T Nation

Resort for the overweight

I read this article and had to post is as there are some choice quotes in it… and NAAFA makes an appearance.


I’ll paste the text of it in a reply so as not to clog up the forum.

TANKAH, Mexico – In a world enthralled by thin, perhaps no place is more slanted toward the slender or more daunting for the double-chinned than the beach.

However, the beach is being made safe for the amply built with the opening of what claims to be the world’s first “size-friendly, all inclusive beach resort.” At the Freedom Paradise resort south of Cancun, the motto is: “Live Large, Live Free!”

The resort, which formally opens June 15, targets people afraid to go out on the sand with a few extra pounds, or a few extra dozens of pounds. No more enduring cruel jokes on the beach, or wisecracks from the staff.

“We have hired personnel of all sizes, and have specially trained our slim staff, because there’s a lot of discrimination in everyday life,” said Jurriaan Klink, commercial director of the resort, about 85 miles south of Cancun. “There are a lot of people who put off vacations, saying ‘I’ll buy that bikini when I lose 15 pounds.’ We say, why wait to lose weight, when you can enjoy life now?”

That sounds good to Angel Alonzo, a rotund 28-year-old from Cancun frolicking in one of the hotel’s four pools, which boast wide steps instead of flimsy aluminum pool ladders.

“It’s marvelous because it’s not just for one size. Everybody fits here,” said Alonzo, one of the few pre-opening guests.

Alonzo’s biggest gripe about regular hotels are the flimsy beach chairs: “I don’t know why they make them out of such cheap plastic. They just collapse under you.”

Freedom Paradise has big, wide benches made of tree trunks, four-foot-wide chaise lounges, and 26-inch wide dining room chairs. All the furniture is reinforced and made of wood.

No more getting stuck in a chair with armrests, because there are no armrests. No more getting stared at on crowded beaches, because the hotel’s Tankah beach is 250 yards long and relatively secluded.

Cindy Sabo, spokeswoman for the Sacramento, Calif.-based National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, NAAFA, said the beach can be both a place of anxiety and freedom.

“One of the most empowering things I ever did was when I turned 40, I bought a two-piece bathing suit and went out in it. My husband thinks I look cute, and I feel good,” said Sabo, who places herself in the “oversize” category at around 400 pounds.

She recalled a less pleasant experience on a recent vacation in Hawaii.

“We had some terrible experiences with some other tourists,” she recalled. “Especially some people from Asian countries would walk right up to you on the beach, poke you in the belly and make some rude joke.”

At Freedom Paradise, the staff pledges that nobody is going to look at you funny if you ask for second helpings. Klink says that many of the front-desk staffers are what Sabo would call “our slim allies.”

The 112-room property has plenty of places to eat as part of its $150 per-night double-occupancy rate. The owners expanded from two restaurants to five, each with a different theme: international, Italian, Mexican, a steakhouse, a Hawaiian-style seafood room and a snack bar.

“Who better to understand the problems of heavy people than heavy people, to make guests feel at ease without being surrounded entirely by skinny people, or be all self-conscious,” said resort sales representative Enrique Lopez.

Other vacation spots bill themselves as “size-friendly.” For example, Juno’s Stables, near Yuba City, Calif., advertises riding classes using draft horses, saying it is “dedicated to putting big beautiful women on horseback.”

Lopez says other resorts for large people exist are oriented toward weight loss. “Here, we don’t care. We accept all weights.”

“The tendency toward overweight adults is increasing, they’re now a majority in the United States,” Klink said. “But this is something many businesses are refusing to accept. People are getting bigger, and products are getting smaller.”

So if we’re all getting bigger, why battle the bulge rather than enjoy it? “There’s a lot of pressure about the health advantages of losing weight, but what about mental health?” Klink asked. “Isn’t it just as important to be happy?”

Sabo said that Freedom Paradise “is talking the talk” of size-friendliness, but asked, “Can they walk the walk?”

“Speaking of walking, that’s not as easy for some of us as it is for other people,” she said. “Is the place all spread out?”

Check, says Klink: The hotel’s “big” rooms are on the ground floor, with ample walkways. Railings and access rails on pools and in showers? Check. Extra large, reinforced beds and doublewide doors? Check.

