Friday, 31 December 2010

Goobye 2010: Hello 2011!

Ahh! On the cusp of another year, goodbye 2010 it's been interesting in FA terms (I'm of course talking about the shift in response). Living400 has written a cool list of things she'd love to see the back of /would like to happen.

I won't touch that, but leaving you with something over the new year festivities, yes I know its by the whatever calendar, but I can't rightly be bothered right now to che.... Gregorian!

Suffice to say I acknowledge other calendars that I can't call to mind right now as equally valid in their own way yakka yah. I'm so full of charm today!

Anyhowzzahs, I was getting on to a list of more FA related stuff I'd happily see the back of and frankly over here there's still half a day, don't stand on ceremony waiting for tomorrow on any of these.

No more please, no really I insist ;

* People who claim to be in fat acceptance yet do not grasp one (FA) point of view that they already fervently disagree with.

In fact, people with purportedly polar opposite stances conservative/progressive no more about and can accurately surmise-if they had to- the other stance better than most people in FA can do the same for other people in FA that they claim to disagree with.

I understand that when you stop dieting or hating yourself, you think most work is done, we all do at first. You'll get over that, if you allow it.

Example- insisting that being absolutely against weight loss dieting/calorie restriction is 'extremism' designed to hurt the fee fee's of 'dieters' rather than a rational well thought out point of view.

When you have been told "no" take that as a "not so", not as "I'm a fat 'extremist' who talks bull and is without compassion or understanding for dieters"-and you wonder why people aren't 'nice' about telling to suck it!

If you want those under the influence of fat phobia to make the leap to understand you in the face of feelings of disgust and loathing towards you. Make that leap with your fellow FAers, umkay?

* The inability for fat people's views on anything to count unless they've been backed up by the only truth confirmers allowed on planet earth, scientists/researchers or unless it has happened to the real people i.e. people who are not fat.

Fat people are as human as any others, if something is happening more with or to us or just about only with us, that does not make it a sign of our innate degeneracy more than our innate humanity. It is happening to real humans and doesn't require the validation of anyone else. If we are not fully human, no-one is either.

* The blatant lack of self value and respect for our own fat bodies.

Weight loss surgery is wrong, full stop, no exceptions, not get out clauses, none. There is never a point when it is right or justifiable or good in any way shape or form ever.

N.B WLS is not a fat person, it is not fat people. So criticising it does not criticise those who've had it or are thinking of having it or will have it done. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do, heroin users needing to withdraw will tell you methadone is a steaming pile, often they feel its worse than heroin, but needs must and authorities have made sure there's little alternative there either.

Maybe because this assessment is formed from the male psyche and also from those so stigmatized and criminalized that there is no need for this fatuous Pollyannaish mentality women tend to cling to-presumably as compensation-that whatever we do must make us good or its ripping our hearts out.You are always more than what you do, more than what happens to you.

Conflating your very self with an operation to mutilate your very self. Is a sign of other things which won't be resolved by body shielding things either designed to hurt fat people or with an abject disregard for any level of our discomfort or pain.

I caused myself harm by trying to restrict and reduce my food intake over many years. When I say weight loss diet culture often makes me feel ashamed to be human, I'm not casting any aspersions on myself whatsoever, because I know I am not a weight loss diet. I criticise nothing but the idea of calorie restriction which leads to this kind of thing amongst numerous others. That is not a criticism of anyone who took or is taking these drugs.

WLS is wrong because it attacks bodies, it attacks human beings, it does violence to them purely for the purpose of undermining their health. Which is the logic underpinning an unprovoked attack on anyone. It would be just as wrong if it was done to thin bodies, the fact that it's done to fat bodies makes it an equal abomination. The devaluation of fat bodies doesn't affect that one iota. The end. And before you shout 'extreme' scour every version of that opinion until you completely understand what I'm saying.

Then see if you disagree.

Any group that cannot reject such vileness wholeheartedly, cannot claim to want equality because they cannot ask for what they don't believe in themselves. If you advocate for female genital mutilation, you are not pro the equality of females, you just don't agree with it, full stop.

That is not going to change because you wish to reconcile two incompatibles, nobody is owed that. Either accept what you believe or change your beliefs to what you can accept because something has to give one way or t'other. That's how many of us change our minds not always by being persuaded directly by another view, but by what we have to accept in order to keep believing.

If you cannot stand for something, you'll go for anything, sorry, but believing in things, excludes that which you do not believe in or that which is incompatible with those beliefs. If you try to include everything you exclude by another means, so make up your mind you cannot avoid it. I respect your intelligence too much to kid you on that one.

* Taking the start of opinion from the wholly illegitimate as if it is legitimate, because of its source.

The nature of the fat hating obesity crisis is bogus and illegitimate-if anyone is genuinely worried/ terrified of fatness being a health problem, they would never recommend what doesn't work. In the same way that if your house is on fire, I'm not going to tell you to pour petrol on it, because its liquid and there's not a drop of water to be had and "we've got to do something!"

What you do is the best thing you can, not follow busted logic-petrol is liquid-regardless of the actual results. If the best you can do is to get the hell out of there, that is something enough until you can actually do better.

In fact, they'd be telling fat people to think very carefully if at all before they wasted their time. Why?

Because if you are against something you see as a threat to health, your number one priority is to not make things worse and to exclude what doesn't work, it gets in the way especially if it is widely believed to work. What you want is something effective, if you aren't interested in that, you aren't anti anything except making cash money. That's why anti cancer charities don't recommend people who claim to cure it with snake oil.

In fact they would be ferocious in exposing that because the principle of do no harm is as important as seek remedy. Compare that to so called 'anti obesity' who first of all shout fire in a crowded place, with exits marked calorie restriction even though that has made numerous people fat(ter) and has not headed off the crisis, even though the idea predates it by a few years at least.

Taking the irrational as 'one side', merely because its authority mandated and fat acceptance as the end point (and suspect because it comes from lay people), claiming bovinely that the truth is in the middle is weapons grade bilge. A bit like claiming that the KKK is the start of opinion because it too has been validated by the authorities and the NAACP as the other and therefore 'extreme' in comparison with it.

Objectivity is about judging opinion on its merits, without fear or favour, playing the ball not the man as they say. If it is nonsense it is nonsense that remains unaltered by rank either way.

Claiming the NAACP is super radical not due to its content but by juxtaposing it with racism, not matter how many luminaries put on the pointy hood, is bull. FA should be 'extreme' compared to hysterical fat phobia as any rational impulse should be compared with an irrational one. Not having a mental breakdown, should seem 'radical' compared with having one, because of the nature of the two, not because the former is deliberately trying to upset the former, or vice versa.

Now disagree if you wish, I'd welcome it, I wouldn't claim to know everything, but disagree with the actual point. I have to refer some of those who (genuinely) aren't grasping that to a lyric from a song.

"With never the need to fight or to question a single thing".

If you rigidly think that whatever authority says must have some intrinsic virtue merely because it's you know *hushed reverence* from authority, regardless of what it says. If you think the mainstream view must be moderate, purely because it is the mainstream because it must, then I'm looking at yoo-hoo.

