Saturday, 31 August 2013

'Obesity' creates disagreement, whether there is or not

Those of you who are on a certain wavelength, will have picked up that once you change the definition of human to disease, you create a cognitive mental block. This makes it harder to know what either you and others are really talking about.

I don't mean that in the sense of being out of your depth, though there is that, more that you cannot make connections between what you think and what others think. Take;
I have always been suspicious of those elements of the fat acceptance movement that fly in the face of medical consensus, by arguing that health is independent of body weight. I see their lobbying as akin to a group of eating disorder sufferers arguing that their methods are healthy.
Somebody please do; burrup, dup, ching! 

Let's take the use here of "medical consensus". A replacement for something like; the bible/koran/torah/bhagavad gita says.

I understand the desperation of realizing the absence of overriding authority makes for harder work, but I'm unsympathetic. Instead of baiting the religious, this is the type of thing the irreligious should be engaged in working out.

Science advances through using experiments to repeat results. This indicates these results are not mere chance but underlying process. Slowly a mosaic of reality pieces builds up. Each becomes scientific consensus. Obviously, that is not of the same quality as a lot of scientists agreeing on supposition.

"health is independent of body weight."

Now, this is an knotty one. Not everyone within or outside FA agrees on this. I must say for me, it's not quite an either/or. Nor in the end is it of any real importance because nothing justifies the form the 'obesity' crusade has taken, full stop. So its academic as they say.

Its easiest for me to explain by asking a question; do you think slim people's ill health-physical or mental- is due wholly or in part to their slimness? No? Then you see things the same way as the fat people in question. Some may say, ah, ha, slim is healthful. Fine, why do slim people get the same sickness and die of the same things as fat people? Genes, heredity, environment, mental health, food, activity levels, habits?

So, not intrinsically to do with them being slim? What about the fact that overall, slimmer people are more like to commit suicide than fatter people? Is that related intrinsically to their slimness?

Mmmm..........yes and no?

Some have died because they were not fat. Or because they attacked their weight. Does that mean depressed slim people should become gainers? Or do we just accept a slim person committed suicide and all told, their weight isn't a salient factor?

Now, whether you agree with a fat person seeing fat people in general this way or not, can you still baldly state that its an extreme, irrational or disordered view?

Don't forget, seeing fatness as slimness with a fat suit on is opinion not fact, despite its triumphant hegemony. It is not shared by everyone. Nor does it stand up to biological fact. A fat body is a whole interactive unit, the same as any other size body.

The so called "eating disorder sufferers" got that one right. Whilst the 'consensus' was getting it wrong. Much of it still is. The idea of calorie restriction as weight reversal is based on the "fat suit" view of fatness. That fat bodies aren't suits is the essence of why that approach fails.

The point to reiterate is, even if one can say some slim people might have survived if they were fatter though it may or may not be true is in the end neither here nor there.

Weight, given our inability to manipulate it with ease is too crude a mechanism to stand alone or expect to be a health aid to either slim or fat. So really, the issue is, identify the real problems undermining health and deal with those, rather than attacking weight at either end.

Not to forget, this particular person and others that share her reverence for 'obesity' occultism, cannot make any distinction between fat acceptance that meets approval and that which does not, because she defines ALL fat people, regardless of their allegiance-including those who share her views-as beneath the category of human being.

That creates disagreement, whether there is or isn't. And if people like her, knew what they were talking about, they'd know that and stop defining people thus. Wait for the penny to drop, or watch some paint dry, pick your torture.

Any fat person who refuses to accept what everyone wants can be accused of being divisive. But this kind of thing shows that divisiveness comes from people who have created such a mental gulf by dehumanizing others, that they can't even recognize when they think and/or feel the same way.

They end up making a disagreement, from their own interpretations!!!

The whole point of 'obesity' is to divide fat from human, FGS.

"Nobody wants to be fat"

There's a lot of this little meme going around right now and it needs to be lanced like the sneaky little boil it is. If I'm correct, it flows from similar in conjunction with gay people. i.e. "Why would anyone choose to be gay [in light of homophobia]."

It's one of those observations that very quickly becomes an unsavoury trojan for expressing profound loathing.

