Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thought Crime and Size Acceptance, Ideologues and The Big Brush-Off

I went to read this article, I got it from the Big Liberty blog...and it's from another blog...called Dead of Winter...

But here is:

"The Truth Is Radical"

I will share two of the posts, but there are more in the comments:

Blogger to me:

This was aimed at the general population, not at every single possible instance there is. I beg to differ that some people are too fat for fat acceptance or that you cannot be healthy at every size (depending on your definition of health.) Indeed, that was my point-I used to think this way until I was radicalized.

Even if fat did cause or exacerbated health problems, we still cannot be made permanently thin in a safe way and doctors should stop prescribing weight loss as the cure.

It may not be radical to you to be told to accept what is before you, and it really isn’t, another point I made in my post.It’s radical to ask to be treated with basic respect. However, it’s radical in our culture of fat hate to say, “I’m fat, get used to it” and stop making concessions that grant fat phobics their arguments. We’re under pressure to make the larger fat phobic culture feel good instead of challenging them with the best we have and our message gets watered down in the process.

Society has a toxic potion to sell at both ends of the spectrum? Sorry, but I find the idea of society promoting fat to any degree laughable.

Oh, and have Americans really gotten fatter? Or is that just the BMI talking? Most people that get labeled “fat” are either only slightly fat or not visibly fat at all. We wouldn’t have as many fat people as we do if the BMI charts did not change to include more people in the fat category.

No, we don’t support a cure for obesity because…we’re fat acceptance. Pretty straightforward really.

My post still stands. You are certainly welcome to comment on whatever you like here, but this is not the place to win converts away from fat acceptance and to hash out your issues with it.

What I Wrote in Response: [well unless it gets taken down]

Again I get the brush off, as if there is only one of me in this country. I know in the size acceptance world that super-fat people are the lowest of the totem pole especially if they are of lower financial means which most are being disabled, and because they do not protray the image that size acceptance wants. I know from friends and even my own doctors there are people who are bedbound, wheelchair bound and even in nursing homes. I can still walk, my life is limited more by the breathing problems-COPD, but I can walk far further then I could acouple years ago. I can still get out and live a bit when the weather is good. I know even on the spectrum, there are people suffering far worse then me.

A person my size yes can stand against fat discrimination and more, and have dignity, but this idea that fat should stand alone and untouched, what if they found a cure? You know that one worked? I am not saying everyone has to be a skinny minny, I am talking about those with severe obesity…it’s like telling a kidney patient, “oh, you do not accept the fact your kidney’s have failed no more research and help for you, go be proud of needing dialysis everyday. Give me a break!

So what has your “radicalization” done but give out the usual status quo? If you read my blog, you will see I am anything BUT an apologist for the rotten diet industry, but no instead of listening you tell me, “Oh this doesn’t apply to you”. Well why wouldn’t it, I’m fat too. Hey call it “the midsized and still healthy fat acceptance movement”, then we can call it a day.

Ok the dieting and WLS is failing most, we cannot be made thin “pernamently” in a thin way, but does this mean saying Ok, now we embrace the health problems for those on the higher end of the spectrum? Why not demand some more answers and better ones that work?

Hey I know in this life, there is a 99.95 chance that I will die fat. So don’t try and claim I expect to wake up lithe tommorow. Maybe I’ll be thinner, or maybe I’ll be bigger from the heart failure, putting on even more fluid, whatever but don’t tell me that I am supposed to “accept” what is a serious health problem and tell the world, Ok now because you have abused us, we will turn the other way and say, “We love our fat!” no matter WHAT it does to us. It is operating only in response to them!. Forget them. I want help, and by the way I used to weight near 700lbs and probably would have been dead 15 years ago, it wasn’t like the size acceptance world was any help then too. Your brush off of me and my issues is nothing new.

I have the self respect to say, “Look you are wrong”. An overabundance of adipose tissue can destroy lives, taking the moral imperatives out of it all. Basically you want me to ignore my own reality, and here you basically are telling me to go away. If anything I worry about midsized women because I was smaller one until my late 20s. So think that one out. .

