Thursday, 30 September 2010

The long or the short of it

TRIGGER ALERT: This features a blog that deals with maintaining a weight loss diet and I would advise caution if you feel shaky about this.

Debra Sapp-Yarwood who's a member of BFB has just started a new blog about her maintenance of weight loss. She wishes it to detail her everyday realities.

I must admit it's not likely to be my kind of thing, I find it hard to know where to file dieting nowadays and so find it virtually impossible to become engaged. But I do respect the way she represents the all too rare strain of dieters who have the self respect and rigour of mind not to golly gosh WLD.

Her first post is interesting, her take is that dieting's problem is in part the rigour of maintenance. It never ceases to amaze why many cannot get it in their heads, including many ardent FA supporters, dieting doesn't fail because its 'hard', it fails because it cannot be tolerated.

Time and time again people support dieting saying that they can lose weight, cut down and it all falls off, yet invariably they are at the weight they diet from why? Because the defects of dieting are not the pain, it is the dysfunctions of dieting that cause the pain, when the pain is not there, the dysfunction still remains. The defences still operate very efficiently regardless.

Only 3% of people who intentionally lose radical weight will maintain their losses for five years, according to evidence-based, empirical research. Why?

The statement answers its own question, weight loss dieting/calorie restriction doesn't work or to put it another way, the body's defences will not allow it to unfold without molesting and derailing it all the way. It could not because that would be in the main, anorexia. The human body doesn't give a fig how counterintuitive that sounds to our conscious rationale, it just goes about its business thwarting your efforts, winning with ease.

I don't doubt for a second, never have, that there is a way of changing weight, up or down; calorie manipulation just isn't it. How can something with such a low ascribed efficacy be said to even function much at all beyond mere chance? I must say I can't see what that is because if dieting became effective, it wouldn't be dieting.

The list reads as a why dieting is bunk, its unnatural and really is an eating disorder, something she bravely alludes to;

Weight-loss maintenance, if analyzed fairly, might qualify as a disordered mindset,

That in itself hints at one reason (of many) why it's just a bad idea full stop, an eating disorder is something you tend to get mostly from it, rather than something that can become a lifestyle.

It's a little like trying to develop a phobia for some object or an anxiety disorder, although you'd probably have more success with its harder for them to kill than the withdrawal of sustenance. If you had a balanced mind, it would fight it quite hard and it would be a question of succumbing to it, rather than achieving a lifestyle. Although we are only talking about the threat of hunger, that is enough to provoke the body due to the centrality of eating to life.

There's a spectrum for everything and some people would be more susceptible than others, that's effectively what you are seeking in your attempt at WLD success, inefficiency in your defences and/or susceptibility to disordered eating.

Whether its a case of capacity of personality or inherently being closer on the scale, physically, to be that way inclined, it's not a majority solution.

All the weight loss registry shows is that there is always a percentage of outliers when it comes to anything. The only thing we can learn from dieting is why and how it fails because that can help tell us about how we actually function, and maybe Debra's blog will reveal some things. I just don't know if I have the mind for it.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Shove your blame

Apologies if this post showed up before it was finished

Blame has no business in medicine, that is a moral hang up. Medicinal or other treatment deals in cause, which is why the appearance of blame in matters of weight gives a clue as to how much it has to do with science as opposed to a hangover from religious style moralizing. There blame is extremely important because you must answer to a higher supernatural power.

In medicine it only matters so far is it may impinge on the condition or state itself, which may influence the kind or form of treatment, personally accountability only goes as far as taking the treatment the doctor prescribes or following their directs. Hopefully, they have been proven to work and have positive effects, although not necessarily, as some of us have discovered at great cost.

If there are any problems with treatment, the answer is to deal with that not to have a moral reckoning, so blame is a pointless irrelevancy. It is the no answers bit that is where it can all go pear shaped, then "blame" may come up depending on things like the ethics of the professionals involved and how much they believe they are or can do something about finding a remedy. Fatness is immoral starts with the scientific/ medical establishment failure to defeat it in the way that fits their preferred models, magic bullet or treating symptoms.

This cannot possibly be, so a culprit must be found.

The idea of actually reversing or curing things is a little old fashioned nowadays, it seems to have an air of unprofitability about it. If you cure that's the end of that, if you palliate, it could be lifelong pay day. Yoni Freedhoff a Canadian doctor and with an interest in bariatrics, plays with the delicate notion of the genetics of fatness. Assuming as usual that we are all desperate to find fatness genetically determined rather than the only alternative on offer, our own culinary incontinence etc.,

I've never been on board with fat genetics myself, it seems too sure and direct a way to define fatness. I'm not dismissing it out of hand, but I'd have to make a distinction between fat genes-genes specifically and for genes that influence weight. For instance, let's say you are genetically predisposed to gain a load of weight, when you are depressed. If you are predisposed to depression, which is the gene most relevant to your fatness? The one(s) which make you susceptible to depression or those that respond to that with weight gain or fatness?

There are different ways bodies can respond in this kind of scenario, there's early warning fatness, where long before you experience any noticeable lowering of mood, weight gain kicks in to see it off, sort of early warning fatness. Then there's when mood imbalance has got a noticeable although not necessarily dominant grip on you to stop progression. Then there is the weigh gain/fatness of when you are pretty far gone in terms of mood imbalance, to try and stop you from getting to a point of no return.

There are other instances of this kind of link between certain mood disorders, things like PSTD etc., and gaining weight and becoming fat. I suspect that given those living in societies that can feed most people above the barest of subsistence level, that's probably all it takes for these effects to manifest clearly. And this the way most fatness is more than genes specifically for fatness.

I know there is the 'thrifty gene' hypothesis-that fatness is genetically useful adaptation for surviving times of famine. But I don't see any reason to just be fat, for it's own sake, it's either some kind of eccentricity in your genes, or a side effect of something else. Maybe some would see this as offensive, possibly it would be seen to go down the path of fatness as a pathology, but I just think it's a realistic idea of how our bodies tend to work.

We tend not to consider things the body must guard against, over and above say the immune system. We overlook that there are other things that can sink us and in fact end our lives that are not as tangible as germs or pathogens. And that we must have as many defences as is practicable when it comes to things that are vitally important to our survival. As the will to live can be destroyed by depression and as a species we are vulnerable to it, you can see that leaving it up to chance as to how depressed we might get at any given time, would be way too risky.

There's probably a similar thing going on with eating and anorexia. In a way the latter is like a kind of depression affecting the eating processes which can lead directly to compromising life itself, so all our 'difficulties' with calorie restriction are just ways of preventing us from moving from long periods of self induced hunger to anorexia where it is no longer directly under the control of the will. Without this, it's hard to see what would get in the way of this development.

Dr Freedhoff has helpfully reminded me that us fattiez are desperate to be exonerated and absolved from our crimes and to evade the wages of sin, which is starvation, comensurate with our purported gluttony. I suppose it's similar to the medical prinicple that if you have had a fever, you must be locked in the freezer for a similar period, to atone so that the earth will continue on it's correct course. As ever, he does what every other person on planet earth does with fatness, namely makes a general statement.
People like to blame genes.
Then pretty quickly people becomes, fat people, only. Do you notice the way we are always isolated in this way, always, fatness is compared to itself. We cannot be compared to others, because our 'sins' would not show up. This trick is played with our reactions and thinking patterns that are just as much a product of the societies we live in as any other groups of people.

Fatness has been found by quite a few researchers to have a high degree of genetic bias, you'd guess that a hell of a lot of other things ascribed as the product of genes are probably somewhat exaggerated, in comparison to this. What are they? Alas, as usual they spoil the fun by not bothering to mention any, except everyone's incubator for unabashed judgment.

So what becomes everyone's issues, quickly narrows to becomes purely a problem for fat people. Such is the service we have been pressganged into.

