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

Friday, 23 October 2009

Free speech

The other day the rotund wrote a telling point about 'safe spaces' that is rarely made by quoting someone on the matter.
a women named Ladyjax had something to say about safe spaces that seriously stuck with me – that safe spaces are not comfortable. They are some of the most challenging spaces around.
I've found this, certainly in terms of the fatosphere [which I didn't think of as a safe space, rather more a coming together of people with similar experiences] to be the case. It's worth noting not only because it is paradoxical, but also unexpected. The unwary have found themselves coming unstuck due to the expectation that it is a safe space and that = a safe place for them.

This is how I expressed it. It was responded to by someone called Vixen thus. To say that I was taken aback, appalled to be honest. I wasn't angered, all I could think was gosh, to think I would be seen to represent some nonsense doublethink such as "freedom is slavery". It seems to come down to Vixen's definition of free speech, not matching her idea of it in reality;
I just think that free means free — uncontrolled and uncensored, at least as to type of opinion or ideological content. Implying otherwise is disingenuous. IMHO
I agree with the first sentence completely. It's precisely because this has not happened in the mainstream that created the fatosphere!

What I was saying was that the mainstream is oppressively exclusive in its leanings. It is free in the sense that only that script is allowed. It's difficult to resist because its not a 50-50. It's all on their terms. And that's hard when you have to recover from that mindwarp yourself.

She doesn't seem to get that at all and that's why she didn't get what I was saying. It isn't free, it only sounds like that.  And that's a problem for a lot of people who support free speech, they don't seem to grasp its real life dynamics.

Let’s just not bullshit ourselves by saying such spaces are really about *potentiating free speech* when this is achieved — by design — by the suppression of other forms of speech.

That simply isn't bullshit, it's true! Safe spaces have and do increase freedom of speech overall. Again this idea of freedom of speech in every space is peculiar. That will be dominated by powerful interests only, reinforcing and empowering them.

Yes, they do suppress other forms of dominant speech which themselves have squeezed out the very thoughts being explored. Not all of that can happen in a cut and thrust, it sometimes requires contemplation.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Beyond the garden wall

A "walled garden" was how a commenter described people in fat acceptance trying to think about what we've learned from our own experiences of being fat. Rather than continuing to force our minds into falsehoods that can no longer be intellectually sustained.

There comes a point where you simply need to tell the truth the best way you can and they just do not get this. Their typical frame of reference doesn't recognise this capacity in us. Or our need or even right to do so. Somehow, deviating from the path must be harming us.

Ignoring the harm that has forced many of us to stop thinking the way they want. This is not acknowledged as a possibility.

It was meant to suggest we are trying to keep ourselves away from what has been passing for "reality", because we are no longer marching in step with it as before. We are supposed to willingly volunteer to be mis-used as if that is the natural order. Trying to have discussions with the healthist/anti-obesity lobby is pretty hard work as their point of view isn't conducive to them to grasping what you are saying. They still fervently disagree with you though, you have to wonder what about?

Probably the mere fact that you are not playing the part assigned to you, even though you've already done that for years, which is routinely written off as if it didn't happen. No room for any honest experience or appraisal of the feelings and responses to what we were taught to do to ourselves.

Which seems the basic stem of intellectual reasoning, learning to think by appraising your experience at every stage. Imagine learning a subject at college that you cannot think about, you just memorize and repeat, over and over.

There was no dissent, little room for doubt or difference or even the fact that reality simply refused to comply the way it was supposed to. After having been eased to the margins anyway, I feel we've decided now to walk out. Its all become too much and we cannot continue this way. Like when you leave the religion of your family or society that is undoing everything you are, whilst there's still something left to recover.

Weight loss dieting advocates can't see beyond their credo. It's not enough for them to be enthusiastic supporters of their screed, to be enthralled and welded to it, they think, positively. They require negativity. They need someone else to represent everything they fear and detest. If not just being a fat person, then fat acceptance must serve that role. Those who preach continued mindless obedience can't even allow themselves to perceive what it means for a fat person to reconcile themselves to the real facts. To grasp it, would they sense be the end for the rule of their way.

