Saturday, 26 February 2011

Real women

"Real women have curves" started out as a play written by Josefina Lopez. "Real" refers to women in the flesh as opposed to the airbrushed images of women used in advertising. The title as a whole is most of the response to a question. Why do actual women, women in the flesh not resemble these images? The  response; because real women have curves.

'Curves' was not necessarily a euphemism for fat per se, it has an undertone of the way women from certain classes or groups might be thin or thinner if they did not exist in their social/racial/ class milieu.

It referred overall to the kind of body not honed in the gym or by exercise regime but shaped by the activity of a living working existence, often discounted as activity because it doesn't appear to make or keep you thin enough. It does not by definition exclude slim or even thin women, nor necessarily include fat women many of whom do not see themselves as having curves or being curvaceous. I never have.

It touches on a precursor to the current computer airbrushing controversy, which is nothing new. Before computers it was the skill of the people like make up artists and more especially photographers that created these images.

It is problematic in part because its not from the usual feminist sources but a more lower middle class take. It was the assertion of pride in being a woman in the flesh who felt the pressure to aspire to a certain size yet was fighting back through asserting the reality of their existence.

It's that pride and directness of assertion of body integrity that was picked up by the late Anita Roddick's Body Shop with its Ruby campaign.

Looking at the campaign poster you'll find that it is about supermodels versus all other women fat thin and inbetween alike of real women versus the images of women  presented to us, affecting the way we all see ourselves regardless of weight or body type.

However when you read Anita Roddick's explanation you can see problems arising, it derides the bodies of the thinnest women. You might also note that Anita Roddick was never exactly fat, she actually once put on a fat suit.

And this is often part of the problem, when those used to a certain level of entitlement tend to return fire, they do it from there attacking other bodies to make the point rather than being positive about everyone's.

In the midst of an establishment crusade directed at pathologising their bodies it's not surprising that many fat women have picked up on that way of trying to reclaim self respect, when just being positive about a fat body is almost meaningless being way too broad a leap to make. They can see 'curves' more readily as a positive way to represent their fatness amidst the most unbalanced and hateful negativity. To assert and restore a sense of integrity to themselves and their bodies in lieu of anything else.

And it's often to answer more or less the same question that hasn't changed, the irony is this has now been medicalised and lent spurious authority by what purports to be a health campaign underpinned by science. It's like full circle, the message conveyed by RWHC is accessible with a directness that speaks to many in a way fat acceptance does not.

Most people have heard the term "Keeping it real". That use of the word already had traction and meaning before marketing used it.

Its an empowered and empowering response for many, in spite of its problematic elements, to something that should not be asked in the first place. It's assertiveness appeals, it seems empowering and does not require people to label themselves as oppressed or victims which is demoralising and humiliating, something some people in FA just can't seem to get their head around.

Even though FA wants to be diverse, this tends to be upturned by only listening to the kind of people it wishes to impress. 

Mainly the same types of people who are directing or making it their business to enforce the crusade socially. Who feel at liberty to make assumptions and to interrogate the kind of women who are feeling the "real" thing, about their bodies and lifestyles in a way they would not tolerate directed against themselves.

I'm not talking just about race or creed and not one social class either, both Josefina Lopez and her central character in the original play managed to get to university. It's about people who have low incomes, work hard and aspire. The kind of people who's lives commitments and actual real life existence the crusade blithely disregards and sees their perception of their irrelevancy to it and it to them and their needs as an expression of the degeneracy that makes them fatter or plumper than they the better off feel they should be.

I'm afraid fat acceptance is not reaching them much right now and when it does, it doesn't appear to be greeted with much enthusiaism. Maybe that doesn't matter after all that's pretty much in keeping with the general view.

But if we are expected to bend over backwards to understand the more elevated classes and their contemptuous attempts to hide their disdain in concern trolling, then I fail to see why other responses less offensive than this should be dismissed without consideration merely because it doesn't cloak itself in any airs and graces or the language of acacdeme.

We can choose to keep slamming this out of hand, or we can seek to ask or even try and understand why it seems to be such a powerful message speaking to so many different types of women. Either way, it does not seem to be going away.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Defining compulsive eating

I happened to find this entry in wikipedia, it was one of the most upsettingly ignorant things I've laid eyes on in a while. What could motivate someone so clueless into bothering? Rarely is this subject covered and on the rare occasion it is, the person clearly has no idea what they are talking about and is credulous and offensive with it.

So I decided to try and describe it from my understanding and I warn you I do not go for the typical eating disorders mentality, this is my understanding of it having experienced it myself.

Compulsive eating  happens when your natural hunger and appetite signals increase substantially out of proportion to your body's energy and nutrient needs. Eating is innate so its switch; hunger can be less than or above a normal range.

It is not "mental illness." That mentality comes about by starting from the basis that weight loss dieting is a rational and normal way to eat.  It goes we are in full conscious control of what we eat , therefore if we are eating a lot-it is harmful/ a killer and because of that a compulsive eater must be mental.

Rubbish, it is a mechanical imbalance, like having eczema because your body's production of skin cells is excessive. It can often be caused by stress and emotional issues but it's also often like being fat, it's not the seriousness of the situation that causes CE or weight gain, but the sensitivity of your response to that stimulus.

So if your body is sensitive to stress in these or other areas these responses occur at the same level of stress as those who remain thin or continue eating normally- they simply don't have that tendency.

