No Pitying, No Preaching, No Problem

Chef “Healthy Cooking” sounds like she was a real expert at talking out both sides of her mouth. I’m glad the judges weren’t buying what she was selling.
The two “P’s with which fat people are treated: pitying and preaching, add up to a third “P”: a big pile of POOP!
People need to get over their crappy attitudes and stop blaming those who don’t adhere to an arbitrary standard of beauty.

Dances With Fat

I was watching a cooking show.  There was a chef whose passion was “healthy cooking.”  She started out by talking about how many people in her family “struggle with their weight”, she teared up as she talked about how sad it was for her to watch.

Then, when she went in front of the judges with a soup that was a horrific looking combination of black eyed peas and cabbage – pureed –   she suddenly got angry and went on a rant about how she was “fed up” how there is “no excuse for it.” Happily the judges were not into the attitude which for me neatly  summed up two reactions that people have to fat people that I find utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.

First – Pity.  Don’t want it, don’t need it, won’t listen to it.  There is nothing pitiable about my body.  As I’ve mentioned before I do…

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The Problem With the “Restaurant Dishes With Shockingly High Calorie Counts” Article

baconmobiousstrip

The post begins with this statement:

“Even in this climate of unhinged gluttony, there are still a few restaurants that manage to shock and distress with just how little they seem to care about their patrons’ health.”

The phrase “climate of unhinged gluttony” is exceedingly troubling. It puts a blame and shame air over the entire article. Blaming and shaming people for their weight is doing nobody any good, and it needs to stop.
Highly processed foods are problematic and not good for any body, regardless of whether that body is heavy or slender. However, thin people are seldom accused of gluttony even if they are eating large amounts of food, and fat people will be accused of gluttony even if they are not.
It may be that in some people, simple carbohydrates cause extreme cravings. I was recently diagnosed with type II diabetes, and therefore had to adapt a mode of eating which requires me to be extremely conservative with the number of carbohydrates I consume. Within the first day of doing this, I noticed that the insatiable cravings that I had for simple carbohydrates during my ENTIRE LIFE ceased.
I am angry because I’ve been told all my life to “just not eat those foods,” and made to feel like it was a character flaw rather than a potential physical issue because I craved those foods so much. If we want to point fingers and talk about flaws, then it is my flawed pancreas and flawed pituitary that is the problem, not my character.
We need to stop assuming that we know what or how much people eat based on their body types. If there is a problem, the problem lies in the fact that processed food is more readily available and cheaper than healthier foods. Look at the conflation between morbid obesity and poverty.
Use of phrases like “unhinged gluttony” are also problematic in their blame and shame tone. The use of such phrases renders any journalistic piece unworthy of serious consideration.

http://www.alternet.org/17-restaurant-dishes-shockingly-high-calorie-count-even-america

Diabetes Management, Miracles, and Size Shaming

Trigger warning:
Discussion of diet and potential weight loss in context of treating a medical condition
 
Please note that I do not advocate low-carb dieting for the purpose of weight loss any more than I advocate reduced calorie dieting for said purpose. However, for a person who is not diabetic to follow the diabetic diet would be far less harmful than following fad diets which can result in malnutrition. My son, who is not diabetic, has been following the diet with me with a few exceptions, such as the fact that he likes to drink Ensure shakes occasionally because sometimes he either forgets to eat or does not feel like eating.
The American Diabetes Association diet is not the Atkins diet or any other such “low carb for weight loss” diet. The ADA does not approve of deliberately causing ketosis for the purpose of weight loss. Ketosis is, in fact, something to be avoided. It is very hard on the kidneys.
 
