The comparable risks of being fat and climbing


Original Post
rob.calm · · Loveland, Colorado · Joined May 2002 · Points: 630

This is from a letter to the editor in NY Times

As a former fat person, I think that “The Shame of Fat Shaming” (news analysis, Sunday Review, Oct. 2) comes dangerously close to saying society shouldn’t shame fat people because the poor things can’t help being fat.
Having twice lost more than a hundred pounds, without surgery, and having kept them off the second time, I have no idea how many other fat people could do that if they tried. But any who could and choose not to should not be shamed.
Health and fitness are not everyone’s top priority, nor need they be. Some people are willing to take medical risks for the pleasures of mountaineering; some people are willing to take medical risks for the pleasures of eating.
No such people should be shamed, regardless of whether their risky adventures occur on Mount Everest or at Ben & Jerry’s.

Letter Source

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
rob.calm wrote: No such people should be shamed, regardless of whether their risky adventures occur on Mount Everest or at Ben & Jerry’s.
Not sure if you are agreeing with the letter but it should be considered that fat people and smokers are major contributing factors that make our health insurance is so expensive. Sure, climbers and mountaineers subject themselves to injury risk but are generally extremely healthy people otherwise and therefor are far less of a drain of health resources over a lifetime, even if they have a few accidents along the way.
Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 165
rob.calm wrote:This is from a letter to the editor in NY Times As a former fat person, I think that “The Shame of Fat Shaming” (news analysis, Sunday Review, Oct. 2) comes dangerously close to saying society shouldn’t shame fat people because the poor things can’t help being fat. Having twice lost more than a hundred pounds, without surgery, and having kept them off the second time, I have no idea how many other fat people could do that if they tried. But any who could and choose not to should not be shamed. Health and fitness are not everyone’s top priority, nor need they be. Some people are willing to take medical risks for the pleasures of mountaineering; some people are willing to take medical risks for the pleasures of eating. No such people should be shamed, regardless of whether their risky adventures occur on Mount Everest or at Ben & Jerry’s. Letter Source
i have to disagree with your point trying to equate being fat, unhealthy, lazy and the risks of climbing. climbing is a healthy, physical activity to participate in, if something goes wrong, you risk injury. being a fat person comes from continuous unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. its not as if you can eat unhealthily and not exercise with no negative side affects other than small chance that you might slip and fall half way through your cake and get heart disease. being at an unhealthy weight is more like smoking than climbing. you know what youre doing WILL cause you harm yet you choose to continue to do it. many people go their whole climbing "career" with no issues.
Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

You can eat an absurd amount of food if you exercise enough and not gain weight. Let's tell it how it really is for a change. People that eat too much and sit on their asses all day. There I said it. (Look at how much the rock or the mountain eats to maintain their weight.) They aren't taking a risk by eating. They are taking a risk by not exercising.

cjdrover · · Watertown, MA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 355

I am guessing none of the previous posters actually followed the link and saw that the letter came from one "Felicia A.", not Rob.

My $0.02:

Leave people to their own devices, saving intervention for those people who cannot understand risk (children) and those risks that, through a combination of addiction and danger, have an intolerably high potential for destruction (heroin).

For everything else, I am for informed consent. The dangers of free soloing, for instance, are self-evident. Not so much for the dangers of eating trans fats, for example. So, I am all for mandatory labeling. But since I don't believe the former should be outlawed, I am inclined to say that neither should the latter.

I suppose this would put me in agreement with the writer, even if I find the wording to be awkward and the example to be absurd.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
cjdrover wrote:I am guessing none of the previous posters actually followed the link and saw that the letter came from one "Felicia A.", not Rob.
I clearly understood based on my reply.
rob.calm · · Loveland, Colorado · Joined May 2002 · Points: 630
Tylerpratt wrote:You can eat an absurd amount of food if you exercise enough and not gain weight. Let's tell it how it really is for a change. People that eat too much and sit on their asses all day. There I said it. (Look at how much the rock or the mountain eats to maintain their weight.) They aren't taking a risk by eating. They are taking a risk by not exercising.
The obvious answer to this is that there are many other forms of exercise that do not have the inherent risk of climbing for serious injury and sudden death.

rob.calm
Daniel H. Bryant · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 275
rob.calm wrote:No such people should be shamed, regardless of whether their risky adventures occur on Mount Everest or at Ben & Jerry’s. Letter Source
Shaming or just a matter of fact?:
Airlines make it clear by requiring two seats.
Walmart provides electric scooters.
....insert observation here

It would appear that society is catering to the above behavior.

As a climber, I haven't made any observations of 'shaming' towards the sport. Only if I make it known I'm a climber, I might hear a 'you're crazy', which I'm braced for, and isn't perceived as 'shaming'.
Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
rob.calm wrote: The obvious answer to this is that there are many other forms of exercise that do not have the inherent risk of climbing for serious injury and sudden death. rob.calm
Anything can kill you if you try hard enough.
Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 1,495

I don't think there's any such thing as willpower, free will is a (useful?) neurological delusion and behavior is completely determined by genetics and experience. While I understand this on a rational level, my emotional attitude towards overweight people still varies from pity to contempt. Go figure...

