Inarticulate rage

Trigger Warning:  Talk about abuse, diets, and the so-called “Fat Epidemic”.

As I was reading my facebook news feed tonight, I clicked on a link from a friend.  This shows what harm can come from pushing “obesity is horrible” stories all over the place.

An Outagamie County child protective services intake investigator was contacted Sept. 9 when the girl, who had been born at 8 pounds, 2.8 ounces, on July 9, 2010, had gained less than 3 pounds at age 14 months when she weighed 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

On Aug. 24, 2011, he told staff at Children’s Hospital of the Fox Valley, Neenah, that doctors were forcing his daughter to drink more milk and eat more food “just trying to stretch her stomach.” She had gained 10 ounces during a 20-hour stay in the hospital where she was fed about 1,000 calories as recommended by a dietician for her age.

Dr. Mary Bartel told police that she believes the child was not gaining weight because she was not getting enough calories at home. She said both parents kept insisting that the child was going to “get fat” while she was in the hospital and Christopher Sultze was upset over what he considered overfeeding of his daughter.

Bartel described the child as being cachetic, which she said means her muscle mass was being consumed by her body. The doctor added that the child was “essentially starving” and had “no subcutaneous fat on her.”

In over a year, a baby born at a healthy weight gained less than 3 pounds.  3 POUNDS!  Not because the baby was naturally small (although, the standards for healthy weight gain for an infant are to triple birth weight in the first year, so I think most parents would be asking the doctors if 3 pounds was “normal”), but because the parents didn’t “want to have obese children.”

They resisted all requests to feed the baby more.  They became upset with the doctors when the doctors told them to feed the child more.  Because they didn’t want their baby to be fat.

So, instead of fat, the child’s body is eating itself to try and stay alive.

This is what we, as a fat-phobic culture, has done.  This is what we agree is the correct thing to do every. damn. time we engage in “diet talk.”  This is what we are doing to our children every time we tell them “do you really need to eat that?”  Maybe not to this extreme, but we are doing it.

There is a reason there are so many people who have eating disorders, and it’s not because they don’t know how to eat on their own.  We live in a world where the “obesity epidemic” is pushed at us every day, on every TV station, in almost every magazine, in newspapers.  There’s no getting away from the “concerns” that we (as a country) are “too fat”.  We hear often about the “rising cost of obesity.”

Well, here is your “rising cost of obesity.”

Only, in my world, it’s called child abuse.

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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…”

Reality check

I’m sure everybody has read or at least heard about the new article in the AMA Journal that hit today.

Here’s my response (behind the cut for triggers — discussion of abuse): Continue reading

Because it’s all about “health”, right?

Oy!

So, it’s the beginning of summertime, here in the northern hemisphere, and we are hearing a lot about “lose weight for bikini season (oh, and your health too)!”

For those of you who really want to believe it’s for your health, well … this just takes the cake.  It seems a corporation out there is marketing a product called a “Slim Capsule”.   You rub some of their lotion all over your body, dress in a plastic suit (to retain the heat), and then lay down in the capsule for 30 minutes.  It’s supposed to burn up to 500 calories in that 1/2 hour.  Hey, if you are into losing weight, sounds great, right?

Yeah.

Now for the reality check:  You are paying somebody to par-cook you!  The temperature inside the capsule, using heated with LED bulbs and heating elements goes to 150* F on your first visit and to 175*F on subsequent visits.  The reporter in the first link stated she was feeling light headed when she was released from the capsule — and she’d reported the temperature being 174 inside the machine while she was in it.

Really?  I mean, really?  This cooking of ourselves, for temporary benefits (whatever inches you may have lost come solely from dehydration and will be put back on as soon as you drink enough water to rehydrate yourself, is for our “health”?

Yeah.  If anybody believes that, I have a bridge to sell them.  Really cheep too!

There are reasons I don’t listen to Glen Beck

And his remarks about Meghan McCain’s body only make up a small portion of them.

In a recent radio show, Glen Beck “suggested [she] should wear a burqa, since [he] believe[s] that’s probably the only clothing that could possibly fit [her].”