I don’t care what the fat phobic culture thinks or doesn’t think, I want to stay alive, and if I die young from being fat, maybe my nephews do not have to. Maybe they will be able to get help without all the baggage and social engineering garbage. It’s like the two political parties, two wings of the same predatory bird, well size acceptance has become a dance partner with the diet-fat industry, no one wants a real cure or answers. I know people have gotten fatter, no doubt of it, have lived long enough to see the difference, back in the 90s people my size I never saw them, now I see them all over–the ones who can still get out.

The main post was typical boiler-plate size acceptance stuff, we are radical and standing against the fat-phobes, OK I get it, I just wanted to put my viewpoint out there.

But has anyone wondered if gearing all your positions in response to the fat haters, is the most healthy position? If anything it becomes a dance of two parties, where one makes all decisions in RESPONSE to the decisions the other makes. Sorry to say this, and some may find me unusual to state it, it is a position of WEAKNESS. It merely makes you a puppet to their strings. They scream, "We hate you fat people!", the size acceptance idealogues scream back "Forget you, We Love our Fat!"

Again I am brushed off. Supersized and fat people like me don't matter in the size acceptance world, I learned that long ago. Fat hating Sociopaths will post pictures of us to make fun of us as our bodies go crazy, and then we will have the size acceptance crew say "you do not matter". They hate us too because we represent the "hole" in their arguments and their absolute concessions.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Obesity Linked to Poor School Performance?

Obesity Linked to Poor School Performance.

Maybe there is poor school performance in gym class, but many fat children have high grade point averages and do well in school. In fact since the social end of life sometimes is suppressed, fat kids will focus more on reading, and hobbies. This is silly. I left both high school and college, with a 3.5. I was the only kid in high school who got a 100% on a state wide achievement test earning a certificate and could read by the age of 3 and half and almost got skipped two grades in third grade due to reading ability. My husband was overweight as a kid, not seriously fat but on the overweight edge, and got to the national spelling bee. Why not write "Fat Kids Are Dumb"! I guess someone forgot to tell me I was stupid, at least I had the books and more for my solace. Poor fat kids of today can't win.

Out of Touch Marilyn Wann: Let's Have a Parade!

I know life is different in wealthy San Francisco, surrounded by loving fat adorers, but how out of touch can someone get?

"A Big Fat Parade Could Expand Living Space For Us All"

Is it just me, am I too serious of a person, or are all the party balloons, clowns, parades and belly dancers in the size acceptance world just a bit too CLOYING?

Yeah I am the personality who wishes it was 1890, collects stamps and loves antiques but there is something about Marilyn Wann that grinds my gears and I find so disingenuous. What about a little self respect? Why do us fat people have to "prove" ourselves to the rest of the world, like on a hyper-jolly freak out wearing pink and or pink hair to win the affections of others? It is actually kind of a world of froth to the more intellectual among us. Even outside to the more conservative, what if you do not relate to or agree with the hyper-liberal identity politics? Sex worker parade? You HAVE got to be kidding me, what does this mean, that now we have to support vice and prostitution too? Well I talked about what I saw in size acceptance myself. I know many in San Francisco have lost it, but guess that tells me enough there.

I vote for a big, fat parade for all of us! As a fat activist, I want people of all body types to waddle with me. A big, fat parade is also a sex-worker parade and an antiracism parade and a parade for gender diversity and a parade with people of different abilities and mobilities and a queer march and an all-ages parade, and more. Because that's who we are.

Instead of making long lists of outsider groups who deserve long-overdue welcome and then debating who's deserving and who isn't, what if we were all welcome all the time?

What would Marilyn Wann say to me, if I told her, I can't walk enough to be in a parade? Remember I do not use a scooter, though I do own one, I actually refused a wheelchair years ago, fearing I would lose mobility. What would a parade mean to my personal life? Some of my friends are thin, are they going to have a THIN parade to counteract my FAT parade? LOL

Then there is her weird "I am so healthy" message, OK we get it. She has been repeating it for years. I agree there are many mid-sized people out there, who while they probably aren't going to do an Iron Man marathon, can be pretty healthy, but what does this say to fat people who aren't? At least she has tempered some of that down.

