Friday, 31 July 2009

Abstinence is not a cure

Not in and of itself. Seeing a professional in the field speaking of addicts as 'terminally ill', just goes to show the abject failure of the abstinence industry and it's attendant ideology which is stopping something you're physiologically dependent on=cure. When are we going to see it for the nothing that it is? This is not healing, it's just wrestling with symptoms.

If that's all that can be done, that's one thing, but to pretend it is all that can possibly be done, enough to describe the essential truth of physical dependence/addiction is false.

The emphasis should fall on seeking to remove or resolve that underlying dependency, restoring the body to normal, stopping the addiction where it starts, not after the fact.

I used to say about diets, why would they work? They also are nothing in particular, just eat less.

Abstinence is, stop doing what you are finding impossible to stop or keep stopping doing, it's like some weird shamanistic ritual instead of the smoke and chants there is the psycho babble, which is supposed to reroute the the shape of the brain and or nervous system and free you of your addiction. There's nothing wrong with healing through resolving your emotional/historical baggage, but that is not a wonder cure nor a magic bullet type deal and that should not be implied. If just stopping behaviour or habit, cured addiciton why would it be classed as addiction, which is by nature, directly unstoppable? You can stop the behaviour, but that is an expression of the physiological condition, even if that is the start of it, reversal does not necessarily reverse that effect.

Like dieting would not be required if eating less was the answer.

What might be better than 'identifying addicts' at five- a likely story- would be to deal with children who are grieving. If help was routinely offered to children who've lost a parent through bereavement or relationship breakdown, even if it was just those who are showing the most extreme signs of distress or acting out, offering counselling to support the processing of events, perhaps we'd prevent a lot of what is known as substance abuse, as well as actually doing something that should be done anyway.

How long is it going to take for us to realise blithely claiming that 'children are resilient' is just leaving them to find out. And in people like Gary Reinbach's case, what can result is absolute horror. I remember a pilot programme to help children who'd lost a parent and the results were encouraging, it doesn't seem to have become widespread, provision is still patchy.

Nobody knows how the brain and nervous system can alter under massive stress, at any age. Yes, it can spontaneously fix itself partially or completely, but what if it doesn't?

That all this is not the understanding its presented as is shown by the confused rhetoric around alcohol mis-use.

I wish everyone could understand that alcohol misusers rarely get better on their own, and that stopping drinking without medical supervision is itself very dangerous; it can often lead to seizures. One of the certainties around addiction is that it normally gets worse, not better. Addicts and alcoholics need professional inpatient help; it is not a question of willpower, or a lack of determination.


An alcoholic is on a train journey to premature death. He can get off at any station along the way to get into rehab, but too often he will choose to stay on, to the terminus.
So which is it?

There it is again, that refusal to accept lack of answers, leaving open a get out clause that points the finger at those being drawn helplessly into an increasingly reductive vortex of a physiological imperative drifting more and more outside their will.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


The answer to the titular question is, what another one?

We are already bearing many (fat) shame taxes and it's getting tiresome.

There's an increasing social tax a self esteem tax especially on children, as well as other sundry financial losses.

When is it ever going to be enough? It reminds me of priapic dog becoming increasingly frenzied because thinks it can mate with a stone. Fat people are that stone.

According to the linked article the costs of treating obesity are soaring.

That wording always causes my brain to run on a think 'there is no treatment' Followed swiftly by a bout de souffle in my brain, whilst I try and imagine what they might be talking about.

It's because I'm used to the idea of treatment not only being therapeutic, but actually existing. Treatments for 'obesity' don't really exist.

I've said even way before FA, that dieting, is nothing. If I say to you 'eat less'. That's all there is to a weight loss diet in essence. Pffft.

It's not even homeopathy.

How much of these 'costs' are useless so called diet drugs who's primary effect seems to be malabsorption through amongst other things, diarrhoea? When actual experiments can compare the efficacy of this kind of 'drug' to the efficacy of syrup of figs, or other traditional poo inducers, I find the according of the status 'drug', to be somewhat fanciful.

Prescription drugs accounted for much of the increase

Indeed, the growing Leviathan of the crisis starts to swallow it's own tail, this is what's so scary about it, that a totally bastardized form of truth is being constructed before our eyes, and we stand by shouting, impotent, seemingly unable to stop it. How long before we can't even tell what's true and what's not?

How much is surgery to mutilate fat people's digestive systems to induce anorexia and bulimia? And the sometimes medically devastating complications of this? This sort of thing should go down as be anorexic ideation related costs, or 'air costs' as money just goes up into it.

“Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort.”

Yikes, it's weird when they acknowledge the truth like that, although the fact they don't mention us shows the motive may not be pure. So what action will?

They include discouraging the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, instituting smaller portion-size options in venues such as government facilities, and requiring physical education in schools.

I suppose this means that they're going to take out all those soda machines they put into the schools of the working classes, because they didn't feel the issue of the scum class worthy of direct funds to educate them. And whilst they're at it, they can trying taking out all the industrial food waste that forms part of the funding of the political process, amongst other things, because certainly the parents didn't request this to fed to their children. Although they are treated as if they had by those that either decided to put them by, or stood by when they were doing it. Where was all these obesity related quangos and charities, when they were doing this? What letters did all these professors and scientists write to the leaders of their lands telling them, in no uncertain terms not to do this? Where's their mea culpa, if they feel this is part of the cause of what they claim is a early death sentence for our future?

Dr. Frieden and Kelly Brownell, a professor at Yale University, proposed a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, arguing that those drinks “may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic.”

Oh and surprise surprise, Kelly Brownell, what's with self-hating fatties such as himself? Why can't he work it out in private with Miss Whiplash or something? What's he trying to prove, and to whom?

Let me let you and others like you into a little secret.

You can never be sorry enough, to be a good fatty for them, no matter what you do. They will dump on you soon enough.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Is it possible to be fat and happy?

A couple of answers; who cares, or why? 

What on earth has it come to that this is even a question? It has always sounded so bogus, the disbelief that someone could sink to such a low idea of human resilience and capacity to snatch happiness from the most unpromising of circumstances is left aside so completely.