Whatever the wrinkles that remain to be worked out, there’s no doubt it’s a large step ahead for big people.

“At our conferences, we have pool parties,” Sabo said. “A lot of people come out who haven’t put on a swimsuit in years, and it’s so great to just be out there, and be comfortable and be ourselves.”

 Why correct a health risk when you can just ignore it AND still enjoy life?

 "We had some terrible experiences with some other tourists," she recalled. "Especially some people from Asian countries would walk right up to you on the beach, poke you in the belly and make some rude joke." 



Truth is, you mix in disgusting grossly overweight people with slender atractive ones… and what happens? Lo and behold, the slender atractive ones eventually end up holing themselves up in their own group - or leave altogether for a more normal place.

 It's NOT just about LOOKING GOOD. I believe LOOKING atractive is a very strong sign that person is....well, HEALTHY, and being grossly obese is UNHEALTHY. Who do you want to hang out - those who look healthy and can exert themselves (especially if something were to happen, or in the caveman ages, if you had to go hunt), or do you hang out with the fat unhealthy-looking ones, who couldnt WALK to save their lives, and nevermind asking them to go hunt if you lived in the caveman ages.

  Every perception has a very strong reason for being there. NOTHING ever evolves out of pure pleasure - it evolves because it ensures a very important necessity is filled and survival isnt put at risk. 
  F. ex. what are the 2 biggest pleasures? Sex and eating. Sex ensures the species will live on, and eating wqill ensure you will live on as well as being strong enough to ward off potential enemies. Looking good is another of those 'pleasures', and what does it do? It shows you are all-around in great shape, healthy, and it shows you as someone who would fight potential enemies, and so forth.

   So, fat people, go ahead - STAY FAT, and ENJOY. God knows you wont be able to do so very well or for very long in your present condition and with your obvious stupidity, but no harm no foul...

Yeah, that’s it. Lower the standards. Take away the negative-feedback that helps people to change (incentives). Reinforce the status quo. That’s strong! Clap! Clap! Clap!

Happiness is supposed to be a consequence of good choices. Not the other way around. What is that ‘Happiness is a right that cannot be taken away from me…whatever I do or do not’ bandwagon? Seems nowadays that you can wave that happiness flag to any whim that crosses your mind, and get away with it…possibly even force it through lawyers.

Sorry. I don’t buy it. But I have to pay for it. Actions and choices have consequences. My problem is that their happiness is going to have to be paid by every body else. It’s like second hand smoke: others always pay for it, eventually. And we can’t even call that criminal. Send the bill to the next-generation. WRONG.

When did the ‘user-payer’ principle get lost? Why does it have to be left to cars and some health categories? You want to make bad choices? Fine! Here’s higher insurance premiums for you! That way, we’ll be able to create a high-risk-population cash reserve for when consequences DO arrive, as history, facts, reality demonstrates year after year. No, you’re not different. Not happy? Change your choices or priorities. Or prepare for when that day comes.

Do people have any dignity left? (OK. That’s an entirely different debate.) Sure, you’ll always have some exceptions and a minority that had a real bad rap to start with (really out of their control, like REAL genetic problems. But that is not supposed to be 15-20-30+ % of the population.

All other science aside, this is why Darwin is wrong. Unless this portion of the population is slowly dying off.

Diesel: Just happened to notice your post got printed before mine (with me never knowing what you wrote). Call it bad timing. My comments were a result of the initial post - nothing to do with yours in any way.

In fact, I have the same point of view as you Diesel. With one exception - even if they eventually die sooner, these people breed too. If they died before breeding, no problem. Problem is, they get fat way after that breeding age. And they don’t even question the probabilities of producing fat offspring themselves. It’s probably a raw deal to wind up being an endomorph. Imagine giving that ‘gift’ to a newborn…specially is both parents have the ‘look’ or genetic make up…Ouch!

But then again, who expects MASSES to be reasonable?

Jared NFS: Care to explain more? The way I see it, Darwinian competition in todays society is inexistent for basic survival. Goverment throws in a safety net to prevent the weeding out.

