Thursday, 31 December 2009

Difference of opinion

We can start with the same facts but the real gulf often comes with interpretation and reactions to the the information and data on which our views are based on.

My interpretation of reality is starting to feel so different from those who gainsay fat people and/or fat acceptance that debate seems pointless in it's current form. The current frame in which the terms of debate are couched, don't allow for any other points of view.

Those of us who reject the usual discourse are taking the road less travelled, we are thinking and reacting differently and reaching different conclusions. We are including experience which has been excluded or suppressed in order to go with the commonly favoured view.

For me the interest is in seeing where our understandings that take us. Not in regurgitating a view we no longer share. In the history of science it has sometimes taken a huge amount of effort, enquiry and experimentation to find out why results in the laboratory or of research don't match reality.

Eventually, the science has matched or explained the reality. The reason why scientists knew they had to carry on, is because of that divergence between their findings and what actually occurs, they felt the need to find out why.

That is the acid test, do results match or explain reality. Without being grounded in that, what exactly does science mean? What I cannot understand is why the change in the field of weight and weight loss etc.

We do not live in the laboratory, so saying that in the lab X happens doesn't mean a whole lot if when outside the lab something else is happening. If scientist wish to stop there-and I don't know if they do- then that is their affair not anyone else. It is they who've given up and it is they who have to explain why.

It's not the public's duty to match their themselves to science if it clearly doesn't fit, that's religion.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

No fat health dream

An article by a guy called David Frum illustrates so well how desperate some are to see ending fatness as the solution to health inflation. The frame fits the usual patsies;
And many are uncomfortably aware that self-destructive behavior is most often found among the poor and among minorities: Black women are more than three times as likely as white women to be severely obese.
Yeah, how could they behave fat, abusing themselves with racism and classism like that, not even having the decency to use their magic to clean up the mess. That magic stuff which makes society's whipping boys able to lap it up and not show any signs. Unlike those accorded more room to manoeuvre who still manage to come down with all sorts, some at their own hands too, no doubt.

Before assuming health outcomes are solely down to a favoured fixation and it's supposed endgame, one should make sure treatment, when received isn't an issue.

Black people may take less out of the system to deal with their issues, in terms of drug use anyway. That could could be implicated in putting timber on anyone prone to it. Before jumping to conclusions, I suggest people look into things like that and comparative consequence.

Which points up something else. Fatness is such an easy target, especially false equivalence. Children not wearing seat belts is hardly comparable to fighting a primary instinct of your life force. This assumption of free standing fatness, without context or positive intent for it-by the body, fails to take into account that when you try to deal with real things through suppression, you can just drive that energy elsewhere.

One could say the decline in smoking as good as that is has removed an obstacle to weight gain. I'm not advocating smoking. Just noting that stopping smoking doesn't necessarily stop the reasons for smoking.

Pretending there aren't reasons doesn't do that either. Take note this time.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Gay MBF

I was reading about a take down of the idea of a woman's gay best friend. And I must say I'm glad that cliche's being punctured.

In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir says that after the menopause, it could be argued that women, biologically speaking are no longer women in the way that tends to be defined.  They're not men either, obviously, because a woman is not a default man, nor vice versa.

Others focus on the potential insult value to gay men. But I've always found there is something inherently patriarchal about the way gay men are supposed to be the ones to resolve women's purported estrangement to their 'femininity'.

And there's the usual idea that gay men are somehow feminine. I've not been convinced of that since years ago, I began to question that. I'm not sure that what seems feminine on a man would be on a woman, but nevermind. 

There's something rather commodifying about defining gay men in terms of their purported usefulness in arranging women's lives to get more out of their heterosexuality.

Like many gay men, I do not accept there's any underlying connection between women and gay men apart from the estrangement from their own autonomy imposed by the great chore of hetereomasculinity

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

From the bunker

Fun and games over at BFB where we are being bothered by trolling. It's pointless because it leads nowhere and is just making it an unpleasant place to visit, though that's probably the aim.
What it has revealed, again is that certain groups like having fat people around as cannon fodder, which helps them feel they're maintaining a certain ideal of themselves. Of themselves as people who are wholly rational, basing their views on science and evidence.

As this seems to be an unrealizable ideal in general as well as in these particular terms, I can't see the point of engaging with them as it can only be on their terms. The mainstream view is their terms. I don't need to go to particular places to hear their views, they are everywhere. I can hear them anytime I want and frankly, I don't.

If that seems like hiding or ducking the issue, so be it. A long stream of endless criticism all blurs into one eventually. What difference does it make whether you are criticised for being dishonest, venal or morally bad or cowardly?

The shaming tactics aren't working any more because in order to feel ashamed, you have to feel there is something to be ashamed about. You have to feel that you've lessened yourself in the face of those who are behaving better. You can see the flaw right there. In order to feel ashamed, you have to play by the same rules, we don't so whatever judgement they rain down upon you, you have to concur with the basis of it. Again, nah-uh.

I've gotten the message, you think, me bad.

Ok.

If you can't tell me anything new, I'm not interested in the same old same old.

Defying the laws of physics

This expression has always struck me as really odd from the start. It alerted me to the possibility that those claiming knowledge of physics weren't perhaps as able to work with those laws in practice as they thought.

I was always way to intimidated to continue that thought. As time has gone on, I've been able to put my doubts into words.

The laws of physics describe how the universe works. It is reality. How can you defy that? Either you'll find something else you didn't know before you add to science, or you will be in big trouble. But you cannot 'defy' the laws of how things really work.

Wrong metaphor.

Sounds much more like the law of the land or even accepted morality. That kind of shows how physics is being invoked, as something to browbeat and intimidate, you are breaking the rules of what is accepted and that's really annoying. It's an attempt to silence others and continue not listening to what's actually being said.

Defying your interpretation of the laws of physics is more like it and its the body that does that.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Relgious shame

Ada Calhoun;
I am a closet Christian At least, I was until now. Because in my circle, nothing is more embarrassing than being religious
This has become more and more evident. The contempt in which religion is spoken of amongst certain classes especially-shames rather than persuades people out of religion. That's okay if the impulse withers away. More often than many realise though, its repression means it just pops out in a more indirect and insidious form pressing upon science and moreso medicine, bringing a quasi religious quality.

Rather than a tool, it becomes the master that needs to be answered to. Someone once said something similar about the human brain itself. That it must always be the servant never the master.

Which is apt because it's our careless over veneration of the conscious mind and the pretense that we are or can become creatures solely made up of reason rationality and logic. We cannot, we were not designed that way. In fact one of the many reasons we are stuck in this circular caricature of rationality; calories count or you defy the laws of physics et al, is itself the belief that the conscious mind is a good vehicle for the control or in this case repression of necessary impulses.

Let people have their religion without shame. It keeps those impulses out of science. 

As an atheist, I salute Calhoun's honesty and her being true to her own feelings.

Why am I not more scienterrific?

I've asked myself this question a few times, especially since getting on the fatosphere. In the past, I read scientific studies in books and in reference libraries. I waded through so many that I actually began to develop a really good understanding of how to read them.

Then pretty much phutt! With regard to obesity anyway. Why? Because it became clear that quite a lot of them were shit, made up of three people and a dog, hopelessly contradictory and frankly in the main, more interesting by reading between the lines, than what they said or their so called conclusions.

The bad design, the ways they framed questions that didn't even to me seem to be the best or most interesting way to go about finding out something other than what had already been decided. Above all, the refusal of many researchers to stop pretending that formulating the questions that form the basis of any study is somehow a scientific process.

Rather than often a question of judgement, intelligence and knowledge of that and perhaps other fields. You need a stimulus. Many of them couch the things they study in modish language that is wholly inappropriate, such as when obesity is spoken of as a "disease" caused by an imbalance of chemicals. And pursued in that vein.

This is assumption, based on the reaction to fatness in a social context, rather than what has been observed. This kind of mindset has possibly lead to a lot of the Fen Phen type debacles where the 'belief' that it's sluggish metabolism that needs to be artificially speeded up when this is no more than an old quack's tale.

And yet you are asked to build a case against this unreason which is usually dismissed as 'cherry picking' anyway. Whenever anyone professesing to have an 'evidence based' understanding of a subject that you disagree with, asks what your evidence is.

If they are not 'cherry picking' themselves, why would they need to ask me? Why wouldn't they have reviewed "all sides" themselves? Really they should say what they think is wrong with any contrary evidence or conclusions.

I can't get over the idea that all knowledge must be passed through certain classes. As if it's not real or cannot even be considered unless it has appeared in print. The idea that in order to justify a thought, it has to have been thunk, first by someone who's been through the education system repels me to the point of disgust.

What does that leave for the rest of us, are we supposed to just give up thinking? Certainly that would help with the fantasy certain folks have about the supposedly innate higher intelligence of certain stratas.