Those who have not been or kept themselves so sheltered should not have to apologise for being more able to contemplate a wider range of possibility on that score. Others share your feelings of embarrassment and betrayal, its just that it happened earlier or deeper before, taking it out on them is not the way to go.

I get that people think that FA has to have a huge membership- I don't agree with that assessment at all. An indicator is the MC thing, that caught everyone in FA by surprise which confirms my view that not all resistence happens or is contained in FA and its a tad vainglourious to assume it is or must be.

Or that it must appeal to Mr and Ms Middle brow of Middlesbourough, but I wouldn't be quite so condescending as all that. Many of those people are far more 'radical' and clued in than you. Yeah, not everyone's a joiner.

Some people don't join precisely because they see more clearly than they should and would rather keep the extent of that to themselves. You'd probably think they were crazy radicals anyhow.

So that's enough for now, I'm looking forward to an automatic recognition by fat people that we are as human as anyone and that means what happens to us, in us, defines the truth of being human as much as any other. If we do not, no-one else does end of story.

To all teh fatz of all races creeds, beliefs, genders, whatevers there are no group of people on earth finer or better, nor worse than you.

Got that?

I'm looking forward to it being unthinkable to think anything else.

Let's go for the instant gratification we are infamous for and make that right now.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Rules of eating

I noticed whilst cooking at Christmas-roasting meat-that by the time I finished, I had no inclination to eat it. Not that I wasn't hungry or that I felt any aversion to the food itself, just that I didn't want to sit and eat it after I'd cooked it.

This is not a complete surprise, its happened over a many years.

It's fascinating to me as for most of the years I spent trying to regulate my (weight) metabolism through diet, I was in the grip of an eating compulsion.

In short that is when hunger and appetite signals rise to higher and higher settings either to counteract this meddling or as a response to mood disorder/neurosis, or both.

You won't be told its that though, its described as binge eating disorder, nowadays and is often touted as an addiction/emotional dependence on food, because food is non essential of course. I don't feel this is a useful way to see it, but I just thought I'd mention it in case you were wondering.

I also am not keen on the insulting and typically inept "compulsive overeating" tag, because a) I think things should be named for what they are, not the compulsive obsession to link anything remotely associated with fatness to eating. Anorexics are not called 'starvers' bulimics 'vomiters' take note of that ED dimwits.

'Science' at its best.

Over the years, I finally realised control is only control if it actually results in or is control not merely seems or appears to be.

If I gave you something that looked like an apple but tasted just like a plum, you'd at least have to accept it was not an apple, it only looked like one.

Since then as I've let go of a lot of the baggage that I accrued with that plus some I had before and during it, perhaps after too (I'm still working on that) I've found that my hunger, especially, plus my appetite has changed slowly and erratically, yet surely.

In the past, most emotional (and other) stimulus seemed to trigger a chain reaction that lead to eating. This is what ED hacks call 'emotional eating'. I'd be fine, then I'd feel oh, anything; happy, sad, upbeat, hopeful, frustrated, anticipatory etc etc, and I'd go from fine, to wanting to eat.

Hunger had moved off centre as an instigator of eating and ceased to make sense. I hope one day to tell you all the fun times I had getting high on being dragged around by impulses as non-sequitur, but that's a delight you'll have to pine for.

This kind of thing has been described as using "food as a drug of choice", please, no laughing. However, as you can see, it wasn't fulfilling any drug like purpose. It was more stimulus, trigger, stimulus, trigger.

To me even at the time these descriptions made no sense-what it felt like was my system, nervous system that is, seemed unable to disentangle the stimulus of emotion, which travels along that system, from an impulse to eat.

Weird and unexpected though that was. I slowly concluded that it was more like if your arm is relaxed, you can flex; fingers, palm, wrist, elbow, shoulder. Not wholly independent of each other, but mostly discreet.

Whereas, if your arm is rigid and stiff, to move any part is to move all. In fact the more rigid the limb the more it becomes more like a single unit.

The parallel is that it was more like the tension in my (nervous) system had reached a certain level of tension constantly enough that the stimulus of feelings was not contained mainly there as that tension caused it to act more as one unit than more separate functions.

There was little pressure on me to eat with everyone else at Christmas, but over time people have got used to the change in me and I guess it helps that I feel little obligation to eat outside my own dictates. There's no hint of aggression, ut you know when you give off a sense that the argument is lost before its begun? That people don't have the will.

Now in general terms this might be seen as rude, I play things by ear, but what I'd say in general is social contract. I'm not talking about the fundamental and deeply serious aspect but of the clauses. The social interaction bit rather than social policy.

A lot of fat people are polite, but I've become disinclined to eat on the say so of anyone but myself, no matter what anyone thinks about that. Because the day society decided to talk "fatz eat yadda yah", was the day a commensurate adjustment should have been made in anyone's entitlement to question your desire to eat/ not anything at any particular time. Merely because its more convenient or nicer for them.

The raft of special eating needs has probably helped make this a bit of a moot point, but even if it didn't it wouldn't make much difference. I'm prepared to go the 'you don't want to be encouraging me to eat If I've said no and then telling me I'm fat, do you?' if necessary. Its only fair, as it doesn't tend to work in my favour usually.

I'm not hypocritical about it, I'd loathe to persuade anyone to eat what I'd prepared if they objected. I don't seem to take that in the way I used to, although I was never insistent because I considered not eating to be a triumph, yep, that was yearning speaking. I don't mind if you don't want to eat what I give you, I don't take it as a personal affront.

The rules of you should eat what your host has kindly prepared should be changed when kindly hosts all over are asking folks to 'stop eating', if people insist, they must be prepared for that to be at their table after they've sweated at a hot stove lovingly scaling the culinary heights.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Compliments of the season

Well, we are nearly at Christmas now, which lets face it was slapped on some kind of Winter festival called Yuletide.

I wish you compliments of the season-I'm sure that will do, time is tight. So what to leave as a thought? Well, lately I've been feeling like I'm able to disentangle more and more from the dominant mainstream 'view' of fatness-again. Which is just a de animated stereotype, especially evident when you let it go and seek to explore your own experience.

This time round I hope it sticks, because when you come round to a certain place again and again, if you're lucky, you'll find yourself getting if not stronger, more, your mind knows more, you've hopefully learned from the previous merry-go-around.

I'm looking at fat haters and thinking, why do I need to waste my time with you? It's so uninteresting. Why wouldn't it be, either they don't know what I'm talking about, or they seek to be ignorant-as you do when you take on other people's ignorance in place of your own possibility of knowledge.

And that dear peruser is what I wish for you this season, your own experience, unfiltered and unadulterated by the ignorantly overbearing who seek to impose the curtailed and strictured guesses.

Live and breathe everything that happens, both good and bad, though I hope its much more of the former than the latter of course. Maybe over the other side of this time, we'll all have something new something fresh to say and mull over.

No matter how many times you wake up and exist in the particular form you come in. There's always a new angle to perceive, to view it.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

FA 101

Fat acceptance 101 is perplexing. FA has always seemed to be slight at times embarrassingly so, philosophically speaking. It follows well aired ideas of equality etc., I have never cared one jot about that, my feeling is our protest is reasonable so if we feel there's something to complain about, that is likely to be correct.

