This could get ugly..

After the media firestorm created by the LaCrosse news anchor that made headlines by responding to a viewer’s email, I have received just over a dozen emails asking what my opinion of the situation is.  Here it is:

I consider myself a healthy guy. Along with living a mainly gluten free lifestyle now, I still exercise regularly and I eat healthier than most people I know.  I like helping people find supplements, develop healthier eating styles, or create workout routines to help them live healthier lives.  I don’t, however, judge people based on their lifestyle or body size. I believe everyone has a responsibility to be healthy, but they need to be healthy at a pace that feels comfortable to them. I don’t consider obesity a disease, nor do I consider it a handicap. I do not feel sorry for anyone who is overweight, but I am not ashamed of them either.

Weight loss, if that’s the desired result, takes work.  Yes, it can be daunting, but willpower isn’t something that everyone has right away..it must be built like a muscle.  This means lifting heavy weights three to four times per week, this means running or elliptical use for 15 or more minutes at least three times per week, and this means sticking to a low fat, calorie-low (1500-2000) calorie eating plan as a permanent lifestyle.  Diets don’t work in the long run, not eating, or eating one type of food won’t work either.  No excuses, no justifying failures, just hard work.  On the same note, also realize that no matter how hard you work at being healthy, people are entitled to their opinion.  People make fun of Cameron Diaz’s manly muscles and Sarah Jessica Parker’s stringy body as well.

That said, do I think the anchor was bullied in any way or “fat shamed”?  Absolutely not.  A viewer wrote in with his opinion and, rather than answer him in private to tell him she didn’t agree with his opinion, she decided to make a news piece about it for what appears to be a ratings ploy and drag his name through the mud as a result.  If I don’t like someone’s smoking around me, I’d tell them I find it bothersome and disgusting.  Does that mean they should write a news piece about it and make me a target for ridicule?  I don’t think so.  Yes, there are judgmental people in this world, but unless their behavior is repeated or aggressive (both words are used in the dictionary’s definition of bullying), it’s not bullying.  It’s just some asshat’s opinion.  Let it go and be the bigger person.

I’ll field your opinions, as always..

Sean

 

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4 comments

  1. Anonymous · October 8, 2012

    “Be the bigger person”? really?

    I think she was fat shamed. If he was writing in about her reporting of a topic, or misreporting something, thats valid…but attacking someone for the way they look is almost like writing in to a news caster to complain that they look too black, or have too much of an Asian accent. That is insulting and hurtful. Sure its his opinion, but he made it public when he wrote and sent a letter to her, or sent an email to her COMPANY EMAIL (which most companies monitor and track or archive anyway). She has a right to defend herself and a right to make sure that others know how this guy can make hurtful comments. If someone was making racist comments, or making for on someone’s physical handicap, I would do anything I could to call attention to that douchebag.

    Thats what he is…a douchebag. If she is happy, who cares what she looks like. People devote their lives to different things. Some are happy working out, some are happy reading, or cooking, or writing novels. NO ONE has the right to tell someone else that they are wrong for choosing the paths they take. Science has debated about the cause of obesity, and yes, some of it is due to not as much physical exercise, but i would never in a million years think i had any right to walk up to someone and tell them they were too scrawny, nor would I tell someone they were too fat. Its not my place.

    The world would be so much better off if dickheads like this ceased to exist. I hope he gets the full wrath of the internet and the news listening public. He deserves it.

  2. Minnesodad · October 11, 2012

    Interesting. Considering everyone has a right to voice their opinion, I am surprised you stated, “NO ONE has the right to tell someone else that they are wrong for choosing the paths they take”, when in fact, EVERYONE has that right. An opinion can be public or private. He chose to keep it private by emailing her directly rather than tweeting it or taking writing a newspaper column. He’s a douchebag for voicing his opinion? Okay, I’ll give you that one..some people don’t have a filter. But, where in his entire email did he attack her? He wasn’t aggressive in any way. He simply stated his opinion. Racism (which would be a hatred for someone or someone’s race based upon race) or teasing someoone’s handicap (demeaning someone based upon a physical handicap) is a different topic..he didn’t do either one here. His initial letter stated:

    “It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

    Yes, he could have worded his statements about her being a role model better, but he didn’t attack her, nor was he aggressive in any way.

  3. Wisconsinite · October 11, 2012

    They’re both in the wrong. Jennifer for failing to look after her own health. In time, weight will take it’s toll on her body and shorten both her quality of life and time with her children, So in essence, she is a bully to her own body…refusing to take action to take care of it and the future of being a healthy mother. As for Kenneth, he meant well but writing a letter of concern was a mistake. A person never wants someone else to point out something about them that they already know.

  4. Lisa · October 11, 2012

    I actually support the statement that the gentlemen sent to Jennifer. I believe (only my opinion) that if he was truly acting as a bully then he would have posted that comment on Facebook or Twitter (in an attempt to embarrass/humiliate her). But he did not do that, instead he sent a personal email to just her; she decided to make it public and make a spectacle of his words.

    I think his letter was well spoken, I think he tried to use tact in the words he used while still making sure to get his image out. When someone is in the public image, they become a role-model…whether they like it or not. How is it that it is okay to say that politicians and professional athletes and actors/actresses are role models but that it’s not okay to say that someone who is in our living rooms daily bringing us the news is not? In most homes, the news is watched more than sports so there is more impact by what we and our kids see than with the other professions mentioned.

    I am a nurse in a large urban hospital and I see the horrible effects of unhealthy habits on the majority of my patients on a daily basis. Whether being overweight, drinking in excess, inactivity, using drugs or a thin person with unhealthy eating habits, the health consequences are devestating. COPD, heart attacks, strokes, kidney and liver disease, arterial disease, diabetes…I could go on and on. I try to work with my patients through teaching; using caring words, a great deal of reference material and providing support information so that the patient has good information to make better choices to improve the qualities of their life. I would never humiliate my patients but I would be doing them a disservice by ignoring their situation so that they “feel good” about their place on the health continuum…and at the point of illness rather than health. I think everyone, myself included, could find at least one area in our lives where we could make changes to improve our health.

    I understand how Jennifer could see this as an attack but I really hope she rethinks the email writer’s intent. Jennifer is 100% correct that bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated but I do not believe the writer was trying to do that. Jennifer is a beautiful and obviously smart, successful woman and, it sounds like, an excellent mom. I’m sorry that she was hurt by this man, whether intentional or not.

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