I'll be there to continue learning what I can do. As a fat activist, I often want to say, "But I'm healthy! Look, I eat my veggies and exercise." While it's fun to flout stereotypes, social justice is unacceptably precarious if it depends on good behavior, or on access to other flavors of unearned privilege. For example, gaining respect for fat people who happen to be rich or healthy or white or able-bodied at the expense of other fat people is just more yuck, not yum. Human rights should be based on the fact that we're all here, not on some begrudging notion that some of us should or would change if we could. world view doesn't even match these folks, not at all nor do I want it too. It's too bad that fat people are being suckered into this stuff....

Perhaps they see the socialist 'Communist? Left? as their fat salvation for real [notice the name of the group she lovingly mentions CASTRO towards the end...that her friend is in]....however once the gulags are in place, and food is meted out via portion control and fiat, perhaps they ought to rethink that, and understand how food and everything else was controlled even in China under Mao, with every village council counting the food, and number of chickens and pigs.

What is sad is how this type of rhetoric does to affect fat people. "Have a parade!"

Years ago, I got in a conversation with Marilyn Wann or someone claiming to be her online but it was her message board so believed it was her, I think at the time I was near my peak weight and probably about to die, wish I could remember the exact year but it was at least 10 years ago if not more. I told her, "Please go to a nursing home that specializes in bariatrics to see what obesity really does to people and how it ravages lives". She was actually quite offended by this. Even one of my friends who had lost weight but had grown more ill from another condition, was in a nursing home where she saw a score of people too overweight to function in their 30s, and 40s and beyond. Marilyn Wann probably would be in shock that I am even still alive to this day. This was around the time right before I lost weight down from near 700lbs and got involved in my last community. I described my life at the time to her. I felt absolutely no empathy whatsoever, and was condemned for not being "fat positive". She seems to be another "community organizer" and "social engineer" type that cares nothing about normal fat people, just there to influence minds and opinions for the powers that be throwing up distraction. For someone like this, I am sure it's a good money-making gig but not much more then that, but she doesn't speak for me.

NAAFA's Video.....

I agree with the general sentiments, "why do you hate fat people" is a good question to put forth out there. But part of me thinks, why try to reason with the bullies? Just tell them they are wrong. Reasoning with the bullies and saying please like me usually gets you a face full of dirt and pebbles in elementary school. I found myself thinking "I don't want your acceptance if I have to grovel to have it" at the end of the video. Oh they meant well, I agree with the stuff against size discrimination.

My prior blog entry on NAAFA:

"Goodbye NAAFA and the rest, Why I Left Size Acceptance"

Friday, July 22, 2011

"The Conflation of Poor and Fat"

I saw this the other day on Big Liberty...

"The Conflation of Poor and Fat"

You’ve heard it around. It makes it onto the various fat feeds from time-to-time. It even regularly pops up on Progressive blogs that are otherwise less judgmental of people of size. That is, some version of:

“Poor people are fatter on average because they have less access to the ‘right’ foods and less ability/time to do the ‘right’ exercise.”

I won’t go into the much-pitched and varied solutions to the statement above; rather, I want to talk about the statement above as a statement of fact. Because I’ve rarely been in a space, even a fat-positive space, where the statement above isn’t taken as a statement of fact.

But really, isn’t this just another example of correlation = causation?

She is right to question what is said about poor fat people out there. Obviously they know there is more obesity in the lower classes and those of lower means. The patronizing cries, of the poor need "more education" as if we all live in an intellectual vaccumn, gets on many a poor persons nerves. Even in low-brow magazines, one sees the endless articles on weight loss and healthy vegetables.

The "move more" campaigns are a joke. Where are poor people going to move around, circles around their apartment parking lot? If the neighborhood is unsafe, safety concerns limit the movement. That said, how much do they know they are moving or not moving? Poor people often without cars often have to move and walk more in the city and the rural ones if they are the farm are having to do more phy

The wealthy can buy more lesiure, more activity-shopping, vacations, sports involvement, social interaction. Some of those with money, their lives are regular whirlwinds, while I look at the balance sheet and wonder if I will be able to dig up enough money to even buy some food for dinner towards the end of the month. When poor, you aren't visiting as much, you barely even have can afford the gas to get across town least of all taking a vacation where you would walk and do fun things.