We certainly need to be heard, apart from anything we've followed orders.

Even if something seems trivial and a lot of people care about it, by that fact it ceases to be trivial.

What excites as opposed to exercises is that it falls along a network of differing conjunctions and themes which reflects the uses people make of the obesity persona. It looked like a microcosm of so many aspects of how society regulates itself in a way that is not so obvious from other angles. A lot of them are surprising unpredictable, fascinating.

Crusade BS is the surface is dull as ditch water when it isn't mind numbing or laughably appalling. What some groups in society can get away with is truly breathtaking-again.

Take the way that it has become a vehicle for a strange voyeuristic at times rather lascivious observing of the bodies of (fat) children, with women joining in at times. Pouring over fat children's bodies commenting on every detail in a most unwholesome tone. How ironic in the midst of the often mentally dead farrago surrounding sexualisation of children.

There was a  study that uncovered the possibility that fat girls were more likely to have under age and (unprotected) sex than slimmer categories. What mainstream comment ignored is the effect of this invasive attention on their bodies.

Teaching them to see rather than feel and exist in their own bodies, on the contrary, prioritising weight loss can cause a numbing and estrangement from their own bodies and/or selves. Coupled with sometimes being ahead developmentally whilst not necessarily mentally and you have the potential for exploitation.

Down grading of one's sense of self worth is not good either and fodder for them that prey on those who are insecure and unsure.

I'm digressing point is, why would you need FA explained to you I thought? It's difficult to know what there is to explain, surely its harder not to get than not? Let's stop stigmatizing fatness, or treat fat people as any others, apply the same rules to them as anyone else.

People know this full well, and they've literally decided to suspend disbelief about ascribing the obesity persona to fat people. They always claim we are forcing them to mess with us, because we are talking about good people having trouble owning their wilful conscious badness.
Rather like you do when you fuse your favourite TV character with the actor playing the role. Drawn to the character as some point the player becomes the role, the character you can find you forget the actors name.

This is similar to what has happened with fat people, everyone knows we are the same variety of people as them, in essence yet they at some point decided or agreed to go along with the fiction that we are "the obese", the cyphers for what that's come to represent and now they can't remember that they are doing this themselves.

It's all so real.

You cannot imagine how odd that looks from this end. It's tolerable until you add a superiority of people who because they have the mainstream guff down pat, have to be imbued with the assumption that fatz are stupid (yes even though they are themselves) and they need things eck-splained to them. If you're starry eyed asking people to teach you about something, try a bit of humility i.e. acknowledge and respect your own ignorance. Or don't and forget about it. And hold your credulity about fat people until you can grasp what is being said.

Questioning is not the problem, it's the assumption that you're right-because you are imbued with the mainstream, and people in FA must be wrong, because you've dumped the stereotype of fat people on them-to get it off yourself.

Really, don't sell yourself so cheaply.

I finally understand that the best way to understand a fat acceptance101 is a list of pointers to help people to stem the course of their own suspended disbelief. Whilst they continue with it.

Maybe that can work!

Perhaps people are desperate for FA to be so convincing that they are forced to abandon their nonsense, other than that, they will continue.

So me thinking, why not just stop pretending and see if that makes it all better? Isn't going to cut it.

Friday, 17 December 2010


What is it about people and 'sides' between FA and the obesity crusade?

Whether you believe fatness is a disease called 'obesity' or just a condition of being.

What 'sides' would there be exactly?

Take having dry skin, what's the 'argument' against that? Or asthma, what is the 'other side' of that?

There can be differences of opinion around every aspect of being. About what a person can or cannot, should or shouldn't do and so on, yet one thing above all is paramount. The greatest health and well being of the people concerned.

N.B. I'm not saying that asthma is like being fat, but comparing concepts of disease to show how the crusade measures up with an ideal of increasing health or fighting disease. I'd advise everyone to do that, incessantly. Isolating fatness from everything else is key to maintaining the unquestioned status of obesity propaganda.

One has to ask if the crisis is so healthy and effective, why aren't they doing the same with proper diseases? Attacking people from a moralisitic stance, to 'save' them?

Lets be honest about this, the crusade has got nothing to do with improving the health of fat people that's why we need an actual conversation to begin. To stop people believing they will diet down the line, which fails or never happens. Whilst they could be doing other things that will actually benefit, before they reach a crisis point.

It is also recognised there are liable to be differences in perspective and culture between those who are/have said condition or state of being and those who study it and others. No-one insists the first know nothing and the latter, know everything, nor are they expected to just channel medical opinion, rather than consider their actual experiences and realities.

When it comes to any health matter there is only one side and that is to support, maintain and increase health, in this case, that of fat people. That is all that matters in this. There is no other side, unless it is against that.

No body on earth wants the health of fat people, more than fat people. Others may want other things; money, influence, obeisance. We want ourselves, intact.

It is our hearts, our spleens, our pancreases, our livers, our kidneys, bones, sinews, muscles, organs.

Our bodies.


No one else's.

Not medical professions, slimming companies, Big Pharma, surgeons, haters, pundits, hoi polloi or politicians.


And we are in our own favour. We are re-learning how to be more so after letting it be about other people and discovering that was really about them.

There is only one side, the side for fat  people. If there appears to be two sides, some people are on the wrong one.

Guess who?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Other people’s obsession too

I really liked this bit from silentbeep;

But I do know this: I’m done with the mental anguish and suffering over food.

So true.

After years of trying to restrict and direct my eating for optimum health, weight loss and to become thin, I've finally realised something really surprising. I feel like I just don't care about food.

It's all relative. I was on a constant programme of restriction and was always thinking about how to eat more of this, less of that and what the latest health hype nutrient/supplement/food was.

Not only that, the environment of concern around it is so over the top in all areas that not joining in feels remiss. Now I know why people who don't obsess about food often feel a bit apologetic and claim they need to start 'caring' about it.

They probably do care enough already, we all do in our way no matter what the health hypochondriacs say, but we can almost always get into a greater frenzy about it, in comparison to them.

My interest feels pre-crisis and there's real joy in that. I trust the lessons I would have learned through experience anyway and the whole episode in between feels like one long pointless interruption of balance and common sense. My interest feels so contained for the first time like its serving me and anyone else I'm taking care of, not the other way around.

It has removed a noticeable amount of tension from my life. I feel free and more at ease in general, not just around food and that feels like such a gift, I can actually enjoy eating for the first time since I was a young child.

I've realised what this has been taking out of me. Always trying to eat a maximum amount of the correct macro and micro nutrients, always trying to persuade myself out of eating x and into eating y, often eating y thinking of x and sometimes eventually eating it anyway.

A process that cranked itself up more and more as my appetite and hunger became more out of kilter, which horrified me. I was nervous when I ate, in the pit of my stomach, something I only noticed recently when the 'talking' stopped and I was relaxed enough in general to notice it was there whenever I ate anything.