I was diagnosed with type II diabetes this week.
My blood sugar readings had been in the low 100s according to the test previous to this one, which showed full-on diabetes with a fasting sugar reading of 125. 
I was devastated.
I am now grateful for the diagnosis. 
A couple of things have happened, which I did not think were possible for me.
First, my cravings for refined sugar, which have plagued me for my entire life, have disappeared overnight.
I do not know if this happens for all diabetics, and I am not speaking for all diabetics. I am speaking for myself. I am not one of those people that’s going to go around telling others that their experience is invalid because I experienced this.
I have not been especially hungry. I have been satisfied after meals, whereas in the past I was not satisfied after even a large meal. I have a long history of emotional eating and of NEVER FEELING SATIATED. It is a horrible feeling. I do not know if the mode of eating that I’ve been forced to adapt would help other people. I am only speaking of what has happened to me.
I am NOT counting calories. Carbs are actually much easier to count. I keep myself below 60 at the absolute outside per meal, and it usually ends up being below 50.
Cheese, which generally has one carb to less than one carb per serving, has been my go-to snack. But where in the past I would have been capable of eating half a bag of string cheese and not stopping, I’m now satisfied with two sticks, maybe three if I’m feeling particularly peckish.
I am not saying that I am now one of the “holier than thou” and that people who are having trouble controlling their cravings or fighting with binge eating and emotional eating are “the lesser.” I am mad as hell at the way fat people are treated, and I will continue to be mad as hell about this, regardless of what I weigh. Here is something I want people to understand. Not all people are fat for the same reason. Not all fat people overeat. Some fat people have medical problems, and many fat people with medical problems have endocrine problems. As the kids today say, THIS IS A THING. 
Stereotyping all fat people as being lazy gluttons is narrow-minded discrimination, and people who engage in it are narrow-minded. They are either misguided concern trolls, or they are looking to cover up their own insecurities by finding a scapegoat. Either way, this is wrong thinking, and it MUST stop.
I speculate that treatment of my condition will lead to a degree of weight loss. Again, this is not a goal that I am actively pursuing, and if it happens, it does not make me superior to anyone who is larger than me. The idea that it would is erroneous and harmful. I really wish people would stop thinking this way.
What I fear are the triggering weight based compliments that will come if I lose weight. I think I will respond with something like “I appreciate that you are trying to compliment me, but I’m not a better person for having lost weight. I have a medical condition which has caused the loss. I prefer to be complimented on my actions rather than on my appearance.”
Another thing that has happened, literally overnight, is damn well miraculous as well. I have not had any instances of significant incontinence over the past day! For the past nine years, I’ve had to wear the maximum size incontinence pad, and had to change it several times a day due to uncontrollable loss of large amounts of urine. I would often end up having to change my underwear and trousers as well. 
Over the past couple of days, I’ve only experienced minor leaks, which might be considered par for the course in a woman my age. I would certainly be happy if this continues to be the case. If I could buy a smaller size pad and not have to change it as often, it would save me a significant amount of money.I have been spending at least $30 every two weeks for incontinence pads for the past nine years. This really adds up.
And now, some things I’ve read.
Individuals with type II diabetes are more likely to have larger physiques, although the disease does not strike only larger people.
People with untreated type II diabetes will have significant trouble losing weight.
The problem with many of the articles I read is their tendency to play the Blame Game, but rather than blaming the pancreas for malfunctioning, the patient is blamed for not being able to lose weight. Uncontrollable cravings are blamed on a character flaw rather than being seen as a symptom of pancreatic insufficiency. 
Again, I am not saying this is true in every case, but it seems to have been true in my case. It makes me furious that when I have tried to discuss this issue with health care providers, I have been greeted with a “just don’t eat that” attitude.
I assure you that had a significant change not occurred literally overnight, I would be having trouble managing these cravings, diabetes or no diabetes, knowing the consequences of consuming such large amounts of carbohydrates or not. These cravings are like drug addicts describe regarding their particular addiction.
 I do not want to go down the slippery slope of saying that refined sugar causes everyone to experience these kinds of cravings, but for certain people, like myself, who had untreated pancreatic problems, it very well may. I also want to reiterate that I am so sick of people being blamed and shamed for not having a body type that adheres to the very rigid social standards of beauty that I am going to puke all over the next concern troll or sanctimonious asshat (I’m talking to you, Maria Kang) who suggests that “fat people just don’t have enough self control, blah blah blah, oh look, I can talk out both sides of my mouth and my ass all at the same time!”
I have read that diabetes causes inflammation. I’m certain that it does, and that the inflammation it causes is detrimental to optimal health.
I now wonder if my pancreas may have been malfunctioning for years, in spite of the fact that my blood glucose levels were under the magic number of 100. I don’t have any real way of knowing. I always blamed my hypothyroidism for my cravings and the fact that my weight kept going up although I’m physically active. I have no way of knowing if it has been thyroid combined with pancreas, if my pituitary gland is messed up and causing both problems, or what the hell is going on exactly. I may never know.
I do know two things.
Thus far, I feel a lot better.
People who scapegoat fat people (or anyone else they deem unattractive) suck. 
There does seem to be a correlation between being heavy and type II diabetes. Let us get one thing straight–being heavy DOES NOT CAUSE DIABETES! From the less blamey-shamey things I’ve read, untreated diabetes and weight gain create a vicious cycle, much as hypertension and atherosclerosis create a vicious cycle. This article seems scientifically sound and does not have a blame and shame tone.
I would also like to address the matter of size shaming in the medical community.
IT BENEFITS NO-ONE.
Fat people will tend to avoid visiting the doctor when they know they are going to be shamed for their weight. Thus, important physical diagnoses, such as diabetes, may be missed, because if the person isn’t getting tested for such conditions, they aren’t going to know about them. Also, critical health problems may be missed by lazy physicians who, rather than doing what is necessary to make a real diagnosis, tell fat patients that their problems would all go away if they would just lose weight.
Health problems in thin people may be missed because lazy physicians assume that since the person is thin, they are healthy and there is no need to run a battery of tests. Thin people may also fall into the trap of thinking that their physique automatically means they are healthy.
A weight-neutral atmosphere is absolutely necessary in medical treatment.
Doctors need to believe patients who tell them that their cravings are uncontrollable rather than berating them and telling them to just bootstrap it up and not give in. That is lazy medicine which does nothing to get to the root of the problem.
Doctors need to believe patients who tell them that they are following the prescribed diet and they are exercising but still not losing weight.
Doctors need to stop trying to make Number Twelve Look Just Like You and start treating all patients with respect regardless of their size. They need to run certain tests on all people regardless of size. They need to listen to what the patient is saying. They need to TREAT THE PATIENT, NOT THE CHART!
Anything else is bad medicine.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing uncontrollable cravings for refined sugar, if you are gaining weight in spite of being physically active, if you experience uncontrollable, large losses of urine, your pancreas may be at fault. Insist on the proper tests. You are deserving of competent medical treatment and of respect.
This long post now draws to a close.
Peace,
The Cheese
Cross posted all over the fucking place, because this is important information. Share it, but credit me.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatty Feminists