Friday, 24 September 2010

The honesty of fatness

There's more than one reason why trying to use the addiction model to describe fatness is a bad idea. I was reminded of one the most important ones by this quote;
My relationship with food has been on the rocks for years, but I can’t file for divorce. I’ve got to fight a good fight and get it back on track.
Well said Nick.

It illustrates an evasion that has helped to cheat so many addicts of a return to health, their lives even. the refusal to take on reversing addiction, as opposed to abstaining from the addictive substance. Like many of us fat people have discovered, guilt lies heavy on people and can pressure them into accepting lesser treatment than they deserve because they need to hurt to show how sorry they are. To be able to bear intolerable guilt, pain acts as a ‘paid my debt to society’ impulse.

This has helped a bogus moral element to enter drug rehabilitation that IMHO simply doesn’t belong there. It would if it worked fine; it doesn’t, so I judge it on that. If ideally a pain free as possible way of removing the addiction could be found, that is best. If guilt persisted I’m sure that could be better directed than the hurt of withdrawal.

Those involved in the ‘abstinence’ industry would be wise to keep out of involving themselves in fatness, even including eating disorders more readily associated with it. They may think buoyed up by the respectability and acceptance of the whole rehab boondoggle, that they can expand into fatness bringing a cachet to PBF (poor benighted fatties). But I warn them, even they may struggle to come out intact from this due to the fact that fatness is way too honest not to expose this nonsense.

Not only is any cause or trigger for fatness not directly that of the conscious will, mostly. Any attempt to deal with it has to tackle the one loophole allowed by the nature of those substances, they are not necessary to human existence.

The necessity of food makes a nonsense of abstinence. A fact that has not stopped those bereft of ideas and common sense from trying regardless. Thinking as they do that the perceived ‘cachet’ of the addict persona will uplift fatties who are not taken seriously. They fail to take account that abstinence hardly has any better result than trying to make fat people thin, especially considering the great advantage that non-necessity would theoretically give. In reality, no-one expects to be cured of conditions or diseases merely by pretending to be what they are not, in this case an addict.

If you can abstain, you are hardly an addict. If you have trouble with that, then that’s your problem. Not that you can’t imagine how to method act your way out of the situation.

If weight is seen as imbalanced, it must be rebalanced somehow at source (even if the process is not started from there), ditto eating and appetite. You can wing this effect better with drugs and alcohol but not so well with food. You have to re balance. You have to deal with things as they are, no matter how dysfunctional they are, or seem. There is no get out clause of “giving up eating forever”.

Abstinence wallahs although confronted about this in the past have seen this challenge off. Fat could revive that question by its very nature, even in spite of the current lowly status of fat subjectivity.

Which is one of the reasons why some fat people think the addict definition will recover their subjectivity. They must realise that the greater ‘recognition’ given to drug addicts self representation (at least what seems the appearance of it) is down to the greater promise of effectiveness, not because addicts are respected more than fat people.

It would be far better if the honesty of fatness acted as a spur to revive interest in re-balancing addicts and alcoholic’s bodies as a way of ending their dependence.

I'm pro FA, I apologize

Brilliant must read post by Shannon. It points out that placing any conditions on self acceptance leaves loose strands that can unravel the rest. Usefully offering a way forward, some extra focus on working through and discharging these conditions may be the key to progress in self acceptance. This is great advice for newbie’s, something that is felt to be neglected and give those further on something to think about too.

Though this is not easy to match, it still falls short. I'm grateful to Amber Rhea for explaining why clarity. I've heard similar of quite a lot recently but couldn't respond because they spoke of how alienating FA was with their "Rah rah FA is so easy" mentality. This left me with a total blank. I knew that this was a difference in perception and understanding; I just didn't know what.

The idea that women's self loathing is authentic and to merely put it up for scrutiny is silencing true feelings, which are sacred and pure expressions left me stunned. Only a confidence so protected and sure could say this with such obvious sense of assumed righteousness. As a feminist (who doesn't identify with it is right now), the idea that misogyny from anyone has some kind of deep integrity made my head swim.

I shouldn't be shocked but was, by the clear inference that fat people's gift of self rescue is not only false and shallow in comparison, but possibly self deluding. We speak a lot about our feelings of lack of credibility. Feelings of falseness often come up when you change long held truths. Part of it is your mind wanting to be sure that you really want to stop what you've invested a lot into. If you can get past that, then you really want to.

If anyone was paying attention, they might have noted this was a sore spot with us, but then our feelings are not real they are PC. It's the old, negativity is real, positivity unreal, even though when acting on them brings them low, people still go for happy pills, what's the point? Negative sucks up a huge amount of energy in comparison with posivity which itself tends to unlock energy, that's a lot of the 'more real' feeling of it.

It is also our job to serve others without any regard for ourselves, one of the things that is the source of contempt for us. I think this is the real meaning of the taunt "You have no self respect".

We're told that FA/SA is about all of us getting over damaging fat/body hating, which I assumed. Yet there's this constant switch to "your movement" and what we must do to get others on side, even though it is claimed "I hurtz because of the fat hate too you know, not just you (selfish) fattiez. Which I'd expect to provide most of the momentum.

Selfish here means what this kind of mentality does; puts itself first as a dominant principle. As usual, its negative aspect only becomes real when it's translated into fat. Well, it's nice to know that people know themselves deep down. Of course fat acceptance must carry the can for this 'separation', reasons must be found to rationalize rejection, no matter how unconvincing there's a spirit of, "let's front it".

I'm also amazed at the accusation of lying and being false since if you are not fat and you point to your body parts and say "My legs are so fat" when they clearly aren't and say "I'm so fat" when you aren't even plump, well......

I don't know why, but I assumed it had been realised that saying the above if you are not fat is different from saying it you are. If you are fat, you either stop hating yourself or you do not. Whereas the choice for non fat is stop demeaning fatness so that you can use it to demean yourself. It's a case of direct and indirect consequence, You can see where they meet, but they are not the same.

This has clarified some other things that were just blurry and out of view. We were mostly all united in the absolute certainty that fatness is deeply wrong and bad. From the moment that begins even minimally to go into reverse a gap opens and keeps going. This is about mentality more than weight. By rights those who were hating-whoever they are-should close that gap by ceasing to hate, a neutral stance will do. When we thought we were wrong, we were prepared to do what we thought was right, even though it hurt us directly. I expect at least for that to be borne in mind when others consider what is right here.

Body issues only makes sense if you have a valid body in the first place, if you don't you are supposed to be at odds with it, that's seen as the "truth" and that's how you feel. A lot of fat women especially realised as girls they had to drop out of "I hate my fat thighs etc.,"(says prodding slim thighs) because our thighs were fat. We also tended not to make too much impression with "No your thighs are fine they look great"(compared to ours, anyhow). So that was remiss of me too, I should have expected the same resistance/conflict of interests now as then.

As for feelings of body loathing, no matter how bad any feeling that may come up about body, there simply is nothing to the comprehensive 24/7 abject loathing that I felt for my own body, not someone else's that I almost laugh at the contrast and swat it away. If it lingers it lingers, it doesn't bother me in comparison. Also, I've got too many other powerful hangovers from this; I have to try and step on it and push myself a bit. This is partly why I’m out of tune. I don't have much patience for this kind of shit, to tell the truth.

I don't know how you flee and remain in the place you're fleeing at the same time to keep in touch with those who want to stay or have never been there. See if you stay, then that is clearly, no fat acceptance at all which is I suspect the underlying motivation for this campaign of FA scepticism. Meet people where they are applies here too and that is overlooked.

Nor do I accept the idea that we have to learn self respect; if we did we wouldn't need it. We are born with it and that's what is hurting when what we are told compromises it. The pain and confusion is our mind, sometimes our whole system realising that doesn't match what is inside.