It feels like its making a point, that we all ought to question and doubt this possibility. All it does is make us all seem really spoilt and pathetic. That goes equally for people who are fooled by it or play down to it claiming to be deeply unhappy solely due to their fatness. It's never solely that, ever.

If we say yes, the  aim is clearly to deprive us of it/ convince us we are not, tell us we cannot possibly believe it. Its wishful thinking expressed in the nastiest underhand manner.

So why the hell are we being asked if as usual the answer has already been worked out by the questioner?

It's so telling the way the answers are all worked out beforehand, and we are endlessly required to keep rubber stamping them. If they are so happy with their answers, why trouble fat people about this prompting to parrot what they want?

Just how obedient are we required to be to whatever capricious whims the insecure anti obesity mindset sinks to?

Obviously, it doesn't make people happy quite happy enough to give this kind of ritual a rest.
To register existence and attempt the displaced task of an ego compromised by basing any part of its worth on either being slim or the prospect of it; because of this, fat people must be unhappy. How can we not be?

We are being punished by the ultimate social terrors; unpopularity, exclusion. If we weren't unhappy how does that leave all the compromises that others have made to avoid this? Wouldn't that mean fear of being cast out was even more pathetic than is feared?

If plain old fatties could overcome that fear.......(no they couldn't possibly) aren't we supposed to be weak, pathetic and desperate for the approval of others? That can't be, so fatties must be unhappy, I don't believe that fat people can be happy etc.

Really, who cares? I'm happy to be unhappy or happy, due to the ebb and flow of mood and what's going on in my life, like anyone else.

No need to prove anything either way. I'm not afraid to be unhappy, I've experienced enough of it to not allow the thought of it to bully me more than it alone can get away with. Anyway, what's it got to do with anyone daft enough to ask me such a banal and meaningless question?

Taming the belly

Why has it become so important for us to tame our bellies? In some far eastern and south asian cultures that area is called the hara. It is sometimes referred to as the second brain. That area around the middle has the second largest concentration of nerves in the human body, second only to the human brain.

There is more to it than we think, yet all we seem to be concerned with is having a flat belly, why? There are supposed to be health concerns surrounding its size. Girth is supposed to be a more accurate predictor of diseases such as diabetes and of the cardiovascular system, than BMI.

But even before this was spread around, we became obsessed with eradicating it. It's interesting that some cultures take a different view, they hold their belly differently, or allow it to continue to be more like it is when we are children.

If you look at a young child breathing you can see their belly move in and out with each breath, utterly charming. Often at a certain age we lose that, our breath becomes increasingly centered towards our chest, which is not conducive to taking a full breath whcih can be physically and mentally draining.

One of the best things I ever did was to switch my breathing from an acquired belly out inhale; belly in, inhale back to belly out as its drawing air in; belly in as its pushes the air out.

The latter is supposed to be as important as taking a full breath in. It is said that the air is 'stale' so clearing it out is good and it is the basis of taking a good breath in, drawing the air into your lungs more fully.

I struggled with breathing exercises of the breath in to a slow count of five; hold it-also important to PAUSE between in/exhalation-then out for a slow count of five kind.

Far from becoming regular it invariably disturbed my breathing pattern further making it more erratic. It actually felt strange and slightly emotional as if something deep inside was being upturned.

This put me off for a while until I relaxed and tried to sneak up from a different angle. After working out that it was the focus more than the breath control that was the problem.

I would suggest to myself, whilst my mind was on something else not too demanding, that my breathing was becoming deeper and slower. Elongating, becoming more drawn out.

I'd start  very slowly with long pauses in between my suggestions at first. When my breathing did start to deepen enough and become more rhythmic, I let myself slowly be drawn into focusing on my breathing. If I wasn't quite ready, I'd let my focus go back and keep repeating the suggestions.

Although I was never able to do it the conventional way for some reason. This was a little revelation. I don't want to talk it up because if you're gonna try it for yourself it should be your own personal thing unfolding.


After a bit I used that as a basis of visualisation according to my mood.

As you draw a breath in, you can imagine drawing out tension and stress from your mind and/or body; then you pause and hold it, then as you breath out, you imagine expelling that tension.

It can be general, or specifically mental or physical. With either, after you get into it you can focus on something that is bothering you, something you feel tense about and just imagine your drawing tension out of the situation itself or your body whilst you are thinking about it.

It can be something current or a memory that leaves tension in its wake. It might sound odd, but it can be surprisingly effective. And once you establish  this you might find you can keep it going whilst you're doing something else restful like watching TV or light reading etc. Not whilst operating anything sharp though, please.

Just periodically remind yourself about drawing out the tension and expelling it. Until you forget about it!

If you do or would like to do things like yoga or tai chi for instance and are familiar with concepts of prana-life force or chi-energy or just the freshest purest air; you can imagine drawing this in as you inhale then exhaling any tiredness or fatigue.

If it helps to involve your senses visualizing yourself back somewhere where the air was really fresh and the scenery surround, beautiful, or just make up your own enchanted place and breathe that in! It can be cool or warm or you might like to hear sounds if that appeals, depending on how you feel.

Go with your gut!

Monday, 27 July 2009


Thinking about the appointment of Dr. Regina Benjamin, through a thread started by Jeff Fecke. By the way what an amazing achievement, it's funny after Barack Obama, then Sonia Sotomayor, it's becoming almost commonplace to see POC scaling the heights of American society!

Anyway, she has been criticised for being pleasingly plump, possibly even flat out fat. This predictable line has been used to disqualify her ascendancy to the office of Surgeon General, no less. Apparently it sets a bad example or something. It can be hard to keep up with what they are saying at times because it is just so banal and tends to bleed into one sentiment-stop the fatty.

What the thread highlighted again was two things, the desire of people who believe in the obesity crisis rhetoric to make fat acceptance it's polar opposite. I know, how insulting as if we could get away with something so stupid or would trouble ourselves with something so fatuous.

