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When director Kevin Smith was kicked off a flight for being overweight, his subsequent actions sparked a feud that has escalated into a war between overweight people and those who criticize them because of their size. Dr. Phil is joined by a panel of experts to debate this hot-button issue. Jillian Michaels, trainer for the hit TV show The Biggest Loser; MeMe Roth, president of the anti-fat organization National Action Against Obesity; Michael Karolchyk, owner of the Anti-Gym; Peggy Howell from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance; Marianne Kirby, author of Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere; Erica Watson, comedienne and star of the one-woman show "Fat Bitch" and Kelly Osbourne, Dr. Phil contributor and author, who says she can relate to both sides of the issue, engage in a heated discussion about the stigmas and stereotypes associated with obesity, the size of airline seats and more. Plus, see how the public reacts to overweight people. You won't want to miss this lively debate!

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: mazzad on Jun 2, 2010, 12:51AM
Did anyone from the Dr Phil show look at the Anti-Gym website? That guy has serious narcissistic issues other than wearing a no chubbies t-shirt for attention. I'm a healthy weight because I stay clear of the diet roundabout, play sport in the fresh air and stay away from creeps like Mr Anti-Gym (I windexed my computer monitor after looking at his website).
 
Replied By: nobravery on Apr 24, 2010, 11:51AM
So just let me start off with I don't hate fat people. A person's body size does not affect what really matters, like personality. But I think when it comes to airplanes and things of that nature, size does matter. For example, I was coming back from Rome on a 9 hour flight. A grueling flight for many people. I sat in the middle row. To the right of me was this rather large lady. She put up the arm rest and was in my seat, since the arm rest made it uncomforable for me. I was given 1/4 of my seat, so I had to squish myself (I'm really petite.) into my dads seat. As a result, he had to squish into the kid on the left (who was flying with the woman to my right) seat. For 9 hours we all had to sit uncomfortably because of her. She wanted comfort but it forced 3 other people to sit uncomfortably. If she were to buy two seats, no one would be affected by her size. We made a good friend but on unfortunate circumstances. When the lady (I can't think of her name at the moment) sat in the airplane chair on the Dr. Phil show and said that it is not fair for her to have to buy 2 seats, I was outraged. When we were in Italy for a week, we had quite a bit of luggage, so manuvering the train system. So we bought an extra seat, just so we would not inconvienence for another person. Sure it wasn't fun to buy another seat, but we were forced to. Instead of complaining, we just let it go. We didn't want it to spoil our trip. I think those are the times when people sort of have to discriminate since everyone has to share. But calling people chubbies, fatties and any other sort of term is unacceptable. Sure you may not like the way they look, but they are mothers fathers and friends just like the skinny people. Size does not affect the person on the inside.
 
Replied By: ronjen777 on Apr 22, 2010, 11:44AM
I am 33 yo and I have lost 110 lbs.  I have gone from a size 24 to a size 6.  I understand both sides of the debate.  It is not fair to punish thin people and have them pay more for an enlarged airline seat.  I suggest adding two rows of larger seats to the planes.  Let the larger people make the choice, pay $30-$40 extra dollars for an enlarged seat or be uncomfortable for your entire flight.  Also, why make a larger person pay for two seats when the flight would is not full.  It is not like someone else would be using the extra seat.  Surely there is a compromise that could be reached.

People who have always been thin do not have the understanding of what larger people go through and should not be so hasty to judge. If we start changing airline seats what will be next, rollar coaster seats, turnstiles?
 
Replied By: smithnwesson on Apr 16, 2010, 5:30PM - In reply to jgior1031
Thank You, my daughter is in the process of trying to get the LAP-BAND, but here in Colo. the insurance companys will not pay for it, and she just adopted 3 children so funds will not permit right now.
 
Replied By: sunnyb64 on Apr 16, 2010, 5:26PM
First of all fat isn't "genetic", we all have the same size skeletons when we are born, other than variations in length. (height)  Otherwise we all start out on the same playing field.

Now based on different lifestyle choices made by our parents and ourselves is where the game starts to change.  Then of course "some" of us develop some serious disorders of diseases that make it harder to lose weight than others, but this is a very small amount of us. 
I've seen diabetics lose EXTREME amounts of weight because they didn't want to die early, I myself have a serious thyroid disorder (Graves disease) which made me gain about 20lbs before it was first diagnosed, and after getting the medication in my system, and being a person who regularly moved, that 20 dropped right back off.  However my sister is twice my size (obese) and claims its because of her thyroid, a common excuse used by many, but have never gotten that diagnosis, yet its a great excuse for a person who eats trash constantly and doesn't even consider exercise.  In fact at this point in her life she hasn't experienced any major medical problems, and doesn't seem to care what her Obesity can bring in the future.  I am 5'7" and 146lbs, 45y/o and she's 5'8" 300lbs, and 33y/o and all she does is come up with excuses, however I am constantly railed on by her and others about how "SKINNY" I am, and how I work to keep my body together and stay healthy.  Mind you, I never call my sister names, and never will, so what gives her or people like her the right to feel like its ok to call me names but if I were to call her or any of them fat lazy pigs, I'd be stoned or something?

My point is that nobody should call people fat, and assume that they are lazy because their fat, and fat people should also heed that.  Stop criticizing me or people who try and LOOK healthy as well as BE healthy because we are doing what's good for us.  If you feel that being Obese is good for you, more power to ya, but when I spend hundreds of my dollars for a seat on a plane, at a concert, baseball game, etc., its MY SEAT, not to be shared with any other person.  Yes it pisses me off when I get on a plane and the person beside me is oozing into my seat to a point where I can't be comfortable, then gets indignant because I want to put my arm on an armrest.  HOW DARE ME????

Dr Phil should have sat 2 of the fat women together and let one of the skinny women sit or lay across ones lap while shes sitting in the seat to show her how uncomfortable that is.....that's almost the equivalent of riding next to someone who's halfway into your seat.  But oh no, lets not offend the fat person whos very rarely unselfish and accomodating to the person they are squashing, they are usually quite snarky and selfish, and could care less about how you feel.  So people who are fat, obese, whatever, why don't you try to be a little bit more accomodating and treat others like they have the same right to be there as you do.  You know, you have the right to be fat and ride on a plane, well they also have the right to be skinny and not smothered on their flight. 
Smokers have to make certain concessions because they inflict on others second hand smoke, and anybody who smokes should not have to breathe that air if they choose not to....well second hand fat can be just as disgusting, though it may not give you lung cancer, it sure as hell can make your life a living hell for a few hours or more.  No, they shouldn't make seats larger, and charge all of us (skinny) people even more money because we have alot of people in this country who don't care to take care of themselves, we're already paying enough for healthcare, and wait till this joke Obamacare goes into effect we're really gonna have to pay.  So fat people knock it off, the world doesn't revolve around your problem, we all have problems of some sort. If you're depressed, see a therapist, if you don't like the gym, go for a walk, make an effort, but its not my fault that you're fat so stopbeing so pissed off at everybody.  It is no picnic working out 5 days a week and eating salads and whole foods, but thats the price we pay for being healthy.
 
Replied By: sgjr8860 on Apr 14, 2010, 11:06AM
First of all, I have an extremely BIG bone to pick with The Anti-Gym's owner/founder, Michael Karolchyk. He talks about fat people possessing a "victim" mentality? The only victims I see are the masochists who would pay as much as he's charging to go to a gym to be screamed at, submit to urine tests and have pastries and lunchmeat thrown at them.  I can pretty much promise you that if he threw a doughnut at ME, I would make sure it would be the LAST he would ever throw at anybody. As for the website for his company, it stops just THISshort of being online porn in some places.  The overall impression I get from Mr. Karolchyk is that he's a body fascist, an opportunist and a bully. Though I have no wish to be babied by a personal trainer when i hire one, THESE aren't qualities I look for, either. I think this is a man who has plenty of his own issues to work out, so if anyone is so inclined to submit themselves to his methods to advance their weight loss journey, they're more than welcome to knock themselves out.

I'm not a regular viewer of the show, but every now and then an episode gets my attention like this one did, and what aggravates me the most is that an hour is NOT enough time to truly address all sides of the issue. I appreciate that the Federal government's complicity (and duplicity) in making the problem of improving the nutritional education and accessibility to good food (especially to kids) was a well-made point that was addressed. But what I DIDN'T like is that between the "PRO" and "CON" sides of the panel, only Kelly Osbourne and THE BIGGEST LOSER'S Jillian Michaels had one really important point that wasn't addressed, but because of time, some rudeness on other panelists' parts or whatever, they were not allowed to speak what was on their mind, and they really should have been.