You cannot lose yourself respect totally, it's unthinkable, the fact that we think that compromised self esteem is that, shows it's power and importance to us.

Underneath this entire surface crap, it's still going. Let's aim to allow it to be uninterrupted again and see what happens.

Let's be intrepid.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

I've read a book....

.....And I feel about as sheepish as New Zealand, seriously, it's one of those "How to write for twits" type books.

As I was reading through it and its list of no, no's I was going, oh no, I do that, and that and that until I wanted to hide from myself.


Some flouting of the conventions of good writing has been deliberate some sheer molten incompetence. At times I thought I was being funny and then there was "I'm just having a go!" and "It's the message". It has to stop. I have to make more of an effort. I don't claim to be a writer, hell no, I just write stuff down.

As I insist on doing that, I might as well make an effort to do it as well as I can. You get into noticeable patterns and certain tics surface that are major league irritants, in my case deranged syntax.

Most of it is emotional and mental as much as technical. If one is a problem, it derails fluency.

Since the start of FA, I have felt off centre, off balance and off key, virtually all the time. Part of the excitement of FA is that it is quite an unspoken and unformed perspective. Slight and yet a nexus of where so many societal and cultural fault lines lie, it at times makes me feel like I'm trying to watch five TVs at once.

In nature when the surface has to give way the power is lies in what has been contained, underneath. The fear of fatness is barely about hating fat bodies, if at all that is a surface association. Think of how you used to hate seeing pictures of yourself, how unbearable it could be. Then at some point you realise you are just looking at yourself. Seeing no longer through hate, changes the way you see.

That change is mental, your photo's haven't changed, your mind has. If fat bodies were intrinsically hateable, that change would not be possible. We see and it is converted into a whole picture by our brains. Hate was a distortion and without it our vision returns to the original truth of how we would have seen ourselves, had we not learned this lie.

We are all upset about the potential for upheaval for different reasons and that makes for surprising conclusions from all sides. I can tell that the need to hide one's true feelings and motives makes it hard for anyone to say what they feel directly, even when they can write well.

It's hard to think clearly or at times to think at all.

There's another one, I start thinking I'm talking about one thing, then it turns into a psychological/philosophical audit.

And is it possible to write because more?

I mean really is the universe waiting for me to explain it? If I know so much, why am I not a multi millionairess? Or at least, world dominatrix?

Actually, I'd never fancy the latter. What for? Everyone bends to your will, it would be like everyone was a version of you, never would there be a surprise, how tedious would that be? It's the surprise of others both good and bad that is part of the joy of life, even when it hurts before it's nice.

I've picked up some bad habits since I started blogging, the feeling of having to tip toe around the sensibilities of others is the biggest one-the main reason I'm not on any fat feeds. Trying to stay in contact when the disconnect is difficult to breach, I never used to consider this at all. There have been times when logically I've worked out our views are incompatible, but emotionally, I've felt the need to try and maintain some kind of communication. I speak not in regret but in reaching one's limits. It is better to have tried, if you can.

The wariness of other people's resistance has been a bad influence on liberating some inner flummery that should not have seen the light of day. That's alright, I think if you blog you've got to be prepared to make an arse of yourself (I'm not going to say it, you can think it though).

Friday, 17 September 2010

Going Gaga

I can't pretend that I get Gaga.

She's over my head. Notice I say that, not, 'I've seen it all before' yes and no, I prefer, she seems familiar and yet not so, which of course is inevitable. No one transcends their era if you doubt it, a cursory study of the most extremist rebels you can find throughout history and how much you can see they are of their era, will, not catch me in arrogance. Today follows yesterday, which is history, you'd think some people would've noticed.

It's not even that I know nothing about her, I was initially interested in her, from when she came over to the UK and was rather low key in terms of popularity building herself up to her current heights.

I was strangely drawn, by her name Germanotta, I'll bet there's some interesting hidden history there, although one should avoid racial stereotyping like the plague, it seems to kind of some her spirit up in some way. The industry of the Germans own self identity with that of the Italians artistic heritage sorry, what can I say?

Her music did not draw me in particularly, it seemed to be strangely out of keeping with her image to the point where I half thought she was being ironic. It's only when she released other records that I realised.

Nope, that is her sound.

I saw her being interviewed and I thought she came across well, although it was an early one in this country and she was definitely very nervous. It's easy to forget that she's only 24 at times, even though she doesn't look or seem older, particularly.

My opinion of her music, so far as entertaining me changed briefly when I came across her performing let's dance live.

I was taken aback, she really put an almost preternatural amount of focus and energy into it, and could sing really well, that i couldn't resist. I still listen to just dance, purely to help summon up the association with that performance, so I enjoy it, but it doesn't match the space that performance allotted for it so it's a strangely distanced pleasure.

The more recent kerfuffle around Lady G has been stoked by Camille Paglia, silent Z, with an article portentously entitled.

Lady Gaga and the death of sex

Well blow me.

It is a while since I heard something as ridiculous, and hanging out where I do on the nets, that's genuinely saying something.

Inexplicable Madonna lover, don't get me wrong, there are things about her that are impressive, but the fact that she sings like pebbles being dropped in a bucket of water has only recently stopped annoying me very hard.

The thing that struck me about Paglia's opininings was the accusation that Lady Ms G is not sexy.

I'm not kidding you when I say I was stunned.

That had never occurred to me once.

Don't get me wrong, I'd noticed that she was no Scarlett Johansson, but I find her attractive and when she is deliberately not ringing those bells, she's interesting in the way that more beautiful people often aren't.

As I'm often quick to say what I have noticed, it's only fair that I say, it hadn't occurred to me that straight men mightn't find her sexy.


Whilst I don't feel bad about that, I have a certain reticence about investigating why.

Either way, I cannot see her as unsexy at all, that's what I find so fascinating, when I heard unsexy, my immediate reaction was no, no, no.

So how can I have not notice that she is not sexy to straights (I was going to say, straight men, but let's face it, straight sexuality is their sexuality or what fits around what it's supposed to be). I wonder if this is one of the reasons I feel averse to this fashion for calling yourself queer as a hetero woman. All women's sexuality is in a sense 'queer' in that it's hard for it to make an appearance at all, whatever it is. A suggestion of this is the fact that some are claiming Gaga is supposed to be totally non sexual.

Sexual would be channelling it into some depersonalized alter ego presentation that is supposedly for men until the centre cannot hold and it all falls through the bottom into the odious dirtframing of 'female sexual dysfunction'.

I'll overlook that one for now.

No wonder even men treat women who present their sexuality thus as devoid of any intelligence. It's like they're saying, if you're stupid enough to fall for that, you must be brain dead.

No, just well trained.

And indeed, that's the point, Gaga, is not unsexy, she is not even restrained in her sexuality.

It is integrated and contained.

That means, it is part of the whole of her, not out there de contextualized from her being.

I never thought about it before, but at least for white women, the case of black women is different through all sorts of things that have nothing to do with our actual sexualities, Gaga represents what female sexuality looks like when it is not for what men are supposed to want. Women seem to dig her, the wonderful Rhianna finds her (look) interesting.

And although women do think certain women are pretty and attractive to them, but less to straights. I often don't find them too hot either, but Gaga gives off a sense that she enjoys, if you know what I mean. Whereas Paglia's muse M, I've never felt her sex appeal. Which is interesting, it's never occured, but maybe I didn't find all her writhings convincing. There's a sense that she probably had other things on her mind.

So yeah, maybe she does represent a new generation of women who have a more integrated sexuality. I've noticed around and about that there are a lot more women around who craft a look that is more boyish/garçonne than previously. They are often very attractive, they are at ease with the way they look and compel the attention and those who are into men don't seem to forgo their interest either, so certain media men, perhaps a little defensively should not assume their rejection of part of what Gaga represents is shared by all men.

