Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fat People and The Culture of Silence

Forgot where I got this from...but I wanted to post it, and apply this to FAT PEOPLE.

The worse thing about fat people is we are one of the most indoctrinated groups out there. Told to blame ourselves. Told that we were lessers. Trained that we are inferior. What fat person, even of the smaller or midsized variety has not had those thoughts flit across their mind?

This gave me something to think about.....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Life As a Residential Counselor {1994-1997}

I have referred to this job a few times in my different writings including the one about my 400lb weight gain. This was my last job before I was disabled. Really I was disabled before I took this job!

Before then I had been an art teacher at a juvenile home and a substitute teacher, and got laid off. I knew fast food, temp jobs and the occasional substitute gig were not going to keep me afloat and I had to move into a new career of sorts. To take this job, required moving ALONE to a big city of over 10 million. I knew no one there. During this time I was poor, not in the streets but my wages were very low and there was no decent health insurance. To be frank, my severe health problems and others probably required ME to be taken care of instead of me having to take care of others!

I wrote this essay a VERY LONG TIME ago, circa 1997-1998. I've shortened it and removed some parts.  I wrote it in a class to process some feelings I was dealing with. Severe PTSD would come my way via this job, and as time went on, I would discover many others who had done this type of work and ended up emotionally and physically harmed by it. This would include at least two close later friends who told me they viewed horrors of their own including one friend who had a young teen light the back seat of the van on fire as she drove it down the road. 
I have never been able to find ANY writings online describing what life is like for RESIDENTIAL COUNSELORS, FAMILY TEACHERS, etc. though this is a career field definitely in our decaying society that has become more needed. Were some aspects of this work rewarding? YES. Would I do it again. NO!

I am still paying the physical price of my job from hell: residential counselor, warehousing wards of the state, at a facility for behaviorally-disordered and emotionally disturbed teenagers aged 11-21.
Most normal youths enter foster care, and other state programs, many of these teens came from a huge metro cities grittiest inner cities. Some came from middle-class families; others were actually certified sociopaths by the psychologists, others tagged with post traumatic stress syndrome (about 85 percent had mental disorders). There were kids of all races, different mental and other disorders and from all classes however they were put in these homes due to a propensity for violence and/or acting out.

I’d moved from my home state to a huge metro city of over 10 million in 1994 -- having been relegated to burger-flipping, and picking up substitute teaching assignments 20 miles from where I lived. My boyfriend (later my husband) wanted to move there; $11 an hour in a big city sounded far better than flipping burgers for $4.25 an hour. With my successful juvenile home background, and my boyfriend’s writing track record, we’d really be making some bucks now, right?

Little did I know. This is my story.


My workplace lay in a middle-class suburb, on the outskirts of the huge city.
I found a rundown house -- one of nine buildings, clustered in a campus-style arrangement -- with three workers, and nine girls living with shopworn furniture, but the atmosphere was less severe; my first-year kids weren’t hardcore cases, and the director seemed more caring.
I didn’t imagine working this job for life, seeing it as an outgrowth of my former art teaching and therapy background; with my paralegal training, I could move into a more rewarding social work job, like case management. Little did I know.


We had a mixture of classes, and races. Not all the kids were from the inner city, and all the kids varied in how hardcore they were; drug abuse and mental illness ensured a constant turnover among them.
There was the large girl who pushed me out of her way – remember, I weighed in the 300-pound range – the weight gain had just begun, and broke down a door to snatch some kitchen knives, which were locked up, for security reasons, in the main office. The locked wooden door had been totally smashed down. She bust it down like it was made of tooth picks. 
She then ran out to stab somebody, which didn’t surprise me, since violence was a constant hazard of the job. Thank goodness I had the cops already there, following protocol, and they were able to stop her while I got everyone else upstairs for their safety away from her. My desire to quit accelerated after that day; she later ran away and became a prostitute in the city streets.. The day that I realized she would never return relieved my stress.
We also had an anorexic, and three girls who suffered from abuse, as well as this psychotic who bit people. One girl left due to pregnancy, while another stood out, because she behaved well, and was never a problem.
I sincerely tried, and felt, an impetus to make these girls’ lives better, since most of them had major problems, such as Sally’s drug-addicted mother, and Kendra, who was just a troubled orphan. They weren’t as evil or manipulative as the second-year crop – a far more hardcore bunch than I’d ever seen back home.


Most of kids had parents that should never have taken the job.
Once, in the middle of January, I took a girl to her home on a home visit – there was no door, just a plastic sheet, and we had to leave early, because parents looked high. I could tell they’d been smoking crack. The house had no furniture, and her dad’s bedroom was crammed with TVs of all ages, some new, some old.
I knew he’d stolen them for crack cash, but – when he didn’t get the door closed in time – assured me: “Oh, I fix televisions for extra money!” I knew it was lie, but it was none of my business. I figured he’d have to answer for it later.
Some of the kids were orphans, but most were brought up in a way, where they learned to hustle and manipulate – some for survival and some because that is what they had been taught. 

