Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Attacks on the Disabled: Clueless NPR Article on the Disabled.

It gets tiring, lately even the left is claiming a social security check is the poor person's get out clause. The attacks on the disabled seem never ending and now seem to be coming from BOTH the left and the right. To the right we are all lazy bums that won't get a job and moochers crashing the economy even while trillions are sent overseas. The left used to be more understanding but now seems to be joining some of the decrying voices.  Hey the police state is now A-OK with the left now so why not hate on the disabled and blaming the poor?  This article outraged me so much I had to post on it. Basically the article has the theme undergirding it that disabled people are malingerers all "playing the system".

To be frank with you all, I am scared of the days coming where they will toss us all in the gutter. I'm praying to God to take care of me. I have several disabling conditions, the biggies are the heart and lungs. The lungs went before I became fat. My heart was damaged from undiagnosed thyroid disease not just obesity itself. I even attempted a career change and went to vocational rehab by the age of 23 to avoid disability. Even if I woke up thin tomorrow, there would still be serious health conditions to cope with such as losing my hearing and balance. 

The reality is $12,000 a year isn't much, and many people on SSI make even less. No one says "Hurray, I get to be disabled!". I wish I had lungs that worked, I wish I was not housebound, it stinks, and it kills your fun even if you have all day off. Becoming disabled is hard. No one wants to throw away their dreams and place in society, but when your body doesn't work right, there is no other choice. The loss of one's health is one of the biggest losses any one person can face.

 I thought I would have a nice teaching job when I was out of college, I didn't see me being ground into the dirt and denied health insurance and forced to work jobs that didn't buy me a stable life or even a safe and decent place to live. With my health, I failed teaching job medical exams. The only good job I had was the art teacher at an alternative school job but sadly that was part time with no medical benefits and short term grant based. My residential care job was so low paid and long hours, I lived in the ghetto getting sicker and sicker, even having to spend a total of 2 hours on the bus to get there back and forth a day while dealing with potentially violent clients. The "medical insurance" had a $1,000 dollar spend down, my bills were so large, I let even that go.  Substitute teaching paid some of the bills but didn't provide benefits. Yes to this day, I wonder how my life would have gone if things had been stable and I had decent medical care on the front end.

So this is one of the most clueless articles I've seen in a long time. This guy has no idea. He is another smug urban sophisticate pontificating from his tower on high.

Read the article here:

Unfit for Work


They ignore the fact that many disabled people move to poor rural areas to survive. I did so. If I had not left one big city, I would have been homeless and the life I lived there was horrendous where resources were in very short supply and the climate of high crime and danger weighed heavily. Of course there are some disabled people who are unable to move or get out of dangerous areas, whose options are even fewer.

The reason many go to rural areas however is, your rent will be cheaper. So Hale County will have more disabled people then NYC where the disabled would be living in a card board box and unable to afford the basics of everyday life. One can tell when a rich person writes articles, they do not get realities of rich vs poor life. Their judgments are skewed. Sadly the elite are running the media, but some of this stuff, they show how out of touch they are. I know that I cannot live in a city or town over a certain population, that will force me as a low income person on disability to either end up living in a very dangerous high crime area, or non-suitable living conditions. So there is a reason there is a preponderance of disabled people living in small rural areas.
"In Hale County, Alabama, 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability. On the day government checks come in every month, banks stay open late, Main Street fills up with cars, and anybody looking to unload an old TV or armchair has a yard sale."


I did hard low wage work, the problem with low wage work, is you have to be in better shape then the guy at the desk.  Desk jobs and sit down jobs are getting hard for even those with college degrees to get. In my old rural town, there were people with college degrees and even experience with higher level jobs, relegated to working on your feet service jobs. Factory work was rare and hard to get and getting more dear. Our economy is sliding into an abyss, where the choice has become between a thin sliver of "good" middle class jobs whose numbers are growing far fewer that mostly only the well-connected can get and manual labor and "on your feet for hours" service jobs. The latter actually are being snapped up by immigration leaving more and more people desperate for any work.  His focus on education is skewed ignoring the realities of endless unemployed and underemployed people who have college degrees. Here we see an Obama supporter who probably believes that the economy is "improving".

And if you are old, or have any personality differences or even minor health difficulties you are forced to work harder then the "normal" people to prove yourself.. During the days when there were family businesses and local business that was part of the social contract things were far more forgiving on people then today's megacorporations that just see people as cogs in the wheel and demand higher levels of conformity and allow for fewer "minor" health problems or other differences. This statement by the author show such utter cluelessness about the reality of working class life I was flabbergasted.

People don't seem to be faking this pain, but it gets confusing. I have back pain. My editor has a herniated disc, and he works harder than anyone I know. There must be millions of people with asthma and diabetes who go to work every day. Who gets to decide whether, say, back pain makes someone disabled?

Is he kidding me? 

There is a big difference too between an occasional asthma attack, and daily breathing problems that are centered around chronic bronchitis and COPD even if you never smoked, and a back twinge and debilitating back pain that renders you unable to get out of bed. It's all relative. And big differences between what is required at a low-key office job, what is expected in a class room, the factory floor, or a retail job where you are literally on your feet for 8 hours.

Severe breathing problems make working beyond difficult. In my pre-disability days, I would go to work crying because I could not breathe, I had many tearful mornings during my commutes, hoping and praying I'd get through the day and if I was at one of my sub teaching job, I had to hide even the smallest snippets of pain and distress. There were times, I was in acute asthma attacks, trying to manage classrooms. Leaving was not an option unless I got so sick, I couldn't hide what was happening. Throwing up every morning from breathing difficulties actually became part of my daily routine.

We are talking puking and coughing up phlegm in the bathroom having to hide it from employers and having to do things like hiding a breathing nebulizer in a teaching office.  At my last job, abuse for my health conditions was extreme, where I was mocked for hair loss. Instead of people understanding that weight gain could be medically caused, I was taken into offices and dressed down for gaining weight so fast and yelled at "To get yourself together!"

Anxiety from severe health and having to get through a day, where I would collapse into the bed with exhaustion. Getting in trouble over having my hair fall out--written up for hygiene when I could not afford or find a decent wig. . The difference is the pain that shows. If you can hide the pain, and say get through a work meeting without racing to the bathroom due to an IBS attack, try that fun as you get written up for spending too much time in the bathroom, or not show your grey face from passing out from your lungs closing down, there within lies the difference. How about having to work around vats of stinky chemicals in a factory when you are an asthmatic or being told you have to lift a 150lb patient when alone or being berated by a co-worker because you could not hear what a client said?

How many people do I know who have been laid off, due to simply SLOWING DOWN with age? One I know was told they had to work 14-16 hours a day instead of 12 in a salary position and they said with all honesty "I can't do it, I'm pushing myself now", and they were laid off into perpetual underemployment and scrapping by for survival. 

One job where I had to mop floors, a fast food job after a lay-off I was severely allergic to the caustic soap used to clean the grease off the floors and thankfully I had a kind manager, because I could see me being fired, it would instantly make my lungs close up. So there were moments of mercy in all the mess but they were few.

Here is another clueless statement about disability. This one too made my jaw drop.


They may be right about the increased numbers, but to blame it on people being malingers and trying to game the system is a load of garbage. During hard economic times, disability is even harder to get.  It is not that easy to get disability. You can't just walk in and say "I'm sick now give me my check!". I would argue that Americans are getting sicker. Why? Because our lifestyle is untenable, the social connections have broken down, there is no social contract, no help out there, the food is garbage, and people are getting sicker younger.  He names back pain and mental illness as the fasting growing causes of disability but acts like these are nothing.

"The health problems where there is most latitude for judgment -- back pain, mental illness -- are among the fastest growing causes of disability."

Does this author know to get a mental health disability, you have to prove that you have had at least several times of decompensation where you absolutely could not function? We are talking mental hospital in patient treatment that is repetitive not just once. These are people who hear voices, and who need social workers to manage their affairs.  I know at least two people with serious back pain denied disability, you can't just walk in fill out an application for back pain and boom you are done. If your back injury or illness doesn't show on an MRI, you aren't going to get disability. Even with physical disabilities you have to prove things.

It gets even worse, he writes:

"But disability has also become a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills. But it wasn't supposed to serve this purpose; it's not a retraining program designed to get people back onto their feet. "

This is a lie. This guy acts like anyone can walk off the street and get a disability check. There are many people WITHOUT jobs who have college degrees. This liberal canard that a college degree is a ticket to guaranteed employment is failing. One thing I notice in these false articles from the left is they claim that a college degree and education  is an automatic ticket to a good job. Why that myth has refused to die disturbs me. Why hasn't this author even looked at the realities of life for most of his fellow journalists many of whom happen to be unemployed as the newspapers in this nation crash and burn? I guess writing propaganda for the elites pays well. The elites are greedy. Do your own math as to why this article was even written.


I know so many smart people denied decent employment. People who studied even practical fields like IT. People who have had their lives ruined by lack of employment. I often have wondered what the outcome of my life would have been if I had a decent job with good medical insurance at an early age, so I could have gotten help with my undiagnosed illnesses.

People you know could be given a job and do it well. We are entering a society now where only the well-heeled and well-connected are being allowed in and the elite want it that way. What is going to happen in a society where so many people are "throw-aways" and told they do not belong anywhere? This has been a theme within my own life.  Remember that NPR though it is liberal and left represents the ELITE.  Even education has become more about being able to afford a special piece of paper with tens of thousands of dollars or borrowing tens of thousands of dollars rather then learning or acquiring actual definable skills.

