Monday, 30 November 2009

What is compulsive eating?

First you have to think about what normal eating is. Basically eating according to your needs. Those needs can be to manage your mood and try to keep you from sinking into a pit of some kind of mental disorder.

It's part of your emotional defense mechanisms.

That is where compulsive eating deviates from the norm, it is an extension of that. The pattern increases deepens and a temporary measure can become ingrained. The key to dealing with it is to deal with the underlying stressors and tensions that are distorting your eating habits.  Much treatment deals with trying to directly repress the desire to eat, which is trying to solve a symptom as if it's the cause.

Eating is necessary for life, therefore using addiction as a model is inapt. Any definition of compulsive eating should come from the way it actually functions, not from something else which is hardly comparable, drugs are not food. This is important for cure and restoration and should be paramount.

Addiction is mainly a physiological dependence on drugs, that has psychological components. The only thing close to a food addiction is alcoholism, because as well as being a drug or a toxin, alcohol is a food.

As neither are necessary for existence, they can theoretically be stopped completely. Whether they should have to be is a source of debate. It would clearly be better if the excess craving for alcohol could be reversed or removed. If that approach had been taken, that could have informed all reversal of unwanted and excess cravings of all kinds.

That's probably why the urge is to get eating disorders on board with that. To continue that evasion. If a drug addict's system can adapt sufficiently and restore the normal balance of innate opiate production. Then their lucky and may be able to remain drug free. Abstaining from drugs cannot guarantee that, anymore than suppressing excess hunger can guarantee to return it to normal.

Compulsive eating occurs when hunger and appetite signals increase substantially out of proportion to your body's current energy and nutrient needs of the body. Hunger rises through signalling from the whole body, to your brain. It has several main causes, overwhelming mental /or emotional trauma-notably bereavement or separation from parent are just some.

Weight acceptance

I see a tiny and therefore lets face it rather preliminary at best study validates what it calls a more weight acceptance approach-well it's better than the tedious misnomer of "obesity acceptance." As they say, softly, softly catchee monkey. Because we've been wound up into such as tizzy over fatness and weight, we're in the wrong mode altogether to deal with the health of fat people productively.

It seems amazing that not harming fat people as a precursor to oh, anything, or just apropos of nothing, needs validation of any kind. It's dieting that's the unnatural and dysfunctional pathology. And remember also that harming fat people as a preamble to dieting is a sleight-of-hand. You lift the self hatred/hatred as you perform diet behaviours, manipulating your sense of well being in order to link that to your dieting.

The trouble with seeking evidence for the obvious-hurting people is bad for them-is it tends toward underlining the erroneous normalization of the accepted dysfunction, by default. Make no mistake is abnormal to disassociate from your own body, insult, degrade and dehumanize it and claim that is the interests of health.

We are repeatedly informed that discomfort triggers compensatory hunger, so it's hardly surprising that the group which eschewed discomforting of people, felt more in balance when it came to eating. That's a given, which is why there's always been a big question mark over the insistence of discomforting fat people-to lose weight.

So, level of "social support" can affect the demands being made on a person's hunger?

Even if it did make it healthier, that wouldn't justify that approach. If anything can be achieved negatively, it can be achieved positively. If people are seen as valuable enough, which clearly they are not. The real deal with HAES for me is that it starts from there regardless of others who require 'evidence'.

Like others, the evidence of our lives is clear enough for many of us. 

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Panic business

Big Liberty has written about the case building of moral panics. It contains fascinating links, one to another post she wrote directly on the subject of moral panics;
A moral panic is an intense feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.
Appears to is right;
Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are known by researchers as "moral entrepreneurs", while people who supposedly threaten the social order have been described as "folk devils."
Moral entrepreneurs is so right, that's the whole of the 'obesity' industry, science and et al. That describes precisely the direction of their role which has little nothing to do with improving health. It's more about perpetuating their own bailiwick, which works according to their own personal dictates.

There's a similarity with politicians, who work to an ideology which they proselytize and alter reality to match.

I'm not entirely convinced that a lot of obesity researchers have a feel for scientific advance that we're used to from other medical science which seeks to resolution, rather than enforcement. There's little sense of advancement through pure knowledge. It's more as a means to an end, influencing others and facilitating a sense of self importance.

It also relates that moral panics are based on that which is rarely voiced and so is at heart is a taboo.

This is what most fascinates me about the obesity crisis, what is the unspoken heart of it?

