, fast food 2-3 X a week because we claim it’s cheaper or we’re too fucking busy (my personal fav!) to exercise, who got time for that?  “I got to be on Social Media for 4 hours a day, I can’t cook healthy meals and exercise, I don’t have time for that.   Between social media, my TV shows I got to watch, I got a job too and the youngsters?  Jesus, you don’t know how much time they takes up.”

Blame. Blame. Blame.  It’s not your fault.  It’s someone, something else’s fault.  Then you don’t have to take responsibility or accountability for it.

And you know what?  Everyone agrees with you.  You get to be right and you get to be the victim at the same time.

When I say ” it’s not really that hard, I just get up every morning and do it” – the response is typically “well, you don’t have kids, you’d never be able to live like that if you did” or “well, you’re a trainer, so it’s easy for you”.  You know what?  I don’t have kids, but I have tons of fit friends and clients who do; they get up BEFORE their kids or do it during nap time, or do it at lunch time or do it after the kids go to bed – but you know what?  None of that fucking matters.  You’re using that as an excuse about why I can do it and you can’t.  The reality is, if you want it and if it’s a priority, you’ll find a way; you’ll squeeze it in wherever you can.  There’s hundreds of thousands of Fit Moms out there doing it right now.  And you’ll do it, now, today… not when this happens, or that happens… always waiting for the “perfect” timing because “now isn’t good for me” – just more bullshit excuses to put it off.  “It’s summer, I am waiting until the fall, I don’t want to miss out on anything because I’m on a diet, you know.” What are you missing out on?  Type 2 Diabetes?  Chronic diseases?  A heart attack?

And it’s easy for me?  The reason it’s easy for me is because I made it that way.  I got up, every day and did it because I made it a priority.  If you would listen to me sharing my stories with you, you might learn exactly how you can do the same thing to change your mindset about exercise, instead of sitting on your perch judging me and making it mean I’ve got it easier than you.  I don’t have it easier.  No one does.  And you thinking that way means you don’t get to learn and grow and change; instead you stay stuck in the blame game and playing the victim and making everyone else wrong so you can be right.

And so, you get to be right.  But what else do you get?  You get to be fat.  You get to be unhealthy.  You get to have a higher risk of chronic diseases.  You get to have a lower life span.  You get to be angry, bitter, resentful, unhappy, unhealthy.

It’s not about right or wrong.  Most of us get so fucking stuck in our need to not be at fault, we stay stuck in our ways of self destruction and blame.  Because it’s not easy to look at ourselves.  I had an obese client look at me recently and said “I looked in the mirror this morning and for the first time ever, I realized, I did this.  I created this.  I blamed everyone around me. I blamed my genetics.  I was angry and I ate and I didn’t care.  And it’s hard, to look at myself and know I created this”.  And in that moment, he had the freedom to change.  Because he was willing to see HOW and WHY it happened, that he could change.  Until he was willing to see that no one made him eat that food, he couldn’t change, because until he could take 100% responsibility for everything in his life, he wasn’t emotionally or mentally capable of changing long term.

That’s what we have to realize provincially.  It’s not your mother’s fault, your fathers fault, your genetics, your kids fault, your husband/wife/partner, no time, no money, the governments fault, McDonald’s fault… it’s not their fault.  We joke about the salt beef, deep fried fish and beer diet and then we blame it on the cost of food or something else. What the FUCK is funny about obesity?  What is funny about “beer guts”?  You know what a beer gut is?  A heart attack waiting to happen, that’s what a beer gut is.

We want to have someone to blame it on.  But the truth is, YOU are responsible for what happens to you and for you.  Did you have shitty things happen?  I’m sure you did – no one in this life that I’ve met has had it easy… alcoholic homes, abusive/negligent parents, rape/sexual abuse, suicides, bullying, affairs, divorce, death, illness, financial losses, you name it, people have experienced it.  You can either choose to deal with it, deal with the emotions and learn to let go or you can avoid it, you can make up stories in your head about what all of that means about you and then you can eat your emotions, you can lie on the couch and watch TV to avoid, you can spend hours on the internet avoiding your life, you can complain, make everyone else wrong and you can look for every excuse in the book.