We get the truth of human cowardice. Yet, equally that is countered by courage, isn't it? If not, little if any human progress could occur. So much of it has required some one or people, usually outnumbered at least at first, to defy overweening hegemony.

This repeated chant has rankled for a while, souring the conversation about sexuality. Helping to posit gay people as objects (yes) of pity. 

Now this rancid turd is being carelessly applied to fatness. Virtually everyone I've heard saying it lately hasn't been fat. The endless basting in the butter substitute of the superiority of slim is getting old. It never gets sufficiently into the meat though does it?

Okay, enough of that.

More than the one-sided premise, this sentiment misses the point, about fatness anyway.

It would not occur to people to most people to choose to be fat. Because contrary to the reams of BS written and spoken about it-there is no obvious reason to be fat. Why would you choose something that occurs not via your conscious mind, but as an adjustment your body makes to a mix of your internal and external environment?

Even gainers bodies have to co-operate with their intent. They have to have the capacity to gain and maintain. The tolerance to push themselves through barriers of boredom, discomfort if not outright pain at times.

I can only relate through my experience of trying to diet the other way. 

Social stigma is not 'proof' lack of choice. If people's need is important enough, it will out. I don't go along with the implicit ideology. That we are motivated solely or even most importantly by opprobrium or lack of it. That we have no needs, wishes dreams of our own and act solely on the basis of the avoidance of hurt.

If avoiding unhappiness is such an exemplary motivation, why did I and millions of others willingly though unwittingly sink into a mire of self hatred? Endless declarations of my senseless greed and indolence, didn't make me happy. Trying to short change my appetite especially and hunger didn't either. Nor did the constant sense of failure and trying to make up for the fault of being fat.

I noticed that I reached the point years ago where the idea of happiness doesn't particularly inspire me as I've spent so much time being unhappy.

I don't say that in any princess tiny tears way. Happiness is pretty easy. It doesn't actually require a predicate. If I put my mind to it. I can be ecstatic today. It might take 50 mental steps from here, but so what? I learned 'discipline' enough whilst experiencing the repeated failure of based-on-science. It's not that hard.

The point to note about fatness is it is spontaneous. It's a product of the body's mechanics happening outside conscious awareness and not directly under its control or direction. And that needs to be understood, whether people like it or not. It must be gotten over, that elective free will, though important is not the only the sole controller of us/our bodies. That needs to be fully understood, without kicking off any hysteria, temper tantrums or denial.

Given fatness is mostly associated with a lesser suicide rate, even at times in the face of greater suicidal ideation, seems a good reason to choose being fat. A sense of physical presence and power's another. A greater sense of emotional stability.

A gem├╝tlichkeit physicality, sensuality. There are are as good reasons to want to be fat as to want to be slim.

Fat is one of the great survival instincts. It's about surviving relentless battering, an unforgiving grind.  I don't feel like cheapening this exposition of the will to prevail with some tawdry-historically speaking-five minute hate campaign.

I dreamt of being slim. Yearned to bring it about with all my heart. That was wholly genuine, I'd never deny that. But it was also very much my duty. Like, not being a "slag". It was thoroughly contrived, faux tho' real as they say. Like building muscles, you go to the gym regularly, lift your weights.

And you get muscled. That's real. If you stop, that lessens.

Wanting to be slim was a bit like that. It was something you just lifted up and down, up and down, in your mind. Never did you stop re-enforcing it, working it, enhancing it, till yeah, it was totally natural. Unimaginable that one could reasonably feel anything else. Usually, we call that self control.

Willpower.

And when you stopped, though not immediately, you began to forgot the feeling. Then why you wanted to be slim. Then what it felt like inside to want to be slim. I don't object to the idea of it, just that its something other than it was, with its themes of wanting to be seen to be a good person.

Weight is ultimately pretty, meaningless over and above the meanings we choose to give it.  At least, it's meanings are obscured.

I'd say its slim pickings on the self esteem front. If something has to be maintained with serious browbeating and threats, that's hardly a compliment to it. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Conscious

Fat people cannot come out, they're never in. A shift in consciousness is fat people's real challenge.
the crusade against......risks dehumanizing and stigmatizing those who are identified as....and their families.
From Michael Fitzpatrick's book on Autism.