I've got a few ideas on what those are, but it definitely causes me to wrack my brains. I've always had doubts, I just didn't follow them up so much they kind of hung there as I sustaining my FoBT. Since getting off that bad trip, the subterranean aspects seem to press themselves more into one's consciousness.

Oh happy days.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Men's groups

This could be very bloody. The discourse may get a lot worse before it gets better. Men seem more welded to the idea that masculinities were created for their needs (ha, ha, ha) rather than to train them to take up the role assigned for them.

Too many still trade in trad sexuality is nature. It's natural, it's fracking Darwin and shit?!

A definitive study of weight loss dieting efficacy

Looking at the oft quoted diet fail statistics, diets fail 98% percent of the time or 95%, depending on which point in the time line. These figures cause controversy, increasingly so it seems.

It's hard to pinpoint exact attribution to their source Keys or Stunkard. Many find these figures deeply disappointing, finding any mention of it, offensive. As if it's some kind of libel against WLD, maybe even themselves, for adhering to a set of figures they wouldn't normally touch with a barge pole.

It's an inevitable part of not accepting the truth about dieting. Even then, it typically evades focusing on a real issue, the lack of hard statistical evidence on the efficacy of weight loss dieting. You'd think that it should have been rigourously tested before being recommended as the answer for everybody.

You'd also think that after all this time someone would have bothered to do a long term large scale unbiased study on it. Set a goal of weight at BMI 25, for those who are fat. As nothing above this is seen as acceptable. Let's not move the goalposts for the professionals eh?

Include plump and slim people, obviously, set them goals accordingly. It maybe important to see if there's any variance between groups. Then, I'd recommend you start with many, many thousands finding a way to check at least weekly how many people are still in the study. With some provision for re-entering the study if within a certain short period of say a couple of weeks or a month as things like that happen when people are dieting.

Give people the means to say they've had enough and they're okay again, perhaps a small electronic device. Create the ability to record a sample of daily records.

It could be a five, seven or ten year study, with snapshots taken over certain periods. 

Monday, 23 November 2009

Blaming ignorance for fatness

After one too many "poor people are fatter because they eat shit and do nothin", but it's not their fault they're so degenerate, nutritional ignorance, blah, bleh. I googled around and happened upon this via BfB.

What this neat little study gives voice to is what I've repeatedly tried and seemingly failed to get across, if poor people are fatter-and here they are compared to the richest- the idea that it is because of the food they eat and their lack of gym membership is hardly convincing to me.

Any denizen of the f'os might spot the flaw in that hypothesis, especially if they are capable of removing their classist goggles for a sec. How can a movement advance that fat people eat the same variety of foods as anyone else yet blithely claim poor people eat badly? That would mean they'd all be fat then wouldn't it?

Oh I know, hypocrisy/a deep and abiding belief in the intrinsic degeneracy of the proletariat.
It's easy to blame obesity on poor diet and lack of exercise. But this is overly simplistic, like blaming high unemployment on the number of people watching afternoon television. It doesn't explain underlying causes.
That's right. What lends poorness to fatness is the capacity to open up the body's defenses, to press upon the need for them.  The stresses that play upon the mind and body of a person due to that low income. The make do and mend, the things never quite fit, never quite right for you. To an extent a trigger for ingenuity, but the rate and variety of direction that they seem to come at you means eventually lack is just plain old lack. Something has to give.
....deeper roots of the obesity problem lie at the crossroads between social status and biology.
Yeah, it's so hard for us to believe that this body and this mind, works on a chemical basis. Its switches are electrical impulses and hormones, substances. It's a living reactive machine, all parts thinking and reacting, affected by our environment.

We can't seem to stop treating it as if it's some inviolate thing that has imbalances and rogue chemicals running around, oh really, but that's also how it works. Poor people run around doing their many jobs, long hours low remunerated work. See them cleaning and tidying up, serving others, fat and plump more than adequately represented among their number. But don't take my word for it, go and see for yourself.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Looking poor

Just thinking, in a patriarchal capitalist system, men are supposed to have the lion's share of wealth. Women should look as if they need feeding. Poorer women who are plump/ fat, look as if they have enough ingenuity to survive. Gaining enough resource from the meager allowance allocated to the poor by society. That they can take care of themselves and therefore, others connected to them, perhaps this explains why men are allowed to be fatter, to look like they are prospering.