Until you are willing to look at yourself, who you are and who you’re being and WHY, will you be able to overcome the obesity/weight/health issues you have.  And when I say you I mean we, because we’re all the same – my struggle with smoking over the year’s is someone else’s food addiction, someone else’s food addiction is another person’s cocaine addiction, someone’s cocaine addiction is someone else’s addiction to complaining, someone’s addiction to complaining is someone else’s addiction to gambling.  It all stems from the same place – our believe systems; friends, social networks, upbringing, religion, teachers/parents/influencers -determines what “addiction” we’ll get.  And some of us have numerous.

When we stop the blame and the judgement and realize we’re all one in this, we can begin to lift the veil of secrecy that prevents us from letting go, accepting responsibility and moving forward to live an authentic, happy, healthy life.

That’s what I want for Newfoundland.  This is my home. I want us to live healthier, happier lives! That’s why I get up everyday and do this.  There are days I want to quit, there are days I think I can’t listen to the excuses, bullshit anymore.  There are days when I want to only focus on my health and let everyone else implode on themselves if they want.  That lasts for a minute or two, because then I remember my purpose and my purpose in life is to change the health of Newfoundland.  Because we are an amazing, hard working, resilient people who survive on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  When we band together, we can help each change anything.

Put a hand out.  Ask for help.  Offer help to someone who needs it.  Be a support for someone else.  Most importantly, go and look in the mirror, that’s who’s holding you back.  Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way.  It’s not easy, I know, I’ve gone down that road myself.  But when we decide we don’t want to live another minute this way, then we can create the change by being willing to see how we’ve gotten here.

Now dust off those runners and get at it, every time you hear yourself make an excuse do 10 push ups, or 10 squats, or 10 burpees, go for a walk, just do something.  Everytime you choose something new in the moment when you want to do the old habit, it will create resilience so the next time, it will be easier to make the better choice.

Stop complaining and just start doing it.

Tonya

Comments

  1. Carly

    There is more to the issue then “every time you hear yourself make an excuse do 10 push ups, or 10 squats, or 10 burpees, go for a walk, just do something.” People also need therapy to make better choices to get at the root of issues. Burpees and squats are not going to do anything to help with the pain people are going through, that you don’t seem to care about, because everyone has issues.

    1. Hi Carla, Thanks for the feedback! But if you knew me, you would know that the reason I posted this is because I am insanely passionate about health and wellness. And I do mindset coaching, transition and change with my clients and post a lot of articles and information on HOW to create that change and I refer people to a host of services that are available to help them through their emotional healing needs. Breaking habits can be as easy as “do something different”… in your moment of wanting to have another cigarette, chocolate bar, fast food, etc, you have a choice, every single time to make the same old choice and get the same old results, or you can do something small, something that’s different, because in your choice to make a different choice, you build resilience so the next time it’s easier to make the new choice, and then the next time and the next time and that consistency of choosing something different is what helps to create a healthier mind and body. Doing that in conjunction with healing work on the emotional side and long term change is possible!

    2. John

      You know… while the truth is a bitch and Tonya has given it up with some verbal diarrhea, she’s right. And as for your comment on therapy, I think you’re wrong… and here’s why. I’m a Newfoundlander, born, raised & living. I’m 33, 275lbs @ 5-10 and have lost 60lbs in the last 2 years. Most of this is because I chose to, for my own reasons which don’t matter to anyone else because they are mine. At 335 lbs I had just come home from a lovely 10 day honeymoon in Jamaica where I spent most days in shorts and only shorts. I haven’t been that naked in public in decades and it felt good. So, when I got home I decided “FUCK THIS” and got off my ass and tried. Now, I’ll be honest, while I’m making more and more time for activity besides sex the brunt of my weight loss can be attributed to eating food, real food, not the rest of that shit you can buy.

      I’ll be a little more honest, being fat makes you weak in body, mind & spirit. It takes away from life, and not just at the end when you die years too early. I was depressed, introverted, lazy, unmotivated and every other un-life word that exists. And while I’m not a personal trainer, socialite or overly extroverted I sure as hell am enjoying life a lot more. And I intend to lose another 50 lbs which I assume will make me feel even better. I haven’t heard that depression or “i cant” cunt in my head for quite some time. Am I fixed, no. Did I get therapy, not the kind a doctor gives you. Am I better person, fuck yes.

