Oh, You Average Doll

Interestingly, in spite of the “healthy lifestyle” that has been forced upon me by diabetes, I still can’t get below 300 pounds despite the fact that I exercise for an hour plus a day a bare minimum of four days a week and eat one whole fuckton less than I used to when I had an actual appetite. It pisses me off that although I am physically active (considered a positive thing) and have a reasonably “healthy” diet (also considered a positive thing) I am still considered a horrible, horrible excuse for a human being because my body refuses to adhere to social standards of attractiveness. So, for the record, anyone who adheres to the stupid idea that all fat people are unhealthy, or even that anyone has an obligation to be healthy, can kiss my fat, diabetic, hypothyroid, middle-aged ass.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Fat HealthExerciseEating DisordersFat NewsDiet Talk

The news this week has been abuzz over a young man’s attempt to create an alternative fashion doll to the ultra-popular Barbie, by modeling it on the measurements of an “average” 19-year-old woman, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meet Lammily:

The "Lammily" doll

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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.

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

Competition Class Shape vs. Everyday Fitness

Here is the amazing Marianne Vos, who is in the kind of shape that most of us will never be in.
The pursuit of this kind of conditioning is impossible for the average person. People like Marianne devote large portions of their lives to their sport. The kind of training they do is above and beyond. They do not train to this level when they are not competing. Most people stop competing in most sports by the time they are forty.
There seems to be a push for everyone to be constantly toned and athletic to the degree of people who are in competitive sports–or at least we should all appear this way. This obsession is unrealistic and unhealthy.
The average person should not expect themselves to be in the kind of shape that a competition class athlete is.
While pursuing optimal health is an excellent goal, no-one should be shamed for not doing so. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and different interests.
Some people love to run. I’ll push myself to go a mile around the track three times a week in good weather. I kind of like it. Maybe some people stare at the fat man running. I don’t know, nor do I particularly care. Most of the other runners pass me. I’ve never had any of them say anything to me, which may be because they don’t want to challenge someone of my size. I’m six foot three and weigh somewhere around 330 pounds.
I run three times a week, possibly because I’ve been doing so since I was a kid. At this point in my life, I prefer hiking. When the weather’s good, I like to get out for a hike every weekend. I do go to the gym and do some strength training a couple of times a week, and I love working out in the pool. I love it more and more the older I get! I don’t mean to imply that water workouts are only for the elderly; they are for whoever enjoys them. But as we age, wear and tear on the joints tends to make a workout in water more appealing because it is a very low to non-impact exercise, depending on whether you are doing shallow water aerobics, swimming, or deep water aerobics.
Perhaps the point that I’m trying to make is this: I’m a reasonably active guy, who is reasonably good health. I do have GERD, which I have under control thanks to my good friend Prilosec and steering away from very spicy foods. These days I take my green chili mild.
Nevertheless, I’m still big. Granted, I do not diet obsessively–in fact, I don’t diet at all. Like everyone else here, I was a longtime yo-yo dieter. I now try to choose foods that are less processed and have a good nutrient profile, but I’m nowhere near obsessive about it. I admit to enjoying an organic cheeseburger for lunch once or twice a week. I’m fortunate that I live in an area where organic food is easy to obtain. Not everyone has this luxury.
We have the right to shame absolutely no-one for not being in competition-class athletic shape. We do not even have the right to shame the “stereotypical fatty” who sits in front of the TV chowing down on an entire bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken all by zirself and chasing it with a 2 liter Coke and a dozen Moon Pies for dessert. Shame does not work to make people skinny, it only works to make them miserable.
Exercise should be pleasant, not punitive. Life should be pleasant, not punitive. The one thing we all need to reduce is instances where we have been unkind to others. Some of us need a little sanctimoniousness reduction, some need a lot. Let’s all get started today!
Peace,
Adam
 
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