Happy Holidays Everybody!

May the light of the season warm your heart and carry you into the New Year.

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“THIS is what’s wrong with America today!”

It’s the Holiday Season, and as such, there’s always a million things to do.  Especially so close to Christmas.

Yesterday, as I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off buying the last minute things I need for dinners and presents and such, I stopped in a McDonald’s for lunch.  In front of me was a huge extended family.  There was the grandfather and grandmother, 3 of their sons (don’t know how many more children they may or may not have), one of the sons’ wife/girlfriend/significant other, and a bunch of grandchildren (at least 5, but they all kept moving around so maybe more).  The sons looked a lot like the grandfather, same facial features, same eyes, same body build (which was some degree of fat).

The wife/girlfriend/significant other was a normal size.  Probably size 12, so not skinny, but in no way obese.   And yet, she was definitely of the demographic that others would gasp at her for daring to walk outside so fat.

As I was patiently waiting in line behind this huge group, the woman said, very loudly, “THIS is what’s wrong with America today!  EVERYBODY is super sizing everything!”

I, in my morbidly obese body, looked over at her with one eyebrow raised.  She looked at me and had the grace to blush, and then lowered her voice.  I mean, dude!  You are in a McDonald’s, ordering junk food with your family who’s body structure is all the same, and your body isn’t the “I work out 40 hours a week” super body we are all being told we need to have, and you can say this?  I didn’t mention to her that ordering a salad then eating everybody else’s fries before the whole order was assembled did NOT negate the calories of the fries…

No, I didn’t confront the woman on her hypocrisy.  However, it did start me to thinking (again) about the scapegoating of fat people.

Here this woman is, in a McDonald’s and consuming the food that, if you believe the so-called experts, will have all of us ending up like the people on Wall*E, and who’s statement shows that the brainwashing of the masses is working.  What’s wrong with America is just that we, in general, supersize everything.  All of our problems as a country will be completely eradicated if we’d just stop overeating.

You know, the problems like the recession, the high unemployment rate (highest in over 20 years), the lack of confidence in the banking system, the health care crisis, the high crime rate, real child abuse (as opposed to being accused of child abuse because your children are fat), high homeless rate, domestic violence, sexism, racism.  All of those problems will just all magically go away if Americans didn’t supersize everything!

Boy, this takes the Fantasy of Being Thin to a whole new level, don’t you think?

Taking the “anti-fat” thing to extremes

Today, I was in a grocery store doing a few days’ shopping.  I went to the pet aisle because Piffany is almost out of JumBonz Mini’s.  The store I was in didn’t have the JumBonz.  They did, however, have a product called Guilt Free Treats.

When I saw that, I just rolled my eyes.  I mean, my dog has never felt guilty about what she ate (not even when she ate half of “grandma’s” sandwich that was left where she could reach it).  She loves her food, loves her treats, eats when she’s hungry and (get this) won’t eat when she’s not hungry.  Amazing huh?  I could learn a lot about a relationship with food from that dog!  But I digress.

Once home, I started wondering what made these treats “guilt free”.  So I looked them up on the internet.  Apparently, they are guilt free because they are *gasp* low in fat.  At least, that’s what the website claims, but they don’t have a list of ingredients or anything stating how low in fat they are.

Here’s the thing though, Piffany has a bad case of doggy eczema.  Yes, her vet has checked her out and we are doing exactly what the vet says we should be doing.  That is, adding fat to her diet.  Yes, that’s right, ADDING fat to her diet (in the form of fish oil and flaxseed oil).  A half teaspoon of each oils.

Now, why would a treat that is low in fat be guilt free?  Just because it’s low in fat?  They are perpetuating the same illogical thinking with dogs that they are doing with humans.  You know, “All fat is bad.  If you eat fat, you will be fat,” without thinking about how bodies (humans and animals) need a certain amount of fat in their diet to thrive.  And,in Piffany’s case, not only is fat not bad, the extra fat is definitely needed.

And in case anybody wants to think that I must have the fattest dog in the world (because, you know, I pour fat onto her food every day), here’s a picture of Piffany, taken a couple days ago:

Piffany, posing for her picture

Wait, are we green or not?

Remember almost a couple years back when that so-called study said fat people are the cause of global warming?  Well, seems a trivia game (unfortunately, the game itself is not referenced) thinks we are actually “greener” cuz, you know, being obese and unhealthy makes us die faster.

The fail is strong in this one:

Epic Fail

Image from failblog.org.

I still have so far to go

Today I was talking on IMs with a long time friend.  We don’t get the chance to talk very often any more, due to schedules and being in different time zones, so when we do have the time to chat, it’s nice.  We both also have web cams, so we take the opportunity to do a web cam chat when we can. 

While on web cam tonight, I was also drinking a soda.  It’s diet soda, and I drink it because the regular sodas are way too sweet for me.  I became so used to diet sodas during all the time I was dieting, I just can’t go back to regular sodas now.  So, I took a sip out of the can, and my friend chastised me for it.

He told me that I was “bad” for drinking soda.  That I should drink tea without sugar (he’s in the south, and sweet tea is the default there).  Instead of telling him that I was drinking what I chose, what I liked, or any other of a hundred things I could have said that wasn’t defensive yet also told him what I eat or drink is none of his business, I asserted that what I was drinking was diet soda.  I even held the can to the web cam so he could see exactly what the can said.

Yeah.  I know.  It’s none of his business what I drink.  He doesn’t have any right to tell me what I can and can’t, and should or shouldn’t, eat or drink.  If I want to drink 5 gallons of full sugared sodas a day, that’s my choice.  And yet …

And yet, I found myself reverting back into old habits, explaining my choices, making sure people realized, no, I’m not a bad person for drinking what they think I’m drinking.  See, I’m virtuous, I’m drinking this diet soda!  No calories even!  (And yes, I did say, in my haste to explain, “It’s diet soda, no calories!”)

I managed to make it through Thanksgiving without any guilt.  I ate what I wanted, stopped when I wanted, and enjoyed everything I had.  I didn’t get drawn into the whole “I have to diet after I eat today” or drawn into the whole “we have to really exercise more now that Thanksgiving is over, don’t want to gain any weight” talk that was going on in the dojo for the past week following Thanksgiving.  And yet …

One conversation with an old friend, and I immediately revert to old ways of showing just how virtuous I am (you know, by not drinking the evil nasty high caloric drinks).

I still have so far to go on this journey.  Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to say something like, “I drink what I like” or “my food choices don’t make me bad or immoral”.  At least, right now, I’m starting to recognize when I’m going back into old habits.  And for now, it’s good enough.