What *I* want for Fat Acceptance.

Quite a few blog posts have had me thinking about this.  One of which I have to admit, I sparked And because we’re not a monolithic group, because we’re made up of many different people from many different walks of life who have many different personal goals regarding FA, I decided I needed to be completely clear about my wishes for FA.  These are my opinions only and do no reflect on FA as a whole.  Please do not read this as me speaking for the whole group.  This is just me, one person in that group, saying what I want to happen.

I want Fat Persons to be given the basic human rights they deserve. No one should have to worry about discrimination or harassment.  No one should have to be fed fatphobia in such quantities that it makes their lives miserable.  The bullying, emotional torture, and harassment needs to stop.

I want this for every fat person alive. Able-bodied and not.  Black, white, and every color and shade of color in between.  Neurologically normal or not.  Whether you exercise every day or prefer to spend your days reading (as an example).  Whether you eat a “good, balanced” diet or you eat junk food.  Whether or not you have an ED of any kind.  There is no reason on earth that you should be subjected to having your basic human rights taken away from you just because you happen to be fat.

I want to dispel the misconceptions and unfair stereotypes of fat people. That doesn’t mean that if you are lazy and do over eat that you don’t have a place in “my” movement.  Not at all.  But just because _______ fat person overeats and doesn’t exercise doesn’t mean it’s true for all fat people.  But those of you that do overeat? Don’t exercise? Are lazy?  You all deserve respect, too.

I want the world to wake up to the realization that thin =/= healthy and fat =/= unhealthy. Being fat in and of itself does not make one unhealthy.  There is a wide spectrum of fat and health, just as there is with thin and health.  But being healthy is not a moral obligation.  Whether you are fat and healthy or fat and unhealthy, it is no reason for you not to be treated like a human being.  It simply does not matter.

I also want the world to wake up to the realization that diets do not work. Even when you don’t call them “diets.”  Telling me to call Jenny Craig is not going to magically make me thin.  Assuming I eat like a glutton all day and telling me “just try eating less, fatty” isn’t going to work either.  There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is guaranteed to work in making a fat person permanently thin.  The key word here is permanently.  Sure, some diets work in the short-term.  I personally have known quite a few people that went from VERY fat to thin on a diet – I’ll use my Aunt D’s best friend K as an example.  Guess where her body size is now?  Yep, you guessed it – even fatter than before.  I honestly believe, had this woman never dieted in the first place, she’d probably be fat, but she’d probably be around the size I am now (which I admit is on the smaller end of the fat scale).  As it is now, the last time I saw her she was somewhere near the vicinity of 500 lbs.  I truly believe all the dieting she’s done is what has brought her to this point.  I’ve known her all of my life and have seen her go up and down and up and down.  Diets don’t work.  And she’s a great example of that.

Saying that I want all fat people to be accepted as human beings is not the same thing as saying I want the rest of the world to find us all attractive. You don’t have to be attracted to me, or any other fat person.  A person’s level of attractiveness should not factor in to whether or not you treat them with basic dignity and respect.  You don’t have to like me to be respectful to me.  Shit, I can’t stand my mother-in-law, and yet I still treat her with respect and courtesy.  Why?  Because she’s a person.  I don’t have to like her to be polite to her.

However, beauty and attractiveness are two different things. You can find the beauty in a person without wanting to jump their bones.  It might not even be physical beauty.  And you know what?  That’s okay!  It’s okay to say that you can find a person beautiful for one reason or another and not find them attractive.  It’s a good thing, even.

I want the world’s governments to stop trying to “regulate” our bodies. People are designed to come in all shapes and sizes.  And if you bureaucratic anal-retentives would get your collective cranium removed from your collective colon, you’d realize that what you’re being spoon-fed by the mainstream media is being dispelled left and right.  It’s just not being advertised as much as the bullshit you’re swallowing.  Obesity is not a disease, and there is no epidemic.  You can’t catch it, and you can’t “cure” it.  It doesn’t need to be cured.  All the regulations you could come up with are not going to get you the results you want.  It’s just not going to happen.