Also, the effects of this belief on people's capacity to reason or even grasp what you are saying. You don't have to touch FA with a ten foot barge pole to get what we are saying and even to agree with it. All you have to do, is accept reality is real, not a delusion that one can superimpose on willy nilly.

I know that a lot of people are very fond of describing FA as 'radical' meaning extreme. I blame it on radical chic from way back when the term became glamorous. I think of radical as a position, neither good nor bad that describes a point of view that comes from the deepest possible view.

Extremism more readily describes weight loss dieting and calorie manipulation in general, it's just about as far as you can go with using your conscious mind to control your food intake and eating, it's effects on the body would suggest this too.

Dr. Benjamin's appointment shows how easy it is to switch attack from more crude points such as race, to weight which is a godsend to those wishing to attack "undesirables". It's an example of finding ways to block people who aspire to greater than their assigned role in life, without upsetting ideas about meritocracy.

Which incidentally, is often the complaint about any suggestion of affirmative action. Favouring slimness in this sense would be worse than that and yet it's okay to propose it.

The snobbery around food often signals the idea that you are not like us who have class the value and achievements of the person being less important than 'associations'.

Incdientally, a better role model than Dr. B, if you want that sort of thing would be hard to find. Good luck to her. 

Thursday, 23 July 2009

The opinion finds a mouthpiece on its wavelength

Over at shapely prose, A Sarah takes on Michael Karolchyk a self publicist guy with that peculiar kind of hysteria about what he claims is the excess weight of the surgeon general appointee, Dr. Regina Benjamin. Or should I say histeria- waggishly referred to as 'roid rage'? The thing is a lot of people complain about the anti-obesity argument being presented by this guy and others like MeMe Roth.

What! I say it should only be presented by these kinds of people, preferably in their most acute state of neurotic ardour. For two reasons. One, their level of discourse reflects the true level of the anti-obesity argument a factor that is usually hidden by a cloak of pseudo (scientific) credibility.

Two, they accurately reflect the results of living according to its dictates. Everyone knows about MeMe and her running miles before she eats. Far from this being "obsessive" because that's who she is as is sometimes inferred, this is the kind of behaviour required to sustain the euphemism that is 'lifestyle change/choice' and the angry attitude is a product of doing that to oneself.

That is why it has to be turned into euphemism in the first place, to hide the essential neurosis of a life built around expending as much energy as possible.

It feels less like choice though than sublimation. It is called a lifestyle because that phrase refers to your life, what used to be called your modus vivendi-method of living. This flows directly from what you believe in and what you hold to be important.

That's a form of self expression. To pretend that the way these people live is a lifestyle is only correct, if that flows from your deeply held philosophies, this is much more of an imposition. It is enforced using all sorts of punitive measures, so how can it really be so?

Defining it as a lifestyle choice mocks the intelligence of the person living this way. It has to be forced, imposed, whether you do it to yourself or feel pressure from others.

And it is the obesity crusade that is a movement to spread and inculcate the notion that fatness is a disease that requiring you to live the way you are told. I mean really, what is the legitimate 'anti-obesity' argument?

What is the cogent one that deals with reality, rather than delusion? If you believe that weight regulation is a purely conscious matter after everything this is what you believe, no matter how you dress it up. When people like this speak it's as if the rationale of anti obesity is finding it's true expression.

For far too long it's been dressed up by the respectability of those delivering it. It is sexist, it is annhilating to the personalities and sentience of all fat people, whomever they are.

The respectable don't have anything better they can only say it 'nicer', big deal they are still talking shite. It's not that anti's like this are undermining the argument, it has been falsely elevated by being invested with the gravitas of science, rather than its own merits which are about the same as this gymed out wingnut. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Dieting doesn't work but.....

...the idea that dieting works, works. It's called myth, defined as a story that serves to explain the worldview of a society.

How telling that is about the current obesity crisis, itself a myth based upon that myth.

It all purports to be about science, because science is society's lodestar, it's guiding light. Or we believe that it is. Because most of us don't really understand it, myself included, that allows us to be manipulated by pseudoscience, that which purports to be science, but isn't.

I'm currently reading a book by Lewis Wolpert , it's about how science rarely accords with common sense, or what we expect to be so by common logic. It is rarely, intuitive, it is a particular mode of thought and assuming that it is common sense is one of the many ways in which we are mislead as to the nature of it.

This is interesting when it comes to the mythology of weight loss dieting. It is often described as common sense, easy, simple, things not usually associated with science.

It purports to be based on scientific principles, even if true, that does not make it science. The fact that it doesn't work, not only disqualifies it from being science, it disqualifies it from being technology, which Wolpert explains is also not science- although modern technology is based on scientific ideas.

He says that science deals primarily with ideas, and technology is about making things work.

Dieting doesn't pass muster on either.

That is probably because it is 'common sense'.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Deemed unworthy of life

Gary Reinbach was a 22 year old alcoholic who died of cirrhosis of the liver. He died because he needed to prove that he could abstain from alcohol for six months to have a chance to go on the list for a liver transplant.

By the time he entered hospital about 10 weeks or so ago, he was already acutely ill, too ill to offer or mount a defense against his crime of being an alcoholic. The Times wrote, before he died;

Reinbach, from Dagenham, Essex, does not qualify for an organ because official guidelines state that heavy drinkers must prove that they can be abstinent outside hospital before they are considered.

His condition is so severe that he cannot be discharged to prove he can remain sober.

There is something wrong with the lack of ability to plead one's case or have an able professional plead it on your behalf, when accused of bad faith in these kinds of cases. Especially if your life depends on it.

The list to become a donor recipient is long and organs in short supply. The odds would not have been good even if he'd been one of the deserving ill. He wasn't. And now he's paid the price with his life.

This young man by accounts, wanted to live;
His last words to her [his mother] were: 'Please help me Mum, I don't want to die.'

He had the misfortune to feel pain that triggered a response that got way out of hand, it's OK to be sad, but not in an unseemly way, that makes you undeserving. The break up of his parents relationship, aged 13 was the spur. Every reformed alcoholic or substance abuser has a wake up call story; this was his.

His mother who worked full-time at the time his drinking began, was not immediately aware of any difference between her son and his friends experiments with alcohol.