So you'll understand  why the prospect of going back to before fills me with disgust, indeed when people get into their 'healthy lifestyle' chat I often feel repelled then bored. It didn't have to be this way, it's just 'keep trying' when it isn't working =overdoing it.

I avoid what I used to seek out.

The quieting of this white noise means I've finally noticed the overwhelming obsession everyone else seems to have with what they presume fat people eat/don't eat, should/n't eat. I know people tend to deny this if confronted, but when not they are always on about it believe me.

Because I'm no longer joined under the mental aegis of that culture-I'm still deprogramming but you know what I mean-I can perceive the abject nature of this fixation.

I've noticed too, that I don't give much of a damn about what other people supposedly eat because a) I know its likely to be food and b) weight to me is clearly a process that is controlled essentially by the metabolism and what you do or don't eat is part of and comes out of that. The conventional view no longer makes sense.

It feels as if folks are desperate to impose an eating disorder on fat people. It's like they need to see their belief re-inforced for some kind of a catharsis. Like someone with an actual disorder needs their behaviours to achieve or relieve certain feelings.

We've eaten too much and that's weighing heavy on the collective psyche, so for their relief, we must starve. Even though it doesn't matter that we have or we've tried- that urge cannot be satisfied by those it is aimed at.

It's like everyone is having an eating disorder by proxy, using fat people as the vehicle for it. They don't want the reality of it, they want it for you. That seperation and its lack of accountability just seems to make the obsession all the more frenzied, untempered as it is by reality. They could find that out from us of course but that would spoil it.

The fondness for fat hating feels distant and odd. The pleasure of 'bringing us to account' is a one sided one. It can be a bit like watching someone getting off on something that doesn't hold your interest, but they insist on you keeping them company.

When it comes to trying to lose weight the food route of restricting calorie intake was not my choice. It was all that was offered.

Now I wouldn't even be interested in it even if it did work. Its not just that I'm chronically unsuited to it-I focus on eating- my appetite and hunger increases to compensate-it's that I can't stand the effect it has on everyone.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


This from the excellent corpulent caught my attention;
The study was fascinating as it confirmed what fat people had long been aware of: that fatness, due to the notion that body size is infinitely malleable, was seen as disgusting as it transgressed people’s morals.

Can you see it? The key is 'infinitely malleable', it's that we humans wish to believe we are infinitely malleable and masters of ourselves. This is the basis of belief which then becomes invested with 'morality' to police it. Body size comes to represent an example of how we want that to play out.

What we have in a sense is the replacement of God with our conscious minds and dictates, in an increasingly non-theist and secular age. Its funny but people are directing their will at us in the same way they want us to direct our own will at our own bodies. They become all the more enraged when we do not succumb to their power making them feel impotent and needing to compensate for that with more orders.

They must be right all the time.

That is what is so offensive about fatness and triggering about fat people saying that diets-which represent conscious assertion of will over what we eat-don't work. Food being a necessity which we use to project an extension of our identity; to define ourselves is a useful vehicle for our deeply held beliefs. It also enables us to keep repeating them to ourselves.

That is why there is such an obsession with what fat people are supposed to eat/not eat.

It is hugely upsetting, terrifying actually to hear that we cannot order our bodies to do whatever we want in ways we have been lead to expect, a terror which was covered up by investment in God, well if the 'replacement' is possibly wrong there's just a void.....

Its too awful to contemplate, many times ((((((removed)))))). So much so that people cannot hear what we are actually representing, not that the conscious mind cannot control or direct things, but that it cannot necessarily always do it by the command and control model, which has become the model of conscious control.

You see a lot of this problem with sexism. Because feminism broadens the way we can be acceptably human, it becomes feared as the 'feminisation' of society, ignoring the fact that patriarchy authority is not the rule of all men, its the rule of some men by favouring certain attributes claiming these as male traits.

This means most men are not wholly favoured by this either, but are taught that it is intrinsic to them, any way, they are better than women that makes up the deficit. Feminism by increasing acceptable behaviours and traits also has the potential to release those men from the grip of a 'masculinity' that doesn't suit them much at all.

But they often cling to the favouring that makes up for it.

We in FA are saying not that weight etc., but that it cannot be controlled in the way we've been taught, the clearest and most reassuring way to us. Attacking fat people shows resentment of the fact that our bodies can't be made to lie or appear to be pressed into this model. We fear that because we want everything to fit 'science'.

People are literally in denial about this and are lashing out at us to make us to try and make it the way they want it to be, to reassure themselves. They're hoping that pain will force us into line. But applying pain to people will eventually make them fear it less. In order to survive, you have to change the way you see things and that can weaken their hold over you and therefore their ability to inflict pain, becomes self limiting.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Bodies belong to people

Over at discourse Samantha put up a video of an interview which included her-and Christine Morgan talking about underwear for fat people, it focused on those higher up the scale because that was something the programme makers could go "oh ah!" about, excuse my awkward phrasing but I will not use that vile phrase morbid nor do I feel comfortable with deathfatz as that feels like a specific in joke, rather than a more general one.

The post itself is about finding and using rational terms for those who are bigger, but after the discussion, something struck me that might be worth saying.

Taking a look at the opening frame of the video, you can see a young woman posing with a pair of large underwear to give an idea of their size. Not to insult her as a person, but she strikes me as looking really silly. As I said to spilt milk in the comments, I know the effect they are going for, but I'm a bit past having my buttons pressed by mere comparison to thinner bodies. I'm not ashamed and I do not think any other fat(ter) people should be either.

From what thinner women tell us, she'd be pretty mortified if I wore her draws as a necklace to show how utterly 'insignificant' and ickle she might seem in comparison to me.Which brings me to an important point.

When there was talk of allies of FA and what thin people could do etc.., at first I was surprised as I thought we'd all be in it together, sort of thing, but that didn't always fit. What has increasingly occurred is that thin people, women especially need to wake up to this kind of mis use of their bodies. Using their bodies to show up other people's steals it away from them too in part. It can be that insidious.

What we have to understand here is that this woman's body is being used as a tool to size ab absent fat woman's body. When I look at it, her body may not provoke any strong feelings, but that doesn't mean it has no overall effect on how people come to react to thinner bodies. They come to signify something that is not quite human, so they can become a bit less human, even though what they signify is supposed  to be positive.

And I daresay, they come to associate the pain they may feel from those comparisons, with seeing a thin body.

Some may say, its complimentary to her and deeply insulting to the (non appearing) fat woman, possibly, but what you have to see is she isn't there in her own right, she is a tool to measure another very marginalized and probably highly ridiculed and abused body. It is in comparison to that, highly charged body, that she seems overlooked, in some ways, she's not that much more present than the absent, because of the purpose of her being there.

What gets shoved into the background when people talk 'thin privilege' is that thin people, women especially need to consider rescuing the iconography of their bodies too, something a lot of them don't consider because they-their bodies-are not under the same kind of attack as others.

This mis-use of thin women's bodies to demean others, sometimes less fat than the women not featured, is part of why they may find themselves treated to aggression and resentment

Thinner women need to become more cognisant of this requisitioning of their own bodies merely to personify perfection of look, health as a visual admonishment for others, even if that feels like a win.