Reading such clarity from others experience healthist quack crusades, consistently seem more capable of articulating these kinds of thoughts. He starts off the intro "Autism: disease, disorder or difference?"

This reminds me yet again of the unique capacity of the way fatness is treated to rob fat people of the ability to articulate the issues at stake. This is not a comment on the abilities of those who come under an FA banner or of that type of thinking.

It is the lack of something I mentioned before, what W.E.B DuBois called, double consciousness. From The souls of Black Folk;
It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder”. 
It is an observation that has a long lineage of parallel intellectual input. It's origins are said to lie with Hegel. Noted Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci mentioned it in conjunction with working class people. Though apparently, he referred to it as "dual perspective", extending from a perspective contained in The Prince.

Both he and DuBois in their separate ways, noted that when the so called "universal truths" of a society do not apply to them, they are forced in working out their rules of survival, to develop a consciousness other than that formed by rules that not only don't serve them, but do not allow them to survive at all. Usually whilst having to pay a certain amount of tribute, lip service and gesture towards the 'universal consciousness'. 

It is remarkable that something as comparatively trivial and recent as the current crusade against fatness, which is at most a post WW2 thing. That it has already created the need for a double consciousness amongst fat people.

Trouble is, fat people seem to be least aware of it. I include numerous fat activists. Of the mainstream variety anyway.

There are a few reasons why this has occurred. The extent to which we believe in and defer to scientists or anything connected to science. To the extent that we suspend more disbelief about it still, than anything else, up to and including religion.

The unquestioned nature of obesity and its crusade. The extent of which is unprecedented in my awareness. In the case of far more marginalized and attacked groups, there's a range and depth of awareness about the situation I've found to be typically absent from fat people as a rule.

And no, I'm not simply talking about poor old fatz who think they deserve this treatment. I'm talking about the widespread inability, still to perceive oneself as an agent upon which something has occurred that is separate from oneself.

Of being what DuBois called the 'observed' a lot of fat people do not realize they are the objects of the subject. There is no separation between the general fat hate and how most fat people perceive themselves.

Another way of putting that is, imagine you took a random group of slimz insisting they're now to defined themselves as failed to be fat.  As less than. Even if they succumbed mentally, do you think inside they'd retain the understanding that they were being imposed on? And that internalizing this didn't mean this was just the thoughts in their heads?

For a time at least.

It's not self hate or low self esteem, everyone has that. It's the lack of double consciousness that impedes fat people's ability on the whole, to match the clarity of understanding of people like Michael Fitzpatrick.

He has been allowed to retain his the sense of self. His separateness from the dictates of others. We haven't. Ours has been lost because of the kudos of those who defined us. 

And the extent of willing hegemony of loved ones and foes alike.

It isn't about separation or separateness, on the contrary, it's in order to achieve normality! Seeing oneself through the eyes of others, without being aware of it, partially or fully, is markedly abnormal.

In a bad way.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Fetish/Recovery

Wiki struggles with fatness.

Turns out that at some point it deleted its serviceable feederism page re-routing queries to fat fetishism, which is has a tangential relationship with it, if at all. If you're not sure what that is, its deviation from the required slim fetishism. That's when you find slimness physically attractive.

You pervert.

This is part of social politicking to tie feederism to solely to fatness in order to position 'obesity' and anorexia as opposites. Which is balderhockey because I've just realised feederism in the form of gaining, is a primary treatment for anorexia.

Not all feeders are fat nor want to get fat.

Some fill their stomachs or "bloat" with water and admire and revel in this (temporary) distention.

Basically, feederism is getting pleasure from being fed or gaining weight through eating. It can be part of sexual foreplay-incorporated into a relationship-or a thing in itself. You could just eat normally this way by for example doing without until your hunger creates an urge to binge.

This restrict/binge cycle can occur over a longer period. The urge to feederism can be related to the aftermath of long spells of high levels of physical activity-for its own sake.

There are separate parts to the phenomenon that are worth sketching out properly. Relating from memory.

Feeders; those who wish to feed someone else.

Feedees; those who wish to be fed

Gainers; those who wish to gain weight, whether they are thin slim plump or already fat.

