Friday, 15 October 2010


Here's a sticky one. I've been thinking a bit about boundaries lately. What can be the extent of tolerance of WLD?

By the time I got involved in FA, I felt a bit like I'd come out of a close intense friendship/relationship where I'd been doing all the chasing and running around. I'd listened, heard and tried to please the other one and when it became unsustainable for me, I was forced to stop and rest.

Only then did I have to confront the way things really stood between us. It’s not that I was completely unaware it's just when you are modelling behaviour in yourself, moving towards an aim you tend to keep your eyes on the prize and certain things fade to the background. The indifference of the other party becomes, they are right to be unimpressed with you on this score(weight). You'll win them round by assuring them that you are trying hard and mean well. You win the war with your body and shown it who’s boss!!

Problem is in having a chance to really take stock, although I didn’t fully realise it at the time made the relationship effectively go phfft!

Until then I'd just presumed that we were somehow in this struggle together, the other side as the mentor of behaviour/tough love exponent. Enlightenment was a bit like waking up from a really realistic dream of forgetting to put on any clothes below the waste and realising the cold wind on your bottom felt so realistic, because it is actually not a dream.

Its funny how the sense that the other party is in the right obscures such imbalance and there is rage abuse and contempt coming at you. Using every angle to stop you slow you down, get in the way.

Contrasted with your own eager willingness and openness and can do spirit, it’s all a bit of a shock. Perversely it was less overwhelming before because you justified the ill treatment and were in agreement, or at least, you submitted to it.

So fleeing that and at some point seeking and finding a community of similar experience and maybe conclusions, imagine the mystification when you are told that the answer is to engage with very people you are fleeing in the same terms as before, especially when they have made their feelings implacably clear. They want you to stop and go back.

My initial response was what, haven't we just done that? Wasn't that what helped bring us here?

It's not that I didn't want contact, I expected some resistance but I also expected a minority of rational commentators who would be enthused and energised by what we had to say and exploring its implications.

I didn't expect agreement, I expected people to engage analyse and question what we actually had to say, I had no idea there would be so much straw. This is about fat after all it's not that big a deal is it! Or is it?

The theme of doing what we already done to get here has continued all through FA, although interspersed with brava attempts at coming to terms with the deeply unpalatable distance that was always there between us, but was only revealed by our unwillingness/inability to submit anymore.

I sometimes think some people in FA want it to fail almost as much as some of those against it sneakingly want it to succeed. I'm thinking of those those types who don't want to deal with yet another example of authority to be so wrong so cynical in fact. And those who are not fat who's body responds to dieting who think if fat people accept fatness they'll be like royalty, respectively.

The resentment aimed at FA is a bit disconcerting -I'm not talking about "Who the hell do you think you are, don't you not know that you are fat?" that's predictable. Its the certain types of people are not allowed to know anything I do not although the other way around is OK. In other words, know your place, because you are not one of us. That's a familiar one in other context, when you're expected to sabotage yourself to play act superiority, the game is up.

A lot of us in FA are struggling with this kind of thing, because it has crept into our psyches too. The strings that bound us to others-strengthened in part by our very acquiescence-are continually yanked by all concerned to bring us back to heel. Sometimes one is wrong footed by the switch from the resolute outer directed focus, to see if we were doing it right, to the restoration of our inner agency and sense of direction.

In some ways I pity dieters, weight loss dieting has been so utterly validated with such ubiquity that it is understandable that they should see it as totally righteous and without question by any reasonable person.

It has taken me a while to perceive the abject shock so many of them feel at being almost forced to even contemplate any difference of possibility. Psychologically it maybe almost as hard to recover from the internalized fat hating process, anything but the rightness of either view to each concerned, causes feelings of confusion in each.

The rotund calls something brilliantly;
Dieting seems so performative, as though the person doing it needs an audience to bolster them through it.

Its totally about performance! Starting from the performance of an inaccurate and partial stereotype of 'an obese'. Acting a stereotype of a thin person (that hardly represents a lot of them) pretend it is the very definition of them. The latter causes thinness to come into effect.

This would not be as strange as it seems if proto anorexia was a viable proposition. It is its lack of effectiveness-it flatters to deceive- that makes us see absurdity, rather than a creative method of self metamorphosis. We are taught that its all about rational decision making. Yet those who hold themselves highly in this respect insist we pretend-don't say diets don't work, people will be discouraged-they know what it is, yet claim it has something to do with science.

Is this the source of the conviction that we just need to believe comes from? Usually though we don't have to start by playing an underwritten caricature of ourselves.

The motor of fat hatred was ignited by mass participation in weight loss dieting and the culture of restrictive eating for health. The former requires fat hating to support it and ballast its shape and it requires extensive support from the "audience", to facilitate its dysfunction, the opposite of what I think of as health-to facilitate (our) function.

The main issue is the insistence that we all take part and remain indefinitely in the experiment.

It becomes a demand for fat people to downgrade and despise themselves by play acting fatness as a terrible curse; to the extent that not doing so is seen as disingenuous denial.

We must tolerate hateful views of ourselves and be 'supportive' of the endeavour of dieting itself, even if it has come to be something that repels. If we do not we are seen as hurting dieters and if we do we are implicated in at least indirectly of perpetuating fat hating culture.

An answer would be to allow weight loss dieting to become wholly voluntary and for dieters to invent positive support for their activities, to no longer assume support as a rule for everyone. Is that possible on the large scale of participation demanded by the authorities?

I would never rule out the possibility that dieting could be in some way a positive thing, but the fact that most people are so angry at the possibility of being denied the negativity that currently supports it, suggests they don't even begin to believe it themselves.

Many repeatedly state that without coercion no one would bother-I don’t actually agree with that but numbers would fall, making it even more of an isolating experience than it is now, which is another reason for the need for company, dieting is like being sent to food Coventry and its anti social nature is one of the many reasons why it either fails or cannot be sustained.

No matter which way you look at it, it's going to get a bit messy; people's noses are going to be put out of joint by the seemingly sudden withdrawal of support, which might be seen by some as vindictive. Ditto those who use fat hating to enforce their daily beauty regimen.

However I will say that everyone has had plenty of time to pay attention to us and try to listen to what we have to say. So far the has been a lot of resistance and reluctance to understand what we are saying. That should have been factored in as part of the calculation made when folks decide to mis-interpret and shout us down. Should have made sure that being challenged and called on your hating wouldn't bother you at all.

To listen and hear what we have to say is to be forewarned. I don’t go out of my way to be mean to dieters, but I do not feel any responsibility for any feelings of upset when they encounter a differing point of view.

It’s not my duty to pander to anyone whose own actions and decisions mean they are clueless as to what some of us are saying. If there had been reciprocity in the first place this could have been more of a mutual thing and discomfort could have been encountered in a different setting. As it is, it has come to this, I’m sorry about that but I cannot force anyone to listen to consider. I would not actually want to; no body forced me to listen.

It has not been for the want of trying on our part and I certainly appreciate those who’ve dug deep and done their best.

Whatever the faults of people in FA we are only human and can only do so much. I would hope that many of us have learned the lesson of stretching and stretching endlessly and unquestioningly outward to the extent of neglecting what is inside.

Self support is vital in the end.

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