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STORMIECAT065's Photo STORMIECAT065 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/30/09 9:51 P

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You are right, Roxanne, and I thank you - I really needed to see that today. That is part of why I got involved here, I have lost weight on my own before, but I realized that I could help some other folks on my way.

What I was thinking of, when I said that, is a larger scale, maybe in person. It is just something that I have been thinking about for a while, I have some ideas, so I guess we will see where they take me.

-demi

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13


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ROXANNEGREY's Photo ROXANNEGREY Posts: 419
6/29/09 10:59 P

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Demi, I think you are doing it...Isn't that what SP is all about...Taking control of your life and choosing good coping strategies, making wise decisions, encouraging one another when it's hard? While weight control is the primary focus of SP, there are many other facets of life represented by Spark teams as well. What we are all doing here is setting the limits on personal tolerance and passivity so we can stand up and make a difference in our own lives. Demi, you are organizing walks in the park, healthful picnics, encouraging fellowship so we can succeed in pursuing a healthier lifestyle, which includes weight management, exercise, setting priorities, time mgt., de-stressing (which includes finances), etc. Everyone here is doing something positive, taking personal responsibility, and powering up to make good changes in life. You are doing it, Demi. We all are. And we help each other.
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Roxanne

Edited by: ROXANNEGREY at: 6/29/2009 (23:02)
It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.
Psalm 92:1-2

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?... Isaiah 43:19


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SHANNONSNAIL's Photo SHANNONSNAIL SparkPoints: (0)
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6/29/09 10:52 A

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A topic on my heart as well, Demi. How do you positively influence without being perceived negatively? I've been trying to figure it out for a few years and have yet to hit on the right formula!

~Shannon


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STORMIECAT065's Photo STORMIECAT065 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/28/09 7:33 P

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Roxanne, it is something that I have thought about a lot. I wish I knew how to better help people to empower themselves, regarding both health and finances, it is something that I have thought and prayed about a lot. I haven't found my answer yet, but I also haven't given up on it.

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-demi

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13


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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 17,472
6/27/09 11:02 P

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Got some really good reading to do on this thread!!! Very thought provoking!!!


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ROXANNEGREY's Photo ROXANNEGREY Posts: 419
6/27/09 9:16 A

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What a thoughtful answer, Demi. I couldn't agree more. It may sound simplistic, but I think it is true that all of the daily little choices we make really do add up to big results, whether positive or negative. If we all (we are the government, employers, parents, friends) encouraged healthy choices and empowerment rather than acceptance of bad choices, we would all feel better, both physically and emotionally. We are not a people of victims of ourselves. As a person who is trying to turn things around, I can say for myself that it is a matter of attitude to choose healthy coping strategies with life's problems, rather than to choose unhealthy. Better to thrive than just to survive.

Roxanne

It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.
Psalm 92:1-2

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?... Isaiah 43:19


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STORMIECAT065's Photo STORMIECAT065 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/26/09 10:07 P

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Great topic!!

I agree with many of the comments presented here, including what you said, ArtDuck, about everyone having an equal opportunity to work. I don't think that obesity should be considered a disability, however, because, like someone else said, it seems to me that a disability is something that you can't control, and although I realize that there are people with medical conditions and such, there are also a lot of people who haven't taken control of their lives for other reasons, that I am afraid would use this as a crutch.

Also, on a purely logistics note, how do you legally define that? I mean, a flight attendant can't eyeball someone and know their BMI, for instance. Some will obviously not be able to fit in a single seat, but where do you draw that line? Where is the fine line between actually needing two seats based on weight, and just wanting to be able to stretch out a little better? And it is fine to say that an employer can't discriminate on the basis of weight, but does that include, for instance, requiring said employer to buy a larger, more expensive office chair for a morbidly obese individual? Or to mark out a specific table in the cafeteria or chair in the board room so that individual will have room to be comfortable? I don't think it is at all fair for an employer to deny a promotion, or decide on a raise or layoff or whatever, based on weight, but again, where do you draw the line?

On the other hand, I do wish heartily that more insurances and employers would work toward encouraging and rewarding healthy habits, instead of penalizing poor physical health. I was very frustrated when I first started trying to lose weight (before SP) because my employer had nothing in place to help, my doctor was useless (although that is a story for another time), and I didn't know where to turn.

I admire and encourage anyone and everyone to love themselves and their bodies the way they are. But I do worry - a lot - because I know that a lot of overweight individuals already feel like their are fighting uphill, and there is a lot of "can't help it" implied in the word "disability." I think that the government might be better served to offer more in the way of resources to help them lose weight. It hurts enough to find that you need two seats, but the implication that there is nothing you can do about it, and not having the tools and information to know differently, is a horrible thing to deal with.