Do the Americans really lack the skills and education? Or is it that they sent all the jobs overseas? or they are importing immigrants to do the jobs for slave wages?  Or that they are increasingly being denied a chance and an opportunity to prove themselves and this is the excuse? The author mentions one off handed comment about manufacturing failing but it deemed far more of a mention. The skills of people are not being cultivated or even used. The smallest difference now, and you are weeded out. Even those who are moderately overweight know how strong the discrimination is, and that is the healthy people who can walk and move unencumbered. We have entered a world where even the smallest difference, MINOR medical problems, aging, cognitive differences or personality ones, seems to render people on the outs forever. Are the age discrimination laws even on the books anymore? I saw what happened to my husband as he aged a bit, and slowed down. They are throwing people overboard all the time. Even if you manage to get a job, and do well at it, it doesn't stay secure.

Or that the educational requirements are more about class and weeding people out who actually could DO the work presented? Of course being a doctor and an auto mechanic, one needs specific skills and knowledge but I am talking about the endless number of paper-pushing and other kinds of jobs out there.  Sometimes I read job ads for a family members and they are so specific, it's like they want a robot rather then a thinking human being.

"Somewhere around 30 years ago, the economy started changing in some fundamental ways. There are now millions of Americans who do not have the skills or education to make it in this country."

The employment process in this country seems to have grown over-formalized, and for the elite, to keep the so called "riff-raff" out. He is a defender of this wall so to speak. I am going to call out that his statement that there are millions of Americans without skills or education to make it, as total nonsense. How about the fact that there is no on the job training anymore?

How can you give disabled people a hard time when one knows out there in the job market, even a little bit of old age, or MINOR health conditions is enough to kick one out of the running? My health problems are serious. I believe I would have died long long ago if I was not on disability. Even writing this blog, I have to time the writing around pressure sores, a hand that goes numb and making sure I do not sit up too long and retain water, so this one took two days to write.  Hidden disabilities in my case go along with the stuff that shows. I am sick of all the hate on the disability. To me this is a postcard from the elite, that they plan to toss us into the gutter soon. Are there some cheats out there? Sure there are. But there are systems in place to find them, something this guy seems unaware of. If you are on disability they do put you under review, they send paper work to your doctor. They get your medical records down at Medicare knowing what is happening to you.  

But labeling everyone who is disabled as a malingerer who wants to "game" the system is absolutely disgusting. It's getting very scary. By the way if you are a supersized person who is on disability, the hatred out there is bad. Unless people know you and what you personally suffer they see you as scum of the earth taking from the system.  I am not surprised the so called "progressive" left has jumped on the blame the disabled bandwagon. 

It's funny how they never question the system but just prop it up. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Quote of The Day"

From Living~400lbs:

"Scientists who study obesity at the cellular level say genetics determines people’s natural weight range, right down to the type and amount of food they crave, how much they move and where they accumulate fat. Asking how someone got to be so fat is as meaningless as asking how he got to be so tall. “The severely obese have some underlying genetic or metabolic difference we’re not smart enough to identify yet,” says Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University Medical Center. “It’s the same way that a 7-foot-tall basketball player is genetically different from me, at 5-foot-8.”

Fat has been blamed for cardiac trouble, diabetes and some forms of cancer. But fat-acceptance activists argue that the epidemiological studies that link fatness to disease often fail to adjust for non-weight-related risk factors found more often in fat populations. Poverty, minority-group status, too much fast food, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of access to health insurance or to nonjudgmental medical care, the stress of self-loathing and being part of a stigmatized group — all are more common among fat people, and all are linked to poorer health outcomes at any weight. This makes it harder to say to what extent an association between obesity and disease is due to the fatness itself or to the risk factors that tend to go along with being fat. Robin Marantz Henig in the New York Times Magazine"
You all know where I stand with the fat acceptance folks, but I agree with Dr. Rudolph Leibel....I am glad someone has finally said it-- that there are differences not being yet identified.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Would you like to be a guest blogger?

I would be interested in other supersize people sharing their stories on this blog as well. You can be any weight but I would like to give people who also deal with my special challenges an invitation to write on here. Of course I would need to screen the writing, but I would be interested in giving others here a place where they'd like to share their stories.

My email is available on the profile. I'd type it here but the spammers would probably go crazy. LOL

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Fat Artist

This was a batik I did before I took the wax off...

 More and more I consider myself an outsider artist though I have an art education degree. This was a topic of discussion this Sat with local artists. I do think the art world has some serious fat and class discrimination within it. Ever go to an art opening? I go to many around where I live because they are free, and you will see me in the local art museum at least twice a month when the weather is good. The artists always seem to be lean and wealthy. I know they come from a different world then I do, but I go to enjoy their art and many of them are nice. Art does need some money to keep afloat, but one thing that I support is keeping art available and accessible to all comers.

I know my art isn't considered the norm. I am going to do some art work for a themed art show. I have not been part of what people call the "normal art world" which class wise for me remains a place of expensive entrance fees my household cannot afford. My art shows have been independent sort of events, where I have tossed in music and food.  I've sold independent paintings and I've had  DIY [do-it-yourself] art shows. I want to plan another but need to do more art work since I sold a lot off 4-5 years ago. One thing with me the desire to write now wrestles with the battle of being an artist. I am working on a comic too that is a story about my life. Perhaps I am too scattered, but I know time is short and want to get some of these things done while I still can.

One dream for me would be to spend a week at a handicapped accessible artist colony. I would love this, I don't know if I can make this happen, but the best memories in college were old times in my painting and printing studios.  I did take a drawing class at our local art museum but have to call them to see if I can get a scholarship for one of the new art seminars. Once a week, if I am not housebound, I go to another local art school, to do collages, batik and spend time at. This is where some of my most fun times I have been. That's my arm in the picture working on a batik last year. This week I went and did collages.

Art has always been a part of my life, I majored in it, and was an art teacher for a time before I was disabled so young. I've kept it as a major part of my life. I hope to show more of my art on this blog, both older and newer stuff.


Fat Hate and the Art World

Fat Art Show #2

A-Mini-Art Show: My Painted Fat Ladies

If you are a fat artist come say hello.....

Don't Wait!

To be frank lack of money is keeping me from more things then being fat, but I always felt I was a person who did what they could with what they had. Too many young fat people are told to wait "Til the day they are thin" and it is a waste of time. [cite for cartoon] I know I will never be thin, my best hope is smaller versions of being fat. Live the life you have today!

"You Just Don't Want to Lose Weight!"

I had this happen the other day, a Facebook argument that was bad the people [friends of a friend who I do not know in person] told me "you are lazy and just don't want to lose weight. You have given up trying." Every fat person probably can attest to this, especially those of us who step off the diet or diet hamster wheel. I didn't realize the conversation would go so badly, both parties THEMSELVES were fat up in the 250-300lb range, but what I have said before about some indoctrinated to always hate those who are fatter then them? One mocked me even for having lost weight too slowly, when I said I had lost 100lbs over the last 5 years! 200lbs off since the peak weight means nothing if you are still fat.

The relative whose wall this argument was on took it down in my defense which I was glad for. If someone is fat, they understand the invalidation. To be frank invalidation of that fat is one reason the obesity research is FAILING in my book. If the person from a certain malady is deemed a liar from the start how can the research be honest?   Most do not believe you.

I had to come to accept this, to get around in the world. When I had my weight gain, I remember telling everyone how and why I gained the weight. I am open about things on this blog where a degree of anonymity protects me but out in the world, do such a thing and say it to near strangers, and 99% of people outside of your close friends who see how you live, eat and act will just call you crazy. People believe what the media tells them. In fact his is one of the worse things about being fat, the ones indoctrinated into calories in, calories out, see your fat flesh, or in my case the hundreds of lbs of fluid included, as supposed proof you are liar. Even if you tell people I almost died from a weight gain, where doctors would not listen and then got help, that allowed at least some weight loss, they will not care.

The fat person becomes enemies with their own body.   This happened to me. I struggle now, seeing my body as the enemy even today. Even today I was sitting here at 11:00 am, feeling hunger pains hit my body. Knowing it was too early for lunch and if I ate this early I'd end up eating too much food today just out of hunger, the math projects never end for some of us. This time the hunger pain went away without any food but it doesn't always. My heart is already kind of speeding up. Would the thin diet or die crowd even understand? No, they never do.

There are OTHER things I'd like to attend to then my body all the time. It's medical demands are wearing me out. I feel like I have to run my own self-nursing home, watch the pressure sores, time for bath, time for pills, time for physical therapy, time to chop vegetables, because everything I could buy ready made is horrible, time for laying down to control water--would you all believe me if I said at least 5 hours a day are devoted to something regarding my body?

Even if you have gotten to a place of realizing fat is just an attribute, out in the world, we are seriously faced with those who hate us just for existing. No amount of effort if one is "still fat" is deemed enough. Not only do we have to deal with our bodies betraying us, but this becomes a double-edged sword when society decides to get their chimes in. Yeah these people were jerks, but the problem is when you have years of choruses of jerks all joining together. It gets tiring thinking, someone will understand or there can be some true discussion only to get the knee-jerk brainwashed responses. I thought the day having a cousin defend drone warfare in America, and the police state was bad enough but these people took the cake. I told them, "You are still fat! How's the blame and shame game working to make you thin?"  

Losing weight is the only way to redemption according to these types. I don't mean losing some weight or a part of the weight but ALL of it given what has been said to me. Imagine that fatness is like a bad back, imagine being looked down on for having your back go out. After all you could have been wearing a back brace, you could have done more exercises to keep your back stronger. This is the same. But society doesn't reject those with bad back, you could have done more exercises to keep your back stronger.

One interesting comment, I received from the two Facebook fat haters, was "you will lose weight when you are ready!", wow don't we all hear that one as if our bodies will magically get in line at our behest. "You have to be the one to do decide to do it!" This constant bulletin contradicts itself. It assumes I have total control over my out-of control body.

