Monday, June 4, 2007

I Like Fat People

I very much appreciate your recent comments on my previous post. Each of you has been insightful and I very much enjoy that you express yourself intelligently and calmly, even when there is disagreement. I think that says a lot about this community.

Size discrimination is such a hot topic and even though there is a great deal of hysteria in the media about obesity I am genuinely amazed that this woman (whose name I won't mention again) spouting virulent hate speech is getting airtime. Perhaps I am naïve.

Sizeism goes far beyond health matters. I walk into a store and a salesperson will take it upon themselves to let me know that they don't carry my size. I might be shopping for someone else, I might be a fashion student just looking for inspiration, who knows...but it's like they want me out of the store because they don't want any fatties in there.

Generally I wear a size 18. I am about the same size and weight as Joy Nash whose video I have posted here a couple of times. I am bigger than an X-Large in most stores and I am happy when I look in the mirror. I like my shape and I am not desperate to lose weight. There is no heart disease or diabetes or cancer in my family which just means that I am genetically lucky. Thin does not necessarily equal healthy and fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy.

2 comments:

Anastasia said...

I think it's how you say. It is largely genetic, regardless of all the lotions, potions, diets, regimented fitness routines that, earn companies a lot of money. It's been known for years that a twenty to thirty minute walk per day is adequate to maintain cardiovascular fitness. That should be sufficient, right? But it's not about that, exercise now is all about body shape, specifically altering one's shape, which is fair enough if a person desires this, but there's also the work that it entails, and the ups/downs of strenuous exercise. It produces endorphins, endorphins are like any other chemical that produce a feel good effect - addictive, and should something occur to interrupt the exercise schedule, then that can go out of the window.

I remember my militant gym days, and how I'd see people in there, namely body builders (pro and amateur) go through various mood swings: their dieting, sometime steroid use, but mainly their dieting. I had friends who'd be with bodybuilders, who'd describe the sensitive periods (pre comp training), where they'd walk on egg shells, and for what? So I'd say that 80% of exercise in our society is based on altering body shape, for appearance. Those exercise info-mercials are hideous, with the way they go on and on about body shape, and how they insinuate that a person will be 'sexier' and all that rubbish.

What's more, there are many who don't stop to think of the long term effects, how certain diets can affect their kidneys and renal function(high protein/low carb), and while it can be said that this may occur later on in life, I wouldn't want to live out my twilight years in pain, or on a dialysis machine, or develop osteoporosis due to calcium deficiency (dairy limitations).

After enduring so many diets, exercise regimes, and everything else that has come about, I can safely say it's all crap. A body is like an elastic band, restrict it, and it will bounce back the opposite direction. In university, it was interesting during a psychology elective, where we were studying things like the hypothalamus and thalamus, metabolism and appetite. At the end of the day the brain is preprogrammed to do what it does for the body it is allocated to, and no amount of exercise or dieting will alter that function, but that being said, a series of crash diets or fad diets, can also wreck havoc on the brain and its function, presenting metabolic problems at a later date.

But this body discrimation, it's everywhere I think. Even here in Sydney where I am, one can see it on a daily basis, especially on public transport, where people make their attitude clear where seating is concerned.

jen said...

I think most of this "health" talk is really a justification for people who find fat people ugly and want to have a virtuous reason for telling them so. Exhibit A: MeMe Roth. If you were really acting out of care and concern, would you go about it in the ways that she does?

I believe that there are some health risks associated with being over your personal ideal weight (I do, unfortunately, have a family history of heart disease and diabetes), but I think it's a lot more individual than most people will admit. Paul Campos wrote a great book, The Obesity Myth, that details how the BMI numbers were cooked to make being above the magic numbers look more dire than is really the case.