      So knock off with excuses and just fucking start. Get off the couch, put on your sneakers and go for a walk, as far as you can, then turn back and drink water, lots of water. I cut out most fluids other than water – still drink some diet soda, still enjoy those kool aid squirters to flavor water and I do keep diet iced tea in the house and have milk on my cereal (my beloved cereal).

      Most of our historical poor eating habits can be attributed to the climate in which this rock exists; but that is no excuse in this day and age where you can buy a weeks worth of salads in the form of whole veggies for about $60 for 2 people at the costco.

      Look in your fridge.
      On saturday when I get groceries mine is FULL of real food. By the following friday it’s empty….. that’s because my wife and I eat real food. It costs us roughly $160/week for us to eat at home. We eat out once every 2 weeks and it can be anything we want. Baconator? yes. Pizza? yes. WHATEVER you want, once every 2 weeks. Did we just do this cold turkey? No. But you have to start somewhere. It’s taken over 2 years; but the only processed meat we buy is ground lean beef in the form of fresh burger patties. You will always find cheese of some sort in our fridge; but it lasts for weeks because we barely touch it. We eat greek yogurt, skim milk and my wife is a condiment whore. I refuse to give up my tradition of buying cereal based on what’s the healthiest kind on sale this week.

      We eat salads as a side 5 nights a week and 2 nights supper is salad (that contains a real protein of some kind) and my wife will make a fresh fruit/greek yogurt smoothie for carbs as she is a long time diabetic who is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more active than me (last 4 years or so) and very healthy given she’s had the disease for 26+ years. What will I have? My carbs will come from desert; which lately is the no name rocket popsicles from dominion (also on sale).

      Yep, real food is expensive; but that’s no excuse. You can make changes to every aspect of your life to afford to eat better. How you do it is upto you. But i’ll tell you this, eat better for 3 months and you’ll eat less. Not only will you eat less, give it some time and you can buy those $14 jeans at costco instead of the $80 at the Big & Tall shop.

      If you need some more reality checks, just let me know.

  2. Ray

    Wow, all I can say is wow, I recently started on a getting healthy journey and went though and are still going through all of those emotions. This could not have been said better, it is to the point and from the heart and TRUE!

    1. Thank you Ray! Anyone who has truly faced their biggest challenges knows it’s not an easy thing to go through, but a necessary one if you want to have a healthier, happier life. We are unconscious to most of it; we don’t know what we don’t know. When we know better, we can do better. And not judge ourselves for the “mistakes” we made, because those mistakes and hardships will teach us more about ourselves than we could ever imagine they would. It’s allowing ourselves to feel the emotions we have, to be able to express them in a safe place and find healthier things to replace our self destructive behaviours with… and then we can impact more people to live healthier as well, when they see what’s possible. Congratulations on your journey. I know from personal experience that it’s not easy, but it’s so very worth it!

  3. Ed

    Awesome read. Love the no bullshit approach to healthy living.

  4. Joann

    I exercise 5 days a week, watch what I eat, work full time, maintain a home, I do drive a nice and have a lovely home. What I don’t do is judges others I try my best to be helpful where I can. I don’t have type 2 diabetes, I don’t have heart disease, I have worked with a personal trainer. I choose to live my best life, appreciate what I do have and give encouragement where I can, I congratulate victories and celebrate them no matter how small. I do all of this in my 200+lbs body. I thank you for your commentary however, I did not read one helpful word. Nothing that I am not already doing anyway, it certainly did nothing to inspire my “lazy ass” to get out there an do something about it.

    1. Thank you for your comments Joanne. I have not once in my article called people “lazy”. In fact, I’m pushing the point that A LOT (not everyone) of people are more focused on what our life looks like on the outside, not on the inside. Most of us are complaining about the cost of food, the cost of exercise, blaming other things and other people for our issues, when the REAL issue is we’re over eating and under active, and no one can control that aspect except ourselves. BUT there is a subconscious game being played; we don’t know what we don’t know and it’s not about judging, in fact its the complete opposite. When we judge others we are judging ourselves, because we’re all really the same. My article is not about judging others, it’s about how we’re killing ourselves with our lifestyle and that taking accountability for our health, everyday, is what will help us overcome our weight issue… it’s not about having a culture of people who are “perfect” – healthy looks very different, depending on the goals and aspirations of the person seeking it. It’s not about creating a cookie cutter society of fit people, but it’s about encouraging/motivation but also showing people that we’re the ones responsible for our own health. At the end of the day we can find someone or something to blame for anything and everything, but it changes nothing for us. We can see and find the negative in everything, or we can choose to find the positive and change our lives for the better. It’s our own accountability to our own health that will create individual change and that will lead to change on a larger scale! Congratulations on your healthy lifestyle! It’s always great to hear of people who are doing it, living it every single day!