This has been treated as a cautionary tale, against teenage binge drinking, and the comments have not been at all sympathetic.

It's important for us in FA to remember that we aren't the only ones being targeted for this kind of moralistic judgement, we are not the only ones seen as undeserving of life.

Although I know due to donor shortage, there will be mixed feelings in this case. I feel we should be aware of the rights of all the people who fall foul of current mores, both social and medical. It is not just fat people. We all need to think about how we deal with people who are seen by their peers as culpable for their health problems and how that should affect, if at all, their treatment.

Funnily enough, I've never been very impressed by the whole alcohol is a disease like cancer meme, although I do get that the motives for this are more than straightforward definition.

I've got no time for 'he inflicted it on himself arguments'. I don't feel there is much moral difference between an alcoholic and anyone else; although there is a practical factor of how long the organ can be expected to last if the person cannot stumble upon the angle or ability to stop. I cannot stand the pretense that this is somehow about someone's moral character, bullshit. If there was an effective treatment for alcoholism, this level of self righteous stigma would be punctured. Morality = the level of medical advancement, is not my idea of morality. Especially when you consider how much time and money has been wasted on the ludicrous 'abstinence' debacle, which I wouldn't give tuppence for, on any level. This judgemental moralising is even more tiresome.

I pity the mother from the bottom of my heart the shock of having to watch someone so young die and be told he kind of deserved it or brought it on himself, must feel as strange as it is hard to bear. I hope she can mourn him purely without feeling defensive.

No one will ever know how he could have turned his life around if given a chance, at a chance, with some luck and access to good support, he could have made it.

Now his struggle is over.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


AS IF people struggling with obesity did not have enough to worry about

That is from a piece from New Scientist magazine regarding the 99 people in the US that have so far perished from swine flu, or the H1N1 virus. Of that number, 45% of them qualify as obese. The percentage in the general population is said to 26%in the article.

It's funny to be reminded that all we fatties are supposed to be quaking, and let's face it;

Every time we hear something (it's rarely good) about obesiness.

I'm not, and I'm pretty sure you aren't either. I've got to admit, this amuses the heck out of me at times. In part because I did used to be absolutely cacking myself every time I heard anything about fatness.

It's not that I've become complacent, I just keep in mind that when there is a (real?) emergency, we are told, above all, remain calm.

And I am nothing, if not dutiful.

OK, what frame do you think NS, decided to go with on this one? Before the suspense 'kills' you......

..... they went with, your inevitable pigging out-don't argue -has caused you to be fat. Fat, especially in the tum area triggers an inflammatory response in general, including in the immune system. Causing it to be too slow off the mark in fending off this virus in the early stages of infection. When your immune system catches on, later, it's response is not up to requirements. This enables the flu to worsen and that produces an almighty inflammatory response, called a "cytokine storm", it is this mostly that kills the person.

Now when you look at the list of those who've died so far in the US, from this virus;

* Pregnancy - under 10 %

* Diabetes - Less than 15 %

* chronic cardiovascular - under 15%

* Asthma - just over 10 %

* Other pulmonary disease - under 25%

* Obesity - just under 45 %

* No underlying condition - just over 10%

You can see from this fatness is way ahead of heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease, in this list of fatalities.

We are left with the impression, in the article and the analysis's presented to explain this phenomenon, that being fat weakens your immune system like those with chronic ailments or in an immune suppressed state such as pregnancy- where the woman's immune system is suppressed to prevent it from attacking the embryo/ fetus.

It all immediately reminded me of The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, which caused 50 million deaths worldwide.

This virus which was tagged 'Spanish flu', is related to the H1N1 strain, and caused deaths in the same way as described in NS. Also;

The curve of influenza deaths by age at death has historically, for at least 150 years, been U-shaped, exhibiting mortality peaks in the very young and the very old, with a comparatively low frequency of deaths at all ages in between. In contrast, age-specific death rates in the 1918 pandemic exhibited a distinct pattern that has not been documented before or since: a "W-shaped" curve (the "U" is combined with the "W" here), similar to the familiar U-shaped curve but with the addition of a third (middle) distinct peak of deaths in young adults ≈20–40 years of age.

So flu kills the weak and the strong, the old and the young, and in the case of 1918 those -in the middle-said to have the most robust immune systems, precisely because of that robustness. I think the strength of the immune system is such that it creates a massive reaction which itself attacks healthy tissue and kills.

I might not have easily picked up on that in the days of panic and fear, if at all, and that is of course it's purpose, to create and maintain the conditioned response of panic in fat people, and others, to police them and to keep them as attack dogs to police fat people. And so the cycle continues.

If I was an innocent fatty trying act in accord with this 'advice' what would I do? Why fail try to lose weight again, which is known to lower immune resistance, as well as fail.

The writer doesn't tell us whether this will balance the 'overstimulated' fat immune system. If it did, we could choose to fail at dieting and worry hard, (which can also suppress immune function), as a strategy to counter the effects reported. That would be an interesting debate. It's not really on offer because it is of no interest.

The point is to slap down fatties, again, in a way that carries the gravitas of science.

This is why increasingly, smokers think that smoking is less dangerous than stopping and possibly gaining weight. Understandably, they're happy to pass the baton, but really it's the advice, or this constant slapping down of fatties that is altering meaning, palpably. I wonder if IV drug users etc will soon get that same kind of feeling.

It's possible, as the single minded direction of the 'advice giving' aimed at fat people continues to create an alternate universe of meaning.

Time will tell.

* Edited for visual clarity

Friday, 17 July 2009

Really, anger is overrated

I've found it hard to be overly impressed by a permanently angry pose. I don't mean in reaction to outrage or insult but as a statement of integrity or honour. Whenever I hear someone try to lay it down and say, "Right, I'm so angry" as throwing down a gauntlet. That's supposed to increase the gravitas or veracity of their complaint.

When mostly, I wish they'd just make their case and let others be the judge.

There's people with their beliefs that they are relieved of in 10 seconds flat; they're disgusted by the death penalty and fat people shouldn't be treated when they are ill. Suicide is a terrible tragedy, fat people are committing suicide with their forks, how disgusting of them etc.,

More than once I've asked myself, "who are you people and what do you actually believe?"

