top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

My Weight Isn't Your Issue

 

 

I was born weighing 10-pounds 10-ounces, natural childbirth. By fifth grade, I was too obese for the maximum weight standards regarding a nonprofit organization’s football roster.

 

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced the up and down fluctuation of weight associated with an undiagnosed binge-eating disorder that I developed in elementary school. Rather than use of my last name, “Hollings,” children in my youth used the word “Hoggings.”

 

I was bullied as a child, often with the explanation of my obese appearance as the cause, by other kids and adults alike. In conjunction with traumatic experiences I endured within my home, I first contemplated suicide at nine years of age, reasoning that the world didn’t need another “fat ass” to exist.

 

I then developed undiagnosed anorexia nervosa behavior during the summer between my fifth and sixth grade years. In adulthood, my weight continued to fluctuate.

 

During times when I was overweight, I maintained a poor body image. At other times, like in the Marine Corps when I was praised for my level of physical fitness, I still believed I was grotesque and thought poorly of myself.

 

In the above-featured photo, when in graduate school for social work, I weighed somewhere around 260-pounds. Between 2012 and 2014, I refused to allow photos of me at my heaviest weight of 283-pounds.

 

During that time, I met a woman in whom I was romantically interested and decided to lose weight to become more appealing to her. Successful in my endeavors, the below-indicated photo was taken a little over one year from the previous picture—all without using unhealthy weight-loss strategies.

 

 

In a blogpost series entitled Self-Image, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, I extensively covered my lifelong issues with weight. Ultimately, I’ve determined that this matter is an iss-ME, not an iss-YOU—that is to say it’s my issue and not anyone else’s.

 

The reason I’m currently echoing sentiment from that blogpost series is because I’ve observed an ongoing trend whereby some overweight people are holding others accountable for issues experienced by these overweight individuals. I wholeheartedly disagree with such behavior.

 

Per one source, “Being a large-size person is not a choice, as many people mistakenly believe.” While I admit there are some people to whom this rhetoric may apply, I suspect the overwhelming percentage of overweight people within the world can take some personal ownership for their size.

 

A separate source contends with this proposal, regarding airline travel, by stating:

 

Larger-bodied passengers are being forced to buy two seats to fly on some airlines, raising discrimination concerns from advocacy groups who argue scientific understanding of obesity has evolved beyond viewing the condition as a lifestyle choice.

 

Would this be the same sort of scientific understanding that resulted in a globally botched COVID-19 response? Again, I suspect that some people may have conditions which aren’t choice-based.

 

However, I doubt that the phenomenon of approximately four million people who die each year due to being overweight or obese is due to conditions unrelated to personal choice. If I maintained fidelity in the peer review system, I’d be more willing to consider evidence to the contrary of my suspicion.

 

In response to the airline issue highlighted herein, one source claims, “Customers have criticized Southwest Airlines for a ‘ridiculous’ policy that gives overweight passengers free seats to accommodate their size.” I don’t blame people with such criticism.

 

An individual’s weight is an iss-YOU, not my issue (iss-ME) with which to contend. Even when I relapse into episodes of binging behavior and my weight begins to fluctuate in an unhealthy manner, that’s not society’s concern. This is because my weight isn’t your issue.

 

You see, what I didn’t understand when contemplating to take my life as a child was the belief-consequence connection addressed in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). I naïvely thought that when others remarked about my size, their statement caused me distress.

 

However, in reality it was my irrational beliefs about how I perceived myself and how I was viewed by others which resulted in sorrow and wanting to kill myself. I didn’t unconditionally accept myself as a flawed human, nor did I tolerate and accept others as similarly imperfect.

 

Instead, I used demandingness, awfulizing, low frustration tolerance, and global evaluations as beliefs with which I upset myself. Thankfully, I learned to stop disturbing myself in adulthood.

 

To be exceedingly clear, I’m well aware that some people have unique conditions which impact their ability to maintain a healthy weight. Nevertheless, this sort of biological impairment isn’t necessarily the same as that which relates to psychological issues.

 

While I can’t assess or treat the former, I have personal and professional experience with the latter. Conclusively, my weight isn’t your issue, nor is your weight and issue with which the world should contend.

 

If you’re tired of shoulding on the world by irrationally demanding that everyone else should bear the burden of your weight, I may be able to help you. Still, if you’re ready to change, I can tell you that it won’t be an easy or comfortable process. You’ve hereby been advised.

 

As someone who’s dealt with this matter throughout life, I bring something to the proverbial table other than the metaphorical junk food flinging around in your mind. Are you ready to change yourself and stop trying to change the world to accommodate you?

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

Hardingham-Gill, T. (2023, June 12). ‘We’re paying twice for the same experience’: Plus-size travelers hit out at ‘discriminatory’ airline seat policies. CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/plus-size-travelers-slam-airline-seat-policies/index.html

Hollings, D. (2022, November 18). Big T, little t. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/big-t-little-t

Hollings, D. (2022, December 27). Color me surprised. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/color-me-surprised

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2022, August 31). Iss-me vs. iss-you. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/iss-me-vs-iss-you

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2023, April 20). Self-image, part 1. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-image-part-1

Hollings, D. (2023, April 20). Self-image, part 2. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-image-part-2

Hollings, D. (2023, April 20). Self-image, part 3. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-image-part-3

Hollings, D. (2023, April 20). Self-image, part 4. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-image-part-4

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2023, May 12). Stop shoulding everywhere. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/stop-shoulding-everywhere

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2023, August 6). The science. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-science

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

Joshu, E. (2023, December 13). Southwest Airlines accused of ‘rewarding obesity’ with new policy that grants very overweight passengers free extra seats. Daily Mail. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-12859595/southwest-airlines-obese-passengers-free-seats.html

Visontay, E. (2023, April 22). Larger-bodied airline passengers forced to pay for two seats prompts call for clearer anti-discrimination laws. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/apr/23/larger-bodied-airline-passengers-forced-to-pay-for-two-seats-prompts-calls-for-clearer-anti-discrimination-laws

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/health-topics/obesity#tab=tab_1

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page