How can Darwin observations of nature-at-work be summoned when the playfield is not even ‘natural’?

I think the latest statistic (and record high) is that 70% of Americans are overweight. That’s fucking insane. I say, let them have their fat resort. All I want in return is a restaraunt with athlete-friendly items on the menu, and an atmosphere where I don’t have to watch fat people stuffing their mouths with grease.

 I believe Darwin's survival of the fittest is VERY alive and well.

 If it wasnt, grossly obese guys would be banging hot porn-star look alikes as often as their slender counterparts - without having to a)pay for it, b)star in a freak fetish porn movie, c)needing the the pity of a girl to whom ?ts whats inside that matters'(and these girls are FEW). 

  If you pair up two girls - a regular or slender girl, and an even slightly obese one, who are you gonna smooth talk and evetnually, hopefully, end the night fucking her brains out? If you're anything like most guys, youll walk up to the slender one. Im pretty sure when pregnancy happens in these cases, itll be the slender girls baby, whom you fucked, while the fatty will have no baby - just to illustrate my point.

  It's absolutely true - obese people keep breeding, but at a much slower pace. They also dont live as long or as healthy so while some couples actually have kids at age 50, obese people will be accomplished if they're still off a wheelchair in extreme cases, and havent had heart problems. Again, Survival of the fittest.

  Another point which needs to be mentioned is the fact that out of all the gorgeous slender girls you see today, a great number of them will be wearing stretch pants and have an ass bigger than the world so to speak by the time they hit 30 or 35. When they reach 45 you cant even get a hint as to how beautiful they once were. Simply put - they go from beautiful to disgusting. In these cases (which are more like an epidemic), they still have the chance to have a couple kids, but by the time they're 35 most sane men dont want them - and the ones that do are usually a bunch of losers who cant get any from a decent girl. In the end, they find it hard to be impregnated after age 30-35 by a good man because they're just disgusting to look at. Add to that the fact that obese people have much more health problems, a much more difficult social life, and a harder time finding a good job, and there's the survival of the fittest theory again.

  I hope I dont sound arrogant or rude. I certainly have nothing against fat people who have a hard time chaniging - but who still try. But the rules are made by Nature, not by society or by any one individual.

  Then again, we should probably realize that obese people are simply those of us who had adapted to long periods of starvation and little to no food for weeks or months on end - and as such their survival depended on a VERY slow metabolism and very large fat reserves. Point being, should tomorrow bring about very long periods of starvation with no help from other countries (such as the help the US gives), then us regular, slender people will be swept out of the face of the earth because our bodies cant handle it. The grossly obese will no longer be grossly obese after many weeks of starvation at a time several times a year, and THEY will be the ones thriving.

  SO, they will most likely ALWAYS be around in decent numbers be it 1000 years from now or 10,000 years from now...

  I apologize for the vulgar words I chose to use in this reply - I mean, obese people 'breed', but hey, slender people 'breed' too - we're all animals here, and Im not trying to compare fatties to inferior animals.

My opinions only…It’s time to “whey” in. (boo, hiss, bad joke!!)

Diesel, I’d have to venture that Darwinism became extinct with the invention of the knife, fork, and high-powered rifle with scope. Since then, it’s my guess that someone decided to do whatever it takes to make life easy for the masses. If I had half a brain I’d cater to the fat people too. Since they seem to make up a majority of the population, it stands to reason they have a ton of cash to spend.
I do agree with your take on which of the two girls would get bonked sooner. Most guys on this board would say they’d go for the Cassanova-type before ever even considering the Large Marge. But after watching only one episode of Maury Povich in my life, I realized that there’s a plethora of men out there who for some reason really dig the Plus Size ladies.