This is not an original statement on my part, but it bears repeating. Sex does not sell, misogyny sells. If sex sold, there would be equally as many men as women in suggestive poses, using their bodies to “sell” whatever the object may be.
“Sex sells” means humiliating young, conventionally pretty women for the sake of the sacred 18-32 year old male gaze sells. And it’s a very good idea not to buy into that tired and harmful trope.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Fat PoliticsMy Boring-Ass LifeFat NewsDickweed

I had my first encounter with feminism when I was 15 years old and attending Woodmere Junior High School South in New York. Ninth grade was a complicated year for me in a multitude of ways; the most significant perhaps being my mother’s death the previous year. As an adolescent it was difficult enough going through all of the hormonal angst and rebelling against my parents and the establishment, but when you have to rebel against someone you loved deeply and who just died, it is hard to go through separation/individuation without feeling more than a tad guilty.

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I See Fat People, They Are Everywhere

If not for my stupid piece of crap loser thyroid gland, I would probably never go to the doctor at all. But because I have the worst endocrine system in the entire universe, I am stuck going to the doctor every few months.
I’m pissed off right now because I was just diagnosed with diabetes, and forget the fact that this is hereditary on my mother’s side of the family and I dodged the bullet until I was nearly 50. It’s obviously my fault because I’m fat.
At this moment I see stupid people, they are everywhere.

Dances With Fat

Tonight in the State of the Union, President Obama gave Michelle Obama credit for lowering childhood obesity.  This is not so cut and dried as it might sound.  Australian scholar Michael Gard points out in his new book, The End of the Obesity Epidemic, that over the last decade obesity rates among both adults and children have leveled off or declined all over the world, including in the United States. In 1998 35 million Americans went to bed a so-called “healthy weight” and woke up fat thanks to a commission of scientists with ties to weight loss programs and drugs who successfully lobbied to have what is considered a “healthy” weight lowered (creating 25 million new potential clients in the process.)