 One girl came in nice and sweet, that commodity eroded after spending eight months with the other “bad influences”. A virgin, she became promiscuous and started to enjoy fighting. She was smarter than others, because she’d be nice to staff -- but often you knew she was manipulating just to get what she wanted. She would cry to another staff member, telling them how terrible a worker you were.
Another girl was intelligent, brimming with the cunning that Ted Bundy might have; even though her sister was totally normal and lived at home with peacefully with a relative, this girl used a smile to twist you around her finger, too. Yes the psychologists noticed too.
No one trusted her, and rightfully so; she’d pick on staff just to make her day less boring. She lacked normal emotions. She’d throw things at me and other staff and lie and even get other staff members in trouble. 
        One other girl who was tall and thin knew she had supermodel looks (which reminded me of Janet Jackson), ; she liked to fight, slept around a lot, and constantly sneaked out of the house to get with her boyfriends. She would then get other girls to follow her like the Piped Piper of Sin.
I learned to ignore her, so she’d stay out of my hair, and vice versa. Except for sneaking out, she was extremely well-behaved. However caring for her was like supervising a 25-year-old, because she had nothing childlike about her, having supported herself through prostitution. 
     One young lady came from an Appalachian family in southern Virginia, and found nothing but more poverty; they’d have been better off in the mountains rather than  the gang- infested neighborhood they ended up in. She had a good family, but they were under siege; her brother, a gang member himself, had been shot, and her father was dying, at an early age, of lung cancer. Her mother seemed too distant and remote to deal with her problems. Poverty and lack of education was her biggest barrier. She was OK to me, but seemed to grade staff members on how many presents they could buy. One unsettling memory about her family's house was the carpets of cockroaches. [no judgment from me here, I've been poor enough myself to have been plagued with them earlier in life]
She was generally quiet, but would sometimes explode and throw things (but not in my direction). My relationship with her was otherwise decent, I talked her sister into making room in her home. She moved home for good.
Another young girl, who was diagnosed with sociopathy as well as other disorders, came from a suburban middle class family but fought the most of any of the girls, and ran away constantly. She would run around trying to break windows which caused staff an endless degree of strain
Other girls could be fun, and enjoyed drawing pictures or playing cards, but were extremely rebellious -- and wouldn’t follow any directions. Sometimes you could have an OK day with them as long as no fights would break out and you could keep them involved. There were older girls who had earned their ways to higher levels where they were more independent and had part time jobs off site. We also had girls whose main problems involved substance abuse, where we would take them to recovery meetings. Some of course came out of homes where the parents were drug addicted.



One of my coworkers, I'll call her Tina, was really an older version of some of our charges. She was the best friend of Linda, the nominal boss of the house. She got away with a lot of things because she was friends with another supervisor.
Therefore, Tina could be three hours late for work; the kids loved her because she was free of all the other rules that bound us. She could leave them alone at places, a habit which would get the rest of us fired.
Tina displayed a source of income beyond the salary (she lived at home but always wore a new outfit every day).. Everyone feared Tina, but rarely crossed her; she even managed to get an assistant director fired. I was the only one who stood up to her, but it would cause me problems. (I tried transferring to another house, a request that was turned down.) Tina ruled the girls with a iron fist, and a side dish of bribery.
One unlucky day, I was sharing a shift. The girls had cleaned up dinner, and had eaten a nice meal. I’d been doling out medications, when I heard a shriek: “Who left this &%$ pan in the sink?” It was Tina, who ran around stomping through the house; she was so angry, no girl would ‘fess up, especially since all the other dishes had been done.
Finally, she had the girls come to the table, and gave everyone a negative 10,000, which cancelled all their privileges for the entire weekend and into the next week. 
The next day was my shift; since the girls had no privileges, they were only able to sit at the table, and read. I took Tina aside: “ Aren’t you kind of overreacting?” She snapped, “Shut up, this is why you ain’t got no control over these kids!”
We got into it so much, Linda started to schedule us on opposite days; Tina hated so many of the other staff, she started taking her favorite four charges to her home and hang out at her house all day. This was really against the rules. However everyone including supervisors were scared of Tina!
The girls would come back with new clothes, and talk about going to barbecues, family reunions and parties with Tina – all because she’d basically made a group of second-year girls into her personal clique.
Since I had no money, the kids called me “stingy,” and made fun of my clothes; they stopped behaving when I couldn’t afford their good graces. Tina and Linda had done everything to destroy my authority.
    I found out what happened to her, long after I’d left; a friendly coworker informed me that Tina had ran into a bigger girl, who’d bashed her head against a wall, forcing her to stay home and recover for two months. I wasn’t surprised; I remember telling her ruling by fear is not the way to go.

She was my house’s boss in my second year – a freewilling trust-fund kid, hippie type, and a literal alcoholic who was protected by her successor, Linda.
I suspected as much, because Sally’s words often sounded slurred when she was on call; when she finally paged back, you’d struggle to hear her over a crowded bar. Sally often wouldn’t show up for work, which other people covered up; she called me sneaky, saying she didn’t trust me. The feeling was mutual, especially when she’d be sweet and the kind to the kids and do the complete opposite. I found it so phony, it wasn’t funny.
She became the next  boss, and happened to be Tina’s friend; she was like a talk show host, but without the compassion, overly businesslike. Linda had this way of hiding all her emotions. She was fair to most people, but had her non-professional side, which came out around Tina. I learned to avoid them whenever they were together.

