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.


  1. Wriggles, what a brilliant deconstruction of this whole sad affair.
    Sadly, many fat people don't think of themselves as quite human either. Loved ones are often convinced we really could lose weight if we just tried, and we are like the alcoholic who won't give up his drink. Family and friends of the alcoholic try to help him, but when their efforts bear no fruit, they withdraw from the problem.

    For some reason, I am thinking of something I read in an old NAAFA newsletter about a woman who wanted her WLS reversed due to some life-threatening complications. Her family told her, essentially, "Don't do it. We'd rather see you dead than fat."


  2. Thank you for your kind comment Mulberry.

    I think you're right abstinence industries have set many BS precedents for people to hide their bad attitudes behind.

    It's eerie that we can be so easily manipulated out of rationality even in the case of those close to us; by whom is what we have to ponder?

    "....many fat people don't think of themselves as quite human...."

    Perhaps we are really seeing the effects of some of our investment in unquestioned authority.

    That urge may be a sign that our sense of humanity has already been compromised.

  3. I wonder how being told you will die over and over, does to people?

    Of course reality cannot be ignored.

    but then I have lived far longer then they *said* I would.

    500lb people aren't supposed to last very long.

    Maybe I am just ornery...LOL

  4. "I wonder how being told you will die over and over, does to people?"

    That's a really good question. I remember watching part of a TV documentary recently, where the host was talking to an 18 year old fat girl, I really sat up when he remarked that was a tender age to be frequently contemplating your own death.

    And you know, I hadn't thought about how unnatural it is for children especially, to be talking in terms of their own demise.