Weighing 380 pounds, Whitney Thore feels that she truly loves her Big Fat Fabulous Life. But it’s not all wonderful, as she reveals on her reality TV show, which just got renewed for a second season on TLC. In addition to battling PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Whitney is coping with fallout from the show that ranges from hate mail to charges that she’s promoting obesity, reported People.
Whitney began her journey to fame by posting a video that went viral, called “Fat Girl Dancing.” Her wit and wisdom resulted in TLC giving her in a chance to star in her very own show, which reveals that you don’t have to be slender to achieve self-esteem and happiness.
But her joy with her life doesn’t mean that she is promoting obesity, as some critics have claimed. Whitney emphasizes that she truly does want to lose weight for her health.
“Any fat person who’s just living and not miserable is apparently promoting obesity! If I’m pro-anything it’s simply pro-loving yourself in this moment because it’s all we have.”
Although Whitney has set herself a weight-loss goal, she refuses to accept the conventional wisdom that someone who is obese hates herself.
“I do want to lose weight. I’m not naïve to the health risks that are going to come to me at almost 400 lbs. But does that mean I’m going to hate myself in the process? No,” she stated firmly.
Thore also is angry about assumptions that it’s all right to bully her with names such as “Shamu.” She emphasizes that she refuses to hide.
“People seem to think that as I go about my daily life, just living and existing, that I’m trying to get some reaction out of people. When I’m at the beach, people say, ‘Well Whitney, of course they’re going to call you Shamu, you’re putting yourself out there, you’re asking for it.’ No, I’m living like every other person on this beach. And what’s the alternative? I’m going to sit in my house?”
Whitney also has raised awareness of PCOS. Although she feels that this endocrine disorder caused her to gain 100 pounds in eight months when she was in college, she is candid in her belief that the additional weight gain also comes from her lifestyle.
“I am totally about personal responsibility,” says Whitney. “My initial weight gain in college was 100 lbs. in eight months. I absolutely blame that on PCOS. It happened out of nowhere, I had no control over it.”
“But since then, of course, I’ve continued to gain weight. What made me fat was a combination of PCOS and the shame and the stigma that you face being a fat woman in America. When I gained weight, did I want to leave my house? No. When I walked to the gym and people called me a fat a**, did that make me want to go work out? No. Did I want to take really good care of myself? No.”
In an essay for the Today show, Whitney also discussed her decision to launch the “No Body Shame” campaign. She began the movement after receiving support from both men and women after her video went viral.
“[The ‘No Body Shame Campaign’ is] a movement that recognizes obesity as a complex, multi-faceted issue that is best dealt with by first unapologetically loving yourself as you are, without being shamed out of a gym or off a dance floor. A movement that knows positive change can’t start or be sustained until you are truly kind to yourself from the inside out,” she wrote.
And Whitney sums up her message simply.
“Love yourself. Live fully. No excuses. No shame.”
It’s an attitude echoed by actress Kate Winslet, as the Inquisitr reported. Rather than allow herself to feel pressured by society to lose all of her post-baby weight, Kate says she scoffs at diets.
“Have I actively been on a diet to lose my baby weight? No, I haven’t. I genuinely bloody haven’t. I so didn’t want to be one of those, ‘Oh, wow, she’s back in shape after 12 weeks’ women. When I read things like that I just think, oh, for f—’s sake, that’s actually impossible.”
For those who question whether PCOS can cause such significant weight gain, a new study confirms the impact of the condition, reported Medscape.
Researchers found that women with this condition have higher risks for numerous problems, including adverse cardiovascular, metabolic, psychological, oncologic, and reproductive health impacts.
For example, women with PCOS had four times the risk of developing obesity. They also were more apt to suffer from such severe hypertension and ischemic heart disease that it necessitated hospitalization.
To diagnose PCOS, physicians typically use the Rotterdam criteria. This method looks for two of three conditions: Androgen excess, ovulatory dysfunction, or polycystic ovaries.
“PCOS is not simply an obstetrical condition,” said Rhoda Cobin, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY and an expert in PCOS. “The doctor needs to look at this person not as somebody he or she is treating for one specific complaint but look at the whole person and realize she’s at risk of serious medical issues that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, even at a young age.”
[Photo By Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]