Why shouldn't a man want a woman who is whole and not just a parody of what a man is supposed to want? In my experience, by no means all men wish to be pandered too by that sort of thing. They'll go with it, but if it's not there they not necessarily missing it.

I say this not because it's something to be said if men like it, or not, it's more, if men are not necessarily demanding a certain kind of sexuality/sexual presentation from women, who/what is?

It's those men who make a show of speaking of their aversion that seem a little off the pace. A bit like Paglia herself.

Speaking of Ms Johansson, she made me laugh a while back when she called her breasts "my girls". I know this is an old one, but I'd either not heard it or forgotten it. Yet, it isn't that funny in repose to describe bits of you as having a separate and distinct existence from yourself.

I'd bet Gaga calls her breasts; breasts.

Growing pains?

There's an excellent post over at wellroundedmama about a study looking at how our bodies restore themselves after either, childhood failure to thrive for instance; premature birth, childhood illness that wastes or prevent growth/weight gain. They call this ‘catch up’ weight gain and rebound weight gain after weight loss dieting.

It states that analysing other studies shows both the above are risk factors for the development of type two diabetes and hypertension. In discussing this link, they suggest it is the interaction of these re-gain/catch up effects and our food that takes the regulation of these systems beyond their capacities causing these dysfunctions. This surely is trying a little too hard to fit into the same old rigid frame of our ‘toxic food/eating habits' that is so inflexible it is already threatening our ability to actually see what is going on.

I suspect those whose body has to catch up are likelier to become fatter or fat. I noticed this partly by the amount of stories of people who were born premature and encouraged to gain weight and have become fat or fatter. Given the culture of ‘fatness is due to eating’, they assume that this is because of the desire to gain weight, rather than the body overshooting its catch up.

Even though human metabolism is incredibly accurate in its calculations, it can overshoot by the momentum of this catch up or rebound, (even what seems a lot of weight to us is minimal in terms of the complex multi factorial nature of what it has to balance to produce its effects).

The issue with calorie restriction is not that it's weight loss, but that it's famine. It is always said that the body 'thinks it’s in famine' when you go on a diet, it doesn't think, it knows because you are. It is you that doesn’t know that weight loss dieting is a famine, so acceptable and encouraged has it become.

the analysis of several large epidemiological databases has also revealed that, independently of excess weight, large fluctuations in body weight at some point earlier in life represent an ‘independent’ risk factor for type 2 diabetes and hypertension-two major contributors to cardiovascular diseases.

When observing how eating plays out in the brain and body, we cannot easily tell when these are the actions of the body in motion or some kind of untoward factor, especially when proceeding on the assumption that there is an ‘independent’ relationship between growth and ‘risk factors’. Even in comparison with the activity in the bodies of the acceptably weighted, we still cannot tell that it is the activity of the body adapting to its needs through some prior stimulus, in this case, the need to replenish body weight. It is usually presented as; this is the actions of the pathological habits of the 'overweight' resulting from their bad habits, etc.,

Similarly they tend put it this way round, that what accompanies this growth is a risk factor for diabetes, and hypertension, rather than the body restoring itself can have side effects that are possibly not so good, as part of that effort . Every effort of any kind, no matter how good, has by products of some kind. Is jumping to label them bad because it fits your assumptions obscuring a better grasp in our understanding of how our bodies, actually work?

Diabetes is directly connected with the metabolic process. High blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying problem or the body under duress. It could even be the fact or propensity towards failure to thrive or (rebound) that itself the real signal of these problems.

IOW it’s what the body has to overcome, to get the weight on that creates the risk of strain and/or the process overshooting it’s aim. What I'm saying is what happens when the body has to grow has to do this 'catch up' process? What is happening in the people who get diabetes/hypertension and those with the same circumstances, who do not?

The pathology can be as much in the need to gain-and the causes of that-as the gain itself.

It raises the spectre of diabetes, it's criteria of diagnosis and its symptoms. As a fat person there is a slight hesitancy when it comes to discussing diabetes, the fact that you are continually bludgeoned over the head with the inevitability of you getting it-false- makes you feel thoroughly fatigued with it, before you can evince any familiarity with it.

To this day my ignorance on it is staggering. I've tried before to grasp what it’s about, but cannot reliably describe it off the cuff. I know that it is about the body becoming resistant to insulin a major factor in converting the energy from your food into that which can be absorbed by the body’s cells.

Concerns about diabetes in general are longstanding and predate the adipocalypse, it has been said to have one of the higher false positives of any serious condition (not to mention false negatives for similar reasons). That was before they lowered the standard of what made you qualify as diabetic.

Then when you put this kind of thing together with pre-diabetes and diabesity, it's as if the whole world is on a diabetic spectrum, which seems really odd, especially when you put this together with the idea that it's the very food that keeps us alive that we are designed for, is in some way responsible for all this.

There's also the suspicion that some quarters of the medical/scientific hierarchy may not have fully come to terms that our heart issues were a problem waiting to happen due to our extended longevity, thanks to their efforts of course. Are they looking for a remedy for a problem or looking at ways to extend longevity beyond what could be generally expected. Although they seem the same, it’s the emphasis, if hearts are far more prone to wear out than we assumed, in a society where those who would perish at birth can survive. Then our approach could change to a more positive one. It could even affect the way things are looked at and perceived, giving us better understanding and answers.

Which brings me to Avandia why a drug that produces an effect that should be wholly positive, reducing a too high level of circulating blood sugar-to prevent nerve and organ damage-itself be implicated in the very things that it is supposed to prevent? Organ damage especially that of the heart is supposed to be a major risk of type two diabetes, so why would minimizing another great totem of its potential for harm, insulin resistance cause, in some people, the same kind of damage?

The whole diabetes, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabesity, obesity, insulin resistance arc requires a through re-evaluation. So we can get more up to date with our understanding, without the useless baggage getting in the way. It feels distinctly like all this and the way it interacts and relates together maybe outgrowing our current perceptions, definitions and models.

More accuracy and less moralizing is required, this is supposed to be about science after all.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

To Arwyn

Arwyn and I have been writing at cross purposes with each other, here’s my response which I hope will at least explain what I’m getting at, whether we agree or not.

Ok, I think I might have worked it out the mainstay of our mutual misunderstanding, the crux stems from you speaking in general terms, reflecting your post overall. And I on a specific one which stuck out to me, not the overall sentiment of your post on which I broadly agreed. I believe I’m speaking more from more of an FA interpretation, which is for me understanding the fat experience on its own terms, whether it overlaps with feminism etc., or not.

“That cries of “eat a sandwich!” are any less painful or more acceptable than “put down that donut!”
My response is to these two things being put together, suggesting that they are equivalent, or the same thing is going on. It's one thing to say, something hurts too and another to say it hurts the same.

It’s a bit like those people who say that starving a child and being judged to have overfed it are the same, anyone whose read about the former will instantly wish to correct that. To say they are not the same is not a dismissal of one, it's about different meanings.

To 'stop eating' is to stop life, to fight one’s instinct to live. To 'eat' is to live and to respect life, how can being given these opposite messages feel the same when they do not represent the same impulse?

When we are told not to eat it is a reminder of our position, of where we stand. It is being pointed out that this is not fair or rational and the speaker knows it.

It’s reminding you that truth doesn't matter, power does and the power says eating is your problem so the speaker has been given licence to be the ‘peer pressure’ for you to aim to effectively try to compromise your own life. They are reminding us; they have the whip hand in this and are mocking us for being in this position, out of relief (that they are not) as much as anything. We go along with it, we believed what we were told, not because it's right. It's hard to fight because it doesn't occur and when it begins to, we are often too disempowered by shame and our own sense of conscience- believing that we are at fault, we are outgunned, inside and out.

Part of the pretence is that we can choose to exit this purdah, but only by doing what we have been accused of, having no respect for our lives. Fat people are told, you volunteered for the battle, go and 'win' it. Ha, ha.

