Treating people right

I’ve made it a mission in my life to praise people for doing right.  Especially employees in stores that give exceptional service.  I’ve worked in service industry jobs too long, and know that all too often the managers only hear what’s wrong with their employees.

So, many years ago, I started asking to talk to managers when I received exceptional service.  This created a very humorous occasion when I asked to speak to the manager about excellent service a gentleman gave me when I was trying to pick out a camera, only to find out the gentleman who gave me the excellent service was the store manager!  In that case, when I arrived home, I wrote a letter to corporate to give credit where it was due.

So, in that spirit, I want to talk about two recent interactions in stores I’ve had.

The first one was a local Target.  I hardly ever shop at Target.  It’s not that I have anything against them, just I never go there.  However, this last week, I needed to pick up a couple of things at a store, and the Target happened to be in the parking lot I was already in.

I’m having issues with walking and breathing (or talking and breathing, or standing and breathing, or really, doing anything and breathing) right now, due to the air quality we’ve had for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve seen a doctor, and it’s just a matter of resting and healing now.  :\

Walking around a big store, and the Target I’m talking about is a Super T, is just not something I can handle well.  However, I feel very self-conscious about using the carts some stores provide for people to use.  I’ve seen too many comments of “That fat person is keeping those carts from people with REAL disabilities” or “Being fat isn’t a disability” or “If you’d exercise, you wouldn’t need to use that cart!”  So, I do my best to never use one of those (not even when I was on crutches after the surgery in ’07).  This time, however, I had to use the cart.

Since this was a brand new store to me, I had no idea where anything was.  So I was zipping all over the store, looking for the things I needed, and things that interested me (because, hey, shopping, amirite?).

The first time I saw a store employee, he asked me if I needed help with anything.  I thanked him and said no, and kept truckin’ on.  I was astonished by the offer because I was in two invisible demographics at this point:  fat, and using the mechanical cart (showing some sort of disability).  But then I thought maybe he had a family member who was disabled, or he’d been temporarily disabled at some point, and was more conscious of it.

But then it happened again, with a different employee in an entirely different area of the store.  And then, yet again by a third employee, in yet another area of the store.  At one point I actually did need help (to find Conall, who’d gone looking around someplace else, and whom I couldn’t find since I was shorter than I usually was), and the lady I approached did not try to avoid me, walked towards me when she saw I was driving towards her, and started to walk me to where they could page Conall (as she didn’t have a way to page over the intercom system herself).

It became obvious to me that the employees are trained to not discriminate against ability factors in their offers of help.  Seriously, I’d go back to that Target again, even though it’s a bit more expensive on some stuff than even my regular grocery store, because the service is excellent.

I don’t know if this is a Target wide policy, but I will sure be calling Target home offices and complimenting them on the helpfulness of the employees there.

The other place is a store I go into semi-regularly, and is Whole Foods.  There are two stores near me, and depending on what side of town I’m at, I make use of both of them.

Now, I know  Whole Foods does discriminate against fat employees.

In a letter to employees, Mr. Mackey claims that “Supporting Team Member Happiness and Excellence is a very important core value.”   While there is certainly evidence that generally suggests that high cholesterol, high BMI, and cigarette smoking are detrimental to a person’s well-being, there are many happy, healthy, active, fat people that are conscious of their food choices that do not fall within the prevailing acceptable range for BMI that Whole Foods will use to determine health.  There are not, however, many truly happy people that suffer from self-hatred, body dysmorphia, unreasonable expectations of beauty, or working against a body’s biology to comply with over-generalized definitions of health.

So, yeah.  I know.  And usually, I won’t give my money to a corporation that tries to punish it’s employees for being fat.  However, it’s the only place in town I can get a few things I need (like fair trade baking chocolate).  I’m in a Catch-22 here.

Even though the company CEO seems to want to punish it’s fat employees (also those who smoke), I’ve always been treated well in both local stores.  Considering that the “earthy crunchy” type (at least, many whom I’ve talked to in real life) tend to treat me as if I am at best exaggerating and at worst outright lying about my exercise and eating habits, when I first started going to the Whole Foods stores, I expected bad service.

I can say 100% that I’ve never received bad service, or felt like I was inconveniencing an employee for just being fat in their store.  I once even had a manager at the north store offer to hire me because I found the product I’d asked for help in finding (he’d taken me to the correct area, but then he couldn’t find it in it’s cubby, and I did).

Last night took the level of service up another notch.

