Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Anorexia does not give mastery of human metabolic function

Reading the beginning of this reminded me of my own upbringing. On the rare occasions our fruit bowl was empty, we tended to stand around it looking forlorn, as if that would magically produce an apple or orange.

Chocolate cake, jelly and ice cream was also something that happened at parties. And dessert was not part of our cultural cuisine. Not with or after a meal anyhow. My mother spent weekends cooking and par-cooking/preparing food for the week, from scratch. She also worked mostly full-time. She was also fat.

I became concerned with my appetite-of my own volition, at 7, started dieting at 11, and went on to a rigourously healthy diet at 13, when it was not common currency. I know about healthist version of healthy eating.

Emma Woolf, ended up a slim person with anorexia. And I a fat person with orthorexia induced hyperphagia. Tendencies.

I'd appreciate if thin (?) people like EW remembered that just because most people appear to be fatter than them, doesn't mean she has to assign general complaints to "fat" people. The complaining and conversely approval of 7-10 a day was not weight specific thanks.

The only problem I have with it is with healthism, I suspect too often it catches the outcome of a less pressured more secure existence, then reverses that as cause. A more satisfying life makes you less likely to encountered things that pressure and shift metabolic function.  Stress-especially that concerned with your survival- affects your needs and that can lean your tastes towards what will help keep you on a more even keel.

I know she had anorexia bad and in general is not held back by an ignorance of fat people, but can't she at least try to catch herself a bit? She's already boasted about her self restraint, so its not too much to ask is it?

"It's your fault if you're fat is unnecessary." It should really be, "Your weight is your fault." Which includes her. Conversely, switching "weight" to "fat" leaves her out. This kind of self critique at the expense of and through fat people's gotten old too.

It would be nicer if she checked for this kind of leakage, like she presumably checks the balance of her diet.

As with most self unaware fat phobes, she has an obsession with fault-as long as its someone else's- which is so much more irrelevant than they can possibly imagine. We are at fault for injuring ourselves all the time, broken bones, sprained muscles, cuts, bruises etc., no one gives a fig except perhaps to rib us about our clumsiness and its cost to us.

And like it or not, most people are far more directly to culpable for their neuroses than their weight (so what?), whether high or low. Not every one is so blessed with the tendency toward eating disorders.

The blame game here is partly about the desire to make people slim sans the means to do it. Instead we have calorie restriction dieting/exercise bulimia.

I'm mainly wary of tussling with PWA, but I won't back down in from any flagrant BS when that tries to boss. This woman simply hasn't fully recovered from her condition. I'm sure she knows that and that she doesn't really have to. She fits well into a culture that uses the impersonation of anorexia as "weight management".

I also think comparisons between fatness smoking need to stop. Boasting about stopping is also ludicrous. I think you'll find smoking wholly unneeded for existence. Deal with it.

Even someone who's been utterly alienated from their hunger should know that it is innate and not a conscious choice. Nor is smoking "addictive" in any honest sense. That's just something given to those used to their relatively minor distresses being heard. Fat people are no where near as slick at making this kind of demand-when it comes to fatness. Our history of following orders has meant we were told our reactions to being defined as pathological and to calorie restriction to be the fatness in us fighting back.

That we must resist this. We ended up repressing those feelings and experiences almost out of existence because to feel them was to go with fatness. That sounds weird because being told you choose to be fat, when its the last thing on your mind, is weirder.

It's not always easy to revive these flat-lined feelings back into thoughts, let alone words.

That's something the mainstream can't really help with as they find it hard to empathize.

As you know a lot of things are popping up in 'obesity' that are excluded, suppressed (almost) to oblivion elsewhere.

What this shows is not so much that people feel they don't deserve to live or are at fault for their problems. It shows they haven't truly resolved this in their heads. They've just repressed their thoughts contrary to the illness line, hiding them behind the idea of disease as a way of de-stigmatizing. [T/W: Link-standard operational fat phobia]
I’m invited onto a radio discussion on the BBC Nolan show in Belfast, and I find myself arguing once again that we’re responsible for the choices we make, for the food we put in our mouths, and the levels of activity (or inactivity) in our daily lives.

There you have it in her own words. 

