Saturday, 30 July 2011

Writing your own obituary

I've often wondered why there hasn't been more of this. Rather than whining to anyone bursting the calorie restriction bubble, as if calling out false promise extinguishes something real.

A woman called Lillian is directing her complaint about the way things are in a direction that finally makes sense.

Unfortunately, her demand is not for proper research and science i.e. find out how to stabilize weight, once you can do that repeatedly and predictably you have effects to observe, narrow in on and extend to actual weight reversal, because to stabilize in a sense is to reduce, by not adding gain that may have existed without it. And so on.

Instead her cri de coeur is directed at weight loss surgery.

Ain't that a doozy?

The waiting list for these operations is supposedly about 10 years, the writer a Nova Scotian feels she may die from her various health challenges whilst waiting for "life saving" rearrangement of her vital organs.

I've never understood for the life of me, why if fat people really believe they are dying, why don't they plead for their lives? I know the endless warnings have had an effect on a lot of our psyches. To this day, I often find myself wondering if this or that twinge is the end, I’m not kidding.

So how much more if you really believe the end is nigh? I’ve asked this repeatedly, to little avail.

There’s a lot of talk about how "we need allies" again, why haven't those who we know love us stepped in here long ago, surely even if they think we are too greedy and lazy they don't believe we should die because of that?

Even before things reached this point, why so little to say on the efforts they’ve seen us make to comply with our instructions? They’ve seen us; they know what it meant to us, why so little challenge to those claiming we’ve done nothing?

Ditto the professionals, I've heard concern from them and how worried they are about the health of the fat patients they tend to for a variety of reasons, yet when I ask, why don't you and your colleagues get together fire off a few e-mails about how something needs to be done the game's up, clearly what we have isn't going to do it, save these people!

The strange idea that we need to persuade "allies" to come forth when many have needed little persuasion to join in the burial of our efforts and how we really weren’t taking it seriously enough, they don't seem to need too much persuasion for that kind of thing.

If their loved ones are dying, or they merely believe we are, they surely would need no persuasion, they’d be coming forth themselves in a terrified condition, full of the stories of all the mountainous pile of fat bodies whom their loved ones are joining and what is to be done?

Wouldn't you feel like that if you thought they were?

Sociologists and other observers should be commenting on the dwindling numbers of people on low incomes dropping like flies because the “epidemic” of fat, the mother/fatherless children and so on.

Save them! Would surely be the cry from all sides.

Even now, I really don’t know just how much people really believe fat=death and how much it is a conceit that has gotten out of hand, like people believing their own lies. Because if they truly did believe, I find it impossible to accept they’d be so blasé, it’s eerie, and somewhat implausible.

In fact, I humbly suggest we start asking that question of people, rather than endlessly running around after their ‘questions’.

I have too much faith in people to truly believe they are not exaggerating, going along with the panic fatz into action trope, because no way are people who love us going to sit and watch us dying whilst the professionals are doing nothing of any effect apart from pointing fingers at us.

Finally, an example of someone who at least acts as if they believe what we are constantly told, that we are going to die, soon. And I daresay she does, perhaps.

Either way, a bluff is being called so good on her for that, despite the endgame. If I was her I'd get her relatives and friends to write to their political representative and go as high as necessary if they get no satisfactory response.

Everyone should know who's doing research and they should be watched closely for how any developments can translate into practical action. Believe me; they'll be falling over themselves to be against stigma when its biting their behinds.

Writing her own obit is very dramatic but in the process she turns the whole “why don’t you think of your family/society/country” trope on its head. She means something to people and puts that forth, she is loved and would be missed, she is not an intolerable burden, she’s not a just a cost to others, she's a contributor and will be a loss to someone like YOU, she is a human being.

The absence of fat people's humanity has been a glaring omission from crusade discourse. Well done Lillian for taking your humanity in your own hands and not waiting to be given permission! I’ve always said, no matter what your views on fatness are, no matter how rancid, fat people can still stop selling out their humanity, this shows it.

Its that more than anything which has really cost us ground not our self hating, but when we stopped being people and became ‘obeses’. She even shows how you can use that, without it being a replacement definition for your humanity.

The reaction was varied, but mostly predictable, referring to the appearance of passivity.

The irony is that reaction is not exactly wrong.

Yep, that's not one of my typos or disintegrating syntax, I meant to write that.

This is the essence of prejudice towards fat people, its one of omission from the niceties shown to others. Its a discrimination of partiality, that’s what is so odd, you are “dehumanized” by being represented as human as we all are.

That’s why I have trouble with this way of looking at it, I say, why not use this to deal with our shame about our humanness and pull every ones shields too, so they can join us?

Lets’ face it, if all look at ourselves more truthfully, we’ll all become more civilised PDQ.

No, don’t fancy it, wanna get back in the tent with everyone else?
Thing is, if people didn’t want to get out of there, they wouldn’t be using us to dip their toe in and seeing as we are out.....