In general, I was friendly with anyone not in Linda’s or Tina’s clique; most were like me, just trying to make a living. They too found the kids very difficult and weren’t ashamed to admit it.
One hearing impaired African American male coworker I befriended had been locked in a closet at the boys home next door, and beaten up. He called me one day while in the closet, luckily having hidden the portable phone on him, I called back up staff to set him free. I felt badly for others too who worked there . Most did this type of work because it was the highest paying job they could get, and I was no exception.
Nobody lasted more than two years; the longest-lasting person had been there for three years. At least three co-workers left after getting attacked, because staff often got beaten pretty badly. As I said earlier violence was part of the job.  
One coworker got bitten on the wrist by one of our charges.. I also remember someone being pushed down some stairs, who quit the next day. I was big and burly even before the severe weight gain, so they were more likely to throw stuff at me. My bigness I think is what got me hired. I also knew how to talk them down probably better then other workers due to my earlier work.
At least the kids knew that I was different, and this is why some accorded me the respect that eluded my coworkers. I was never hit. No one tried to punch me like other workers had been including one time when a coworker of mine had been jumped by a teen, just as I came on shift and I had to pull her off.  The problem was, "being nice"– the way some of these kids were raised – was sometimes an excuse to take advantage. I wasn’t going to bother restraining them, because I felt it escalated things and only did it in case of severe emergencies, such as when one girl tried throwing herself out a second story window.  The kids who liked me would protect me, and get angry at those who did mess with me. This happened one night shift when some newer ones wanted to jump me and do a beat-down and I was warned by two girls who did care about me. 
I couldn’t assume the appropriate hardcore persona for the job; over and over I was told I was "too nice" to the kids, the compassion I’d felt for the first group melted into burnout, and fear of the second. Extreme stress mixed with severe poverty will do that; the take home pay barely paid my rent or the bus fare to get there.

Again and again, Linda and Tina insisted, “You’re not being strict enough,” yet did everything to undermine my authority by withholding money for activities – which only drove a deeper wedge between myself and the kids. I wasn’t power-tripping on them, which made me suspect. I could tell my view of young people differed. I remember I kept saying you need to teach them to manage themselves and their lives and emotions not just boast of control.
They were the head family teacher, and house director, so their word was law -- which also broke all ethical boundaries. They’d take the girls to family reunions, or home to eat dinner with their mothers. I lived about 15 miles from the residential home, and this wasn’t right.
I had no money to buy good behavior, but Tina somehow had enough cash to buy them $50 haircuts and $100 dinners at fancy restaurants I couldn’t possibly afford. She would buy good behavior and use fear otherwise.
The fact that I held on as much as I did while being so sick was a miracle. I protested in vain to my second-year director, but the atmosphere grew worse and worse.

I averaged 50-60 hours a week, which was considered "lazy"; 36-hour shifts were not unknown often working alone. They would allow you sleep then but only a small snippet of it. I remember seeing one time card with 140 hours on it. Thankfully, we got overtime; that was one good thing about the job.
Of course, Linda and Tina acted like they lived there --- even eating, sleeping or visiting on their days off. They had no life outside of work, and didn’t understand those who did.
My boyfriend was struggling to find steady work, leaving our finances in constant tatters; my car eventually got repossessed, forcing me to take the bus for 90 minutes each day. I fought to find a new job, but nobody wanted to hire a sickly, balding fat girl who’d been 280 pounds on her arrival and was edging far far higher.

Our language to the kids was extremely scripted. I wanted to say:
  • “Have some self respect!!”
  • “Quit acting like that
  • “Stop beating up people who are minding their own business!”
  • “I only work here! Quit taking your anger out on me!”
  • “Don’t be stupid and tell my boss -- if I stretch the rules for you, [such as letting them watch TV longer] this just means I can’t ever be flexible with you ever again.”
  • “I know many of the rules are unfair!”
Instead, we had to couch everything in social worker speak:
  • “That is inappropriate.”
  • “Susan, when you rip out Lacey’s hair, it makes her feel bad.”
  • “You acted appropriately, so you can add 10,000 to your point card.”
  •  "You acted inappropriately, so you have to subtract 10,000 from your point card."
I couldn’t be myself, ruining my effectiveness with the kids; every time I tried to get real, I’d get myself in trouble. (Of course, Linda and Tina could do that daily.)
One day, I lost my temper [only verbally], and tried an experiment: “let’s see who’ll win the power of wills and anger!” I stormed yelled into the house using the technique of my two supervisors, and scared the kids so badly, they ran to the table.
Even though even the worse of the kids finally obeyed me, I got written up. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Let’s face it, the rules I had to enforce were stupid, leaving the kids with no money, no direction and nothing to do.
They were only allowed outside for 15 minutes at a time (we’d get in trouble for being one minute late herding them back inside), and watch just one hour of TV, even on Saturdays. I’d let them break the latter rule, if it meant being written up. There simply wasn’t enough for them to do.
The kids had to go to school, which assigned as little homework as possible and was more about warehousing rather than education. This allowed Linda and Tina to reserve money for activities on days that they worked. When I showed up, there was no cash, leaving me with 10 fatally distracted kids, and insane rules to enforce. I relied on art projects, card games and made-up activities to get through the day. We played euchre for hours and hours on some days!
Linda and Tina were so obsessive, they even counted the kids’ snacks; we had to write when they got them, and make sure that our 10 kids only ate one candy bar per day. Guess who they blamed when any snacks went missing. {Me-because of my increasing weight}
Some staff wouldn’t let the kids eat and make them clean for hours on end. We spent so many hours cleaning that rundown house, but you had no choice, or you’d hear about the place “being such a pit.” It fitted my job as glorified babysitter and maid, for $11.52 per hour, after my raise but with metro city taxes, amounted to a very low take-home. 
However, the kids could scream, call you curse words, and threaten your life, but if we raised our voices, we’d get written up for not following the house’s behavior plan, which deducted 10,000 points for yelling, and such.
The rules were dumb, and the kids knew it; we were only exercising control, not teaching them about responsibility, or showing compassion. My co-workers ruled by the sword and we all paid for it! We’d have to whip out their point cards several times a day, to dole out pluses (good behaviors) and minuses (bad behaviors) -- I can’t tell you how many hours we wasted on calculating them. We could have awarded privileges and punishments without making a math project out of it.
I also knew these behavior cards, because they taught the art of manipulation and scheming, bringing out baser behaviors from the kids. In the end, lecturing the kids about “intensives” (our euphemisms for bad behavior) made as much as much sense as playing pretend.