I’d gone to the doctor for a follow up to the smoke inhalation issues I’ve been having, and was basically told that there really isn’t any more that can be done.  If I can get out of the area to where there isn’t a bunch of smoke and particulates in the air, I will probably do better, but just about all of Colorado has smoke from either local fires or from the wind pushing the smoke from other states to us.  Denver has bad air quality right now from the fires in Wyoming.

So, I decided I’d done Conall’s way, now it was time to do my way.*

Do you know there are a lot of supplements out there?  And that even doing your homework before going and searching for products doesn’t always help when none of the products you are looking at has the ingredients you’ve seen mentioned a lot when doing your homework?

Yeah, it can be confusing, even when you attempt to educate yourself about what has been shown to work and what is just snake oil.

After looking at things for about 15 minutes, I found an employee (department manager of the herbal supplements department) and explained what I was looking for.  I was a bit nervous, because, you know, fatty can’t breath.  And while I’ve always been treated well before, I’d also always asked for things like almond meal (for baking for gluten free friends) or where they get their honey from, what city is their “western slope” honey out of (for the honey caramels I make).

The employee last night was wonderful, talking about how he was having issues due to the air quality as well (and he was the tall, naturally skinny kind of guy).  We talked about options, and then he said, “Just a minute, I’ll be right back.”  He went around a corner and came back a couple minutes later with a bottle of “respiratory help” herbal treatment.  It’s made of an herb I’d researched a few months back (because Conall’s boss started to sell some coffee made with this stuff, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to hurt Conall to drink it), so I knew the basic properties of the herb.

The employee told me he was going to give me the bottle (over $25 retail cost) because it was a brand new product they had, and he had no feedback from people taking it, only what the company had sent.**  I asked him if he was sure, because that’s a lot of product to just give away, and he said he was absolutely sure.  He didn’t even ask that I come back and tell him how the product worked, although I offered that immediately.

Actually, what I said was, “What kind of input do you want me to give you about this, since you are giving me this product for free?”

He didn’t ask, and so still doesn’t know, that I write a blog.  So me talking up this product online wasn’t even something he thought about.

He was just being very nice, and trying to help a person struggling with a situational health problem get better faster.

I always try to give credit where credit is due.  Both of these things happened at chain stores, where I’ve come to expect bad service as the norm.  Not because I’m fat, but just because many chain store corporate headquarters seem to think that “customer service” starts and ends with the customer having to find an employee, and then still being lost when the employee says, “Oh, that product is down that aisle” (pointing vaguely towards the middle of the store).  And yes, I’ve had that level of service all too often.

These two local stores have distinguished themselves in my book.  As always, your mileage may vary, but I’d be interested to hear if this level of service is consistent with other places around the country (for Whole Foods) or world (for Target).

*Conall is much more traditional medicine than me.  I am much more alternative medicine than him.  It can be an interesting balancing act sometimes.

**I am (obviously) not a celebrity, and so never expect to just be given items for free.  Matter of fact, I had to ask the gentleman 3 times if he was sure, because, well, you know, unasked for semi-expensive FREE item. This just never, EVER happens to me.

This will never make front page headlines

The news is good, but it’ll never make front page headlines.  It’s about how skim milk is not very good for you.  According to the article, not only may skim milk lead to weight gain, but also, that the process by which they make skim milk white (rather than that bluish tinge it used to have when I was growing up) may lead to cancer and higher cholesterol!

To turn skim milk white, “some companies fortify their product with powdered skim,” says Bob Roberts, a dairy scientist at Penn State. Powdered skim (which is also added to organic low-fat milks) is produced by spraying the liquid under heat and high pressure, a process that oxidizes the cholesterol. In animal studies, oxidized cholesterol triggers a host of biological changes, leading to plaque formation in the arteries and heart disease, Spanish researchers reported in 1996. “OCs are mutagenic and carcinogenic,” they wrote. In 1998, Australian researchers studied rabbits fed OC and found that the animals “had a 64% increase in total aortic cholesterol” despite having less cholesterol in their blood than rabbits fed natural sources of the substance. (A 2008 Chinese study with hamsters confirmed these findings.) Roberts says the amount of OC created by adding powdered skim is “not very much,” but until the effects on humans are known, it’s impossible to say what’s a safe level.

I’ve been saying for a long time that if we have an epidemic of anything (obesity, diabetes, heart disease) we need to look outside of the idea that obesity is causing anything.  Obesity is a co-morbidity with other illnesses.  That just means that it is there with other things.  That does not mean that it causes the other conditions.