It is the case though that in some it is triggered under duress, mine was elevated to disorder by trying to restrict my intake of food to a healthy diet. It upped my desire for foods that I wanted to avoid and that developed a momentum of its own.

There are also feelings of upset about having the problem adding to the distress which can put you under a lot of pressure. But I'm reluctant to describe eating disorders even anorexia as mental illness because I find the basis, dubious. A lot of it is down to the reaction of other people, like fatness is defined by everyone else whilst we are silenced.

As the basis of eating is innate and we have to do it, the appetite needs to be put back in harmony and the hunger signals/desire to eat, lowered. And as the aim of recovery from addiction is to stop taking the substance, neither the treatment model nor the definition (of addiction) make sense or are useful for CE.

The only food addiction is alcoholism. As well as being a food, alcohol is a drug and alcoholism has another genesis, craving rather than above normal signals. ibid, the body's adaptation against it's excess of signalling (to eat).

Hunger rises from the body to the head. The idea of false hunger or head hunger is wrong, hunger is hunger. It may be of a different kind, like when you have a craving for something as opposed to acute hunger, just needing energy, but it is no less powerful a signal for the fact that you may not need the energy to live.

The body has the capacity to trigger hunger (how much you need to eat) and/ or appetite (what you need to eat) in response to moods and emotions. What's called comfort eating. This tends to be mostly innate and widespread. Some don't have it, some have it a little, others have more but don't put on weight or much and others find their limit seemingly inexhaustible.

The problem is not the eating, that is a symptom. The issue is to relieve the problem that causing it.

Dieting or food restriction is a very bad idea if it is in full flow, it will only stoke it up, I didn't realise this until after I stopped trying (to diet).

The thing about compulsive eating is its not about pleasure its about the opposite in a way, lack of pleasure. You'd think that would cause the hunger to fade but it doesn't in this case ,it seems to stimulate the signals further upward, in order to try and close that pleasure gap.

All the time I had the problem I honestly cannot remember once enjoying eating. I felt embarrassed about this for a long while. It never affected that upward drive. The only pleasure I got was the relief of these endlessly nagging signals that actually did almost unhinge me at times, because it felt like nothing I did would make them go away for long.

It made eating a truly demoralising experience n the end and boring, yet, that never affected the overriding desire to eat. The only pleasure I felt was a bit like when someone's standing on your foot and its hurting and they (eventually) get off. Its relief not pleasure.

That's why its so well named as compulsive. It is a lot like other compulsive actions like hand washing. Eating becomes a mechanical hand to mouth process, it's urge has no shape, no peaks, just the grip of a mounting panic like desire and the temporary relief of it.

It's like the desert, really dull and stretching out seemingly forever.

It's as if your overall lowered mood of depression or heightened mood of panic/anxiety (or all) has spread to your eating and appetite too but instead of quieting down, it starts to shout moan and nag you endlessly.

Everything is ramped up to a higher setting, hunger, need to eat, reaction to the sight of food-you feel totally distracted by it. That gets really old too as you can't concentrate on other things. The way hunger feels has a strangely overpowering emotional impact- I didn't notice until I really started recovering.

It's like the feeling of it shakes you up in an unnatural way, the difference is quite disturbing. It is ludicrous to say it gives you a high because you can only enjoy eating so much and more doesn't equal more enjoyment or even any.

It is a relief of the trigger which may be raised or affected by emotional disturbance mood imbalance but it does not dilate your pupils or make you walk unsteadily or fall over. You can tell when someone's high if the writer can point to footage showing compulsive eaters falling about in a food induced stupor I'll be convinced that some people can get high from it. There can be a trance like quality during an eating spree but please, you can get that travelling down the motorway. Trances are everyday phenomena, I don't need a disorder to go into one.

Otherwise I'm calling BS on the high, altered state of consciousness salaciousness.

As for not being physically hungry, no, but your body is often prepared for it and that's what no-one points out. I'm sure some people eat to they vomit or whatever at times, but mostly your body accommodates it. When your hunger is functioning normally that would be really hard work sometimes impossible.

I know I can't force myself to eat stuff if I'm not hungry so I know the difference. He says that the brains of people with CE get more stimulated by certain foods, but when they analyzed the vomit of bulimics they found they were made up of the foods they were avoiding.

Though never that, I can relate, my diet became increasingly split. The foods I craved were really the ones I was trying to avoid. That's why in the end I've had to let go of healthy eating as it would not let CE fade if I'd kept it up.

It isn't just cutting calories, it's restricting foods that can trigger episodes of eating. All that he calls withdrawal could be and are consequences of trying to treat it (with restriction). Which I'm not sure about because I wouldn't touch OA (I refuse to link to them) with an extra long barge pole, but I think they do exactly what made my problem, stop eating certain "wrong" foods.

Some of them also calorie count and believe weight loss=recovery. The only reason they go on like this is because they are useless. They do not treat or cure it, they just fight with it and presumably support each other in that.

They are welcome to it.

So summing up this page it is overwhelmingly utter tripe.

[Edited; I've corrected typos and clarified a few points]

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Addicted to survival

Bri led me to a discussion about fa(t)shion, I'm afraid my interest in that area is still dormant (not sure exactly why). So the comments gained my attention more than the post itself. Although the usual fat hate derail was present and correct spewing its usual effluent over proceedings it still managed to be unusually varied. It featured other streams of thought one about the place and value of allies.

I've been looking forward to people reclaiming these 'events' by being taken up with the intensity of actual ideas. Although I know moderation has to have a hand even to this extent, I hope this is the start of something.