      1. Joann

        I agree one of the biggest obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle can be ourselves. Your reply to my response is a much more positive commentary on the issue. Education is key and where I live it can be a challenge to get quality whole foods and education on healthy living, whether that be diet or fitness. I live in a place where there are no personal trainers to work with. I believe people do want to be healthy but sometimes need help getting there. An article that lectures them about things they already know they should be doing but does not offer any help about how they can do those things, can be unhelpful especially if you are trying to do the right things and it doesn’t seem to be working. One of the things that has worked for me is to join a positive group that exercises together.

        1. Positivity is actually where the focus needs to be because it’s in that, that we can create the change. I do not, however, make any apologies for not offering step by step instructions, because this blog is Tonya Uncensored and it specifically states in the blog “about” page that I will not be telling people how to lose weight – you can visit my twfitness.ca site and take advantage of free challenges, plenty of blog articles with great information for changing your mindset, lose weight, get fit and focus on positive, healthy changes. I will agree, I should have made reference to that in this blog post as a “solution” to the issues. But this blog isn’t designed to be a plug to sell TW Fitness things, it’s just a blog that I will post things as they come up/happen, which won’t always be fitness/health based. For me, our obesity issues, as I see and have experienced them, start with taking accountability for what we’re doing to ourselves, when we do that, the HOW can be tackled. For each of us, it could be different, for some it’s going to be extra focus on diet, for others it might be activity based. As a follow up, thank you for conversing, because we often shut down after initial “judgements” of each other (me of you and you of me) but we can’t learn that way, can we? In the meantime, you can completely head over to TW Fitness.CA and check out the free 30 Day Challenge, as well as many articles in that blog that gives solutions to your fitness/nutrition needs 🙂 Keep going!

  5. Valerie Walsh

    This is wonderful. This is true. Yup – it can be hard to be fit, eat well..at first… but once you set it into your life – there is so much reward in it. Both in body and especially in mind and spirit! Excellent and well said. LOVE this.

    1. Thank you Valerie! And I completely agree… sometimes making yourself DO IT is the absolute hardest part, but after a while it becomes habitual and the reward s in how you FEEL because you have integrity and energy are so worth it!

  6. Vic

    You should be ashamed of yourself, and not just for your poor grammar and ridiculous language (serious question: why all the F-bombs? To show how “passionate” you are, or to add to the fat shaming?) You acknowledge people have issues with anxiety and depression, then go ahead and shame the same people and swear at them and imply that you are a better person (you use yourself as an example numerous times) because you get up and DO IT. You are a fitness professional and business owner who actually wrote a public article with the words “then you can eat your fucking emotions” and ” where there’s a will there’s a fucking way.” The fact that you think this just might be inspiring to someone and don’t see how it could contribute to more anxiety and depression blows my mind. I am 5’8″, 130 lbs, I am vegetarian and eat healthily and I go to the gym (though I will never feel bad if I don’t make it there some days). I also have a total cholesterol level that is absolutely through the roof, as in my doctor predicted a heart attack by age 40. Tell me again how size is an indicator of health. I thank you for your blog post all the same, because I know now who never to hire or recommend to friends as a personal trainer.

    1. Hi Vic,
      I’m very sorry you feel that way. We each have a perspective on things. I’d love to hear what your solution is to the obesity epidemic in Newfoundland? Truthfully and sincerely, I love to hear all of the idea’s of how we can combat this issue, together. My perspective is only one of many, what I say isn’t the truth for everyone but it can and is the truth for a lot of people… we’re stuck in a blaming society, we’re not taking accountability for our own lives/weight/health. It’s not fat shaming at all, it’s actually showing people there is another way/another possibility that they haven’t been shown before. That, sitting on the couch and eating and watching TV isn’t in fact because they’re lazy (as many think about themselves because that’s what society currently tells them) but there is a possibility that it’s something deeper and when we let go of the fear of people seeing who we really are and we can ask for help, when we stop focusing on the material world we live in and focus on our health and wellness, then we have the power to change it. I use myself as examples, because I have lived it. Because I have battled eating disorders, I have lived the life of needing to look “perfect” on the outside and I know what that did to me, my health and relationships. I work with obese clients everyday and see their transition and change through this process of truly accepting responsibility for their lives. But this is my experience, my perception and not everyone’s perception or reality.