The alienation from other women feeds into the appropriation of the 'real bodies' theme as they have been separated out from other bodies to personify what to many is an unreachable and unrealistic ideal.

When their bodies are used in these kinds of ways, they need to defend the integrity worth and value of their very real bodies with their stories. They need to speak up, " I am healthy, because that's how my body is with its genetic, environmental legacy, not merely because it is thin" or "My body is struggling right now, honour it by not erasing that with pretence that it cannot be because it is thin".
In a different way, their bodies have been appropriated and depersonalized from being the kind that millions of women have, whether they are just that way, or it feels like a struggle, their metabolism must do most of that-whether the latter category are ready to hear that or not- so the natural thin (or fat) is not just a body that is like that without effort.

They must decide whether their bodies exist because they are theirs, without shame because they have to live up to an ideal they are being used to project, or whether they feel they do well enough out of that to go with the quo.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Acceptance and promotion of obesity

Even though being fat is supposed to be enough to show you up, that 'strangely' is not enough for certain fat acceptance detractors. No, in the tradition of those who wish to show who's boss, they wish to give it their own term, even though they clearly know that's not what it is called.

We'll leave aside those who cannot get HAES right, which when incessant is making its own little point.

What's fascinating about the response of the ignorant and thoughtlessly self absorbed is more often than not they end up blurting out exactly what their own aims are because they do not consider any other point of view, therefore nothing much else is in their head.

When it comes to their own beliefs, they say what they believe.  When others don't agree, they superimpose what they want to be the opposite of that onto those disagreeing, they do not actually consider other points of view. A sign that they know their own will not stand scrutiny.

The double whammy is that they are both therefore ignorant and not really engaging with any thoughts but their own, therefore they cannot understand but those. Some of the more shall we say, half hearted fat advocates tend to get wound up by being told they are 'promoting obesity'.

But what has struck me from the beginning is that is exactly how I think of the obesity crusade, certainly it doesn't care whether fatness increases or not-they are always predicting it will, until recent rallying. There genuinely is little doubt to me that its not a priority to master switch(es) that make weight go up or down-both would probably extend lives especially the former.

Its more about creating the appearance of this to fit into the system as it is already and serve other agendas namely protecting the medical monopoly from anything that is honest enough to derail it and put more true power of healing in the hands of lay folk.

Something that any profession has an impulse to do, keep the public dependent on them, its just the medico's have more influence than most, for now and they wish to keep it that way. Even if it is becoming increasingly untenable for all concerned and will apparently bankrupt modern health care systems.

Others wish to use it to create a weight based social hierarchy for the purposes of influence and  manipulation, directing the public-in lieu of the vaccum created by retreating religion. Ideally keeping the glory whilst offloading 'blame' (stigma actually) and responsibility to lay people. Even though lay people are too often set up for failure by having to follow their ignorant dictates, ignoring that those who have a condition often know as much, sometimes a lot more about what it means than those who've merely studied it.

There are so many reasons why I came to this conclusion even before I stopped dieting, it's just then it was out of focus as that was concentrated on seeing correct eating as a viable pathway. If it seems strange its because I ignored all my doubts and focused on getting results from my method, rather than bothering with the fact that obesity science as far as I could tell was a total joke with no real interest, by my measure for its own subject.

The acceptance of obesity as a construct is that of the obesity industry, I do not accept that being fat is a disease/eating disorder/sinful state/slag heap product of bad habits etc., nor that is a useful way of approaching or the underlying basis of mis-using the term disease to create an effect-add or take away stigma-rather than for its meaning.

But above all, I do not accept that because someone comes from a certain kind of background that this gives them special rights over anyone else, similar to a role of master and serf. I assess their ideas and if I feel they make sense, fine, if not, then I don't intend to knowingly allow 'rank' to dictate. I do not wish to worship my equals,  I seek comfort in other ways.

I could think of some names for them too-and probably come up with a better and more cogent parody of histopathology to boot and insist they call themselves accordingly, regardless of their assessment.

Luckily for them I was brought up to believe that I am just one person, not the secular replacement for the priesthood or a self appointed dictator of reality especially to those who know better -from a place of ignorance.

I was taught other people exist and they deserve my consideration by that very existence. So those who expect me to call myself anything they state or grounds I consider illegitimate, just look as deluded and irrelevant to me as I would imposing on them.

They need not worry, some people venerate everything they say, feel validated and loved by their every utterance and as long as that is consensual, that is up to them. Deference should no longer be seen as a perk of a medical degree,  now they are associated with such cant and shallow pretence.

I don't accept obesity at all. It should also be remembered that those who tell us to accept our obesity and that the first stage to exiting it is to accept that we have a problem with obesity natch (ye gads, think of the children).

And how many times have we been told that the impetus of the spread of obesity is people not realising that they are overweight/obese.

I leave the promotion to them, it should be obvious that if I don't accept it I'd hardly be interested in promoting it would I?

That is the vocation of those who believe we must pathologisevalidator.

Listen to them and learn.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Unhappiness is no shame

You know, I've been feeling a little out of sorts for a few weeks or so, several long and interesting posts have disappeared up the swanee as I've felt unable to decide how to get them down from some absurd length.

People have lives I say to myself.

So I'm thinking to myself, how can I cheer myself up? Okay, that's a little fib see, I don't actually concern myself much with happiness these days and its only just occurred to me that is a bit perverse.

In the past, my feelings of self loathing were such that merely stopping that to the extent I've managed-has left me still, with a sense that I don't fear unhappiness any more. By the way, I cannot recommend stopping hating yourself for raising moral. Too many times people agonise about how to lurve themselves but really, just learn to stop speaking ill of yourself is enough.

When you succeed at that, I say when because if you do practice it, you will succeed, remember your focus is to stop that train, literally repeatedly halt its momentum. You'll be amazed as you feel better in a random and unpredictable way probably.

I'm wary of boredom, being trapped, being unproductive and incapable but unhappiness? No, it seems relatively banal. I respect unhappiness and/or depression, but I refuse to be bullied by it, you know? I mean really I know it is powerful, but who exactly does it think it is?

Strangely enough, I used to be a rather happy person. Although continually chronically depressed actually it was because of it, I had a policy of making my own anti-depressant, that is, a conscious effort to be cheerful. I no longer count myself as particularly so, so I can be more how I feel and its such a relief. Towards the end of it, I began to feel a bit like I was making my own crack! if you know what I mean, that drive made me a bit manic at times.

If all that's a bit upsetting to some who feel that depression is a serious illness I will say that being so wholly unsuited to calorie restriction, yet continuing on that course and experiencing daily failure made making happy seem like a picnic, really. Its effects on me were that bad, in fact there was a lot of overlap between the two.

Anyway, I didn't exactly go on to world domination.

So where am I going with this?

Well, just to say that happiness isn't everything, so if you are not happy right now, don't let it get you down.

Seriously, I'm not (just) punning, allow yourself to feel it if you can't stop it without strain don't tense and get it its way, which may slow it's course just let it flow in and out knowing that you can survive. You have before and you will again.