It is their point of view that is really a walled garden. Which would be OK, if they loved their garden, felt really good about being in there and set about tending it carefully. The problem is they need 'weeds' who must be harried and harassed yet when they seek to leave to find more hospitable climes, serving both you'd think- they are ordered to stay because outside the walls, is a pure hell of degeneracy.

I doubt it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Healthism creates saints and sinners

It was interesting to read Shannon's take on on the supposed good/bad fattie dichotomy. It provoked several different responses in me. The basis of good fatt(y)ism to me is healthism. The belief that eating what is defined healthy foods, and taking part in healthy activity;exercise = healthiness or the creation of health.

Healthism's mentality is reminiscent of a deeply human feeling, that if you ascribe certain values to things, (including people, i.e. cannibalism) and ingest them, you will become imbued with those same qualities.

e.g. if you eat healthy/ good food, you become a healthy/good person.

This idea has no weight limit. It's become a dominant code in society and virtually everyone pays some tribute to it. Therefore it's understandable, that some fat people within fat acceptance are healtists. This is perhaps a slightly more problematic ideal than for healthists who are of an acceptable weight. Fatness has become such a sign of intrinsic unhealthiness that being fat and living healthy forces you to challenge one of those beliefs fundamentally. It's hard to see how you can believe healthy food can transmit health, if you believe fatness is unhealth. 

It's difficult to accept a fat person can be following healthist dictates.

For a lot of fat healthists, this has meant that they altered their belief that fat is intrinsically unhealthy. So in that sense it has positively contributed to fat acceptance, like it or not. But they have maintained the belief that healthy living =health and this can mean the potential to be a bit judgey.

It isn't only them. We've all been conditioned to accept this view of health and weight, so even those who are not, or do not see themselves as living this way, take it as the measure of being healthy. They cast themselves as bad if they're not living accordingly-rather than question that premise- this view is also prevalent in and out of FA.

Unless you see healthism as unimpeachably correct. Unless you agree it is right, you cannot see yourself crudely as a bad fattie. If you respect your own needs and fulfilling them may not make you nutritionists pet, then you won't feel bad about those who are candidates.

Your feeling bad about what you do or don't eat, or what you do or don't do, is itself based on healthist dogma. You are just seeing yourself in the part of the sinner, not the saint. And are looking somewhat enviously at the latter. You could be a sceptic, you could choose to acknowledge that healthy lifestyle is not necessarily definitively validated by evidence. It's often a bit of a guess.

An investment in the hope that if we can just 'control' what we eat, we will control our health. Control. It's similar to what fuels eating disorders, if I can just control what I eat. I can cope with the vicissitudes of life.

Some may feel that's a tainted comparison, but it isn't. Those who develop neuroses have more in common with those who don't than they may like to imagine. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Disagreement about healthism

Disagreement about the tenets of healthism is not just about its dogma of perfect diet. It's also about terms of reference. There isn't agreement about the definition of health-i.e. how healthy does anyone need to be over and above the needs of their existence, way of life, personal tastes and inclinations?

We know that if your food is short of necessary macro and/or micro nutrients, it's likely to undermine your health and cause disease in the near, medium and long term future. What we don't know is if you have a balance of those and enough to eat, that there's some optimum level of micro nutrients that can elevate you and your health to a higher plane. There is an element of mysticism about the healthist mentality which can be very uplifting and seductive, especially to a perfectionist mindset.

Healthism can see food in an almost spiritual way. It underplays, sometimes to the point of disregarding humans primary need, energy as if that is base and vulgar, to focus more on high faluting things like micro vitamins and minerals. This has helped to skewer our understanding of what the purpose of eating is. Which makes it rather regressive in nature. Eating is built around seeking enough energy, with energy dense foods at the core.