If only their thoughts register, they set the terms and the rest of us have to just follow, frustrated and unable to engage with knowledge on our terms. Ones that enrich and increase the sum total of human understand, of that there is no doubt.

Having to make others look intelligent, reveals this cannot be done without the help of others playing stupid. It's similar to the way many wish fat people to play, diseased, whatever they've decided that is.

Apparently one man and his dog, showing that x group have more y = science, even if observation consistently shows the opposite. And that's really the crux of it. When I was into the endorsed lifestyle choice, I took it as unshakable that science has to explain reality.

Not the other way around. That happens in belief systems.

The rubicon was crossed years ago when significant numbers of a certain type began to justify their every point of view, using any old science paper. Before that, there was a range of support, anything from axioms, philosophy, literature and yes even from religious tomes. 

My immediate thought at the time was, this is just like those people who quote biblical verse to underline every thought. It introduce that sense of sureness, which made discussion harder. There was a false sense of conversation ending finality about this or that findings. Which seemed to coincide with an increase in mickey mouse studies.

I knew immediately this was a bad route to go down, and felt safe in the knowledge that if I knew it, others would too. They would react the same as I and be more vary of dovetailing all thought in this direction.

Apparently not! Imagine my surprise that this has totally taken over, indeed, it has extended to the point where no-one can seem to think anything without it being validated by a sort of Brahmin class who apparently have no self interest except pure altruism and goodwill to all.

If they seem biased, hateful, lazy, entitled smug and above all, stupid, well, you must be wrong. Indeed, the quantity of science, however dubious is cited as some kind of gravitas. Reason why you should shut up and behave yourself. Or be accused of being a primitive flat earther type. 

I wouldn't say I never read obesity research, but I rarely find it the slightest bit interesting. Increasingly it seems to be a boondoggle of turning round and round in a cycle, not actually going anywhere.

I can't invest science with religiosity because I've no desire for that, if I did, I'd find a real religion, I wouldn't want to hide that from myself. Having a religion does not make you a lesser person. I have not sold myself that vanity. There are times when I think the endless hyperbole produced by misusing science in this way will implode its credibility.

When people keep finding out that the stream of grim and overblown prognosis's don't turn out to be correct.

The anorexia weight cure

I found reports about a boy called Matthew Hosker show just how shrill people feel the need to be when it comes to fatness, even when it comes to children. He is unusually big for his age (12) 24 stones which is about 336 pounds.

We don't know his height though, which I'm sure isn't average either.
His doctors say he'll be dead from a heart attack in five years
The usual instinct is to protect them from or prevent panic. To calm and soothe them. To tell them whilst there's a problem, all will be well, they're going to make it etc., The lack of respect for fat children appals. Even if there is a problem here, these kinds of easy death threats are not necessary. What's wrong with saying, in the interests of your present and future health, we need to stem your weight?

Would it kill them to restrain themselves that much?

It feels so much like an expression of the sheer impotence of the useless irrelevancy that is weight loss dieting.

Speaking of that, he's off to Rhodes Farm. For those of you that don't know, this is a residential facility run by a woman called Dr. Dee Dawson. It specialises in getting anorexics to eat their dinner.

I once watched an excruciating documentary, where they went into great detail about the lengths they 'had' to go to, due to the lengths anorexics would go to, not to eat. And to hide evidence of weight loss or lack of gain.

It was all about weight gain, that's all that seemed to matter. I couldn't help feeling sorry for the inmates as they were made to do the very thing they felt least able to. I couldn't help almost screaming, there has got to be a better way than this.

Adjusting their appetite so that that led to instinctive re-feeding, might have been an option if we weren't stuck with this useless calories in/out model of biology.

Anyway, Rhodes Farm is branching out;
Matt will be the biggest child she’s [Dawson] ever treated in over fifteen years of interventions.....he’ll be living cheek-by-jowl with dozens of young anorexics, offering him a totally different perspective on body image issues and food obsessions.
 Leave it to the experts. 

Saturday, 19 December 2009

If there was a magic pill.....

To those who keep asking "What would you do if there was a magic pill which made you slim?"

If there was a magic pill, you'd have nothing to moralize about. Morality is about right and wrong, not what scientists do and don't have a pill for. If there was a pill would you go jogging purely to maintain your weight? Would you still maintain the pretence that exercise is virtuous?

Would you try going hungry to maintain your weight and claim that it made you a better person? If there was a pill, what would slimness mean, what virtue would it have? That's right, none. That means you'd have to find the self respect you've gained from the virtue of thin, elsewhere, where would you find it?

Who would you knock over to get it this time?

If there was "magic", everyone would be after it, no matter how thin.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Eating yourself to death

One of the more wearying aspects of the obesity crisis, is coming into contact with its flatulent aphorisms. One prize blowoff, of this ilk is the phrase, 'eating yourself to death'. Of all the ways someone would go, they would choose to die by food, according to these perceptive ones.

Uselessly borrowed from some other poor benighted group, alcoholics. I've often felt saddened by the way they have to put up with what passes for astute populist 'analysis'.

On top of everything they must contend with the institutionalized concept of 'abstinence' and its fetid industry. Any fat person who thinks the obesity industry is unique in its self serving ends should check out the 're-hab industry for illicit drug users and alcoholics.

They make the diet industry look like amateurs, (this may be an inspiration). It definitely showed them the way with regards to thinking of fatness as a disease

Eating is a vital life giving, life enhancing process, put there by design. 

If you believe the eating is solely about the pleasure then you might presume this would stop people from ending themselves.
Nor is the original version as convincing as it may seem. I'm one of those people that believes that most of the time most people are just trying to do their best, no matter how strange, seemingly self defeating or arcane their behaviour appears to be (or is, it's sometimes harder to tell than we assume).

They aim to do something positive, to aid themselves. If they overdo it, then that's likely due to the overwhelming nature of what they're trying to overcome in order to achieve their ends. That is not a death wish. It is an obstacle or obstacles that are too much for them to solve with the means at hand.

Watching this from the outside and sneeringly claiming that this is a desire to damage oneself is clearly an attempt to distance oneself from feeling disturbed by that sense of being overwhelmed. In case its contagious.

To imply, that's just mindless says to oneself, that would never be me. I'm too thoughtful, careful, whatever.

What's clear is people are actually trying to survive in the hopes that they will discover at better way at some point. You've got to be in it to win it. That makes more sense in the scheme of things, it's called a plan B. And I think you'll agree that it's an excellent one, given the alternative.

People do not 'drink themselves to death', except the guy who wrote 'Leaving Las Vegas'. And if the film is anything to go by, if you really want to drink yourself to death, it doesn't take as long as the most alcoholics tend to make it last. Unless they are very unlucky, genetically speaking and run out of the time before their palliative has had time to do irreparable damage.

It is unfair and demeaning of those not in that bind to further add to a difficult situation with idiotic comments that serve to lower morale. Perhaps making a person feel even more trapped. Rather than indicating that their chosen or instinctive palliative, needs a little assistance.

Not that people who indulge themselves on this kind of rotty non-thinking, give a rat's arse about that, as long as they feel better about themselves. They are on the side of good, and have reaffirmed their identity as normal. Job well done. After all if you can't help some poor sod, why not help yourself?

No, no-one is eating themselves to death. And this kind of underhand hype serves no one who does have problems with their eating. 

Friday, 11 December 2009

Catch a tiger by the tail

One thing shocked that no one has anything to say about his ordeal. No one. Don't like golf. Don't like people who are ashamed of their humanity in general, their blackness specifically. It's not even necessary.

I do not care for Tiger Woods, or how he comes across, but his existence does not offend me. On an animal level, a cursory look at him in action marks him out as special. He has an intense free and yet contained physicality that is present in so many how are gifted athletically, whether dancers or heck just movers.

Imagine if Tiger had been the woman. As far as we can tell, he was struck inside his own home fled to his car. Pursued by his spouse brandishing what could be a lethal weapon, which she allegedly proceeded to use to hit the car. This caused him to become, understandably distracted and crash into something hard and unyielding-at speed enough to injure/ concuss him apparently. Is this an acceptable pursuit, regardless of the so called provocation?

I get the impression that he was absolutely terrified. Some people may find that amusing, that he was terrified of his wife's anger, That it's somehow OK, for a man to be in this position, but unconscionable if reversed. I don't think so.

The extent of his fear meant that he could have sustained greater injury. This from a woman who apparently on finding out of previous infractions was moved to re negotiate her pre-nup. Classy. It's interesting that one of the ladies Tiger dallied with, apologized to his wife, as if she's a big chief that must be palliated and paid tribute too. Extraordinary.