My body does a lot of things I do not want it too like forming kidney stones, or deciding a little bit of cold air, will make it's lungs seize up. So supposedly I can tell it what to do when it does so many things I do NOT want it to do? It's like I am supposed to mold from within the iron bar cage that lies on the outside. Such types will tell you "Go work out!" as if your lungs and heart were capable of a full burn without death looming over. None would believe that just doing the short walk I do daily, is done to the point where the lungs burn, and I am coughing.

It also set up a life that would be lived later rather then in the present. I hate my feeling of time is short, like every forced housebound day is keeping me away from making positive memories. Today's cold temperatures forcing me inside feel like the torture of a water faucet dripping the minutes of a otherwise short life away. I have dreams of heaven to give me solace, but days like this, sometimes the unlived life can press so hard. And the worse thing is the feeling that I am somehow to blame for the CAGE so to speak really stinks. Even when housebound, I feel like I am in a race with time, there are things to be done, that time seems to slink away so easily. I am not sure if this is fatigue, or the propensity of multiple hobbies and projects or what? Even writing on this blog is a project of getting out my truth while I STILL CAN.

How many fat people though who still are functional and can DO things, though always have this idea, I'll wait til I'm thin, and push off things they could do. If I had money, I would not be home right now, I know I would be DOING things. I would take a trip into warmer temperatures, where I could go and function and live life, go look at things and DO things, fat or not.

But who understands? A few close friends do, but the world does not. This renders fat people voiceless, and invalidated. I notice even on the websites, of fat professionals who even seem interested in helping a bit, that there is always this feeling, that they assume the fat body works the same or there is always a locus of control over obesity, that is so complete. Sorry it just does not exist in my world, and I don't care if people tell me til the cows come home, that I am just making excuses, or "don't want to lose weight" or any of their other loads of garbage they choose to pile on me. Fat people get tired of being told they are not worthy on so many different levels. Even if I woke up 150lbs tommorow it would have come too late, for me to not have the feeling of what was all this for?

The funny thing is while one is aware of the true nature of how an almost 500lb person and used to be almost 700lb person is approached with different reactions from different people. The question does remain, "how would I be treated at a more normal weight"? I have seen changes from pound to pound. The fat haters refused to listen, all us fat people have been down that road before. Treated as though you are invisible. I knew even prior to my huge weight gain, once upon a time when in class or other situations my words may have been paid tribue too, now they weighed heavily in the air, only to sink and be unanswered. The size acceptance world with a few notable exceptions has deemed me too fat to be worthy of mention, or notice or listening to what I have to say. So far more then just the "thin" world is guilty of the invalidation that goes along with fatness. Fat but still active and mobile, you are okay, fat to the level you need the scooter and can barely get up, your views are ignored. It is a cruel joke to tell fat people, "you just don't want to lose the weight" or you are lazy, etc.

This blog has shown over and over for years that weight loss efforts are bound for failure, and there are far more factors impacting people's weight then just personal responsibility, but for some reason this is going unheard by the general populace. Size acceptance as I have illustrated in their other side of the coin delusions, has failed to change people's beliefs about obesity. What will? If there is no truth, no honesty, no reporting from fat people themselves ALLOWED or LISTENED TO, do they expect to get a handle on the obesity epidemic, NO they never will! Things will not change for fat people in fact I expect them to get worse, as our food becomes more adulterated, life more stressful, and toxic.

I wasted too many years hating myself for being fat. I refuse to blame myself anymore. I tried my best, surrounded by the economic factors I faced, and the rest. I never wanted to be this fat and still do not. I do not want to wake up everyday anymore with that feeling of I have failed at life, that the lacks are all my fault. This is something that has been imposed on me from the outside. I actually prayed to God before, "you will know what I did and did not do".

I am very fat, the weight may be on a downward trajectory now but I know one little thing could upset it from more steroids needed for lungs, loss of mobility, or being told I have to go off a drug that helps my heart--keeps more water off and also androgens down for the sake of one that may dissolve a kidney stone. Telling fat people you are all liars, isn't going to help anyone. Telling fat people, "you just don't want to lose weight" and have "chosen" this is wrong as well. America gets fatter as their fat people are silenced, ignored, and invalidated. An overall sign of a declining culture. My wish for fat people all over the world is that they stand up for themselves, refuse ill treatment, educate people and say it is NOW TIME TO LISTEN. Your ways are FAILING.

Too Fat to Date or Marry?

For women, the association with obesity with asexuality largely stems from the assumption that fat women have chosen not to make their bodies attractive, chosen to be unfeminine, to avoid sexuality and sexual relations, The image of keeping men away with a “wall of fat” is a popular expression of this psychological interpretation of obesity. In this the media offer assistance Typically the media caricature fat women as loud clumsy, hostile aggressive and indelicate. But the physical bulk of fat women need not have acquired this image. In other societies or historical periods a fleshy woman has often been viewed as sensual, graceful sexual and particularly feminine.  "Such A Pretty Face" Marcia Millman

What large woman or even very fat man doesn’t experience problems in dating ? I am haunted by a memory of the comment (“You better lose weight or you’ll never get a boyfriend”) which came from a full-figured friend of my mother. My family was visiting her and I got the message at a pool party, sitting there fourteen, forlorn and vulnerable in my bathing suit. With my smug mother nodding her agreement I slunk into the bathroom and cried for half an hour.

“Why!” I wondered aloud “did boys seem more interested in bony girls when hugging a soft girl seemed more enjoyable? Put bluntly “Wouldn’t it be better to lay on a human pillow than a bag of bones?” They’d forgotten that I know about the outlines of sex only to discover that my later question would prove prophetic.

I’d find myself wavering when boys asked me out: They’re not serious they want to make fun of me” Often I was correct but I lacked the confidence and self-esteem to say “yes”; I’m sure this policy helped me overlook men who wanted to know me as a person. As a result my dating never developed into relationships. Three young men throughout my college career became friends with me but hooked up with one of my thinner female associates, (sadder for me, one of these couples wound up getting married.)

I knew the usual scenario at that time, due to my weight I was not even in the running, one potential beau gave it to me straight: “You are a good friend but I am just not attracted to you because of your weight.”

One funny thing I noticed is while these men chased after thin women and obtained them as girlfriends, to me I was still a close friend. “I just see you as a friend not a lover” became the standard refrain so much that I began seeing myself as asexual and unmarried for life. By age 20 I’d stopped dating for awhile. Sick of rejection I’d began buckling down to my expected future alone though without such distracting sideshows of my parents questioning why I never had a boyfriend and telling me that something was "wrong" with me and that I was too fat, and therefore did not deserve one.

At 22, I encountered a man who’d always been attracted to large woman and wanted me accordingly. I refused having more conservative viewpoints regarding life, love and commmitment. The discovery of men who were more open to fat women turned around my thinking; even if the hard core fat admirers were a select group, I had problems with, in terms not wishing to be objectified, the discovery that they existed made me realize I might yet be attractive to someone else.

When I hit 24, I approached finding that special someone like a science: tell them I’m fat, I reckoned and those who are truly interested will respond. I was open to also considering other fat men, and went on a single ad date with a man that was 400lbs but we were not otherwise compatible. Having made good male friends, I’d made up my mind to find the lover and husband I so desired.

After a year of many blind dates, I met my present husband. But all that loomed well ahead in the future when I graduated at 21 in April of 1990. Facing a brutal job market, I admitted defeat and moved back to my parent’s home. I’d always dreaded the notion especially when my 20 year old thin sister had met her destiny in the form of a 28 year old upscale professional.

My parents opted to reward her with a then $20,000 wedding in which I had no starring role let alone a supporting mention. That came across loud and clear when my mother said “ We’ll never find a dress in your size [which was then size 22], and you’re too fat to be in your sister’s wedding” My sister signaled agreement though I believed she just wanted to keep the peace I argued to no avail. One friend would tell me regarding those days "In regards to your family, the clearest incidence that I remember was with your sister’s wedding. It appeared that she and your mother didn’t want someone who wasn’t “photogenic” to be in the wedding party or affiliated with the wedding party."

When I point out that my family was very appearance oriented, this is not coming out from left field. Later I would realize the depth of the family dsyfunction regarding the lack of love or care as a person that was shown me then and later and would be able to confront many things, that went well beyond a fat girl feeling rejected but during those days, I thought this was "normal" and "deserved" and it was anything but.

In protest I arrived on the wedding day dressed all in black from head to toes, wearing black lace and silver jewelry in the 'goth' style. Probably not the nicest thing to do, but it made my displeasure known. My relatives realizing the hurt I had suffered had known of my plans; not my mother who got the point just the same. When I look back on this, while some say, "how could you?" I understand exactly why I did it, it was my way of announcing I am a person of worth as well.

The satisfaction such a gesture could not wallpaper my unpleasant daily reality, working a minimum wage child care job, trying to find a better job,  between the inevitable daily bulletins: “When are you going to get a real job?” "When are you getting to get a boyfriend?" My brother had experienced a huge weight loss of over 150lbs from a diet of lettuce leafs, cereal and dry skinless chicken breasts. No matter that he gained it all back; I was constantly chided to eat likewise and told I needed to diet too even as I was working 12 hours a day both at student teaching and a part time job. I know this is about the time I started getting sick, the stress, the pressure, everyday wake up feeling "rejected" though a part of me inside, still keep saying inside, I can find someone to love me, I can find self-worth, and people who care.

Those days had too many rejection underlying it all. I want to tell young fat women you can find someone to love you even if the people around you do not, or tell you that you are a "lesser" not worthy of love. The above is something I should have never suffered. When I look back on those days, I think of what could have been if I had refused to believe the messages surrounding me. I ended up married, but wish I hadn't spent my single days in such psychological suffering. I never want to see another young fat woman go through what I did.