I'm aware of the way the most powerful/intelligent members of our tribe, tell the rest what to think and we kind of come to accept or absorb it in our own ways. Almost like a transmission of their force of personality.

This goes from requiring courage, having more intrepid than average people advance them then because of that, becoming de rigeur, widely disseminated to those who wouldn't necessarily have had the guts to advance it against major opposition. Like say, feminism. In certain climes it doesn't require a jot of courage, in spite of the scent of that kind of nostalgic memory. 

But hey, why should I go there? It's in the nature of man, folk do believe stuff don't they? I rather took it for granted. Now, I feel I've had a look at just how many people claim to believe stuff they don't fully understand. I thought it was just me who wasn't getting some of  the things we're supposed to think.

Even when there are glaring gainsays of their beliefs coming out of their own minds or mouths, they don't notice. Even after quite a lot of prompting.

I feel I'm still behaving too much as if I need to persuade others in order to accept what I already know to be true.

I've touched on this before. I know that it can take a while to process suppressed emotional history. I'm used to imploring people to believe in me for various reasons.

When especially as a child you've taken on and unquestioningly accepted that your fatness is bad and a temporary state that must be exited as soon as possible. You are as they say, doing a deal with the devil as they say;
According to traditional Christian belief in witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or any other demon (or demons); the person offers his or her soul in exchange for diabolical favors.
[My emphasis.]

Yeah, except you get stiffed on the favours part, you just get the diabolical. By accepting the proposition fatness is badness, you are excepting your body therefore yourself is bad. Even though you still know and feel like a good person underneath, it means becoming outer orientated to a degree that isn't in accord with rational existence.

I'm beginning to realise that I've never really felt such an internal sense of doubt over other aspects of my identity and about my own experience. Never have I required or surrendered to such a requirement of complete validation from outside. Recognition of what you know is different from seeking recreate that which has been made almost invisible by constant and forceful denial, as much from within as without.

The dynamic regarding fatness is totally different to other questions of equality. It's one I've never encountered before, and no, it's not deep oppression it's something else.....more like an atmosphere of profound collusion.

So much so that there's a feeling self rescue lies in persuading those we are colluding with to turn away from this course, so that we can. Denying how much our own actions may or may not have contributed, outside the usual, eat too much do to little. Which I view as a substute for honesty and a way of placating others and oneself's internalized view of fatness.

When the subject comes to fatness that familiar faraway-lights on nobody home-look comes into the eye of whoever we are engaged with it. They're no longer talking to us, but to a sketchy idea of a universal fattie and we've lost them.

We wish to unify our experience again, we are not talking about disenfranchisement or even partial reinstatement of social standing. It's more like we are trying to assert that we've kept our end of it, the fact that it didn't work is not our fault, but we want what would have been our reward, if it had  acceptance.

There is little to no doubt that if we had been belligerent and less amenable to complying with ever order, we wouldn't be in this position now. We would not have made ourselves into such a target. If we had behaved in the very ways every one so complains about as bringing about the end of civilisation; self assertion, suspicion of authority, frankly, sheer indolence and a greater respect for our own pain and discomfort might have done better by us too.

And what's strange too is our old strategies are also our exit ones, acquiescence, compliance and dutiful openness to endless questioning and querying of the abundantly obvious.

The ideology of the 'sphere is undoubtedly not helping that at all, and it's time for me to completely accept that it is not compatible with my ability to productively engage with my feelings. It is getting in my way, as much as other things.

It all feels like a family quarrel-between haters and FA- that doesn't include anyone that isn't in the family, so to speak. That's why I have to go in a new direction and do what I've intended to do all along. It's just once I committed myself to getting involved, with others and trying to discipline myself to not go off on my own tangent.

I've done my best and am prepared to call that a fail. Once I get mentally re-orientated, I hope I shall be able to do better and recover from my now all too tedious anger.

Radical is not the same as revolutionary

....or renegade, dissident, refusenik, insurgent, seditionary. Radical as in the mysterious "radical fat acceptance" much touted, yet to be located. Over at Shapelyprose FJ's take on the disappointingly pedestrian article about fatness at the New Yorker magazine.

In the comments an interesting thread developed regarding the question, what is radical FA? I've had cause to ask myself this question in the past, because I've been accused of being radical FA or a proponent of.

Which is absurd because;

 a) I am not politically radical by nature

 b) I maintain there is no such thing (yet) as radical FA. 

c) I can't see what there is to be radical about

It feels more like the ideas and ideals of weight loss through dieting and so called fitness, that are truly radical-in a bad way or should I just say extreme? FA is life affirming, you accept what you are in essence, positively, as long as that doesn't require you to mis-use and abuse others or yourself.

Furthermore, the extreme nature of dieting is dysfunctional and we can see this via the amount of mayhem that is directly linked to it. Accepting the tag radical for FA or for a heretofore undefined corner of radical FA, cedes the idea that there is anything rational or reasonable about the view that has acquired mainstream status.
What we need to wake up to is the fact that often irrationality to the point of madness has been defined as the norm and what has been defined as the madness is actually the rational response to aforesaid irrationality.

Radical is a term that has been used as a strategy by the mainstream to flag those who object or point out its degeneracy, as extreme, beyond what any rational person can go. It is very much a label the establishment uses to create panic and estrange the public from other voices they may agree with, given a chance to hear them properly.

This is how its being used to define FA. In the past those accused in this fashion of radicalism or of being radicals, have re-claimed it as a positive, noble vocation. Radical is a term that has come to be admirable and desirable in itself.

Blithely stating FA is radical feels like playing into the hands of those establishment voices that are steering the obesity crisis in terms of shouting fire in a crowded room with exits that lead straight to their pen.

By saying FA is radical before a radical sensibility of FA can properly be defined, you are claiming that where we are-which is still overwhelmingly defined by and relation to mainstream views-becomes part of the disorientation process seeking to limit the progress of FA by claiming its gone further than it has.

