Tuesday, 27 July 2010

At the top end part 1

I have always got the distinct impression that we in FA, like everyone else, ignore the existence of people like Sharon Mevsimler. It's like we don't wish to deal with those at the higher and highest end(s) of the weight spectrum, we don't wish to fully acknowledge them. And yet when they "burn out" and resort to surgery, we fancy ourselves to have some kind of deep soul searching night of the soul about how we feel about it vis-à-vis our conscience 'n' sch-tuff.

Rather than ask ourselves whether viable weight loss is necessary to spare them their agonies.

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely opposed to weight loss dieting and the products of it's underlying hypothesis of calorie restriction- weight loss surgery, the pills designed on that basis etc., however, I never have and never will be against finding out how to make the metabolism adjust (itself) to take weight down, yes and up. I simply cannot put myself against progress and learning more about how our bodies, our selves as human beings function.

I get that people feel deeply that weight loss is against fat acceptance, but as I know they are really talking about calorie restriction-and I don't believe that is the only possibility, I can't really count myself out of fat acceptance on that basis. This conflation is the product of and disseminated by the slimming business and/or those who wish to convince people that dieting's placebo effects make it a viable option. Those who perpetuate that conflation, I'm afraid are just following their orders.

We do this a lot in FA because a)we are the mainstream, b) we are not and fat acceptance is not in any way, radical, get a tattoo of that if you like because it probably won't change any time soon, c) there is no need for 'radical' FA, it's a long established principle that people require their self esteem for their well being-whether you feel they deserve it or not d) we want approval and inclusion, we want back into the club (we imagined we had a lifetime membership to, like the fat hating tools who think that they are respected by those working them; we are not ploughing a new furrow. We are not revolutionaries, OK?

We have a lot of unquestioned 'junk in the attic' that hasn't been through rigorous processing-that kind of thing is not easy at the best of times, but if the urge to fit in with the mainstream takes precedence and therefore energy it makes it even more slow and painful. Anyone who thinks FA is in anyway radical is hopelessly mis-using that term.

Whether we learn how the body regulates its metabolism and/or how to bring it under the aegis of our will, makes no odds to me, because it's a study of human physiology. Even if it wasn't needed, which it is whether anyone likes it or not, it is wanted. It has been wanted, especially by women and unless you think women are pretty much brain dead, that's good enough reason for it to be provided.

It's also worth pointing out that weight does not occur/is not created/changed in a vacuum, it is intimately connected with other things. As I believe that fatness is probably a product of something else, rather than for it's own sake. Thrifty genes interesting, but ultimately, unconvincing.

The real problem for me is not weight loss intrinsically, but the only means mooted to achieve it. Calorie restriction is what is causing the problems we associate with weight loss. The defining of them as indivisible has derailed FA into merely aiding obesity crisis wallahs to get away with negligence of the marginalized who are left to suffer and die(t) because of the lack of interest in relieving their suffering. With the theme of we are scientific, I wonder if we've taken our cue from that in some way? If so/anyway, that's a bit of a shame on us.

By the time I got involved in FA properly a few years ago, I had little to no belief that there was any real intentions of getting fat people to lose weight-nobody who invests in diets wants an end to fat people, take a good look around has dieting made people thin? Look at those who venerate it most, they may be thinner than others who don't, but they are still fat and getting fatter. If you want more fat people, vote weight loss diet. Since then, I've seen absolutely nothing, nada, nil to change that view. The crusade is about social control, it has nothing to do with the regulation of weight, that is a means to another end, the regulation of people.

Look at it overall and ask yourself, what is happening overall, slimming down of society or change in behaviour and attitudes?


Weight loss is a natural part of the process of the body using and converting food into energy. The conflation of weigh loss dieting with weight loss is in order that you compare the abomination that is weight loss dieting with itself, rather than with what it is supposed to replicate but cannot, the weight loss your body is probably undergoing right now as part of it's dealing with your energy demands.