      Congratulations on your healthy mindset and dedication to a healthy diet. More awareness and conversations about all of the issues and solutions to the obesity epidemic are how we will affect change province wide.

      PS… the swearing? I swear when I’m passionate about something.

  7. sheila ryan

    I read through your article and wondered why all the swearing, you just didn’t need it and personality I found that it lessoned the great points. Your passion would come through without it. Just a thought..what if you had just left out all the Fat comments and instead just spoke of health. There’s so much shaming that people endure and fat shaming is one of them for sure. Your article aside from that was freaking awesome and gets so real about responsibility. Guess what I am doing? Lacing up my trainers and going for a walk..
    Thank you for the kick start!
    Sheila

    1. Absolutely Sheila! Thank you for the comments. And in this case, I will agree that the F-bombs were more than normal. I do have a lot of passion and sometimes they just come out. I could have toned them down a wee bit, having more effect with less of them. I will learn from that, but will definitely still use them, but not as much! And I’m so glad you’re lacing up and been inspired by the conversation, because, that’s what this article is really about, it’s not fat shaming at all. In fact, as I wrote it, it’s the opposite of that, because it’s telling everyone that people who have a weight issue – it’s not about being lazy and eating for no reason; it’s about avoidance of the real issues we’re all battling. Some of us end up with eating disorders and get thin, others end up with obesity as a side effect. They stem from the same place; as does drug/alcohol addiction. None of us are without our “baggage” and when we can see that we’re really all the same, we will have more compassion for each other in our issues and having compassion not judgement is where will impact change for each other, because we will feel safe. At the end of the day though, no one can do it for us and we can find excuses, and we can be right in that, but we don’t get to grow and change and learn that way, do we? PS… have a great walk!

  8. John

    Of all the things said in this article, the fact that people pick on things like f-bombs and shaming is ridiculous. I know not all people think the same, live the same have the same perspective on life, priorities or anything else for that matter; but there is something that is the same, we all have choices. Every day we make choices, what we eat, what we wear, which way we get to work right on down the list. But until you make the choice to change something you’ll always be the same. You don’t get success without persistence. You don’t improve without making changes. You don’t get anywhere if you don’t do anything. And some of you talk about all the mental health issues in the province; what about doing the same thing over and over and expecting change to somehow magically appear? That’s just FUCKING crazy.

    I love a mcdonalds double cheese burger, hold the pickles and add mcchicken sauce. I used to get 1 on the way home after work when I picked up coffee & tea for my wife and I, toss the bag in the trash at work in the morning (mental health issue – addiction – hiding the evidence). But I made the choice to stop this. I also made the choice to stop eating anything from a can other than tomato sauce, soup stock or canned vegetables. Then I made the choice to switch to splenda from sugar and milk from cream in my coffee. Then I decided to limit my take out consumption. Then I decided to almost completely cut out processed meats (still loves deli meat sandwiches). After 2 years of making “wise” food decisions I decided to buy new sneakers. After they sat in the porch for a month the weather got better and I decided to take the dogs for a walk. FUCK did I ever regret that; but I did it again once my calves stopped screaming (2-3days later).

    People who haven’t seen me in a while always ask “how did you do it” and I give them all the same answer “I chose to!” Not that difficult really. Stop eating as much non whole food as you can (slowly cut shit out) and eventually you feel better & do more. It’s a giant snow-ball effect. The better you feel, the more you get out in the world and the more confidence you get in everything. You start to try new things and all of a sudden you’re living.

    As for the comment made by Vic regarding her cholesterol. Vic it’s not fair for you to say this within this post. I don’t know you, your history or your doctor; but from my limited biology knowledge you probably have an undiagnosed medical issue relating to your liver – or eat too many Lay’s chips – I don’t know you. But you are a rare case of an unhealthy skinny. Truth is, being fat really is hard on the body. The extra stress on organs alone is immense, not to mention all the bad things that happen with time. Tonya mentions the more dire situations in her post but there are so many more. And the mental health issues that are exaggerated by obesity and also immense. But the truth is, losing just 10% of your body weight can hep you be healthier. Do 10% a few times and you’ve added years, healthy years, to your life.