And that comment in the article about the Asians poking the people and making jokes? I don’t believe it. Japanese people are notorious for eating whale meat. They probably thought these fatties might be washed up on the beach and needed to get rolled back in to the ocean until they got a bit more ready for harvest…

Holy Hell, that spokeswhales’ comment about “Good mental health”??? Let me tell you guys something personal. I was probably borderline clinically depressed a few months ago, and had been for years I’d say. It wasn’t until I received multidisciplinary training for my Master’s degree that I recognized the psychology behind obesity, depression, and downward spiralling. Since the last 8 weeks, I’ve turned it around. I’ve lost weight, gained muscle, and am thinking about amateur competition (eventually). My sleep is a thousand times better, I’m always in a good mood, I can’t wait to go work out again, and most of my jokes are funny. Right Cass? If that isn’t mental health, what is?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Fantastic topic, and I’m looking forward to reading more from this forum.
dr. d

People will go to any lengths to insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions.

  Creator, We've ALWAYS killed animals for food and for sport. What are you trying to say? Since we were cavemen we've hunted and killed all sorts of animals. 

  The survival of the fittest will always exist. Why? Let me put it this way:

  Get a knife, get in the woods, and try to kill a deer with it. Cant do it because the Deer ran away? Because its size scared you? Because it outsmarted you? Because there were 4 Deer and you were afraid the 4 would charge you? Because you lost it out of sight because it camouflaged with its surroundings? THAT is survival of the fittest. If you can kill that deer with your knife you're the fittest, and the Deer is your lunch. If you can't the Deer is the fittest because it evolved to have a color scheme that camouflages it in open areas, to run faster than you, to be social and wander in groups of several Deer that could charge you, to have its current size which scares you and deters you from trying to kill the deer because you know with her size she could easily cause major harm.

  That my friend is Survival of the fittest. Wanna play with a rifle? Go right ahead. If you can kill that deer with a rifle, that you're once again the fittest, because you outsmarted her. If you cant you werent good enough to have her for lunch - maybe because the Deer evolved to have a tendency to move around a lot, thereby making it hard for you to aim at her.

  Society is NOTHING BUT THE MARK OF HOW SMART WE ARE. It shows plain and clear, so far we as a species are the fittest on this planet, even if we dont live as long as some animals, or are as agile and adptable as others. Because we have brains and can prepare and plan ahead and avoid disasters and grow huge ammounts of food, enough to feed the whole planet, day in and day out - that is survival of the fittest; we're the only species who evolved to be inteligent.

  There was a case about 1000 years ago in china which I read in a Carl Sagan's book. it related how a tribe of chinese were taken out of power, and after a conflict they were overpowered. Centuries later, people noticed that crabs in those chinese coasts had a curious design: It was the chinese symbol of the defeated tribe.

  You know why those crabs acquired that design? Because everytime fisherman caught crabs, and saw one with a design scheme that resembled the defeated tribe's symbol, he released it back to the sea in an act of compassion. After centuries of doing so, these crabs with the design became more and more, until they became very abundant in the region.

  See, Survival of the fittest is survival of the fittest against ANY obstacle or ANY challenge, wether posed by Nature, by man, or by some phenomenon. And in the end, arent we, humans, just a species, part of Nature, and by definition arent we simply posing a stimulus and a challenge for other species as they pose a stimulus to us? (Just look at the new SARS cases - arent they posing a stimulus to us? In the exact same way, were posing a stimulus to other species)

 Survival of the fittest is here. It was here, 1000 years ago, 10000 years ago, 1 million years ago. It is here today EVERYWHERE (not just in some places), and will be here 10,000 years from now, 1 million years from now. It doesnt matter if its simple survival of the fittest against a volcano that erupted, against an Earthquake, against obesity, against, starvation, or against something as mundane as a special color scheme that someone happened to relate to, or a color scheme that camouflaged you. It doesnt matter what the stimulus is. It matters that only those who possess the required qualities survive and those who do not are more likely to perish (just as the crabs with the right color scheme were more likely to be thrown back into the sea alive, and the crabs without that design scheme were more likely to be kept by the sailor and die)

Japanese kick ass.

Diesel: No doubt about it, SOTF exists.

Next question: Since we are obviously not on the same playing field as the rest of living organisms, why does is not work when we look at it intraspecies (humans) only? If it is applied that well, how come we are where we are now?

My hunch: The price to pay (the fight to win the right) to reproduce is not high enough. Too easy. By the time you’re 14, you can probably start adding new faces to this planet. Fatdom can come many years (and kids) later.