The point I believe that Jill and Kelly would've made is this: YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY FROM YOURSELF. I have been struggling with my own weight for a while now, and so far having successfully lost nearly 50 lbs. with a very comprehensive and thorough online program, I look forward to losing even more in the next few weeks and months. But one of the main components that we are taught in this program that only Ms. Michaels and Ms. Osbourne brought up is that it's not just about what you're eating, but WHAT'S EATING YOU. One of the things that really elevates THE BIGGEST LOSER from other "reality TV trash" shows is the message that Bob Harper and Jill often stress, which is that if you do not address whatever deep-seated psychological issues that are causing you to overeat in the first place, then it doesn't matter what you do. You can go to 24 Hour Fitness, Bally's, Gold's, even Karolchyk's "Anti-Gym". You may eventually lose all the weight you need to lose, but the problems that plagued you before will still be waiting for you when you're done, and it's those problems that will cause you to put every pound back on, with change to spare.

And I'm not saying that Karolchyk and MeMi Ross and Dr. Howard Leibowitz didn't have some very valid points about the toll obesity is putting on the health care system, or about how losing weight and taking personal responsibility for improving your health should be the most important mandate this country has.

But in addition to the psychological issue that wasn't discussed, there is also the part that many celebrities - fitness gurus especially - can play along with the mass media in helping perpetuate one of the Greatest Lies of All. That YOUR LIFE WILL BECOME EVERYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE IF YOU JUST LOSE WEIGHT AND GET THIN.

BULL.

Gaining a six-pack, a 50-inch chest (or bigger breasts for the ladies), arms and legs corded with lean muscle looks great and it's certainly desirable, but is it going to improve your life overall? Maybe...but that depends on who and what kind of person you are to begin with. I hate to keep going back to Mr. Karolchyk, but he's an example too good not to use.  You can be the best looking, best built person in any room you enter, commanding attention the moment you appear, but if you have the personality of a dumpster and the mouth to match, how does that make you special? How can your fitness level affect and improve on that? IT CAN'T and it WON'T.  If someone can't hold their marriage together when they're 100 lbs. overweight, will losing that same 100 lbs. make things all better? If the ONLY thing causing the trouble IS the weight, then yes. If there's more stuff going on beneath the surface, it doesn't matter if she looks like Angelina Jolie and he looks like Daniel Craig. Fitness will fix your cholesterol level, your hypertension, your joint problems, your breathing and your stamina, BUT IT WON'T FIX EVERYTHING.

And I really wish this had been a two or three-part show, so somebody could've brought that up.
 
Replied By: fatlikeus10 on Apr 14, 2010, 10:23AM
I have been fat most of my life except for brief periods of relative thinness.  Being thin is like visiting a foreign country to me.  I take lots of pictures and keep a diary, but eventually I return home to fat.  Fat is familiar.  I was on my fist diet at eight years old - Weight Watchers.  I call it the gateway diet because it led to more stringent diets.  I lose a hundred lbs and kept is off for almost two decades. I even wrote a book about it.  I kept the weight off through severe calorie restriction, intense exercise (at least 2 hours a day), and social avoidance of what I call eating situations (birthdays, holidays, etc).  Three years ago I returned to work full time and quickly gained 50 lbs!  Now, at 56 years old and a lifetime of dieting I am trying to find a way to pay for lapband or gastric-bypass surgery.  My health insurance won't pay for it.  I just sighed when I saw the show.  It was the same deal, but nothing changes.  The world hates you fat and loves you thin.  I am sure that some women would abort fetuses if they knew that the child would grow up to be fat.  Everywhere we go we hear be thin, be thin, be thin and we also hear eat, eat, eat.  I applaud Mrs. Obama for her initative, but it is nothing new.  When I was young, President John F. Kennedy had a program to get America's children fit.  We had fitness tests in school (I flunked them), and daily exercise and nutrition lessons.  Some of us are just fat.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to be thin more than anything, the  few moments I was actually thin (to me) in my life are previous.  I feel that I have lived a blighted life.  Still, I join Weight Watchers one more time,  force my self to walk the dog, go the the gym, and eat less.  I just wish those thin people on the panel on the show today could just be fat for a day, and know what it is truly like.  To have people hate you just because you are shaped differently.
 
Replied By: mommy4boyz on Apr 13, 2010, 8:56PM - In reply to casey91
I agree with you, people should keep to their own lives.

It is not fair for those that are trying to loose the weight but has a chronic illness that has nothing to do with a person's weight. There are some medication for chronic illness that causes weight gain, yes it will take more work to loose it. It is not fair to be judgmental to those who are overweight, Kelly's right calling a person fat is the worst thing to call them.
Calling a person fat is just like being racesit or desicriminating against someone who has cancer, Parkinson's Disease, making fun of someone for not having as much money as you do.  A person should not assume a person weights a certain amount because of the way they look, because it may surprise you that they may not be that weight.
 