I want BMI thrown out with the bath water. BMI is an antiquated, arbitrary, ridiculous standard to which no one should be accountable.  It simply doesn’t measure anything except for height and weight.  Human bodies are much more complicated than that.

That’s all I can think of right now.  This is, by no means, a complete list.  This is just what I’ve come up with in one sitting.  I may decide to edit this later on, I don’t know.

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Fatphobia Scarily Close to Home

Angel of the North, GatesheadAs Sandy reported last night, Gateshead City Council is joining the Fatphobia Brigade and thinking up the most ridiculous measures they can think of to fight OMG TEH FATZ!!!11!!!ELEVENTY-ONE!!. I’ll get to what I think about that in a moment.

But what really scares me?  Gateshead is the next city over from me.  Yup – I can walk out the door right now, hop on a bus, and be there within 20 minutes.

I mean, granted – none of us is immune to The Fear of Teh Fatz.  We see it everywhere we go – in movies, on television, in the media, walking down the street… but a lot of the time, it seems like it’s something that happens over there – where “there” is an intangible place, that just isn’t “here.”  To know that the stupidity of fat fear is coming this close to home… it’s very disconcerting, to say the least.

But Oh. My. God.  Can these people really get any more stupid?  Forcing chip shop owners to change their SALT SHAKERS in an effort to “trick” customers into consuming less salt?  Can they not think of a better plan?

As Sandy pointed out, it’s a ridiculous idea anyway.

Another local chip shop owner, Carol Ackerman, who runs Carol’s Plaice in the suburb of Acklam, said: ‘People will just put on more salt if they want more.
‘In fact, we have had some people unscrewing the lids to do so.’

If people like my grandmother* – who like a little salt with their salt – want more, they’re going to FIND a way to get it.  Putting fewer holes in the damned shaker isn’t going to make one bit of difference one way or the other.

And I’m not alone in my indignation.  Just check out these comments from the Daily Mail article:

So the Health Gestapo have decided that a recommended amount has suddenly become an enforceable allowance. If these interfering busybodies have enough time to exercise their minds with such rubbish they obviously have too little to do and should be got rid of immediately to save the public money.
People such as them do far more to damage my blood pressure than any amount of salt.

When I buy fish and chips and find inadequate salt when I get them home I shake on some more. Are these imbeciles going to have people following customers home to make sure that they don’t do the same? After all, they have all sorts of other totalitarian rights under “anti-terrorism” measures that they can use. Still, it’s good to see that UK local governments are continuing to fulfill their major function, namely render a once-great nation the world’s laughing stock.

I’ll let these brain dead morons into a secret. If it ain’t salty enough, just shake for longer and add more. P.S. Where’s the firing squad?

Now, educating people on the over-consumption of salt?  Fine.  Seriously, folks, you’d be surprised the number of people out here that actually don’t know that too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure and kidney disease.  (Hell, there are ADULTS out here that can’t name vegetables when they have them right in front of them.  No joke.)  But this is going beyond ridiculous.

And the worst part?  The fact that they spent loads of taxpayers’ money to do this.  I could give you a LIST of things better suited for that money… but we’d be here all day.  So I won’t do that.  But this? *headdesk*

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear these people got their brains sucked out by aliens.  It’s a better thought than the alternative.

* – I used to nag my grandmother to death about the amount of salt she used.  My other grandmother’s husband (not my actual grandfather, her 3rd husband, I think) died of a heart attack, and the one thing I always remembered was that he couldn’t have too much salt, because of what it would do to his heart.  So it made me a little paranoid.  I didn’t let up on her until she came home from the doctor and told me that her blood pressure was perfect – even with the amount of salt she eats (and yeah, it’s a lot – more than twice what I eat).  So again – there is no one-size-fits-all equation of good health.  My step-grandfather?  Too much salt = death.  My grandmother?  Too much salt = nothing.  Get it straight, all you fatphobic pricks… THERE IS NO “ANSWER” TO YOUR SO-CALLED “OBESITY EPIDEMIC.”  It’s all in your fucked up heads.

Now it’s competitive eating’s fault.

In yet another episode of The World Has Gone Absolutely Loopy, apparently now the OMG OBESITY EPIDEMIC!!!!!11!!!! minions have started to go after eating competitions.