SEE: Fat Love

A Picture That Says It All

If anyone thinks that those who are claiming an obesity conspiracy are nuts, just look at this picture. Everyone was far thinner in the 1950s, all you have to do is pick up an old magazine and they took screen shots of PUBLIC AREAS where it wasn't all models. Something is being done to us from the outside, a culmination of a TOXIC environment. I've gone and looked at that awful website People of Walmart, and you can see how poorer people in America who are more forced to eat adulterated food and suffer the toxic consequences, all look ill, packing on weight. Double-click picture to make it larger.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Eccentric Fat Girl

I know what being a misfit is all about, being beyond the stereotypical round peg in a square hole. And its not just the more artistic nature I was born with, my individuality was even misunderstood and rejected by my family. Nerd, Weirdo, freak, spaz, are words that ring in my ears even years later on the playground and off it. Even family friends and others were disturbed by levels of precociousness I held by a young age which included the ability to read by age 3 and half.

As a child I could sit for hours and just read, I would ride my bike to the library and spend hours wandering the rows of books. I was often accused of having no sense of humor. I knew that locker room banter, television sitcoms, cheerleader camp, the junior prom and later sororities were not for me. Small talk bored me. I felt repressed and I was a fat “Wednesday” from the Addams Family comic books from the 30s I parlayed from the library. I grew up being a dreamer surrounded by more level-headed practical types. My fatness was not the most mitigating factor but born into a group of practical and concrete types where dominance and control came first, my intuitive, emotional nature seeking connection with others was rarely understood. I wondered at times if I had been left in a basket on the doorstep.

My sister and brother were normal and fit in easily. My sister, was a thin quiet neat hard worker, she fit in naturally unlike myself who failed miserably at it even when I tried. She seemed untroubled by my crazy schemes and served naturally the role as the “good and obedient” daughter and was the favorite by far. My brother, even being somewhat fat joined in with the popular crowd, joining a fraternity in college and partying with a group of friends later on. I was the odd one out independent of fatness.

To my extended relatives, I was the crazy lady in the attic by age 8. I made little sense to them and they knew I was not the same. My grandmother, aunts and cousins just wondered what made me so different why couldn’t I accept things the way that they were? Why was my nose always in a book? Why did I keep talking about such strange things? Why doesn’t she act normal? What else could a conservative middle American family think of their wayward daughter, fat, insistent on oil painting her way through college? By age 18, I had been cemented with the title as family black-sheep and "rebel" though definitely I wasn't being invited to any parties either.

Oddly it was not rebellion as one sees manufactured in Hollywood, sex, drugs and Rock n’ Roll for the masses but more an intellectual sort that seemed to make people angrier. I didn't date til I was 23 years old, I was a teetotaler. Beyond being fat, I knew I was alone in my view of the world which saw things through an emotional artistic nature. While I could find beauty in the most mundane of things such as the way the light hit a certain vase on the shelf, life surrounded by people who did not understand me at all was very tough. While I did well enough in school, I felt insecure in carrying out the tasks that came effortlessly to my family and all the shaming did not help. I was bad at cleaning, making plans or the practical matters of life. I would even joke to one internet chum, ”I am not a linear thinker”. This alone made me an outcast within my own family even earlier and beyond the weight.

I have had eternal feeling of being an outsider. Perhaps I am the quintessential middle child and advanced into society. Social cues were hard for me in general. They found me overly intellectual, overly serious and just “strange”. My idea of fun is to sit around and talk about ideas for hours, analyzing politics and religion. I would find people like me out in the world as well thank goodness. Such things are hard to admit but it needs to be said to give someone the full behind the scenes look on my story and how being fat in today’s society affected me. I was surrounded by a family that cared most about house cleaning, cooking, autos and yard work. They were not interested in discussing art, philosophy, religion or history. They honestly saw me as a “flake”. Other words to describe me by my parents were “Prima Donna” perhaps referring to my early Bohemian lifestyle, “Heathen” when ever fights about religion came up--this was in the days before I became a born again Christian and I was the seeker type of personality back then, maturity later taught me to shut my mouth and “Hippie” kind of like Cartman’s sneer on South Park “you damn tree-hugging hippie!” My family read Readers Digest and my mother Ladies Home Journal while to me the library was a second home.  

My parents were right that when I entered the work world, that my non-conformist ways often got me in trouble. With the exception of my art teacher job where some eccentricity was accepted and tolerated, out in the rest of the world I had to keep my mouth shut to keep from being fired.  Conformity to my disappointment was even more expected in the adult world compared to high school. I would learn this the hard way. Being a weirdo was a not only a social handicap but a financial one as well! Often my father would remind me as I got into my older teens and twenties and I would stubbornly argue against it. “It does matter what others think of you!” “You need to play the part more and fit in! Your personality is just wrong!”  He reminded me constantly that if I was to be myself that the price would be too high. Acceptance was not part of my early experiences. Young people do not develop confidence being told everyday how "wrong" or "bad" they are.

I put it all behind me at university from whatever troubled: there, I would study my lifelong extreme love of art, it gave me hope and my expression a lifestyle which represented hope, happiness and talent. More than a simple major, it represented a radical way of thinking. While the ramifications of a seemingly impractical major worried me, I could not ignore the boosts to my self-esteem at the time. I loved to paint and draw and even into my 40s rarely pass the day without drawing even a cartoon, It was something I was quite good at doing enough to quell the popular gallery’s jibes and snipes against my weight. It remains my primary pursuit today and all around the house lie sketchbooks, some dating back back to age five when I’d scribbled, “I want to be an artist" and learned to draw from looking at Peanuts characters.

My own “interpersonal sensitivity” had been not built from the inside as the world would insist but from the outside from the joking, the expectations and beliefs laid upon me as a fat girl. The lack of acceptance I faced, and rejection as the person I was just made things worse. Combined with my own inbuilt personality my own sensitivity, artistic nature and introversion did not make for easy maneuvering in a world full of too many fat hating clods incapable of introspection who demanded I'd be anybody but me.

It seems society wants everyone to even act the same and tells people who are different even if unfocused, and impractical that they suffer a defect rather than acknowledging these people’s greater creativity and other approaches towards life. Such views affect fatness. People are expected to fulfill the limits of body charts that ignore muscle bulk, bone size, body shape and give a narrow ten pound range for each height to mold themselves into at the mercy of being labeled corpulent. The most symmetrical is said to be the most beautiful, in this case symmetry and matching of type has been carried too far. Bodies are being homogenized through surgery, and reshaped by extreme dieting, everyone wants to be the same. This is happening even in other arenas such as the overuse of Prozac to "smooth" personalities out and pathologizing of every difference.

This was all tied in with being more sensitive than others. This not to place myself in an elite above others for there is a strong negative side for being far too sensitive. Sirens and loud noises startled me. I cried at sad movies. My husband when I thew more blankets on the bed and demanded more pillows called me “Princess and the Pea”. I did not argue, I knew he was right. I was easily overstimulated. Grocery stores with all their colors and bright lights were hard to take.

How fatness affected all of this was important. Along with my mental differences separating me from society, I had a body that was not included in the general scheme of things and which seemed to represent my mental state. Chairs did not fit, Cars were too small. Clothes were not only too small but even if they fit too short for my almost 6 foot figure, often making my knees hurt. The realities of my boxed in mind, felt akin to my body that felt tied down in a world made for Lilliputians.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

But I thought Calories Were Making Us All Fat?

Despite obesity rise, US calories trending downward

Everyone is getting fatter but they are eating less? Now doesn't that challenge everything we are told? Maybe everyone's metabolism is dropping because good food is harder to come by. That is a struggle in my food insecure household. I sent my husband out to get 40 bucks of food, and was so pleased to see a big bag of oranges, I found myself thinking,  "What is this, 1900 where the kid gets the orange for Christmas and cheers for such a great treat? I wonder how much of the less food stats is economic. Magazines from the 1980s told housewives to make a salad and dessert with every meal. The only time that may happen with us unless we are eating out and getting a special, is on Thanksgiving

They claim everyone is moving less and exercising less, but I don't buy that either, most people have a set amount of tasks to do. Even I am forced to do dishes and many activities that are HARD. It is still a miracle I did not lose my mobility but I fought for it. Isn't the normal person still having to mow their lawn and walk their kids to the bus station? They may be able to make the claim there is less leisure since the 1970's with Americans who are employed still working away. No, more is going on when it comes to obesity and this article basically is just one of those signs.

U.S. adults have been eating steadily fewer calories for almost a decade, despite the continued increase in obesity rates, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"It's hard to reconcile what these data show, and what is happening with the prevalence of obesity," co-author Dr. William Dietz, former CDC director of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, told Reuters Health.

Kidney Stone Update:

I saw the kidney doctor today, they can't do lithroscopy if you are over 400lbs at least around here. if anyone knows different please tell me. I was told I can go an hour north. Has anyone faced this before? If you have weighed more and gotten it done I'd like to hear about it.

 There is a drug I can go on to dissolve a stone that is 1.8 centimeters, but I would have to go off my congestive heart medicine which is Spironolactone because of contradictions, the drug also feminizes me from all the PCOS. I hope I would not gain weight from some androgens returning. Given that surgery is dangerous for me, you can see where this gets complicated. They told me I could leave the stone in too, given I feel no pain from it and they would watch it every few months.

I will have to see what my regular doctors opinions are or if there is any options for this stone. I did bring up the possible Cushings issues, regarding kidney stones, I think doctors are still sticking with the severe PCOS diagnosis. I had to admit to this guy my testosterone when I was finding out about the PCOS was in the strastosphere.

I was told to stay on allpurinol for now but maybe need to get that book on acid vs. alkaline issues. I was told I was lucky they were uric acid instead of other types of kidney stones.

486.6 lbs

This is what I weighed today.

I went to kidney doctor who has a good scale. He was a nice guy. [more on that later]

This is the first time I've seen the weight with 4 at the front end for a long long time.

Near 700lbs was the peak in 1997, I would not lose any until starting in 1999. 680-690lbs.