From time to time, the kids would go on rampages, and tear up the house. We had security guards who, stupidly, went home at midnight and the kids knew it; they’d wait to stir trouble after the cop who moonlighted on our campus went home.
Some of these kids were tough; once, some boys in the home next door tried to fight with cops who had been called, and even beat up paramedics. When that didn’t happen, windows would be broken, and chairs would be thrown.
Some of the girls learned they liked being put in the mental hospital for a change of pace; they drank bleach on purpose, so we had the fun of hiding bleach bottles and always making sure the basement was locked where the laundry was. 
One time, a staff member accidentally left a door open before leaving – forcing me to practically sit on a bleach bottle, so the girls couldn’t grab it. Another time, I had to hold down a girl from jumping out the second story window, lock the bathroom door, and put her on a 24-hour watch.
Eventually, the security policy was changed to 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for the worst kids.

I almost quit when Sally wanted me to drive a girl to a notorious high crime housing project at 10:00 pm. At that point I was ready to quit. A male coworker took up for me and volunteered to take her.  

Once I took all the kids to the mall with another staff member, so many of them took the opportunity to try running away on the trip home.
A car packed with gangbangers – all of them flashing “colors” -- got behind us; remember, this was in the suburbs where the youth center was located. In the parking lot they had threatened me to allow three girls to come with them, somehow I defused the situation and got everyone into the van. 
The kids tried to jump out of our van while it was moving. Two other girls tried to held them back. I stopped, because they really seemed they ready to jump out, and there was a stop sign up ahead, anyhow and cars coming from the other directions. I had to stop or crash into the cars in front of me or to the side. Four kids jumped out and joined the gang members who were all male and a few years older and ran away.

Another time, when we went to the same mall, this  kid came up to three of my charges and called them racial slurs and other slurs even towards me for being there with them. They all got into a fist fight right there, and security threw us out. I tried to keep the kids apart but understood why they were fighting.
Two notorious suburbs were full of Archie Bunker stereotypes who detested certain races; once, I took the kids to a skating rink, where the owner kicked us out before we’d laced up a boot.  
He told us, “I don’t want those kids in there messing up the joint” – although nobody was misbehaving, because we had a mixture of kids with us.  I stood up to him to no avail.

After a good director left, things went downhill fast; the next one came flouncing around in a fur coat and a gleaming new Saab. Some workers tried to get her fired, which didn’t work. She played major favorites and lied to people.
I tried transferring into an office job, but she told me that I was more well suited to staying the job I was in. Even among all the craziness, I had okay evaluations but even with a college degree and paralegal training, the weight discrimination was in full sway and I was not seen as eligible even for an office job.


I had severe endocrine disease, but didn’t know it --. It took years to get doctors to listen to me. Once I was diagnosed, thyroid medicine stopped the rapid weight gain – but until then, it was a long, scary road.
I’d been refused insurance, because I couldn’t afford it. My body was ravaged by other endocrine system failures, and my hair was falling out, too. The kids and even some of the staff would call me “baldy head.” I wanted to cry, but had to keep a straight face. My body began breaking out in sores (thyroid can wreak havoc with skin). I was in the hospital for breathing issues, status ulcers and infections over and over. Some of the bosses even yelled at me for gaining weight and "to do something" about it.
In April of 1996 due to my poor health, I was demoted to weekend night shifts. It wasn’t a true demotion due to my record, I actually got a raise. However I had no choice; it was that, or not work at all, which wasn’t feasible then. I was on my road to disability and my employers knew it.  I was told "Take the night shift, or leave!". I had no choice. No one was lining up to hire a woman, who was so overweight and so sick. Yes I had looked for a long time too.  
Night shifts were less stressful, overall, but still difficult if the kids decided to act up. I worked always alone from 8 p.m. to 11 a.m. the next morning. I was so weary, it wasn’t funny, and the kids took full advantage of it.
I’d fight off sleep so long all night, I couldn’t manage it when I finally got home; sometimes, I’d be up four straight days, from Thursday through Sunday night. I’d crawl home, stagger off the bus at 11 a.m. or noon, and sleep Monday off
My sleep deprivation was so bad, at times, I’d nod off while doing paperwork at my desk! My bosses knew that I was sick, but had no money; they were keeping me out of pity, I think.
I wanted to be fired so badly near the end but I guess they didn't want to cover the unemployment. I was not the type to get fired on purpose though one day I informed my boss that I was just there for a paycheck, and didn’t care anymore – not an exaggeration, because I had nothing left to give anyone.
I was tired of my 7 p.m. to noon shifts of bus travels, and working, as well as the all-night cleaning, the hourly head counts, avalanches of paperwork (including the staff reports), settling the kids down, and trying to stop them from sneaking out after security left; I was liked enough to avoid being jumped, but like all staff the job was extremely stressful and I was sick of it.  My times in the hospital were increasing/
I quit, without notice, in October of 1996, the day after one of the worse charges decided to wake up all the girls and get a few to sneak out of the house while she smashed an outside window. This was after my husband managed to find an equally dreary office job (but that’s another story). I can still remember the final phone conversation: “But – you’ve got to give a months’ notice!”
“Look, I can’t come in, because I’m sick, okay? I can’t do this job anymore!”
Overall, I felt badly for these kids, the emotionally disturbed cases reacting against an artificial environment that had been created out of ignorance for their needs. Many people don't know what residential counselors go through especially if you are working with a very difficult population. I did see this job as adding to my health collapse, very much so. All the poverty and the rest I had gone through and just struggling to survive for so long, showed up in my body. The stress took a toll. I wonder what happened to those girls. They'd be in their 30s now.  There were many lessons learned from what I observed and saw during those years!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Overweight, Maybe You Really Can Blame Your Genes?