And poorer people are offensive when their bodies suggest ingenuity and ambition enough to make the most of little and get a bit more. Some like their poor feckless and in need, helpless and looking famished.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Greatness of mind

The other day at shapely, someone a woman called Kathryn made this comment.
No wonder I gave up trying to make any sense out of “diet rules”–as my Harvard and University of Chicago educated husband put it, “great minds don’t go into dietary science.”
I agreed with the underlying point that great minds don't go into dietary science, I added obesity science to that. Kate took unexpected exception to this, stating a couple of examples of people who clearly have functioning brain in their head who are involved in each of those, fields.

She felt that it was a snobbish generalization to start with 'great minds don't....' Thing is, the original commenter started from the product, in this case diet rules.  Whilst there may well be intelligent people involved in nutrition, if there was any serious contingent of greatness, it would show in the way that subject developed. I can think of ways off the top of my head and I don't consider my mind to be great.

Even long before I stopped trying to lose weight, this was so glaringly evident, that I actually felt like I must be missing something.

No way could any branch of science that was not derided and ridiculed by other scientists or other thoughtful people survive such base and low standards of intellect, curiosity above all, rationalism. I was naively wrong, it was that bad. Nor did I realise just how much of the reverence in which we non-scientists hold science in could rub off on a field so currently devoid of most, if not all of it's merits.

The way I saw it was the refusal to accept the failure of calorie manipulation is an outrage against logic, so much so that it is wildly intriguing and clearly far more complex than presumed. Therefore great minds will rush in, any minute now, to take it by the scruff of the neck and impose the usual intellectual ferocity-sometimes seemingly to the point of amorality- we associate with science. 

Not forgetting the potential for glory in the widespread conviction of a coming adipocalypse. But no, apparently not. The people involved mostly don't seem to be all that bright, or particularly ambitious. If you are bright, how could you stand it, apart from just not giving a shit?

I find the latter most compelling.

There's no pressure on you whatsoever, none. No one's asking you why you have produced jack shit that has any affect on weight. The blame falls squarely on the people themselves-whether they are fat or not.

If you are thin and you re-gain 5 pounds, you're just as much as fault as someone who re-gains more. Having expected an emphatic victory over my metabolism; "I'm the boss around here and what I say goes", I've gotten over much of the upset about that not working out. I am left in awe, yes, awe, of our metabolism. It's so damn clever and sneaky, and if I'd known no one would be interested.....

Greatness of mind is available to us all. It does not necessarily depend on how many exams you've passed, or what exclusive school you went to. It's about reaching for the highest that you can, digging deep from within. Pushing yourself on when you feel like giving up because you've got an overriding desire for something more or other than what you have now.

She left school at 16 years old with no qualifications. She had a child soon after and it was born with a chronic and exceptionally rare condition. She found out all she could about it and discovered from this and observing her child, that the knowledge that was taken for granted wasn't right. Although it was difficult and she encountered resistance from those who were thought to know better, she didn't and couldn't give up on her child, because she just knew that they were looking at things the wrong way.

The reason why I heard about her, was because her greatness of mind, eventually forced the professionals to take note of her, to their credit. From the most unpromising of circumstances, she achieved something amazing.  Even I with my little mind, can easily conceive of ways, both fields could show some spark of intellectual ambition. I don't even see that, nor much else in it's place. As I see it from this angle, I can't pretend a greatness that's absent. 

Friday, 20 November 2009

Weight loss dieting is not education on health

There's been a lot of talk about this story in the f'os. A historically black college that has finally bowed to the shaming of blacks/POC, they are really obese, OMG, deciding that to graduate, any student with a BMI of 30 plus is required to take some health and fitness course.

Only fat students, not slim ones who's weight proves-they don't need it. Obviously this is makes it unacceptable. Conflating fatness with ignorance inactivity and ill health is just lazy. What adds another element to this is the idea of black shame. The feeling that black people are being watched and must prove themselves worthy or the equal of hostile others. Most of all the feeling of shame that they may fall short and bring racism upon their heads.

The common defences of this however, conflate health with slimness.

 The problem here is the idea that fat people must be induced into useless and destabilizing calorie manipulation in order to go through the motions of an outer lead fat existence is the opposite of education.

It doesn't work and therefore it should be a lesson on wrong ideas and lack of critical thinking. It's harmful effects mean people should go into it of their own volition with their eyes open, it should be imposed on no one.