If I lost another 100, I'd be in near normal land. I don't know if any more will come off. I don't take much for granted anymore.  I know all the puking helped [that has abated since I went on the new kidney stone medicine], but I have been exercising too--physical therapy and switching to organic food.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vintage Weight Gain Ad

Can you imagine advertising for someone to "gain weight" today out of the muscle building context?
I sure can't.

A Very Cool Plus Sized Wedding Dress

If only there were dresses like this I could buy and wear everyday, hey I try to get as close to it as I can, but not as long.  I'm already married and designed my own wedding dress, maybe I should picture it here someday, I can't sew but someone else made it. Anyhow I loved this dress and thought it was very nice and the color is great too.

Are You Fat Because You Don't Do Enough Housework?

Study links obesity in women to not doing enough house chores 
The obesity study examined what women were doing 50 years ago; managing their homes. 
The New York Times recently came under fire for reporting on a controversial study published in the journal PLoS One, which linked a decline in time spent doing house chores to obesity in women. Because the research focused on house work and females only, women around the country decried it as sexist, tweeting their outrage at the New York Times for publishing the article. 
“WOMEN: You’re fat because you don’t do housework anymore. (Nice double whammy.) #whywasthisevenastudy,” tweeted Sarah B, reported by Yahoo! Shine. But what critics failed to note was the research was a follow-up to a 2011 report on physical activity in the workplace.

I am BAD at housework, so this article made me worry a little bit. I think there are good fat housekeepers as well as bad ones but sadly I fit in the bad category. Some is not my fault, my body can't do some of what is mandated but as you will see cleaning never came easy to me.

The picture above is NOT of my kitchen, but how would you cook in a kitchen like the one above? That would take literally HOURS to clean! I keep my own kitchen counters as bare as possible. Those are probably the barest table-tops in the whole apartment!

My theory about this, the thin people are doing more housework, since it's easier to move at least when it comes to those who are supersized. The tyranny of housework continues for women. I can't imagine life for women with children where life is nothing but housework and cleaning up after them. I and the husband can eat dinner at 10pm at night [yeah I know not recommended] because I put it off, but if you have kids to cook for, that isn't going to fly.

Fortunately I have a husband who does my laundry for me and dishes but there is some care-taking involved in our situation. I do the cooking and to save money do cook things from scratch, like stuffed cabbage with rice and ground turkey, which I plan to make tonight. But I am so terrible at housework. I hate it!  Housework did not come easily to me even when I was smaller and could move, because of the organizational skills involved. Get up and try and clean the sink, realize you are out of sink scrubber! Get up and try to dust the furniture, oh I need a rag and what do I clean it with? Where do I put these things? That question comes up all the time to the point in frustration I have gotten a giant plastic bin, tossed things into it, but then that usually ends up sitting around for a couple weeks until I figure out what to do with everything in it.

There is always more interesting things to do or look at even when I am housebound that range from writing on these blogs to messing around with my stamp collection or reading.  Cleaning is dull, and when you are poor, and live in apartments furnished in garage sale/estate sale a la mode, you are not going to get the shiny results you see on TV, your old stuff may be less dusty, and dirty but it will be still old  when you are through. It makes motivation hard for cleaning, the results just aren't going to be the same.

My husband tells me he doesn't want me to watch Hoarders anymore but I still do. He says I get too weird about how I am going to turn into one, and too antsy about cleaning and housework. Why? I relate to those people. They are bad at cleaning and organizing too like me. I notice a lot of them are overweight, and some seem to have severe illnesses where they can barely move around and I wonder if some just got too sick to clean. Of course that worry is on the back of my mind. During my worse kidney stone week, I would drag myself out of bed to shower, and toss a few dishes in the dishwasher but I was not getting much else done, my husband had to do it all!

 While I can easily throw away and give away things and the thrift store gets to do a pick-up at least twice a year here, it seems one could become a Hoarder easily. I know Hoarders have more going on regarding severe depression and feeling like they have to keep every item due to a mental disorder, but you wonder why is this growing more common?

My saving grace against outright Hoarderdom, is a snippet of germphobia, where I have to wipe down the kitchen in watered down bleach at least every couple weeks imagining the growing germs and bacteria that could take over and an asthmatic oversensitivity to smells. The bleach isn't easy on the breathing either as last week, I cleaned out the bathtub standing above it with a scrubber I got with a rug cleaner pouring some bleach into it and overdid it and made myself cough and wheeze. Cleaning stinks for me because the only things I can handle at all are watered down bleach, dishsoap and murphy's oil soap, everything else makes me wheeze like crazy, the bleach, I have to use in small amounts. Ammonia, that stuff is so horrid, I'd be on the floor. We take out the trash everyday because I can't stand the stink, that means if I throw away some old chicken, it is removed right away.

However while I'm desperate to keep the germs, outraged landlords and health department--[just kidding] at bay, I could see me slipping into a major housework fail. Lack of money does influence having to stick with broken down furniture and not being able to "decorate" the way I'd like to.  Right now only best friends would be allowed in this place. My housecleaning standards do not meet many people's, sometimes I ask how do they do it? Their houses look like museums! Many of these people have more money then me, but I think of the sheer exhaustion involved. One thing, cheap apartment rugs are the bane of my existence, if I could have smooth wood floors to clean instead of this stubborn dirt magnet called an old apt rug, I would be very happy. Please landlords no more crummy cheap apt rugs! People living in apartments even with expensive rents, to stay out of bad neighborhoods, don't have an extra 100 a month to clean the stupid things. My friend's Bissell, which I used over a course of a week--a normal person could have done it in acouple hours, cleaned a lot of the dirt up but the rug is still far from great-looking.

My body often does not want to do it. It tires me out. I am not good at it, even on a good day. The mountain of stuff seems to pile up. I have spent too much of my life in places where there is simply not enough room or places to put anything. Things are better then the single rooms I was forced to live in earlier in life but it's just too little. This apt has no mud room, no storage unit, and while it has a few closets, I have 20 something plastic bins full of art projects, materials, stamp collection stuff, card making supplies, papers, writing, piled up all around here. Add in 3,000 books, that is a low estimate, and you can just imagine what my apartment looks like.  I don't know what to do with it, frankly.

What my bedroom would look like if I never threw anything away since I love to read everything I can get my hands on.What is that dried up scary looking iguana thing, an old pet?


Due to the health reasons, I tried to get a home health aide, but being married and already having a husband that does my laundry, errands and trash carry-outs, I am not considered eligible. Yes I've checked. I also had the thought, well I have to try and do as much as I can as well, to keep mobile, but I am SO BAD at it. I find cleaning so mind-numbingly dull. Even as I sit here, I think I have to go shower, and do something about the tub again, and boil rice for dinner later, and clean up some of these dirty clothes and take my pills, and wipe down the counters. Even on my computer table which has one broken off leg which is propped up by more plastic bins of stuff, I look at 3 pill bottles, our digital camera, an Old Harper's magazine, an used up Energizer battery, my diabetes tester, a neglected bottle of glass cleaner, some postcards, a disc a friend sent me and an old jewelry box, along with the computer and it's necessary parts. When I clean I just don't know where to put anything anymore.

I grew up with a mother who kept her house like a museum, you could eat off the floor, everything was put in it's place. This is how my sister and mother live today but their houses look easy to keep clean with smooth polished floors and shelving and cabinets and SPACE for everything. My family growing up lived in 2-4,000 square foot homes, I have 800 square feet to work with and far fewer resources in terms of buying organizational helps and actual cleaning supplies. I also do have relatives who BECAME hoarders, which include two aunts. Both were very poor at the time as well. Both allowed their trailers to become filled with trash. With that kind of family history don't you think I have a reason for some of my worries? So I've seen hoarding first hand and what it does to people's lives and I am determined not have it happen to me, poor or not. I'm one of those type people where stuff sometimes feels more like a burden more then a blessing. What is scary is we sold off a lot of our possessions for years on ebay to make ends meet so I guess things could be worse.

I have read the helpful websites like Flylady, but then what happens if you go bleach and clean the kitchen down, and then end up so exhausted, that's all you get done for the day? You end up in spot clean mode where the WHOLE is never cleaned. Once I hired a housekeeper for 10 dollars an hour, to clean out my bathroom but then I couldnt afford her for more then a few and I probably needed her to work 20 hours to clean this place out the way I wanted it. Call for volunteers? Impossible, I tried. Professional organizers you have to be wealthy to afford. I make myself to do lists and bumble through the best I can, my husband helps too as much as he can inbetween his own work.

I don't want to be the stereoptypical "messy" fat woman, so this stuff drives me crazy. If I won the Lotto, I know I would get rid of everything that was old and this old rug, and would spruce up everything far more. If anyone has any advice, I am welcome to it. Are people fat because they don't do enough housework? I don't think so, all I know is that I am BAD at it!

Fat Talk Has Become Old Talk?


There should be more women who question what they read in fashion magazines. Baby Boomers, I apologize in advance to the decent people I know in that age group, but that is the generation where our society became so much more shallow and looks focused. It is sad that even some people who are entering their elderly years are still so vain and focused on their looks. I wish some people would question this stuff instead of going along with it.  Now they have gone from fatness to age?

Why Have I Gone From ‘Fat Talk’ to ‘Old Talk’?