That you are in this trap is being flung at your face as hard as possible, to describe this as ‘body policing' is to devalue this experience. It’s a lesson in power relations, they don't give a damn about your body, it's purely an identifier a trigger to attack. That’s one of the reasons people like to hate fat people so much, we represent them or how they may feel in life. If they can hate us, they can separate from that feeling, they can take a rest. Taking part in the manipulation of us, they can convince themselves they are not us. They can feel powerful by identifying with the powerful, by acting out on us, what they feel is acted out on themselves.

Many repeated attempts to fight your will to live and 'stop eating', tends to leave you raw mentally and physically, not least because it was supposed to be your route to escape. This tends to puts you mentally in a defensive mode, just looking for some way of shielding yourself from total exposure and attack. This is what they are reminding you of in order to keep you there so they can mess with you more easily and do more damage the product of which will justify what they are doing. That's how you were all along. And so on so circular. Does anyone really think we've got into this position because of 'sensitivity' about teasing of our body type?

Without being kept in this kind of state-that can become incompatible with rational thought-things would not have gotten this bad. The key to perpetuating this kind of rough treatment is puncturing defences, hence it tends to start in childhood, before one's defences are formed. That's why child obesity is a big thing, start 'em young. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well the village is razing you.

I suppose that’s one reason why so many fat people identify with the typical view of fatness themselves. They see it as the best way to empower themselves; identify with the power.

I appreciate that if someone has been made to feel bad about being thin links can be made between that and eating-especially if they believe in calorie theory too. Slim people though are usually in a far better position to reject this kind of teasing. It’s not backed up by so many obvious and powerful interests. They are not constantly hearing how people want to gain weight, how they are by no means underweight, how proud they are that they gained two pounds, "urgh my body is so thin and disgusting" whilst someone pokes at their fat thighs, "I'm having a (bad) thin day" etc., etc.,

There is not a whole branch of science dealing with the deadly slimness and how virtually every known disease is linked to it, endless health warnings and links to various life threatening conditions. Constant browbeating, in this form, from all sides often adults letting children have it with both barrels.

Few thin people, unless they have eating disorders are in a position where they’ve believed their health and even their very lives depended on doing something that goes against the continuation of that very life. Only when eating is seen as a threat-usually in the extreme of a disorder-can there be a more valid comparison and even then, it’s that aspect of everything depending on doing the impossible.

I do not limit consideration to favour fat people as is being assumed. In the past, I've said on blogs that a thin person can be worse off when fearing (the social costs) of fatness than a person who is actually fat. I noticed this myself as a child when I realised that my existence as a fat person, disproved that fatness was a fate worse than death. I recognised I had a self limiting reality that slim children-girls who feared their lives would be destroyed by becoming fat didn’t necessarily have.

I’ve also never been a fan of the ‘thin privilege’ concept, even though I recognise the privileging of thinness counts for something in comparatively speaking.

It can lead to complacency in differing ways. It can allow thin people to see fat shaming as nothing to do with them, unless a fat person is or appears to be saying something directly against thin people, as people think I am. And for fat people to envy their position as if ‘equality’ with this position is the whole of the answer; distracting from the way that one position facilitates the other.

The answer is for all to recover our birth right of intrinsic self esteem fused with our very selves, not on abstractions such as body weight etc., we need each other in this endeavour.

As you can see, something like weight-whatever it is- puts distance between our innate self respect and ourselves, they start off being indivisible.

My feeling is that we are all born with a self esteem as part of us, it doesn’t occur to us that we should hate ourselves. Take a look at your darling son, does he punish himself, or doubt whether you should feed him? Or does he cry for food when he is hungry without a thought of whether he ‘deserves’ it or not?

To turn self esteem from being fused with yourself to requiring some abstraction, such as slimness; is a loss. Comparing this directly (only) with the denial of fat people’s experiences hides that that loss and can seduce fat and thin in different ways. It can give the unwary thin person a big incentive to get involved in fat hating. You can tell this in the knee jerk rationalizing to try and maintain fat hate, from all directions.

The seductive power of comparing thinness to that assigned a lowlier status (fatness) was why I was reluctant to describe the privileging of thinness as some monolithic privilege-supposed to be undeserved or unwarranted advantage. How can less than we all deserve, than we all need be described as undeserved? And the whole thing is unwarranted. This seems to play into a divide and conquer schema, behaving as if thinness in this framework is the acme of what anyone can achieve, a way of sewing envy in fat people. As this all requires the hating of a group to make it work, if fat people are going to aim for this, who are we going to hate to make that work?

I sense this is one of the fears a lot of slimmer people have about FA. They fear reversal of this with them on the other side, participation on one side teaches you how to be on the other. There is no point in trying to reassure them with false comparisons if we are waving a ‘thin privilege’ mentality about in the background as if that means a whole lot without our own comparative degradation.

Without that, thin privilege is just someone’s self respect being tied to something they cannot guarantee will be maintained. If this insecurity gains a momentum of its own set off by fearful anticipation of loss, you’ve got a whole lot of disorder as some slimmer people have found out. They are right to make that point, but none of us are going to get anywhere by trying to silence genuine difference to spare guilty feelings.

We all need to recognise and keep our eyes on the greater prize, what a lot of us need to re-gain; a whole and uncompromised self esteem.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Fat people in fiction

Spoonforkfuls lead me to this.

I really wish fat people would stop this ingratiating fattie fat hating tripe, fat haters don't care if you hate yourself and those with intelligence enough to resist crude fat hating nonsense don't need it from you,either. It's lowers the tone. Have a bit of self respect and if you go down in flames, go down with a bit of resistance.

And could this opening line be much more laughable;
Nobody’s writing novels about fat people confronting their weight. And that’s a problem.

I'd prefer to read a novel about a fat brown nosing idiot who finally wakes up to him/herself. And ends with telling the whole world as our American chums would say, to go suck it.
Confronting it how?

Hello my fatness I'm confronting you, I'm making a citizen's arrest. You're eval, I'm calling the law.

Ye Gads, I can't wait.

I'd prefer to read a novel describing the years of struggle to shape shift and how that can create a double consciousness, where you come to see yourself purely through the eyes of others. And then one day, something cause that to switch off and you suddenly see yourself as you really are.

That might be one for the fantasy genre.

One about a fat guy growing up and how fatness interweaves with men's ideas about the hierarchy of the alpha male and anxieties about their attractiveness to women and how he goes from dissociation with his body, to celebrating it, embodying it. Triumphing and even making a link with that and women being expected to account for their bodies and how that affects his consciousness as male human. I'd like to lead it to him becoming more radical and questioning in general by his experience and overcoming some of his more major insecurities. They'd be a great market for this.

Then there's one about a young fatshionista and how s/he's deeply into fashion and learns to shape that to see him/herself as an subject of desire and great style and verve, how s/he discovers a fat aesthetic of their own etc.,

Cross cultural fat experience. Fat and poc, how that intersects with an inbuilt double consciousness with the addition of the differences between own communities views on fat and the general populace. And why fat black women seem more confident about themselves as fat women and why.

Fat and gay, the story of a shy young man growing up realizing he's gay and study the gay community from afar and how he works out his place in a culture that has certain aesthetics.

About a bear, how a young cub comes to terms with his sexuality and how his fatness relates to it. How that plays out in the gay community in general and the bear sub-culture in particular.

A Lesbian girl and her struggles with feeling the outside doesn't reflect the inside, she'd love to be a gamine or a garconne and how she fights her body and/or sexuality and comes to a rapprochement with both through being fat accepting or through coming out. Does she channel her favoured personas and make it something else because it's through fat-never seen a fat gamine garconne by hey, why not? Or does it change because she decides on something else?

