Saturday, 3 July 2010

Healthist neuroses

Interesting........... the way you notice the same things in different contexts and come to differing conclusions.

Bri ascribes the good/ bad fattie split to an overdeveloped (self) sabotage impulse. It's true that internalized fat hatred does often create an aftermath of oversensitivity which has and continues to derail fat acceptance in ways too numerous to mention. From my vantage point good/bad fatty is hardly one of those.

If you're aware of sensitivities, why would you write that off as straw? Is it me or doesn't this downgrading of ourselves haunt FA time and time again? Why do we find it so easy to palm off our own concerns, but pay extravagant attention to all sorts of nonsense from those seeking endless reassurance that fat acceptance doesn't hate thin people etc., and other nonsense?

I try to remember when judging an effect to see if the same thing shows up elsewhere and compare and contrast.

How many people do you know, slim and plump alike, that say things like "I know I eat x and don't exercise and that's bad/ makes me bad". "I want to be good but I just like the bad stuff" etc.,

When you accept not just that it is morally better to eat certain foods and immoral to eat others and so forth then you are likely to assign yourself goodness or badness according to what you eat or don't eat. That's become as much a part of the development of healthism as it is for weight loss dieting, for the similar reasons, to promote adherence.

It's that this is felt to be needed or indeed a good way to promote that adherence that is telling.

Funny that yet again those who label themselves bad fats-that is people who accept healthism, but either can't won't or don't practice it-are labelled 'neurotic'. In a sense they are healthists and therefore their neurosis is likely to be that of the healthist construct and also how it's been sold.

I don't judge myself by those standards for many reasons and I don't like the way it has become virtually the only model for expressing an interest in your own and others well being. I resent the way it's taken over and pushed out other notions and ideals.

That's pertinent to this whole situation because it's had the same effect on the development of HAES. There's something about the energy of healthist proselytizing, both to oneself and others that lends itself to this disrespect of boundaries and a blunted ability to see they're being crossed. Or take that seriously, it's the righteousness. When people push back instinctively against this, they are the ones that have to explain themselves to what cannot be wrong, ever.

As I see it fat acceptance-nay the world-needs something that starts with you and where and who you are. It is you. Because we all need to take care of ourselves, despite what we are lead to believe.

The trouble with healthism, is it stands there a bit like a great wall and you're supposed to make your way to it, regardless of the pain and trauma you must plow through in the endeavour, if you can even get going at all. You're supposed to feel really bad about of course. I'm as done with that kind of situation as I am with another example-dietary restriction that stupid ugly and futile.

If it's not working it's not working, I'm not going to sacrifice myself to make it look better anymore.

HAES was conceived to be similar, to retrieve mobility in those abandoned to their fate by the health system. It was ideal to be slowly developed into an open inclusive non-ableist therapeutic discipline that could enable anyone to revive any lost physical and mental rapport with their bodies and selves.

Understandably enough, that has been somewhat toppled by being invested with fitness culture. I suppose it's anxiety relief for those of us worried about our health and those fatties trying to prove we aren't lazy. That I can understand. But the needs of those who are ready to be "fit" should have had more importance and HAES kept separate with the focus being more on getting people to a state of equilibrium. They could then decide what route to go down re developing fitness, or not-if they want. Rather than signing up to it and being stuck in the same stasis they were before FA.

We could have a fat fitness culture and HAES to start from wherever you are, so no-one feels out of it or failing, because there is nothing to fail, there's only your individual route at your own speed, depending on your unique and individual challenges. Sometimes those are more mental than physical.

Those labelling themselves as bad fats need to stop but they are just pointing up the inaccessibility of healthism and it's blatant disregard for people who actually accept it as a good thing. HAES feels like it has become an extension of it that indolence disinterest has been imported lock stock with healthist ideals as a whole.

People have tried repeatedly to make these points but the triggering just goes back and forth one side to the other and it's written off with everyone is HAES!

Bri's certainly right to notice that part of our self (fat) hating legacy is a habit of low self esteem and self sabotage of a people who are so used to being wrong, that for many it feels uncomfortable to be anything else but wrong.

So we can all try to learn to take ourselves a little bit more seriously and not write off our reactions, even if they are shock, horror, gasp, neurotic; so what?

We're allowed to be both human and humane to 'good', 'bad' (and neither) fats alike.

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