Whilst discussing the term/concept thin privilege, I mentioned the collusion of buying into the obesity crisis.
I had cause to think about my own collusion in the process of stigmatising fatness. Although I was never someone who hated other fat people, my issue was with myself because I did have an issue with my eating and therefore felt that I was the archetypal fatty being described.
Until I hit the fatosphere, I never really thought about using such a direct term, although the fact that I had colluded, past a certain point was never in doubt. I've never felt that this was all imposed upon me. I'm not sure that I could have avoided it, certainly not now. But I could have taken so much better care of myself, looked out for myself better and therefore cannot write this all off as the oppression de moi.
I first started trying to lose weight when I was 11 years old. That lasted about six months. I cottoned on that this wasn't going to work, without even having to turn that into words just in my head. It was the feelings it gave me, the sense that this was simply untenable.
Where I went wrong was to switch my focus to healthy eating and exercise and the belief that this must lead to thinness. Just like is proposed by many as the answer. There's always one.
It took me far longer to see through that one, in terms of it making me thin as opposed to overall health.
In the end, I was not stopped by logic which I didn't so much ignore as just keep thinking of without joining the bits together, probably kind of on purpose. What stopped me was, I burned out, I was actually stopped physically rather than working it out mentally. Any long term serious dieter knows, that when this happens the only thing you can do is to stop dieting until your nervous system recovers, only rest will do that, to my knowledge.
What the fatosphere has helped to teach me through hearing from those bigger than myself is my assumption of fatter = more hurt was shattered. Ironically, I'd long been disabused of the idea that thinner = less suffering. Rather like we know that thin people can eat a lot, but apparently fat people eating the same are greedy (it can take a while to see through that one).
Because of this I could no longer behave as if feeling as badly as I did was solely down to being fat. The extent to which my own bad feeling was very much an internal process of to some degree, my own choosing became (even) clear(er).
Yes, I was undoubtedly encouraged if not set on that path and kept there by external forces, the people around me as well as establishments medical and otherwise. But, that didn't mean I had to go along with it to the extent that I did.
My feeling is that the extent to which your inner self esteem holds up is key to how much you can be damaged by the crisis, (unless it gets too much more out of hand).
If you can separate fatness from yourself, who you are you can emerge more intact than those who make no distinction. Which is why many fat self haters can hate so bad and not know it, but also why they can manage not to have such low self esteem as their fat hating would point to.
It's as if their fatness takes most of the hit.
For me thinking about colluding in this process is about healing, forgiveness of self and letting go. Of saying, there is no law written that places a limitation on how much your errors can hurt you. And you not to let that frighten you. You can own up to your part face it and say never again without feeling down and depressed because you betrayed yourself.
At least I have to say, I feel I did.
I didn't question enough apart from in a dissociated way. At the time there was a lot of if these perfectly nice and rational people are upset with me, I must be doing something wrong.
Why won't I do right I'd wail endlessly, at a loss as to how much more I had to do to do more, how much more constant unyielding focus it would take how much hurt I have to endure before I would start to do what I was supposed to do.
It became more than about weight it became about my determination, tenacity and refusal to be beaten. Unbeknownst to me I was just beating up myself, for nothing.
Whatever the risk of victim blaming, I'd rather face that head on than try to obscure or hide behind, it was all society....
Because I feel so badly about it all about the unfairness of my earnest desire to please and be pleasing being taken such advantage of and then denied, because I was taken so for granted.
It's even more than that it's that, for want of better words, you just can't do me that way and get away with it. That's not a threat, or even a promise, it's just the way it is. That energy, all that focus everything that I put into trying to be slim could have taken me places and right now, the place it's going to take me is as much outside the aegis of that which kicked me around, that which I allowed to kick me around.
I thought it was 'the right thing'.
It's not enough to just stop and wave the fat acceptance flag I have to at least attempt to dismantle everything that lead up to that desire and more than that, what made me stick to it with such pointlessness though admirable resolution.
It's not even a matter of principle.
It's just the way it is.
* Edited for clarity, believe me