I don't care how bad it is or how sad you are, you will endure and take it from there.

To borrow a phrase from FA happiness isn't a moral imperative. Never be ashamed of not being happy.


One of the things fat people are told is that we should ignore bad feeling against us and go merrily on our way. As if that is all we have to be concerned about.

What many of us have realised and said is that ignoring fat hatred doesn't work, I've agreed with this myself.

Is that the full story?

We have all been inculcated with fat phobia, whatever our weight. Those of us who are fat were in a different position we were not disliking or hating someone else, but ourselves. Just as thinner people don't want to get fat, we didn't want to remain so, being called fat had the power to upset because we were being reminded that we were what we didn't want to be, despite our efforts. We felt trapped, which often produces despair.

The hurt was from trying to mentally separate from our inner fatness, only to be constantly rejoined with it by being reminded. The insult was created by the shared basis of ideals. Don't be fat be thin. Only when you do not share that view, can you ignore

As long as you share the fat phobic consciousness, ignoring it is very difficult indeed, most of the time. What makes ignoring insults possible is not sharing the same basis of assumption or still being stuck with the (undoubtedly for many people) traumatic aftermath of all this. 

Only when you no longer wish to exit yourself and formulate another consciousness about yourself, your self esteem and worth can you ignore that which is now becoming something that is outside yourself.

Only when you have separated your view from that of the ignorant can that distance make it possible for you not to be dragged around by others hooking into the way you feel.

So yes, ignoring fat hating is possible, in fact I'd say it's necessary. By that I'm not saying don't fight, it's more that we probably do need to get to a position where we are secure in our own understanding of things.

Without that, we will continue to keep operating on a shared agenda, which means we are part of it and therefore cannot ignore it.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Seeking failure to succeed

Weight loss dieting 'success' can just as easily be read as the failure of your body's defences to fulfil their purpose-to make good any calorie (and/ or weight) deficit.

It is important to say this not just to put the another point of view, although that is worthwhile in itself, but because there are many people out there who think that because they are 'successful dieters', that is they can go on diets, find them easy and that they are either pain or discomfort free (or not in a way that bothers them) and lose weight on them. They of course rebound the same as any one else too.

They can tend to believe the claim diets don't work doesn't apply to them mainly because of that absence of any (great) pain or discomfort, the failure of dieting keeps being put solely down to this-some feel bad that they've not really experienced it. They have trouble understanding that the failure of dieting in their cases are no less an indicator of WLD's uselessness than those in (more) distress.

What they have to understand is that the issue of diet failure is not in the pain and discomfort, important as that is, it is in the function of the defences set up to stop it working.

Weight loss dieting has been presented as weight loss and the only truth when whatever your opinion on dieting, that is only a point of view. One that has been made to look like the only possible interpretation because it has gained dominance and gone mostly unchallenged.

And that (although to a lesser extent) includes us in FA, who are still mired within the dominance it has gained over the collective mindset. We may be trying to get away from that, but we are still part of the way society has seen weight, we are society. Whatever dominates it to this degree, tends to dominate us too, albeit differently.

This means that although some of us see this, we and supporters of WLD alike tend to use the same language which is focused around shoring up dieting's 'validity' which is theoretical as it is not replicated in practice.

We speak of being able to diet when actually dieting tends to proceed mainly because those built in defences either come into play slowly enough, hardly or don't really come much into play for some reason.

Not only that, the way it feels to us when those defences are in effect can differ a lot between people, for reasons one can only speculate on-we know that some of us like guitars are strung tighter than others (our nervous systems that is) and it may be this that is really causing the pain and discomfort when those defences are operating through that it. It can also be the other way around, this what is essentially a battle, can ratchet up the tension like you wouldn't believe and that is the cause of distress.

Certainly it is implicated in a lot of the suffering and aftermath of dieting, from eating disorders disordered eating, to the sensitized nature of a lot of battle fatigued fatties who end up in diet burn out, fed up of unyielding and unwavering critiques of whatever they've tried to do, even if it is precisely or more than what they were told to.

Physically speaking when you nervous system is exhausted by these repeated assaults upon it the capacity to diet abruptly maxes out or diet burn out. That's why when someone described it as having a nervous breakdown, but just in this area, was having a moment of brilliance because that is exactly what it is like and indeed is a microcosm of a more general nervous breakdown.

This is why I've always protested when people keep stating that diets fail because they are painful. No, diets fail because of the operation of these in-built defenses against self induced 'famine' or dieting. Whether that hurts or not may affect the duration of the diet in the individual, but is not really the decisive factor overall, if it was those pain free dieters would remain slim(mer). Instead the rebound is the same as anyone else's except maybe a bit more stealthy because it is not quite as hard won. Although I would not dismiss their experience, they are still inconvienenced, lead up the garden path, liable to the possibility of extra gain and any consequences of yo-yo dieting. This isn't about pain v ease, it's about a bad experience looking better because enough of the others had quite unspeakable experiences.

Its a bit like a car, you can have a basically sound clunker that chugs and grinds along making a riot of noise in getting you from A to B. Or you can drive in a car so smooth and quiet that you have to make sure you don't drift into a trance like state and forget you're actually on the road.

It is not the noise that gets you there it is the functioning of the vehicle.

Remember, levels of pain can also vary in the same person from attempt to attempt. Obviously pain (((((((really hurts)))))))), it's upsetting, it can punch way above its reason its supposed to that is its purpose, to get noticed and make it (increasingly) imperative that we act to relieve/remove it asap.

So in virtually any situation, pain gets the recognition, pain gets the noise and so it should, but that shouldn't make us ignore other cases and that it is not necessarily the definitive factor stopping something occurring, because that obscures the reality and makes it harder to understand or even perceive whats going on.

If you believe WLD's work or still use the language of it, you speak of someone succeeding or failing at dieting. If you try to define things by how the body responds to dieting then you realise that for dieting to succeed in any way whatsoever for any length of time, no matter how short in duration or far away from the 'goal weight';

Those defences have to fail in someway to some extent for some time.

Without this failure or lack of engagement of these defences diets cannot continue.

The other factor of course is single minded conscious determination to do what it takes to out-expend your overall metabolic condition. That though has far greater limitations than the extent to which your body fails to see off dieting. Some are able to play both those ends against the middle.

If we have a different point of view about things, we should explain those views according to those views, not according to the views we have rejected.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A contrast of trust

What sticks in my mind in all this, is that it is apparently so easy to mis-trust fat people or the public in general to be capable of reporting our experiences and what happens in our own bodies accurately in this particular area of weight and health. It has now been taken for granted that we are somehow intrinsically untrustworthy. In order to believe the defined tenets of the crisis, that fat people can become thin, by their own efforts, you have to mistrust us.

There is no other way to accept one, without the other.

Okay, we get that.

So contrast this with the way we are expected to believe everything we are told by those conducting studies in this same area-passively and without question. Their actions let alone their logic are not expected to affect that trust in any way, no matter what they do or say or how they conduct themselves.

