Weight Stigma

How Stigmatising Obesity Creates Obesity!

posted on: February 13, 2018. posted in: Weight loss, Nutrition


We all need it.

We all find it in different ways.

But how you find it can have a huge impact on your weight, shape, health, happiness and life.

One of the most fascinating theories I've ever come across is the concept of a "pleasure budget".

The theory goes that human beings need a certain amount of pleasure in our lives, and when we sacrifice pleasure from one source we instinctively find it from another.

A classic example would be the smoker who quits smoking then ends up eating more and gaining weight. In this instance, their main source of pleasure (smoking) has been replaced by another source of pleasure (eating).

Now when we take this theory and apply it to what we teach here at Rebelfit, it makes so much sense that it cannot be ignored.

We believe that health is based on 6 pillars:

• Fitness - how you move

• Nutrition - how you eat

• Rest - how you relax

• Environment - what you're exposed to

• Connection - who you're exposed to

• Purpose - why you are here

Now when you look at each of the pillars, you will instantly notice that we are capable of deriving pleasure from each one.

Some people find pleasure in fitness. Some people find pleasure in eating. Some people find pleasure in resting. Some people find pleasure in their environment. Some people find pleasure in other people. And some people find pleasure in their work.

Now when I look at my clients holistically, looking at "the big picture", I can very quickly see where they are getting their pleasure from, and where they are lacking it.

The divorcee who loses their pleasure from connection, who then finds it in fitness, by joining the gym.

The workaholic who finds all their pleasure through their purpose, their job, all whilst sacrificing their fitness, nutrition, rest, environment and connection.

The lonely, depressed obese person who lacks connection and purpose, so they seek all their pleasure through binging on food.

Which means being in an unhappy relationship or a job that gives you no pleasure, massively increases the likelihood you'll seek pleasure through food, resulting in a caloric surplus and inevitable weight gain.

If we put "the pleasure budget" into figures, we might imagine that everyone needs 60 pleasure points a week to function as a happy, healthy human being.

Some people get 10 pleasure points from exercise, 10 pleasure points from enjoying tasty food, 10 pleasure points from relaxing and unwinding, 10 pleasure points from going for a walk in the woods, 10 pleasure points from spending time with others, and 10 pleasure points from feeling a sense of achievement through their work.

And some people...

Usually obese people...

Get all 60 points from EATING and RESTING.

These people lack pleasure from movement, from their environment, from the people around them and from their work, so they seek all their pleasure from eating and relaxing, from the nutrition pillar and the rest pillar.

Filling the gap, and reaching their pleasure budget, their 60 points, through daily overeating in front of the TV.

Unfortunately this leads to a vicious cycle, where the more weight they gain, the less pleasure they get from fitness, from their environment, from their connection and their purpose, and the more pleasure they get from eating and resting.

Meaning the bigger someone gets, the more likely they'll seek pleasure from the two pillars that are most likely to put even more weight on them.

The obese person who avoids the gym, avoids the world, avoids social events, avoids relationships and who avoids their dream job... all because they are ashamed of their weight... is now in a situation where they can only achieve pleasure points from nutrition (binging) and rest (not moving).

As rebels, we can stop this.

We can help.

By making it clear to the world that "health" isn't being skinny or being a certain weight. It is about finding balance and finding pleasure in all 6 pillars.

But in order for that to happen, we have to stop stigmatising obese people, as that stigma is preventing them and disallowing them from getting pleasure from fitness, from their environment, from their relationships and from their work.

In other words...

Obesity is being driven by the way society prevents obese people from finding balance in their pillars.

"You're fat, get out of my gym!"

"You're fat, don't go out in public!"

"You're fat, you can't have a boyfriend!"

"You're fat, you can't do this job!"

Society and the slimming industry has effectively said...

"You're too fat to be allowed to exercise, to explore the world, to have fulfilling relationships and to have a successful career."

Meaning millions of obese people are limited to reaching their pleasure budget through EATING AT HOME ALONE.

As a society we will only solve obesity by being more accepting of obesity.

When we stop the slimming industry convincing people that obesity is something to be ashamed of, we open up the possibility of people finding pleasure in all 6 pillars...

With the inevitable result being less binging, less weight gain...

And less obesity.


p.s. Get a pen and paper, write down the 6 pillars, then ask yourself where you're getting your pleasure points from. If you're not finding balance in your pillars, get in touch and let's see if we can help!

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