I have to admit though one of the trolling moments caught my eye showing as it did how the rage and fury has meant a lot of notions are going unquestioned at all ends because they are usually either not heard or ignored.

Someone called April responded to the 'food addiction' wheeze haters think is eau so clevah right about now, at the end of this comment;

Lastly: How can you be addicted to something you have to have in order to survive? That’s like saying I’m addicted to breathing.

The response from T:

I am not trying to diminish the rest of what you say…. but “How can you be addicted to something you have to have in order to survive?” Are you joking?

To be fair, it might be in the wording but what is the counter you might ask? Me too, let's find out from :[

Gluttony, or eating in excess, is the addiction of food.With your logic, anyone who has ever tasted alcohol will forever be alcoholic. It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

It's easy to laugh, we've all under the pressure of hearing something that outragous to our sensibility failed to be able to explain why that is just sooo ridonkulous.

It amuses the way they dealt with their unquestioned sense of righteousness bumping into a modicum of polite countering.  Parlaying their shock into that is just so absurd I can't even find the words, which of course hides the fact that you have no counter, doesn't it!

(I won't tell them if you won't)

This tactic might work (thus far) in the context of fat but when you start invoking addiction, you are talking about something else.

What April says is true of course addiction is the wrong model to use for what is necessary for our body's even if it is in excess because that excess has to be an imbalance of what is required rather than the acquired necessity of that which isn't.

That it seems difficult to differentiate actual necessity from that of acquired necessity shows in part the amount of leeway given to the subjective feelings of addicts about their addiction. I have to say that has always seemed to me to be because the addict persona comes from the male persona.

The extent of this means that something we all need food and eating is compared to something we do not, as in our consciousness, the need the addict feels has assumed a greater power even than the need to eat. IOW addiction feels more real, more of a necessity than eating.

Part of that is also the trivialisation of female experience or ability to define human reality from her experience, i.e. fatz. This has actually compromised all human beings ability to understand how eating works, which is why it can be described without irony in terms of addiction.

The irrationality of all this has always pissed me off no end it permits the rancid " you can be addicted to anything" horsejiz.

NO YOU CANNOT.

If we continue the example of breathing, hyperventilation or over-breathing would be the correct model-if imbalance is actually present- and that hyper pre-fix tends to be used when vital processes are out of whack.

Because they are innate they have inner machinery-so to speak-dedicated to their continued function. These cannot be attacked or removed without doing the same to existence, so they must be balanced. To be frank with you that would be a better bet with addiction, in the sense of re-balancing the underlying chemical basis of addiction.

Addiction  is when the production of pleasure chemicals we need to function (rather than survive) are compromised, due to manual intake. The body reduces production as a reaction to them being taken to reduce the possibility of overdose. To a certain extent depression has a similar problem, it can be a deficit, like addiction or a faltering of the system under assaults on your nervous system.

When you have an idea of how depression can undermine function, reveal aches and pains-mental and physical- you otherwise wouldn't feel-you begin to get a sense of part of the addiction process but also why abstinence is such a load of shizz. And why it fails.

Yeah, that's sounds familiar doesn't it? Judging efficacy by its actual results rather than what they are supposed to be. Keep doing it and blow your mind.

The difference between the way we see over-breathing and overeating, shows how far off a rational track the crisis mentality has put us. The excess in a necessity especially is usually about lack elsewhere in the same mechanism, like a see-saw with one end up in the air and the other down on the ground. Not knowing what that is makes it hard to deal with genuine cases of hyperphagia and/or polyphagia.

As an aside, binge/compulsive eating disorder/s should probably be "polyphagia or hyperphagia nervosa". Because a) that tells you something about them and b) it's not about eating nor is it necessarily about damage to the structure but provoked by the physiology of the mind and nervous system.

Addiction may be like that in certain aspects or may feel like that emotionally, but it is simply not appropriate to form a basis of understanding from the unnecessary comparing the necessary to it as if the positions were reversed.

Mis-using addiction this way is about the agenda of hype and panic, there is also stigma. There is a real cruelty to that, just as addiction was beginning to be seen by wiser heads for what it is a physical rather than a moral issue, others seek to use the stigma invested in it to add extra to others, underlining both.

As we've all found one way or another, fat/self acceptance tends to occur when we realise that obesity doesn't describe us but the opinion of fatness, it is a phantom and we are just chasing that. The root of obesity is ob edere basically "to eat " doesn't that sum it all up? Normalcy patholigzied and replaced with a normalized pathology.

I mean, who doesn't eat? When fatz do it becomes a pathogen causing the disease of fatness. You couldn't make it up. Oh, actually you could, if you have the privilege.

When fatz believe in this we end looking to confirm what isn't actually there. It is disconcerting how easy it is to do this with the duress of authority pressing on you. Turning your everyday existence into signs of the demonic eval you are creating with conscious intent. I wish I'd noticed that if I was creating it I could just stop creating it the same way.

Such a costly oversight.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Ethics and placebos

It's sometimes hard not to be amused just seeing the title of things like this post "Pretending that evidence is difficult and complicated".

Indeed.

The first thing that occurs is the way the complex 'obesity' and weight loss is going around serving as an explanation for the results of repeated failure. That tells us nothing other than that approach is mainly futile. To boldly state from that what something may or may not be seems overly descive.