This fall, the University of Iowa canceled its annual corn-eating contest, held the week of the Iowa-Iowa State football game. Many saw the contest as a fun nod to the state’s hallmark crop, but Phillip Jones, Iowa’s vice president of student services, viewed it as an act of gluttony.

“It was something I thought was reasonable based on the data and stories I’ve seen about obesity and the proportion of people who are overweight,” Jones said. “I don’t know … if it is dangerous, but it was a symbolic gesture to get people to address changes in our lifestyle.”

 [engage clue-by-four]

What the FUCK?!  Have you ever SEEN the people that compete in eating contests?  99% of them are “normal” sized at best – some of them most likely bordering on underweight.  I forget the name of this lady, but there’s one Japanese lady that I’ve heard of several times who wins the top prize in some of these eating contests – and she’s probably about 4 feet tall and 60 pounds!  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… but you get my point.  She’s tiny.  Teeny, even.  Eensy weensy.  And she’s not the only one.  Hell, go look at the article yourself.  Those two people on the photo?  Do they LOOK like they’ve got weight problems to you?

Now, I have to admit – most of the people quoted in that article seem to have a pretty good take on the whole eating contest thing, even if they fall into the fat-hating, brainwashed-by-the-media idiot category.  But STILL!  The fact that people are even contemplating cancelling these kinds of contests because of our so-called “Obesity Epidemic” is absolutely in-fucking-sane!

Don’t believe me?  Go check out that article – there’s a poll linked to it.  At the time of this writing (and after voting in the poll myself), 50% of people who voted on MSNBC’s online poll said that “With a third of Americans now obese, these contests are in bad taste.”  Ugh.  (Don’t even get me started on that whole ‘third of Americans are now obese’ bullshit.  LIES.)

*I should credit Shapeling Sharn for the link.  She posted it over at Shapely Prose, and when I read it I was so dumbfounded that I just had to write something.  Jesus H. Christ.  The world is going insane!

See? I told you I’d think of something to say, and quickly.

Well, here it is.

IBM Wants Parents to Put Their Kids on Weight Watchers

 Okay, so maybe that’s oversimplifying things just a bit.  But when you boil it down to its main components, that’s exactly what’s happening.

The more I hear about things like this, the more I cringe.  And the more I’m glad we don’t live in the US anymore!!

What’s going to happen is that parents (okay, not all, but definitely some) are going to think this is the “cure” to keeping their kids from becoming “obese,” and they’re going to rush out and buy it, thinking they’re doing the right thing.

But what’s really going to happen?

Their kids are going to end up with eating disorders and mental health issues.  Some will probably remain slim, through either binging and purging (bulimia) or simply not eating at all (anorexia).  Some will go to the other end of the spectrum, and be fat because, after all, they can’t do anything right, can they?

And yes, you’ll have some in the middle, who will believe that they’re still fat (even though they won’t be) and will hate themselves for every bite of food they put in their mouths, and for the fact that they just can’t help it.

This really bothers me, not only for the reasons stated above, but because I used to work in the healthcare industry (insurance), and they always had programs similar to this, but they didn’t shove it down your throats so much.

Where I used to work (when I worked there, it was the largest insurance company in america), we had a similar program – if you joined ANY weight-loss program (WW, JC, etc.), ANY stop-smoking program, or joined ANY gym, the company would re-imburse you up to $30 per month.  They didn’t shove any one particular thing down your throat.  I liked that – because it still left the CHOICE up to me, but it gave me the opportunity to do something without having to fork out all that money (after all, with a family of 6, money’s always been tight).  And yes, I did take advantage of it – I joined a gym.   But I didn’t have the “OMG YOU AND ALL YOUR FAMILY ARE GOING TO GET FAT AND DIE” mentality shoved at me.

It really scares me, as a mother, for the nation’s children to be subjected to this kind of abuse day in and day out.  As if kids didn’t have enough to worry about.  Now they’ve got to start counting calories at the age of THREE????  Jesus fucking christ!

Reading things like this just makes me all that more determined to try to teach my children healthy eating without making it sound like it’s a “rule” they have to live by.  Shit… the world’s got too many “rules” as it is.