Thursday, 1 December 2011

Hostage of a crusade

It seems the child  removed from his parents for being; too fat/short/ unable to dodge inevitable rebound weight gain-take your pick, is probably black/ PoC, yet again. I thought as much from hearing that he'd attended "the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital" the impression confirmed from interviews with his neighbours.

The the facts are he's an 8 year old from Cleveland Heights in Ohio, weighing 218lbs or about 15 and a half stones in UK parlance. Apparently his BMI is about 60.

A lot of people have gone with the mother not trying hard enough, inadequate food environment and so on. The real issue centres on the refusal of professionals to reconcile themselves to the facts of their failed investment in calorie restriction.

That it is ineffective, impermanent and unfit for purpose, full stop, will have to be addressed. At some point human metabolism will have to be mapped according to the way it actually functions. Something food is being used to dodge.  You can understand that, going from knowing it all to knowing nothing, must be like a rich wo/man becoming poor, it's harder because you used to be rich.

Even the most unhinged fat hater will at some point notice the picture of irrelevancy, despite the admittedly compelling distraction of harassing fat people.

I've said before scientists/ medical professionals do need to deal with children who are gaining tremendous amounts in short periods, whatever the trigger. They should not just be left for their bodies to go where they may when there is clearly something off kilter.

The few things that are known, for instance that the loss of a parent through bereavement or even relationship breakdown can create a trigger in those susceptible to weight gain. Has that led to all children in at least the former category being routinely provided with some kind of therapy (i.e. group)?

That would at least be a positive legacy to come out of this wretched witch-hunt. If you deal with the things you know, you increase your knowledge through exposure. I'm definitely not advocating drugs here, at all.

The focus on eating has been spectacularly overplayed, it is not an appendage of character it's created by your individual metabolic function. It is part of that, not the whole of it and though across any population there is nuance and variation, on the whole that approach does not lend itself much to re-routing of what is creating and supporting weight.

This leaves little room for manoeuvre regardless of age or circumstance.

Relying on the childhood tendency towards obedience and openness to the wishes of those they look to for care can only go so far and still requires you to accept the likelihood of minimal success or outright failure.

The mother tried to go along with the requirements dictated for her son that is the option given to her. It's the choice of those who've mandated it as the only possible means of weight reversal, even though that is clearly false. If it was the only one, it would be effective. I daresay there could have been an element of culture clash, not everyone accepts the authority of nutritionists.

I would resent having to be judged by those who've achieved nothing and their breath altering denial about that.

Approaches need to be found that are effective, I was going to say and suit the needs of people's real lives, but non punitive effectiveness would go a long way and that has to come. Those who wish to employ people to tell them what to eat can go for that.

The child lost some weight for a while then regained, par for the course deficit creates largesse, famine creates feast. It turns out (other) family and friends gave him food. It's impossible to know whether this was the usual teasing/ sabotage people can insist on when someone is trying to shortchange their hunger, or whether it was his distress that moved them to relieve it.

As someone who struggled with a rampaging appetite from a young age, fuelled mainly by my dedication to restricting calories. I found it very hard going, sometimes torture. As someone who hated being smacked, it's the one instance where I'd have favoured it over restriction, that's how bad it made me feel. I never stopped trying though, filled with a constant sense of dread.

I don't mean the rumbling of hunger or of loss of habit. It's more a monstrous feeling that takes over your whole body and mind, as if you are under attack from outside though you know its something going on inside you.

There is often a sinister feeling of being haunted like being in a dark alley with menacing footsteps behind you. It undermines your emotional stability, you feel stripped of layers between you and the world whether you lose weight or not, your nervous system is seriously jangled.

At the time I had no idea this was my body's defence against famine in action, literally rattling away fighting off my efforts. Nor that the strange way hunger had became such an invasive mind bending assault was the effect of it being ratcheted up as part of breaking my will to hunger.

Or that a lot of my overly "anxious nature" was my nervous system sensitized from the constant threat of attack. And no, it's not 'addiction' it was mostly the product of a wrong approach.

There is no reason for weight loss/reversal to hurt. It is the nervous system fighting off the assault of lack that hurts and calorie restriction is not weight loss, though it's an often pain inducing punitive method of bringing it about. It often fails similarly even when those defences don't cause pain, because success doesn't depend on that, it depends on design to see off CR or the mere threat of it and unlike the 'professionals' it knows what works.

I can't imagine what it must feel like to feel being mashed between impulses like these and having to lose some weight and keep it off; or else. Children should not have to go through this because of the whims of those who have the luxury of not facing facts.

Not one jot of this is "officially" entertained anymore than the just as intolerable though less dramatic feelings of gnawing insatiable hunger most go through. It's not even a fat thing, many slim people are just as diet proof too. They can walk away.

Honestly, all those involved in removing this child should be forced to endure the reality of their own prescription.

Such is the peculiarity of this situation, that it's just as likely that parents will get into trouble for their inability to sufficiently abuse their children in the required manner. To watch them suffer in ways they wouldn't otherwise entertain. I know that some feed their children in a disjointed and imbalanced way, or give in to demands for the kind of industrial food waste cynically created and packaged to appeal to children.

Even if the mother is at fault for not being able to get her child to stick to his diet, why frame that as 'abuse'? Why not just say she couldn't cope with the regime? No matter how together someone is, there are always things they don't take to, that can never be 'abuse'.

But that isn't really the problem here, they wouldn't have taken this child if he was thin like his older sibling regardless of the make up of his diet. The issue is weight, so pretending that its about "quality" of food or exercise, is nonsense. Calorie restriction is often just an added kink for the body's weight regulation, on a surface level, it appears to be succeeding whilst often sowing the seeds of its own disintegration and problems of its own.

Using the state to prop up weight loss diet is futile. Energy, should be directed at reversing what triggers and supports weight creation. Removing its underlying support so that the body can settle itself in the same manner it came on, in waves or stages, whilst the person eats, moves according to their needs and in ways that make sense to them.

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