Friday, 5 November 2010

The weight of work

A small story highlighted at kataphatic features a man who cleverly sued McDonald's (he had worked for them) got compensated for feeling he had to eat their stuff every day. He gained 65 lbs and became fat.

It's funny because they couldn't fight it and lost, both in essence due to fat phobia! It's hard not to laugh.

What's more interesting is the kind of tangled response that comes up a lot in FA;

I mean, I have no problem with people choosing to eat at McDonald’s but I think it’s pretty clear it’s not the healthiest choice, and no one should ever feel compelled by their job (or anything else) to eat it.

If I was to close in on the central issue it would be-leaving aside the fact that he felt he had to eat McD's everyday- the balance of needs, his versus his employers. Which is what kataphatic said, so why the need to introduce healthism into the response?

Why do people have to keep referring to the purported un/healthiness of food, as if they are avoiding cracks in the pavement? There is no conclusive evidence that the type of food we eat causes weight gain. Plenty of slim people eat the food associated with fatness and remain so; in fact some people can only remain slim on a normal or even high fat/sugar/carb/protein diet. We only hear about it the other way around fatter people becoming less so or thin, due to healthist eating. It seems some people tend to be thinner on an inefficient diet-healthist- and others on an efficient diet-normal.

It all relies too much on association, which to me is a sign of persuing the wrong direction. If someone's metabolism is responding and adapting to emotional, stress or other imbalances through altering the balance of the appetite, and/or hunger, you can associate that with the kind of foods that tend to get the job done best, high fat/carb/sugar/protein, but that starts the causal chain, towards its end point.

Why would one get a craving for cucumbers during a physically/emotionally draining time in one’s life or when our bodies or minds need support? People need to face up to the fact that whatever we’ve decided to think about water heavy produce, they are nature’s junk food.

The most compelling point is that the ex-manager was unable to respond to his own personal needs and had to (felt he had to) respond to those of his employers. The kind of equation that makes WLD so dependency inducing. If so that put him out of sync with them, which may or may not have unbalanced his metabolism making it less efficiently realised and having to adapt to that.

I personally don't get why that would necessarily make him eat more, you don’t have to or not much to start putting on weight if the conditions are affecting the right place. For instance, during pregnancy a woman’s rate of using up calories can stall, meaning that their weight can increase significantly, double even.

It may have been the stress of a McD's career that made its food more appealing to his palate, although that is not his argument. It seems difficult to eat what you don’t want to eat every day, and why could he just taste like a chef? He could also have spread the burden, all employees get a free lunch, unless no-one takes it up, he could have got their views too.

Perhaps his inflexibility and lack of creativity was a problem, or the reflection of the pressure he felt, perhaps. That level of fear makes demands on our bodies and minds, it can be very draining which may affect our energy needs.

What I find interesting is why we feel the need to make a point which suggests fatness is a sign of unhealthy eating when that is an assumption we often refute ourselves?

The truth is that the healthy/unhealthy eating argument contains so many false assertions that it is difficult to fully disentangle the worthwhile from the worthless but one of the more obvious ones is the pretence that eating certain foods makes you fat.

How can that be when just as many slim people eat that same food? The whole point about the crisis is that it fixates on food, because it is a way into people's consciousness really it seeks social control. I say that because the obvious failure has made no difference to this fixation, if anything, it's strengthened it.

Every religion seeks to monkey around with what you eat, as a vehicle for adherence, for you to express your devotion to the cause and make sure that when you do something you will probably do at least a few times a day on average, you are constantly underlining and reinforcing that code.

That is the purpose of it in a secular context; it takes that pattern, to remind you of whatever the secularist manifesto seeks to bind you to. I've often been surprised at the way many religions embrace it, but then they are maybe picking up on the underlying theme of observance they are used to.

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