Lesbian woman tired of being a draw for (fat hating) users decides to junk fat hating for new start and launches herself on the world etc.,

A fat older woman or man having to start again and for this to lead in the letting go of old baggage to a fat acceptance route, unexpectedly. And how that change affects family and/or friends who are unsure and have 'health concerns'. And use that to manipulate family politics.

I love tec novels, maybe a crime that comes about because of the lengths people go to because of internalized fat shame, maybe some dodgy lipo clinic targets fat people and things go awry etc., (I don't want to give fat phobes any ideas to be frank).

Fatties of all creeds who just never get on the fat hating trip at all and why. How that affects them and what if any difference it makes to their lives compared to those who internalize fat phobia.

FA's, people of all sexualities and weights coming to terms with the realization that they have a powerful inner attraction to fatties and how they come to accept it, or not. The latter could be a story about a stone cold FA who has thin SO's and fat women on the side. That one could be a thriller!

Children's books featuring fat children who are loved, respected, supported and valued(that should give some parents something to think about)Story of a fat child who loses a parent through death or separation and gains weight and how that affects things. Or is fat before and how this can be used in a custody battle. These could be books for adults, the children's one's could be fro their point of view.

Those are just some that have come to me there are many more but the point is there's plenty to write about. The imagination flows when fat hating weight loss nonsense is not the focus.

I could think of so many more and I'm sure some of those must be out there already. More about fat people who refuse to hate themselves give us all a break from bores who endlessly pander to fat hating tripe. We are talking fiction after all!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I'm ok on the marathon front, thanks

Sorry but since when did running a marathon become some kind of heartfelt wish or motivation that is understood to be some epitome of goodness?

Each to their own and all, but I don't see it at all.

I've no issue with the idea of running about, if you like it or get paid to do it. I myself enjoy running for an appropriate reason such as catching a bus. I often end up giggling or laughing by the end of it, and marvel how that is often so much fun, and how that doesn't seem to flow into 'jogging' for fitness.

But really, I smell an element of wishful thinking especially when certain people say things like, "I was really fat and the breaking point for me to lose all that weight, was when I realised I could not run a marathon".


I still remember stumbling across the end of an organised run of some kind. I'd never seen this before, and even with my scepticism, if you'd asked me beforehand what I would have expected to see. I'd have thought I would have been able to give a pretty accurate description.

People, you have no idea.

It was horrible, so bad, that tears actually pricked my eyes, I was so affected by what I saw, people in a condition that I've been lucky enough only witnessed when people were quite unwell and even then; they were not running.

These finishing runners were wrinkled and puckered with dehydration and sweat, like when your hands have been submerged too long in water and deathly pale in a way I'd never seen in a person before. Now I know what the term ashen is describing they were in a state almost delirious with exhaustion. So many of them were in extreme distress.

They emanated pain in a way I didn't know was possible, like they were giving off some kind of gas that had the capacity to lower mood, on contact.

And still they drove themselves on to cross the finish line. No triumph, just the end, most running with knees bent and buckling, like half opened jack knives, holding themselves up with sheer will. My mind implored them to just stop, please, it's not worth it.

I stood there disbelieving my own eyes, trying to make sense of this awfulness, why didn't I know about this before? I tried to make it make sense, but just couldn't. I felt I just had to shake myself out of it and go.

The hunched shoulders, fallen posture and necks craned up chins in air, with a single minded desire to finish. It actually made me feel a little sad to be human thinking of how we can talk ourselves into this kind of thing. And don't know when it's time to stop because they've a notion that it represents some higher ideal. Why?

What possible ideal would leave them in this unconscionable state I suppose a lot of it was charity, but seriously, that sometimes does begin (though not end) at home, it's not the only way.

I never wish to witness such a thing again, ever.

It was either a fun run or a half marathon, I'm yearning for it to be the latter, because for once, I do not delight in juxtaposition of opposite meanings. And it would also make it more of an achievement for those who took part.

If you are into that, good luck to you, but using this kind of thing as an example of some kind of superior spiritual enlightenment, I doubt it more than I did to before and I don't envy you one bit.

I have my own missions to traverse every bit as spiritual and searching of me. I don't need inhumane ideas about how human beings can and should improve themselves. I don't need to venerate pain for it's own sake to achieve that.

Caught up in being myself

Instant reaction to a this comment from someone not enamoured of the fat female form, check it out if you feel up to it;

Diets, counting calories, jealousies and insecurities. Thin is better. Much better. And those jabs she occasionally gets about being “too thin”? Silent deflection, resting assured the critic fervently wishes she could crawl inside her skin.

Urrggh, can you imagine desiring someone would write that about you? Unless she has other needs that he's satisfying I'd re-consider.

The most obvious thing that comes to mind when I read things like this specifically "Thin is better", is the rather sad conflation of what the cultural hegemony declares best and what is by an objective consideration, best.

My heart sinks a little when I'm reminded of this aspect of our pride trying to reassert itself, idiotically. If we can fool ourselves with the pretence that those who influence us are righteous, we don't feel quite so done over by them. We can pretend we have not been outmanoeuvred, but have converged on the essence of what is right.

I cannot pretend I've always surmounted it myself, any capacity to delude myself on that one has been shattered by unpicking my torrid fat hating odyssey. Oh come on! I'm allowed to laugh, I was it's punchline after all.

Apart from what Arwyn identified as the creepy way his 'admiration' for his girlfriend is strangely erasing of her-think of those who cry because they think they are too ugly, for this ugliness. What is arresting is I get absolutely no sense of her as a person, even though I know the type of person he's referring too. They come in all creeds colours and races, genders too. Those who are profoundly at ease with themselves and achieve in all directions.

Rarely have I met any of them who would be so ungenerous and petty as he described. Although it more likely as she is with such an arse.

Maybe that's another reason why there's no sense of her as an individual, whatsoever. If she exists at all, she is on a pedestal, the kind that is genuinely off putting and makes some people I know get a bit wicked with being put in that position.

Representing any type for good or ill can amount to the same trap in the end, although obviously being the bad is worse, it's not without it's compensations and a lot of the unhappiness is starting from the assumption that what's supposed to be better is, his tone is an indicator of what this can do to the human spirit, it is truly ugly. What's funny is, he's fully aware of it himself;

But if not for her size 2 size all the rest of her attributes wouldn’t open the doors and get her the treatment she recieves [sic].

It's essentially the same route to freedom for both those representing ascribed goodness and badness. The refusal to go along with ascribing your merit/demerit to characteristics privileged by TPTB.

I've not spent too much time worrying about being beautiful, I think size has probably deflected that a lot. Although I've wished to have a body that looks like my version of x's, I've also wish more to recover the ability and courage to think for myself, rather than receive thought. I'd always favour intelligence over beauty and even that doesn't seem like the big deal it was. A side effect of self acceptance to some degree.

Even when younger, I always realised that if I was going to enjoy the pleasures of life, I couldn't see why beauty would make any difference. Sex is all very well, but how is an orgasm going to be stronger or sweeter because you could make the cover of Vogue? Not matter how many people insisted, I couldn't see a connection.

And yeah, I've felt 'beautiful' myself and celebrated that being just as good. I've thought about what that means and it means, just being, without quarter.

I genuinely sympathize when someone feels their life has been blighted irrevocably because they are not attractive, but that's more because they've been caught up with expectations, rather than wear their looks with an air of refusal. Perfection is not needed, even if their is pain under the defiance, the resistance after a while can supplant it. When you see someone have a genuine go at resistance with a style and grace they may not see, you know they're probably going to be alright.

And that's the tragedy of that missed train, missing the beauty you can/do have for the beauty you cannot and do not. That formula tends to be a fail.

I've always managed, even though it has been sometimes obscured, to retain a sense of my body as an operational unit, and when it gets too much, I get back inside and shut the door on aesthetics.