 It has the potential to be radical, but isn't yet as it's weighed down by far too much baggage, which is understandable. I don't think from the same perspective as I did when I first got into it. Seeing where we are now as radical, is an illusion. It's solely in comparison to a distorted view. Maybe it's not my forte but strategically, I think we'd be better off point out, how foreign the whole calorie counting as a way of living is.

Actually reminding people that they've been slowly persuaded towards this line of thinking. I still remember when nutritionists were laughed out of town for ordering people to eat this and not that. How do we know the liberating effects of reminding people of what normal eating and seeing movement as integral to ourselves and not some disassociate state of 'exercise', like prisoners in the yard?

Surely the memory of the dignity of having a life, as opposed to a lifestyle has not been extinguished in the collective consciousness, yet? This must be why I don't feel attracted to the term. I don't think its negative, it's a useful word. Just not for a pretty mainstream outlook.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Doing it for the kids

Interesting article in the Guardian today (the link has a lot about dieting and it's mentality), which can be read as a writer's change of attitude to food.

Her story has tow distinct strains, a return to and respect for normal eating, interspersed with an how I lost weight dieting story. Maybe this is a little bit of a leap, but is one for those in the know and one for the obesity crisis adherents?

It's as if the total incompatibility of the delusion and reality, cannot be Incorporated, so let's write one for each. The realists will see both sides, and the surrealists will see their delusion.

I don't know how much this compromises the important underlying message; that obsessing about food and weight tends to set in motion a pattern of unsustainable scrutiny, exhaustion and release of loss of control, and again. Nothing good can be salvaged from it but the wisdom not to do it and the experiences to back that up.

The control- monitoring diet and weight obsessively- is actually lack of control and the loss of control- when exhaustion with the rules comes into effect, is the attempt to regain control by getting rid of these exhausting rules and regulations.

The whole process of 'weight watching' is essentially, unstable.


She diagnoses the dilemma;
I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of my daughter Vera, then two, growing up hearing me talk about being on a diet, denying myself food or stressing about looking large. I lived through all this with my own mum and the outcome was not healthy.

The source;
My mother was permanently on a diet while I was a child and always telling me I had to be careful not to become "fat". (She herself has always been a size 12 but would rather be a size 10.)

She then formulates the solution;
I'm quietly vigilant around my daughter and I notice already that her attitude to food is different from mine.

She finds a way to put it into practice;
I say very little about food to my children because I know my own attitudes are a bit warped.

I try to keep it all as neutral as possible. As a result, so far they eat everything and don't fixate on anything.

But, uh oh, fails to apply it to herself, and appears to find it a mystery that continuing on the diet rollercoaster, means a continuation of the diet roller coaster.

Reality is forcing itself into our collective psyche, whilst some of us continue to resist it.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Get tough on fatties; ((((yawn))))

Through Bilt4Cmft, over at bfb yet another (T/W; fat hate) masterwork of the dieting genre. Good-o. This ones from a "motivational speaker" who previously competed as an athlete. That provokes multiple demands on the body, often requiring a marked adjustment in intake just for the body to stabilise itself.

Then as is often the case, after stopping he encountered what many dieters who also expend lots of energy to no direct effect are familiar with, rebound binging. He was the type that became fat, because his the conservation of his body enabled it, exhaustion can unbalance metabolic function.

The poor lamb became fat and cried ceaselessly. Okay, that last bit is untrue, he was deeply upset with himself in very butch way.

Man oh man, this erudite master of motivation, with only words to inspire I'm assuming people who pay him money to set them to their task, eschewed that and got furious with himself. Absolutely livid in fact. He basically said, you are the scum of the earth and if you don't stop being fat, I'm going to apply clamps to your tender parts until you scream like the filthy....

...No wait, that's something else. Ahem.

His rage made enabled him to lose weight-it's physics- he's still smarting now and is offering you the chance to pay him to grind his personal axe on you, to keep that going. Is that an offer you can refuse, or what? 

Like so many five minute fatties, he mistakenly thinks this gives him deep insight into fatness in general and the longer term fat in particular. Because the adjustment in his own metabolism was so slight, he swallowing crisis "logic" whole thinks that every fat person is one and the same person. 

I guess a tough mind doesn't mean one that functions above the level of a fart. Let's see about his peddling the familiar line that fat people's thinking is fat, fit people's fit. Fit=slim.

That's the first bit of tough thinking, euphemism.

Apparently the great secret is, wait for it; Mental toughness. We fat people all being indulged with endless excuses about why we are fat, even though we know the experts haven't figured it out which is why the endless speculating about emotions, cortisol, fat thinking. Anyway, all this guess work,  mollycoddles us and he's on a mission to cut through the self delusion of thinking we are obligated to give a flying fig about what he or anyone else 'thinks'. 

That I and many fat people have already gotten tough, doesn't register, we've been in permanent angry, contemptuous, rough and blunt with ourselves, I was so furious and could hardly stand myself.

Or thought I couldn't.

Actually, it was this ugly crude manner, though I only found that out sometime afterwards. I'd turned into someone I would have absolutely detested if it was someone else. I was a detestable bully to myself and because of how that made me feel  I utterly despised myself. I had no safety or hiding place from my self hating.

At no point would I ever want to do that to anyone else, I didn't realise that meant that to do it to myself was easily as bad, if not worse. The one person on earth I should have been able to trust, was always abusive.

I didn't set out on this path, it snuck up on me when I was not "letting myself off the hook". I never showed myself any mercy and was as tired and beat up as a corpse. I actually was convinced I had a physical ailment. This lunacy only ended when I burned out. I beat myself up inside because I wouldn't let up.

No wonder I felt at some point, there was no escape no way to placate this rage to corner whatever it was about me that was creating this fatness.

When I was finally stopped, planning to resume the moment my nerves recovered, ended up being the beginning of learning to be gentle with myself. It was undoubtedly one of the toughest things I've ever done.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Letting fat children eat food, is child abuse

The above is the real title of a piece by the professional whiner Amanda Platell. The term 'junk food' to mean any food that has more than five calories is scare mongering nonsense.