This kind of thing is painful and what we find painful we avoid or try to get through quickly, too quickly, assuming its done and dusted.

What we have here is someone exploring her own personal input into her own (genuinely) life threatening condition, using fat people to do this precisely because she's afraid to face what she clearly feels is a possibility. Her attitude to fat people reveals this.

I used to assume 'obesity' was a crude caricature of hyperphagia. Yes but the bones of it-ironically- is what people really see in anorexia (and bulimia). Even this "food addiction" model comes from the attempt to rescue that assumptive basis.

Truth is, fatness is nothing like anorexia, which is a distinct pathology. Fatness is weight. It's a metabolic outcome. Its genesis is not started by conscious decisions like anorexia is in the main. Its more from the body, through its metabolic systems, making some kind of adjustment (or its in the wake of another or other one/s).

That makes it both less serious and harder to change than anorexia, which has (to me) an astonishingly high rate of success through "re-feeding" i.e. eating. It's like imagine you had a load of insomniacs. And, in a supportive atmosphere, encouraged them to sleep and a half to 2/3 got completely or mostly (probably like EW) better!

When you look at the long-term reversal of fatness you are looking at what? People say 5% but that figure came from getting from fat down to a substantive (percentage) weight loss. It did not monitor those people from there. Certainly not for life.

I know everyone has staked everything on 'obesity' being as easy to treat/reverse (overall) as anorexia, but that isn't to be. Its obvious that we are not dealing with opposites the same or similar here, as we all thought. But as usual, those who feel entitled, feel entitled to keep believing. Just as they feel entitled to explanations for their issues that don't make them face up to their worst fears.

This piece shows that this evasion doesn't stop those fears.

In effect its somewhat of a confession, or at least, saying the unsayable: "I'm to blame." Or at least, I think I might be, but cannot say that directly. Like when slim people say "I'm fat." When they know full well they aren't. It gives vent to their problems whilst cushioning the impact.

I don't care to get into that though. It's a conversation people like her, who plough this furrow need to have with themselves. Perhaps with a therapist in situ, in case things get too fraught.

This should help those such as Emma Woolf realise that whether she really knows/ thinks she's to blame or not, doesn't repair her anorexia. Blame doesn't equal knowledge nor does it make diets work. Unless like her you have a specific pathological tendency to succumb to them. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Bite It

Birmingham, the UK's second city [not the one in Alabamy] has finally noted its density of fast food haunts, decided too high and will hereby restrict further excesses. Yet another case of this arse-faced crusade era's shutting the door after you opened it to allow the horse to bolt in the first place.

The point is not that this should or shouldn't be done, that its good/ bad, will or won't work. Its more, if you insist on a particular course that demands certain actions, plus the avoidance of others. Can't have one without the other.

When you demand people must go to war with their hunger, don't permit your cities to become filled with easily available, universally appealing calorie dense food. This shouldn't be a problem. Being fat is supposedly eating too much/wrongly. The avoidance of this is no issue for slim people, they're already there, which is why they're slim.

Really, the fat stereotype is a shame fuelled exaggeration of human tendencies. We like to have the food we like within easy reach. Ancient compounds unearthed usually find places where energy dense and energy efficient foods were stored. Tubers, starchy root veg, grain stores.

Access to food affects where we live.

What's the hunting like? Can we gather enough produce to keep us going? Is it fertile, what can we plant? If you don't feel comfortable when there's no food in the house, why would that change on a collective basis?

The flaw in the false dichotomy made between slim and fat is exposed by societies creating a flood going against the progress of law they've laid down for fat people. We hear; "Why should we [the unfat] be denied because others [i.e. fat people] can't control themselves?"

Because you insisted weight loss must occur and via one route only. None other should be available. Weight loss should be like this, it should be this bad and ineffective yet can somehow be made to work because um... innumeracy.

I find it hard to care that much about this kind of thing now, it's all too late. When the high streets, especially in lower income areas were filling up with these kinds of outlets. I was already struggling with imposition of lifestyle anorexia-for my sins. This gave me a bad feeling about what was going on around me. I felt it would be yet another obstacle for me and people like me.