It's also not clear whether this extent of direction of diet itself causes imbalance in hunger and appetite and is itself unbalanced. Whether it short changes by default, i.e. the avoidance of calorie dense foods. Or whether the sources of certain nutrients it favours, lead to an overall imbalance by excluding other foods.

Too few people seem to follow it to the extremes, perhaps. Or maybe they're not the ones studied. It is very hard to quantify and classify the quality of a diet, over and above the basic requirements of say a meal featuring protein, high water veg, denser starchy veg with perhaps some fruit.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Physical alienation

Though I've commented on this before, I haven't made it the subject of a whole post. In a sense, it comes, could come under the banner of HAES. Certainly it's is for anyone of any size, I'm thinking about recovering your connection to your instinct to move.

One of the many reasons many others and myself have become so cynical about the motivation behind the obesity crisis, is the nasty side effects that come directly from that. One is the creation or deepening of a sense of alienation from one's desire to move.

At times this is crudely labelled 'laziness', though I'm not frightened of that word, I think laziness is misunderstood as a moral failing. To me it's more of a signal and sign that needs to be heard and acted upon to relieve or remove a state of on-going indolence. Having some lazy times is fine, when its a struggle to do anything that's something deeper.

I'm talking about wanting to move, sometimes desperately but feeling that to your dismay, you never actually feel able to, without struggle or force. There's always a reason, or you wouldn't have to 'force' yourself. You never enjoy your body in motion, it never feels right, the connection isn't there. It seems heavier than your will and not under your full charge.

There are so many symptoms of this problem. It's important to note that weight makes little difference here, it's more of a question of imbalance. I hate to say mental problem because that gives the wrong impression making it seem as if it's psychosomatic, although, there is nothing wrong with that, it is more of a feedback issue. 

That is, your nervous system is transmitting back to your brain, real feelings of discomfort and sometimes, acute distress though you dismiss it because you're not hurting or injured. It's a general malaise. Because of those feelings, a sense of disappointment can set in, on top of the negative physical feelings. That becomes increasingly discouraging. Making those physical feelings worse.

What I'm saying is, the way we are taught to think about our bodies themselves, including how we talk to and about them, the way we think of movement in general, 'gets into the body itself'.

We need a bridge between getting rid of that and being freely physical.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Internalised fat phobia

A thread over at WATRD , has lead me to respond to the idea that the term "fat acceptance" and the movement that goes with it is somehow alienating to those who aren't fat.

I am not trying to embrace myself at the expense of others, you'll tend to think that if you embrace yourself at my expense.

If you are say, slim and you feel like you're winning in terms of self esteem, in the weight stakes, because you are slim and/or because you weight watch, or draft your diet. I'll let you into a little secret, you aren't; it's just that at best, you might be losing a little less than me.

Looking at the situation objectively, you are losing overall. To shift the basis of your self esteem from that of your existence (the fact of your being) to that of your weight, is a loss.

It only feels like winning because I might seem to be losing more. That's one of the main reasons people resent FA, because they sense it as a threat to their sense of 'wining'. That's a bad state to be in; for your esteem to rest on others lack.

Your illusion of comfort, rests on my discomfort, or your illusion of the latter. Think of the position that puts you in.

Those encouraging you down this road are performing a confidence trick on you.

They don't care a whole lot about the price you're paying for this, in terms of dieting, disordered eating, anxiety about whether you can keep your self esteem (i.e. your slimness)etc. Anymore than they care about the price I pay for seeing myself in the light they are painting me.

Oh, the effects are monitored, don't you like to check out your handiwork? There's talk about the worrying increase in eating disorders such as anorexia and does any woman (especially) eat normally or have a normal relationship with food? As 'fat discrimination' is monitored also, making sure that setting the non-fat against the fat is actually meaningful. Discrimination against fat people is worse than this or that group and so forth, so do they rethink their dissemination of fat shaming? Hell no!

Because the purpose of monitoring is to see the extent of their ability to manipulate us to do their bidding, to do what we are told. To see the key to getting us to follow orders and to disenfranchise some, in a democracies, where persuasion is key. This is all being filed away for future reference. If there was a groundswell against their behaviour and it was called out for what it was, that would promote a swift rethink. And surely, something else would be tried.