Encourager, those wish to encourage people to be fed or to become feedees.

Fat admirer; someone who appreciates fatter bodies

Gainers associate certain higher weights with happiness and fulfilment, just like other dieters, the weight loss ones. And certain higher weights with betterment, like anorexic recovery becomes about them gaining.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Raising Awareness

Something that rarely comes up in the talk of invasive attitudes to thin people's bodies is the aftermath of raising awareness about anorexia. I often find that when something is deemed a good thing. It can be hard for the mind to connect that with unwanted side effects.

In the past, people generally respected slimmer people's personal space. Then came "raising awareness" of anorexia and ideas about actively intervening. Those leading the charge were told people felt unable to confront girls/ women about this. How could we tell, just because a person's thin? Incidentally, not all anorexics are.

They were  chided, lives depended on them busting through this respect and remonstrating with likely suspects. It was made to seem as if you said nothing that was letting someone die of the most deadly of all mental illness. That bust a barrier. Much later and rather quietly it was admitted "Mistakes had been made."

It wasn't intended that this should create contempt for thinner bodies. But it very quickly picked up on underlying resentments and jealousies. Especially from slim middle class women, who've been vocal for decades about slamming thin bodies, blaming thin models especially for their daughter's anorexia. Ignoring their own loud braying of "Ouwhaiiiiy don't they juhst stop eeeating?" Every time a fat person comes into view.

When their daughters enter plump pubescence, panic and start following the "advice" ringing in their ears, the psychological equivalent of whistling ensues.

I used to wonder to myself, why don't thinz ever confront this turning of their bodies into instigators of self-assault? It is an outrage. It was the hypocrisy that got on my nerves, the priority it laid out was clear-escaping any culpability. Whilst laying it thick on others. I couldn't work it out the seeming silence.

So, imagine my surprise that this has been overlooked to now be framed as an assault by fat people! I've said before it seems there's an unspoken understanding between thinz and slimz. They seem afraid of each others position. The latter wary of their jealousy and resentment of the former. "I'm slim, why can't I get thin?" And the former's sense of superiority over the latter who sometimes seem 'fat' to them. Yet wary of hostility and at times a sense of isolation.

A feeling that slimz could turn on them in the way they have on fatz. Which is perhaps why it feels like fat people trying to swim ashore is somehow asserting a centrifugal force dropping them in it. Setting the dial in another direction. Slimz are still to be seen at it.

Maybe that's why they're attacking FA so vociferously, when at the start we were like, let's join hands and tell those "in the middle" to leaves us bookends alone!

Seems that was just flirting, nix that plan. Perhaps they read fat people as even more craven to slimz to be of any use in that way. Well.....they've got a point.

I never thought of it at the time, but who knows? Perhaps FA shot itself in the foot there. Equally, though, we could never reassure them that we existed merely to attack them. No matter what we said, they didn't believe us, because they knew how they felt and how little reason they had to feel it. 

Anyway, plenty of those who identify solidly as thinz- rather than people-keep attacking FA with BS exaggerations about how 'thin shaming' is the same as being unable to acknowledge what has happened because, it's just not 'science'. It's the same old same old, drown fatness in false equivalence that has been the standard response to fat people.

I say that because there was nothing doing until fat people started to wake up and fight back against the 'obesity' crusade. And I'm not going to ever feel ashamed to say that. Because I'm not saying it for status jockeying powerplays. Or because I feel it gives me currency in the sj stock exchange. Or because I want attention, sympathy, approval, power or to mislabel myself "addict". I feel betterment will come through using the lessons learned to inform and advance human liberation.

Colour me quaint.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Key in a Lock

Cue massive yawns;
For 10 years, my problem was too little, rather than too much, food. What could I, recently recovered from anorexia, possibly know about fatness?
Well done, in not bothering to find out whether that is 'the problem' for all fat people. It's true though, that anorexics should have the closest understanding of what its like to be fat. Not because they're alike, but because fat people are treated as if we have an eating disorder that will kill us, regardless of our personal situation.