The main concern I would have with fat shaming is this: Does it even work?

On average, do people who are fat shamed start behaving differently or just eat even more to deal with the emotional repercussions?

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Just my 2¢.

Obesity in our country is not, and has not been for a long while, a simple matter of "calories in, calories out". There has been a lot of research in recent years, and, I have to say, most of it points the finger at our overall (sucked IMO) food and "health" systems, and is rather depressing. Search TED talks in obesity, exercise, and diet, for more information.

This is an interest and passion of mine, "food", largely because of the huge changes in my lifetime of what passes for food (even veggies aren't what they used to be), and what that has done to us and is doing to our children. Criminality on a much larger scale than tobacco, and I totally intend the word criminality.

Please be educated about this, for your own sake, for our kids, and in the name of compassion for those who have been shafted. AND YES, THERE IS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, also, but that is NOT the only answer.

Best, Helen

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

The whole "Walk a mile in their shoes" comes to mind.

As far as what costs my insurance more, I would say my hobbies before my beer gut. I've been to the hospital way more from jumps, drops and booters than the bag of Halloween candy I already ate.

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Old lady H wrote:Just my 2¢. Obesity in our country is not, and has not been for a long while, a simple matter of "calories in, calories out".
I don't believe this. Show me the outlier in a concentration camp who is fat.
Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Rick Blair wrote: I don't believe this. Show me the outlier in a concentration camp who is fat.
She's talking about the fact that lower income neighborhoods don't have access to healthy food. The poor can't afford and or are not taught to eat healthy.
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Bill Kirby wrote: The poor can't afford and or are not taught to eat healthy.
Dude, have you ever looked at the price of a head of Romaine Lettuce or Broccoli? What language are you even speaking?
Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Maybe we need to look at this in a slightly different light, when comparing climbing vs eating as pleasure vs risk behavior, and in the context of shaming.

You might draw a parallel between "irresponsible" eating and lack of exercise, to irresponsible climbers. How many of you have denounced the "gumby noobs" who you see doing stupid/dangerous things at the crag? Not all of these people are actually "noobs".

Now let's look at scale. If it was just a few "fat people" who were a problem it get's largely ignored. But the country as a whole has an obesity problem, so the issue is at the fore front. Just like the booming popularity of climbing has made "gumby mistakes" a much more popular topic of conversation.

The issue in these two cases can actually be compared as well. In the climbing case it's often access to information, seeking out that information, or paying for it (hiring a guide) vs the immediate pleasure of climbing. In the "fat" case it's that access to healthy, not overly caloric food can be very difficult to find, it's often not as tasty, and junk food is usually much cheaper.

Point being, there are things we can do as a community to improve both situations. Putting the onus solely on the individual ignores a large par of the problem. just because YOU were able to avoid the situation (or work though it), doesn't mean other's will find that same path.

Rick Blair wrote: Dude, have you ever looked at the price of a head of Romaine Lettuce or Broccoli? What language are you even speaking?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert

Also, time can be a much more valuable resource for people with less income (can't pay someone to d something for them, maybe need to work 2 jobs, etc). So time to prepare a meal from fresh produce is an additional barrier over cost.

Education, and knowing what to do with it is another. As is the desire to seek out the information.
Sean Anderson · · Nevada City/ Berkeley · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 40

Rick, I am not sure what your background is, but if you take some time to look at the lives of the socioeconomically oppressed, depressed, or disadvantaged, then you will probably find that the time and money is not generally there to put health first. Just because a head of lettuce isn't that "much" (let us think about compared to other costs), doesn't mean that someone working 2+ jobs with a family will choose to make an elaborate salad that also incorporates sufficient protein and carbohydrates. Besides, when did a head of lettuce constitute a meal; take your control volume and expand it encompass time, money, stress, and knowledge/education. Hopefully you can see how "cheap" produce isn't going to suffice.

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 50

For me, there's a difference between "fat shaming," which is wrong and essentially bullying, and pointing out the disconnect between some peoples' goals/complaints and actions.

If I posted on MP that my goal was to climb 5.13, and complained that I couldn't do it no matter how hard I tried, but when asked about my training methods, I mumbled something about how once the New Year rolls around I'm gonna dust off that harness and maybe join a rock gym and subscribe to R&I, fellow MPers would be justified in questioning my devotion.

When I hear someone complain about being fat while eating a McWhopper XXL and sitting on the couch, sometimes I think to myself, "maybe this person needs a little behavior shaming."

Fitness is like everything else in life; if you're not willing to work for it, don't complain if it doesn't fall into your lap.

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

What kind of bubble do you people live in? Redlining prevents someone from eating salad?

2+ jobs? Check out the housing projects in my neigborhood and tell me how many are working 2+ jobs. I drive a beat up 2002 subaru Outback, want me to post up a picture of my local housing project and see if you can find a car as crappy as mine in the picture?

Poor Asian immigrant neighborhoods have grocery stores full of veggies. You people need to go back to the drawing board.

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

if I'm a fat climber is that double dangerous?

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
Noah Yetter wrote:if I'm a fat climber is that double dangerous?
I would climb with you any time and you wont have to worry about any bulls--t like me trying to get you to eat salad.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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