It's not that I cannot see I just suspend judgement and look, like in meditation when you observe your thoughts and don't comment on them.

Without wishing to protesting too much, I have to say I've no more interest in being her, than I have in finding people too thin.

I really hope that she and others like her are capable of allowing for the fact that she is not the template of all we wish to be, I'd hate to think she wasn't. There's a part of me that pities anyone who thinks that everyone wants to be them because they are acceptable and are status quo approved.

Yes, there may be a lot of people she encounters who feel there or there abouts, there are a lot of people who accept that deal of worth defined by 'authority'. Who collude with happiness through that kind of validation until they can no longer see past it. That is their resentment jettisoned their own, for that which has come and you've got it. That this seems like 'everyone' speaks to how widespread is our insecurity and learned mistrust of ourselves.

So desperately do we cling, the mere hope of fulfilment becomes fetishized and we cling to that sometimes more ferociously than if we actually got closer to the 'ideal'. So pathetic do we become when we lose faith in our innate capacities and sell ourselves short.

Even when I was trapped in a pit of self loathing, I never wished to exchange places with anyone else, believe me I've tested this. This body, this soul if you wish to call it that is my route for good or ill, I wish to see it through. Being someone else would just give me a different set of problems. If I wanted to be less aware of the feelings of others like fatphobe sockpuppet, I could cultivate that in any body or soul.

I want to restore myself to a place of allowing myself to be the best I can be and I'm OK with whatever that is. It's hard enough wanting to be a version of yourself that feels true and empowered, let alone wanting to be an actual other person.

Call it an instinctive article of faith with the creation that I am. What's the point in being a unique individual if you wish to be some other one? No matter how we reject this one, there's a no exchange policy on each of us.

I sincerely hope he has misread her though, my suspicions were aroused her saving up so fervently, to flee? If so, go Blondie! Go and shine with someone who sees you, not a jumble of what you represent.

By the way, here's how to boast properly with wit and style.

The body on it's own terms

I'd like to say bravo to Charlotte, credit where it's due, for writing intelligently about Corinne Day and her most famous work. She died recently.

She was a photographer who featured a young Kate Moss at the start of her career and helped to launch her. What I also like about what Charlotte has written was about the whole heroin chic scandale, where people accused her of creating images of thin people that traded on them looking as if they were on drugs.

It's nice to hear someone burst that whole thin models create havoc bull, that is displacement for the true blame of the growth in eating disorders-fat hating culture.

Basically she too can appreciate a thin person's form purely on it's own terms, the way I do. I've always found Twiggy to be exquisite and not in any way to blame for my issues.

I also think Kate Moss is a fantastic entity. Although I cannot say I approve of some of the things she's done, I think overall she's an admirable person on many levels. I like the way she's come into her own and gives the impression of someone who likes herself in an uncomplicated manner. Kind of like a man.

As a woman that's still too radical a statement.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Bodies normalized through existence

Just seen this through Bri. It's a consistent theme, because models are felt to be too skinny, yadda yah, the fashion industry must not yield to the 'danger' of showing fat(ter) ones or whatever.

I'm not sure why, seeing as fat people are responsible for their own fatness, and it is already a prevalent state, it's hard to believe people wish to open another stream of pretence that says that people are promoted into fatness by seeing fat bodies.

They must be lying about our lack of attractivenes. Maybe it is felt that we are all so brain dead that we will eat poo if it was 'promoted' at us. But then, this is from people who've fallen for the promoted opinings of the obesity industries. So maybe it's not as insulting as at first glance.

Not everyone agrees with this analysis of models=eating disorders/body issues. Anymore than say, glamorous professional athletes cause girls to try and slim down.

I prefer the direct and more obvious trigger of the social stigma against fatness, and the parental and societal approval of this, The entreaties directed at fat people to "just stop eating" and you'll be thin, is not a dog whistle to listening daughters. With that basis, already fearful of the social death that fatness feels like, sometimes even more so than actual death, are subject to the horror of normal female development that comes with puberty.

What's in their heads is the 'advice' they've heard so often from those they trust and believe in to guide them through this world.

I'd be willing to bet if people stopped saying that alone, there would be a small measurable difference in the level of eating disorders.

However as we know, being confronted with one's own behaviour can be very upsetting and hurtful to the feelings, especially if your strength lies in the underlying view that only pure goodness can possibly flow from your endeavours. It is unacceptable for nice people to be held to account for any of their actions except in a profoundly supportive atmosphere with an open ended invitation to come to terms with it in their own sweet time.

Directly implicating someone in their own actions is for other lower forms of life, who are basically corrupt anyway, so it's good for them. A culprit must be found!

Step forward the rag trade and models. Sound and fury can be directed there.
There is no doubt that images of super-skinny models strutting down the fashion runways promote unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits. My emphasis.

Yep that's right, nothing to do with the medical and health establishment and the charterisation of 'obesity' as death sentence and the deliberate campaign to release selective 'facts' to unleash sockpuppets to 'peer pressure' fatties weight into submission.

The fashion trade makes a far better target and a great way to maintain desired prejudice intact, whilst appearing to deal with the consequences of that prejudice, which makes you feel less mean. Because you aren't a mean person, certainly, it's not your idea of yourself.

Keeping hating intact is more important than it's effects on our children. Though this blaming of others shows the uneasiness about cause. In the same way people don't care about using fat children to stigmatize a new generation, they feel similarly about eating disorders fall out.

I'm not sure exactly why. We want to believe family love especially that between a parent and child is unconditional, things are far more complex that we can face.

We've all heard the phrase 'brother fought brother' in times of war, the same family on opposite sides. The truth is, our survival or sense of it, crosses family lines, and that is something that fat people need to remember when we wonder how our families and friends can shaft us on weight.

Most of all we need to survive and our ideas and ideals form the basis of that survival.

Maybe this kind of thing forms the basis of why we can sometimes place our views above the interests of our children. I'm sure it is conscious although it has a thoughtless deliberatness about it and it's hard not to find it deeply unsavoury. That we fancy ourselves so intelligent yet choose to do no better than this.

Ironically, or not, the same thing makes the complainer here, Tammy Lovett and her ilk likely to continue to blow their fuse. If there was a genuine way to alter weight up or down, people would be able to do it without endangering their health. The corruptness of diet fail lends itself to the politics of social distinction.

Equality for all, at the same time, would break the system and kill us all as we dissolve into pure anarchy etc.,

And as there isn't anything to stop this entirely predictable trend, people will continue to become fat and remain so. Despite all attempts at intervention, it is an overall and underlying worldwide trend; that's the overriding 'normalizing' factor here. Not frock makers.

At the same time, it is vital that in our attempts to re-balance the scales, we don’t rush to the opposite extreme and normalise overweight and obesity as legitimate lifestyle choices.

I must admit it's sometimes a struggle to credit the seeming inability of certain people to recognise the opinions fat people themselves have and why that doesn't seem to factor in all this. My body 'normalized itself, I finally recognized that.

The failure of weight loss strategies mean it is far more likely views like this will become de-normalized and de-legitimized because you can only buck reality for so long. I hope people will not continue to embarrass themselves by pretending to be shocked.

Hah! Even the notoriously unreal world of fashion is better able to cope with reality, than authority and those who parrot it's ideology.

But then, they didn't discover and insist on the calorie restriction 'cure all', so it isn't their fail

Sunday, 5 September 2010


It's funny how even when I agree with a post and appear to be in agreement with the writer that I still end up somehow being put in my place, usually by being spoken to as if I'm an archetype of some other opinion the writer disagrees with.

It's also odd the way that many people including fat people seem to be convinced that any alienation across weight lines-for want of a better term-must be caused by a fat acceptance consciousness.

IOW, it doesn't occur to them that the alienation was there all along and our refusing to continue self loathing has exposed what was underneath. Think about it. It's as if because we've stopped peddling and started taking care of ourselves, we can carry the can, apart from being shocking.

