I can’t believe I have to say this again

For those of you who are new to reading my blog, here are some tips if you want to see your comments come out of moderation:

1) Do NOT assume I’m stupid.  If I write something (like my last post) where I extol eating whatever you damn well please, do not think that because I don’t put “in moderation” behind every other sentence, I’m saying that all people everywhere (especially fat people) should eat candy all day every day!

2) Do NOT be a concern troll.  It’s not about my, or anybody’s, health.  If it was, discussions of “health” wouldn’t ever become discussions of numbers.

3) Be polite.   I don’t mind disagreement, as long as the people disagreeing remember to be polite about it.

4) Do not try to bring in the same tired stereotypes that are blatantly not true.   Fat people are no more or less likely to be lazy slobs than normal-sized or skinny people.  We all, individually, have lazy days and productive days, and just as people don’t commonly say, “Look at that lazy skinny person just sitting around watching tv all day.  Typical!  Most skinny people just sit around and watch tv all day!” DON’T think that anything like that will be allowed out of moderation here.

5) This is my space.  No, you do not have any rights towards being able to say what you want, unless they are rights I give you.  You want to proclaim the evils of all the things I’m saying are good and right?  Do it on your own blog.  I will not willingly give you a platform here.

6) (or maybe 5b)  I do everything I can to make this a safe space.  To that end, I do not allow “diet for the sake of losing weight” talk here.  (Diet in the manner of whatever you eat is a diet, or in the manner of gluten-free or whatever, is not forbidden, however.)  I know that there are things I talk about that can be triggering for people who are recovering from Eating Disorders, and I try to remember to post Trigger Warnings for them.  If I forget, please let me know and I will rectify it.

7)  I come from a US-centric way of thinking.  Even though I have a few online acquaintances who are not USians, I am one, and my viewpoints do come from there.  As with the above, if I’m being particularly obtuse in my US-centricity, please let me know and I will evaluate my standpoint.  That doesn’t mean I will change my standpoint, but I will thoughtfully consider your viewpoint.

8 ) Douchebags will never be allowed out of moderation.  If you are abusive, if you engage in any kind of name calling, if you engage in any kind of threats, the only person who will ever see your words will be me.  And I will only see them for as long as it takes to hit the “delete” button.  I have dealt with many trolls this way, and have always, ALWAYS won the battle of wills with them.  I will always win this battle because I really don’t care that some random internet user calls me fat ass (or whatever).

I hope that you, new reader to my blog, will take to heart these few tips on what will keep your responses from being permanently deleted.  If you don’t, well, nobody but you and I will ever know what you said.

Oh, one more thing.  If you start out rational and get past moderation, and then you start doing any of the above, you WILL be put on immediate and permanent ban from responding to any of my posts.

Are we clear?  Good.

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What Does “Guilt Free” Really Mean?

Disclaimer:  I am writing about the inherent morality, or lack thereof, in food choices.  I am not talking about food choices that are more nutritionally dense than others, or talking about medical reasons for eating or not eating certain foods.

Trigger Warning:  This post has to do with food and lists a few different foods, including candy.  Please do not read if that will cause issues with any recovery you may be in.

I have been slowly building a candy business.  I make the candy with the best ingredients I can:  local honey, good quality chocolates, whole milk, cream, butter.  I use no artificial ingredients.  If something is flavored, it either has that thing in it, or it has an oil or extract of that ingredient.  No “artificial flavorings” allowed.

One of the types of candies I make is caramel.  Besides the regular caramel, I’ve been making different flavors.  In season, I offer a strawberry made with strawberry syrup I make myself from fresh strawberries.  I perfected a maple caramel using maple syrup (and it took a while to figure the chemistry involved for the caramel to not crystalize).  Now, I’m working on a chocolate caramel.

(Stick with me, we’ll get to the Fat Activist part of this, honest!)

In developing my flavors, I don’t just rely upon my and my husband’s tastes.  I have a group of people who are willing to be testers, so I can have a well balanced idea of what may or may not need to be changed in my recipes.  Yesterday on Facebook, I was informing people that there will be two chocolate caramels to taste with subtle differences.  Of course, my tasters don’t taste for free, and while I can’t afford to pay money, I do give some of the established candy as payment.

A friend responded and said the candy was “guilt free” because my tasters were working for it.  I responded that none of my candy came with added guilt.

That started me thinking (ah, now we’re getting to it).  Just what does “guilt free” really mean?

Dictionary.com defines guilt as:

noun

1.  the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime,violation, or wrong, especially
against moral or penal law;culpability: He admitted his guilt.
2.  a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime,wrong, etc.,
 whether real or imagined.
3.  conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs,etc.: to live a life of guilt.
verb (used with object) Informal .

4.  to cause to feel guilty  (often followed by out  or into ): She totally guilted me out, dude.

 He guilted me into picking upthe tab. See also guilt-trip.

If you listen to the diet industry, guilt free means fat free, sugar free, carb free, calorie free, and maybe even food (ie, nutrition) free.  The candy I make is not anything like that.

The idea that is being sold to us, and we are buying, is that the only way we are allowed to enjoy something is if it has nothing enjoyable in it.  If it is unrepentantly full of fat or sugar or carbs or whatever, then it is “naughty”, “evil”, or “bad”.   If a person is seen eating such a thing, they generally have to justify it.  “Oh, it’s only a small piece to celebrate!”  “I know, it’s bad for me, but it was just too tempting!”  “I’ll just work out extra hard at the gym to make up for it!”

