Weight Does NOT Determine Worth


Submitted by Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in the US

What is the difference between weight and worth? One changes—the other does not.

Adding or dropping pounds does not make a person’s worth go up and down.

Fear of fat. “Why do modern women in the most affluent countries in the world live like starving people in a primitive land? Why do they choose to be weak, apathetic and unable to fully contribute to their families, their careers, and their communities? It’s simple. They are terrified of being fat. Women today are afraid to eat . . . afraid their bodies will be unacceptable in a society obsessed by thinness. It’s a fear that consumes, shatters lives, even kills. . . . The number one wish of brilliant, ambitious young women is not to save the rain forests or succeed in a career, but to lose weight.” Excerpt from Women Afraid to Eat Breaking Free in Today’s Weight-Obsessed World, a book by Frances M. Berg (1999).

The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

by Paul Campos (2004) exposed the weakness of the evidence that being overweight is bad for health and the dangers of the current obsession with weight and weight loss in America. “Campos believes that the efforts to portray fat as unhealthy and unacceptable are driven by junk science, hatred of fat people, and a profit-hungry dieting industry.” www.livescience.com/.

The number on a scale is not indicative of your human worth. Measuring self by measuring pounds is an erroneous belief—a hyped hullabaloo. Skinny does not equal happy. Body dissatisfaction is out of control. Who is propagating weightism, size prejudice, and appearance discrimination? Who is body-shamming? Who needs to zip their lips?

Females are in body image bondage. Our self-worth and self-concept is tied up in knots. Like dancing puppets, we awkwardly shuffle to a repressive rhythm. Weight obsession is rampant. Can we cut the puppet strings?

Don’t exercise because you reject your body—exercise because you accept your body and want it to be healthy. Stop sending hate messages to your skin, muscles, bones—and fat cells.

Step away from the sensationalized selfie craze. Snapping and posting selfies lead to self-criticism as others spout off with judgmental comments. Why subject yourself to the catty crowd? Why compare your body to others? And even though you may receive positive remarks about your body—it’s still a focus on your outer container. And cyber body-bullying is a problem.

The perfect Barbie doll body is a fallacy. However, Mattel has created three new bodies for Barbie; curvy, petite (shorter), and tall. Why? Because parents requested a more realistic Barbie body. And Mattel listened—it’s about time!

Girls with negative body images are more likely to develop an eating disorder and to experience depression, isolation, and weight loss obsession.

While the world may not see the difference between worth and weight, wise women do. And they can communicate unconditional worth to their daughters—regardless of size and shape. Regardless of boobs, booties, or belly bulges. Regardless of social media and Hollywood hoopla. Regardless.

Preventing body image bondage for our daughters and granddaughters is essential. Let’s teach the next generation to accept natural body shapes and sizes. And that weight does not determine worth.

Investigate the national and global influence of the media’s messages about body shape, size, and weight. Stand up and speak out against body image bondage. Gather facts and statistics and debate the fear of fat.

Please say the following mantra to yourself daily, “My body is my container. It carries around my soul. And my essence. I will honor my body while working on being physically and emotionally healthy. My worth is not tied to my weight.” Find your inner female friend and be kind to her. Your worth is not determined by your weight.


The Mirror of Life

Submitted by Charles Knighton

Contemplation is a solitary pursuit

Contemplation is a solitary pursuit – Il Cantone

The Advocate’s editorial of August 2, Barbadians among world’s fattest raises an intriguing possibility. Is the purported rise in sea level threatening Barbados the result of global warming, or is it just possible Barbados is sinking under its own weight?

On the Editor’s Page of the same issue, Mr. Nigel Wallace’s musings on the passage of time struck a resonant chord, though from someone probably twice Mr. Wallace’s age, as his perspective on various issues leads me to believe he is probably in his early thirties.

Contemplation being the solitary pursuit it is, I can never be sure if others share similar thoughts, though the universality we all share as human beings leads me to believe we do, even though each of us may express these thoughts differently.

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Notes From a Native Son: Is the Obesity Epidemic Reflective of our National Overdosing?

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

As Kofi Annan once memorably said, Barbados punches above its weight. It is one of those exaggerated statements that would come back to haunt the objects of such flattery and the author of such inflated praise.

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, this tiny island of between 270000 and 300000 people is now one of the fattest nations on earth. Of course, one only has to see the school children running – or rolling – for the bus in the mornings to realise this is a nation on its last legs. This observation, however, coincides with another development hardly mentioned by our politicians, policymakers, neighbours and workmates: Barbados is facing a ticking demographic time bomb. When the two collide, an obese younger generation and growing longevity, the fiscal explosion waiting to happen will make DLP incompetence over the recession and structural chaos look like child’s play.

