Monday, 30 March 2009

Shared premises, shared quackery

Seeing the title of a post fat acceptance quackery, I had fanciful notion someone might genuinely be able to question some of the more unfinished notions floating about the F'OS. That reveals the desperation of not being able to hear someone (anyone please) run FA through their critical intelligence and not fat phobia, which is a form of brain death.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be more of the latter hoisting itself with it's own petard. This blog has some kind of link with a site called my big fat spouse, which like its title is notable for its redundancy.

I'm sometimes in two minds about criticism of fat acceptance. At times it feels odd to disagree with people opposing it when what is most disagreeable about what they're saying is shared by a lot of people within FA and forms the basis of many of our incorrect conclusion and assumptions.

Or when I agree with their objections but for wholly differing reasons. It makes me feel strangely split. Like I have to support what I don't agree with because it's the closest to what I agree with. Though sometimes I feel more like the best friend in a messy divorce.

The quackery of the title consists of a) Intuitive eating b) Set point theory c) Lack of research support for fat acceptance. I wouldn't say intuitive eating is quackery just that it is mis-guided in its assumptive basis about what eating is. Its name holds the key, eating is not anymore intuitive than breathing. It seems to take this idea of intuition from dieting's pretense that we consciously control eating and to be a reaction to this.

This causes understanding to slightly skewered with regard to how we eat normally. That's no biggie on the surface, however, the way many tend to interpret IE shows that this is more important than it seems.

I do believe in eating what you want when you want and as much or as little as you want, I'd say that's normal eating. However, what you want can be consciously inspired too, meaning you can decide that you’ve been eating a bit too much of one thing to the exclusion of something else for instance.

You can and do seek balance in your eating in part with your conscious wisdom, that’s part of knowing "what you want" and part of eating, because you know yourself and your preferences.

The real issue with dieting is by seeking to centre eating wholly in your conscious mind it causes it to overreach itself and we know when we do that we tend to fall over. Not only was it not a) designed for that b) something else was and that something is disturbed by this incompetent interloper.

I actually share the writer's scepticism about weight gain after stopping diet behaviour being about reaching your set point though I don't dismiss the latter. That gain is more about the way the body adapts to dieting making it more efficient at storing calories, this means that switching back to whatevers left of normal for you may lead to weight gain.

But you may well have been gaining steadily all through you dieting career too. And if you'd done earlier what your doing now, you might not have reached this point if your body stabilizes of course.

I disagree with his conclusion though which is to dismiss a more normal way of eating as having scant research evidence. Fact is, normal eating should be obvious how can you not have noticed that your eating regulates itself. No wonder people think we are too stupid to understand dieting if they're too stupid to understand eating. Even if you don't know what its called, people who do not diet eat what they want.

Having said that the extent to which many in FA love to underlying points with research means I don’t know whether that dismissal would be considered fair opposition or not on those grounds.

It has to be noted though that he thinks set point theory “seems” to be an invention of the FAM. In fact you don't have to have read any science to find out that the term does not originate with FA. Anyone who could make that mistake cannot have read much of anything to do with weight, let alone science as it comes up a lot. Plenty of diet blogs make reference to it for goodness sake.

But then those in opposition often do blame fat people in general for things, genes, glands, when they couldn't possibly have come from lay people. All of the most popular 'excuses' for fatness come from scientists. People have to remember science is not finished, therefore hypothesis and theories abound that are usurped by more information subsequently.

I also note trouble finding anything relevant on the internet, I’ve found that myself it is a nightmare and hard to understand when this subject is so much to the fore, although seeing as this person and oh so many others have read extensively on weight, you'd think they'd remember where they read it. Suppose it must all be in print.

As for anorexia, it is not that dieting is not a "gateway" to it, dieting is it so if it doesn’t lead to it’s because our internal defences against it are working-which I think is what they are for. What causes anorexia, the absence or failure of them.

They do that annoying thing where they claim fat acceptance is feminist it isn’t, feminism has consistently rejected fat liberation/acceptance. Its far more into anorexia, in fact this idea of feminism being represented as fat women is people trying to think of something to 'insult' it with, along with ugly and hairy. I’d say it is anorexia as a lifestyle which represent anorexia.

Someone who cannot perceive these things is not doing much thinking.

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