You can only assess the complexity of something if you've studied it rather than what you are convinced will/should/must be true. I never liked the 'complex' argument even when presented by fat activists, it seemed to me yet again to pay extreme regard to what has been a rather mindless approach of late. It behaved as if the study of obesity has been rational therefore we can draw rational conclusions from that.

How can we?
 
Anything is 'complex' if subject to endless blunder. They say simple when you know how, which can also mean simple when you are taking the right approach, when you are looking at it the right way up.

The idea that the repeated failure of a guess = complexity just gives yet another out clause to on the cynical farceurs who've run around like Keystone cops (place cursor on the +) in the face of facts they're studiously blanking. For their own ends.

Then there's the complaining about things like homeopathy. I was slow on the uptake when it comes to the medical ethics and placebos, due to the way 'advice' on calorie manipulation has flown in the face of that with a shocking disregard.

Apparently professionals are not supposed to engage in treating people on the basis of placebos because the investment of belief in them may require a false presentation of facts, or outright lying. And lying to patients is unethical even if it might benefit them.

It seems logical now, but I'd never have guessed, I thought I was just upset because of a petty sense of injustice.

Even if they have nothing else to offer and feel bad/ ashamed/ powerless about that.

They still shouldn't tell people something works to manipulate the patients behaviour, the  authority we invest in them could make us very vulnerable to this form of persuasion.

They should acquaint their patients with the facts, so they are informed and can based their consent on meaningful. Doctors wouldn't want patients to consent to what they wouldn't if they had a more balanced view of the situation, would they?

Therefore telling people to do stuff that is ineffectual at best let alone harmful is unethical.

Umm.........

Whoop de don't

*Trigger warning: Weight loss dieting featured throughout and in links.

The thing about lionizing the absence/shortfall of fat hating in those who make weight their profession is it's obliviousness toward those actually in need of bona fide treatment.

Its hard to see issuing guidelines to the medical profession to stop harassing their patients with quackery about the intricacies of "weight management" as anything to celebrate.

Really, who cares?

I mean what's happened here?

They've (partially) acknowledged the biological reality of which there can be little rational doubt. After all if that were not the case, there would be nothing to manufacture a 'crisis' out of.

Do we have such a low view of the medical profession because of the low standard set by 'obesity' that this is a cause for celebration now? It's partly because I thought more highly of them that this kind of thing doesn't seem like anything much at all.

And are we really so self absorbed that we consider the real problem to be the iatrogenic mindwarp of pseudo anorexia worship rather than why obesity professionals don't have anything for people like Georgia?

That should have been their purpose all along. There was a time when I thought this was the point of making it about all fat people in order to overcome the lack of interest there might of been in people who have some kind of metabolically generated problem or imbalance.

Now I wonder whether the opposite is true, that people would have been more interested in this if it had been presented from this angle with some suggestion that of course the answer for outliers would probably be the answer for everyone.

It's saying something when even the fat phobic lackey media can finally understand something more is going on than their usual hackneyed obesity narrative and ask who is going to help Georgia? They know the answer is not what 'helped' her rebound by 7 stones/98lbs/ 44.4 kilos, from a starting point of  33 stones/ 462 lbs/209.5 kilos at the age of 15.

Rebound is the end of virtually every diet attempt in people of every size including thin so this was entirely predictable, blaming it on parents or the individual is a distraction when that is the general experience and if anyone doubts it, they can look at the growth of weight- there has been a shift upward across the scale. Take a look at the growth of the industries of slimming, fitness and bariatrics in the meantime and explain why none of this has interrupted it thus far.

Those who prey upon the fattest to prove the validity of their useless cult to themselves have 'helped' her by assaulting her body further giving her system a good beating from more than one side. And leaving her feeling what is entirely typical is her fault. I'm sure many of us remember the feeling of thinking we had it sorted this time only to be carried back to where we started. Oh the fury and frustration with ourselves!

It's the vulnerability of the situation that is so evident, along with lack of ideas from those who are happy to shout slanderous platitudes at fat people in general, but quiet as mice when they actually have to push themselves. To do something difficult.

That is what professionals and scientists ought to be working on night and day. They've received funds in the name of it so what have they got?

What are the 'guidelines' for a situation like this? There should be before there are any 'guidelines' for those troubled mostly by the crisis mugging. Healers purveying and/or colluding with stigma, then stopping it partially is in my view, nothing. Above all do no harm is clear. Doing harm, then withdrawing from it to some extent, whilst having nothing for those who are in need, is risible.

The backpatting also seems ableist as far as I can tell. Those of us who only or mostly need an end to stigma are ok, so that's all that matters.

Young Georgia has more than one factor noted to be disproportionate in those who reach a large weight at a young age, parental bereavement.  I once heard a bereavement counsellor who specialised in working with children state that a study had calculated targeting grief counselling at bereaved children in general would be enough to make a palpable cut in morbid obesity in children.

Let alone other things triggered by that. There's also overspill with parental seperation through relationship breakdown too.

Even now she is only 17, I wonder if having a good course of counselling for that would help relieve some of the burden of stress on her, if she wants that of course. Practical support for her role as carer for her mother is needed, she's been a registered carer since the age of ten. She wants to go to college so if help was given that could enable her to move on with her life and do something for herself.

There also could be a compulsive eating disorder response in all this which is caused by the nervous system overstimulating the appetite and hunger often triggered by being trapped in stressful situations although it can develop spontaneously.

For the record size is not in itself a diagnosis for these things, it's about the possibility of greater likelihood or prevalence which needs greater investigation.