If all weight groups were subject to this, it wouldn't really make it any better, but it would stop it being discriminatory-on the grounds of weight. I'm sure slim people would hate it though and would be quite vociferous in the complaints.

Kate Moss's skinny taste

It seems Kate Moss is in trouble; again. In an interview up on the women's wear daily site, in answer to the question "Do you have a motto?" she was quoted saying;

There are loads. There’s “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” That’s one of them. You try and remember, but it never works.

It shouldn't be surprising that this has caused a hoo-ha, but somehow it is, slightly. Part of me thinks that people might have been too bored to bother. Not because anorexia isn't serious, but because in my head, I cannot understand how health campaigners still have the cheek to pass off the growth of anorexia onto the rag trade.

Just like Twiggy (Lawson) was responsible for the establishment of the thin ideal, because she insisted on being photographed whilst being a gorgeous gamine, as opposed to her being a woman who's time had come. Kate Moss is the modern version, their similarities, both come from humble, backgrounds, exhibiting an admirable confidence in themselves and a comfortableness in their own skin that is almost deceptively transcendent and inspiring.

Yes, even though she wishes to remain thin, possibly over and above professional necessity, I'd still say that she has an admirable, and inspiring belief in herself.

Both were/are idolised by the thin worshiping classes and act as a vehicle for disapproval of that ideation and therefore self castigation, rather like fat people, but more in the form of envy rather than fearful contempt. I think it's one of the reasons why I've never had a bad word to say about either of them, I know how it feels to be a target for the unspoken desires of others who cannot face them head on.

I suppose this kind of ruckus occurs because they are a lightening rod for the re-iteration of the right thing. You should not be too thin and you should not be 'overweight', you should be healthy. That is inbetween, acceptable.

If you are judge not, then they're waiting to attack you and reassert the acceptable order.

Nevermind that the behaviours recommended especially to the 'overweight' are anorexia, and that is exactly what we are asked to aspire to, it would be seen in us as a victory against our gluttony and sloth. Some of the 'advice' given is straight out of thinspiration, take every opportunity to exercise. That doesn't mean take up tennis on Monday and gym on Thursday, it means, in every spare moment, perform the regulation physical jerks.

Don't even think of enjoyment, because nothing tastes as good as thin as the prospect of getting society off your back.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Major League obesity doctor=SFA

Dr. Arya Sharma is apparently a big cheese obesity doctor in Canada. What does that mean? Politeness forbids me from answering that succinctly.

Although, I must add, I'm not hating on Canada, I have a soft spot for any countries unjustly overshadowed by their noisier neighbours, on general principle. It's just that obesity professionals, are mostly bums, who've achieved nothing. They do not have any sense of vocation I can discern nor the voracious curiosity I assumed de rigueur for any scientist or researcher in the main.

Nor do I see any signs they give much of a damn about fat people, over and above appearance sake. I certainly hope they are the only group who've enthusiastically helped to destroy the reputation of their clientele, rather than seeking to increase the public's understanding of them. Its interesting that this is not felt to serve the interests of the obesity field. I wonder why.

But ever capable of being open minded and optimistic, I stand to be corrected in this case. It seems to me that Sharma is someone who knows better, but can't follow through, the former makes him heroic to some.

I understand it is because we must not judge obesity hustlers as they are, but as if they are behaving properly in order to model good behaviour in them. It is our duty to encourage them to do what they should already be doing of their own volition.

If we show what nice people we are, this will make people behave better towards us, as our bad behaviour has clearly caused people to behave badly toward us.

That isn't true, but it makes sense.

Truth more than happiness is the spur

Bri over at fat lot of good wrote about the relationship between fatness and depression. My issue with 'fat and happy' is that suggests that if you are unhappy and fat (or because you are fat), there's anything else you can do about-apart from changing your attitude to the fact that you are fat.

Or that this is an imperative that will somehow be parlayed into dieting success. I did not come to a fat acceptance mentality out of happiness, or the desire for happiness, anymore than I came to be agnostic/atheist. I came to this point because I could no longer pay the price I was paying for constant weight loss attempts. It was also, cumulative, my tolerance or capacity for it, gave out.

There are truths that you just have to recognise, regardless of whether that makes you happy or not. Yes it's true that this can make you feel good, removing an increasing burden of pressure that comes with buying into a lie, the rigours of calorie restriction on your mind and body, but to represent that as happy/unhappy gives the impression that if you've come to an FA way of thinking, you must be happy.