Gastrectomy

Reading about Ravindra and Meeta Singh, two sisters who've had preventative gastrectomy-stomach removal, felt illuminating and strangely clear headed. They both carry a mutation of the CHD1 gene, raising their chance of the occurrence of stomach cancer to a lifetime risk of about 80%.

I couldn't help but consider that this is the type of reason to remove a stomach, if not for a mind boggling adherence to a certain hypothesis.
It is possible to live without a stomach because it is mainly used for food storage and is not essential for digestion. However, because of the small amounts they can eat, they are expected to lose 20 per cent of their body weight.
The adaptation required is clearly set out. 
Ravindra has six meals daily of ten mouthfuls each. However, doctors say that after a year a small 'pouch' will form in place of her stomach allowing her to eat larger
meals and regain much of her lost weight
.
The difference is stark isn't it? No blame, shame, or aggressive hooey, just facts about how your body functions and what you can expect to happen. 

Seeing numerous members of your family die would create an overwhelming desire to relieve yourself of the burden and stress of such an overwhelming chance of having an aggressive form of cancer, no doubt.

In other cases a wearying burden of fear, guilt and shame is substituted for that. 

Moving joyfully

Speaking of moving your body joyfully, take a look at Tú Sí Que Vales, Spain's equivalent of X country's got talent. Sarah "Paddy" Jones who's 75 and her partner wowed the judges and audience alike.



Inspiring. 

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Fighting fear

Why am I so pissed off with the whole obesity establishment? Why do I say, it is not made of  greatness?

Here's a lesson on how to do some interesting research from a group funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health. They wanted to understand how to erase fear, so what did they do? Well they thought of the most erroneous asinine stereotypes around fear and tried to crowbar some research into proving themselves correct.

Sorry no, I mean they decided that because previous attempts had centred around drugs, there must be no other way, let's find some new drugs.

Nuh-uh, not that either.

No they thought maybe if you study the way the brain creates fear, you can use the way the brain works to reverse that effect. Without drugs. Oh, my, gosh.

That's what I've been trying to say about human metabolism in a nutshell. If you know that human biology can efficiently bring about an effect, and we know bodies can be slim and remain thus without much effort. Then why not find out how it does it and find a way to use that or some part of it to achieve the effect?

Warning, it might work though. Perhaps that's the real issue

Food addiction, rules OK

Oh shizz, it's our old friend food addiction. Now I know better than to expect (un)common sense to prevail on this one so I'll confine my comments to my own playpen. And though people see things in different ways. The way our mind works is the way it works, not the way we want it to.

If anything's a true sign of decadence, it's any society that simply will not grasp what is necessary to human existence and place in proper perspective. How hard has it become to remember that eating is necessary to life? How can innate necessary form the basis of addiction?

Addiction is an acquired necessity, it can be no more than that. So it cannot reference inborn necessity as if it supersedes it as defining biological function.

When we take a substance say, heroin which causes the body to respond by sending the supply of its own version of happy chemicals into decline. When that decline is not wholly reversed, this creates the symptoms of physical lows felt after the drugs have worn off and eventually symptoms of withdrawal.

Food is not about addiction. The only exception (there always is at least one) is ALCOHOL and that's only because it's capable of becoming a toxin, or can poison at certain levels, well as being a food, in that it contains a lot of energy.

There is something facile about the mere presence of an overwhelming urge being taken for addiction, in women. Yet for men it requires heavenly and transcendent highs, a multiple orgasmic level pleasure.

Please show me the footage of "food addicts" off their faces, intoxicated, laughing themselves silly, crashing their cars whilst under the influence of peanuts before you start talking about addiction.
Do you think you wouldn't have noticed loads of people staggering about under the influence of cake, hanging round any place you can find food, with dilated pupils and such?

Speaking of peanuts, you know those averse to nuts get alarming symptoms? Well the equivalent reaction from booze, is what makes people feel drunk. Seeking to get drunk is seeking to poison yourself to some degree with alcohol, at a certain concentration in your blood, it can kill you.

This is why you haven't seen this addiction, you had to be told about it because, it isn't there. It's true that the body can produce it's own alcohol, at minimal levels. It produces it's own opiods/opiates too as a natural part of your body's cycle of existence.

It can even suffer from non alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver. Even so, problems with food best fit under the banner of obsessive compulsive.  Because it is the imbalance of natural cycles that are necessary to life, therefore cannot be avoided. Or are benign in aspect, such as dealing with probability or taking chances, which can be be diverted to become the basis of a gambling compulsion.

And a lot of the things that provoke that disruption are either barely perceptible, complexly multi factorial, or the result of what we think of as good behaviour. It can be very indirect. It can start with the desire to distract oneself, noticing that strong feelings do that. Repetition then creates a strong link between relief or diversion of emotions /stress. Then this develops a compulsion. For others, it just becomes a bad habit that they overcome at some point.

That doesn't need to be dressed up as addiction which obscures potentially effective approaches for treatment and solutions. What we call things can be the start of recovery if they're accurate, they can illuminate.

One day we will have to learn to remember that we are animals who like others have our limitations. This is not depressing, far from it, that's how we learn what we can do.

How healthy can healthy eating be?

If as we are told healthy eating can see off such diseases as cancer, heart disease etc, then why can't it see off fatness if that in itself is supposed to be a vehicle for these things?

The effect of the failure of healthy eating to make people slim has meant some fat people who follow healthy eating regimes believe they're healthy because of that. This is in keeping with the healthist idea that diet and activity are the primary means to regulate health.

Many slim healthists instinctively recoil from the idea that healthiness doesn't necessarily equal slim, even if you eat and exercise according to shared dictates. Rather mean and pompous of them ,but the whole situation raises an interesting point. Either one can be fat and healthy and therefore healthy eating is health promoting.

Or one can only be slim and healthy, in which case, weight is the key factor in health, not what you eat.
 

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Obesity intelligensia, strike again

A nutritionist, that most great and wonderful addition to the list of professions, is on the hustle again this time ploughing one of the profoundest ideas to come out of the crisis-encouraging obesity.


Feel the genius

So who's in the frame? Why Dawn French, that much loved comedian, no, human being, who's appeal spans every gender, weight category, probably even species for all I know.

Apparently clinical nutritionist, Ms Mary Strugar has said she is encouraging people to accept their obesity. No, absence of their being any viable alternative, plus the inability to suspend overlook this, encourage acceptance of the reality- that you are fat.

She has become a role model for what liking yourself looks like, along with Kate Moss, another person who's recently been in trouble with the weight police. Funnily enough, the latter got into trouble for suggesting that it's good to be thin, she's thin, Dawn French suggests it's good to be fat, do you see the similarity?

People who like themselves, tend to accept themselves and/or should that be vice versa?

The only thing DF encourages is celebrating yourself as you are, and snogging people, especially (other)celebs. What exactly has her critique and her ilk added to the gaiety of nations? Apparently DF has said big is beautiful, although I don't remember her using that term nor has Ms Critical come up with one, the closest I could come to was;
“If I was alive in Rubens’ time I wouldn't have to be a comedienne for a living. I’d be celebrated as a beautiful model.

I'm afraid there is some skinny/thin shaming in there, which is not good, but it's hardly an exhortation to be fat.

Not everyone has a natural gift for it.

So what should she be doing?
' I wish she could use her profile to raise awareness of how to go about the process of change as well as giving information about the health risks associated with obesity.'

Ha, ha, you missed it! She lost weight for her wedding and found it so awful, she decided, never again. I heard this numerous times from people of all weights all through the time I was trying to lose weight, it didn't stop me for a second.I daresay it's failed to stop millions of others doing the same.

Regardless of what happens in the future, I'd really hate to see DF become an Oprah like crusader for weight loss dieting insanity.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

We're all built to leave well alone

The view amongst a lot of fat people with regards to their fatness and the fattening of society is we are just fat, don't go there. I'm more curious about how our times affect us and what this tells us about ourselves as beings, as well as our times for that matter.

So I can't agree. But that feeling of leave well alone is no different than we have toward so many other things that affect us. We have chemical imbalances, we take need to take medicine for it, leave it at that.

I'm not and never have been convinced that will work or that it's even a good idea or necessary to achieve what it is supposed to, the allaying of stigma. That is a must, stigma adds to distress and gets in the way of cure and restoration.

It's something to do with not wanting to examine effects, in case we have to search for the cause which is likely to lead to deeply unpleasant memories and experiences. We are so primed to avoid this that it is often the major obstacle to dealing with our unresolved angst.

We might have to change deeply entrenched habits, ones that we see as integral to our sense of self. Or our position or role in the family.  We're okay, let's stick with what we've got, it's not perfect, but we can live with it.

We're loathe to dig or pry into ourselves, it hurts.

This view is often validated by the establishment. They're definitely attracted to the idea of a pill for our every ill. It gives them the power and a sense of omnipotence.