I believe its related to far lower quality food, [Whole Foods Vs Aldis/Save A Lot] which definitely makes a difference. Cheap food is far more adulterated and less nutritious. Compare a loaf of bread that costs some real money compared to the fluff, that tastes like they added acouple cups of saw dust. When I lived in the ghetto, the grocery stores were far lower quality and there was a preponderance of conveinence stores full of high fat food and snack food. To get to the best grocery stores took a 1 and half hour bus ride, or 7 dollars for a cab each way. On the days I felt too tired to do the bus ride and standing there, and too broke to take the cab, things could get scary in terms of even acquiring food. On the edge of neighborhood into a richer area they had this very small old time grocery store, with some food, and vegetables and fruits but the prices were extremely high, only the more well heeled could shop there, I did a couple times to get odds and ends.

I was able to eat better in my small town when I got out of the ghetto. Food was a bit cheaper, and more reasonably priced fruits and vegetables. Here its somewhere inbetween. But the groceries over the years have gotten only more expensive, as the income has dropped.

I believe food is the biggest difference. Sometimes I have stopped by cooking blogs, I think how could they afford all those groceries for that lavish meal? spices, herbs, lean meat? Sometimes run up the tally, 40 bucks per meal couldnt be impossible.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Expert: Parents Should Lose Fat Kids

What is this supposed to do?. Here they blame the "victims" and the "parents" again, turning towards false answers again. They won't do anything about confronting the problems with processed food, and things in the environment affecting weight like the bad processed food served in school lunches. Dieting doesn't work, so let's traumatize the kid more, by taking him out of his home, having him shame and blame himself even more for being fat. Oh and how come kids with anorexia aren't told they should be removed too?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Taking a Walk

Before I had my weight gain, I used to LOVE walking, sadly was still far too fat, but would walk 2-3 miles for FUN. This would include walking downtown from a medium sized city apt, to walking along a waterfront. If there is any activity I miss the most it is the ability to walk freely. I pray, that days could come back where I could walk again like that.

I can get halfway across the apt complex. Well about a year and half ago, I couldnt even walk down the hall to the end door, then I got home physical therapy and they taught me how to build myself up slowly. When a fat person goes walking sometimes you can get afraid. I have very bad balance and use a cane to keep balance, but sometimes the thought occurs, what happens if I fall down, will someone be able to get me up? Will I be able to crawl to the picnic table and hoist myself up? But its better to keep going even with the risks. I know many people my size cannot walk at all or even use a normal bathtub without a bath bench. Today I am going to take a walk too. I may be stuck inside the apt halls but better then nothing due to heat. I have noticed the stamina has increased but hit a wall of tiredness where I start coughing and wheezing a bit, and that happened yesterday, well at least made it far further then before.

Some do seem to do better with more exercise, well I don't know how this will work or not work. The doctors say I walk far better then I used to.

"You're Not Positive Enough!" My Failure to Be a Jolly Droid

LOL yeah that is quite a title.

There is something in American culture where if you are facing health problems, financial and more, you must always keep smiling and keep positive. Being "negative" is the worse cardinal sin, you could commit, I guess more then bankers cleaning out the tills, or failing to keep a "My Life is Better then Yours!" outlook on Facebook.

I was on this Weight Loss/Obesity website, they seemed interested in the science end of things which is why I decided to hang out there but sad to say they ended up having thetypical 1984 types shouting "Conspiracy Theory" towards everything that departed from the industrial complex "status quo"...

But one odd demand they had for a woman as fat as me, was the demand that sharing any pain or distressful matters, was to be stopped at all costs. Only a forced smiling was the outcome. Any negative thoughts or unprogrammed thoughts were not allowed. Severe obesity especially with endocrine elements and vast co-morbs can be a worse disease then cancer, but trust me, they do not want to hear the "fat butts" complaining. Shut yer trap, and go be jolly and do not trouble us! In America we supposedly control every outcome of our lives and they have to keep the fantasies going even as the country collapses around us.

