Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fat and Freud {Who Matched These Guys?}

For me the most persistent "keep 'em in their place" myths about fat people come from the world of psychology, where mental studies can shade the truth about obesity's physiological attributes, but heap more blame and ill treatment on the fat.

What fat person hasn't face the thin yuppie psychiatrist who peers over their trendy bifocals with an index finger crooked and ready, saying "Really, its your bad behavior or attitude, that you must change to be thin!".
How else will the patient rationalize another failed week of not losing a pound as the weight loss therapist, writes off your food journals as pure fiction? Then there are the ones who give out the myth, that people get fat to "protect themselves" [trust me a suit of armour would be far better then body-padding, that makes running far harder!]
The celery thin woman in this world is morally superior in this world while the fat woman is incapable of real friendships, doomed to float on ice floes of hostility and anger unless they accede to the demands of the thinner and "worthier". Regarding the food journals I had to be lying, by their logic.

While there are those who deal with food addiction, odd how this is much more a moral issue then when it comes to other struggles say with substance abuse. The idea that neuroses drives one to eat, and that perfect mental health will make one forever "thin" seems to be a losing proposition because I haven't seen it work yet. All fat people are lumped into the same box, all angry, all lacking the self control that supposedly all thin people are incredibly blessed with, all inner resentment written off as a refusal to submit to thin rule.

Sigmund Freud spent a good deal of his life floating high on dope, but his assertion of oral fixation against the fat is intact. Anyone deemed to be stuck at the lowest stage of psycho-sexual development {oral}-where the adult supposedly focuses on food like an infant, not sex--is relegated to an absurd level of immaturity. While Freud's theories have been more and more disproved, they live on in the tendency in some to view obese people as "misbehaving" children whose willful rebellion has brought forth their too large bodies.

If that's how the mainstream psychology world sees someone like me, there's no lack of pseudo-scientific wannabees willing to fill whatever gaps may exist between Freud's stages. Their numbers are legion.

One book called Losing Your Pounds of Pain assures us "Every extra pound that you carry on your body equals a pound of pain, you are carrying on your heart. The happy person carries body weight that is proportionate to their height". Still another book The Only Diet There Is takes a rather different tack: negative thoughts lead to overeating. Readers are urged to "uncreate the heavy thoughts that make you heavy", with creative visuals to match: "Love is fluid, moving and light. Hate is heavy, thick and dark." What better way to label fat people as hateful beings on top of everything else!

Self-help books like Fat and Furious boil fat people's physical stature down to attitudes: "if You weren't so emotionally hungry so much of the time, you wouldn't be eating so much. Your weight would be normal."

Who are these author's self-styled apocalyptic horsemen, you ask? Why, "Fear", "Anger", "Tension", and "Shame". Get it? "Our FATS feelings make us fat." Therefore, in 600lb "Estrella's" case is one of misplaced emotions: "She knew better then anyone the rage the fat had suppressed". I'll bet Estrella got more upset at the mud being slung in her direction then the screams of some far-fetched "inner child", such is the double talk and pseudo-scientific NONSENSE that dogs fat people.


  1. It's true that not all fat people have psychological issues;some physical diseases,and hormone imbalances,and things like Cushing's Disease,and Celiac.
    a lot of very overweight people have hormone,or physical problems,or disease,which helps them to be fat.

    However, I HAVE KNOWN very overweight people who had no diseases or hormone imbalances, I got to know them,I found out there were mental and emotional reasons they were fat.they ate too much.If they are heavy because they eat a lot of carbs,fat,sugar,and an immense amt.of calories every day,it's from eating too much.I myself,when I get very depressed, can eat too much,eat junk, get very overweight.Depression is one of the biggest reasons for overweight.there are mental and emotional reasons for gaining weight.

    I got to know overweight people who had the following;fear of the opposite sex.Fear of being emotionallly close.TheY IMAGINED that being fat would somehow keep people away from them.I have known many overweight people like this.Very severe mental and emotional problems are just as incurable as physical illness! mental and emotional illnesses are NOT more easily cured,than physical disease.

    mental and emotional illnesses are PATHOLOGICAL-exsist,similarly to PHYSICAL ILLNESSES.clinical depression is.Your brain has a physical illness wrong with it,just as you might have a condition of coronary artery is now necessary to treat mental illnesses as if they were PHYSICAL,cause,medically,they are.
    That is why many mental and emotional illnesses that are very severe,need medication,and can not be easily fixed.AT ALL.

  2. About Fat and Anger:I have known some very overweight people,who,once I got to know them very well,revealed themselves to be very angry inside.OK?So,it is one reason.However,it is not the ONLY REASON for overweight.It's also not the only mental or emotional reason,for being overweight."Generalizing,"saying that all fat people are angry inside,is very irresponsible.People gain a lot of weight for a variety of reasons.

  3. I agree Dorothy, there does seem to be different camps of fat people. I have known the food addicts and those with endocrine/metabolic problems who ate like everyone else but were large in size. Turning to food for comfort can be a danger in this society even among the average-sized or those with other problems.

    I agree about the irresponsible comment about all fat people being angry. Agree with the rest on emotional and mental stuff, people need help for those things not condemnation.