I’ve also been saying that we should look at to what happened in the 1970’s, when the “obesity epidemic” was supposed to have started.  What outside conditions happened in the world to cause so many people to become fat all at once (relatively speaking).  What socio-economic conditions changed.  How did the availability of more food (and more processed food) in many countries contribute to a lessening of famine induced low weights?  We need to look not only at our waste sizes, but also at our height (and not in a BMI way, either).   As a general population, people in developed countries were obtaining adequate amounts of food.  Could it be that, since our bodies don’t have to worry about having enough calories in a day, they are just growing to their fullest potential, in all directions?

Or could it be that the food we are eating is actually making us fatter?  Studies are coming out that are showing some of the most highly touted artificial sweeteners (yes, I’m looking at you, Splenda) are being shown to actually make a person gain weight, rather than lose weight.  I know that the debate over high fructose corn syrup rages on, but when manufacturers started including that in everything that is pre-made, we have the first incidence of the “obesity epidemic” happening.  Could it just be coincidence that they both started in the 1970’s?  Maybe.  Who knows.

What I’m trying to say here, is that this issue is much more complicated than the “calories in, calories out” people like to believe it is.  That there are many socio-economic and environmental issues that contribute to not only weight gain, but also the alleged increase in other diseases that are co-morbities with obesity.  (I say alleged increase because, if you look at the CDC reports for the last few years, not only are USians living longer, but the statistics has been showing less heart attacks, strokes, or other so-called fat related illnesses as the cause of death.)

So, drink up your full fat milk (if you drink milk, that is), and don’t worry about what it’s doing to you.  Most likely, it’s actually doing what the commercial says it is:  Milk, it does a body good!

I Love My Doctor

Yesterday, I had to go to visit my doctor, and while the reason wasn’t a good reason, and the outcome is not as positive as I could wish, I have to say the experience was very good.

I’ve written in the past about my problems with doctors, how they look at me and attribute everything that is wrong with me to me being fat.  And how that’s made me reluctant to go to the doctor at all.

There are four doctors in this practice, and I’ve seen every single one of them since October of last year.  All the doctors are professional, competent, and best of all, compassionate.

The first thing the doctor said to me yesterday, trying to put me at ease (because the problem really is worrisome), was “You’ve not been back to see me in a while.  Don’t you like me anymore?”  She said it with a smile, and it was obvious she was teasing.   We talked a bit about my problem, and then she asked me when my last mammogram was.

I know I gave her the deer in the headlights look.  I admitted I never had one, and she took my chart (which she had in her hand) and proceeded to pretend to hit me over the head with it.  (No, she never touched me, and it was absolutely done in a teasing manner, and while maybe unprofessional, it was okay.)  I told her “hey!  Hitting the patient isn’t allowed!”

So, we discussed why I’ve not had a mammogram and my reluctance to even go to doctors.  I was totally honest with her, and told her that now that I’ve found a practice that doesn’t make everything about my weight, I’m finding I’m more willing to do what the doctors say about preventative practices (like the mammograms). 

She asked me what my experience had been, and I told her the truth.  I told her about how, in the past, when I’d go to doctors concerned about my amenorrhea, and stating I wanted to do what I could to become pregnant, how many doctors would just put me on the birth control pill to get me a bleeding every month.  About other doctors who, upon hearing that I couldn’t become pregnant no matter what, told me to lose weight, and when I didn’t, said I obviously didn’t want to have children.  I told her about how most times, everything I said about what I ate, how much exercise I did was was taken by the doctors to be a lie. 

As I talked to her, I watched her face.  There was anger in her eyes.  Genuine anger FOR me.  She asked when I was diagnosed with PCOS, and I told her 1998.  She asked when the amenorrhea started.  When I was 15 (1982).  She asked did nobody ever try and find out why there was amenorrhea when I young, married, and wanting children?  I told her no, they just all blamed my weight and said I wasn’t trying hard enough to lose weight.

She really was angry on my behalf on how I’d been treated all these years.  Especially when she found out that the first time I was told my weight was what caused my amenorrhea I only weighed 160lbs.  She confirmed something I’ve known for a long time:  being 40lbs over “ideal” weight wasn’t a cause of my amenorrhea, and the doctor (and subsequent doctors) should have looked harder for the real cause.

It was refreshing to hear a doctor say that. 

We then continued talking about why I went to see her yesterday, and we’ve discussed the next steps.  In that discussion, she talked “mean” to me (and even said, “I’m going to be mean now, if I scare you, good!  I want to scare you!”) but I could tell it came from her caring, from her compassion.  She’s one of the doctors who feels she is in a battle with death and disease.  She knows, eventually, death will win, but she absolutely hates it when death wins and it didn’t have to. 

