Big Fat Losers, Redux

Finally, an article that addresses "The Dangers of Competitive Dieting."

I wish this had been around when I was in the middle of The Big Fat Loser hell last year at my office. I wish I could have sent this article around to those parties involved.

I'm still angry at it, yes, but I've mellowed a bit. I mostly feel sorry for the lady who started the contest, a lady whose parents were always putting her on a diet and telling her she was too fat. I saw her at her 'normal' weight, and she wasn't too fat. I understand that- the feeling that you were never good enough, that you were flawed, that you were judged. It was never from my parents, but it was from most everyone else.

But the dangers of that type of competition are HUGE. And horrible. There was one woman I was worried about. Her dieting had almost become an obsession. So I wonder. I also wonder if people began purging or taking diet pills because they couldn't "stick with the program." I don't know.

What I do know is that this kind of weight loss contest (or "wellness contest" as some of them are now known) doesn't help.


Toni Prekker said...

Oh. This opens so many wounds. My boss just announced at the staff meeting Monday that she's starting a "healthy" club at the office. To help one another stick to eating "healthy" and exercising. But really, it's a weight loss club, trading diet tips, eating their salads together so at least they can see other people who are as deprived as they are. She cornered me about it and I made up some excuse about being a really picky eater, and having lots of restrictions and stuff because of health problems. But I wanted to scream, "I don't want to be part of this madness. I don't want to compete over who is eating less and is therefore 'better'. I don't want to share starvation tips. You all are crazy!" Of course, I kept that all to myself.

Carrie Arnold said...

This things piss me off so much. I love the quote "...eating their salads together so at least they can see other people who are as deprived as they are."

So freaking true.

I eventually went batshit crazy and quit because of it. The irony is that if these healthy eating clubs worked, why would we need to *keep having them???!!*

Unknown said...

Thanks, Carrie.

I have co-workers that are on the brink of this... and I may have to workout alone if they don't stop talking about their diets and weightloss woes in exercise class everyday...

thinking of you,

Carrie Arnold said...


This sucks! There's a tshirt on CafePress that says "I don't want to hear about your diet." I almost bought it and wore it to work on casual Fridays, but even in my fit of pique, I realized that might be a little over the top. Besides, I knew I was quitting.

Let me find it and I'll post it here.

Carrie Arnold said...

Here it is:


Sarah said...

Turn on 60 minutes! Your fave topic is on (NYC nutritional info story).

As for the clubs -- as much as I complain about my office, at least they haven't done this.


Faith said...

If this ever happens at my office I swear I'll put a quick stop to it. I'm so sick of hearing about diets!!!!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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