We had to accept this because our burden was framed as all about self control-or the failure of it. Though it was demanded that we engage in a wholly unnatural, pathological, punitive, unsustainable stance and were clearly struggling, we were not just on our own fighting against primal forces within we had to add, swimming against the tide of other people's resistance.

No attempt to help us meet the demands placed on us was insignificant enough to be considered. No maintenance of any balance was too minimal to be jettisoned all whilst the cries of crisis got louder and louder. Those less prone to weight gain, instinctively wanted nothing to do with any interference or threat to their needs or desires.

That's about how we're all made.  Fat people just accepted going against essential human nature. No wonder it felt right to dehumanize us.

Having seen all this, I quickly concluded the only feasible solution was through science finding a way or ways to reverse [and advance] weight that didn't require something quite so unfeasible. Something that didn't get in the way of slim/mer society as that was a pointless waste of energy. That "no" had to be accepted.

It hurt to see the remorseless dismantling of everything that helped temper the potential for vested interests to get a formidable grip on our food environment. Whether commercial interests or food fanatics. Especially for ordinary children who were clearly deemed expendable, unworthy of effort for the sake of our sacred covenant with children-to the best we can for them.

No more kids growing plants/vegetables, no more school cookery classes, no more attempts to feed children a balanced meal, etc., etc., I totally get the sentiment people are have about fat acceptance should advocate for the end of food desert, but it is mis-placed. I can put up with a lot, but that is a battle I don't have the heart for. 

All this was a hell of a long time coming. It was totally obvious to me at the time, and most of the time folks could barely manage to give a damn. Even when they could, that was undermined by the "personal responsibility" get out clause (ironic that). You cannot claim we are all islands unto ourselves but we require an environment that respects and supports our innate inclinations. 

I feel like where have you been all this time? People spoke out about drugs infiltrating communities, they spoke about crime, about economic deprivation, but barely a word could be heard about the logic of our environment v demands made. Now because you think fat people are unseemly, you can suddenly come back to life and give a shit? And you expect that to become my life?

Again, no country has managed to sustain a reverse in their rate of fatness, or even slim down those deemed less than 'obese', no one mentions that the whole weight graph is moving to the right, not leaving a gap between the righteous and the sinful bodies.

Those who talk crudely about the "nanny state" are also naive. They don't realise this balance of forces is the so called  'discipline' of previous generations. That "eating competence" as the marvellous Ellen Satter calls it, is not maintained magically from some intrinsic unimpeachable source, it must be cultivated from within and the environment must match that. A history of lack is not that. Poverty is not discipline. Inefficiency of means, isn't self control.

Basic truths about human nature must be recognized, you cannot treat food like Ayn Rand treats human will. We are not creatures solely of elective will, it only feels like that because what will we do have is contrasted with our more unconscious wiring. We are animals who within our internal dynamics have some element of what we can perceive as will power. It's part of the whole of what makes us, it is not the whole. Our will is not linear it is more curved, spiral even. Shaped by and prone to interruption then overthrow by basic instincts.

Declarations of purported self mastery can go twist on that.

Though fat people accepted this ultimately deranged ideologically based proposition and were keen. Nobody else matched that enthusiasm. Before you get to any question of efficacy there's implementation.

I've no desire to fight other people's perfectly natural sense of threat to their ability to nourish themselves (amongst other things) then nor now. As I've said and never wavered from, the ability to adjust weight, forwards or backwards is required-end of story.

So why not just bite that bullet? It is medically necessary due to the central influence of human metabolic function on human function. It is a stepping stone to other things and a route to better medical treatments as promising in its way as the much touted "genetics."

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Incredibles

Those cheeky hustlers at wealth watchers (aus) are continuing to mine fat acceptance to shill their worthless, oddly intangible product, (hey were there back in the day). In your face internet!! 

Apparently, we must remember how incredible we are. For real, as I keep mentioning, billions have been pissed away over the years on informing the public of onerously complex tasks like fastening the belt provided in their cars, not drinking alcohol if they intend to go ahead and drive. Or even putting litter in any bins provided and other such tremendously lifestyle rearranging tasks.

Yet, tell fatz to try semi-starvation for life, mainly in a social and media capacity-via a few white coats for good measure, et voila. Generations actually attempt this deranged act of mostly trying to forswear one of the main things that assists the continuation of your existence.