Replied By: cooterpie on Apr 13, 2010, 8:00AM
Why did those big women need congratulations for appearing on television that they chose to be on?  Seems that the large women want exceptional or special treatment not equal.  Airlines already have seats that accomodate larger folks.  It's called first-class  seating and it is available to everyone who pays for it.  Peggy Howell seems to want exception for being fat not equality, she wants first-class for free. 
 
Replied By: ariadne147 on Apr 12, 2010, 9:22PM
 
I loved Kelly Osborne and really identified with her point of view.

If you're fat and you have no problem with that, you're free to accept yourself. But you can't force other people to accept you, too. Self-acceptance by its very nature is not conditioned on how others feel about you. Not everyone is going to like you whether you are fat or thin.

Here is part of my blog on my weight loss journey. It's my first blog entry. My first blog anything.

Losing weight isn't just about looking good or being healthier. To me, anyway. I've been in such a rut for most of my life and I've blamed it on my weight. There are so many things in life that I can't control, but what I put in my mouth should be one of them, right? Then how come it is so difficult?! Here are the answers I am uncovering, layer, by layer. If you think weight loss is just about food, but you can't seem to stick to a diet, come with me.

Since the age of twelve, I've been a dreamer. Okay, so all of my life, I've been a dreamer, an escapist, but at twelve, my dreams, my escapism, became a defense mechanism. And I kept it up until almost the age of forty. Ten years ago. Maybe I'm a slow learner, but in order to understand me, you have to understand the origins of "The Dream."

When I was twelve, I lost both my parents about ten months apart. Until now, that has been the defining thing in my life. I was catapulted from the safe haven of my parents' love into a dangerous world where people I had known all my life, who were supposed to love me, hurt me incredibly; told me I was unlovable; ungrateful; ugly, fat, stupid and weird. My reaction to this, of course, was to believe them and to recede into a fantasy world where no one could quite reach me. On the outside, I seemed to have it together. I seemed happy. I had my dreams of being thin (my mother was fat phobic!), which would lead to my being beautiful and loved. I would meet someone who would complete me, fall in love, get married, have children and a beautiful home . . . happily ever after. Not. You see, none of this ever happened for me. I was the girl who was too busy fantazing about what she wanted to do with her life to actually get into the game and make something happen. But it was more complicated than that. I didn't understand what was holding back what I wanted so much in life. But it was me!

My worst fear in life was being unmarried at the age of forty. That came to pass, unfortunately and surprisingly I survived. I was in pain, however. The pain of being alone and feeling like no one loved me because I wasn't worth loving. Feeling as though people looked at me and saw something innately "wrong" with me. Feeling like if I could only lose weight, I would meet someone. I still had hopes of having a family. I had raised a beloved daughter by myself. She was grown and gone, living her life, as I seemed to be unable to. However, those hopes were dashed when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and needed a complete hysterectomy. The cancer was caught early and I was blessed with a clean bill of health after surgery.

In the midst of all this . . . life, I began to unravel my beliefs about myself, about life and started putting some order to all of it. I made some pretty startling realizations about myself. Like, I'm a pretty good person. And, do I really need a husband to prove to the world that I'm worth something? Oh, and, this is a good one; maybe everything I want is waiting for me outside my comfort zone! Okay, what does a girl do when she wakes up with her fiftieth birthday looming to find that she's wasted so many years living in her comfort zone, not even realizing it? Nope, it isn't a riddle and the answer is (drum roll, please) - put one foot in front of the other and walk away from the cookies.

What does this all have to do with weight loss, you might be asking about now. Well, everything! Weight issues aren't about what you put in your mouth. They're about the reasons you put too much food in your mouth in the first place.

I saw a couple of Dr. Phil episodes on societal prejudice against severely overweight people recently. On the panel was a man who wore a t-shirt labeled "No Chubbies." Sensitive guy, huh? He said fat people were lazy and needed to take responsibility for the state of their being. He was thoroughly obnoxious. He was wrong about fat people's condition stemming from laziness, though people do need to take responsibility for the state of their bodies. Yes, some people do have trouble with their weight because of hereditary factors, or medications, but most of us eat because it's a pleasure. An instant gratification. The result is fat. We are literally wearing our pain.

After watching that show and hearing what Kelly Osborne had to say, I vowed to remove the excuse of fat from my life. I am sick and tired of using my weight as an excuse to avoid doing things that I'm afraid to do and this is where MY story begins.
 
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