That dependence is the state we’re in under the grind of the medical machine. If she was a patient with an acceptable profile, she’d be seen as virtually faultless.

She has the number one criterion need to reach the acme of being a good patient, compliance. She’s followed instructions, in this case dieting herself up the scale, now that she has exhausted her nervous system and cannot continue, she is denied the likely end of the path she’s been put on by those who’ve dictated her action and those directed at her, apparently she was put on skimmed milk formula as a baby.

To get to this point, a lot of our agency over our health and well being has been thrown overboard we’ve become helpless dependents waiting for the next pill to be doled out for whatever problems we have. Because everything that happens to us, can affect our sense of well being and health for good or ill, so medicine and health becomes like religion.

God can heal your life, so can following “lifestyle” advice.

You can tell how bad it is, FA is an attempt to take control of your existence and yes, you’re health, to decide for yourself, look at the reaction to it. Look at the response to HAES, fat people exercising, eating the kind of diets we are supposed to. That is the extent to which we have become cogs, all signs of initiative are verboten.

It only seems achingly clear to people because its a fat person as we are excluded from the norm. It’s nice to know all that hate is serving some useful purpose; I hope that’s a comfort to everyone.

Part of the increasingly untenable pressure on medical professionals is they've become exhausted with this situation, which they and their professional bodies sought to engineer. It’s the usual reason, to solidifying and increase status, empowering of the professionals relative to the dis empowerment of lay people.

This is why they say, be careful of what you wish for, the medical professionals yearn to be imbued with the type of influence that leads to unquestioned authority over lay folk. They love being able to make people better, you can see the way so many of them keep over dispensing meds. The more dramatically the better, not saying this is necessarily bad, just that its gotten out of hand.

They’ve been allowed to; we the lay folk have colluded with the process in the way we did with the idea that they knew how to make us slim, for the similar reasons, convenience being a big one.

We don’t have time to be part of the system and take time out to deal with imperfections or crises often induced to some degree by the demands made on us by that same system, which is itself one big experiment on how it is affecting humankind.

Power is often like that, from one group to add to another. We've had the idea of health stolen from the extension of our agency, replaced with the idea that we are inherently self destructive, irresponsible and above all too incompetent not to mess up without instruction and guidance from experts.

So called preventative measures are sold back to us as the self help we crave, look at all that g**gling of conditions, interest in vitamins, supplements tonics old time remedies and health systems, alt med and so on, that desire rigorously poo pooed rather than harnessed by the professionals.

Now they’re too tired and angry to do anything but lash out at soft targets and start pulling the plug, withdrawing treatment, the thoughtless cruelty shows its all become too much.

Look also at how scientists sidelined what they call the 'placebo' effect, rather than making it a prestigious and important field wringing every last drop of the body's capacity to heal and re-generate itself.

If we are to become the centre of our own health, the whole way we deal with health, including research and development needs to change. The way we investigate the human body has to change, right now its about how to find areas at which drugs can be targeted at.

You can see that with fatness where they investigate the balance of chemicals which ‘cause’ hunger and appetite.

As usual, far from fat people epitomizing all that is wrong by being wrong, we show up what is wrong by doing the right thing. We did as we were told, the fact that can so easily be made to look like nothing is a comment on what we were told to do, not us.

If we are to take over the reigns, so many of us have shown how its done, the level of responsibility we've taken is beyond a lot of people who are actually sick and if I hadn't been exhausted by the negativity invested, I'd still be at that level.

I often wonder how much our erasure and the way we've been set up for failure (keep dieting) is that we are an example of the extent to which ordinary people are prepared to go to be responsible for themselves and their health.

It doesn't follow the script of lazy indolent lay people messing themselves up, then letting the poor overburdened professionals clear up our mess.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Some responses to crisis rhetoric are sticky. The real value of a fat consciousness is in itself rather than fitting in and making fat acceptance safe for everyone.

The cry of "but you're unhealthy" is often the response to any challenge to the mindless urge to be punitive. That is then answered with 'proof' that we aren't and so on back and forth. Not only is this use of the term dubious, 'unhealthiness' lends itself no more to legitimizing hatred and prejudice than any other non threatening state.

I've never before heard this use of the term "unhealthy" before. People used to feel unwell, they were usually in bed or in hospital, they were said to be not well or healthy. If people had a chronic complaint/disability, that's what they had, their health took that into account.

Certain things or behaviours were not healthy or good for you.

The closest to this term before ironically was an almost moralistic/spiritual use "So and so has an unhealthy effect on others." But the idea of calling someone "unhealthy" as a constant chronic prognosis, or motivator or whatever is more nebulous than you'd think. And I've never cared for it or to defend myself against it.

Those who use it, who ever they are sound desperate and silly and like they are trying to sound really definitive when they aren't.