Overweight? Maybe You Really Can Blame Your Genes

Can't people just look and see that if someone is fat they often have fat parents or other fat relatives? I know not all of this is 100% but in my own life, I've noticed that trend. For example, the large girl I went to elementary school with [she was the second fattest while I was the first], her daughter today is larger!

Heat Wave!

Do any of you remember weather like this when you were kids? Because I sure do not. Ok we had hot days once in a while but not extended weeks of them, and where the whole country was covered and there was no place to escape. This is today's temperature. We had Real Feel temperatures at 108
degrees a couple days ago. You have to be kidding me!   I haven't seen the outside world since some long ago Thursday. I hate when my world comes to a screeching halt, because they have to get busy with the chemtrails or whatever it is they are doing.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Too Hungry for Michelle Obama's School Lunch Menu

If you feed the kids just lesser amounts of processed foods, with no "holding" power, sure they are going to get hungry. One has to know the school districts weren't suddenly lining up and serving Jaime Oliver style lunches.

Citing ‘Hungry, Frustrated Children,’ Another District Drops Michelle Obama’s Lunch Menu

"If the goal of the federal school lunch overhaul is to improve outcomes for children, somebody should tell its chief cheerleader -- First Lady Michelle Obama -- that it’s actually backfiring.
Officials in New York’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district have become the latest to opt out of the National School Lunch Program, citing “hungry, frustrated children plus lost income.”
“[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase. Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.
I'm confident we can do better on our own next year,” assistant superintendent Chris Abdoo said in a news release.
The lunch program lost about $100,000 for the school year, which is roughly the cost of one teaching position.
“Students felt they weren't getting good value for their money,” Boehm said. “The high schoolers especially complained the portion sizes were too small, and many more students brought in lunch from home.”
One example provided by the district that was a “turn off” to elementary students included canned green beans and “part” of a chicken patty on a mini croissant." 

 When I was a substitute teacher I had to eat a few school lunches, at the elementary school level they were just BAD, mystery meats glopped with gravy, canned and fried everything. The lunches rarely did much for my hunger levels. The only time I ate the stuff was out of desperation. I worked in a poorer district so not sure if that affected things, but if they just cut the portions of the bad stuff, then they were wasting their time.

Students Push Back on New School Lunches

Was all this a backdoor way for the government to save money?

I've read this lady's school lunch blog before, it brought back memories. By the way, they are feeding your kids even worse in day care. Trust me on that one. We used to run out of lunches too at profit driven centers, I worked at that paid us so little. Trust this teacher on how bad the school lunches are. I've seen worse. I still remember the DOUBLE PIZZA AND FRENCH FRY day in my high school from the 1980s. By the way kids around the world are eating FAR BETTER at lunch....their meals at least look like they have some real ingredients and actual food. Realize the mega-corporations are profiting too off the bad food in schools.

Fat Boy Scouts Banned From Jamboree

This is horrible, and aren't these activities where they would made be more fit?

I can understand not having a 300-400lb boyscout go on a 20 mile hike, but why not allow them participation to the degree they can do it?

Overweight Boy Scouts barred from national Jamboree by new BMI requirement
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Boy Scouts at this year’s national Jamboree were kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining and bike riding in 90-degree heat Monday. And for the first time, scouts and their leaders had to meet new health requirements: No one with a body mass index of 40 or higher was eligible to attend. A 16-year-old boy who is 5 feet 9 inches and weighs 150 pounds would have a healthy BMI of about 22. 
The rugged terrain at Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia, where the Jamboree is taking place for the first time, warrants these new requirements, local Scouts and Scoutmasters at the Jamboree said. Overweight boys would have a tough time getting around and probably wouldn’t have much fun. 
“It’s constant up and down elevation changes,” said Ron Blazak, one of 18 adult leaders attending this year’s Jamboree from the Boy Scouts of America Greater Cleveland Council, which sent four troops consisting of 150 scouts. “It’s much more strenuous.” 
  [snip] Applicants with BMIs of over 31.9 were reviewed by the Jamboree’s medical staff, which determined eligibility based on health history, health data and a recommendation from the applicant’s health care provider. 
Applicants with one or more risk factors, including prior heart attacks, tobacco use, or diabetes, were required in some cases to provide documentation of testing from their physician to ensure their ability to participate. 
Though a recommendation of “no contraindications for participation” by an applicant’s health care provider did not necessarily guarantee full Jamboree participation, according to the Jamboree Website. “We published our height [and] weight requirements years in advance and many individuals began a health regimen to lose weight and attend the Jamboree. But, for those who couldn’t, most self-selected and chose not to apply.  
See: This Week In Fat Stigma: The Boy Scouts Of America Have Forbidden Fat Kids From Attending Their Annual Jamboree

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mexico is now the Fattest Nation

I wonder how much of corporate food took over down there. They mention Coca-Cola and fast food in the first video. I'm sorry obesity is far more complex then "bad behavior" if a third of the population or more is becoming fat. The second video mentions poverty and cheap food working together to increase obesity. Probably the GMOs especially in corn aren't doing them any favors either.