Whilst I've made a habit of avoiding said hack, as I just can't stand the feeling of having all the intelligence sucked out of my brain and substituted with shrill stupidity.
I can do that for myself, thanks AP.

These vituperative assaults on the self respect of fat children have now become the fall back position of the intellectually bankrupt with bullying tendencies. They need to remember they are talking about not fat children, but children, who have yet to form emotional and mental defenses against mindless adult incursions. If you cannot make your point without picking on your equals, then you aren't fit to make it.

Even those who wish to indulge in the fatuous conceit of 'fighting obesity' surely are capable of self-restraint and recognising whatever they feel the sins of adults are, children must not be kicked around in the process and should be wholly left out of anything remotely derogatory or degrading.

Surely they can manage that?

Don't make your need to release pent up desires and feelings take precedence over the those of children to reach their full potential. Or you put yourself in the same class as those who make it their business to do that.

Those who target fat children need to understand how disgusting and creepy they are, they should not need to be told that children do not exist for their use.

And the so called motivation of this;
Too often obesity condemns children to a lifetime of unhappiness, lack of self-respect, low self-esteem and health problems.

The 'obesity crisis' is rarely mooted to have started before 1979, count 'em. I think you'll find that's less than the average life expectancy, even from those who claim fat people lose ten years. Like a lot who deal in this bull, she states what she wants as if it is fact.

Jamie Oliver

Which brings me on to the subject of her useless witterings, the purported failure of the Jamie Oliver inspired revolution in school meals.

In short this consisted of ambitious plans to feed children food in the form of balanced meals, instead of industrial food waste supplied by types pally with those who stopped the original system of feeding children actual meals, in the first place. See the symbiosis if you dare.

Platell doesn't mention this.

Jamie Oliver, started off his campaign in a very well meaning way. I challenge anyone to see one of his first programmes when he spoke I thought movingly about the effect on their growing bones of the stuff we were feeding our children. Inspired by his love of Italian cuisine wondering how we in the UK could have sunk to feeding this crap to our, instead of what most other civilised countries do, feeding them with love, the best food we can, teaching them about it, transmitting a love of good food along the way.

On 'investigating' this, he came into contact with those who are most likely to be fed this crap, this seemed to ignite a virulent strain of class hatred that often goes hand in hand when it comes to obesity.

He spoke about teenage mothers who put fizzy cola in their infant's bottles, whilst that is a poignant and sad image, it is not a reason to hate and pathologize these young women. We should take it upon ourselves to know that we know better and can pass that knowledge on to them, rather than indulge ourselves in how much better we are than them.

Why not embrace them? Their minds are still flexible enough to embrace something better.

But no, once class gets involve that's tends to be the end of anything but rage against, rather than working with.

It happens time and time again this 'crusade' forces loathing out of even the most rational and humane people. What a waste.

Under enthused

Take up of school meals has dropped since the introduction of these meals.

This surprises only those who hold the public in utter contempt and don't bother to get them on board. This is very much a top down exercise where betters tell their lessers what they should be eating/ want to eat. Their innate goodness shines through, therefore, all should be well. Rather than feeding children good wholesome fare, they centered more on modish ideology on 'healthy eating', such as how to hide as many vegetables into the food as possible, rather than the usual take a balance of good fresh ingredients and create tasty dishes around them.

Suffice to say, the enthusiaism had not been as required (the ingrates). As we know, even children feel strongly about their food and what they wish to eat. I understand some feel children should eat what they're told, but I believe it is possible to achieve a good balance. We adults hold the upper hand on this, no matter what we claim.

Slim people who achieve fat status

Amanda, says;
Who can forget those tubby mums passing bags of chips through the school gates?

Well, it seems she can, they seem to be a variety of weights, none of which include particularly fat or tubby as she puts it, she just wishes it were so.

Incidentally, I remembered this and despite the numerous articles reporting the story, found it difficult to find an image of these women, if they were all fat, better still very fat, would this have been the case? We talk a lot about headless fatties, but how many times is the fact that resolutely slim people are doing things that are supposed to make them fat, withheld, obscured or erased?

Here's another fatty selling fatness to kiddies, in order to make them as fat as he is , and what about these two ? Presumably, they never get high on their own supply.

They have a kind of psychic fatness, hanging around somewhere on a parallel universe of fatness, or maybe it's like Dorian Gray, they've got a painting in the attic that's getting fatter.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Do I recognise the possibility of another POV?

Speaking of what is the rational argument against fat acceptance, what about myself? Do I recognise the possibility of other points of view on fatness? This is a bit of a conceit of course because, how could I not?

If you're a fat person who's never and would never like yourself any less because of mere fatness and is shocked that anyone thinks you should, congratulations- where do you live, the moon?

You cannot avoid the other point of view that fat is bad news that is what we've been living under and why its such a struggle to detach ourselves from it. I think people who ask if we recognise other views ignore our experiences as if  they were nothing. That's how they can ask questions like this.

It's as if they're making the typical view the same as us trying to escape it and think for ourselves, which is extraordinary to me. It's like comparing an adult to a bright child who's learning to express themselves in a way that fully reflects their intelligence.

I recognise (and always have) that some people wish to control their weight to change it up or down. I do not personally have a problem with that. My problem is with degrading fat people in any way shape or form as part of a route to that. That should never have been the way for any reason.

The slimming experiment is done and the results are clear, there's nothing to argue about. I do not see any point in thinking which requires a fat person to think less of ourselves, that encourages aggression towards us.

The view that fatness is bad is not the problem, the problem is the actions and attitudes it is supposed to justify-it doesn't.

Self-inflicted difficulties

I commented yesterday on a post about blog fail , moi aussi says I, and would you know it, I read an entry from Bri and responded to it, and it just went on and on and on. Thanks Bri!

So I decided to post it here, now I confess, I've told the story many times, but I suffer from simile black hole syndrome, where you jest can't find the right illustrative comparison, therefore feel like you're trying to communicate through a soundproof barrier. (Ahem).

One thing that has come up for me is the difficulty a lot of people seem to have with the whole notion of Fat Acceptance.