Hopeful and free in a comment said something profound about "returning to equilibrium". That word is really what I feel really defines coming to a fat acceptance perspective.

Rebalance. Integrating your sense of self back into your consciousness. 

In some ways its got nothing to do with being fat. Or the crusade. Having thought and behaved according to certain dictates that take you away from yourself. Needing to move away from that and back to a fresh sense of who you are and what you've learnt.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Cautionary tale

The "unhealthy lifestyles" idea pathologizes people and their lives. Creating an artificial divide, as if living-which is what "lifestyle" more or less caricatures- is somehow separate from ones being. Like choosing a brand of washing powder or toothpaste.

It has taken the place of saying someone's life and usually they are "sinful". Instead it euphemizes it into you are living an "unhealthy" one. A form of displacement.

This is where I'm in disagreement with atheists who think all you have to do is get rid of religion to enter a new age of rationality. This overlooks our need to to keep repeating and rehearsing our moral beliefs. Finding ways to put them into practice over and again. Having a central locus set in a background where they are all gathered. Like a well we can dip into at any time.

It's one of the attractions of soap operas. Role playing games or making cults out of art-both popular and fine.

We need to see and feel what we think is good and bad, played out in front of us endlessly.

Fat people =bad people is part of that impulse. It has travelled through medicine and science and they are the equivalent in a secular society to religion in a theocracy. A powerful source of unquestioned influence where there's opportunity to bypass critical faculties.

Note that a lot of secularists, who see themselves as guided by science, though they'll hate me saying it, they do use it the way religious people use tracts from their 'good books'. Scientists themselves often dismiss lay folk's attempts to understand and absorb science.

Stating it must be left only to those qualified, i.e. them. Don't get above yourself, know your place. Yet if a person does not try to pass studies and their conclusions through whatever critical faculties they have. An even more abject state of reverence than that of many religious people can ensue.

I was kept in line by the so called scientific cals in/out in a way I never would've been by religious doctrines.  Or should I say the reputation of doctors and scientists who said, keep dieting, keep trying, don't stop your diets.

I saw logical flaws, but it took me a long time to have the confidence to accept the real life, real time findings of that particular experiment. The harm this has done to me is greater than I can perceive from growing up in a religious home.

It's a cautionary tale.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What you eat is a non story

Remember that.

I truly sympathize with Michelle Obama, the way certain people's deep resentment makes them constantly attack and try to erode her dignity and sense of self worth is nasty, its something I in no way seek to join.

And yes, scrutinizing her eating no doubt has some overlap with that, however what is really at the heart of it is the weakness of using food as a part of the focus to regulate weight.

It fosters disordered mentality of fixation, without even trying.

Fat people are expected to put up with this all the time, indeed, it is seen as a favour to us. We should aspire to a watchful paranoia about food anyway, because as we can see this is "the secret" of the slim.

Constant vigilance.

We "choose" to be fat therefore have no right to choose what we eat, certainly not unmolested by the spectre of what we coulda /shoulda, didn't oughta have eaten. Our "decision" removes our agency in that regard and other people's projections take over along with their superficial hostile gaze.

"Moderation" doesn't translate. As someone pointed out in the comments, this can leave people with a sense of having to keep up appearances, which then lends itself to the assertion of fat people's "dishonesty", denial and secret emotive eating.

MO decided to get herself into this of her own volition, a choice not available to fat people as this food fear it is part of the means proffered to us, to make our weight acceptable. And that is our designated imperative.

So says sociedee.

Its a little disconcerting to see an honest sense of this unfairness coming from those who usually pretend it isn't when directed at those they do not accord body legitimacy. The hot sting of injustice, the feeling of being cornered the sheer frustration of being misjudged, adding stress no body needs linked to the act of eating.

Above all, the confidence to assert this as a given truth. All would be ridiculed and derided in us.

We feel the same but have no such luxury of  putting it across in a way that appears meaningfully. Even to many of us.

For many these feelings have become obscure, repressed under the need to present the correct face of fighting one's deliberate creation of fatness (try making sense of that one), if one gets past that, the reward is being nullified by derision and assertions that feeling this way, is why we are fat.

Always with this crusade is pathologizing what is normal, when it is felt by fat humans, making us seem like there's something wrong with us, when there isn't. Re-learning enough trust in yourself to realize just how everyday and rational your reactions are is a real challenge for a lot of fat people.

It's easy for us to have a totally false sense of neurosis foisted on to our honest reactions, being constantly made to feel we are behaving strangely, when we are not. In the main to hide glaring double standards from its proponents, who clearly know better.

Reading these occasional incidences where the "legit", wander into the line of fat hating fire, can feel like catching your stolen dress shamelessly worn by someone else.

You think, hey, that's ours.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Real people.... the flesh that is, are not photoshopped.

Said by the medical establishment. The voice of authority.

Let's see if that version can be twisted into a tedious fat v. thin slanging match.