Burgers With a Side Order of Misogyny and Microaggressions

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I was having dinner with my mother and my son at Applebee’s tonight. They always keep their televisions on sports channels, which I tend to half watch. Most of the time I see nothing worthy of pondering. Tonight, however, I was left with the bad taste of sexist microaggressions in my mouth.

Carl’s Junior ads have become increasingly sexist. The ad I viewed tonight was pretty well softcore pornography. It was shown on a station such as ESPN during prime time hours.

There are those who would ask me what the big deal is. The ad was suggestive, but the women weren’t actually naked.

The big deal has nothing to do with the degree of nudity involved. In the first place, it is offensive to have women put on display as sex objects in order to sell projects.

One might argue that while this may be true, there’s nothing we can do about it. Sex sells,and there are bigger problems in the world.

It is true that there are problems which are more directly violent and life-threatening. Also, the argument that “sex sells” in cases such as this really translates to misogyny sells. If they were truly promoting their product using “sex sells” as a guide for creating their advertisement, then both men and women wearing scanty clothing and behaving in a sexualized manner would appear in the ad.

Since men never appear in ads such as this one wearing skimpy clothes and behaving in a sexualized manner, the phrase “sex sells” is, in fact, bullshit. Misogyny sells, and its target audience is dudebros.

One might argue that it is mostly men who watch the sports channels, ergo, airing advertisements of this nature does no harm. It may be primarily men who view sports channels. However, advertising of this nature is not without harm.

In the setting I was in, a family restaurant, there will be young children. Little girls viewing advertisements such as this one are learning that this is how women are supposed to look and behave. They are learning that if they do not look like the sexy women in the advertisements they are not “real women.” They are learning that they need to behave in a submissive and sexy fashion in order for men to find them attractive.

Little boys are learning that women are supposed to behave in an overtly sexual manner to please men. They are learning that women are objects used to sell products. They are learning that women are things rather than people.

As well, the idea that sports are only “for the boys” is a harmful one. It creates a notion that women who enjoy sports, either as observers or as participants, don’t matter. Women, if they appear at all, are supposed to be eye candy. They are not to be taken seriously.

Some may say, well, that’s just the way it is. You can’t fight the tide.

Actually, you can. The advertisers want money. Don’t give them what they want. Don’t buy products from any company that uses misogyny to sell said products.

I’m of the opinion that if you can’t sell your product without using the “sex sells” excuse, your product must not be able to stand on its own merit. I don’t want it.

It actually is possible for women to be portrayed as sexy without demeaning them. Compare the problematic Carl’s Junior ad with one of my favorite music videos.

You can find the Carl’s Junior ad here. I am not embedding the ad as I do not want to increase their hits. I’ve used a Do Not Link URL.

Here is the music video.

 Can the women portrayed in the video be perceived as sexy or appealing? Absolutely, but they are also not there only as “eye candy” for the male gaze. They are part of a story. Their presence may be representative of an idea, but they are autonomous beings. One may find them pleasing, but they are not there solely to be pleasing. 

The men in the video can also be perceived as appealing and sexy.

This is the difference between media that has sexual appeal and media that appeals to sexist ideals in order to sell a product.

I don’t expect honesty from advertisers. However, if they were to be honest, they would have to admit that “sex” is not what they’re selling. They’re selling misogyny, using sexed-up, submissive women as objects to promote their products. It’s an outmoded idea that sends a terrible message. Consumers need to stop buying it.

~The Real Cie~

Same Shit Different Day

Initially, I was interested in what this guy had to say. Then he proved himself to be nothing but another boring, fatphobic asshole who believes that “comedy” means encouraging the sheep to laugh at your mean-spirited jokes about people you don’t even know. Gee, that’s never been done. Next!

~Spectra~

A Lost Art: Exclusionist Fashion Shows

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There is no reason why fashion can’t include bodies of all sizes.

None.

(Image source)

June 3, 2101

A.A.: Hello, Lovelies! Angelique Amour here. It’s time to showcase our fab Ladies Spring Lineup. It’s a new century, and we have new looks to suit every body. With me today is Johnnie Angel to discuss our simply stunning selection.