 Becker is an author of a new study in the Journal of Eating Disorders suggesting that for some women, “old talk” is the new fat talk — and may be a signal for the same type of physical and mental health problems, including binge eating and depression. For the study, researchers surveyed more than 900 women, ages 18 to 87, and found that while fat talk tended to decrease with age, old talk often came in to replace it, and that both were reported by women who appeared to have a negative body image. (While the problem is much more common in women, men, too, can be at risk, researchers say.) 
Dr. Becker began looking into the issue after the owner of an exercise studio who did not allow fat talk asked how she should handle women who said things like “I look so old” and talked about “Botox parties.” 
For many women living in a society where they are bombarded with images of the young and the thin, body-image problems are a longstanding issue. But Dr. Becker said she had also spoken with women who made it through their younger years largely unscathed only to start worrying about their looks in middle age. “They didn’t expect it,” she said. “They didn’t anticipate it.”
Actually since I reject the beauty prison, growing older in some ways has been freeing. You are judged less for being fat if you are old. Left alone more I suppose? I noticed this as I aged and my hair turned gray and I was walking with a cane. So out of the "I have to be pretty" contest, you stop caring, dress to please yourself and so does the world. I still like fashion and can't wait to wear a new necklace a friend sent me, but it's a different way of thinking.  I may complain about being older, in terms of worrying about shortened time and health problems in my case, but looks stuff, who cares? I know I will never look like the models in the magazines especially after this many years!

World Famine?

I always wondered what would happen to me if the food shelves emptied out? As people here can tell I am not someone snoozing about the world situation, I believe it is dire and believe that the US economy is collapsing.

I can't stand the UN but I'll take their word for it on this one:

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

We are facing at least in my area, food running out on store shelves, going to the store does not mean they will have what they usually carry. Overall abundance still rules, but the times I've gone to pick up what I want to see an empty spot where the product usually is, has added up. The tendrils of the collapsing American economy can be seen now in the town I moved to six and half years ago from the one that basically shut down with its thousands of abandoned houses. Here the rich keep a few downtown businesses open, but the closed storefronts, restaurants, and other places are started to add up. It's deja vu all over again. One's days are filled with pulling up in front of a favorite shop to see it closed. Just about everyone you know is underemployed or unemployed.

My own personal economy has collapsed twice. If the store shelves were empty for weeks,would my diabetes make it so I passed out only acouple days in and slipped into a coma? I have thrown up enough from being ill and been sick enough not to eat for 12-14 hours straight but that time, the world started to spin, and I drank some cranberry juice in desperation, which probably got thrown up too but at least held back low blood sugar thing, and I don't think the results would be that great. Would I maybe with a small food store, the left over green beans and rice in the cupboard, be able to take things so low, the body would adjust? One thing when I get sick or eat very little or diet severely, and don't eat from illness, I get very very cold. I've told doctors this. I FREEZE. I think my body shuts down the metabolism even further. A 95 temperature is not an unknown if I am not burning up from fever. Of course I have shared on here enough times, my dumpster diving and hungry days. Yes I know ironic. We bought food the other day, and the prices were so high, I thought I'd faint, and they are getting higher and higher.

So what happens to really fat people in the event of famines or other world events when food gets wiped out or even completely inaccessible?I believe if everything hit the fan, the lack of medicine probably would be enough, within days. I have to take so much thyroid medicine to stay alive, that alone would affect me adversely and really fast. I wonder in world history did being moderately fat, people who can still walk and function, help one survive this stuff? I mean that is the reason we are given for fat after all, supposedly for human beings to survive famine. DID IT WORK? 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Another Interview with a Friend: Fat From a Male Perspective

When I was doing interviews with Pam, I had acouple of other friends jump on the recorder later. I started talking to my friend Don, about the time of my 400lb weight gain. Now part of this conversation is kind of telling, the part where he says I barely looked female. He was absolutely correct. At the time, they found that I had immense testosterone going through my body. Even at smaller sizes as a teenager girl, I never looked feminine, when I had the weight gain this severely worsened. In fact, going on one drug I am on now, that helps the heart and also feminizes a person, Spironolactone I forget how much of my appearance changed since being far more swarthy and masculine looking. The androgens were coursing through doing their damage. The discussion of steroids, too is of interest as I was on steroids constantly for severe asthma, and later what would become COPD, and even am on one inhaled steroid today. Another interesting part of the discussion is when we cover weight and the affect of sleep deprivation. This interview is circa 2004/2005.


[FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP starts by asking Don what symptoms he noticed about her illness.]

DON: Well, let me think…I do remember, amongst other things, you had no problem moving around. You were pretty big, but you had no problem moving around. I did notice, A), you tended to get bigger, [it was] much harder to move around. Towards the height of your weight illness, you barely were able to get up and down the stairs – it was a good thing the cars I had were able to fit you in.


DON: Tiredness; and I would say, towards the height, a definite androgyny came over you. It got awfully hard to be able to tell whether you were male or female, just by looking at your face, and such – you almost had to depend on the clothing [to tell]. I also think part of it may be, as you pile on weight above a certain level – I notice that also w/guys.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Am I much more feminine now?

DON: Oh, definitely female, no problem telling there. I also think part of it was, you get above a certain pound of weight – or you get below a certain level, gender differences do come out.


DON: Well, basically, it was like you just said: people were very mean towards you. Especially in [name of huge city I lived for a time], I think, people were just basically mean towards you – that may explain part of your [past] involvement w/NAAFA, because suddenly, there was this safe zone for you. I also think that part of it was, again, you got above a certain level – and I do think that people -- at a certain point -- sort of think, when you get above a certain weight, you’re supposed to hide yourself away. Not necessarily out of shame, but – out of the simple fact that, above a certain level, it takes so much for you to keep your body alive, that you walking around would be a physical impossibility.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Did the weight loss from the 600s, near 700lbs(pounds) to 500 range help?

DON: Yeah. You get above a certain level, I don’t think people expect you to move around. Also, the androgyny [was a problem]: at a certain point, people want to know whether you’re male or female. They tend to base it on obvious physical characteristics, or your dress.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Do you remember some of my emotional outcomes when I was having this weight gain? What would I say about it at the time? What was my manner? You can be honest in this.

DON: I’m trying to remember, that’s the problem. Not only that, but I don’t think I saw you that often. If you see somebody on a constant basis, you may notice something, but it’s much more noticeable than if you have a two- or three-month period [between visits]. I do know you were talking about why you were putting on so much weight. I think you were putting on…30 pounds [a month].

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That’s almost like a pound a day.

DON: And I do remember, you were always talking about your asthma: I remember, it started w/your asthma, now that I think about it. You were complaining about having to do asthma [treatment?] for an extended period of time, much longer than people suggested – and that, I would say, crosses all borders.

I remember I’d been having some trouble w/my eyes, before I figured it had something to do w/allergies. I remember getting these droplets, and basically sticking it in the eyes, and they’re some sort of steroid. Basically, they cleared the stuff out. A little bit later, I’d go through this stuff, and the lady [WHO?] said, “Don’t use it, throw it away! Keep using that stuff, you may get cataracts.”

And generally, they say, steroids are best for short-term [use]. At the time, I wonder how much of an effect on the weight gain that that stuff [prednisone] had.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I think it actually triggered a lot.

DON: Yeah, ‘cause you’re talking [about] long-term use of a steroid.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Also, I know towards my late twenties, as my asthma got worse, I couldn’t move around as much.


DON: There’d be friends and family, I’d put them on the line: “This is FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP, she’s awfully fat, she’s suffering from a few things,” and they always took my word at it. When I was much younger, there was this woman named **********: very infamous. You mention that name, it’s like [sounds “Dragnet”-style music]. You knew this was a girl to be feared – I think somehow, I spotted her, and she was very overweight…to the point, again, of androgyny. [Was in elementary school.]

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Was she tortured in elementary school?

DON: By the fact that her name had with it, a lot of infamy based on it, I’d assume that she was tortured, and picked on. For some strange reason, I remember just looking in a classroom, seeing this overweight girl: “Oh, that’s **********.”


DON: I think part of the problem w/society right now is, we’re in a very odd, very unusual situation. Historically, fatness has always been the exception, not the rule, but there’s been a major change, starting in the ‘50s – when you had this image of the “ultimate,” Marilyn Monroe, statuesque, extremely built – almost manic, you’d say. And it happened, during that period of time, actually matched up to where women were able to develop in that sort of situation. Also, remember, we had gone through the Depression, and World War II – two periods of starvation – and suddenly, we got plenty, like you wouldn’t believe. And since then, the ideal has directed itself towards thinness.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: The focus on thinness actually makes people fatter, because it brings an over-concern w/food.

DON: I think our diets have changed: It used to be, women would stay home, and cook food. We used to have smaller portions, and we used to eat in the home; nowadays, we drive in our cars, we stop off, and everyone’s working. What’s really interesting – look among the rich. Women who can develop careers and run companies are actually staying home, raising their children. They’re choosing it. If you were able to choose it, they choose it. Because, basically, you’re eating at home: there’s something about women that they actually enjoy keeping house more.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Actually, I had so many problems the work world. I felt forced to be a hyper-feminist by my family with none of the benefits – I was rejected on one level, because of “you being an art teacher”; that’s kind of a female profession.

DON: Well, teaching has been considered a female profession – basically, anything to do w/nurturing generally is considered female. And I think there’s some aspect about that, I can understand you feeling like you were forced to be a feminist – basically, you want to protect yourself. You have to get out in the work world, and it’d be a good thing if you could rise up in that world, take on more responsibilities…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Well, a lot of my friends felt like we were set up – we were told, “You can do all this, and have all this,” and it turned out to be a bust for most of us.

DON: Well, what they didn’t really tell women is – basically, you could choose this, or you could choose that: the idea [of], “you can have it all, bigger and more is better, blah-blah-blah.” Life is a definition of choices: every choice reduces the amount of freedom, ‘cause it forces you up on one line. The only way you could maximize possible freedom is to just keep yourself undecided as long as possible, and even [in] that [scenario] – time starts closing down stuff, eventually.


DON: Let me think: I had a friend named *******]: he was sort of fattish. He developed this fantasy world where he made himself out to be much bigger than he actually was – and he was much better at it. Your husband is not the thinnest person in the world. He made himself out to be much different than most people.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Would say being fat has some people form more distinct identities?

DON: Having weight, ‘cause some cases, if you develop fatness, it can cause a withdrawal.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: What differences do you see in me, from other fat people?