You cannot weigh behaviour. Anorexia is a disorder, fatness is weight

In my experience, many of the more vocal often middle class anorexics don't understand a whole lot about anorexia past their subjective interpretations. Basic understanding is recognising something in its original setting. Deeper is when you can recognise it other contexts. These anorexics failed for instance to spot that it is effectively the prescription for 'obesity'. Many still find it hard even after it has been pointed out to them;
For so long I wondered how most women can diet and exercise and not develop a full-blown eating disorder, whereas I started losing weight and exercising excessively and got sucked into the spiral of anorexia. When I see the girls in the office tucking into chocolate brownies for someone’s birthday, moments after announcing their new diet regime, I wonder if eating disorders and disordered eating are actually part of the same spectrum; whether self-starvation is simply a more extreme form of female dieting. I see a lot of anxiety about weight around me; I hear a lot of guilt about food. Sometimes it seems that ‘normal’ dieting and anorexia are worlds apart, sometimes they seem very close.
Dieting is like a key, anorexia is like it fitting a lock and turning. Only one in 200-250 people have this lock or susceptibility to anorexia. Though that varies in strength too, unless you have it, then your body is unlikely to succumb to full blown anorexia. However, dieting does unbalance the mind and body. A lot of fat people have that almost anorexia and/or other symptoms, due to the extent and duration of their dieting careers, which often start in early childhood.

There are also other 'locks' bulimia, hyperphagia. Yes, a lot of people don't realise, an excess of appetite is often part of the body's way of fighting off your attempts at calorie restriction.

Think about it, if your body increases your hunger signals, that's makes resisting hunger far harder work than even it is normally.  There are other exposures to ED's. Lack of money. Some stop eating because they find it easier than eating then having to stop again when they run out of money or food. Some develop under-eating patterns so as to relieve the pressure on parents and develop that massive anxiety about eating that many with ED's get-not only anorexia.

Binge cycles can be established by having more money at the start of the month and none at the end. And this can raise hunger to the point where people would rather do with the minimum of clothes to ward off their excess of hunger signals. People become expert at getting maximum calories from minimum resources. This can also unbalance their appetite and hunger signals.

I didn't realise people conflated thinness with anorexia till I encountered thinsproana. I've known too many thin people over the years and their attitude to food was so normal compared to mine to consider they have anything to do with anorexia. Which to be honest, can give off a certain vibe. That's why I simply do not see thin people as anorexic. Though at the same time realise very low weight is more likely to be a symptom of wasting.

Many of thinz, along with others helped me to have an idea in my head of what normal eating meant. Anorexia is further from them than me in the days of my 'healthy lifestyling'!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dipping into the Blame Well

Okay, some cheeky blighter typed "Vanity sizing has fat women in denial" to land here. Honestly, this gluttony for blaming fatz, really needs to be checked. Things cannot continue to be this desperate. It's unseemly.

And it doesn't go with overweening self control.

"Vanity sizing" is a product of those the mainstream clothing market is aimed at. They used to be size 10's, but I'm not altogether sure what that's supposed to be now. 8, 6, zero? Who cares?

That's vanity!!! So no, you can't dump that one on fatz. You don't need to flatter people who are just looking for stuff to wear.
Retailers are engaging in systematically optimizing the physical space within their stores, seeking to squeeze the most revenue out of every limited square inch. The most profitable products get the prime space and promotion. Plus-sizes tend to get squeezed into the margins, if at all.
I've yet to hear of a fat woman finding something great to wear and putting it down because of the size on the label. Are you kidding?
The dearth of plus-size products reinforces an implicit message that larger Americans have been absorbing for years: Shop only at select retailers that welcome your body type. Plus-size women between the ages of 30 and 45 are supposed to peruse the aisles at Lane Bryant. Younger women and teens are expected to drive to their local mall and go to Hot Topic's plus-size specialty spinoff Torrid.  
This is the essential truth of the economy, it runs on the wishes of those who are not efficient storers. Those of us who are have to adjust to this. Even though we've been ordered to swim against that tide.

Which is not how humans tend to behave. We do not tend to exist in a bubble transcending our environment as if it wasn't there. History would be very different if that were the case. 

Unless of course by "fat" you mean, not really slender. I think you'll find the more acceptably sized -relative to us- are "deluding" themselves. Are you surprised? To be fair, I don't think it is delusion, its as much about identity as anything.