J.A.: That’s right, Angelique, here our sizzling sextet of beautiful babes is modeling terrific tops in a rainbow of floral shades. Ladies of all sizes and shapes are sure to find a look to please.

A.A.: They look like flowers floating across the stage, Johnnie. (sighs) I just adore these fashion shows! Everyone is able to celebrate not only their inner but their outer beauty. There’s such variety. But just so our audience understands how important this celebration is, I think we need to let people know that this wasn’t always the case.

J.A.: That’s the sad truth, Angelique. Fashion shows used to showcase only very tall, slender models. Why, folk with fuller body types were even ridiculed and scorned. It was a shameful period in fashion’s history, and went on for far too long if you ask me.

A.A.: I don’t know how they could bear working with such constraints. Of course a long, slim body is exquisite for displaying one’s couture. But then again, so is a round, robust body, and every body in between. It’s variety that makes the show, truly.

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Image source

J.A.: Indeed it is, Angelique. Next we have designer Deon Devine’s fun and flirty rainbow cover-ups, which can be worn over a bathing suit or as an eye-catching mini dress all on its own. Of course there are options in all sizes, for the slimmest of the slim to the biggest and boldest.

A.A.: Simply dreamy, Johnnie. You know, I can’t even begin to imagine how dull those fashion shows using only one body type must have been. How could people live with themselves having such dreadful attitudes?

J.A.: I can’t fathom it, Angie. Eating disorders were rampant in those times. Darling, most women hated their bodies and were perpetually dieting. Larger people were scorned and called awful names. It was a disgusting spectacle. I wouldn’t have wanted to live in such a hateful time.

A.A.: I wouldn’t either, Johnnie. At least this is no longer the case. Everybody has a right to live life to the fullest. You can’t do that if you hate your body. Just think, in those times we wouldn’t have been able to become the best of friends in fashion, you a slim vision in your tailored rainbow tux…

J.A.: And you, big and beautiful like a delicious, sequined melon. Darling, I could just eat you up!

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Image Source

A.A.: Oh, Johnnie, you’re such a flatterer! Whatever would I do without you? Oh, here come the swimsuits! Just look at those lines! Selma Sweet has really outdone herself this year!

***********************

This fantasy that should be a reality has been created by The Cheese for a Daily Prompt post on lost arts. I will grant that the pictures I used unfortunately included only Caucasian women. I liked the photos for the fact that they weren’t airbrushed and didn’t include only very thin models.

I am a person who became bulimic at the age of twelve, yo-yo dieted until I was in my mid-forties, hasn’t liked my body since I was a young child, and still struggle with disordered eating. Also, I am simply sick and tired of it being okay for people to make mean spirited remarks and be hateful to others for not fitting into a certain size of clothing or having an appearance that fits a very rigid set of standards. I say enough is enough.

It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when fashion designers pride themselves on only being able to design clothes for a very narrow segment of the population, and, rather than expanding their repertoire, they snub and ridicule those who don’t have that body type. Creative would be the ability to design beautiful clothing for whatever body was put in front of you, not limiting yourself to only one set of measurements.

Fashion for only one body type needs to be a lost art, yesterday.

~The Cheese Hath Spoken~

Healthcare Crisis

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I will use two different videos to illustrate my thoughts on the state of health care for the poor and working classes. I am a medical assistant in a low income clinic. I am not a doctor and I am not an expert. These are simply my thoughts and observations.


This person is evidently not an American. However, the thoughts she is expressing are thoughts expressed by lower income people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy is not a guarantee, and the cost is prohibitive for those even in the middle income brackets. A person finds themselves in the situation of having to decide whether it is worth it to incur debt of such magnitude that even if the treatment does help them go into remission in the long term, they may be left unable to pay for the costs of housing. Is it worth it to be given what may only amount to another year or two of life at the risk of leaving oneself and one’s family homeless?

