Sunday, 17 October 2010

Expanding the repertoire

I was given a nudge to think of an aspect of the conjunction between fatness and disabilities when I read this;

People who are unhealthy. Many people are unhealthy and also fat, many people are fat and disabled, and the framing of health at every size excludes them.

(My emphasis).

This is the frame;
I liked the idea of a movement specifically reinforcing the idea that being fat doesn’t make you unhealthy,

I was reminded that all fat people are expected to method act that we are ill and possibly disabled to help achieve the ubiquity of the obesity prognosis. This has created a reaction and desire to assert the true variety of fat peoples health, in this case average or normal health as it is that rather than, illness or disability that is being erased from the discourse. Usually its the other way round.

We have been set up this way in order to try and justify the special diet prescribed for us, one that rather than the elimination of troublesome nutrient groups or types of proteins, seeks to minimize food, full stop.

The nature of calorie restriction and the fact that it creates and often introduces numerous disturbances, pathologies and imbalances of its own, combined with the false premise, has created a desire to return to normal eating, movement and above all relationship to self, especially by those fat people untroubled by more than general health concerns.

This moves directly away from connecting with PWD in a way, although I'm not by any means saying that they all need special diets either because I know they don't. But it is salutary to consider this potential directional tension.

In a sense the closest an average fat person with average health is going to get to feeling like a PWD or someone who needs a special diet, is being 'obese'-as expected- and weight loss dieting respectively. And that is in part what they are moving against, because of what it does to someone to act the part of being ill or having a disability.

Its important to note also that the HAES was created in some part by those who either had or were moving toward infirmity and/or disability at least in part due to mental and physical obstacles placed in the path of fat people having a positive relationship with their bodies, especially as well as their minds.

I've said before that intuitive eating or I'd prefer, normal eating is not suitable for anyone who needs a special diet for any reason, because the needs that prompt that diet requires more use of conscious direction, which is closer to weight loss dieting than normal eating.

The thing that makes this more sustainable is the absence of calorie restriction, although that can often be a side effect, something that has been well noted by those who peddle them to aid weight loss.

Indeed, in normal eating the conscious mind plays an important role. Intuitive eating (which some think of as normal eating) however most people tend to assume it means eating with as minimal conscious input as possible, by bypassing it whenever possible. I actually think there is a place for this, notably when recovering from a long term weight loss diet/dietary restricted mindset, temporarily until recovery can begin.

The problem is not the conscious mind itself, but the overinvolvement of it to (especially) restrict calories which is the central failure of the WLD strategy.

So the issue is to scale back that over involvement to a more balanced ratio and divest it of negativity and anxiety about eating. The latter is something that's available to all no matter their dietary needs and there may well be some further applications to PWD/special dietary needs, but I feel like it has to come them as they are the ones likely to be most aware of their own needs and what does and doesn't apply.

I don't think its enough to say exclusion, merely because something doesn't and maybe cannot meet your needs but does meet the needs of others because they have differing ones.

All this leaves plenty of room for mutual upliftment, however when it comes to divesting oneself of pretending to be something that one isn't, how does that affect those who are in that situation in reality? Care must be taken to emphasise the problem is the falsehood, not the state itself.

Is there anything that can be learned? I don't feel qualified to answer that. There is no central body of FA, I think people have to contribute what they know to it because I don't think its a good idea to leave it to the ignorant.

The question is about support and working together to do whatever it takes-that we can do- to get that knowledge worked out, fully realised and included.

*Altered for clarity, apologies

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