Pretending this impulse is unique to fat people-which then pathologizes it- is part of the tangle of underlying themes in fat hate.

We then become the incubators of these sorts of thoughts and feelings society fears and doesn't want to deal with. Yet cannot satisfactorily suppress and disengage from.

Carrying other people's errors

I once remember having a discussion with a manager at work, he was wrong. I was right. This was proven to him in front of everyone, to painful effect, on his part. I did not gloat, I was relieved to be right, for once-I always felt wrong all the time.

My supervisor, who was not much older than me having witnessed it all, told me off.  I was speechless. She told me that she knew I was right but because I was a mere trainee, I could afford to be wrong, whereas in his position, there was more at stake for him.

I couldn't quite take it in at the time. But I didn't accept it, I didn't think less of him because he was wrong and I thought she was great. 

This seems to be how a lot of people see doctors and medical professionals when it comes to the errors they're making regarding fatness.  It's not their errors that are the issue, it's their reckless disregard for doing harm to those they've decided not to like. Their abuse of their power and influence, may I say, the cheapening of their office by doing the opposite of what they're supposed to do, heal.

When it comes to obesity professionals, I simply cannot tune into futile gestures of self sacrifice, they're doing nothing to deserve it. They are not helping those who need help and they're hurting those who do not.

Smoking bad crashes into fatness bad

A while ago, I had a discussion with someone about addiction. I said then that fatness will unsettle and has the potential to overthrow some citadels, whether we want it to or not. It so happens many of us don't. Then again others such as myself feel that just because a person is fat, doesn't mean they must be invested in ploughing the same troughs that others are. Out of some kind of weight based deference. Or urge to pacify upset as was the default position for fat people in the past.

Smoking's an interesting one. It has now become clear that the will be a pile up between the real/purported risk of fatness and  those attributed to smoking sooner or later. It was okay when just smoking was the baddie, risks could be presented to best advantage for the intentions of health agitators, shall we say.

When fatness joins that, its obvious that some restraint has to occur in or fatness will overtake smoking in terms of risk and smoke yourself thin will become an openly viable idea. Now I'm sure not even the most rabid haters of fat want that.

So it's been interesting to contemplate enforced restraining of the urge to talk up fatness. It seems yet again though that I've underestimated the sense of reason of those involved in fat fighting. As they seem to be prepared edge the issue. The article takes the line of numbers, falling number of smokers versus the amount of fat people.

A lot of smokers have picked up on this blurring, already insisting to fat non smokers that we cost more than they and are more unhealthy. It's easy to see the self saving aspects of that but the way the risks-or otherwise- of obesity have been sold makes this inevitable.

It will be interesting to see if anti-smoking activists are exercised by this potential sullying of the purity of their line of reasoning. the fact that obesity make put a stick in their shift, because increasingly it is being said that being fat is as harmful or more so than smoking. So if you can show stopping puts you at great risk of a large weight gain, increasingly, it's becoming possible to claim that you'll be no better off either way. People could even state their preference, death by cigarettes or just, you know being. Mind you, it's no different than any other desicion about health, divorce, being lonely, living alone and oh so much more is pretty bad for your health too, but that doesn't stop people. The article tells us that advances in health care, such as better nutrition may stem the flow of the obesity scurge, but if that is the case, why woudl that itself not see off obesity? If approved nutrition can see off heart attacks and cancer, why can it not see off fatness if that is intrinsically a causal agent or factor of these and other things? Now, when confronted with this sort of thing, veracity and accuracy over the true health implications of weight have never been at a greater premium. It threatens to give new meaning to the title of Julie's blog. conditions and disease of longevity, not civilisation. Conditions that tend to rear their head the longer you have to experience sufficient wear and tear, or

Monday, 7 December 2009

Internal balance

I've been thinking about this for a while now, although I haven't quite got to the point of posting much about it. I've bee thinking that men and women hate and love themselves, differently-or tend to.
Women hate themselves more on the surface, and deep down inside, think they are good.

Men love themselves more on the surface but deep down, think of themselves as bad. That badness feels like the space men need to be male, which requires greater moral leeway.

I've always just assumed men liked themselves through and through, even though I've been aware of certain mystifying facts. Like the fact that so much misogyny just ends up reflecting an underlying assumption that men are somehow, toxic.

There's the obvious slut shaming, which says that if women have sex with men, they are degraded by it and should therefore be ashamed of their contact with men.

Women who sleep with women are merely frigid or are evilly refusing to make themselves available for men to void their toxic (over)load. 'Forcing' men to be poisoned by it. No wonder they are taught to behave as if they will die if they don't have sex.

No wonder they are disgusted by homosexuality, two men 'polluting' each other. They too accord low status to men who are seen in the passive role.

It's always assumed this is straight out hatred of women, forms of misogyny . But in this equation, it's as much anxiety about managing their sense of internal balance.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Obesity acceptance

I do not accept obesity.

Whilst still in the shock of discovering that fat people have a point of view about their own bodies and lives, then the part of that is called fat acceptance. One of the first things some people like to do is to 'spontaneously' re-name it, "obesity acceptance".

Revealing instinctively the precise sense of ownership fat people are trying to break free from.  

Monday, 30 November 2009

What is compulsive eating?

First you have to think about what normal eating is. Basically eating according to your needs. Those needs can be to manage your mood and try to keep you from sinking into a pit of some kind of mental disorder.

It's part of your emotional defense mechanisms.

That is where compulsive eating deviates from the norm, it is an extension of that. The pattern increases deepens and a temporary measure can become ingrained. The key to dealing with it is to deal with the underlying stressors and tensions that are distorting your eating habits.  Much treatment deals with trying to directly repress the desire to eat, which is trying to solve a symptom as if it's the cause.

Eating is necessary for life, therefore using addiction as a model is inapt. Any definition of compulsive eating should come from the way it actually functions, not from something else which is hardly comparable, drugs are not food. This is important for cure and restoration and should be paramount.

Addiction is mainly a physiological dependence on drugs, that has psychological components. The only thing close to a food addiction is alcoholism, because as well as being a drug or a toxin, alcohol is a food.

As neither are necessary for existence, they can theoretically be stopped completely. Whether they should have to be is a source of debate. It would clearly be better if the excess craving for alcohol could be reversed or removed. If that approach had been taken, that could have informed all reversal of unwanted and excess cravings of all kinds.

That's probably why the urge is to get eating disorders on board with that. To continue that evasion. If a drug addict's system can adapt sufficiently and restore the normal balance of innate opiate production. Then their lucky and may be able to remain drug free. Abstaining from drugs cannot guarantee that, anymore than suppressing excess hunger can guarantee to return it to normal.

Compulsive eating occurs when hunger and appetite signals increase substantially out of proportion to your body's current energy and nutrient needs of the body. Hunger rises through signalling from the whole body, to your brain. It has several main causes, overwhelming mental /or emotional trauma-notably bereavement or separation from parent are just some.

Weight acceptance

I see a tiny and therefore lets face it rather preliminary at best study validates what it calls a more weight acceptance approach-well it's better than the tedious misnomer of "obesity acceptance." As they say, softly, softly catchee monkey. Because we've been wound up into such as tizzy over fatness and weight, we're in the wrong mode altogether to deal with the health of fat people productively.

It seems amazing that not harming fat people as a precursor to oh, anything, or just apropos of nothing, needs validation of any kind. It's dieting that's the unnatural and dysfunctional pathology. And remember also that harming fat people as a preamble to dieting is a sleight-of-hand. You lift the self hatred/hatred as you perform diet behaviours, manipulating your sense of well being in order to link that to your dieting.

The trouble with seeking evidence for the obvious-hurting people is bad for them-is it tends toward underlining the erroneous normalization of the accepted dysfunction, by default. Make no mistake is abnormal to disassociate from your own body, insult, degrade and dehumanize it and claim that is the interests of health.

We are repeatedly informed that discomfort triggers compensatory hunger, so it's hardly surprising that the group which eschewed discomforting of people, felt more in balance when it came to eating. That's a given, which is why there's always been a big question mark over the insistence of discomforting fat people-to lose weight.

So, level of "social support" can affect the demands being made on a person's hunger?

Even if it did make it healthier, that wouldn't justify that approach. If anything can be achieved negatively, it can be achieved positively. If people are seen as valuable enough, which clearly they are not. The real deal with HAES for me is that it starts from there regardless of others who require 'evidence'.

Like others, the evidence of our lives is clear enough for many of us. 

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Panic business

Big Liberty has written about the case building of moral panics. It contains fascinating links, one to another post she wrote directly on the subject of moral panics;
A moral panic is an intense feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.
Appears to is right;
Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as "moral entrepreneurs", while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as "folk devils."
Moral entrepreneurs is so right, that's the whole of the 'obesity' industry, science and et al. That describes precisely the direction of their role which has little nothing to do with improving health. It's more about perpetuating their own bailiwick, which works according to their own personal dictates.