We cannot.

Here's the sentiment that set me off;
..that cries of “eat a sandwich!” are any less painful or more acceptable than “put down that donut!”,

This kind of inapt comparison must stop.

I have good reason to say that and tried to explain a bit in my response. If you don't want to make a competition of it refrain from making these comparisons in the first place (why is it even necessary to couch it in those terms?) and dismissing genuine explanation. It's taken a hell of a lot for me to get to the psychological position to be able to even notice it, let alone try and make a case for it.

What made me consider "just stop eating" was the continued power it had to upset me and other fat people in general. In the past, when I still believed fatness was me doing something wrong, I assumed I should feel bad because I'd been called out on my badness. Then after seeing the light, I assumed "just stop eating" would lose it's power over me.

It's when it didn't, no matter how much progress I felt I'd made in other areas that I had cause for a deeper re-think, I wanted to be freed from it's power over me, instinct tells me it's part of the recovery process.

When I say, "eat" is not as painful as saying "stop eating" I too am not claiming the former doesn't hurt, but it cannot hurt as much unless there is something else going on. That's why the latter tends to hurt more, it is not only about looks or policing bodies, that's the surface which ignores a subtext that is harder to deal with.

Unless you've reached a stage with an eating disorder, such as anorexia where the overwhelming desire of those who love you for you to get better all comes to hinge at one excruciatingly unbearable point of "just eat". Repeatedly. And your 'failures' to do, just that are seared into your consciousness and the whole of your nervous system. You cannot be hurting that way because someone's said "eat".

It's unsurprising that you have to have had the worst kind of eating disorder in order to have a similar triggering effect. It plays up the way being fat is treated as an eating disorder, the cure of which is said eating disorder. Calorie restriction, less and more is a bitch for all who have to put up with it.

"Stop eating" is about deliberately and consciously invoking all that and the ripples of pain caused by lack of resolution that your mind keeps re-visiting often numerous times a day over the years formative and otherwise. Keeping it raw and brand new not matter how long, reminding you-as if you could ever forget that you are in the thrall of a lie and the truth will not set you free. It is a deliberate attack on the psychology of a fat person. To keep us in a state where we cannot begin to defend ourselves adequately or at all.

If you want some proof check out, objectively the quality and style of the 'arguments' used against us, the ad hominems, the empty calls to authority, they are so uniformly poor that the reliance on our being in a permanent state of heightened and acute discomfort has become a bedrock of it's ascendancy.

The taunter knows that the lie has more social momentum than the truth of fat people's subjective experience or even objectively observable reality, that is the real taunt, it actually doesn't have anything to do with food, it's a powerplay of the when you see someone down, kick them sort.

It should not be assumed that because thinner people's capacity to define their own subjectivity is more legitimized, in general, that they can use that to impose definitions or limitations on those who's personal sense of legitimacy has been unjustly breached. If people want to know how much we are still willing to assume the big sister/brother type role, they need to understand that it is possible to live and learn.

Been there done that, paid/paying the price.

If we are not prepared to have the respect that our experiences deserve then we should not complain when they are obscured from view and we are ridden roughshod over by those with an over developed sense of entitlement. We've kept quiet too often in the past and now it's time to give people a chance to hear our views, whether they like it or not.

I am not in competition with thinner women and I wish those taking this line would realise that. That some choose not to is not something that will not go away if we go along with these kinds of request to fit into the seat assigned, rather than to have the seat fit us, to try and keep the peace and avoid further reckonings.

Let's face it, the compromise of our sense of legitimacy may have benefited those not so impinged upon who now fear they will in turn be replaced by us. I don't feel aggrieved about any benefits accrued, however the general theme of slim(mer) people's collusion in fat phobia, is too big to be swept under the carpet and will have to be faced, at some point.

For their own benefit as much as anyone else's. If you allow your body and yourself to represent the stated ideal, then you allow yourself to be sold out somewhat to the status quo as others begin to see your body as a jabbing finger critiquing their own. Your body becomes more of an enforcer than it is a reflection of you, and I'm sure slim women could tell me a few things about the gap that leaves.

Somewhere along the line, slim women will have to rescue their bodies from this kind of objectification of their bodies, certainly that's part of puncturing this use of 'real women' and thin shaming nonsense. Hopefully before it builds up to much of a head of steam. It's disappointing that the only muted remedy for this seems to be about chastising fat women about the existence of slim pain, whether it's being denied or not, rather than the taking back of slim bodies from being caught in divide and conquer stratagems.

I cannot blame anyone for going along, we've all colluded, but now is an opportunity to wake each other up, let's not blow it for the scant 'reward' of who's pain is marginalizing whose.

Whilst I can understand the desire by some fat activists to yield to this kind of pressure, it's an old familiar technique, giving in to others perceived or actual needs and the reading they insist on giving things, regardless of whether that is true or not. I'm too aware of how that has been part of us making a rod for our own backs and I'm not willing to go along with it then wring my hands saying "why oh why fat phobia! Why the lack of respect?".

......because these protestations aren’t coming out of nowhere.

I'm not in competition with thin women, personally they don't have anything I want that doesn't come out of having a greater level of self esteem, full stop. I don't want the spotlight, that is still so irredeemably fused with hostile scrutiny that it doesn't enthuse me at all.

I'm not interested in gaining sympathy as such, professional or lay, when I tell people to get off my foot, I'm not asking for sympathy I'm asking you to re-position yourself in reflection of your more enlightened state.

I've never been one for believing that if I have white coat sympathy, I have the earth and all that's in it. I know this is a popular assumption amongst many, in FA terms, it sometimes comes out with the unfortunate pointless envying of anorexics or drug addicts as in "If I was anorexic I'd get help" or "If I was a drug addict people would sympathize".

That is a sentiment I consider myself deeply blessed to have no truck with. I look at what has any sympathy, perceived or otherwise done for said grouping? Anorexia has not lessened, nor has drug addiction. The suffering is still there, so in general I had the insight to conclude long ago that knowledge of what to do, is preferable any day, over mere sympathy.

So honestly, I don't conceptualize thin people in ways that make me covet abstract associations with thinness. I'm a human being in my own right and my aims which are to be found in my humanity are the equal of anyone's. I don't need that template to be written by weight. I don't want pre-eminence, I want the space to do what I need to do. I hope we can all share, if fear and mistrust can be overcome.

But not on dishonest terms. If we are not prepared to learn from our mistakes of endlessly trying to satisfy the needs of others before our own, regardless of the cost to ourselves. Becoming distanced and disassociated from our own feelings and experiences, then we are likely to be heading to the same as we've had, and I'm sure many of us would rather face unpleasant truths than succumb as before.

I say this out of respect for myself and other fat people who've been through the mill in ways that are still being erased inside and out. Don't try to tangle up anxieties about 'spotlight reduction' in something that is of a greater priority right now. Not out of disrespect for slimmer women or difficulties and challenges they may be more likely to face.

It's important to take account of the numerous slimmer women who get it, and know that the more enlightened of us are not out to erase their experiences, rather than make a priority of trying to placate those who do not. They are similar to those fat people who claim to believe that thin people suffer naught.

The sense that we are taking your shine should be dealt with by that understanding, not by emotional blackmail. And those fat people who are getting a little overzealous in their desire to 'prove' something that is not always being asked for; need to cool their heels a tad.

Remember that fat acceptance is about making space for fat people's self respect something that has been squeezed out, so it may not be possible to make that super comfortable for everyone, no matter how much we would like that. That pose itself is suspect, if we have such fatty superpowers why didn't we use them to save us all this trouble?

It may seem an unimpeachable sentiment to rush to reassure, but it must be balanced with thinking about what the possible ramifications of this might be. And if that can undermine what you are setting out to achieve.