This is a question that no-one should ever have to ask, yet many people have to ask it. One should never have to choose between treatment that could possibly save their life and risking not having a home because the monetary cost is so dear.

Breast cancer still kills, even with treatment. In modern times, it is one of the more treatable cancers, but for lower income women it is often a death sentence because there is no way they can afford to pay for the necessary medical care. This is wrong. Nobody should have to make that choice.


I give the caveat that the above video was made by a right-wing political group. I utilize it because it presents “straight from the horse’s mouth” statements only. I prefer news sources that are politically independent, however, I didn’t have the patience to cherry-pick and this one suited my purposes.

The political right wing in the United States at this point is so extreme that they make their icon Ronald Reagan look like a liberal. This makes it difficult to criticize any of the current administration’s policies or behaviors without risking sounding as if one has an extreme right-wing bias, which I do not. I also do not claim to understand everything that is happening with regards to the changes in health care at this time. I only know that they have been little to no help for the majority of people with whom I have come into contact.

President Obama is only one person. He signed the current bill into law. It can be argued that this is the only way he could get any kind of positive change through. I would be quicker to look to Congress as being the ones at fault for the sorry mess that currently plagues the healthcare system. Obama should not have made sweeping promises such as the ones recorded here. However, he is not the sole person responsible for the negative state of U.S. health care.

I am appalled by the laws which make having insurance mandatory and levy a penalty upon those who do not have insurance. This is not a solution. This benefits only the insurance companies. It is highway robbery, and leaves many people in a worse bind than they were in before.

No small portion of the people who come into the clinic fall into the working poor demographic. They are barely able to keep a roof over their heads and afford food. Those who have illnesses that require medications are often not compliant with their medication regimen. It is not that they are “stupid” or “obstinate.” They are unable to afford the medication, even with insurance. These people get lectures from doctors about the necessity of being compliant to treat their conditions. It is not that they are unwilling, it is that they are unable.

It is not so easy to get on a drug company’s free medication program as some individuals would like everyone to believe. Many people who are barely scraping by “make too much money” to qualify. They also make too much to qualify for housing assistance and food stamp benefits. As for the poor being lazy, it often comes down to a person having to make the choice between working and keeping the benefits which allow them to survive. I see many of the people who have fallen through the cracks in the system or who are at risk of falling through the cracks. They are not lazy or shiftless. They are desperate and distressed.

In my own case, I see the doctor but have not been to the dentist in almost ten years due to the prohibitive cost. I work forty hours a week at eighteen dollars an hour. Most of my income is spent on the modest condominium in which I live. The payment on this place is $900 a month, and I’m “getting off easy.” The going rate on a two bedroom apartment/condo/townhome in the metro area where I live is $1000-$1200 on average. This is almost half of my paycheck.

I cannot afford to live in the city, and the costs of moving are prohibitive. The area where I live is a bedroom community of the major urban area. The mass transit to this community is spotty at best. It doesn’t begin early enough to get me to work on time. Thus, it is necessary for me to have a car. Because my credit is less than stellar, I pay more for insurance every month. If there was ever evidence of a conspiracy to keep the poor poor, factors like this point towards it.

I am a forty year old single mother. Groceries for myself, my 18 year old daughter who graduates high school this year and will be attending community college in the fall, and my sixteen year old son who is a smart and kind young man with psychiatric problems which may make it difficult for him to work in adulthood, use up much of the rest of my income. I will be able to keep my kids on my insurance plan until they are 26, but having them on my insurance raises it by $225 a month. According to others I have spoken to, I’m getting off easy.

My point in sharing my own personal story is that I make well over minimum wage, but am still barely scraping by. A major health crisis could devastate my family and leave us homeless.

Something needs to change drastically, and I do not see steps going in the right direction. All people deserve access to good health care, regardless of ability to pay. It might make the difference in a person being able to lead a productive life. It might even make the difference in a person being able to have a chance at life at all.

Thanks for “hearing” me out.

~Carrie~

Fad Diets: “Ew, Why Would Anybody Do That?”