Are you feel it right now? At all? Is it hurting you? Do you have to consciously plan it? Are you a slave to it? Do you have to run around after it?

No, no, no, no, no and no.

Comparing naturally occurring weight loss, with weight loss dieting is wholly revealing and demoralising. Not that it would stop people dieting, it didn't stop me, but it shows up even more not only how bad and inefficient WLD is, but how ridiculously punitive and stupid it is. And if you want to try and take that personally, remember, you are not your diet. Saying dieting is bad is not the same as saying weight loss dieters are bad.

It is a real nadir in the way we treat ourselves and is humbling to us as humans that it could have got so far and carried on so long. That's one of the (many) reasons it tends easily to generate low self esteem, a) all things find their meter.

And b)to justify and overcome it's rankness, people have to tend towards degrading others to try and make it make sense. That's part of the real connection between fat hatred and "weight loss" comes from weight loss dieting itself, alone.

Maybe if we accepted more the existence of the very fattest among us, rather than writing them off as people who have something wrong with them, yep, that thing is the thing that creates your weight. If you study that, you study all metabolism and there is at least a risk that if you reverse their fatness you have the ability to reverse everyone's. If we faced that head on, we would have to accept the necessity to find a proper and gentle weight loss solution, that it is clear the body can do of it's own volition, it just won't do it at ours. Not the way we ask it! It's truly strange that it's ended up with their bodies going where they may, when no-one thinks that of mood disorders such as depression etc.,

It's always nagged at me, we've abandoned them to their fate to serve basically the weight loss diet industry and the obesity boondoggle. Bizarre.

And I'm guessing those at that end don't feel much of a connection with those who are not affected by the issues they have. I'm glad Mrs Mevsimler had a devoted husband and large family, she herself gave birth to five lives. I'm glad that she didn't seem as isolated as being that size can help you to become although no-one can know how it feels. She also came to some acceptance of the situation she was in and although she wanted to live and tried to get assistance and help she knew the score. She knew that it wasn't about fault, there was something wrong.

Even though the invasion of the brain snatchers style devotion to calorie restriction has meant they had no help to offer her, they could have learned from her ..... sorry, that's actually so far from what's likely I just can't be bothered to finish the thought. Suffice to say they had nothing, and were not interested in progressing out of their state of hate fulled ignorance.

I can't feel at ease with the line of they're a tiny minority of us used to dismiss or explain why we can't really seem to try and engage with solutions for them, wherever that leaves others. It's true they are, but also their lives are as important to them as mine is to me. I'd hate to be written off like that.

Suffering should have some priority especially if it will not cause any to others.


  1. It seems to me that there were some serious psychological issues that weren't addressed at all.
    Granted, all we know is what's reported in the news, which is hardly ever the whole story. But if she was eating 12,000 calories a day for comfort, then there has to be a reason for that. Why didn't they look for that reason (or reasons, if there were more than one) and address them before giving in to her demand for surgery? They're blaming her for thinking WLS was a magical cure, but who are the ones who advertise WLS as such?
    They're also saying she ate herself to death, but I'm betting that complications from her WLS had more to do with it than the eating and her weight. Losing almost half of your body weight in a short amount of time, being malnourished, and then gaining all that weight back can't be easy on one's body. Just losing that much weight that fast and being malnourished has been known to kill WLS patients who haven't gained back their weight yet.
    It's no wonder the hospital isn't talking, they know they didn't do as much as they could have to help Mrs. Mevsimler. They took the easy, surgical way out, as usual.

  2. It seems to me that there were some serious psychological issues that weren't addressed at all.

    It's also important to state that this is also mechanical problem, if I might use that term.

    Plenty of people have very bad post natal/ PTSD after giving birth. It rarely ramps up their appetite and weight up this high. I reckon it was the aftermath of giving birth that altered her nervous system.

    The 'comfort eating' I have found problematic for a while, first of all the way it has been pathologized is annoying-the real issue is the inability to remove the trigger.

    I think their are many things going on here.