DON: Well, basically, you seem to be out there more than most fat people. I don’t think you grew up w/the stereotypically fat profile, which is “Keep on being beaten down and up, you just withdraw.”

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, I had some years of normalcy.

DON: The thing was, I don’t think you were specifically fat, until you moved to [big city I used to live in].

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Until I had the huge weight gain – yeah, I know. I was considered “large” or “Amazonian,” by most, but not “huge fat pig,” or anything like that. I wasn’t really noticed.

DON: I think part of it is, “fat” itself is sort of a loaded term. The idea is, you’re talking about all this weight pressing down – part of the definition of fat is, so much weight pressing down on an inner mass.


DON: And it is kind of interesting – I look a little bit fat, but most people don’t notice it, because I’m still able to move around quite a bit.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, you have gained some weight. I’m not trying to be mean, or nothing, but you have in the last year…

DON: Well, right now, I’m up to 265, 270 pounds. I had been steady around 260 since, I would say – since the second year of living w/my girlfriend, that’d be ’99, 2000, and I’d been around 240, 250 before that.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That makes sense, yeah – see, you can carry it, because of your height, too. But if you were to gain 50 more (pounds), you would enter “Fat World.” You know what I mean? It is kind of almost a different existence. I would say “Fat World” came for me when I hit 320, and then, of course, it went up, and up, and up.

DON: It depends on how you carry it – one thing about guys versus gals is that guys tend to carry their stuff around here [the waist], whereas, w/gals, it’s lower down.I think, in some ways, it is an adaptation – but, like I said, it’s kind of weird how you can get around growing fat, too. I remember, before I had my pneumonia, I think I was around 240, and I lost some weight because of the pneumonia…recovering from that…recovering from the weight loss, I think I sort of overshot to about 250 [pounds]. So, maybe in some cases, the dieting is there, but you’ve also got all the food you eat – to be honest, for your average person, if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to do some heavy duty adjustments to your diet, and such.


DON: The thing is, most people – you lose weight, and it’s like, “Good, I can relax”…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: And they go back to the way they did before. In my case, if I ate fried chicken every week, I’d be dead.

DON: Well, basically, w/most people, your comfortable weight adjusts upward…in fact, one of the things I noticed during the first couple months I was living w/my girlfriend, I sort of leveled off around 260.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Can you understand why people get themselves off the diet rollercoaster, though, and just kind of give up on that whole world, to some extent? Well, I have some health problems – that’s why I’ve refused to get weight loss surgery. It is difficult, ‘cause they always expect you to be on the constant diet.

DON: You do have to have constant vigilance, even if it’s just the idea of portion control – as Americans, we’ve grown used to eating so much, and we’ve also grown used to, when we feel the least bit hungry, we snack.


 FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I think the whole American lifestyle is messed up. I know, for me, when I was gaining the weight, I had no time to relax – especially during that job – no time was mine. Never could cook. I didn’t even have the right facilities to cook!

DON: I’ll bet you part of your problem was the weird time, because I do know that people who have trouble getting enough sleep, they tend to fatten up, because you’re taking about cortisol – basically, from what I can guess…I’m not gonna say I know everything about it….but my understanding is, it basically makes your body burn energy efficiently.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: There’s a hormone that’s released during sleep, and I even have that in my theories about weight gain; there’s a hormone that’s released when you sleep. I know people who’ve had serious sleep apnea, have gained 200 or 300 pounds. I know – for me – I have the sleep apnea finally treated and it seemed to be another factor in not gaining weight anymore.

DON: And, basically, ever since the wide distribution of lightbulbs, Americans have had one hour less sleep per night, on average, than they used to get.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I think it’s even worse than that, now – people brag about having no sleep. Now, I can sleep as much as I want; that’s one blessing of disability [laughs], ‘cause [what] I remember, for years, is being absolutely sleep deprived.

DON: Well, I would say, not being sleep-deprived – but I’m aware that my body, if given the chance, would happily drift over to ten hours of sleep a day. I know eight is generally the average; some people can get less. But, generally, the average most people get is six [hours] – you know there’s massive amounts of sleep deprivation going on in this society today.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: OK, well, thanks for the conversation, Don.

DON: You’re welcome.

Natalie and Me

When I was a young fat girl, The Facts of Life was one of my favorite TV shows. I even recently watched a few of them, and it brought back some old days. I wished I got to live at their school even doing chores under the watchful caring eye of Mrs. Garrett.  Even to this day, while re-watching this show, I remember my thoughts at the time. Natalie, while overweight was accepted, loved and cared about by the others. Sure her Mom sent her off to boarding school and her father had died in the show's plot, but she was valued as a person and a human being. .

Some may ask what does this have to do with Natalie? Well I would watch the Facts of Life and saw this young vivacious fat girl with friends and people who loved and cared about her and thought, "Well this is a possible. That is how things are supposed to be". Yes I knew it was fiction but it at least gave me a ideal.

I also knew even as a young fat girl, that I should be valued as a human being despite what weight I was, which I already knew by an early age, my body was not working like other people's. I exercised constantly, rode my bicycle for miles, and still was fat. I also was facing other challenges and very negative messages around me. There was no one telling me I was a okay person. I would find supportive people later but did not have them at that time. So in a strange way, Facts of Life served as encouragement to me as a teenager. Maybe that's a bit cheesy but it's the truth. I liked all the other characters, Blair was my least favorite while I liked Tootie and "Jo" as well.

In a way it lifted some of the self blame for those around me who considered my weight as making me worthy of rejection. Natalie had best friends who cared about her. Now Natalie did lose weight as the show progressed, she was "smaller" then me but fat enough to have been considered the "fat girl" in the earliest seasons. Now TV shows even lighter ones of the 1980s were notorious for "short-hand" and even this one could approach the 'afterschool' specials kind of flavor but this show was encouraging to me. Today all the TV shows everyone is THIN, at least in the 1980's things were still more real.

Unknown Facts about Mindy Cohn

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Interview with a Friend About Life, Fat, and Supersized People.


Pam was a friend of mine now deceased. I miss her very much. She did endure a lot of what I have and at one point was near 700lbs as well. She knew what it was to face severe weight issues into her 60s. She was a very funny, kind and loving woman. We shared many struggles and she was a life line to me for very years. It was a blessing to know her.  I remembered I was interviewing her in future hope of writing about weight, which I obviously did on this blog. :) I still own the tape and transcript typed out back then, and decided I'd share it here. At the time she gave me permission to use this for any writing. I am happy to share her words here. The conversation brings back fond memories for me not for what we went through but that that we were there to support one another. Of course since 2004, some of my views have changed which is the year this interview was done.


PAM: How old, or how moldy?

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: [laughing] No, how old?

PAM: Old enough to know better, but too young to resist.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP [laughs]: That’s funny. What’s the highest weight you’ve ever been?

PAM: Boy, this is a personal interview – is this gonna be on “20/20”?


PAM: My highest weight was 600-plus in 1980, but they weren’t sure…one doctor said, as far as an actual weight, closer to 700 [pounds], and congestive heart failure, and they’d mainline Lacix – which drew a lot of water off of me in one week’s period of time.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: OK – yeah, you said you got lots of water taken off of you.

PAM: Uh-huh. I didn’t know I had congeestive heart failure. I was 33, at that time.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: OK. OK. And what’s the lowest weight you’ve ever been?

PAM: You mean, birth weight, or adult weight?

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP:  I was two pounds in the womb! I was born weighing 200 pounds [laughs] – that’s what I’d tell people!

PAM: As an adult – I think when I was 19, 18 ½, I was going to a doctor that was giving everybody all these – you know, it was like a diet clinic, and I got down to 123 pounds.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Wow, you’ve been smaller than I ever have…

PAM: Very, very…I was skinny, but I got pregnant, and I gained 60 pounds with the pregnancy…that was with my son, and, after that, I just kept going up. I was at Weight Watchers, and Overeaters Anonymous, to try to – you know, stay around 250 [pounds], because I was selling ads, and you have to make a fairly decent appearance, plus, you’re on the go all the time.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, that makes sense…what have been some of the challenges to you, in terms of being overweight?

PAM: Well, employment, housing – now, because I’m in a wheelchair. I don’t have to be in it all the time, but – getting older, disabilities are harder to deal with, as you age.


PAM: That’s a big challenge, aging; I’m facing that now – I’ve outlived a lot of people that are in a similar situation, that I knew. I’ve watched people just dwindle down, you know, under a system that’s not too kind. There’s not a lot of help for women in my age group, in the 50s – you know, if you’re disabled, if you don’t have a spouse with a good job, or a family that can help…and a lot of people don’t…or they have ‘em, but they’re not willing to get involved…so that can be quite a challenge to be in this age group, before retirement age.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Kind of like, you fall through the cracks, right?

PAM: Right, and fall through the cracks of what’s happening now…I just read an article about a county out here in rural [state] – the waiting list for people that are of retirement age, that are on Social Security, and not because of disability, but need services because they’re aging…they have medical needs…the waiting lists are getting longer and longer, because of the aging population. So, by the time I get into the next age group, if I live that long, I’ll be just one of those people on the waiting list [laughs] – so, I don’t know what it [the solution] is.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Let me ask this question – what would you say are the special challenges of the supersized, the 200- to 300-pound person? {I consider supersized to be 350lbs and above today}

PAM: That’s supersized?

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, the supersized, the people who are on the upper end of the scale, like me?

PAM: You mean, 200 to 300 pounds?

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, people who aren’t 200 to 300 [pounds]?

PAM: People that have lived at 600, 700, 800 pounds? I don’t weigh that now, but that could happen again in five minutes – you know, once you’ve been that big, you could go back there, because of medical conditions, food-related things, whatever…I’m not real clear on that question. Do that one more time.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: OK. What would you say are the special challenges that the supersized fat people have to deal with…

PAM: That the moderately overweight don’t have to deal with?