Right of course, but their 'difficulty' is as tedious as it is tendentious.

I'll explain it this way; a while back there was a young guy on the radio talking about being a pagan. He was commenting on his frustration with Christian critics who keep calling him a satanist. He then said the killer line for me;

How can I be a satanist, when I don't believe in satan?

The FA critics are like that (particular kind of ) Christian, who sees their view as the way, the truth and the light, this conviction means they do not recognise the possibility of disagreement.

They therefore understand any disagreement, not on it's own terms, but can only assign it an existence, in terms of their worldview alone.

Those who claim FA is 'pro obesity' or promoting obesity, are doing exactly that, either you agree with the truth- them, or you are the opposite of truth, which must be that you promote fat. You only have one choice, opposition- to fatness- if you do any less than that you are promoting it. That includes failing to get bug eyed and declamatory, if you just said, I'm against fatties but I can't really be asked to do anything about it, you are a backslider and in danger of promoting and so on.......

It's a crusade.

What's so interesting about being against FA, unlike other pro and anti arguments, is the brittleness of the anti stance, it's genuinely hard to see, how it is possible to disagree with fat acceptance in rational way, I'm still waiting for this to happen, years after joining in.

I don't doubt it's possible , I'd love to hear it. I don't believe I've got it all right, and although it's hard, sometimes, it's only the opposition that can tell you something you need to think about it.

I miss cogent opposition, honourable and thoughtful, taking no prisoners, but actually giving you the respect of listening to- by that I mean hearing what you say, not agreeing with you- what you have to say. It makes me feel a bit sad at times.

We fatties are often told that the reason we are fat is because we don't admit we are fat. We must accept that we are obese or fat, in order to make the 'necessary' changes.

Regularly, critics have tried hilariously to dismiss fat acceptance as 'obesity acceptance'. I think wiser heads may have dropped that one, since it's been pointed out that obesity acceptance is what they stand for (oh pisspoor opposition you demean us so). The acceptance that fatness is a disease called obesity, is obesity acceptance. The fat acceptance movement, to some degree anyhow,is against 'obesity acceptance'. Yeah, try your sound and fury about that faux pas.

If you think that this not knowing what they're talking about is a co-incidence, you're being way too generous to them, because they don't. They are guided by the central tenet of faith, fat=obesity= bad, that's it. As this is patently incorrect, it requires the opposite of logic to sustain it.

Or irrationality, presented as logic, which is not has hard as it sounds ;alas.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Causing your own weight

I felt pulled in differing directions whilst reading a wonderfully direct exposition of why Frances feels she is fat. Though it can be a low percentage balancing act, it is possible honestly say, I just eat too much and that's that.

I feel the same way at times myself. Especially when people in refuting the caricature of 'obesity' repeat the eat too much, do too little, forgetting people like myself have eaten a hell of a lot and others frankly don't have small appetites.

The latter is so praised in a slim person and utterly rejected as a possibility for a fat person. That has done many of us real damage, setting us on a futile errand to tame as a pathology what is just a natural tendency.

That is meeting our needs. It's also boring to not be able to have a variety of tastes and traits amongst fat people. To be unable to be honest, not just the opprobrium, but the disconnection it encourages between you and your own feelings.

I spluttered a bit in my objection, but what I really wanted to say is that is the "cause" of being slim/slender too, is eating "too much" and doing too little.

Saying it can also be more a representation of our culture a certain kind of free will. We have to own whatever we happen to be doing as directed by our will, rather than being able to say, I definitely want to do this or that or don't care, but though this direction is coming from inside me, it's  not consciously decided by me as such, though I'm owning it.

In order to avoid saying that kind of thing because it falls almost outside the meaning our society allows, making us seem pathetic or out of control. Which isn't the point, it's about finding out not only what we can control, but finding different ways to be in control. Just like working with rather than against nature.

In order to be in sync with yourself, you have to perceive and understand what you are trying to get in tune with. That's harder when our constricted ideas of being in total consciously directed control obscures the promise of other forms or experience of control.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Impossible to lose weight?

Saying that diet's or healthy lifestyles don't make fat people thin and stay that way, is not the same as saying that it is impossible to lose weight. How can it be impossible to lose weight? How can a body maintain its energy flow if weight stores can't be used up?

The daily variance in our weight shows that we are always losing and gaining weight as part of the normal process of maintaining a supply of energy that sustains life. Something very freaky would have to be going on for those fluctuations not to occur at all. The issue is not can weight be lost, or can it be "kept off", that is not in doubt.

The questions is by what route?

The route widely thought to be the only one, restricting energy through intake and expenditure, ignores that the body is designed to restore balance. This means trying to restore any loss brought about by calorie restriction. Whatever weight one loses or maintains reflects the inefficiency or inability of that body to achieve that balance before you lose weight.

Given enough time, it tends to catch up with itself.

Imagine juggling a load of objects and then being given more and more until you drop the lot. The weight loss dieting equation's a bit like that. When you start "dropping things", you rebound. The whole obstacle course of a diet-the planning, weighing and measuring, extreme conscious watchfulness, endless calculation etc., is exhausting.

In other words the weight you lose is your (body's) failure and your inability to lose weight/get thin is its successful defence of the status quo as it is programmed to.

I have absolutely no doubt that it is possible not only to lose weight, but that it should be possible to as easy as it tends to be gained. Why not?

On the whole weight gain is spontaneous, whatever you think has caused it to occur/identify as its cause, is usually just the playing out of some cause or other. Cause may be important, but I think it should be possible to reverse weight, in at least some cases without knowing what that is.

Gaining weight/becoming fat is about some rubicon being crossed some upward pressure causing a giving way. Whatever prevents that beforehand stops occurring to the extent that prevents that (new) accumulation of fat cells and tissue.

And so on, either your body stabilises there or the process continues.

Nor should it hurt. The assumption that pain is what stops weight loss misses the point. That comes from the action of your body's defence of itself and the effects of calorie restriction.

When your body let's go of weight as a side effect of changes in your life, or using up the energy calories

Pain is a sign of the unnatural nature of imposing a famine on yourself.