I have doctors now who I can talk to, who listen to me and believe me when I tell them things.  Who value my input as the person who lives in the body.  Who see our relationship as a partnership:  they have the medical knowledge to figure out what my symptoms mean, I have the intimate relationship with my body to know that this or that thing is wrong for me.  And who know that keeping death or disease at bay for as long as possible takes both of us doing our jobs.

These people are definitely keepers. 

And I can absolutely say that I will be much more likely to listen to them, and follow any advice they give me.  After all, I know they are working with me to try and help me be as healthy as I can. 

I am so lucky I found this practice.  It only took my whole adult life to find them.

The more I read, the more I realize

Okay, I should know this, right?  But every so often it hits me again.

The “obesity epidemic” is not, and never has been, about health.  It is, and has always been, about a lot of other things (social standing, appearance, bodies being/not being public property, the diet industry), but it has never been about health.

If it was about health, then why are so many people resistant to the truth when it slaps them in the face?  Why do so many news outlets only print the “OMG FAT KILLZ!” headlines and leave the “well, you know, if you are fat, you really have a better chance to survive heart attacks and strokes, and hey, you may live longer overall” stories alone?  Why did every major and minor news outlet pick up the “The Fatties are causing global warming, the global economic failure, and starvation in third world countries” story when there was no evidence (just some mental masturbation done by statisticians)?

I keep realizing this, and I keep forgetting.  Or maybe I just realize it at a deeper level.

It’s not about health.  It’s never been about health.  It’s been about money (the diet industry wanting more and more of your and my money).  It’s been about power (those who are “thin and beautiful” get better paying jobs, and supposedly more power).  It’s been about people in general telling other people what they can and can’t do with their own bodies (which also leads back to power — if somebody tells you what to do, and you do it, you’ve given them power over your life and actions).

The thing that gets to me is, if the common knowledge that obesity kills is true, then why are people so upset about it?  I mean, if I’m going to die by the time I’m 50, that means less time people will have to look at me and have to deal with me being fat at them.   Ultimately, I’ll use less resources for the so-called health crisis because that’s 29 years less of having regular doctor visits and emergency room visits for breaking something or emergency appendicitis or whatever.

Oh, wait, there I go using logic again.

I Wore Shorts, and the World Didn’t End

In fact, nobody but me even seemed to notice.  Even my husband, who knows I never wear shorts outside of the house, didn’t notice the momentous occasion.

I haven’t worn shorts outside the house since the 1980’s sometime.  I don’t exactly remember why I stopped wearing shorts, but I just did.  When I lived in Oklahoma where the temperature got up to 105 in the summer, not wearing shorts was difficult, but I adjusted somehow.  When I lived in North Carolina, where the humidity made you think it was 105 or more, not wearing shorts was hard, but I never even thought of wearing shorts outside.

A year and a half ago, before my knee surgery, I bought a pair of clearance rack $4 a pair jean shorts.  My thought was that it would be good for physical therapy for my knee.  I’d not have to worry about having the correct pair of jeans (I have one pair of “boot cut” jeans, all the rest are tapered at the ankle and don’t slide past the knee.  I did wear them, under my skirts to give me extra modesty when having to get up from the floor when I did the exercises. 

But wear a pair of shorts outside, without anything else?  So everybody could see my naked knees, and possibly comment on how fat I am, how I shouldn’t be wearing shorts, shouldn’t be seen in public?  No, that wasn’t going to happen.

Yesterday, was supposed to be extremely hot.  Summer decided to attack with a vengeance, and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable going to the doctor.  Just going to the doctor was going to be uncomfortable enough.  So, I chose to wear my shorts.  With a no sleeved tank top.

The world didn’t end, and nobody even noticed.  It was anti-climatic, really.  I went into stores after the doctor appointment, even stopped at a restaurant for breakfast (as I hadn’t eaten in case the doctor wanted to draw blood).  Nobody noticed.  Nobody cared that I was in shorts.

It was so much more comfortable too.  It was hot out yesterday, and having my legs bare to what little breeze there was felt really nice, helped to keep me cool when I wasn’t in the air conditioned car, doctor’s office, or stores.

I feel a little silly writing about this, as if it’s some great insight or something.  This (wearing shorts) represents a major change in me though.  I’m no longer allowing the fear of other people’s condemnation to determine what I will and will not wear. 