-demi

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13


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ARTDUCK Posts: 360
6/24/09 4:10 P

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I was very reluctant to weigh in on this issue. There is a difference between the Disability Act (DA) and the Social Security Disability (SSDI). The DA prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
The SSDI states,"disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death."
The obese can and do receive Social Security benefits if a physician declares them disable. Granted this is usually this is the morbidly obese.
Having the obesity declared a disability would mean that employers could not discriminate and must provide accommodations for the obese. We have handicap access to stores and restrooms because of the DA.
I have been slender most of my life and I know I was treated differently when I became obese. I also know that there is discrimination in the work force toward the obese. For this reason I do find the issue cut and dry. I think everyone should have an equal opportunity to work.
While I would not mind airlines having to provide bigger seats, should that cost be past on to those that are not obese? I am uncomfortable with someone being discriminated against in employment because of their size. But should they be put in the same category as my brother who is hearing impaired?
Truthfully, I am not sure.
I have an illness which is genetic but I take medication and am able to work. Therefore I do not qualify for SSDI. Such is the case with others who have MS, etc. I have a bigger problem with the morbidly obese receiving these benefits than I do with the obese being include in the DA.


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100MILLBUTRFLYS's Photo 100MILLBUTRFLYS Posts: 6,044
6/24/09 3:00 P

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I think the definition of 'obese' should be refined. Because technically I am "obese". So in that context NO, i don't think that disability should just be handed out to someone like me. But i think that disability for those housebound because of being morbidly obese should qualify for disability, but also with strict stipulations. They have to want to get healthy, show improvement,and disability would only continue if said person keeps on the track to health. Repeated setbacks forfeits the right to disability, get help from a nutritionist and psychiatrist, because it's not just emotional problems that causes people to become this way.. meaning morbidly obese.. 400+ lbs.

Good Topic!
I hope i've made sense.

Edited by: 100MILLBUTRFLYS at: 6/24/2009 (15:04)
"Some people are like a slinky, not really good 4 anything, but you can't resist smiling when you shove them down the stairs"
Everything Happens 4 a reason, even though you may not see that reason immediately.
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” ~Ann Landers http://www.beyondthewillows.


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SHANNONSNAIL's Photo SHANNONSNAIL SparkPoints: (0)
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6/24/09 2:12 P

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I disagree completely with the idea of making obesity a disability; however, I wish employers would do more to encourage weight loss.

~Shannon


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ROXANNEGREY's Photo ROXANNEGREY Posts: 419
6/24/09 9:52 A

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Thanks, Daddy Trevor, for that spark of motivation! WE CAN TAKE THE POWER! Spark People is proof that obesity is not a disability. We are not disabled, we are very able to not only take responsibility for ourselves, but to encourage others to do the same.
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Roxanne

It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.
Psalm 92:1-2

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?... Isaiah 43:19


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EDUCGRAD's Photo EDUCGRAD SparkPoints: (109,127)
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6/23/09 2:41 P

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I saw this question and said I sure hope not.In my book a disability is something someone can't control like MS,MD, autism,Cerebal Palsy,etc. these are true disabilities in every sense of the word and is what disability is.People today just want to make excuse for their weight and not take any responsibility for their actions for eating whatever they want and being sedentary

Edited by: EDUCGRAD at: 6/23/2009 (14:42)
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BKNOCK's Photo BKNOCK Posts: 21,852
6/23/09 1:23 P

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Carol, great comments and I totally agree with you. Even though I ate the fries once in a while!

Betsy

"We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough."
-Helen Keller



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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 17,472
6/23/09 11:18 A

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Good subject to thread!
What would happen to Social Security if all obese people could claim disability and collect from SS? They would be out of money in no time.
Since I have been overweight for more than 60 years, I feel I can speak out. I have spent my entire lifetime (almost) fighting this weight issue and if I hadn't, I would weigh 400 lbs. or more. I thank God my parents taught me to eat vegetables, fruits and healthy foods and learned at a young age to stay away from fried foods. When other teens ate french fries, I just watched.
I have never been a couch potato, watched much TV, or lazied around. Rode my bike until a few years ago when we moved to a dirt road and kids thought it was time to quit. And I am still very active for someone past 73 years of age. But I did my best to keep my weight under some kind of control. Taught school for 30 years while raising a very successful family.
Could anyone explain why our two boys (and their dad) do not have a weight issue, but both my daughter and myself fight it every day.
I believe if obesity were made a disability there would be many people who would do nothing to help themselves and just say "It's a disability I have".

Edited by: CAROLJ35 at: 6/23/2009 (11:21)

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DADDYTREVOR's Photo DADDYTREVOR Posts: 1,971
6/23/09 10:37 A

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Quote from one of today's blogs:
"What do you think? Should obesity be classified as a disability? Canada has ruled that neither people with disabilities nor obese passengers should have to pay for two seats on an airplane. However, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and others have imposed restrictions on workers' health and weight. There have been rulings in favor of both sides.


While no one denies that obesity is an important issue, as more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, the question remains: Should obesity be considered a disability?

What do you think? Is obesity a disability? If obesity were declared a disability, how would obesity rates be affected? Would they rise or fall?"

I don't believe a good purpose would be served by adding obesity to the already overblown category of disabilities. For heaven's sakes, a case could be made for anyone and everyone to be disabled for some reason or other. What would be the point of that? While their may be a few individual cases where such labeling of an obese person would be appropriate and beneficial, it makes no sense to give the masses a pass on personal responsibility for one's health. What is the point of something like Spark if we are so powerless to act for ourselves? Take the power!


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