It is not weight management that is needed, it's actually ways of turning around the metabolic function so that it weight is reversed as a side effect, just like it comes on. I don't believe attacking it directly is the answer at all, even more in this kind of case.

* (others are abuse and having a parent or relative who was/is mentally ill.)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Thinking through your body- part 1

Trigger warning; mention of extremely negative feelings

Wow, even the possibility of fat people improving their fitness and/or health as fat people is just too much for some. I don't object to the questioning the study findings, but this resentment about possible loss of bullying rights is just sad.

I went through a period where I felt all I could do was swear off exercise and direct attempt at physical fitness. My demoralisation with the way we are supposed to approach the concept- run at it and try to cling to nothing had reached a point where it was just another source of hurt to add to the rubbish bin marked "pointless".

As a child I took part in a sports, nothing major I slowly burned out as the divergence occurring between my body (and therefore myself) into viewer of something to be watched in order to curtail it set in. I've not fully gotten past that to this day.

Getting to this point has meant having to psychologically unburden myself of what built itself around that split as far as I could. The harder part is to repair the actual split the physical alienation between thinking of moving and actually doing it. Either stopped before it starts or by an aggressive build up of tension or ill feeling.

Recently I stumbled on the fact that the whole hating parts of your body thing; "I hate my stomach, thighs, behind, hips etc., -or the imprint from having had long periods of this-can be enough to affect your fluency of movement.

One day apropos of nothing in particular I was of a mood to focus on each part of my body in turn, I can't remember exactly what I said, but I remember gently focusing on each part of my body and kind of apologizing by thanking each part, feelings of gratitude, that sort of thing.

Sounds hippy trippy but I was amazed that I actually felt and moved better soon afterwards. I had no idea those thoughts could just linger, even though overall I'd learned to be accepting and kind towards my body.

It hadn't occurred that the whole body might feel demoralised by abuse directed at it in the same way we can be. I'm supposing that is the mind body connection and that these attacks can become part of a conditioned reflex. The way you think about and through your body that can interrupt it's competence and the fluency of your ability to produce movement.

That is in addition to the numerous messages we get from voices of authority that fat bodies are physically incompetent and incapable due to the 'disease' of fatness. The endless warnings and orders about our health should be are one thing, but the requirement of premise that it is not possible to become fitter or fit without automatically becoming slim displays an even clearer desire to cause harm through confining to the wish fulfilment element of obesity.

That this is required to make fatness fit the predestined prognosis is the kind of thing that has undermined the belief in what we are told, over and above our own personal experiences.

Don't even talk of the female cult of body loathing as bonding etc., ritual. Yes I'm sure there's more to it than we wish to face.

Think about what that may have meant for millions of fat people filled- many since childhood-with taken for granted assumptions of their incapable "unhealthy" compromised bodies. Even if that were so, some kind of rehabilitation would be the correct response not encouraging sidelining and withdrawal.

After years of trying to attain fitness whilst whatever intrinsic fitness I had began to actually fade, which I would have been better off supporting. I felt I had to let go.

The last straw for me was when I was doing some rather tame exercises and out of nothing feeling an intense aversion crash through me like a wave.

Disconcerted I decided this time I was not going to give in. I was going to step back (in my mind) and just let whatever it was wash over me because for once I wasn't doing anything extreme, I wasn't pushing it, this just must be inner laziness coming out to play.

I'd be cleverer, I wouldn't try to suppress or ignore it, I'd just relax continue, be polite, tip my hat to it, but not engage directly or battle with it.

So I continued.

Then there was another wave. Bigger this time, step back, continue.

Hey, I thought this is alright, it's going to be ok, this time.

Then;

BOOM !!!

It was so ferocious, the feeling so piercingly intense that I was stunned. It was the most intense feeling of violation that I've ever experienced in my life.

I stood open mouthed because I had to describe that to myself, what it felt like and excuse me but the first and only thing I could say was;

It felt like I was violating myself.

I'm aware how horrible that sounds and I apologize but it pointed to the way I felt as if I has allowed myself to be taken advantage of and that upset me more than these strange responses. I'm not much of a crier but it stung my eyes, I thought just what do I have to do to make this whole diet exercise thing work?

Why couldn't I just do what I was supposed to do without finding some way to mess it up? Who feels this way, who behaves like this? That's where my head was at then. When you keep falling short and you are hurting because you are trying to prove you want to make good and you just can't, it doesn't show. Feeling it should be so simple, self pity is the order of the day.

And I felt very sorry for myself indeed.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Irresistible loathing

Apart from noticing my sucktastic proofreading e.g, just noticed I can't spell 'irresistible', I hear on the fatsphere grapevine that our 'hate the fatness love the personification of fatness' friend Dan Savage is grinding his phobic axe uhr-gin. This time with a witty little 'satire' exposing the irrationality of an anti gay (marriage) bigot from Iowa.

Said nitwit feels that gay folk are a public health hazard to society as they have a lower lifespan than normals due to 'the "lifestyle" of homosexuality'. I'll pause whilst you pick your jaw up off the floor.

But let's face it, it's hard to ignore just how closely that matches the basis used to justify stigmatizing fat people and people like Savage know that. Which is why they are so fed up with fat activists insistence on pointing out how his hypocrisy undermines his message-some wag said in the comments that there is no such thing because ' fat ACTIV(E)ist' geddit?

ROTFLOL.