Sometimes yes, but sometimes it's devastating. The link between a sense of control and the (illusion of) control that weight control through dieting seems to give. It's important to say this so that people don't feel they are failing or somehow fraudulent if they're working through their conditioning-and these feelings come up.

This happy and fat thing, is a bogus line coming from those who seek to pressurize fat people into dieting. Even if you are happy and fat, they don't want you to be and will seek to attack that happiness, citing it as the cause of your fatness,  just the same anyway. We have no more duty to be happy, than we have to be 'healthy', though hopefully, we will experience happiness and get to a better more grounded place.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Now's in time

I've been thinking a bit lately about a recurring mental theme of mine. What is all this obesity stuff about? Amongst all the shouting and angst, are we just communicating things to each other that we aren't able to say out loud, in a direct manner?

From the start of this whole FA adventure, I've not been able to get on board with feeling that fat people are oppressed, not in the way I understand it. It doesn't matter worth a damn to me, as I don't believe you need to be, to complain about being treated unfairly.

It doesn't delegitimize fat people's stories or desire for fair treatment in any way. I just feel that claims of oppression are premature for many reasons. It's just not systemic, in the ways that racism or sexism are.

It's perfectly reasonable to not wish to wait that for that. Things have already gotten bad enough with no end in sight.

Oh, Ms Angelou!

Perusing obesity timebomb , I espied an interview with Maya Angelou, and the gorgeous, (inside and out) Gary Younge.

As to be expected, she does her thing;
In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons.

Yes indeed, and how hard is that, at times?

"I'm always disappointed when people don't live up to their potential," she says to me. "I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them." She suggests that this mindset is at the root of black kids thinking that to do well at school is to "act white". "But that, too, can change,"

Yes, I've discovered that so often, I think I'm going to stick with it, this time.

Sure enough, halfway through the interview she tells me I'm fat and suggests I pay more attention to the size of my portions. "You are going to have to lose that weight. You're too young and too handsome. Don't do it to yourself."

What?! Wait a minute.

Criticizing the magnificent GY's physique?

I have to take issue with that Ms. A, with the greatest of respect. Potentials can and will be fulfilled regardless of your weight as those of us willing to see ourselves as a whole person. Our fat is non detachable, and we are not a collection of bad habits.

Not doing so is one of the 'holes' we all need to avoid.

Amongst many other projects, she's working on a cookbook called. "Great Food All Day Long".

Ok Ms A. I won't tell the food police they'll have you up for 'encouraging obesity'.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My body

My body is an intricate animal, at once delicate and powerful. It is visceral, compelling and real.

It is me. My body is myself.

I am not a cigarette. My body is not a cigarette.

I am not alcohol. My body is not alcohol.

I am not a collection of habits. My body is not a collection of habits.

My body is my existence.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Fatness is unfeminist

Again, I've been forced to contemplate the disappointing reactions of feminists to views from fat women that challenge assumptions. Marianne of the rotund wrote a post at CiF. Amongst the usual slurry of hate a few interesting things were said, a couple of comments that for me epitomized the problems most feminists seem to have with fatness.

In this case I'm referring mostly to white middle class slim feminists of course. I must admit, having listened to their endless whines and gripes over the years, I thought they'd be more able to extend the same favour, not approval, but the capacity to listen. The ability to recognise it wasn't always about them, in the way that is de rigueur if you aren't one of them.

I've found out the hard way, how unequal that is. It's not that I didn't know before, I didn't realise the extent though, I finally do. Mswoman;
I have to admit to being really conflicted about this issue. Not on the issue of hurling abuse at fat people I hasten to add, that's never right and never will be. I'm also not conflicted about joining the author and others in condemning the beauty industry/the media and so on for perpetuating ridiculous and for most people completely unattainable standards of acceptability when it comes to body size/looks etc.  
I've quoted rather a lot I know, but I did not want to reduce her comments merely to those that were tiresome. She goes on;
And I will say that what I do find frustrating and quite dangerous at the moment is the way that parts of the feminist blogosphere in particular seem now to be trying to sell obesity not only as a valid and empowering lifestyle choice.
Selling. I know we all now realise the error of our ways and recognise that capitalism is the only way, but putting the other side of a one sided crusade is not selling anything. Obesity. Obesity is the construction of the state of being fat as a disease. I do not accept it as such, full stop. Lifestyle choice? Fatness is not a lifestyle of any kind whatsoever, anymore than thinness, or being plump.
which I'm sure it can be for some, but as something that's entirely without consequence: because quite clearly it's not.
If you're sure, why don't you STFU then? Then there's this, who incidentally the above assured everyone was a troll, probably but a troll who is bang on the money with a certain mentality;
20CenturyWoman I am a feminist... .. and although I do feel that a great many women are overweight for reasons of unhappiness which is engendered by an oppressive patriarchal system, women who are fat or overweight are essentially undermining their own claim to the boons of liberation and feminism.
So far fat is unfeminist;
In many ways I see becoming fat as 'self harm'... and in much the same way that I despise the horror of FGM, equally i condemn the act of making oneself fat... it is a crime that women commit upon themselves.. just like FGM.
That's female genital mutilation. Not only do fat women let themselves down, but also detract credibility from the feminist cause and individual women who take pride in themselves i.e are slim. Described as a troll, another contributor "imogenblack" said no, she'd heard the same thing from friends of hers. She supposed it was a reaction against the dungareed man hating stereotype that people have leveled against feminism.