Totally Lost

I may write this guy.

 It looks like his life went screeching off the tracks too, family members who died, severe illness-cancer for him and health problems for wife, infertility and worse.

 One thing I'd like to tell him is that we live in a society where we are told to be positive all the time. Even social lives via Facebook seem for many to have become eternal "Christmas letters" with everyone bragging about how great life is, at least in the old days one didn't have to cling to this false delusion that everyone would live their dreams. They admitted pain, suffering, hardship, illness. He is of Generation X too, the one not prepared for anything as we were taught to do nothing but hang out at the mall in our teens and assured a great life awaited. Since this is the first generation that economically went down the chute, we were left unprepared. Is resiliency formed in the crucible of being handed a plate of delusions in the American dream factory? Where we are told one thing, while another is actually happening?                                                                                                               

 I have to admit yes I know this blog has a taint of sadness. Mr Snayl, I feel lost like you. Like you, I followed the steps for what should have brought a happy life, college, focused on a relationship, moved thinking it would bring me opportunities instead of lost roots. Lost people-death in my case too as well as leaving toxic familial relationships, infertility here too, lost time, lost of direction, lost health. The only thing sustaining me is a Christian faith and hope in the next world, for me I had too. My problem now is finding direction, trying to make sense of it all, maybe a reread of the book of Job from the Bible is in order.

But realize Mr. Snayl, we were lied to, we were not prepared for real life and how hard it can get, and now in our 40s, it may be quite the lesson. Maybe this is the age that someone really grows up. The point here is how to proceed. If anything has gone awry about modern life, it's that all the lies instead of truth telling has left us unprepared.

Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

UK TV Star Calls Fat People Lazy, Downs "Gingers"

TV star hates 'low class' names, 'ginger' babies and fat people

Katie Hopkins Says She 'Wouldn't Employ Fat People' Following Holly Willoughby 'This Morning' Row

Another cookie-cutter blonde with trout lips, calls fat people lazy, and shows overt racism putting down people who are "gingers" [usually people with very white skin, freckles and red hair]. Racism of any kind is wrong. Ever notice it's open season on some groups? I hope she loses more fans and goes off the air.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Do People Have To Strip to Love Their Bodies?

This is Marilyn Wann's latest....Backdoor put downs?  Fat people get naked or else? Maybe I am too "conservative" [actually reject both the red and blue pills] but I don't get this whole scene.

"Marilyn Wann organizes an undies demonstration in front of Victoria's Secret and A in San Fran, calling for better representation of body diversity"

[original source-Jezebel]

Notice something about this picture, none of those stripped down women seem to have crossed the 210 mark except for Marilyn Wann herself!

People Don Their Skivvies to Push for Body Diversity at Victoria's Secret

Fat People in Art

Hey fat people displayed realistically, though I could have gone without the Piggly Wiggly shirt...but otherwise interesting Ruth Angel Edwards 

"My Wife Weighs 900lbs"

This is rather old [1999], it does show the day to day life of a 900lb woman, sorry it's Jerry Springer but they film her talking about her life and it's very applicable for this blog. They should move to a place with no stairs, I can't handle them but even had to live in apartment up to 2007 with 5 steps down to get in and up to get out. Her husband does seem like he loves her. He seems like a good guy. Fortunately some of us do have husbands who help care for us. My husband helps me on that level but I am still able to cook and clean-somewhat and just rolled out two boxes for thrift on my walker to the car. She has not left home in years, I am housebound a lot but can go out from time to time and still eat at restaurants or visit the library. When I weighed near 700lbs, I could barely fit in cars and even now need handicapped bathrooms. Weight does cause it's own prison. They are honest about what happens, the not being able to go out, the depression, the loneliness and the struggles. No one chooses this. I hope things went better for her. I related to a lot of her life. 

Stay away from Narcissists especially if you are FAT!

I am telling myself you are a "Child of God", you are a good person, trying to do this daily. The narcissists and their clan really did a number on me. I think I was doing okay for a long time when my health was more stable, I felt good about myself enough, but when I had some of the recent health struggles, it brought up some of this old nasty stuff to the surface. I mean spend this many years as a fat person, being told over and over "It's your fault" even if you know they are wrong, fought against it and well, it can do a number on your mind. This has to end, I can't have this happen every time I get very sick. Self-care means love for oneself and seeking healing, not blame.

Healing is not always easy, and can be painful though I am continuing forward. My family has reacted with the typical coldness towards my "walking away" as I already have discussed. My obesity was a major part of why I was rejected and cast to the side. I was told I was "no good, "defective" and often times the weight was the central focus. I really pray for any other fat person who may go through what I did. By the way when I was at "normal" levels of fat, I still faced this rejection, the massive serious weight gain only increased it. 

It is interesting today watching the narcissistic family members smile at and praise, and get their pictures taken with the thinner family members and watch the interplay there, where even in one case, grandchildren who happen to be overweight are far more neglected and ignored then grandchildren who happen to be thin. One thing I always have been the kind to speak out and let this be known, I knew this was going on but the parties within the family accepted this even some of the other fat people, "fat people were seen as lessers and treated accordingly and it was deemed acceptable." Even the "personal is political" people would get that core values of mine were being crossed by these folks.