The big giveaway is satire’s supposed to undo its subject-the bigot- not leave that aside and abuse to allegory-fatz.

If he wishes to try this again, he should pick a group he doesn't so obviously loathe.

....even if gay people had lower life expectancies (which we do not)—and if that "fact" all by itself was a justification for banning same-sex marriage, why stop with gay people? Iowa should ban fat marriage. There are, according to the state of Iowa, more than 1.4 million obese people living in Iowa. That's nearly 30% of the state's population, and those numbers just keep rising. The social costs of Iowa's obesity epidemic are pretty staggering—and those costs include including premature death and lower average life expectancies for Iowans.

Do you hear the spear piercing the poisoned heart of homophobia? If so, yours is better than mine. It's fascinating even something as dear to him as marriage rights for gay people must take second place to digs at fat people.

Iowa, an overwhelmingly Republican state is 11th in the US league table of plumpness/fatness or 63% and 6th in life expectancy (78 years).

Savage's home, (not birth) state is 51st in both plump/fatness at just under 50% and life expectancy at 72 years respectively.

As we know round these parts figures of overweight/obesity rates are all over the place when it comes to matching them up with life expectancy and I'm sure I knew that as soon as I read his (likely to be) false assertion of premature deaths and lower average life expectancies, didn’t he check it out?

His struggle with fat hate is increasingly like a microcosm of those clinging to homophobia. Not anywhere near as dangerous right now, but how far do people wish to test that? Not all attacks happen on the streets.

There's always some 'excuse' as to why human beings are unpredictable, not paper constructs and therefore subject to laws and imperatives we don’t fully understand. So much easier to assert condemnation. This momentum of prejudice only gets easier to go on and harder to stop, I don’t expect perfection, but if he cannot root out this temptation what does he think he’s asking of others?

Inevitably many of DS's supporters who go on to spew the usual nuanced take on fatness, defend him using Swift's famous raging satire against the British establishment's murderous neglect and abuse of the Irish to explain our error to us (in case mere reading did not).

In the same way anti gay hateists feel 'put upon' by the insistence of ditching their hating certainties, so Savage and his band are fed up with those who cannot stop seeing right through him. We know that in his head he is hiding his phobia to himself as he thinks that is clever it ought not to be visible to others either. Just like homophobes who think the ‘concern trolling’ route hides a multitude of sins and are just sooo obvious.

I think he ought to dispense with the temptation to imagine the ‘swap’ playing on his mind will work out has he might imagine. Fat people as methadone to wean haters off the hard stuff. Often you'll find addicts develop a taste for both. After all these attacks on gay people have been taken and used to bait fatz to the extent that he's on board with it.

It was not inevitable.

Has all this really lessened the burden of homophobia? I very much doubt it, yet fat hating has gained a ground in the meantime. I daresay the fact that this state is a conservative one is supposed to give pause for thought by linking fat stigma to gay stigma for Republican types, to let them in on how it feels.

I can see that he is trying to hold people directly accountable for homophobia whether it’s black people and prop 8. Or homophobes who represent a ‘fat state’, but dealing in the same techniques he himself said don’t pass muster smacks too much of master’s tools.

I’ll leave the rest to the man himself;

"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own" Jonathan Swift

Thursday, 10 February 2011

'Obesity' boondogglers

Well, I continue to flit between the weird sensation of feeling discombobulated and writing stuff that doesn't seem satisfactory in any way. Nonetheless, I had to respond to someone finally responding to the puzzle-if people are convinced they are "dying of fat" or whatever why they do not at least inquire as to what the hell obesity 'science' is intending to do to save their lives?

Or even, when they think they might get interested in studying weight/metabolism in ways that make sense.

Or better still, what is the purpose of the existence of 'obesity science'.

I certainly can't quite figure out the latter any further than-the continued perpetuation of its own existence.

Which is the imperative of all life force animal vegetable and I daresay mineral. Even ideas that get into your head seem to slide into persuading the rest of your mind to get on board with it, as long as you invest in with sufficient energy.

One of the more genuinely appalling things about the low standard fatz police themselves into and are policed into, is the seeming lack of interest in their continued survival after they insist they are mortally ill.

I don't think I've encountered a group with such a sense of cringing detachment about their own continued survival including those labelled with the stupid "slow suicide" tag, certainly they could take a leaf out of obesity science on that one. By any means necessary as the man said.

Which intrigues is do any of these people genuinely believe they are dying or are they so used to talking themselves into this feeling-for the purposes of "motivation" etc.,-that they cannot back down from it yet don't really believe it? I assume genuineness but they so don't behave like anyone else in the same position it's hard to tell.

It's like being told endlessly, yes diets do work you end up doubting what you feel has to be true because of the gawping mis match between fact and feeling.

Indeed, one wonders the exact same about the science of obesity which shows such utter lack of urgency as I've never encountered from a field that has talked up the lethal nature of the adipose cell to the extent where it can secure mucho funding, which is when seemingly all said 'urgency' peters out.

Not to mention its utter lack of vocation, intellectual curiosity or even real respect for reason perhaps even science which they seem to turn into a parody of itself. It has disgusted me to the point that I can barely stand to be in contact with it.

As 500poundpeeps states;

When I looked into this stuff, this was the late 90s, I couldn't find ONE study that had taken the severely obese over 400-500lbs and actually seriously studied them.

That is almost as appalling as weight loss butchery 'cos as everyone knows even if you have only a cursory interest in any topic, what's one of the first things you want to know? How bad can it get? What's the most, the least, the greatest, most extreme outlandish example of it

You want to know it's perimeters, where it gets better or worse, more or less because that gives you a framework,.