The time has long since passed for me that I could honestly feel such a level of unforgiving credulity. It seems to me what is being expected of lay people is similar to that of the religious devotion that I rejected as a child. I find that these researchers are demanding from me a level of faith and trust I know longer feel and the reason for that is the way they have behaved and are behaving. Their utter sense of entitlement adds insult to injury.

And by this, they are dragging what can be deemed as 'basis of evidence' into a sewer of dubiousness. That I cannot and will not go along with. I am not an atheist to find a new vehicle for religiosity which I can hide from myself behind a veil of scientism.

If I'm not inclined toward awed reverence of a geezer in the sky, that goes similarly for 'geezers' here on earth, even when they wear white coats. Those conducting 'research' into weight, need to understand that whilst the desire for false superiority amongst humans gives their 'findings' traction among those who find them useful to justify their opinions. They do not with people like me who instinctively tend to shrink from belief that is divorced from rationality and reason.

This is what I find so upsetting, the way respect for scientific enquiry is being mis-used by those who see it as an opportunity to gain access to the minds of those who respect it's history, in the same way those who pontificate on religious belief see that as a way to access and control the actions of others. To do whatever they feel like doing.

Although very human, understandable even, it repels.

These people are standing on the shoulders of giants, only to dump something stinky from a very great height, at the same time expecting us to keep looking at the truly righteous whose only real concern was knowledge without fear or favour, regardless of what that meant, as far as they could manage.

I'm afraid I simply tired of those who insist on behaving as if those two types are interchangeable, they most certainly are not.

In the end, I know that it makes sense that weight outliers (at either end) are more likely to be showing signs of some activity of some kind in their bodies that are less likely to be present in those in between, that stands to reason.

Any physical outliers of any kind are liable to be different from those in between-that's partly why they are able to become outliers in the first place.

However, I can neither rule in nor out any prognosis about weight-good or ill- because I simply cannot take for granted that those conducting research in this area are even capable of objectivity even if they appeared the slightest bit interested in it.

By their actions their opining, interpretation and things they say, they are guaranteeing that either way the whole subject has been totally corrupted by its own history the way it has been defined and structured at every level. I may not be very clever, but I simply cannot pretend to be as stupid as I'd need to be to take one thing they say on face value.

All any of us can do is do the best for ourselves that we can manage according to our capacity to think and reason. To a certain extent, we are on our own as to what we do to take care of ourselves. That is what happens when research is distorted according to the intentions of those who see evidence as an extension of their own personal will.

Just like smiling priests you know don't believe in god any more than any non theist and that when they say, god's will is X, they are really saying MY WILL is X.

Those who abuse scientific method similarly are judged by their actions, just as they expect us to be judged on their assertions.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Circle in a spiral

This reminded me of arguments surrounding the panic about girls and very young women's sexual awakening and sexuality. It's one I've watched from a distance. It's funny, I feel strangely ill qualified to comment on it, because I feel its about things about women's sexuality that I've only really examined closely in more recent times. I've never been able to muster much enthusiasm for sexual theory, the idea of intellectualizing sex felt out of place.

I also cannot abide the concerned parent, mother especially, going off on one every time her daughter appears to be growing up too soon and how we ought to be protecting young girls etc., I just feel like that's making it about their reactions rather than the girl/young woman herself and I think we need  to hear those voices coming through and listen.

The trickiest bit centres on concerns about whether the use of the term 'sexualisation'-as in "young girls are being sexualised too early", due to say a fashion for certain styles of clothing-sidelines their sexuality by projecting a version of it on to them, treating them as sexually inanimate. Then there's this current vogue for complaining about 'slut shaming' especially from feminists. Something that feels like it has nothing whatsoever to do with people like me. For the same reason I cannot identify with the cries of 'body shaming' issues, as its basis is that your body is not shameful, like for instance, a fat one.

'Slut shaming' is more a concern for those deemed 'pure' enough to be labelled slut, if you are not it's kind of implied. In the same way a fat body comes with certain assumed implications. I also find it hard to give a damn about it because the kind leading the charge were very happy to insist other 'lower value' women were definitely sluts, in the same way they insist the poor definitely don't know how to eat 'clean food', when they were still playing chaste.

Now they've decided sexual liberation = having lots of sex, slut has become an outrage. Also fat women are now the 'sluts' and they're pretty happy with that in the main. Quite a lot of the slut shame protesters not only deal in fat shaming and resist any examination of it, they are aware of this as one for one swap, fat for slut, it's easier to use fat women to draw energy that would fall on the sexually active, or those pretending to be.

Thing is, to me the projection and assumed passivity of young girls and women of the 'sexualisation' tag, reflects the definition of both 'slut' itself which means that a woman is dirtied by sexual contact with men-and how female hetero sexuality especially is defined in general, woman as vagina sheath for the sword.

Lesbians sexualities, provoke a seemingly weird one (among many) in men, they wish to 'join in' or own and witness it for their own edification, which seems an extension of the previous impulse, although I understand some of it, maybe it is in part, curiosity, trying to figure women out more. Which would suggest an awareness of distance and disatissfaction, as well as a contempt for that passively defined sexuality. I wonder too if some part of them can imagine themselves as one of the women and wants a similar connection with women they have sex with.

So although possibly empowered by the arrangement, they are also missing a certain something.
Strange is the seduction of an arrangement you don't feel like letting go of, yet, yearning for things you cannot get without that. Again, that comes up elsewhere too.

A woman cannot be defined as a slut without referencing the view of her sexuality, beforehand therefore the term both speaks of and is that definition. It is solely about what men do (or do not do) not with to her. She is reduced in value by it, because she is changed from her passive innocence and pure state to one that isn't-hence why some girls and women are never called sluts because they are never 'pure'. I'm not saying that term isn't used and doesn't do damage, but it is more a question of stages, rather than either/or.

They are not allowed to be seen that way, for reasons that are about their use as adjuncts to raise the value of the pure. ever be seen as pure and/or innocent enough to be, also projection of course and often facilitating of and encouraging of abuse as 'slut' is. So the term 'slut shaming' is itself perplexing and has been rightly criticised as problematic in itself as the term slut is supposed to be objectionable, so what is the meaning of shaming a disgusting conceit?

But the underlying issue remains, where is an independent female (hetero)sexuality in all this? One that exists without reference to any other? How does a woman who sleeps with men have a kind of sex that is a meeting of two, rather than as a passive receptacle or sheath for the one that exists it its own right?

Men can be green, boys can be innocent, but they are not exactly 'pure', if they are, it's not for long. They are not sullied by any number of female sexual contacts, although their motives and capacity to 'commit' may be questioned, their value isn't. And they are not seen as 'fair game' for potentially dubiously or non consensual entreaties for sex, no matter how many women have ridden them.

Their sexuality is affected by contact with women, but exists independently of it.

So the assumed abscence of female sexual agency that underlies and creates the term 'slut', is far more important than how it affects your status with that construct.

We are told these kind of terms exist to control women's sexuality, but are they even more about defining men's? This is not a popular type of question because of potential WATM overtones, however it seems to me that defining men must be more important, controlling women is the means to that end, not the purpose. I know a lot of people have trouble seeing it this way and prefer not to.