They manipulate us all, setting us against each other, knowing as always that if the emotions are strong enough, they will trump reason, almost every time. The overall agenda of creating a mental and emotional dependency on them by giving us the feeling that we are in control and responsible. This is a more effective than just ordering us about, directly. And in the case of fat people, take away our rights/ children and pick our pockets, making us subsidise and pay for the mismanagement of health.

The way we deal with health undoubtedly needs to change, it seems we cannot afford it. The problem is, varying interests don't want to change in the ways necessary to make that change positive, because they will have to lose control, possibly a lot, and they don't want that, so the public has to be brutalised to they can remain as they are, probably causing those underlying problems to remain and resurface later on.

But hey, later on is not now! And who knows, if they can get away with what they're trying to do with fat people, they can use that same pattern, on those who've been softened up by participating in this tranche. Being part of shaming others, prepares you for being shamed. Bullying, prepares you to be bullied yourself.

This could of course backfire in more ways than just FA. If people have a semi detached place in the health system, professionals being at the centre of their health care will change, by definition. It will only work if fat people pay up and shut up.

I do feel angry that we are all, fat and thin being used in this manner, when we trust the information and so called 'advice' we are given, we expect those we believe in to tell us the truth, not to manipulate and lie using science and research because we believe in empirical evidence.

All this to lose something that cannot be bettered, you cannot better the self esteem your were born with, based on the fact of your existence. The value and worth of your actions can add to this, but the essence of your worth is that you are.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Restoring balance, the future of self help?

Bigliberty has a fascinating post on a nurses study which claims fatness and weight gain in middle age makes one less likely to qualify for the study authors definition of 'optimal health status' at the age of 70 defined thus;
...having no history of 11 major chronic diseases and having no substantial cognitive, physical, or mental limitations.
Unsurprisingly, only 9.9% can meet this definition it includes "good mental health" what is the effect on mental health of (often) long term reproach about weight?

There is a wish to define health in pointlessly elitist and arbitrary terms, even though we are all concerned with our health. With such a low number, how much are they measuring genetic inheritance?

I'm not just talking about genetic determinism, which I find a dubious concept when applied to non required traits at the best of times, but along with the way this interacts with environment? One does not choose to put on weight at middle or any other age, unless one goes on a feeding or reducing diet, anymore than a thin person chooses to be able to override unknown factors that lend themselves to weight gain at any age.

It also states that the least likelihood of being in this optimal state is if you were overweight before the age of 18 and continue to put on weight. If the things they 'take into account' have not skewered their findings, then this seems to suggest that one's metabolism is in some way related to one's health.

If so, the answer is for us to be able to adjust that, not allow that to continue and run around after the fact. It seems to me to be an extremely interesting area because the potential follow up to that is for us to be able to reset our mental and physical health, when it gets derailed and that is not a little mind-blowing.

Not only that, it's like a chain, reset weight/metabolism, reset mood patterns, i.e. depression, potentially reset from greater disturbance, drug addiction, alcoholism, other problems which possibly in some cases, are a result if some kind/s of imbalance such as criminality and so forth. Extraordinary as that may seem.

This would truly be an alternative to having a health middle man in the face of med profs and alt med practitioners. It also strikes me that it would be less misleading to categorise people not just by weight, if at all, but by some method of metabolic type.

This might actually move our knowledge on regarding the relationship between your metabolism and weight. Again, the feeling is that this would change our relationship toward those who cannot let go of the idea that all health must be regulated and channelled through them.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Changing times

Back to everyone's favourite news[trigger warning, picture of c**e]paper; to be fair it is a good paper, in terms of product. Unfortunately its endless attempts to strike fear into it's audience by some new revelation of an on coming Armageddon, is grating.

The article in question is another gaining ground to ecksplane fatness.

Addiction. I know, I know; we are addicted to food. But  wait,  this is not about the necessity of it for our existence. It's about food manufacturers making it so tasty, using artificial chemicals, that;

))))))))we can't resist(((((((( 

According to David Kessler, who used to be the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
it all comes down to the bliss point. ‘The right combination of tastes triggers a greater number of neurons, getting them to fire more,’

To be fair he says the blame game needs to end. Though I think he could have framed it around how a changing food environment requires different skills to negotiate our lucky world of plenty. Rather than behaving as if our will is being overthrown by chemical wizardry in the food lab-they wish. I find this the credulity of paranoia.

In the days of lack, we could feed by the clock and other outer dictates, now, we need to be more in touch with our own inner rhythms and hunger. 

Taking a more inner directed route. In the past of just enough or lack, those skills were cultivated by that, rather than us. Pleasure came from having something at all, when there's more choice, we can adjust from that scarcity mentality.

The usual pernicious classism rears it head, if you're poor your diet is liable to be worse, in what sense? Less money to shop for expensive snacks/short cuts made with better ingredients? As usual putting it on food depoliticises the conditions of poorer people, ignoring the fact that conditions overall often mitigate against health to a greater degree than others. The focus on food in this way, becomes churlish after a while.

There's a certain lack of proportion when he mentioned seeing fat people whilst visiting HIV clinics in South Africa. A fast food outlet has opened and the cheapest deals in the supermarkets, feature calorie dense foods. So people can afford to consume adequate calories.

I mean, he can't think poor people being fat is somehow worse than than HIV. As if its the poor of the developing world's duty to be slim.

Now with more, or at least choices and some room for manoeuvre, our pleasure will come more from matching our needs and wants better, to what we have access to. Nurturing our instincts and appetites well can be of the greatest joys of living, a spiritual thing even. But that it should involve trust, positive and holistic focus, not fear or neurosis, form a place of love not hate.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Where there's hate, there's money

Looking at a subtly named report on the potential price of being hated it's pretty apparent that the writer has picked up on what fat people have discovered-yet again that fact is not mentioned, because whether we are being shamed or 'rescued' it has to be done to us- that the obesity crisis wallahs are trying to bring about their prophecy of fat ill health.

Whether fatness is intrinsically unhealthy or not is a moot point if you just manipulate factors to heighten this potentiality. Namely, the prophecy of the self fulfilling kind.

Again, the purpose of the obesity crisis, is to perpetuate itself, it has nothing to do with helping people;

The motivation is generous enough: Anti-obesity rhetoric encourages people to eat less and exercise more.

Yeah, we'll be the judge of that thanks, this line might work if you've had no experience of generosity whatsoever, I have, and I know it isn't. The so called 'well meaningness' of any participants is an irrelevancy, because you don't need to stigmatize people or take part in it to help them, that is your choice. Well meaning doesn't = well doing, and if you care enough, you'll stop flattering yourself.

Note that this list of in this case, US diet industry includes along with the usual suspects of commercial diet centre chains, the lodestars of healthism; the exercise industry, dietitians. Then there's the medical professions still pretending that dieting is scientifically valid and the merry cutters of weight loss surgery,(they ought to be laughing all the way to the bank) and big Pharma. Lovely.

It also expresses why I can't really get excited about whether BMI's uselessness, it's not any more useless than any other measure;

But even the most accurate measures of fatness—like dual energy X-ray absorptiometry—don't really improve our ability to predict health outcomes across the population

Most people in FA retain still accept the likelihood that the higher up the weight scale you get and retain an open mind, still, on whether fatness in general is intrinsically a health issue, unfortunately, as usual the 'proof' of the latter, is non-human;

That's not to say obesity won't affect your body, independent of any social factors. As Muennig points out, obese lab rodents aren't likely to suffer much emotional abuse from their fellow mice, but they seem to have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines nonetheless.

Unsurprisingly, health bigwigs, don't take any of these concerns seriously, especially our old friend Kelly Brownell;

For Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center and a leading researcher on both health policy and weight bias, the dangers of discrimination are important but relatively modest. What about the idea that targeting obesity might be counterproductive for the fattest Americans? He doesn't buy it.

Oh really Kelly? This incidentally, is a man who started off his career plump and has grown bigger, whilst preaching to others about weight loss and the perils of fat. Without any explanation, as to why he could neither prevent his own weight gain or return to his former plumpness- I won't put on him the onerous task of acquiring thinness.

He has been well validated by the establishment, so I suppose that's his reward, all though he's been of absolutely no use to any one who might actually need help. That kind of sums it all up really.

* Amended to fix link

Smokers, stop it!

Since I cannot be bothered to wrestle with Slate comments there, I'm responding to this comment which I'll quote in full, here, it's from somebody called, Tarkol;

To the overweight. We warned you. We really did. We said you'd be next. We said food restrictions would come. We said once we were too rare a pariah they would turn on you. You didn't listen. -Smokers

Really, (thin)smokers, I wish you wouldn't. What is the point in your investment in this myth? I suspect as you love calling yourself addicts, this is addicts hubris borne of the constant competition for who's addiction is the hardest to give up, etc.,

Sorry smokers, you told me nothing, that I hadn't been learning for the last 30 years. I was in the playground when I realised things had changed because the medical profession had got on board with fat hating. This meant that it took on it's current triumphant sense of righteousness and sense of legitimacy that it had never had before when people could choose whether to be bullying about it or not.

Try to understand that you like others who aren't fat, shield yourself from recognising what has been happening to fat people and just because you affect this pose, doesn't make it true.

Fact is that the momentum against smokers has been building up for a number of decades now, but that doesn't mean that it precedes the fat hating bandwagon in a such an orderly way.

The obesity crisis has been dated from the late 1970's at it started to get nasty before even that.

Along the way, I haven't noticed smokers standing up for fatties, in fact, I've found a lot of them happily joining in fat bashing. There does seem to be some kind of underlying issue that some have with fat people, almost as if they feel that if fat people were more serious about their weight, they would be prepared to smoke as an aid to weight loss (just like some of them). There's also a sense of deflection- if everyone's hating fatties, they're not hating smokers.

Only a couple of years ago, when England sprang a smoking ban on it's cigaphiles, the first words out of many who went about in the media was, "whaah, this is what we do to/how we treat fatties". This is such an old sentiment, that it hardly annoyed me to be honest. They must of been made aware of themselves because they soon stopped.

This for me is the telling part, carelessly stigmatizing others prepares you and your mind to receive the stigma you think you are directing at others. It creates an atmosphere of the same responsive acquiescence and cowardice, no less because it shows the powers that be what you are willing to put up with. It gives them a mental and strategic route to go down, and I'm afraid the spontaneous recognition that this is what we do to fatties, not real humans, shows one of the reasons why smokers have so meekly accepted, not so much their fate, as the treatment meted out to them.

The lesson is, we should stop ignoring how people who may be unacceptable, to us and consider the general ramifications of what's being done to them, follow through and think, what does this mean for others who may be seen in this light? In short, think. Don't just laugh and take part and wallow, you are fouling your own nest.

We all be better off if we stuck up for each other and did not use so called health to vent personal rage or use it as a chance to lord it over each other, always a sign of insecurity.

It's not too late.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A marriage made in hell

I just happened upon a hero of capitalism, Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers. It is undoubtedly true that she is a hero of capitalism. She took a non-product, the weight loss diet and made an absolute fortune from it.

Usually capitalism takes something for as little as possibly can and marks it up as much as it can, in order to maximise profit.

She went one better. Like the weavers in this story.

What is a weight loss diet? Eat less, expend more. Give me money now.

That, my friends is a diet, do you perceive it's sheer intangibility? Ignoring the essential uselessness of weight loss dieting, the irony about it is that it is essentially communistic in character, and fails for similar fundamental reasons.

Dieting assumes that all people ought to eat more or less the same (inadequate) amount regardless, things such as individuality, don't count for toffee. Communism that all should have more or less the same as one another in terms of necessities status etc.,

The fundamental fail of both is that the central authority charged with making all this happen, in the case of the former the conscious mind and the latter the state cannot. They are too inflexible in the same way, neither were designed for the purpose of running everything, they are suited more to an overseeing and keeping an overall balance by plugging any gaps left by the more flexible forces designed to fulfil our needs.

A strange and unholy union.

Wrong way, wrong tool

Whether you believe in people's capacity to change or not. It's their ability or knowledge and the tools available to them that's the issue. With the best will in the world, you can want to change all your like, but you can't if you're doing it in the wrong way and using the wrong tool/s.

Weight loss dieting is both the wrong way and the wrong tool. It's not just dysfunctional but a cluster of dysfunctions. Which of those dysfunctions are brought most into play varies. As does in overall composition of them in individual attempts to diet.

This variance leaves cracks which can be exploited depending on the importance you can give dieting or single mindedness you can bring to consciously trying to regulate your weight. How much conscious attention you'll need to bring to the process of weight loss dieting, also varies because of all those variables.

The 95% failure of weight loss dieting statistic is probabilistic. It refers to an attempt. That is every time you try to diet you have 95% chance of that attempt failing. Saying DDW doesn't mean dieting never works. It could co-coincide with chance or placebo. Above all a spontaneous re-adjustment of your metabolism-towards loss.

After all, weight gain or fatness could be described as a spontaneous adjustment in the first place. Given the amount of people dieting, it's not surprising that this can provoke a chain of adjustment or could itself be the adjustment in some people.

For instance, when people gain weight, they sometimes eat more. It's as if the use of the strategy to gain weight by the body, needs to use this element of your metabolism-extra appetite for some things or hunger-to facilitate it. The reverse could be true, could be that if your body wishes to make a downward adjustment, it reduces your hunger. Doing that artificially could be deemed to have a potential placebo effect, by reverse. Though clearly, not very much population-wise.

As our consciousness is saturated with weight loss dieting, it wouldn't be surprising if this urge becomes submerged in the going on a diet narrative. After all, why now? For example, we're told the story of a person's weight gain. How they ate this and that, didn't exercise or whatever. So why at that moment, sometimes after decades of weight loss attempts does is this attempt the one? What is underlying that?

Professional courtesy

We all seem a bit confused on this one. We as fat people are shocked to hear hateful words on fatties from medical professionals, such as nurses and the like. The thing is, that's how they go on in general.

I think they pretty much "hate" everyone in that they make derogatory comments, behind their backs, or when they think the patient is out of earshot, even under anaesthetic. Work is a place where we generally bitch about work and the people we meet.   

As for the compassion of the medical professions. There's a mix up professional courtesy with personal courtesy. It's like if I work in a shop, and you're a potential customer. I'm polite to you. It's part of acting in a professional manner, to facilitate removing as much cash from your purse/pocket as possible.

That is my job, I might warm to you, or despise you. But if I'm professional, you won't know, because I'll treat you the same. If I was to get mixed up thinking that professional courtesy is out of the goodness of my heart, then I'm being very silly.

The 'caring' of med profs is at heart a professional necessity. None should not kid themselves it's solely out of personal inclination. It's to facilitate doing their job, therefore it is not theirs to withdraw. In the same way you can't abuse your customers because you feel an overwhelming sense that they are undeserving of your professional courtesy.

Whether they are or not, isn't the point.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Obesus neurosus

Well there has to be a name for it. For all the baggage you carry when you buy into fat being a bad state all round. It's a performance and somewhat creative too. It deals in the placebo/nocebo nexus. Your body and to some extent self being the nocebo- that is the (usually 'inert') substance you believe is doing you harm. So its possibility of harm comes from that belief, not the substance itself.

The there's the trying to catch yourself having "fat thoughts" the thinking that you're supposedly doing-but aren't-that supposed to be making/keeping you fat. A lifetime of this can make you mistrustful and somewhat dismissive of believing your own thoughts and emotions.

A state of the kind of discomfort many say leads to 'comfort eating.' Though that's supposed to pre-date your state.

Having to deny/discount what you're doing. And their results, even moreso, is dispiriting, it has to be your failure. Hence the liberation of realizing/admitting to yourself that it isn't. This is not about hurt feelings. It's about being able to acknowledge what keeps happening. Not being able to is humiliating, and a betrayal of yourself. Deepening that mistrust I mentioned.

Self dismissal too. The not taking yourself seriously. Not a cute self deprecating charm, but an eviscerating self contempt combined with finding yourself wholly unconvincing as a person in their own right.

You can end up feeling through more legitimate people. That is, feelings are only feelings, when they've been described by those accorded bona fide emotions.

The physical self dislocation, then sense of disowning your own body. It's not here to stay, it's going right, once I do a, b, c. Not looking at it. Not thinking about touching it. Not wanting to be it.

All this from smashing yourself down, in order to do something that invokes intense feelings of aversion, which you name as your sin bubbling up trying to keep its grip on you, in order to continue not accepting what you are doing, what was the result......

Who'd have thought tiny little behaviours such as this would have so little effect. 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Booga boo

I just have to pay tribute to an excellent comment made by "starling" on an, A Sarah thread over at shapely.

I would think it's good, it expresses so well and succinctly one of the things I've been trying to get at for what feels like an age. Why don't we turn the hyping up of obesity back on that cosmic joke, obesity science?

Instead of reacting and justifying ourselves, why don't we say, you think obesity is gonna kill us? All scream together;

((((SAVE US)))) ((((SAVE US )))) ((((SAVE US)))) 

I swear to goodness, that is what people would normally do if they thought they had a lurgy. Everyone else seems less shame faced and sheepish than us fatties. We can never seem to stop trying to accept whatever hoop we're asked to jump through.

We could not do much more than people have asked of us, but ask, "So why are you going to let us die?" "Are you trying to kill us?" "We don't want butchery, we want options," etc.,

Instead we waste a whole heap of time, 'proving' that we are not bad people just misunderstood or whatever. Apparently such is the bien voodoo powers of "scientific papers" that when people see we are scientifically valid, they'll stop all this willful suspension of reality, in order to go with the overwhelming power of the truth.

That's right, the overwhelming power they've ignored in order to go with an alternative vision more to their liking-that of the obesity crisis. I'm not entirely sure why this has to be. At first I was mystified. Then I supposed 'twas just our learned response to genuflect to the status quo.

There's perhaps an element of class solidarity/understanding about it. a lot of people in FA come from the same place as the people who are selling it. They speak the same language, think the same way. They're academics, a few are medical students/ professional, or of the professional classes themselves. Or aspire to be.

Although this is the case, there's little sense of equality. For instance, they do not speak of doctors etc as one insider to another, they speak as if they are somewhat supplicant. It's clear that we as fat people have been party to the construction of this cul de sac. The fantasy of being thin, is as much of a suspension of disbelief as the fantasy of the obese 'persona'.

To pretend that all ones problems will be over once one is thin, uses the same reserve of fatuous self delusion, as to pretend fat people are all of a certain type, lazy and greedy. As if other people could tell the difference! Yes you can point out lies, but the question is, why do we need to do this? Why do we need these kinds of fantasies to replace the truth?

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Show me the evidence

That is the cry, even if reality is that evidence.

It seems asking for that has become a delaying tactic of those who do not wish to accept reality as it is.

Whether its those into creation science, that is where people try to verify biblical creation myths according to the rules of science or those who insist there is a crisis of what would have been prevented by the success of weight loss diets that preceded them, asking for proof that they've failed.

Even though I admire rationalism, I've never fallen into the trap of assuming that this is the only worthwhile way our brains work. I used to wonder what would happen when those who assume we can function solely through logic and what can be explained by it, wanted to cling to things they couldn't explain that way.

Now I know, they just ask for evidence.