Family Guy is a gross show and raunchy so I got away from it, but years ago I watched it noting that the character "Meg" was advanced as a scapegoat within the family. If you want to see "scapegoat" dynamics, they are within this show. Sadly though it being "programming" for the masses, they always show Meg as giving in, and accepting her "place".

Someone needs to tell Meg, "GO NO CONTACT" from your thick-headed family members who just want to put you down!

I found this article "No Contact Because Their Evil is Contagious" Since I am a Christian all of this is applicable to me. The author is right that too many people tell others to enable evil in the name of a false forgiveness. I realize that my family goes by certain codes, that are unbreakable and many are wicked. "Fat people are bad and to blame", "Only rich people matter, and if you are poor it's your fault", "So and so is in charge and you are to never to dare question them, and if you do, you will be cast aside as the black sheep and "rebel". One thing about my Christian faith, God comes first, and well, those warnings about departing from the wicked are there in the Bible for a reason and I'm following them.

To be frank, facing the facts of severe obesity, health problems and a family like this one with the severe economic problems included is a doozy.  I spent too many years feeling like the deer in front of the headlights! If not for God and kind friends, I would have never made it.

People can be completely destroyed and often are. They very well could have destroyed me. Hey there were others totally broken by them. I can't go into their stories here in detail, but we are talking totally broken people, who have failed to function on every level. Thank goodness I was not one of them. Sometimes you do have to stand up for your dignity no matter the sacrifices.

Thank goodness they didn't manage that.

I am working on deprogramming myself from their years worth of nasty comments, put-downs and complete invalidation. I believe while I managed to walk on from so much of it, having it bubble to the surface whenever I am under stress especially medical problems, is not a good thing.

Do I ask myself sometimes, would they have loved me if I had not been fat? Sure I do, their personality disorders were there from the start but being fat put me in position for the scapegoat and deeper rejection.
Sadly for many fat people, there is REJECTION out in the world but also at HOME. That is a double whammy.

One thing I believe has caused this society to be so hateful towards fat people is the overwhelming growing societal narcissism.

Why do I say that, you may ask?

To Narcissists, APPEARANCES are everything.

and don't we live in a society that is appearance obsessed?

Isn't the focus on weight, a symptom?

Isn't the focus on BODY first leading to a society that has devalued character, and what is INSIDE?

See where I am going with this?

To my family if you ever see or find this blog: YOU MISSED OUT. I could have been the best friend and ally you ever had, but you only cared about appearances, and the shallow thin veneer.

I always say lessons can be used and learned even from the really bad stuff that happens to a person. This was a unique crucible that formed who I am today. Maybe this is why I can see through so much nonsense.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

NAAFA wants to remove "FAT" from it's name

"What's in an association name change?"

NAAFA wants to remove "FAT" from it's name.

The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance involved its members in discussions about a potential name change, which NAAFA leadership believes is a must in order to advance the organization’s mission.
In a connected society, branding is everything, and it starts with something simple: a name.
For an association, its name reflects what the organization stands for. If it causes confusion or controversy—as in the case of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance—it might mean a change is in order.
That’s the message NAAFA sent to its members in a recent newsletter: “Life comes with very few guarantees, but one of those is that things are going to change. … Whether as an individual or as an organization, we must continue to evolve if we are to survive and thrive.”
Jason Docherty, NAAFA’s board chair, said the inclusion of the word ‘fat’ in the organization’s name has had a negative impact in various aspects of the group’s work—everything from building strategic partnerships to recruiting members to encouraging serious conversations about fat acceptance. The group is now considering its second name change in the organization’s 40-year history. Originally known as the National Association to Aid Fat Americans, NAAFA has not disclosed the options under consideration for the new name.
Every serious debate, we’re going in with one hand tied behind our back because people don’t want to listen when they hear what NAAFA stands for.
“Every serious debate, we’re going in with one hand tied behind our back because people don’t want to listen when they hear what NAAFA stands for,” Docherty said. “When they get past the name, the conversations we have are great, but the initial shock is causing problems we don’t really need.”

Hmm to make itself more corporate friendly?

Who are these people "who don't want to listen"? Your typical fat bigots? The "get-back in line" corporate crowd? The ones already profiting off the failed "war" on obesity while they fill the food with fattening agents? 

"Branding" is corporate speak for lowest common denominator in my book. In some lexicon's one could call it "selling out".

I thought one major part of size acceptance I agree with was taking the STIGMA out of the WORD FAT. Looks like they are doubling back on themselves, "oh we can't use this word, it's too horrible!" 

Hey haven't I always said on this blog multiple times that NAAFA and size acceptance groups such as HAES that ignored the health realities of fat were already in SERVICE of the POWERS THAT BE, including the corporate powers profiting off the diet industry.

NAAFA already changed it's name once, to please the politically-correct crowd--the fat promoters and fat admirers and there within went from desiring to HELP FAT AMERICANS [AID FAT AMERICANS] to the promotion of obesity itself  [ADVANCE FAT ACCEPTANCE].

Hmm I guess that one helped out those corporations didn't it?

Goodbye NAAFA and the rest: Why I left Size Acceptance

Is there anything out there that doesn't get "owned" or "co-opted"? Sometimes I doubt it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Exciting Fat People!


LOL do I have to be exciting? How exciting do I have to be? One thing if any of you met me in real life, I would not bore you. Intellectually, if your brain works different enough, it can be like it's own built in entertainment center. :p

They even have a fat cheerleader on there. Hey I think that's positive so people especially of the midsized persuasion never hold themselves back. I want to see more doors open to fat people where they can do different things and no young fat woman is discriminated against.