    I’m no doctor, scientist, or anyone of any real specialty; but I’ve been fat my entire life and now that I’m back down to my highschool weight, I feel better than I ever did when I was 18.

    You haters can keep hating; but you fatties need to start making those “wise” decisions and live this beautiful thing called life we’ve all been so blessed with.

    Sincerely, a fattie who is a little less fat and intends to be a lot less fat for the future!

    1. THANK YOU! It’s late and I’m tired but I will be sharing your post tomorrow because THANK YOU for telling me and everyone like it is. I coach obese people every single day. I have battled eating disorders (I wasn’t 300lbs but only because I threw up or cycled starvation diets in the mix), gained and lost and my entire self worth was dependant on what I looked like. It looked different on the outside, but it came from the same place of “unliving” as you’ve put it. And this is the message that we need to spread…that’s it not actually about being lazy, it’s about blaming anything but ourselves, playing the victim (I know I did that!) and refusing to see another way… because it’s not easy. But change comes one step at a time, one day at a time – it’s having integrity to yourself – doing what you said you would do when the feeling you said it in has long past! No one is perfect, but we can DO BETTER – we can take accountability for our own lives, because you know what? Us and our families are the only ones affected if we don’t take care of ourselves. Thank you for being so open, honest and raw and sharing so much of your struggle but also your success! Congratulations to you and your wife for making your health important every single day. MY husband is also Diabetic (so we have a lot in common, including our eloquent way with words ;)) and we live with the knowledge and evidence in our faces every day about what can happen if we don’t take care of ourselves. When you watch someone you love have high and low blood sugars, when a simple ingrown toe nail turns into a week long hospital stay, when a flu lasts for a month and the doctor’s appointments… it’s endless management and (as it sounds like your wife is as well) Type 1 Diabetic which is NOT lifestyle led, meaning there was nothing they could to prevent it. When you see someone go through that for something they couldn’t prevent, to seeing what we’re doing to ourselves in taking our health for granted for preventable diseases, it makes you wake up and do better, every day. And that’s what I want for NL… we’re amazing people, we deserve better for ourselves! Thank you, again, for sharing!

  9. Laura Rees

    I disagree with the premise of this article. In the beginning you write that Newfoundland has a culture of obesity -“we are known for our fatness”. Then later you say we cannot blame our culture and must blame the fat individuals instead (“you are responsible for what happens to you and for you”). Which one is it? Are we just a province that just happens to have a bunch of fat people living there? As one of the poorest provinces, there’s actually people here that can’t afford fresh vegetables because they’re so expensive. People have grown up only knowing and eating a traditional diet of salted and fatty foods. We have terrible weather and roads that aren’t designed for pedestrians. There are a lot of uneducated people that don’t know how to make good nutritious choices even if when they try. It’s not fair to blame individuals for circumstances largely beyond their control. I think for real change to occur it needs to occur on a social level and in order for that to happen we need to address broader issues that are impacting our entire population.

    1. admin

      Hi Laura,
      Thank you for your comments. I do respectively disagree. As long as we “blame” anything outside of ourselves for our conditions, we become victims of circumstances. We each have the ability to learn, grow, change. We have terrible weather but I and many other people exercise daily outside in bad weather. Yes, we will have people with mobility issues that need to accommodated but I’m talking about the general, otherwise “healthy” population in this article. We DO have a culture of obesity and that culture is caused by the blame game – that someone or something outside of our control is responsible for our conditions. I know plenty of people who have lost weight by cutting back their portions – they still eat packaged and high fat and high food – just less of it. I know people who have exercised daily in their homes using little to no equipment and gotten fantastic results. It all comes down to mindset. If we want to blame someone and not take responsibility for it, then we cannot get any further than that. This article was written (a long time ago, my views and tone and language have softened considerable but the premise of the article remains the same) to highlight the need to blame external circumstances, including culture for our issues. We absolutely have a “culture” that thrives on salt beef, potatoes, gravy, beer, Vienna sausages. Look around at any meme or ad or camping site during the summer, Christmas and winter. We even collectively blame the weather, the government and anything else we can to deflect responsibly but our health is our responsibly and we can’t wait on anyone else to fix that for us.

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