But try to calmly enter this information into the discussion and you’ll often find yourself  shouted down by people yelling – I see fat people everywhere and I…

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Natural Gas —

Methinks this Tom Fool is filled with much self-loathing and, much like a closeted homosexual who is filled with internalized homophobia, he lashes out at people who remind himself of his “dirty” secret.
Hopefully he can overcome this problem. But since he gets paid for being a douchebag, it probably won’t happen.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Fat PoliticsMy Boring-Ass LifeDickweed

We got a special visitor yesterday. It seems that Kitsune struck a nerve with her post, “I See You,” triggering an onslaught of trolls such that even the execrable/excremental Tom “Do What I Say Not What I Do” Leykis thought he’d drop another doomed-for-moderation comment on us. You may recall that Leykis is a shock jock, “pick-up artist” guru and all-around terrible person who is too cowardly to respond to me publicly. Leykis has made four comments in the last five months, even though I’ve told him via email and Twitter that I won’t let his comments through.

It’s as if he just can’t help himself. Trolls come a’runnin’ for the rich taste of Fierce, Freethinking Fatties.

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Mother Jones Meltdown

Hey, this is fun! Let me try one!
I am fat.
I have an underactive thyroid gland.
Being fat causes your thyroid gland to be underactive!
Damn–genius!
Now I just need to write the article stating that if everyone would just become a Socially Acceptable Size (TM) their thyroid problems would magically disappear!
So, what I’m getting from this Mother Jones article is that being fat causes you to vote for Republicans.
Well, if only I’d known that! But I didn’t know, so I voted for the Other Guy.

Dances With Fat

facepalmWhen you read that “researchers have found a statistically significant correlation between [thing x and thing y]” what do you imagine the percent of correlation to be (after, of course, you realize that since it’s just correlation so all they’ve found is that two things sometimes happen at the same time, without any idea of what causes them, and with the distinct possibility that they are completely unrelated.) Still, what would your expectation be if a source that it supposed to be reporting the news said that there was a “statistically significant correlation?” Would you expect that correlation to be 80%?  50%?  Would you expect it to be .02 percent?

That’s exactly what Mother Jones did on their Facebook post today.  Their teaser for an article they linked to by Pacific Standard called  “Grand Obese Party” (see what they did there – so clever) read “Researchers have found a statistically…

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Response to a Jackass

Jackass-e1357316562286

Not this jackass. He’s just a cute little fella looking for a carrot or sugar cube.

“SUCK IT UP, drop the donut, and go for a walk.  If you don’t want to put in the effort to be healthy and attractive, you have no right to complain and play the victim about society’s “standards of beauty”.” –An asshole on Tumblr

I honestly do not give a flying fuck in hell whether people find me attractive. I also do not find it compulsory to reveal my dietary and exercise habits to anyone, but here, for the sake of argument, I will.

My vital stats:

I will be 49 years old on February 15.

5 feet 6.5 inches tall

310 pounds

Non-normative physical conditions:

Endometriosis (diagnosed age 30)

Fibromyalgia (diagnosed at age 25)

Hypothyroidism (diagnosed at age 16)

Hypertension (diagnosed at age 45)

Mitral valve prolapse (diagnosed at age 44)

Sciatica (diagnosed at age 37)

Non-normative psychological conditions:

bipolar disorder (diagnosed age 38)

borderline personality disorder (diagnosed age 43)

obsessive-compulsive disorder (diagnosed age 43)

Eating disorder: Bulimia, started at age 12

Yo-yo dieting from age 18 to age 45

What is my diet like currently? I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the diets of several people I know, who range in size. Do I keep a food journal? Fuck to the no. I’ve done that shit before. It irritates me and I stop doing it after a week. I’m old enough that when shit doesn’t work I don’t do it any more. I refuse to drive myself batshit with this sort of thing. I know what I eat and what physical activity I get.

I try to get at least a serving of fruit or vegetables every day. I’d like to say I get five a day, but I probably don’t do that every day.  I do eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and a lot less meat and processed foods than I used to.

I eat a lot less fast food than I used to. I refuse to lie and say I never ever ever go through the drive through because I’m oh so pure and perfect. I have a chaotic life and a bizarre schedule. Sometimes I do go through the drive through. At the beginning of last year I was probably doing so a couple times a week. Come the end of the year, it was down to a couple times a month.

I eat less sweets than I used to, but I work night shift and they tend to sing a siren song in the wee hours. I will never be a puritan who eats no sweets ever because I’m sooo sweet that I just don’t need them. Actually, I’m kind of a bitter asshole, so I do need a little something to sweeten me up! Because of my hypertension I have to avoid excess amounts of caffeine, so I reach for a little candy now and then. Not gonna lie. I am more mindful of it than I used to be, but I’m not going to shame myself for having a god damn mini candy bar or two!