Whilst jogging about and pressing or sitting up or somesuch.

Even after decades of this stigma inducing recklessness, we're still behaving as if we have to argue that this-with the best will in the world-just hasn't worked. In a time where equine strength opiate impersonators are marketed, not for major surgery recovery, second stage cancer or even your chronic pain condition nope, for your little old headache or if your tooths hurt [actually toothache can be a btch].

Even though this could often be relieved, if not ended by just relaxing your head, neck and shoulders.

Bah, there's little "self medication" in that.

Now, what should we do with this incredibleness? Create a functioning post-capitalist paradigm, a formula to end all wars/world poverty once and for all or the sadly still current, cure for cancer?


We should parlay our fat fu into "refusing to give up trying".

Pardon me, wealth hoarders but I've given up on weight loss dieting and I'm not sorry, not one little bit. I don't give a damn if you take away my incredible badge. Here, take it, take it, taaaaaaake it! To sum up;
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
W.C. Fields
Well, I'm sure many are feeling me when I say I went boldly and adventurously beyond the damn fool stage. The doors of perception are not only tested by mescaline.

I was torn up by trying to diet, keep up a restrictive diet and the continuous failure of all this and I bravely kept going like an absolute jackass. I used to marvel, how was it possible to get this messed up, without doing anything particularly unrespectable? Like getting high or being sexually voracious, something obvious, to explain my dissolute state.

There have been times when I almost envied drug addicts sense of purpose, so drained and tossed around was I trying to stick to my deranged course of lifestyle anorexia. I refused to give up time and time and time again. I refused.

Until I got to the point where I genuinely feared for my sanity, as the long term build up of anxiety started to implode into some kind of agoraphobia.

I cannot explain it. I was not a fanatic (seriously). I just felt that just as the sun is in the sky and the earth is beneath our feet, if you eat less calories than you expend you must get slim. It's funny, when you think you're doing the right thing and ill effects abound, they become totally disconnected from those acts. You look under every nook and cranny for the sinful, wrong doing that's creating these problems.

Only to finally trip over, it's the 'good' stuff. The things you're supposed to believe in.

What it took to stop trying really shook me up. Unbenknowst to me, all these years of trying meant my mind had fused the very essence of trying hard in order to succeed. That's why so many people can't give up on dieting. It feels like they're giving up on trying at all.

The onus on propping up calorie restriction-ergo not bothering to study fat people and/or dieters means this stuff doesn't tend to come out. 

When I was stopped from "trying" by the effects of that,  my mind seemed to interpret this as the end of the idea of a payoff for sustained effort, can you believe that? It's like a part of me lost faith in concerted effort and I'm not entirely sure I've recovered to the extent of before. Luckily I didn't realise 'till after the process of letting go.

The ad mentions a whole lot of things that show a story of everyday fortitude, including your first kiss (?!) But tell me, if you'd tried a first kiss over 16 solid years, everyday thinking planning scheming and monitoring yourself, your approach your thinking to try and kiss someone, and never quite managed it, don't you think you'd have given it up as a bad job? This is without the necessary parallel of making it ever more unlikely that you'll be kissed, as you fail to realise you've developed increasing desperation that prospective kissers can scent a mile off?

There is an underlying cruelty about continuing to play on this "keep trying" theme. It's what kept many of us to the task way beyond where it was sensible or rational. It's that insidious. 

Weight loss dieting doesn't function. If it did, it wouldn't be necessary. If weight is merely a question of choosing to eat or not, then it would be like a smoker cutting down.

It isn't hard or challenging, it's dysfunctional, pathological and a battle because of that. No amount of excellence can overcome a body that will not fail to defend you against this assault. Sticking with it has produced a degenerate cult(ure) that has regressed our understanding of human biology, the purpose and nature of food, what eating is, its necessity, threatens to label children addicts-something avoided with children addicted to drugs, turned disordered eating into the norm by which normal eating is pathologized against.

And it shows no signs of stopping there.

No wealth counters, the biggest, most courageous, epic thing any serial wld trier can do is to stare into the void, without a planB, a safety net, an alternative and say without bitterness or equivocation;

 "This continued repeatable, entirely predictable not workingness is it."