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The following is a response to an article on AlterNet about unhealthy fad diets..

” In contention for one of the saddest bizarro fads on the list…”
Terribly unprofessional writing. It sounds like it was written by a junior high student.
Moving on.
Caloric deficits will not help most people lose weight long term. If people feel constantly hungry and deprived, the diet will not work. As well, many low calorie diets are actually very high in sugars, which cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Look at the carbohydrate content of diet foods such as Special K and Slim Fast. There is a big reason why people feel hungry an hour after consuming these items.
People always feel like they fail on diets. In reality, the diet has failed them.
When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I was forced to follow the American Diabetic association diet, which is very low carbohydrate.
A few things happened, which were nothing short of a miracle.
No, I am not going to say amazing weight loss and now I’m the queen of the world and have men chasing me wherever I go and I’m rich and my life is perfect.
For the first time in my life, I do not have uncontrollable cravings for simple carbohydrates.
There is too much sugar in the diet of the average American. This is no excuse to adapt a blaming and shaming attitude or spout the same old “just eat less and exercise more” rhetoric at people who have been deemed unattractive by society for their size. Enough of that has gone on, as is evidenced by the lengths that people will go to in order to become a socially acceptable size.
I consider weight loss surgery to be an incredibly barbaric and sadistic weight loss scheme. Many people who undergo it report complications.
We have millions of people walking around hating their bodies. It is time we stopped the bullying and started treating everyone with compassion, even those we have deemed “unattractive.”

Additional: I have been so desperate to lose weight and fit the very narrow description of beauty in the U.S. that I was actually trying to find tapeworm eggs so I could finally become Number 12.

This is where the disdain for larger bodies has brought us. People are willing to die in order to be thin. How can people fail to realize just how problematic this is?

~Cie~

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

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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.

Response to a Jackass

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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
 
Cross-Posted To:

Unpretty

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Probably the only photo I will ever post of myself. Obviously, I don’t have the art of “selfies” down to a science, because I don’t tend to take a lot of them. For those of you that want to comment that I’m fat and old as a potential insult, let me save you the taxation of your tiny little brain. I’m fat and old. So what? If you have a problem with this, you need to think about why you’re so hell-bent on trying to make others feel bad just because they don’t fulfill your idea of beauty.

For those who would try to placate me by saying “oh, you’re not fat and old,” you need to think about why you find either of those descriptors to be problematic. They’re actually neutral.

Technically, I’m not old-old, I’m middle aged. I’ll be 49 in February.

But I am fat. There’s no denying that one. Even the skinny fun house mirror makes me look fat because I am fat!

So what?

This post is a response to a post on the GuySpeak blog.

There’s a song by TLC which speaks to how I feel about the whole beauty judgment. Who is anyone else to make me feel unpretty, which I have my whole life.
Facially speaking, if I were to be completely academic about it, I’m not hideous. I have a reasonably symmetrical face that’s pleasant enough in a non-descript sort of way. My teeth are capped because what’s underneath is a horrible mess, so I have a pleasant enough smile. I had liposuction to remove a hereditary double chin, because, heaven forbid anyone should have a double chin. That’s, like, worse than committing genocide in our thin-centric society.
Even with my tendency to body dysmorphic disorder, I stopped there. I realized that I was never going to be the kind of perfect, airbrushed beauty that everyone thinks women are supposed to be.
The point is, in a world where Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, I always thought of myself as hideously ugly, and really, I’m not. I’m just plain, and at this point I’m pissed at those who pushed me into wasting so many years thinking of myself as unpretty.

I wish I could tie you up in my shoes make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful but what does that mean to you?
Look into the mirror who’s inside there the one with the long hair
Same old me again today, yeah

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
I’m just trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
Yeah, I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bright.

Never insecure until I met you, now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me, just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things? To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me, hey

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
People trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if you say so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bight, and I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
to-night!

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

I feel pretty and unpretty

SONGWRITERS
AUSTIN, DALLAS L / WATKINS, TIONNE TENESE