On a more personal note (how can I get more personal than talking about what clothes I’m wearing):  It appears I’m developing allergies.  It seems we’ve had a major mold/pollen bloom this year, what with all the rain we’ve had.  The mold and pollen has shot up dramatically in the past month.  About as long as I’ve been unwell.  The doctor did some tests to make sure it wasn’t bacterial, listened to my chest to make sure there wasn’t any congestion, and then gave me a prescription for a nasal spray and told me to get some Claritin (TM). 

I’ve never had allergies before.  The closest I’ve ever come to allergies is that my body is completely non-responsive to penicillin and it’s derivatives.  So, this whole allergy thing?  Totally knew to me. 

I’m feeling philosophical about it, though.  As I told the doctor, my mother is allergic to everything under the sun, and most things under the moon.  I’ve managed to make it over 42 years without having allergic reactions to anything.  Considering I could have inherited that from my mother, I think I’m doing good.  Considering it seems to be a mild case of allergies so far, I know I’m doing good!

Physical Therapy and Feeding the Hunger

I went back to a different blog I had where I posted about what my physical therapist had to say about me being hungry after PT.  But first, I’ll give a little bit of back story:

In October of 2007, my left knee finally said it wasn’t going to take me continuing to walk on it after years of dealing with an injury.  I went to a minor emergency clinic, who prescribed an MRI, and found my knee was slagged.  The doctor at the minor emergency clinic said I was looking at knee surgery, probably reconstructive because at 41, I was too young for replacement.   I found a surgeon who, after hearing about my injury in 2000, how my knee had always acted up after that, diagnosed my knee problem as me being fat, gave me a shot of cortisone in the knee (I was in tears it hurt so bad), and sent me away with a prescription for physical therapy, recommendation to lose weight and the words that we would absolutely NOT be doing surgery on my knee.  Not even to take out the shards that were in the knee (one of the many problems that showed up on the MRI) even though it would be beneficial to do surgery for that.

He totally disregarded what I’d told him about the injury.  About how I didn’t have any insurance at the time of initial injury OR for years afterwards.  And he disregarded what I’d told him about losing 70 pounds in a year and a half and how the knee was doing worse AFTER the weight loss.

I found a different surgeon, but it took a few weeks to get the initial appointment.  Meanwhile, I went to physical therapy on the hope that it would help with the pain I was still in (despite the cortisone shot the first surgeon had given me).

Conall the PT is a body builder and wrestler.  Besides having all the college degrees and classes for physiology necessary to be a licensed Physical Therapist, he also has a lot of personal knowledge of nutrition and what it takes to build muscle.   He’s done a lot of research so he could optimize his own training.

The second surgeon listened to my story of long time injury, having lost weight and the pain being worse, looked at the MRI and did a couple xrays of his own.  And said that my problem was due to the untreated injury, which was made worse by walking/running/climbing/etc on it all these years.  He said the only way to fix this would be reconstructive surgery.  And oh yeah, the cortisone didn’t help because it was contraindicated for this type of knee problem.

Long back story, I know.   The part following is from February of last year.  I was doing an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes of weight lifting exercises three times a week to rebuild the muscles that had atrophied due to the surgery and walking on my leg wrong for so many years.  I was doing balance and stability exercises as well as walking to retrain me how to walk correctly.  And after each PT appointment, I was starving.

In other PT news, on Monday Conall the PT told me something that I thought I’d never hear coming from the mouth of a medical professional. Let me preface this by reminding y’all that the only thing I’ve ever heard from medical professionals was that I had to lose weight, or suffer dire consequences in the future. Let me also preface this by saying that Conall the PT is not only very experienced in physical therapy (20 years experience and damn good at what he does), but he’s also a body builder and wrestler. So, on Monday we were talking and I told him how ravenous I am at the end of the appointment all the time now.

Conall asked if I ate immediately after the appointment, and I said we do. We usually go to some restaurant (because Mom doesn’t get that I need to eat NOW, not in two hours after I’m done with PT). Conall then asked what I ate. So I admitted that it was usually a hamburger and salad, occasionally fries or onion rings (go to a local Village Inn — Shoney’s or IHOP style restaurant). Conall told me I wasn’t eating enough, and then said that I should also have a shake as well as the hamburger and fries. Ummm HUH? Was that somebody who’s a medical professional telling a fat person to eat more?!?! I tell you, it really confused me.