The experience of yourself as slim, can last a lifetime.

This extent of desperate wishful thinking is an indicator how psychologically unsatisfying fat hating is. Not only does it tend to create a form of psychological dependency. Something most aware fat people are picking up on. It doesn't resolve the underlying self hatred that's in all of us, including fat haters, fat to thin alike.

Psychological dependence is interesting, because it is now much touted as "addiction". It isn't really. More a process of atrophy, producing a compulsively repetitive need to restore an even keel. When you rely on an outside source for anything, in this case-social status for something that is produced naturally within you-self esteem. It can trip that natural level of self esteem more into reverse than it already is. Atrophying its function.  The outer source then fills in the gap.

Hence the constant search to "up the dose", in this case, extend blame.

Yes, fat hating is a sign of lowered self esteem and an attempt to raise it. Or trust me, no one would touch fat hating with a barge pole. People did know better for a long time. It is a loss from the start, and you just lose more. That only looks like a worthy prospect to those already compromised. Which is poignant, briefly. So, it makes for a fractious, inchoate rage and the anguished attempt to keep going to the blame well for more cool soul quenching hate.

Alas, that well is getting deeper and deeper........

You've been told.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

All human beings are equally human

All human beings personify humanness, for good or ill.

Each is a discrete unit of humanity in action. Each of us portrays the various traits and states found in humans. Whether or not they are shared with others in the animal kingdom.

When you decide some or other person or group is intrinsically degenerate or pathological, it changes the way you view not only them, but the quality of being human itself. You will see things about yourself in them and not recognize them as that. And vice versa, because the cutting of your shared state makes you strangers.

You will see things that are not like you in them and think, that signals their pathology, rather than just difference.

This means you begin to undermine your understanding of the species of which you are part. You therefore begin to unravel your understanding of yourself and the science of human beings.



Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Holistic Activism

Now you're talking;
Gardening in Detroit, for these women activists, demonstrates self-reliance and self-determination. ......gardening becomes an exercise of political agency and empowerment. Instead of petitioning the city government to increase access to fresh food, or lobbying for more grocery stores and markets to locate in the city, they transform vacant land into a community- based healthy food source that allows them to be able to feed themselves and their families and to provide an example to their community of the benefits of hard work.
This is what I feel has been missing from the food desert problem-the food challenges faced by the urban (and rural) poor. A more holistic mindset. One that roots the need for good food in an overall picture. The flight of the big supermarkets from urban centres exposed the lack of sovereignty the people living there had over their food supply. And how they could just be left high and dry because of it;
In addition, food becomes a point of entry for discussing how African Americans might gain control over other aspects of their lives, including access to affordable housing, clean water, community policing,and decent public education.If food is life, as these women activists suggest, then the ability to control the quality of food and increase access to healthy food in Detroit’s predominantly black community is an essential aspect of the struggle for self-determination and self-reliance.  "Sisters of the Soil: Gardening as Urban Resistance in Detroit" ~ Monica M. White
Yes. This is so often missing from the discourse on food, usually centred around those who have access. Having no response for those who do not.

My problem has always been, how do you get provision back when business policy mitigates against it? Especially without a constant and overwhelming demand? These woman are at least showing the possibilities of some way around this. Even if urban or similar in rural areas aren't the whole of the answer for everyone. It does show a possible way people can and are willing to take their destiny somewhat into their own hands.

Growing food also seems to be the most profound way of cultivating enthusiasm for produce. What's more seamless than wanting to taste what you've nurtured grown by your own hands? Or even stuff you've seen growing out of the ground? I can't imagine children who won't want to taste what they see growing.

This is the kind of thing that really fight the might of mega-globo industrialized food, a fuller sensory experience. Not a negative crusade to pathologize people's bodies whilst trying to enforce a duty to eat vegetables.