I don’t usually read Meghan McCain either.  But I have to say, I LOVE her response to Glen Beck.

As a person who is known for his hot body, you must find it easy to judge the weight fluctuations of others, especially young women. If any of your daughters are ever faced with some kind of criticism of their physical appearance or weight, they should call me, because women’s body image is another issue I feel passionate about, and have become accustomed to dealing with and speaking with young women about on my college tours.

So thanks for spreading the word, Glenn. And next time, instead of jumping straight to the “Meghan McCain fat jokes,” maybe try out some new material. Because the fat-joke thing, it’s been done so many times, I know a creative intellect such as yourself can do better than that.

Way to go, Ms. McCain!

Update:  And here is the video of the show where Glen Beck pretends to throw up while watching the commercial Meghan McCain did about skin cancer.  Real class act there, don’t you think?  (Don’t click the link unless you want to see an @$$hole in action!)

Think of the children!

It seems school districts continue in their desire to overstep their charter with regards to feeding the students in their care.  First, it was the nonsense in New York stating that kids couldn’t bring in baked goods for bake sales.  All bake sale goods had to be from a list that was distributed.  The reasoning given, of course, was that this rule helped combat obesity.

Now, in Chicago, one school has forbidden the children from bringing their lunches from home (unless they have severe allergies and a doctor’s note giving them permission to bring a home made lunch).

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

Really?  Oh, I forgot, we must think of the children!

And what do those precious darlings think?

Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school.

“Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?” the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English.

Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: “We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!”

Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: “Do you see the situation?”

The picture that accompanies the article is of a so-called enchilada.   By looking at it, it just looks like “mystery meat, Tuesday version”.  I sure wouldn’t want to eat that so-called healthy food!

Here’s where the whole “Move Your Bodies” and all other “we’re doing this for your own good” programs fall down.  How do you really know what is good for anybody else?  One child’s home made lunch may include all the things the Principal of that school doesn’t like, but it’s really none of her business to decide what the children are allowed or not allowed to eat!  Many teachers I know wish parents would just, you know, parent their children.  Well, deciding what they are allowed or not allowed to eat is one of those parenting things.

Even if the choices the parents or the children make aren’t what the principal think they should be, it’s still THEIR choices.

We haven’t yet gotten into legislated eating.  Although, with everything else the US government is trying to legislate lately, I’m sure that’s on the way.

Alton, Just Shut UP!

“And there has got to be a correlation between food media and Americans becoming big fat pigs,” he says, “I’m not going to say Food Network’s responsible for American obesity. I’m not going to say that because of course what you put in your mouth is your own fault and your duty. But the fact that the rise of the celebrity chef has happened hand-in-hand with people becoming big fat pigs, someone’s going to reckon with that.
Alton Brown, celebrity chef, creator of Good Eats, and one of the “faces” of the Food Network, in this article.   (Bolded by me.)

Food Network, get rid of your bigotted, holier than thou representative.  You WILL lose viewers if you let this bigoted man continue to be one of your “faces”, one of your voices.  You sell the concept of food to everybody.  You sell spots to advertisers upon the idea that millions of people will continue to tune in to you, and therefor tune in to your sponsors.  Alton Brown, if he continues his misplaced crusade, will hurt your business.

Alton Brown, I used to respect you.  You are the “Science Guy” of food production.  You helped me to understand a lot of the science behind things like yeast and other leavening, why putting an extra egg into cake batters at high altitude helps the cake not fall, and a lot of other things.  Your recipes were great to recreate.  Your show Good Eats was fun and informative.  HOWEVER.  You do NOT have any right to call the people who you, personally, are making money off of (in the form of book sales) big fat pigs. You do NOT have the right to engage in hate speech, condescension, nor ridicule towards them (remember the “did you eat the TV” comment?  yeah, that’s the ridicule).

You will never grace my living room again.  I’m just very glad that I’m not one of the “nice folk” who’ve personally contributed to your fortune (by buying one of your books).

Oh, and by the way, you might want to emulate Andrew Zimmerman.  As you said, “he never disrespects anybody.”  You might want to try that, if you don’t want to lose any more viewers for your employers, or sales of your book!