So either we’re facing tons of people smarter than the laws of SOTF, or our reproductive systems are too productive for society’s real needs. Or both.

Worse, the world probably needs actual population levels to keep on supporting itself. Sure, you have the equivalent of a stock market crash here and there, population wise, but look at the trend: up, up, up! Does this solve anything? I doubt. Not to sound too much drastic, but Agent Smith in the matrix had a point: we are spreading.

Also, like you said, any hot chick can produce offspring and look bad afterwards. What does it change? The children will still be there…So nothing’s solved in this generation either. Back to the starting blocks.

DAN C - sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I was not precise enough. Your description of current events (government intervention) is more precise. Darwinian principles have been taken out of the mix in a lot of settings.

To reproduce, you don’t have to be stronger, faster, or brighter. Reproduction can be achieved in several ways. Being stronger, faster, and brighter can get it for you, but so can the ability to manipulate the system. Lying and deception can also get it for you, but they’re been around since Eve took a bite of that fruit (or Steve, which there isn’t anything wrong with). Kind of scary to think of the traits responsible for so much reproduction in our world.

 Exactly Jared. If you outsmart the system we've created, than YOU are the fittest for your specific environment.

 Goddamn it, how many times do I need to repeat myself?? It DOES NOT matter what the stimulus is, or what the environment is. All that matters is that for whatever reson, or because of whatever quality, you created for yourself a better chance of survival.

 Does it matetr if that environment is the woods, a volcano, or a city? Does it matter if the quality that allows you to thrive and survive better than anybody else is agility, strength, atractivness, or slyness and smarts? NO! 

  You have your setting: a society. You have your groups of individuals. Most follow the rules. Some are in good shape. Some are smart. But there's one specific individual that has the slyness and the brains to OUTSMART the system which runs society. In so doing he managed to perhaps get a free 1 million dollars without getting caught. If so, then his quality - slyness and smarts - allowed him to do something which increased his chance for survival, and will allow him to thrive much more. THAT is fucking survival of the fittest. GEEZ!!!!!! Can you not see something this plain and simple? 1 million years ago we were cavemen wandering around in the woods for food. Today our environment is not the woods, but a social environment - a city, a village. 100,000 years from now we'll probably have settled in some planet, moon, or asteroid somewhere in space. Then thatll be our environment. Does it matter which specific stimulus each specific environment poses to us, and what specific wualities one needs to thrive and survive in it? Does it even matter if it is created by humans? All it matters is that the stimulus posed by it is there, and whatever quality you possess - ANY quality whatsoever - that helps you thrive better in it, is what will help you survive. Those with those qualities will survive and thrive. Those without those qualities will perish. It's THAT simple!

So if we’re all getting bigger, why battle the bulge rather than enjoy it? “There’s a lot of pressure about the health advantages of losing weight, but what about mental health?” Klink asked. “Isn’t it just as important to be happy?”

I hate this. How can being fat and always feeling tired and sick make you happy? I’m all for saying people should not have to put up with others making fun of you, esp kids, but hell, there’s a difference between not being a jerk, and actually encouraging people to become even more obese.

I lost weight when I realized I WAS GOING TO DIE. When that finally got beaten into my brain I did it. What kills me is my overweight friends say “oh you’re lucky it was easy for you, it’s not for me.” F*** you it was hard as hell for me. Even now EVERY DAY I have to fight my cravings, just last week I was injured and I gave in several days in a row and ruined a month of good habits.

Last weekend I ran a 1/2 marathon. All these people on the sides were yelling things like “oh you’re so great I could never do this.” I kept thinking “that’s cause you have no discipline and you can’t stop eating”. My running buddy told me he thinks the same thoughts.

I mean, anyone can run a 1/2 marathon if you train for about 6 months. In the same way, I think anyone can lose weight and at least be healthy. Of course, you have to get educated and that means not being mentally lazy, and this feel good crap doesn’t help people it just gives them excuses and encourages them to fail. I’m sure for some people it’s harder, but I can’t accept that 55% of the country has some genetic defect.

It’s been one year, if I can keep it up for another year (unlike many people who gain it back) then I should feel pretty good about myself.