My diet is actually a lot better overall than it was when I was younger and thinner. Yes, age does affect the metabolism.

As for exercise and overall health habits:

My job entails walking–a LOT of walking. I work in a large building. I literally walk at least three miles every night that I work. I work four nights a week.

For focused exercise, I work out in a therapy pool. I swim, walk, jog, and work with weights. I can also do exercises involving activities such as jumping, which I can’t do on land with my nearly fifty year old knees and messed up back.

I do not smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs.

My biggest health risk is probably chronic sleep deprivation.

So, to postulate an answer to the chode who made the above statement.

I am not an athlete, but I am physically active.

I do put an effort into maintaining and bettering my health, you fucking jackass. I go to the doctor to have my thyroid levels checked three times a year. I monitor my own blood pressure. I avoid alcohol and drugs. I exercise. I eat a reasonably healthy though not perfect diet. I do not consume entire pizzas, cakes, pies, buckets of fried chicken, or any other excessive amount of food in one sitting. And yet, here I am, fat and all.

I am not playing the victim (another tired argument that hateful asshats like to throw around.) In fact, the day I decided to stop hating and berating myself is the day I stopped playing the victim.

Once again, I do not give a flying shit whether you or any other dudebro or privileged Number 12 who believes its her right to insult people for not having the Vogue standard body type considers me attractive. I’m not trying to win any fucking beauty or popularity contest. However, my right to be treated with common decency is not contingent upon you finding me fuckable.

The belief that people who are not deemed attractive are deserving of scorn and derision is what I am protesting. This kind of thinking is poisonous and cannot be allowed to go unchecked. People’s lives are destroyed by this variety of hate. Some commit suicide, others hide themselves away, fearing the derision that awaits them should they try to venture into society.

People are being denied proper health care due to this kind of thinking because doctors want to blame fat on everything, which is lazy medicine. People of all sizes are hurt by this faulty logic, because by assuming that all thin people are healthy, potentially dangerous conditions that they may be experiencing are missed as well.

I am not begging you to tell me that I’m pretty. I am demanding that the bullying and stereotyping cease.

~Cie~

Mad as hell and not taking any more abuse

real women real bodies

From the WTF Files: American Apparel’s Hairy Manikins

aa manikin with pubes

Here is the original post from AlterNet.

I find the hairless trend on real women to be creepy. I’m pretty old-school on this. Adults are supposed to have hair “down there.” Of course, in the long run, what other people do with their pubes is really none of anyone else’s business. It’s one of those “gads, I can’t believe I’m discussing this” topics.
I despise American Apparel, and even if I were young, thin, and hip enough to wear their clothes, I would sooner wear a garbage bag. This whole thing is a ploy for attention, of course. Putting pubes on manikins is ludicrous.

“The company also recently stirred a bit of genuinely interesting controversy with a T-shirt collaboration with artist Petra Collins. The shirt featured a line drawing of a woman’s menstruating vagina, which made some people feel very mad and uncomfortable.”

It’s a bit odd that a depiction of a menstruating vagina would make anyone angry, although there are people who tend to rave like lunatics about menstruation. However, I can’t imagine myself wearing a shirt with a even a line drawing of a menstruating vagina…or any other vagina or penis for that matter. I may not know art, but I know what I don’t want on my shirt!

Here is one of those farm-fresh ideas that I don’t see happening any time soon. What if American Apparel used models of all races and in all ranges of body types? Of course THAT will never happen. But their manikins now have pubes, so they are EDGY, by golly!

~Cie~

Party Hardy, But Think of Others

It’s fine to celebrate, to cut loose, to party, even to get a little (or somewhat more) inebriated sometimes.

What is not okay is when your partying infringes on the rights of others to feel safe.

It’s a step in the right direction that their gurneys were empty.

My aunt lives next door to a house that is rented out to college students. Sometimes these guys are whooping it up into the wee hours, hollering, playing the music loud, running up and down the street. They throw their trash into surrounding yards. This really is not cool.

I was guilty of playing the music too loud and getting drunk and stupid in my younger days. But I never threw my trash into other people’s yards.

I also think of sports fans who celebrate their team winning a championship by destroying stuff.  How can anyone think this is okay? How is this a way to celebrate your team’s victory?

We share the world with others. It is necessary to be courteous, not act like out of control maniacs.

~Misty~