Many obese women in the “healthy at any size” camp claim to be healthy and feel great.

But is this actually an issue of being habituated to aches and pains and not really knowing what feeling great truly feels like?

Men and women who’ve lost a hundred pounds report how much better they feel. Many report that they never knew how crummy they’d actually felt while obese until large amounts of weight fell off.

Even those who are moderately overweight will report that this affects how their joints feel and their level of stamina.

I knew a woman who, after losing only 25 pounds, reported how much more energy she had and that 25 pounds heavier she never knew just how much this excess weight had been limiting her until it was gone.

When a morbidly obese woman, who’s deep in the vortex of the body positive movement, claims she’s healthy, fit and feels great, it’s very fair for everyone else (regardless of size) to wonder just how “great” or “fit” she actually feels.

It’s fair to assume that if she dropped 100 pounds, she’d feel and move so much better.

People who are only moderately overweight – who suffer from weight-related issues such as knee and back pain – will often affirm that there’s no way that a morbidly obese individual can feel fine – at least when moving.

Being that morbidly obese and even moderately obese individuals certainly must be experiencing pains and aches throughout the day, we have to wonder what those in denial of the dangers of obesity blame their symptoms on.

In addition to aches, pains and poor stamina, the problems also include mechanical difficulty performing basic functions such as climbing a few steps, walking smoothly for a short distance and efficacy with movements such as lowering to pick up laundry baskets, scoop up preschoolers, unload shopping carts, etc.

10 Things Obese People Blame Their Pain on Other than Their Weight

1   Bad Mattress

Waking up every day to a stiff sore back is easily blamed on a poor mattress, even if the pain or aching persists throughout the day and is worsened with certain day-to-day activities.

Shutterstock/Motortion Films

2   Poor Sleep

Those in denial will attribute persistent fatigue or low stamina to poor sleep, which they in turn will then blame on any number of factors such as stress, being awakened once during the night by a child or noise outside, or that bad mattress.

3   Stress

Whether from the workplace, relationships or family, an obese person may readily blame stress for the aching joints and low energy levels.

Shutterstock/Creativa Images

4   Age

Don’t be surprised if a morbidly obese person claims that his or her aches, pains or getting short of breath are due to being over age 30 – even if they’re 31.

5   Poorly Designed Steps and Chairs; Non-Size Friendly Construction

Having to push off on the railing to get up to the next step may be blamed on rickety or steep steps (or fatigue from workplace stress or a bad mattress). Difficulty getting out of a chair or car seat is credited to a flawed design. Difficulty fitting into restaurant booths or airplane seats is blamed on manufacturers not being size friendly.

6   Poorly Fitting Shoes

Aching legs, knees and/or feet (even for short periods of standing or brief walking) may be attributed to footwear.

7   Overworking

Getting quickly winded, or feeling sore, drained or exhausted is blamed on “working too much” the day prior or that very day or “extra” housework.

8   Chasing After Young Children

The demands of “keeping up” with a few preschoolers or even older kids is a commonly blamed culprit.

9   Inherited Problem from a Parent

“Bad” knees or a “bad” back may be blamed on inheritance of this problem from a parent who has the same problem – even if the parent is very obese.

10   Smoking

Shortness of breath upon mild exertion can easily be blamed solely on smoking.


Let’s Look at These Excuses for the Aches and Pains that Obesity Causes

Bad Mattress
Certainly, if you suspect this is interfering with sound sleep, then replace the mattress and then see what happens. A mattress that’s perfect for one person may be lousy for another.

Poor Sleep
Insomnia and difficulty overall with sleeping will cause problems during the daytime for many people. Obesity is a major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, which can result in daytime grogginess and lack of energy. All very overweight people should have a sleep study done if they never feel recharged from overnight sleep. Nevertheless, sleep apnea does not cause painful joints.

Stress can make a person feel drained, but a physically fit individual (who’s trained from working out) will be affected only minimally. When aches and pains are caused by obesity rather than stress, one of the key differences is that the aches and pains are triggered by certain body positions, movements and activities – that normally should not cause any problems.

With people in their 90s competing in the Senior Olympics, and people in their 70s hiking mountains and running marathons, it’s not practical to hastily blame age more than obesity on aches and pains, especially if the complainant is under 50. With that said, obesity and progressing age are mortal enemies.

Shutterstock/Aaron Amat

Poorly Designed Furniture, Etc.
It’s logical that a morbidly obese person would have difficulty getting in and out of a car or fitting into a restaurant booth. With weight loss, you’ll notice that the design of standard items such as airplane seats, staircases, etc., will seem more friendly.

Poorly Fitting Shoes
These can cause aching feet, but will not drain you of energy or make you easily short of breath.

A fit person who’s light on his or her feet will not suffer aches and pains from doing extra housework or overtime on the job.

Chasing After the Kids
Romping around with the kids and even basic childcare will be difficult for a morbidly obese individual. But a fit person will not have issues with this.

Inheritance of Pain
There may be an inherited risk of osteoarthritis, but remember: Genetics loads the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

A sedentary smoker will be easily winded upon mild exertion. What will make this worse is obesity. If you’re obese and smoke, quit smoking! That’s a real crippling duo: obesity + smoking!

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.