I've wondered more than once why men are not exercised by the fact that they are cast as the 'sullier' of purity, especially in these days of looking at men and issues of masculinity and how mens sexuality is demonised-often anti-porn/sex (interchangeable, apparently!) feminists are cast in this role.

Without exception thus far, they avoid the question totally, preferring to bring it back to the insult to women, if they acknowledge that. Fine though that might be, I'd expect at least some of them to make more of a show of caring. I do feel they are avoiding it, possibly because it serves in some way.

Perhaps seeing men as dirty-in many senses of the word-or some how toxic (potent?) is a way of dealing with a product of being set up to represent certain tings. I always assumed that the feeling against men being seen to be overly concerned with personal hygiene was about manual labour being seen as more manly (and economically beneficial). Now I wonder if it's elevation's downside, that implicitly states that there is something wrong with what and who you actually are-that it is not good enough as it is.

Perhaps being dirty is a way of containing and dealing with that positively, that if men see themselves as a bit shabby, dirty, roguish, it deals with this peculiar deficiency by using a sado masochistic principle of using 'pain' to invoke pleasure, but in this case its an association of pleasure with something that might otherwise be painful. A bit like taking something that is an insult and by using it, changing it to a more positive meaning.

Women's answer to this has been to want equality with this kind of definition of sexuality, or to deconstruct sex or to want to liberate female sexuality. It's worth saying because men do not seem ready to go there just yet so its on the women.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Disease or risk factor?

Picking up on a meems reblog, originating from a definatalie tweet about a study, goodness! Some words on the status of the term 'obesity'. As we know, this is a faux medical term for fatness or being (a) fat (person). Such is the privilege of defining reality invested in scientists/medical professionals that even though this is like a group of 4 year olds playing at reality and getting it laughably wrong trying to fill the gaps of their inexperience. We have to take it seriously purely because of the source, not the merit of the proposition.

The lack of brain engagement doesn't matter its all part of their droit de seigneur. What it posits is that there is or can be an objective criterion for fatness, which due to the nature of physical variety is inexact as a rigid measure, yet can mostly be easily identified by observation.

We all know people with round faces who are thin and folks with big angular heads who are fat in body. We know of those who are finely drawn, in terms or bone, but are rotund, yet smaller than others bigger who are nonetheless not fat as their bone structures are more sturdy, etc., This is the underlying fault is at the heart of what makes BMI contentious. It tries to make a science out of what is often better observed, without the benefit of observation.

 Fatness has been seen as a sign of possible worsening health for a while; previously it was seen as much as a symbol of richness of all kinds including wealth and fertility. Since its development as a field of scientific study, there has been a debate about whether it qualifies as a disease.

This would seem to be easy on the face of it, you cannot turn people into a disease and fat people are above all, people, without exiting science and medicine, for morality, which is what has happened to fat people. Attempts to make a science out of it becomes quackery-due to the unsuitability of weight for this kind of categorisation and purpose. Trying to get round this by making fatness a pile of associations does the same. It is clear in more than one way that those pursuing these lines are no respecters of science and have other agendas.

The way fatness is characterized and tends to be present means that it can be categorised as more of a risk factor because it tends to be a marker of other things when it is anything much at all. Although some, notably researchers and some fat activists claim it is a product of genes for physical characteristics.

I personally find this unconvincing. It is clear that there is a spectrum of susceptibility towards weight gain and/or fatness. And I cannot myself see the purpose of fatness, in itself, full stop. It tends to be performing varying and various kinds of functions, or having done so, or genetically speaking, the product of atypical or atypically functioning genes.

To that you must add varying triggers, IOW, it is possible that many people of at all levels of fatness would not be if they had a different environment or different even different experiences within the same environment.

Perhaps the underlying factor is provoking a certain amount or type of a) stress and/or even more b) a specific kind or kinds of alteration.

The overwhelming majority of people start off either slim or plump then get fatter, sometimes very early on, but not stopping there, going all the way in stages to virtually the end of one’s life, this seems to indicate that susceptibility is about certain level of alteration being reached, which then facilitates gain-some clearly can reach that point far more easily than others due to their genetic makeup.

So it is fair to say "it's genetic” just not that has direct genes for fatness itself.

It is reactive and rarely consciously chosen, it happens spontaneously and cannot necessarily be predicted to occur or not to occur at any given point. It has become falsely defined by what is associated with, mortal sin rather than what actually provokes it, which is unknown, although there is a widespread and overweening conviction that it is caused by those associations.

What also complicates defining it as a disease is the sad drift from meaning that has occurred with that previous well defined and excellent term, the first definition here is relatively clear.

1. A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. 

There is the issue of prognosis, how does fatness play out as a disease in its own right? Its prognosis is not predictable, if you exclude factors such as ageing, left alone it doesn’t follow a particular course that can be separated from underlying triggers, causes or continued existence.

Human regulation of weight is really efficient in keeping us within a certain range-about 20-40 lbs of our weight at 20 years between that age and 40 years old on average (female), this variance is minimal when considering the amount we eat over that time.

Now we can become sensitized to weight and seek not to gain the weight of years, however it is a normal facet of living and the ageing of our systems, and is certainly enough to place most people either 'overweight' or obese categories.

In the end, it’s the fact that it always seems to be a product of something else, its indirect nature that marks it out for assessing associated patterns of difference which could be characterised as risk; focusing on it with the label disease obscures those underlying causes for surface distraction.

Reversing the fact that weight change may accompany other pathological changes, or can be a product of them, sounds more like superstition. You can associate fatness with X so if you get rid of that, you’ll get rid of / prevent X.

Weight is too general and indirect a category to be taken on its own for diagnosis of something else, let alone for the label 'disease' to be borne without confusion or being misleading, which is important.

That's so for other weight categories, for example, thin. Not in itself ‘unhealthy’ yet could be the product of someone dying. So whilst any particular weight could signal something, I daresay some say the healthiest category‘overweight’ could signal the onset of certain conditions to.

We must get to grips with the imperfections of life and ourselves, without the frame of religion and recognise that there is a gap in between perfect function, if that even truly exists and pathology. We must stop invoking the latter crudely because 'sin' is out of favour in certain circles. The momentum building to bolt the two together is getting out of hand and making medicine into something other than what it is or should be the treatment of disease.

It is becoming a quasi religious cultural marker of identity and self absorption. It is important that our health is a part of us and that it is recognized that our health rarely stands in isolation from our lives, however, allowing our lives and selves to become medicalised as a way of dealing with things that may not be exactly as we want them is not a good idea.

We have become used to all sorts of habits being labelled diseases-seems to be the influence of the vagaries of acquiring insurance coverage often lead by the US health industry. As well as movements to remove stigma associated with conditions being labelled, 'self inflicted'.

Ironically, using the term for fatness is meant to do the opposite, induce stigma,taking a medieval line-the more you think of this, the more you have to say this cannot be the product of scientific minds- undermining the meaning of the term (disease) even further. It is difficult to see how any state seen as undesired can avoid the tag as the definition has now become so loose.