I've never been able to get on board with the use of 'obesity' as way of resolving what is an issue of economic and social justice. Trying to link the two has always felt unwise. Here's why;
The declaration that obesity is a disease and the acceptance of these and other drugs as an answer to America’s staggeringly high obesity rates shifts focus away from the real and central issue: the quality of our food.
The central issue of 'obesity' whatever that truly is, has never been about improving anyone's situation, let alone those who's needs are pushed to the edge. It's only begun to try since fat people started to assert some consistent expressions of self worth. Our self loathing enabled even more slackness than would have otherwise been likely to occur. How can a crusade that keeps undermining fat people's humanity be compatible with their needs? 

And talking about weight, whilst I would not dismiss the influence of an unbalanced food culture in bringing out or exacerbating certain metabolic issues. Weight is possibly not the most direct sign. The percentage difference between Black Women and men with a BMI +30 shows a difference of twenty points.

The percentages amongst Black populations in the UK vary. Yet that divide is replicated amongst African women in comparison to men.

US BM's statistics barely differ from anyone else's. It's possible that even this is an overestimate given, I'm not sure prison figures are included in this calculation-in the past they haven't been. That would probably affect the figures.

I find it hard to accept without clear evidence that the whole of the difference in outcomes for Black women is solely down to food. The importance of good food should never been seen through the lens of weight is diversionary. The obsession with that angle too quickly becomes disordered and that itself begets more imbalance.

If 'obesity' wasn't in the picture, would fulfilling food needs be worthwhile? Of course.

And that has to be the heart of reviving food culture, always. People are just worth it, regardless.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

By Committee

I've had cause to have the furies with Will Self in the past, but he's written a fine article on the mess that is the psychiatry /big pharma axis. He's not exactly breaking new ground. But says what he has to say more astutely and honestly than most;
what do psychiatrists have to offer....beyond their capacity to legally administer psychoactive drugs, and in some cases forcibly confine those they deem to be mentally ill?
Exactly, legitimizing what would be deemed pushing if it was illicitly bought drugs. Represented in some quarters as primitive superstition against mental illness, the suspicion of psychiatrists is that they have greater powers available to them than the police. And look how folks feel about the poh-leece.

Moreover psych docs can be okay at sniffing out cray, cray. Not always so good at being able to tell if you aren't, especially if you've already been labelled thus. As we are seeing replicated in the medical profession and their difficulty telling the difference between the pathologization of bodies and 'disease'.

That's what got me most, Self's observations could be applied to doctors, enough to give one pause. It's something I don't think could readily have been said a few decades ago. It was the mind doctors who used medical practice as the template for how they wished their specialty to be seen;
the major mental pathologies – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression inter alia – cannot be defined in the same way as physical diseases,
They tried though didn't they? Strangely, docs seem to be returning the favour;
there are more and more new "diseases" with each edition of the DSM: it isn't a function of scientific acumen identifying hitherto hidden maladies, but of iatrogenesis: doctor-created disease. 
And;
the criteria for what constitutes ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), or autism, or indeed depression, are not arrived at by any commonly understood scientific procedure, but rather by committee
Familiar, natch. Both, the criterion for 'obese' and its status as disease were arrived at this way. It's 'treatment' was arrived at by hypothesis. No wonder its found to be "complex."

WS speaks of the "peculiar mystique" of psychiatry and how it "exerts an enormous pull on our collective self-image". Well, doctors save lives, we all trust them with ours. It's an enormous responsibility/privilege.
.....it becomes somewhat easier to understand how the tail can begin to wag the dog: rather than arriving at a commonly agreed set of symptoms that constitute a gestalt..... psychiatrists become influenced by what psycho-pharmacological compounds alleviate given symptoms, and so, as it were, "create" diseases to fit the drugs available.
 Oh boy. The construct of 'obesity' has always been formulated around its supposed remedy, calorie restriction. And that has shaped the definition and interpretation of certain elements of human biology. To this is being added yet another tranche of 'diet drugs'. The only reason this route hasn't been pursued is the naked lack of efficacy of them.

There's no, "I feel better". You've either lost weight or you haven't.

He goes on to talk of  the "currently fashionable view of......seeking to understand mental maladies through the tripartite lens of the social, the psychological and the biological." So that's where that was coming from.  I thought it sounded a bit portentous.

It's au courant.

This emerging pattern of treating being human as a pathology that needs to be tweaked with pills. The norm set is increasingly distorted becoming something akin to a junkie athlete.