I of course saw this on the opposite end of the spectrum in size acceptance. Keep the balloons and party hats coming but don't you dare admit any pain or distress to ruin the "Fat and Happy" message! Trust me, they will push you out the door.

I read this great book once by Barbara Ehrenreich, called "Bright Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Underminded America". I do not agree with all of Ehrenreich's views on religion or politics, but wow, she nailed this one out of the ballpark.

An inlaw of mine, who got breast cancer at a very young age, told me and my husband how she got thrown out of a pink ribboned breast cancer group for being "too negative" and crying about cancer. This is someone who had just lost two parents and spent years taking care of a very ill parent who knew the score. I was astounded to hear this but then in this book Barbara Ehrenreich talks about the same thing happening to her, she shows up to the breast cancer support group and is censored and vilified for speaking about the hard stuff. Hey it has happened to me online.

The breast cancer stuff connects to obesity, the "think positive" stuff keeps the status quo, no one questions why breast cancer is increasing? She asks "Why don't we have some treatments that are not so toxic to people" in this video where she talks about her book. I ask the same of obesity, why don't we have some treatments that actually work?

She is right about how the economic melt-down in America is related to the forced positivity, shut down all inquisitive thinking and how they literally trained people to believe if anything bad happened to them [like having all their jobs outsourced] that it was THEIR FAULT. Hey same for obesity, the hyper-personal responsiblity crowd will tell you, that it is all your own doing and if you fail to solve it, it is your fault for lacking the right "magic" thinking.

"Chided for her anger and distress by doctors and fellow cancer patients and survivors, Ehrenreich explores the insistence upon optimism as a cultural and national trait, discovering its symbiotic relationship with American capitalism and how poverty, obesity, unemployment and relationship problems are being marketed as obstacles that can be overcome with the right (read: positive) mindset"

She is right. There is a lie now that every problem if you just think POSITIVE enough will be solved, and that if you are poor, or fat, or down and out, or sick, that it's your fault and some failure of will and positivity that put you in your present place. It is a sick cloying judgemental optimism, not one built in strength, and resiliency but one built in keeping the conformist status quo. With that message board I was on which I will keep unamed, I shared art work, some positive things, advice, nutritional information, but was given condemnation for "not being positive enough" for a couple posts where I dare to show a little vulnerability. And here you will see that which affects the 500lbers life to the max. Because people can see the pain via the glued on smile or even on days where you may actually be happy, because you do not fit some norm of physical perfection, everything about you is judged. In the land of plastic pod people, they better keep smiling lest everything collapses and this is now a demand!

Some have deemed America as staying in a permanent adolescence, a bratty narcissistic teen, who just doesn't want to hear the hard stuff. If one takes a look around the deepening corruption, and Ehrenreich brings this up, this is what is being wrought. The powers that be love to over-sell the personal responsibility thing because a populace that blames itself individually for every hardship instead of looking at the society and environment they are in, certainly isn't going to be a populace that asks too many questions. She talks about how ignoring reality is dangerous.

This ties into some of the voicelessness that I have spoken of fat people encountering, try and tell people, that you get sick if you try to diet, or about some of the realities you face in life, you are told that you "not positive" enough. Even if you admit positive changes like removing all MSG from one's diet, that will be used to condemn you. "How dare you touched a box of Rice a Roni to go with your chicken? You horrible person you!" Just like that doctor managing to insult me for having LESS leg infections. What a way to brow beat people and shut them up. Part of me asks what are these people so afraid of? For all their talk of being positive, those who seem so intent on silencing another's person's experience do not seem like very happy people themselves.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Public Transportation and Fat People

Some months ago I saw some extreme liberal types saying that cities should do away with all cars, this has been initiatives actually taken in Europe. All I can think is to be sick, or old in such places means your life is now going to be very limited. Remember even scooting around on one of those Segway's means you need a bit of balance and a more average body weight of under 250lbs. I find such suggestions elitist too, until you are hiding behind a brick wall at a city bus stop from the armed robber with a shogun too, all suggestions for people to give up their cars everywhere is nuts.