Do what you can with your life! I had an art show when I was 590lbs! I got married in a traditional wedding dress too at almost 700lbs!

The girl doing archery is cool too. I tried it once at a camp I was working at, and would like to do it again sometime.

 I want to try some archery too. Even if I have to stand up next to my walker it looks like fun.

This week I am exploring Greek recipes and I added some British Commonwealth stamps that were donated to me to my stamp collection.

There is a lot in this world to enjoy. This website Exciting Fat People did put a smile on my face.

Going No Contact with A Rejecting Family is Kind of Redundant

Friends have stepped forward and all have been understanding as to why I had to make this hard the decision to basically walk away from my family. These friends local and far away have been invaluable to me beyond measure.  Four different ones told me this was a brave and courageous step to make.

 I know I went no contact for three years in my early 20s. There was a reason for this. Then it put a stop to overt severe verbal abuse. I left my parent's home after a year home from college and basically disappeared into the vapor. I had worked 3 jobs and paid a small amount of rent for one small upstairs bedroom in my parent's house to survive and saved money for a down payment on a car. My parents were angry all the time, because I had not gotten a very high paying job. Downstairs my father would scream with cuss words included about my failures to obtain the upper middle class quick enough.

My new grant based job paid 14 dollars an hour in 1990 but it was part time. Sometimes I am astonished, and think I had my bachelors by age 21 and that job then too. When I look back, I think so wonder I basically broke down physically even, when I was laid off from my two main jobs. All this stress formed the foundation for my later health crash.

This is when I had my grant art job and substitute taught and did other jobs as well such as daycare over the summer and factory and other work. They were angry I was back home and did not get a regular teaching job. Unbeknownst to them, my severe lung problems cut me off the roster of two teaching jobs, including one where the principal told me, I was in no shape to take over the volleyball team and that is why he could not hire me as the middle-school art teacher even though my name was on the top of the list.

 I would leave home, packing my car tight to move into a boarding house in an old 4 bedroom house for women, 20 miles in the next city with my father throwing paint cans at me, some full and empty, as I raced out of there. My siblings would talk me into coming back three years later as Thanksgiving loomed.

 I guess back then, I didn't think about the overt stuff, or later what years worth of  behind the scenes "smear campaign's" would do to a person's reputation, especially one that lived long distance and could not keep the same amount of contact with relatives as the others due to health and lack of cash.

Well I went "no contact" about a week and half ago. This time, I do not plan to go back. I had to go through the process of letting go [some may say giving up] but I have grown to be a person now that has enjoyed so many good people who love me, this has given me the strength to walk away from toxic people who do not.

Trust me there will be no letters of apology, or any tears or asking me "What is wrong?" from the other side. I was prepared for this and am not looking for any reaction and the less the better as I walk on.  She has the other family members under so much control, that I was able to unfriend so many people on a social website, and have NOT one, write me or ask me why, except for my brother who thought I was upset with him solely because he had not called in a few months who cussed me out, with F bombs. That hurt, not having one ally among the family, but then these are some real extreme dysfunctional dynamics.

During my year of decision [see below] I spent a year trying to get closer to some family members only to realize it was futile. My mother came first to all. She controlled them all.  I was very sad the first few days, mourning them and even crying, but then I sat back and thought, "well they really weren't there to begin with." and dried my tears. I had cried, cajoled, tried to be understood, tried to have close relationships with people who simply weren't interested in listening and never were going to offer one ounce of validation. Some people don't even want your love if you have it to offer. One can't spend their lives visiting empty wells, shared DNA or not. It just does not work!

I never could share my true thoughts, opinions, feelings with them. In the real essence they were strangers. I felt closer to even people I knew through church, with no other contact then I ever did any of my relatives. Trust me I tried everything over the years, it wasn't happening. At least now, I have faced facts they as people never valued many things I did.

 The matriarch tried for two days calling me 12 times, and then gave up. 48 hours and that was over. I do not expect to hear back from her again, unless there is some planned manipulation for the future. Perhaps she has washed her hands of me on her end. I never heard anything from my siblings except to be cussed out by one on a social website private message, I almost was going to keep in contact with but then realized the hard way his first and only loyalties go to my mother.

I went through a year of making this decision. Friends understand why I maintained low contact for so long, and my personal circumstances. I think I held on to a false dream too that once I or my husband became more financially secure or other things changed such as my health and weight, that one day I would be "accepted". Never fall into that trap, anyone who doesn't love you today or judges you for health problems or status is better let go. Thankfully I always lived far away in other cities or small towns and "had my own life" but the healthiest thing to do became letting go.

 One of my biggest motives to stick around for this long and to put up with what I did, was to have relationships with my nieces and nephews, but even that grew harder and harder as I could not visit and I would only see them 1-2 times a year and only at my mother's house and nowhere else. In fact they are who I will miss the most.

Some people are not born into families that love them or where they belong. This happened to me. It is actually one of the most painful things I have gone through in this life even beyond my health problems. One thing it has taught me is to appreciate those who are loving, and who do see you as a person standing before them and who do care. Those people are my real family.

The Social Stigma of Being Supersized in One's Family

My Mother and Me

Sister Thin, Sister Fat

Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm the watermelon....

Saw this and it really struck me.

I'm that watermelon.
That is the same question that has been in my head many times. 

It is kind of sad to think about....

Why are they doing this to people? I understand health stuff, but no one is getting any thinner.