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. 

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