There's a similarity with politicians, who work to an ideology which they proselytize and alter reality to match.

I'm not entirely convinced that a lot of obesity researchers have a feel for scientific advance that we're used to from other medical science which seeks to resolution, rather than enforcement. There's little sense of advancement through pure knowledge. It's more as a means to an end, influencing others and facilitating a sense of self importance.

It also relates that moral panics are based on that which is rarely voiced and so is at heart is a taboo.

This is what most fascinates me about the obesity crisis, what is the unspoken heart of it?

I've got a few ideas on what those are, but it definitely causes me to wrack my brains. I've always had doubts, I just didn't follow them up so much they kind of hung there as I sustaining my FoBT. Since getting off that bad trip, the subterranean aspects seem to press themselves more into one's consciousness.

Oh happy days.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Men's groups

This could be very bloody. The discourse may get a lot worse before it gets better. Men seem more welded to the idea that masculinities were created for their needs (ha, ha, ha) rather than to train them to take up the role assigned for them.

Too many still trade in trad sexuality is nature. It's natural, it's fracking Darwin and shit?!

A definitive study of weight loss dieting efficacy

Looking at the oft quoted diet fail statistics, diets fail 98% percent of the time or 95%, depending on which point in the time line. These figures cause controversy, increasingly so it seems.

It's hard to pinpoint exact attribution to their source Keys or Stunkard. Many find these figures deeply disappointing, finding any mention of it, offensive. As if it's some kind of libel against WLD, maybe even themselves, for adhering to a set of figures they wouldn't normally touch with a barge pole.

It's an inevitable part of not accepting the truth about dieting. Even then, it typically evades focusing on a real issue, the lack of hard statistical evidence on the efficacy of weight loss dieting. You'd think that it should have been rigourously tested before being recommended as the answer for everybody.

You'd also think that after all this time someone would have bothered to do a long term large scale unbiased study on it. Set a goal of weight at BMI 25, for those who are fat. As nothing above this is seen as acceptable. Let's not move the goalposts for the professionals eh?

Include plump and slim people, obviously, set them goals accordingly. It maybe important to see if there's any variance between groups. Then, I'd recommend you start with many, many thousands finding a way to check at least weekly how many people are still in the study. With some provision for re-entering the study if within a certain short period of say a couple of weeks or a month as things like that happen when people are dieting.

Give people the means to say they've had enough and they're okay again, perhaps a small electronic device. Create the ability to record a sample of daily records.

It could be a five, seven or ten year study, with snapshots taken over certain periods. 

Monday, 23 November 2009

Blaming ignorance for fatness

After one too many "poor people are fatter because they eat shit and do nothin", but it's not their fault they're so degenerate, nutritional ignorance, blah, bleh. I googled around and happened upon this via BfB.

What this neat little study gives voice to is what I've repeatedly tried and seemingly failed to get across, if poor people are fatter-and here they are compared to the richest- the idea that it is because of the food they eat and their lack of gym membership is hardly convincing to me.

Any denizen of the f'os might spot the flaw in that hypothesis, especially if they are capable of removing their classist goggles for a sec. How can a movement advance that fat people eat the same variety of foods as anyone else yet blithely claim poor people eat badly? That would mean they'd all be fat then wouldn't it?

Oh I know, hypocrisy/a deep and abiding belief in the intrinsic degeneracy of the proletariat.
It's easy to blame obesity on poor diet and lack of exercise. But this is overly simplistic, like blaming high unemployment on the number of people watching afternoon television. It doesn't explain underlying causes.
That's right. What lends poorness to fatness is the capacity to open up the body's defenses, to press upon the need for them.  The stresses that play upon the mind and body of a person due to that low income. The make do and mend, the things never quite fit, never quite right for you. To an extent a trigger for ingenuity, but the rate and variety of direction that they seem to come at you means eventually lack is just plain old lack. Something has to give.
....deeper roots of the obesity problem lie at the crossroads between social status and biology.
Yeah, it's so hard for us to believe that this body and this mind, works on a chemical basis. Its switches are electrical impulses and hormones, substances. It's a living reactive machine, all parts thinking and reacting, affected by our environment.

We can't seem to stop treating it as if it's some inviolate thing that has imbalances and rogue chemicals running around, oh really, but that's also how it works. Poor people run around doing their many jobs, long hours low remunerated work. See them cleaning and tidying up, serving others, fat and plump more than adequately represented among their number. But don't take my word for it, go and see for yourself.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Looking poor

Just thinking, in a patriarchal capitalist system, men are supposed to have the lion's share of wealth. Women should look as if they need feeding. Poorer women who are plump/ fat, look as if they have enough ingenuity to survive. Gaining enough resource from the meager allowance allocated to the poor by society. That they can take care of themselves and therefore, others connected to them, perhaps this explains why men are allowed to be fatter, to look like they are prospering.

And poorer people are offensive when their bodies suggest ingenuity and ambition enough to make the most of little and get a bit more. Some like their poor feckless and in need, helpless and looking famished.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Greatness of mind

The other day at shapely, someone a woman called Kathryn made this comment.
No wonder I gave up trying to make any sense out of “diet rules”–as my Harvard and University of Chicago educated husband put it, “great minds don’t go into dietary science.”
I agreed with the underlying point that great minds don't go into dietary science, I added obesity science to that. Kate took unexpected exception to this, stating a couple of examples of people who clearly have functioning brain in their head who are involved in each of those, fields.

She felt that it was a snobbish generalization to start with 'great minds don't....' Thing is, the original commenter started from the product, in this case diet rules.  Whilst there may well be intelligent people involved in nutrition, if there was any serious contingent of greatness, it would show in the way that subject developed. I can think of ways off the top of my head and I don't consider my mind to be great.

Even long before I stopped trying to lose weight, this was so glaringly evident, that I actually felt like I must be missing something.

No way could any branch of science that was not derided and ridiculed by other scientists or other thoughtful people survive such base and low standards of intellect, curiosity above all, rationalism. I was naively wrong, it was that bad. Nor did I realise just how much of the reverence in which we non-scientists hold science in could rub off on a field so currently devoid of most, if not all of it's merits.

The way I saw it was the refusal to accept the failure of calorie manipulation is an outrage against logic, so much so that it is wildly intriguing and clearly far more complex than presumed. Therefore great minds will rush in, any minute now, to take it by the scruff of the neck and impose the usual intellectual ferocity-sometimes seemingly to the point of amorality- we associate with science. 

Not forgetting the potential for glory in the widespread conviction of a coming adipocalypse. But no, apparently not. The people involved mostly don't seem to be all that bright, or particularly ambitious. If you are bright, how could you stand it, apart from just not giving a shit?

I find the latter most compelling.

There's no pressure on you whatsoever, none. No one's asking you why you have produced jack shit that has any affect on weight. The blame falls squarely on the people themselves-whether they are fat or not.

If you are thin and you re-gain 5 pounds, you're just as much as fault as someone who re-gains more. Having expected an emphatic victory over my metabolism; "I'm the boss around here and what I say goes", I've gotten over much of the upset about that not working out. I am left in awe, yes, awe, of our metabolism. It's so damn clever and sneaky, and if I'd known no one would be interested.....

Greatness of mind is available to us all. It does not necessarily depend on how many exams you've passed, or what exclusive school you went to. It's about reaching for the highest that you can, digging deep from within. Pushing yourself on when you feel like giving up because you've got an overriding desire for something more or other than what you have now.

She left school at 16 years old with no qualifications. She had a child soon after and it was born with a chronic and exceptionally rare condition. She found out all she could about it and discovered from this and observing her child, that the knowledge that was taken for granted wasn't right. Although it was difficult and she encountered resistance from those who were thought to know better, she didn't and couldn't give up on her child, because she just knew that they were looking at things the wrong way.

The reason why I heard about her, was because her greatness of mind, eventually forced the professionals to take note of her, to their credit. From the most unpromising of circumstances, she achieved something amazing.  Even I with my little mind, can easily conceive of ways, both fields could show some spark of intellectual ambition. I don't even see that, nor much else in it's place. As I see it from this angle, I can't pretend a greatness that's absent. 

Friday, 20 November 2009

Weight loss dieting is not education on health

There's been a lot of talk about this story in the f'os. A historically black college that has finally bowed to the shaming of blacks/POC, they are really obese, OMG, deciding that to graduate, any student with a BMI of 30 plus is required to take some health and fitness course.

Only fat students, not slim ones who's weight proves-they don't need it. Obviously this is makes it unacceptable. Conflating fatness with ignorance inactivity and ill health is just lazy. What adds another element to this is the idea of black shame. The feeling that black people are being watched and must prove themselves worthy or the equal of hostile others. Most of all the feeling of shame that they may fall short and bring racism upon their heads.

