THE BLOG

Why Are People So Afraid to Use the F-Word?

20/03/2014 09:36 GMT | Updated 19/05/2014 10:59 BST

I love what I do; helping women and men who desperately seek to shed weight that does nothing but drain their self esteem, present potential health challenges and stop them achieving their life goals. Witnessing the weight melt off is so satisfying and for many it can bring a complete lifestyle change. Nothing is better than seeing someone stand tall and smile with a renewed self confidence, having achieved a target weight.

But as a nation we are becoming nervous of using the 'Fat' word for fear of un-nerving those that are in desperate need to lose weight. Even when patients in the doctors surgery look as though they are about to collapse because of their size doctors tread carefully as they skirt around the houses looking for more subtle language rather than looking at them direct in the eyes and telling them they need to get off their backside because they are too fat.

Let's be honest here; fat people are eating their own grave so to wrap it all up in cotton wool is just wrong. We should actually be applauding those doctors willing to use the 'F' word as it is much more likely to shock their patients into taking action.

Motivating people to lose weight with a direct, but at the same time compassionate and caring approach, is often both kinder and more likely to encourage people to drop the pounds. This is the same with partners. If your other half is piling it on and you are concerned about how it is affecting their confidence and health, explaining to them that they are getting too fat and need to be careful is much more likely to spur them into changing their eating habits and stop allowing the sofa to feed their backside compared to soft soaping it.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the experience of being fat, having lost four stone myself. But it wasn't until the day I yelled at myself to get off my fat backside that I actually did something about it. The trigger came when I went out to the pub with my partner and overheard people mentioning that I had 'got fat'. It was no good blaming them as that would achieve nothing and at the end of the day they were right! Yes, I was too fat and had to get off my fat arse and do something about it. Hearing the word 'fat' was definitely the kick I needed.

Of course, along the way I made mistakes and occasionally consistent focus was difficult, but staying firm and strong meant that each week the fat, yes fat, would melt. The word 'fat' of course triggers emotion and it is for that reason it is more likely to motivate people as opposed to using alternatives such as obese, large, big boned, or overweight. The word 'fat' for many of course is negative because it conjures up images of pot bellies, wobbly backsides and whopping love handles. But, that is the truth. That is what fat does to you.

As such, people are much more likely to own their size when they hear the word 'fat' as opposed to the word 'obese' which medicalises being overweight. And of course the word 'fat' has been part of everyday language for years. How many of us have cooked on a Sunday mentioning the meat joint was a little fatty? It would sound odd describing the joint as 'obese'. What's for sure is that everyone deserves to be slim and live a life of confidence and good health. Let's not shy away fat managing the 'fat' head on. You deserve it.