So, what does “guilt free” mean?  With the dictionary definitions above, it would mean that there is nothing wrong, legally or morally, with it.

And that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  We live in a world where food, especially certain kinds of food, are considered to be moral.  Anything with fat, sugar, eggs (for the cholesterol value) is judged to be morally inferior, and the people who presumably eat a lot of it are also judged to be morally inferior.

And, except in a legal sense, guilt (which walks hand in hand with shame) are used by people to control other people.  How dare you have that sandwich with full-fat mayonnaise on it?  How dare you go back for seconds?  Or have dessert?  Don’t you know how bad you are being for eating that?  If you really must have that treat, how are you going to work it off?

All of those questions are designed to make people feel guilty for enjoying whatever they were eating, and ashamed for the supposed outcome.  “Well!  No wonder you are so fat!”

“Guilt Free” means just that.  There is no moral deficiency for enjoying food, whether it’s freshly picked tomatoes, a loaded baked potato, a steak cooked to your desired doneness, chocolate cake, or any of the other wonderful foods that are out there.

Food is not immoral.  It never was.  And nobody is immoral for eating food.

Real Women

I’ve gotten so tired of hearing the “real women have curves” mantra that’s been going around for a while.  While I understand it’s in response to the whole idea that a woman must have no curves that’s being forced on our society, it does a disservice to women who don’t have curves.

Today, while websurfing, I found this.

Real women are fat.  And thin.  And both, and neither, and otherwise.  Doesn’t make them any less real.

There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla:

There is no wrong way to have a body.

This is only the last part of the whole post.  Please, go read the whole thing.  It has a lot to say in a few short words.

I’m Here, I’m Fat, Deal With It!*

*With apologies to my homosexual friends for taking their slogan

There’s been a lot coming across my facebook feed yesterday and today.  Fat Heffalump posted a link to this story about a family in Scotland who is being legally persecuted because of their obesity (she also posted a call to action).

In another post, she linked to an excellent article examining where Jamie Oliver and his “Obesity is Preventable” campaign falls very short of the mark.  If the mark truly is health, then why is Jamie only focusing solely on the weight?  At the end of that article is a link to a Shakesville article posted a few days ago, also about Jamie Oliver.

In that post, Melissa McEwan, in commenting on the whole “obesity is preventable” line of thought says:

It’s always nice to see wealthy people with access to the best food, comprehensive healthcare, personal trainers, private chefs, and individual nutritional plans put their names to a petition admonishing the fatties that OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE.

When there are people for whom that is not true, people for whom obesity is not preventable, for myriad reasons, to bray about how their bodies (our bodies; ourselves) are “preventable” is to engage in eliminationist rhetoric.

I will never be not fat.

To get rid of my fat body, you have got to get rid of me.

In our society as it is today, fat people are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.  If a person is caught eating in public (going to a restaurant, even a nice one and not the stereotypical fast food restaurant), many people think they have the right to comment on what the fat person is eating.  If the fatty is having something high in calories or carbs or whatever-the-latest-diet-baddy-is-today, the person feels justified in telling them how to eat better.  “Are you really sure you should be eating that?”  I’ve heard that all too often.

However, even if the fatty is being a Good Fatty (TM), and only eating a salad (with low cal/low fat/low taste dressing on the side!), they are still subject to revilement.  “That’s not going to help you!” and “If you ate that way all the time you wouldn’t be as fat as you are!” are said to fatties who dare to eat in public.

It is commonly assumed that all fat people are lazy and never, ever, EVER exercise.  After all, it’s evident because they are so fat!  When a fat person DOES try to exercise in public, they shamed by hearing cat calls.  They are told they are deluding themselves because if they really did exercise they wouldn’t be that fat.  They are told they should never attempt that exercise until they lose weight.

It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t world, if you happen to be fat.

I think Melissa hit the nail square on the head though: To get get rid of my fat body, you have got to get rid of me.

Almost everything that is being aimed at fat people is being aimed at getting rid of them, of us.  “I don’t want to see you, you are gross, disgusting, a slob, stupid, lazy!  I don’t want to know you even exist!  Get out of my sight.  Preferably, go eat a gun!”**

I have a few medical reasons I’m fat.  Other people may call them excuses, but I don’t care what other people think.  My fatness is not going to go anywhere.  Short of starvation, which I will not willingly do, and probably won’t work anyways, my body won’t give up any of it’s extra pounds.  It’s a fact I’ve had to deal with for a very long time.

But it really doesn’t matter if I have medical issues or not.  It really doesn’t matter if I can easily lose weight or not.

The fact is, my weight is none of your business.

Whether it’s because I cannot lose weight (no matter how much I’ve tried) or because I like myself just the way I am and choose not to ever hate myself so much to starve myself, it’s my life.  It’s MY health.  It’s MY decision to make.

I’m here.  I’m fat.  Deal with it!

**All of these things and more have been said, in person and via the internet.  I would take bets that while normal sized and skinny people are ready to accuse me of hyperbole, most (if not all) of the fat people reading this are nodding their heads and thinking, “Wait, you forgot this…”