It is in the outliers that you can see the effects you're studying as most severe is likely to be most clear. Any 'discipline' that is not interested in that, let alone wildly disproportionately is not serious or even interested in what it's studying.

Indeed, they are way more interested in cases of fatness that are arguably pretty innocuous and fitting them up for a profile more suited to that which they ignore. Everyone needs to ask themselves;

WHY?

I recently searched PubMed myself to try and assess the percentage of studies on acute obesity (and similar) relative to the subject as a whole compared to acute cases of other fields of (proper) disease and I found that the lowest percentage by far was 'acute/morbid' obesity in relation to obesity.

Staggering.

That they can get away with it in the climate of obesity hype is a tribute to the success of the fat shaming campaign and the sheer ubiquity of its hold on everyone's consciousness.

Even more so, they  get away with it thanks to the refusal of oh, anyone to give a damn, including those who are at the extremes and their families friends and loved ones.

It's sad that it has taken the 'crisis' to show me just how much the self esteem of those studied can affect and facilitate the study of them by others. I thought science was above that, but why should it be? Like everyone else I'm used to science presented by those who appear to be studying things without fear or favour, standing up to some relatively powerful interests-like the pro-life lobby, the whole of the general public, politicians-often with a lofty disdain. I made the error of thinking that was there default position.

I was ignoring that not all science is equal and well scientists have about as much courage as the rest of us. And sadly with some if they can  get away with taking liberties as they can and do with fatz they will, so they do. Just like any other group of people, ethics can vary substantially.

It's really disconcerting to know that you actually have to come across like you are not going to take any shit and hold them accountable, or they will let you swing, simple as.

As I've said before, metabolism must be mastered/ manipulated for many reasons, even if only to save people from the odious abomination that is weight loss surgery. But until those who feel most in need of it get mad as hell

Which shows the way folks have completely written off the professionals coming up with anything-well to be fair they keep saying it themselves! (More on that later).

It's hard to see how their happy playpen will be interrupted from here.

Well, that is apart from this.

Friday, 4 February 2011

*Awe(some)fatz

I hope this will see some adequate resolution this time. One of the first things I noticed that really surprised no, shocked me about the fatsphere was the atomic level fury directed at any awesome fatz (I've just discovered that courtesy of allthatihavemet at tumblr) who have the bare faced nerve to state the obvious.

That if you are further up the fat graph, you are likely to get it in the neck far more than those who are let's face it, acceptably fat. And why are we acceptably fat? Because to some extent awefatz have broken our fall, d'ya get me?

When I was young I was ahead of the obesity spike, I was just about the only fat kid/teen in the world-OK that's what it felt like-then one day some years ago, people kept telling me I'm not that fat. I thought "Wait a minute I know I'm substantial enough" it was then I noticed that I had stayed the same for a while and loads of others bigger than myself had joined the party, a lot were young true, but there were more people who I thought would be slim for life-and so did they!!

I hope this isn't going to sound crass but whatever reward comes of not being an outstanding target for intense vitriol makes up for any possible ish-yoo's I could ever have with 'exclusion' i.e. the open recognition that I do not fall into whatever category I don't fall into.

When it comes to reassuring smallfatz about their place in the movement etc., One line sums up how I feel, let alone Marianne;

Why is that the job of larger fats?

Exactamundo. I've never asked nor would ask any awefatz to give me any reassurance because I see that as my job, if I'm falling down on that I should not be shamed but I must recognise that is mine because it can only be mine.

I don't object to people feeling 'erased' when other people's experience makes some of theirs look or feel like a vicar's tea party, I've said that about thinz in relation to fatz. The issue is the ability to recognize a response that needs to be worked through because it is a projection of your inner feelings onto someone else and one which is actually responding to something coming from said person.

Incidentally, I feel similarly about thinz who keep on about how they want to know that fatz don't hate 'em. I've tried to be patient with that one for a least five minutes but found myself quickly tired to heck of being drained by insecure thinz because:

a) I recognised the futility of trying to persuade someone I hadn't said what I hadn't said because it seemed like I might of....no matter how earnest my protestations.

b) You have to question why reassurance is needed and the short answer is, thinz have been persuaded to either to phobe on fatz or hate them, so they are asking for reassurance that we are better and less corruptible than them and don't feel the same, in other words not equality.

There's an element of temperature check, they want to know how much of the noble fatz game they are oh so used to (but don't acknowledge) is still in play.

In the case of smaller fatz I would venture to suggest looking for reassurance to check that awefatz are not going to exclude them, the way they clearly sense they exclude awefatz. In a sense this exclusion has been set by "obesity science" as it is the only field I know of with such a low interest in the outliers of its subject.

The message of inclusivity and diversity has gotten across many well meaning folks desire to include is out of sync with their ability to carry it through. Or to overcome-if that is even the right word- their desire to gravitate toward their like and those they feel comfortable with.

This has meant regardless of how deeply nice folks are or how good their intentions in the real time  dynamics of human interplay, they've instinctively eased a.fatz to the edges of certain spaces. I'm not saying its deliberate but if they want their own spaces it must have happened too much.

There's clearly more, I noticed before some smallfatz are passing on the chain in this instance they feel they must be noble to thinz therefore, awefatz must play that role for them. Who's supposed to play that role for a.fatz? Why no-one silly! It seems that smallfatz recognise status differential full well and just deal with stuff by moving the obesity game up the scale.