The common defences of this however, conflate health with slimness.

 The problem here is the idea that fat people must be induced into useless and destabilizing calorie manipulation in order to go through the motions of an outer lead fat existence is the opposite of education.

It doesn't work and therefore it should be a lesson on wrong ideas and lack of critical thinking. It's harmful effects mean people should go into it of their own volition with their eyes open, it should be imposed on no one.

If all weight groups were subject to this, it wouldn't really make it any better, but it would stop it being discriminatory-on the grounds of weight. I'm sure slim people would hate it though and would be quite vociferous in the complaints.

Kate Moss's skinny taste

It seems Kate Moss is in trouble; again. In an interview up on the women's wear daily site, in answer to the question "Do you have a motto?" she was quoted saying;

There are loads. There’s “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” That’s one of them. You try and remember, but it never works.

It shouldn't be surprising that this has caused a hoo-ha, but somehow it is, slightly. Part of me thinks that people might have been too bored to bother. Not because anorexia isn't serious, but because in my head, I cannot understand how health campaigners still have the cheek to pass off the growth of anorexia onto the rag trade.

Just like Twiggy (Lawson) was responsible for the establishment of the thin ideal, because she insisted on being photographed whilst being a gorgeous gamine, as opposed to her being a woman who's time had come. Kate Moss is the modern version, their similarities, both come from humble, backgrounds, exhibiting an admirable confidence in themselves and a comfortableness in their own skin that is almost deceptively transcendent and inspiring.

Yes, even though she wishes to remain thin, possibly over and above professional necessity, I'd still say that she has an admirable, and inspiring belief in herself.

Both were/are idolised by the thin worshiping classes and act as a vehicle for disapproval of that ideation and therefore self castigation, rather like fat people, but more in the form of envy rather than fearful contempt. I think it's one of the reasons why I've never had a bad word to say about either of them, I know how it feels to be a target for the unspoken desires of others who cannot face them head on.

I suppose this kind of ruckus occurs because they are a lightening rod for the re-iteration of the right thing. You should not be too thin and you should not be 'overweight', you should be healthy. That is inbetween, acceptable.

If you are judge not, then they're waiting to attack you and reassert the acceptable order.

Nevermind that the behaviours recommended especially to the 'overweight' are anorexia, and that is exactly what we are asked to aspire to, it would be seen in us as a victory against our gluttony and sloth. Some of the 'advice' given is straight out of thinspiration, take every opportunity to exercise. That doesn't mean take up tennis on Monday and gym on Thursday, it means, in every spare moment, perform the regulation physical jerks.


Don't even think of enjoyment, because nothing tastes as good as thin as the prospect of getting society off your back.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Major League obesity doctor=SFA

Dr. Arya Sharma is apparently a big cheese obesity doctor in Canada. What does that mean? Politeness forbids me from answering that succinctly.

Although, I must add, I'm not hating on Canada, I have a soft spot for any countries unjustly overshadowed by their noisier neighbours, on general principle. It's just that obesity professionals, are mostly bums, who've achieved nothing. They do not have any sense of vocation I can discern nor the voracious curiosity I assumed de rigueur for any scientist or researcher in the main.

Nor do I see any signs they give much of a damn about fat people, over and above appearance sake. I certainly hope they are the only group who've enthusiastically helped to destroy the reputation of their clientele, rather than seeking to increase the public's understanding of them. Its interesting that this is not felt to serve the interests of the obesity field. I wonder why.

But ever capable of being open minded and optimistic, I stand to be corrected in this case. It seems to me that Sharma is someone who knows better, but can't follow through, the former makes him heroic to some.

I understand it is because we must not judge obesity hustlers as they are, but as if they are behaving properly in order to model good behaviour in them. It is our duty to encourage them to do what they should already be doing of their own volition.

If we show what nice people we are, this will make people behave better towards us, as our bad behaviour has clearly caused people to behave badly toward us.

That isn't true, but it makes sense.

Truth more than happiness is the spur

Bri over at fat lot of good wrote about the relationship between fatness and depression. My issue with 'fat and happy' is that suggests that if you are unhappy and fat (or because you are fat), there's anything else you can do about-apart from changing your attitude to the fact that you are fat.

Or that this is an imperative that will somehow be parlayed into dieting success. I did not come to a fat acceptance mentality out of happiness, or the desire for happiness, anymore than I came to be agnostic/atheist. I came to this point because I could no longer pay the price I was paying for constant weight loss attempts. It was also, cumulative, my tolerance or capacity for it, gave out.

There are truths that you just have to recognise, regardless of whether that makes you happy or not. Yes it's true that this can make you feel good, removing an increasing burden of pressure that comes with buying into a lie, the rigours of calorie restriction on your mind and body, but to represent that as happy/unhappy gives the impression that if you've come to an FA way of thinking, you must be happy.

Sometimes yes, but sometimes it's devastating. The link between a sense of control and the (illusion of) control that weight control through dieting seems to give. It's important to say this so that people don't feel they are failing or somehow fraudulent if they're working through their conditioning-and these feelings come up.

This happy and fat thing, is a bogus line coming from those who seek to pressurize fat people into dieting. Even if you are happy and fat, they don't want you to be and will seek to attack that happiness, citing it as the cause of your fatness,  just the same anyway. We have no more duty to be happy, than we have to be 'healthy', though hopefully, we will experience happiness and get to a better more grounded place.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Now's in time

I've been thinking a bit lately about a recurring mental theme of mine. What is all this obesity stuff about? Amongst all the shouting and angst, are we just communicating things to each other that we aren't able to say out loud, in a direct manner?

From the start of this whole FA adventure, I've not been able to get on board with feeling that fat people are oppressed, not in the way I understand it. It doesn't matter worth a damn to me, as I don't believe you need to be, to complain about being treated unfairly.

It doesn't delegitimize fat people's stories or desire for fair treatment in any way. I just feel that claims of oppression are premature for many reasons. It's just not systemic, in the ways that racism or sexism are.

It's perfectly reasonable to not wish to wait that for that. Things have already gotten bad enough with no end in sight.

Oh, Ms Angelou!

Perusing obesity timebomb , I espied an interview with Maya Angelou, and the gorgeous, (inside and out) Gary Younge.


As to be expected, she does her thing;
In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons.

Yes indeed, and how hard is that, at times?

"I'm always disappointed when people don't live up to their potential," she says to me. "I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them." She suggests that this mindset is at the root of black kids thinking that to do well at school is to "act white". "But that, too, can change,"

Yes, I've discovered that so often, I think I'm going to stick with it, this time.


And;
Sure enough, halfway through the interview she tells me I'm fat and suggests I pay more attention to the size of my portions. "You are going to have to lose that weight. You're too young and too handsome. Don't do it to yourself."

What?! Wait a minute.

Criticizing the magnificent GY's physique?

I have to take issue with that Ms. A, with the greatest of respect. Potentials can and will be fulfilled regardless of your weight as those of us willing to see ourselves as a whole person. Our fat is non detachable, and we are not a collection of bad habits.


Not doing so is one of the 'holes' we all need to avoid.

Amongst many other projects, she's working on a cookbook called. "Great Food All Day Long".

Ok Ms A. I won't tell the food police they'll have you up for 'encouraging obesity'.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My body

My body is an intricate animal, at once delicate and powerful. It is visceral, compelling and real.


It is me. My body is myself.

I am not a cigarette. My body is not a cigarette.

I am not alcohol. My body is not alcohol.

I am not a collection of habits. My body is not a collection of habits.

My body is my existence.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Fatness is unfeminist

Again, I've been forced to contemplate the disappointing reactions of feminists to views from fat women that challenge assumptions. Marianne of the rotund wrote a post at CiF. Amongst the usual slurry of hate a few interesting things were said, a couple of comments that for me epitomized the problems most feminists seem to have with fatness.

In this case I'm referring mostly to white middle class slim feminists of course. I must admit, having listened to their endless whines and gripes over the years, I thought they'd be more able to extend the same favour, not approval, but the capacity to listen. The ability to recognise it wasn't always about them, in the way that is de rigueur if you aren't one of them.