So, Wednesday, we were talking more about my eating patterns on PT day, and I told him that I eat protein before coming to PT. He said that was great, and told me that, as well as my water that I bring, I should bring either some electrolyte drink (but it HAS to be the type with carbs in it, not sugar free stuff) or juice, and that afterwards I should drink chocolate milk, as well as go out for a really good lunch with shake. I looked at him and said, “I’ve got to tease you now…” Then proceeded to ask if there was a oversight committee I could report him to, because he was telling a FAT person not only to eat MORE, but to eat really fatty stuff, like chocolate milk, milkshakes, and fries or onion rings. He laughed, and did a very short physiology-as-weight-builders-know-it 101.

Doing the type of muscle building exercises I’m doing breaks down the muscles a bit so they can rebuild. It’s how you build muscle. In order to rebuild, the muscles need a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Thus, the hamburger, french fries and shake, with chocolate milk later on, is the perfect combination to help the muscles rebuild. I thanked him for the physiology lesson (I really didn’t know that, and am always glad to get new information about stuff), and then told him about what my experience has been since I was 14 and first gained weight from 95 pounds. (He heard I was 95 pounds and said that was way too skinny for my frame, and was I sick when I was that small. I replied that I wasn’t, but didn’t get into the reason I was so skinny.) About how the first surgeon I saw about my knee back in October who diagnosed me as being fat wasn’t the first doctor to treat me like that, and that, most of my doctors have done that since I was 14. He just shook his head and said that was a terrible way to treat somebody.

Yay for somebody who gets it.

‘Course, this is the same guy, who way back when I first went to see him with orders to strengthen my leg muscles supporting my knee as all that was wrong with me was that I was fat, examined my leg muscles and said, “I don’t know why he thinks you need to strengthen and tone your muscles, you’ve got very well developed leg muscles. You don’t need musculature support for that knee.”

Fat virus?

A so called “fat virus” has been found in chickens.  When Richard Atkinson, a scientist, did some studies, he found that 30% of fat people have this virus, only 11% of ‘lean’ people have it.  So, he started to do some more research, infecting monkeys with this virus, and says that all the monkeys became fat.  Here’s the link.

In googling this, I find I’m about 4 months behind on this, as this news came out in August.  At least I’m still in the same year.  The thing that gets to me is one website’s spin on this:

Researchers in Louisiana have found a link between a cold virus, adenovirus-36, and obesity. They found that around three times as many people who were classed as obese carried the virus, compared to a more normal setting. 

Notice how they say “three times as many people who were classed as obese carried the virus, compared to a more normal setting”?  That’s definitely skewing what the results were.  While technically, 30% v 11% is about three times more, 30% still isn’t a majority of the population.  So if 30% of obese people carry the virus and that “makes them fat”, what’s the deal with the other 70%?  And why are the 11% of the ‘normal setting’ people not getting fat? 

I hate when I hear about things like the so-called fat virus, because, really, it doesn’t matter why a person is fat.  Whether it’s a fat virus, or genetics, or some disease with obesity as a symptom, or no reason, it really doesn’t matter.  Trying to find reasons for obesity is trying to divide between the ‘good fatty’ and the ‘bad fatty’.

In the minds of people who think they are enlightened to allow for diseases and such, I would be a “good fatty” (or they’d think so).  I have an explanation for why I’m fat that doesn’t necessarily begin with “and the pumpkin pie was so good I just had to have three slices!”  I would be given a pass on the fact that I eat things on occasion that are “bad” for me, such as candy and cookies and white things like milk and cauliflower and (watch the video if you’ve not already seen it)…  And yet, do we care ‘why’ a person is naturally thin (unless it’s too thin, then people wonder about eating disorders)?  Naturally ‘normal setting’ weight?  So if we don’t care about why somebody who is 5’4″ and weighs 120 pounds (is it a virus?  genetics?), why should we care about a person who is 5’2″ and weighs 220 pounds?

The other side of this story is, while Mr. Atkinson thinks this may be a great thing, if some obesity is caused by this cold virus, and they do develop treatment for it, it will make it even worse for the fat people who don’t have the virus.  Everybody who the virus doesn’t work for will be judged even more harshly than they already are.  Once there’s a treatment for the ‘fat virus’, any fat person who it doesn’t work for will probably be the recipient of even worse treatment.   After all, if they obtained the treatment, and it doesn’t work, it’s obvious that they really do spend too much time on the couch and in front of the table (or at McDonald’s, or KFC, or the candy store, or where ever).  And if they refuse treatment, it’s their own fault they are fat by refusing to do something that is for their health. 

You know, like weight loss surgery is only for a person’s health.