So awefatz become the obese and we become acceptably fat. The complexity of human response can never be discounted. To be fair, I think its under people's (full) awareness that their minds make these instinctual shifts, however, they do that to some extent because of the beliefs already in their head.

People sometimes get upset with me and think I'm just being a pain, but when you extend yourself falsely to others, both yourself those in the same boat who need that support tend to get shafted.

I suggest we all unburdened ourselves of the habit of faux nobility, it should no longer be our job to defuse the hate of others we now know is pre-decided and willful and perhaps we will not pass that on to others.

I'm not being modest when I say, I sometimes don't see the nose on my face. As ever I have to be open to the possibility that there is some legit basis of difficulty that I'm not seeing.

I also can tell you, I've absolutely no time for people who actually do make it their business to get sniffy about smallfatz and say they cannot possibly understand etc., believe me. I don't give a rats poo for that.

However even there it doesn't mean the underlying basis for that pissiness is not legit and some are going to have to stop avoiding that one as it is clear the line is made by both sides.

 * Sorry, deathfatz is fine but it has never felt right for me to use it.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I live this body

I can't tell if this is an adequate phrase to replace it, but must we describe people or ourselves as "living in this body"? As if there's an ickle master version of us floating around in a pod somewhere inside, observing it all.

It's not so much  that we live inside, its that we are a whole and we have an inside, we are stuffed we are not hollow. The self that's talking to you is not on the outside, true but it is not separate from it either.

I suppose you could say your kidneys live inside you if you wanted to be cute, but saying your self lives inside your self is a little eerie. This body is you.

It seems like part of the kind of thinking which declares the mind a citadel which can control our bodies anyway we want by dictating to them via this central nub and haven't we had the privilege of seeing just how badly that can go?

It speaks to the Cartesian hangover, the artificial distance between mind and body.  I wonder if it is possible for it to be a seamless whole whether we could ever get to a point, or a access a point where we could just be aware of say our liver or heart and other parts of ourselves, not just when they demand it by feeling 'funny' or making an unusual amount of noise but as a different focus of attention?

Not constant, but when directed by intent like I'm looking at this screen.

It's a  bit unnerving to consider. Would it be distracting or drive us a bit loopy-like tinnitus does with some-I always found it comforting because when I could hear it things were either quiet or I was calmer, less distracted. Maybe mine was mild.

Would pain be unendurable not having to get through the numb layers of all that is cut/edited from our ready attention, in part so  that we can notice things (outside ourselves) but also our attitudes to ourselves and our bodies?

Or does getting past that help gather the pace and strength of pain causing an overspill effect not always stemmed by the dimming or end of the cause?

Would being in at what comes before hurt change the way we felt and interpreted sensory distress, if not for the removal of surprise? I think the change would give us more options maybe we could change the rhythms of our impulses opening out our senses,catching synaptic impulses slowing them down, re-directing or blocking/highlighting them.

We'd feel different just existing. Perhaps we'd communicate differently too, with fewer words and more in tune with our non verbal ways.

I don't know whether its greater awareness or longer life spans but I think of what seems to be more people living with chronic pain so acute that it sometimes cannot be touched even by the strongest narcotics.

How would this complete mind/ body symbiosis change the way we see our bodies/selves? What would we not do with and to ourselves, would it not make much difference either way?

No answers today but I do know, I am this body, I live it I am not inside it is me.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Self respect whilst fat

In the past, I've accused people of having no self respect. That was not always correct it was no self respect whilst fat; being it or thinking about (being) it, either of those switch it off to varying degrees, in some the difference is dramatic.

From proud to abject cringing in a second.

I noticed in pre FA days that no matter the level of personal esteem, it plummeted to the general hating levels everyone shared. I always yearned to hear someone break that ubiquity because some of us like to see the underdog come through, out of curiosity if nothing else.

It actually ticked me off that fatness never got a fair shake never got to be real, to be truth. In my case it was different though, I really was greedy and lazy. But other people weren't-I knew that-I could see it with my own eyes and I was sad that no-one could seem to even slightly defend that. I yearned and longed for someone to just refuse to go along.

When things changed and I got off the self/fat hating route this desire turned into determination. Now I would have to try and get as close to that as I could. But it felt so far away, not because of it, but because of me and how I felt about myself.

To hear someone able with a reliable ease and absence of defensiveness talk about fatness, honestly without any of the fake baggage loaded on it, would be sublime. That's the thing, its not about what I or fat people want to hear, it's about honesty.

To get away from the whole of the discourse on fatness and the folks normally so arrogant about themselves who insist on the luxury of fat hating creating two forces that can't meld. So, they project that fat loathing and low standard on to you.

Yes, they expect you to support their hating, whilst they continue a hate they are neither paying for fully, personally or socially as it is fat people on the margins who will pay.

The fake honesty of "I am an obese I'm so ashamed" is as dead as dust. Increasingly meaningless devoid by repetition of nuance and feel. People insist it is there story they take it seriously and seem to see it as a duty to form their experience around that trying to inhabit it. That often shows it up even more. It just feels like a brain deadening assault on us all. Sad that it has come to this.

I thought I might find this lack of apology in the 'sphere and although I think we do incredibly well and are often inspiringly bravura. I'm not sure anyone's really completely there its trickier than I thought it would be.

I know we will get there, but its the anticipation! The how that keeps turning around in my mind.