Someone who's slim and superfit enough to survive the very system that is apparently not compatible with fitness. Our "happy" specimen has an upbeat mood and constant energy akin to that of a drug high. If not, one can be branded in some way disabled, mentally ill or physically sick. 

He points to the way we've colluded in the process;
.....our responsibility is just as difficult for us to acknowledge because we are largely unaware of it. We don't consciously collude in the chemical repression of the psychotic..... any more than we consciously collude in the fiction of depression as a chemical imbalance that can be successfully treated with SSRIs.
The highlighted is increasingly admitted, though not everywhere. Yep, a get out clause for those who want to do what drug users do, but without being cast in the spoiled identity we've all helped to cast users of illicit drugs.

Self speaks about the search for new world's to conquer. Which I take to refer to my own long term disquiet about the way the medical profession has instinctively seen itself as a replacement priesthood. Taking confessions about our "lifestyles", advising us on how to live right. And how most people seem happy to go along with this.

You can see before and with the AMA ruling that the 'obesity' construct reflects so many of the desires of this urge. The way it wants to be able to know us from a cursory outside glance, without any reference to any messy intellectual, emotional communion with us.

It wants the upper hand from the beginning. Like religions, where your life and morals are submerged in its holy tomes, there's a wish to submerge you in a version of what they deem "science". In this instance that functions as a sort of sanctification of their opinions, notions and prejudices.

Real science is unquestioned, by hoi polloi, and not understood by said, either.

Monday, 5 August 2013

What's the Use?

I've always agreed, attacking fat people cannot be justified on any grounds, by any result. None whatsoever.

This seems to have morphed into something bizarre, when it comes to fatness.

If perchance offloading rage and disappointment on fat people did make them slimmer. The onus would not be to use it, but to discover the active principle and achieve it in another way. One that didn't require distress.

Nor does anyone with a functioning brain need any study to tell them that stressing people who've already demonstrated a facility for weight gain, makes no sense. If you want to make them slimmer-which is what we've been told is the crusade's raison d'etre.

There has for a long while been an element of bluff and double bluff about the public discourse on weight. A palpable need to pretend people believe certain things-when they certainly know better- in order to counter their base and unspeakable (to them) urges skulking in the shadows.

It does matter that some societies have toyed with building a barrier around fat people. Enhancing biology beyond individual circumstance, adding invasive manipulations, getting people to define themselves through an ignorant, threatened and hostile lens. Getting people to keep weight loss dieting, well known to raise weigh through rebound.

Whilst making great play of appearing to do the opposite. This speaks of ulterior motives. In short, what is the use of fatness in these societies? Because opportunism is the name of the game when it comes to making use of power and there's no doubt, given the fattening of societies, it appears to have its uses.

Those are well worth knowing. 

Cues

You'd think in a world braying senselessly about 'obesity' this would be instinctive. But no, apparently people have to be told to stop trying to force their children to override their our needs and eat what they tell them to.

In the service of clearing ones plate. It can upset the rhythm of the appetite and hunger mechanisms that are part of your body's self regulation.

Eating what you want and need should be the same thing. This is one of the reasons why it can cease to be. Supporting children's respect for their understanding of their own needs is the beginning of practising normal/intuitive/balanced eating.  

Far from not clearing your plate being necessarily 'wasteful'. You often find your ability to match your needs to what you put on your plate gets better over time. It's also possible to save things for later i.e. Some like to spread what they eat over a longer period. I found this when I stopped my prescription and cleared up the eating disorder that it had largely created;
Pushing food is not always about getting children to eat more — it’s also about the quest to get them to eat healthy.
This is what happened to me in a nutshell. It's about manipulating your appetite-the make up of what you eat-and that can also put you out of touch with your needs, keeping your hunger signals open driving you to get what it requires.

Real waste is actually mechanically eating what you neither want nor need, on the say so of others. That turns your body into a waste disposal unit. And makes someone else's fee fees more important than listening to your body.

That could be a metaphor for how to live in general...... and in more specific ways. 

Ironically, or not, it's the association fat people have with being policed from the outside, i.e. not knowing (or being allowed to know) your own mind, that has helped to degrade the general reputation of fat people.