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, that the moderately overweight don’t have to deal with. PAM: Well, I mean, like we’ve talked about – personal things, personal hygiene. It’s amazingly hard for moderate overweight people to realize that people, once they get up over 400, 500, 600 pounds, that there are landlords – if they see the person, they’re gonna assume that they’re not gonna pay their rent, that they probably don’t keep their apartments clean, because they’re too big to run a vacuum, or whatever…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That’s true; they won’t rent to you. {I was refused an apartment once due to weight}

PAM: There’s rental discrimination…there’s people that are supersized, and they keep their apartments immaculate. You know, I’m not supersized – well, I’m borderline supersized – I consider anybody over 200 pounds to be supersized. But, super-super-sized people…it was a struggle to do some of the things thin people take for granted, when they clean, or bathe, or have a bowel movement. You know, we talked about the toilet paper sponges, for the reach, and the bidets, for the overweight – even umbrellas. An umbrella for an average person won’t keep a supersized person dry.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP [laughs]: Yeah, you’re right, I was thinking about that – you’re right, it won’t.

PAM: Yeah, when it rains, and you use a regular umbrella, all it does is bring the rain down on your shoulders, and it drips down on your body.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That’s true. That’s actually something that frustrated me. I didn’t know anybody else that noticed that.

PAM: There’s all kinds of different things…thank God that people challenged it, and there’s more big people now – there’s money to be made off of us, so the fashion industry opened up, but it still has a long way to go -- there’s things that I need, that I can’t from Roman’s, and Lane Bryant’s. They don’t seem to carry pantyhose, and brassieres, and girdles that’ll fit real big women -- or women, even my size, with the loose skin. I still need a gigantic girdle, if it’s gonna be on me, and support me, but you can’t buy them.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know, they just don’t have them – I had to give up wearing bras long ago. Do you think discrimination against overweight people is getting worse?

PAM: I think, because there’s so many overweight kids and adults – you would think it would be getting better, but I think it’s an unpopular group to be associated with. People, even if they are heavy, or supersized – they may find friends in that weight range, they can relate – but I think the discrimination is still there. You know, if we walked in on an interview, and had degrees, and a thin woman that had the experience, and [only] some degrees, based on appearance, they’d pick the thin one. I mean, it’s been proven.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Yeah, they have done studies on that – they have done studies on that, and they’ve definitely have always picked the thin one.

PAM: Well, they did a study, too, with little children – five-year-olds – and they used dolls. One doll was disfigured facially, like a burn patient; the other one was without limbs. I forget the others. You know, there’s different disabilities that can come upon a human being…and then one was just huge, just a big fat doll baby. Of all these disfigured dolls, even though the obese wasn’t burned, or limbless – the one that none of ‘em wanted to be was the obese doll.


PAM: They would rather be without arms and legs, facially disfigured, whatever, than to be obese.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Hm – that’s probably because of some of the messages they hear about how bad fat people are, over and over…

PAM: Oh, sure. And then, all this stuff about the restaurants downsizing food portions – I don’t see any of that stuff happening. I don’t know what the answer is.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Actually, it’s not happening – did you know Hardee’s actually released a 1,400-calorie burger?

PAM: Oh, mercy!

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

PAM: Especially when they’re hyping all this, “Oh, we’re gonna try to help,” you know, especially with the next generation – which I do see some improvement. But there again, there’s gonna have to be more support groups – and God forbid, maybe even the only way that people would ever cut back, if all this stuff is gonna continue to be available, and so many people are insulin resistant from eating this way for so many generations – that it might take, whether it’d be a famine or something, for a couple generations to get back to where they’d have to plant, and harvest. Like the Bible says: “You work by the sweat of your brow.” I mean, people don’t have to do anything!

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know, that’s kind of why we’re all getting messed up…’cause, then, you burned it all off.

PAM: Everybody’s at the TV, or computer…yeah, you see some people jogging, and walking, but – you know, once you get to a certain point – whether it’s just the natural aging process, or you’re obese along with it…I mean, you’re limited how much of that you can do safely.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I actually have the belief that if you don’t exercise enough as a kid, and your life’s sedentary, you never can get to the good part. Does that make sense?

PAM: Yeah. Well, and I think, too, some people are heavy because of illness, even, from birth on – they don’t ever feel well enough to exercise. And there’s the other side, too – the other side of the coin with people – where getting that habit ingrained in your mind [is difficult]. Once you feel better, I think if you can keep with it, maybe get some support, get involved in a sport, or something – if that’s even possible – it’s just not even possible for a segment of this society. They’re not mobile enough to do it. But there’s decent exercises – there’s depression in there, too, people are battling that. A lot of times, obese people are isolated, alone in apartments, where even the most optimistic person – over the long haul, day in and day out – would be wore down.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Well, here’s the thing, too – I almost think, when there were more people around, they were a more closer-knit society. That actually gives you a chance for more movement. Does that make sense? ‘Cause you’re moving around…

PAM: Before the automobile? You know, I mean, it’s not been that long ago, maybe there weren’t even bicycles…I don’t know what the history is on bikes, or things with wheels, but you know – basically speaking, it was the only wealthy that had things like this. Your feet got you there, and maybe somebody might have an old wheel, but I don’t think they really rode ‘em – they used ‘em for farming, or transporting goods.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I think they walked.

PAM: They walked! And women lived and died within a mile of their house – I’ve read that over and over. People were born in a village, and if they maybe went to town once a year, there’d be a homecoming, or something – that was as far as most women went. A lot of ‘em didn’t know how to read, a lot of people didn’t know how to read. Maybe the priest, or the pastor, or a lawyer in town would do all the documents – poor people, especially, just the average man on the street was not that educated.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: That’s true. You’re right. OK, let me ask you a new question…there’s some good stuff. Let me – I was gonna ask you about size acceptance. What do you think of the size acceptance movement?

PAM: Over the last 30 or 40 years, whenever it started – I think it’s probably getting close to 40 now, but…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Wait a minute, just a second, whoops…my microphone fell off, just a minute.

[FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEPstops to get another piece of tape to hold her microphone in place.] [break and off subject conversation]

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I always wonder, though, if both of us worked – all these errands, and crap, and cooking, and stuff –

PAM: Well, what happens if people don’t work on their marriage, and take time for themselves? That’s what it becomes.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know – I don’t know how these people have any time.

PAM: They don’t.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP [laughs]:’Cause, I’ll tell you what, Pam – during the day, paying the bills, making the food, making sure there’s groceries, laundry, all the medical stuff, that takes up enough time, where I’m like: “What if I had a job? We’d never see each other.”

PAM: Yeah, you know, you have to be real mobile to do that, and some people do get way behind. Their kids suffer. A lot of women that are out there working are not making any money, if they’re paying babysitters…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know – I actually think they should be allowed at home. You know what I've said about the two for one deal the corporations got, when one income used to support a family.

PAM: There are ways to have what you need, and still stay home, and be a mom to your kids – and it’s too much, ‘cause it’s the woman that ends up paying ‘em [babysitters, daycare, etc.].

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know. I think feminism screwed us [laughs], I do!

PAM: OK – you take a situation, if a woman can handle all that – of course, if you wanna get yourself into that, a person should be allowed. I don’t think there should be any restrictions set on it. But I just think a lot of women didn’t realize what they were getting into, and once they got into it…


PAM: Yeah, it’s like an addiction – it can be more fun to go to work, than taking care of two- and three-year-olds – preschoolers, you know? It’s hard work. [(337 feet): Discussion turns to difference between modern life, and level of activity in older, agrarian-based society.]

PAM: Today, if you use a towel, then it goes in the laundry, instead of hanging it up, and using it for a week – because it was clean when you use it. Unless it’s like a hand towel…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know – I do too much laundry, ‘cause I always have to wear different clothes – I smell really easily, so I can’t even repeat a wearing of anything.

PAM: They say it’s the foods we eat, and if you take medicine, and have illness, you’ll have a body odor difference, sometimes.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: Actually, I believe PCOS makes you stink, especially if it’s uncontrolled. It makes you smell lot. It really does.

PAM: Huh! I don’t perspire, or anything – sometimes, because you’re round yourself… [Of subject conversation PAM says. “Some of these people are so competitive, even if it’s to advance the cause…”

PAM is more enthusiastic about nominating MICHAEL MOORE: “He’s a tub! He’s one of our brothers in fat. I tell you what – that man could help us.” PAM and FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP then briefly talk about merits/demerits of weight loss surgery, before going back to list of interviewees.] PAM [after suggesting Ricki Lake, who’s gotten heavy again:] There are people, believe it or not – I know a couple of ‘em – they’ve finally got a handle on it, finally got some kind of exercise in their life…

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I think if people have an eating disorder, and just eat too much, and they don’t have the metabolic issues – if they get treatment and are able to quit eating too much, and they exercise, they can get at least some of the weight off. But if it's metabolic it's far far harder.

PAM: Yeah, I think so, but if there’s a lot of medical history – and also, if you get to a certain point where you lose mobility, it’s hard to ever get it back, or keep it.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know. Look at me, with all the breathing problems, and stuff – how am I gonna go burn it all off?

PAM: Yeah, if you don’t move around – I mean, can you imagine how many calories you burn, just walking to get out of your apartment?


PAM: Yeah, you do. My doctor told me, just to be alive – when you’re over a certain amount of weight, the tremendous amount of calories [needed] just to keep this machinery going – the breathing, the digesting of the food, all of it, any movement at all…like, say, when a thin person gets up off of a chair, it’s nothing.

FIVEHUNDREDPOUNDPEEP: I know – I do move around a lot for someone [my size]. I’ve been told that by people at offices. I’m kind of a fidgety person – like, even now, I got my leg hanging over the end of the bed, going back and forth.

PAM: Yeah, well, you probably have a lot of energy trapped inside of you, you know, where…