Such types never think about how does one grocery shop for the week, and carry all the bags home? You simply can't, you are left to two bags at a time and at least grocery shopping every 2 days and if you are weak and sick that means being able to carry less, and dealing with angry people on the bus, where along with your fat body they resent enough, they squish your groceries as they squeeze by you. I lived life without a car for five years, and let's just say today, I would seriously consider giving up paying rent before living without a car again.

I had to ride the bus for five years in a huge metro city and didn't own a car, which was a nightmare for a woman especially towards the end who could barely walk, just even going 5 miles down the road cost me so much money, I quite going out as much, even to places where I could handle physically. I realized just going to the library in a neighboring suburb, it cost 4 dollars for the cab, 1.50 for the subway to get up there, and another 2.00 on the bus to get down the street to the waiting trains. 8 bucks just to leave the house and go to a library that was about 5-6 miles away! Life there became a nightmare.

Another example was getting to the discount grocery store, two bus routes, with a 30 minute bus stop wait in between time. I couldn't even stand long enough to make that happen. That is thing that scares me about the weight gain, I had to walk everywhere, and still grew fat, even with this "increased exercise". Often they would turn off the escalators and in this huge city, elevators or any accomodations for the disabled were horrible, there was one time when I was over 600lbs and returning home from out of town, found myself in front of a "turned off" handicapped elevator three flights under ground after getting off a subway. I had no choice but to crawl up the stairs, coughing, wheezing and holding on to the railing for dear life.

As I got sicker and relented, I signed up with the disability driver service, where they pick you up in a van, you called in your times three days ahead of time, but got abandoned so much, and so badly, it really was no option at all. This included being left for 5 hours at one library before I decided to hitchhike to get to a bus stop to get me home. Endless calls, and begging to be picked up did not work--[I had not made a mistake, both times were on their list, but got constant excuses] I do not recommend hitchhiking, it is dangerous, I used to try to ask women to give me rides, and offering at least 5 dollars to do so having no other choice to get home. Due to the combination of not being able to walk well [at some of the highest weight stratospheres], and low on funds, I was forced to do this at least a few times.

One thing about public transporation that is not talked about, especially if one has to use it in let's say less genteel areas, is that open harrassment of the fat, can happen. It happened to me. It got so bad, I had to learn to fight verbally and also ward off physical attacks, which ranged from having a woman grab me around my stomach and screaming: "You are so fat!!!, you'd be pretty without this" to having a teen gang literally threaten me while I minded my own business to the point, I talked the bus driver into dropping me off in front of a police station where I called a cab to get to where I needed to go.

Even the cab drivers could be fat adversive, while some were friendly other's would try to refuse me a ride when I was at the highest weights. I did fit in the cabs but still remember the day one cabbie, told me "You can't get in my cab, you are too fat and will break the springs!". Exhausted and having waited for a cab for an hour already with no place to sit, I sat down in his cab, and refused to move and told him he could call the cops or take me home. He chose to take me home.

Today even though I weigh less, the sheer physical demands of depending on public transportation would be far more then I could do. But there was more, the worse part was dealing with the PUBLIC.

There was other bad stuff I saw too, let's just say criminal behavior which I believe if I hadn't had the career I had, being trained to deal with violent youth, with some of the inherent street smarts that came from that, I'd be just a statistic now. In other words, self defense was an important asset of life to me. I saw a woman referring to fat women as "limping gazelles" when it comes to predatory men and well, if you are superfat, and in a public area that is not a kind one, you are more vulnerable. They know you can't run very well.

I was not surprised to see this...Where this woman talks about being verbally attacked on a bus. The article is good, though I would not explain myself so much to a person who lacks basic civility. I had that happen too, hoots and insults, and sometimes just getting on a big city bus was a nightmare. I did befriend one bus driver and sat up next to him, for my main bus route, which lowered trouble quite a bit, but of course he was not there for all shifts or routes.

Thankfully today, I no longer have to deal with the "public" on public transporation and my household has a car. I know it does serve an important interest, poor people without any bus or local based busing system, need something for transportation, so I am not against public transportation, Dial-A-Ride buses, county transport serve very important uses, but for super-fat people there can be added difficulties.