SMWI*: It’s simple. More in than out.

Fat City - Karen Hitchcock - The Monthly

You read.  Articles.  Books. Magazines. Posts.

Much of it blows in one ear and out the other.

Not this one.  This article is from The Monthly and is titled Fat City.  It has stuck with me since last weekend.  It’s long but captivating. Seared in long term memory.

Karen Hitchcock is an Australian author and medical doctor.

A few excerpts:

  • Barring the gravely ill and a couple of men, everyone I know wants to lose weight.
  • As a doctor, I no longer know what to do about the obese.
  • people quit smoking, cut down on their drinking and sometimes lose weight. But usually counselling people to lose weight is hopeless.
  • and obesity seems simple: more in than out
  • love reading articles with titles like ‘How I Lost 25 Kilos’, even though the answer is always the same: I ate less.
  • Who wants to eat less – of anything – when food is so good and plentiful?
  • It’s hard to say no to something that is right in our faces, promising a bit of easy pleasure.
  • It is especially hard to say no when the consequences of overeating come about in such a distant, gradual and mysterious way.
  • I find it difficult to believe that an extra scoop of ice-cream will end up as fat somewhere on my body
  • If you make a fat person thin, you are sentencing them to a lifetime of hunger.
  • In current medical research obesity is often conceptualised as an unavoidable disease. It’s your genes, your metabolism, the chemicals in your environment, what your mother ate when she was pregnant, whether she fed you at her breast. It is everything but what you choose to put in your mouth.
  • “‘The truth is I’m addicted to eating. I’m addicted.’ He punches his thigh.”
  • Prescribe exercise? Walk for an hour at an average pace and you’ll only burn off the equivalent of one slice of bread.
  • Corporations make it easier for us to eat than to abstain. They loudly promote and supply cheap, taste-intense, non-sating food that is bad for our bodies. They know us better than medicine does.
  • Forget obesity as a disease; it’s a ruse. For whatever reason, the majority of the population can no longer say I have had enough.
  • If you come to me, your doctor, and you ask me to make you thin, for now I will have to cut you or drug you, as these are the only weapons I have to ward off the sirens.


  1. a sober truth – more in than out


  2. ophelia says:

    I’ve seen people lose and keep off a lot of weight – but only through changing their whole outlook on their daily lives. Never by just going on a diet.


  3. And perhaps there is a little self-love in there that can use some boosting. It’s not the obese, it’s the people who want to drop ten pounds and castigate themselves constantly, feeling frustrated and stymied with the inconsistency of the effort and the results. Until putting out more energy is more gratifying than putting more in one’s mouth, it’s a catch-22 of each person’s creation. Maybe a little more self-acceptance would be a welcome inclusion? Just sayin’..


  4. At this moment I’ve given up. I’ve tried to lose weight all my life. I’ve been successful. Then I’m not. I refuse to spend the rest of my life obsessed with this.


  5. Reblogged this on Wholeheartedness.


  6. ophelia says:

    Read it – gave me shivers. Very scary.


  7. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    it is SO simple. eat less than you burn. most weeks i have this under control.
    but it is not easy


  8. Now you’ve really depressed me! (But don’t worry, I’ll just go eat some chocolate to make myself feel better.)


  9. I read the article in its entirety, sounds pretty hopeless really.


  10. Thank you for posting this. I would have never seen it otherwise.


  11. I haven’t read the whole article, but I will later…but based upon the excerpts you have included in your post…that’s horrible! When did we all become like that? I’m pretty slim, but I think it is my lifestyle choices that make it easy for me. I’ve tried to teach my children about moderation in all things…and they too are all very slim. I have many, many friends though who struggle endlessly with weight problems. Our society, with all its problems and even with all the technological advances, has created people who find it too easy to eat the wrong things and just not move much. We stay in one spot looking at our phones or our computers, while all the time eating. Eating has become a celebration every day it seems…rather than a means of supplying these bodies with the nutrients and energy they need to keep going for a long time with no problems. Anyway, I’ll read that article later on after I sit in front of my computer and put in a half day’s work on a Saturday. 🙂 But I’m not eating anything while I do that!


    • 🙂 There you go again. Showing off how disciplined you are. We could all be so perfect. 🙂


      • I’m going to stop leaving comments at all. I’m not disciplined…it just works. I’m not showing off, I’m not…truly! I’ve wished that all of my friends that I love so much could be healthier. There is too much illness, too much sorrow in the world. There is such an easy way to feel mentally and physically…better. And I am soooo far from perfect. My shattered life is proof of that. I manage the things that I can manage…to try and help myself in the little ways that I can. Hope your day goes well, David. Ignore all that I say…for most people, it’s meaningless.


  12. Now few people will take this article as an excuse and justify why they are so fat. Nothing worth having comes easy! Everything has a price. I would like to share one of my favorite quotes,

    “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
    ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture



  1. […] Fat City, an article by Dr. Karen Hitchcock about the convoluted problem of obesity (Thanks to David Kanigan for leading me there).  It’s a long article, but […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: