Saturday, 6 March 2010

Boo hoo dieters

Fat acceptance repeatedly gets caught up in the insistence that it excludes dieters and that this is creating problems. This is something unexpected. Everywhere diets are the law and yet for some reason, that's just not enough. How so? Though somewhat perplexed, I've come to the conclusion that the answer is the reverse of question.

Because dieting's so dominant any exception feels like a reversal. It's that high maintenance and so are dieters. Their dominance over the public space has clearly developed into a sense of entitlement. I understand that people wish to be able to lose weight. I don't and have never personally objected to this.

We all lose weight-and gain it- all the time in a never ending cycle of our bodies self maintainence. In the morning, most people weigh less than the night before. The reason is perhaps best indicated by what we call the morning meal. BREAK-FAST.

It's not uncomfortable or painful. It doesn't require calories to be counted, exercise to be done nor any of the usual paraphernalia of weight loss dieting. That is weight loss. It doesn't hurt any more than weight gain. Our association of discomfort and stress are caused by the form of weight loss, dieting.

It is semi starvation as a lifestyle that hurts and that's why the weight loss diet industry wish to pretend that weight loss dieting is weight loss and the latter must be painful. In order so that people are not discouraged when they compare the body's effortless ability to lose weight, with the brutality of weight loss dieting.

So that we are prepared to perpetuate abuse on ourselves in a way that appears to make sense. We've all been taught this conflation and we all still go along with it, including fat acceptance. The endless pandering to fat hate, dieters of both kinds- starvers and the feeders, pseudo science and fat phobia, is one of the reasons why fat acceptance has not advanced intellectually in 40 years.
The Fat Underground employed slashing rhetoric: Doctors are the enemy. Weight loss is genocide. Friends in the mainstream-sympathetic academics and others in the early fat rights movement-urged them to tone it down, but ultimately came to adopt much of the Fat Underground's underlying logic as their own.
That's from the 1970's. This kind of directness is seen as too "radical" for many and still the 'sphere seeks to tone itself down. If fat hate like weight is our fault, then we can do something about it. It's within our power, not so scary and random.

My confusion could be summed of something I think was said by Genet “If you wish to reach for new horizons, you have to leave the shore.” The “shore” in this case is fat hate, dieting and the whole way we look at things. If you are moving in a fat acceptance direction and are not ready to leave behind what prevents you moving forward, why would you to cling to all that?

How can you go in two opposite directions at once? The answer is you can't, unless you want stasis, not moving, in which case, exactly what is your interest in fat acceptance?  You may want to fight for and in defense of the rights of fat people, but it is at heart incompatible with weight loss dieting.

Whether it's incompatible with the idea of weight loss, I'm not so sure. It's like good/bad food, we can see how bad that and other dichotomies tend to be. I don't really see the point in making weight loss a moral issue, I suppose you have to if you conflate that with dieting. Dieters seem to have been well served by FA.

We unwittingly give them a new target to aim the hate generated by their self abuse and denial, by offering them a definite path of self acceptance. We take enough of the pressure off them that they can reinvest it in their efforts to fight biology with delusion. And we throw in eating what you want without thought so you can put on enough weight to spook you so that you can reinvigorate "motivation".

If that's not good enough, it's like the haters, I don't pretend there's anymore, short of abandoning FA altogether and letting it dissipate. All this feels somewhat disingenuous, dieters themselves taunt us, "Why won’t you tell us what to do, what to think? Why don’t you know how to tell us?" In the next breath calling us a bunch of mind numbed groupthink crypto fascists.

How can we not give enough guidance and be groupthinky?

Usually, that sort of both ways at once criticism really means it's personal rather than about ideas. I'm guessing they want an FA 101, which, why would you want that if you have a functioning brain in your head to think for yourself?

How can these things be given with ease? Labouring within the parameters of a frame that doesn't even recognise the possibility of our existence is not conducive to clear rationale. That's why we barely have 101's, we're still trying to work it out ourselves-but we are not allowed to be imperfect, though we're told we think we are and that we aren't.

The appearance of a fluency of thought could be achieved by going back where you've been, I suppose. But it's hard to see how that will lead to progress. I have nothing against dieters, I'm indifferent. I used to be one another thing often forgotten, fat people diet a lot. This is a grassroots effort, not a shop where the obsequiousness is a lever to extract as much currency from your pocket as possible.

We are just like anyone else, trying to reach a new understanding of things, given our real experience, as opposed what we were told was supposed to happen. I wouldn't have it any other way. I think it's exciting and interesting potentially. It's all in the potential, isn't it?

FA has the potential to be radical, it isn't though. There is nothing 'edgy' about saying fat people are as human as anyone else. It's insulting to claim so. What's extreme is saying we can control biology in the most stupidly inhumane and wasteful ways.

Pretending all sin can be located among the fat. That you can weight industry, intelligence, sanity, honesty. Trying to pretend FA's gone way, way further than it has, is an effort to stem its progress.

What investment do committed dieters have in FA? What difference does it make to dieters whether fat acceptance tanks into meaningless mediocrity? There's also the taking others for granted. Why is everyone so sure that if dieting took centre stage, we'd all still be here?

The theoretical loss of dieters fails to take account of the loss of those who really wanted to progress and realise the potential of FA. Not just for fat people, but for all who are sick and tired of the way ideas on eating have succumbed to borderline disorder, at best.

There are people out there who want to eat normally and feel alright about that. They're sick and tired of self important misanthropes with a depressing screed of humans are intrinsically worthless and morally bankrupt-unless a firm hand and copious amounts of pain are inflicted on them. To keep them in line.

I didn't buy original sin in a religious context and I don't buy it in a secular one, either. I do not and will never see it as my role to pander in any way to dieters. They can rest assured I don't give a rat's arse about how many calories they're ingesting or extruding at any given moment. I'm ok with that because I feel they are more than well catered for elsewhere. Nor do they seem to consider the needs of others as important. When people come to fat acceptance, they get a chance to let their guard down from the defensiveness that is in place elsewhere. They come to exchange and progress to a cogent understanding, based on realism not tedious stupid delusions of what is supposed to be.

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