I've found out the hard way, how unequal that is. It's not that I didn't know before, I didn't realise the extent though, I finally do. Mswoman;
I have to admit to being really conflicted about this issue. Not on the issue of hurling abuse at fat people I hasten to add, that's never right and never will be. I'm also not conflicted about joining the author and others in condemning the beauty industry/the media and so on for perpetuating ridiculous and for most people completely unattainable standards of acceptability when it comes to body size/looks etc.  
I've quoted rather a lot I know, but I did not want to reduce her comments merely to those that were tiresome. She goes on;
And I will say that what I do find frustrating and quite dangerous at the moment is the way that parts of the feminist blogosphere in particular seem now to be trying to sell obesity not only as a valid and empowering lifestyle choice.
Selling. I know we all now realise the error of our ways and recognise that capitalism is the only way, but putting the other side of a one sided crusade is not selling anything. Obesity. Obesity is the construction of the state of being fat as a disease. I do not accept it as such, full stop. Lifestyle choice? Fatness is not a lifestyle of any kind whatsoever, anymore than thinness, or being plump.
which I'm sure it can be for some, but as something that's entirely without consequence: because quite clearly it's not.
If you're sure, why don't you STFU then? Then there's this, who incidentally the above assured everyone was a troll, probably but a troll who is bang on the money with a certain mentality;
20CenturyWoman I am a feminist... .. and although I do feel that a great many women are overweight for reasons of unhappiness which is engendered by an oppressive patriarchal system, women who are fat or overweight are essentially undermining their own claim to the boons of liberation and feminism.
So far fat is unfeminist;
In many ways I see becoming fat as 'self harm'... and in much the same way that I despise the horror of FGM, equally i condemn the act of making oneself fat... it is a crime that women commit upon themselves.. just like FGM.
That's female genital mutilation. Not only do fat women let themselves down, but also detract credibility from the feminist cause and individual women who take pride in themselves i.e are slim. Described as a troll, another contributor "imogenblack" said no, she'd heard the same thing from friends of hers. She supposed it was a reaction against the dungareed man hating stereotype that people have leveled against feminism.

For these mild comments they were described as self hating by 20CenWoman;
Let me be clear in saying that I do NOT disrespect Marianne in any way for allowing herself to fall below respectable standards of health or weight. That is her CHOICE and I would fight for her CHOICE to remain unhealthy and unattractive if that is what she wanted... it is her right as a WOMAN to decide for herself.. this is what feminism is all about... That said, I feel that as a force, feminism would be a more determined and powerful movement if women were to maintain high standards, morally, intellectually and physically.... I realise that this sounds draconian.. but I envisage a world where each woman can feel proud of who she is... where she can look at herself, inside and out, and say "I am a woman"... What we are asking of men is 'respect me'... how can we ask that if we do not respect ourselves?.. if we do not respect our minds AND our bodies?
I don't wish to be bracketed with people like this. 

Mind and body

This discussion over at CiF, mainly follows the usual tedious course of these matters but a couple of things among the responses caused me to ponder.

There was a much recommended post by someone called JonaMc timed at 12:24. [I've tried the direct link to posts here, but it doesn't seem to be working, possibly due to the number of posts, 944 in total.]

It's an interesting view of how fat people, in particular this fat person sees him/herself. The writer uses the pronoun you, to universalise their own experience as that of all fat people. They say, that a fat person doesn't seem him/herself as overweight, they see themselves as what they are-fat-rather than what they are not, a slim person inside a fatter person's body.

What's so interesting about that, is that's how I'd describe more of a fat acceptance mentality. Before that, you tend to see yourself more as failing to be slim. Your view of yourself is interrupted. S/he describes a normal level of self perception. As it happens, I've not been fat my whole life and am well aware that in either an earlier time or having lived differently or in different circumstances, I could just as naturally or easily have been thin as I am in actuality, fat.

I don't feel any less fat than those who've only known themselves fat, but it must colour my views, as it probably does theirs. I see myself as mainly being and having been a fat person. I saw myself as fat before, but not in that same way. I accepted it first, when my efforts to stave off chubbiness and then fatness, did not work. But, I was trying to achieve thinness.

What's just as fascinating is that JMc sees their values as flowing from their fatness, this includes emphasizing intellectual pursuits above physical ones. Naive, huh? That just sounds like the middle class mindset before the advent of slimming culture.

I never thought about it before, but maybe this ugly fitness boom is some kind of backlash against what went on then. Fitness freaks were deemed crude dumbos who couldn't think they're way out of a wet paper bag. It was really quite brutish and I determined I would not be prejudiced like that.

It almost feels like a missed opportunity. There's also something else, it could be in part fuelled by a deep longing from within. This disjointed view of life in your head. One of the tricky things about assimilation into western culture is it's alienation from the physical self, witness in Africa and other developing lands. Every occasion is marked not just by physical activity, but physicality, it's as if dancing and prancing is part of the expression, like a kind of physical thinking.

Even in the Latin countries of Europe, its the thing to wave your hands about to emphasize the process of speech. There's also the far East with their traditions of dance and China especially with it's Tai Chi and India with it's Yoga and so forth, contempt for and containment of people's natural expressions of physicality, seems to have become a pronounced part of western culture. Though I've heard about the Volga boatmen who apparently had a dance which like a lot of movement associated with Africa, flows from the pelvis.

S/he goes on to say, that they put no store by appearance as they are so 'monstrously lardy'- the kind of expression always guaranteed to endear you to fat detractors, as long as you make clear you are their absolute inferior, you put them right at ease. I have to say, being judged by your appearance does give you a great opportunity to see through beauty myths-indeed this has affected my view not only of looks, but of things such as availability of clothes. which quite a lot of fat people don't bother themselves with at all.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Superbad acceptance

I've always wanted to excel at something. I though that would include being a nice person, a good person, kind too. Seems I've failed.

I finally have to accept that by the dictates of society, I'm bad. My self image of myself as a middling to good person has to change. It doesn't matter what I feel like. I must take the public vote into account and it seems, I'm the epitome of everything rotten about civilization.

I feel a little irked I must say, not so much because of my previous ambitions more because, I've not developed a badass persona. I wasted my time cultivating goodness, suppressing nastiness, policing myself to be good. I feel horribly wrong-footed.

I wonder if the truly wicked feel as I do, they're just going about their business living the best way they can manage, but through others, the slow dawning realization, they find out, they're bad. What they do, is not good. What do they do?

Memo to self: research the 'superbad' and find out their coping strategies and presentation styles. Do you go with and say, hey nuts to you, I'm really bad, so that's that, sort of superbad acceptance? Or do they masquerade as good-I guess these tend to be those 'charming' psychopath types-being rather cool, they have the psychic energy to fake goodness? Or does one say ghaaaarrrgh, I be a monster, like a pirate?

The last one doesn't appeal, too showy, especially for a women, they'll probably just lock you up and fry your brain. No, for now, I think I'll just be myself and just accept that's superbad.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

What unrequited dreams set a course

Reading Ivan's post brought to mind some of the less talked about costs of our investment in calorie manipulation and weight loss dieting as the solution to weight control.

Those who really need help have nothing much available to them. They just don't seem to matter to those who use the obesity canard to service their own needs. What he says about his experiences is fascinating, he speaks of his current health struggles and how that brings thoughts of wanting to be thin to his mind. And no, it's not a sin to acknowledge your feelings about being thin.

The issue is what it takes out of you when you can't get there. There is a here and now and that's swallowed up in wishing.

What I would like, in lieu of a real answer for people like Ivan is a route out of that longing, to making the most of where he is now. Making that better, without that seeming as thin as his dream.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Bad moments

Over at the notorious B-L-O-G watrd Lissa asks about being in the moment and the difficulties of getting there.

In a world of self creation/actualisation, with our plans for world domination, or just the domination of self, we can fall into the trap of always being and thinking ahead of ourselves.

The information age is one of sensationalism, and we struggle with the mundane and seek escape in fantasy. Nothing wholly wrong with this, it is part of coping with day to day life and a vital part of our ability to envisage better.

What also causes disconnection from the self in this moment or any other is the background to each and every moment, your constant beliefs, especially those about yourself.

There is a lot of talk of mindfulness and returning to it, that can be tricky to get that balance and get back into the habit. But when you get there, you will be surrounded by the self you have created, and if that is unbearable, mindfulness, will also be hard to bear.

Indeed, a toxic view of yourself may well be the driving force for evading being in the moment. How can you want to be in the moment when that moment is always horrible, because you are always horrible?

When we take it upon ourselves to view ourselves in carelessly degrading and demeaning ways, because for instance we think this is honesty and facing up to the truth, our mental and emotional defences don't just ignore that, they cannot, they must act to minimise the effects of our vandalism of ourselves.

Those defences act in ways similar to our physical defences, they attempt to void the poison, or they attempt to separate us from it. You can perceive the latter when you begin to notice that people who foul their own nest, become semi detached from it.

They often don't recognise this themselves, so caught up are they in feeling their righteous sense of honour about facing the truth of themselves, they don't notice that whilst branding themselves, they identify so much with what they consider a righteous status, that they often don't see themselves in the light they've branded themselves.


They see themselves as goodness in waiting.

This doesn't fully save them from the damage and exhaustion of their view of themselves, it merely minimises the damage. This can unfortunately prolong it by making it less clearly perceived. Though the damage limitation helps to keep worse at bay.