For the firs time, we as nation are faced with the children and grand children of the babyboomers facing an earlier grave than their elders, through a reckless lifestyle, including a poor fast food diet, physical laziness and a reluctance to exercise.

An Ageing World:
The world is ageing, and with that emerges the twin social policy issues of a declining dependency ratio and serious ill heath in older retirement – both major issues for the economy. Despite a popular belief that the state provides an adequate social safety net for those reaching retirement age and those who have actually retired, this in reality is far from the case. The current crude and almost criminal abuse of the national insurance scheme and the too often pensioners’ voices raised about not receiving their pensions on time should raise alarm bells. Even those people who get their pensions from overseas often complain that the banks, on advice from the central bank, hold on to their money for far too long. This is made worse by the dubious practices by insurance companies and the proper lack of regulation and supervision, which allow them to operate like cowboys; Clico and its ever-running chaotic problems is just one example of incompetence at the very top level of the private and regulatory sectors. But it is the dependency ratio: the number of people of working age to those above the state retirement age, which will created problems for public finances.

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Okay Fat Boy…Time For Change

Submitted by Old Onions Bag

Fat lady in Bridgetown

Did I hear somewhere that come 2015…70% of Barbadians will be obese? Not good news at all considering our endless opportunities and open spaces to exercise. While net surfing I came across tasty tit bits and truffles on fat boygirl syndrome…

WE ARE BEING ENCOURAGED……its a conspiracy!!!

There is an alternative theory, one that has also been around for decades but that the establishment has largely ignored. This theory implicates specific foods—refined sugars and grains—because of their effect on the hormone insulin, which regulates fat accumulation. If this hormonal-defect hypothesis is true, not all calories are created equal, as the conventional wisdom holds. And if it is true, the problem is not only controlling our impulses, but also changing the entire American food economy and rewriting our beliefs about what constitutes a healthy diet.

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The Obesity Threat

Click Image to watch video (CBS Video 7min 17secs)

Please watch the video, it could save your life. The scenario is set in the United States but the parallel to Barbados is vividly familiar.

As a society some will grudgingly admit we have progressed economically and socially, at what price others may rebuff. The fast food revolution has swallowed the imagination of a generation and with it generations to come. The prognosis is not good for the health of our nation in the years to come. Successive governments have been overwhelmed by the cost of health care, unfortunately the resources have been sucked up by prevention methods rather than cure.

Barbados finds it self in an advantageous position to look at North America to assess what the fast food industry combined with a sedentary lifestyle can do to the health of a country. It is a new year, time for our leaders to unleash the leadership our country needs to get back on keel.

Here is a link to the website with interesting content on the subject matter.

Obesity Decreases The Odds

McClinton/Getty Extra weight in middle age can have a dramatic effect on women's health as they grow older, according to new research.

McClinton/Getty Extra weight in middle age can have a dramatic effect on women's health as they grow older, according to new research.

There is the saying the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation. According to reports from the experts, non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) are on the rise globally, of more concern to Barbadians is the more significant rise occurring in developing countries. It is not our approach to this subject to be judgemental, we all have our challenges with balancing our lifestyles and healthy living.

What cannot be denied is the rising number of CNCDs in Barbados  according to the periodic reports we get from our officials. Concern by the former government forced the establishment of the National Task Force on CNCDs which was established to produced a policy document for the prevention and control of CNCDs. Among the recommendations were:

  • The establishment of a Health Promotion Unit.
  • The establishment of the post of Senior Medical Officer of Health (CNCDs).
  • The establishment of a National Commission on CNCDs.

Despite the task force initiative our country continues to struggle with perpetuating a culture of healthy living. We understand Barbados currently occupies the highest category for incidence of diabetes and obesity.

To arrest the problem calls for a lifestyle adjustment which maybe a cry in the wilderness based on how our society continues to develop i.e. proclivity for fast food, foods infected with preservatives, driving instead of walking etc. The greatest irony for the BU household continues to be the rising number of CNCDs as we boast of achieving first world status in 2025. What yardstick are we using to measure success?

Yet another study has been released by the medical fraternity which predicts a sorry outcome for people who surrender to the battle of the bulge. The study used females to feed its research, we hope our resident medical expert Dr. GP can validate whether we can extrapolate the findings to include men.

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