They are not totally unaware of the pain they feel, they tend to blame it on the what it is they've labelled themselves, not on the consequences of labelling themselves with a negative status they cannot escape.

Being in the moment requires you to live with all that you believe yourself to be underlying the moment. If it is bad, that is what you will be communing with. You will find yourself bored, easily distracted, or feeling various feelings of anxiety and panic emerge, unhindered by your usual distracted or semi-detached states. The one good thing about attempting mindfulness, is that it will give you a chance to become aware of this.


Only if you realise it though, because the moment and being in it, will only benefit you, if your moment can be lived in.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Eating predestined conclusions makes you fatuous

This report on a study soon to appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, claims eating quickly is responsible for overeating. Hey, isn't everything, why not that?


Overlooking the promiscuous misuse of that term to the point where it has become ill defined, we'll stick with, eating more than, less.
The habit of eating at your desk which has become more prevalent in recent times is helping to fuel the obesity epidemic.

How so?

Encouraging people to eat quickly whilst doing other things.

The study split people into groups and gave them the same amount of ice cream, 300ml. Different people ate at different speeds.

Those who took 30 minutes to finish their portion, reported feeling fuller than those who were quicker and their blood sample had higher levels of hormones that tell the brain the stomach is full.


Specifically;
Scientists believe eating quickly stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full.

Believe is right, because this would mean that people eat fast to resist fullness. Fullness gives a large range of pleasureful feelings, a sense of satisfaction, which brings an emotional uplift, you know when you sit back after having had your fill, feeling like all is right with the world?

Now why would you recklessly cast this aside, to eat faster and according to this report, lessen the chances of this happening and increase the likely amount you will ingest?


Why pleasure of course. Hang on a minute: D'OH!

Let's go over that.

Eating more than you need is more likely to lead to indigestion, heartburn, sluggishness, physical discomfort etc.

And yet scientists are prepared to 'believe' this is likely.

It is much touted that fat people eat faster, on average than those less so. I don't know, all I do know is that honestly the fastest eaters I've ever witnessed happen to have been amongst the thinnest people I've ever met.

If this is more than mere anecdote, it might be in part because fat people are more likely to make a conscious effort to slow down their eating.

I once had one of the few successes I've ever had doing this. I apropos of nothing decided to do this one time.

Unsurprisingly, everything was fine at first, then even though I suffered no discomfort whatsoever, it's as if something shifted in the background-internally that is- and for the life of me, It wasn't the same.

I could get no pleasure whatsoever from eating, so I actually stopped, usually out of boredom, but strangely unsatisfied, I felt what I'd eaten, but not in the way you are supposed to feel it.

It was a feeling way out there in the distance somewhere, unconnected with anything like fullness or satisfaction, but running parrallel to it, I knew I'd eaten though.

I carried on, but that's really what did for me in the end, the inability to get any pleasure at all, eating just became, not so much a bore, as a blah. Gray meaningless somehow. This is the kicker, it didn't lessen my appetite. It didn't give up and slink off, as usual, it just became more insistent, until it all became too self defeating and I stopped.


I would not claim universality for my experience, but I'm pretty sure aspects of it are widespread, if not, certainly, the upshot is.

Which is that the same as other attempts to slip calorie reduction and the threat of starvation past the body's defences, it might in a few yield dramatic results which will be trumpeted wildly as if we've never heard it before.

And the overwhelming majority will find it short lived as the body merely adjusts. Yeah, it doesn't always cotton on/act, immediately but come on, if someone was stealing amounts from your bank account, at some point it's going to register, right?

Monday, 2 November 2009

You wish we were thin haters!

Checking out Natalie at axisoffat, I couldn't believe the nerve ofthis woman.

I do not wish to label or put down any specific weight groups, but this article does illustrate is how certain people who are relatively slim or merely plump, make sure that their chosen dissatisfaction with their own bodies (and lives) means no one else is entitled to make peace with their own.

They seem to think they own weight and who gets to be OK with themselves. They deeply resent thinner people, and cast them in the role of people who by their very existence, prove a painful reminder of their own discontent.

Yet they keep them on a pedestal, on the other hand, they despise fat people, who they think they've been given as a motivational tool, and wish to prevent them having any sense of self respect.

In her article Virginia Haussegger describes model Linda Evangelista as a freak, because Evangelista told her in an interview that she makes no effort to participate in the superstitions that are supposed to control people's weight. Good on her, she sounds like my kind of woman and I never thought I'd say that.

Thing is, anyone who's naturally thin, is the same, it's nothing to do with being a professional coat hanger. In fact, we are all 'naturally' the size we are, however we got their it was 'natural' to us as it is to Evangelista, whether we've struggled against it, or not.


She describes her as a beautiful goddess, merely because she's photogenic and doesn't diet.

Whooweee.

Well she did not tell Haussegger to call her that, that is her own view. It's part of her mission to be a weight watcher, again, her decision. Like so many who have belief systems that degrade them, she cannot suck it up, she has to share;

The appearance of fat is ugly when it reeks of sloth and a lack of discipline. Being skinny is ugly when it reeks of malnutrition and starvation.

With her mentality, she sees herself as somehow the 'wisdom of the middle' and the standard by which everyone should judge themselves. This is the ego fighting back after taking a pounding from being compared to 'goddesses'.

But that's not what most women are objecting to when they criticise skinny models in magazines.

Absolutely. Like herself, they are struggling to get out of the bind they've put themselves in with their tendentious inferiority complexes.

She then quotes Karl Largerfeld, himself a former long term fattie saying that women who complain about the size of catwalk models are fat mothers eating bags of chips; who's he kidding?


Maybe that's how it was for him when he was fat, I wouldn't be surprised, he is surrounded by thinness. That's enough to addle anyone's brain when it comes to their weight.

From this she goes on to the clincher;
Fat women hate skinny women. Maybe they console their misery with more chips.

Oh how some would love it if we were sitting there in raging at anyone thinner than ourselves- wait a minute, that's Haussegger! It's self loathing that does that, not being fat, also a very good reason to start appreciating yourself for what you are, not angling after being someone else.

Only silly people wish to partake in thin shaming. Many fat people recognise we are brothers and sisters under the skin, and vice versa. We recognise that certain people wish to demonise or be jealous of us due to their own insecurities and as you see, can't take it.

If you decide to stop hating yourself and go crazy and actively seek to like, nay love yourself, you don't feel the need to hate others, why should you? Their very existence cannot provoke insult if it's not there. You can admire beauty and not feel in any way lessened by it.

I don't and have never given a damn about the size of models, I know what they are for and have found the blaming of them to be a lot of displacement from the true culprits. As if models have any more effect on girls and women than authority figures who tell them fatness is a health risk and immoral or family members they look up to who shout out at fat people 'why don't you just stop eating?', then act really shocked when weight anxiety prompts their children to take that literally.

I have very little time for the fashion industry in general, and abuse of it's own workers should be dealt with the same way any employers who bully and are reckless with the health of their staff, but are they to blame for anorexia?


Puhr-leese.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Slut shaming

Reading an excellent post by Joy-Mari at digital immigrant on how the Internet- rather than being the great hope of meritocracy- is struggling to break free from the brain shape of the usual suspects. I was reminded of the word 'slut', it's just one of many epithets referring to a woman that has had, or does have sex with specifically; men. More than one or a lot more, it doesn't have a distinct numerical definition.

Being a feminist person, I should be wholly concerned with it's effects on women. But from the first finding out what this and other words like it meant I've been struck by what it says about what males are taught to think of themselves. That feeling has never left me.

If merely by having sex with men, a woman despoils and sullies herself to the point of ridicule and abuse, what does this say about men?

It seems to say men are in essence filthy, that the penis is an injector (and therefore voids) emptying that filth into not just women, but also other men . Men who receive a shot of this toxic load (have a lower status within and outside gay circles than the 'injectors').


Now if men are taught to and continue this disgust and loathing of themselves-that is up to them.

However, what you give to yourself, you tend to wish to give to others, that impulse enables you to rid yourself of your degradation and then attack those you leave it in, destroying them in order to destroy it.

This shows that you cannot tolerate feeling this way about yourself, and attempt to rid yourself of these feelings, understandably. So here's the thing, why don't you just stop seeing yourself in this degrading way, what purpose does it serve?

Using others in this way is an attempt to separate and distance yourself from these feelings, pointless, because after they've walked away carrying it away from you; it's a case of continue and repeat. Maybe that's it's purpose, presumably, your cannot be trusted to simply have sexual desire because, you feel like having sex.


Cease to generate the poison. Then you won't have anything to void but love. Or am I missing something?

Dismantle it in yourself, smash it to smithereens. Deal with yourself, confront your disgust and give yourself the regard you can live with, then you can cut out the middlewo/man