For these mild comments they were described as self hating by 20CenWoman;
Let me be clear in saying that I do NOT disrespect Marianne in any way for allowing herself to fall below respectable standards of health or weight. That is her CHOICE and I would fight for her CHOICE to remain unhealthy and unattractive if that is what she wanted... it is her right as a WOMAN to decide for herself.. this is what feminism is all about... That said, I feel that as a force, feminism would be a more determined and powerful movement if women were to maintain high standards, morally, intellectually and physically.... I realise that this sounds draconian.. but I envisage a world where each woman can feel proud of who she is... where she can look at herself, inside and out, and say "I am a woman"... What we are asking of men is 'respect me'... how can we ask that if we do not respect ourselves?.. if we do not respect our minds AND our bodies?
I don't wish to be bracketed with people like this. 

Mind and body

This discussion over at CiF, mainly follows the usual tedious course of these matters but a couple of things among the responses caused me to ponder.

There was a much recommended post by someone called JonaMc timed at 12:24. [I've tried the direct link to posts here, but it doesn't seem to be working, possibly due to the number of posts, 944 in total.]

It's an interesting view of how fat people, in particular this fat person sees him/herself. The writer uses the pronoun you, to universalise their own experience as that of all fat people. They say, that a fat person doesn't seem him/herself as overweight, they see themselves as what they are-fat-rather than what they are not, a slim person inside a fatter person's body.

What's so interesting about that, is that's how I'd describe more of a fat acceptance mentality. Before that, you tend to see yourself more as failing to be slim. Your view of yourself is interrupted. S/he describes a normal level of self perception. As it happens, I've not been fat my whole life and am well aware that in either an earlier time or having lived differently or in different circumstances, I could just as naturally or easily have been thin as I am in actuality, fat.

I don't feel any less fat than those who've only known themselves fat, but it must colour my views, as it probably does theirs. I see myself as mainly being and having been a fat person. I saw myself as fat before, but not in that same way. I accepted it first, when my efforts to stave off chubbiness and then fatness, did not work. But, I was trying to achieve thinness.

What's just as fascinating is that JMc sees their values as flowing from their fatness, this includes emphasizing intellectual pursuits above physical ones. Naive, huh? That just sounds like the middle class mindset before the advent of slimming culture.

I never thought about it before, but maybe this ugly fitness boom is some kind of backlash against what went on then. Fitness freaks were deemed crude dumbos who couldn't think they're way out of a wet paper bag. It was really quite brutish and I determined I would not be prejudiced like that.

It almost feels like a missed opportunity. There's also something else, it could be in part fuelled by a deep longing from within. This disjointed view of life in your head. One of the tricky things about assimilation into western culture is it's alienation from the physical self, witness in Africa and other developing lands. Every occasion is marked not just by physical activity, but physicality, it's as if dancing and prancing is part of the expression, like a kind of physical thinking.

Even in the Latin countries of Europe, its the thing to wave your hands about to emphasize the process of speech. There's also the far East with their traditions of dance and China especially with it's Tai Chi and India with it's Yoga and so forth, contempt for and containment of people's natural expressions of physicality, seems to have become a pronounced part of western culture. Though I've heard about the Volga boatmen who apparently had a dance which like a lot of movement associated with Africa, flows from the pelvis.

S/he goes on to say, that they put no store by appearance as they are so 'monstrously lardy'- the kind of expression always guaranteed to endear you to fat detractors, as long as you make clear you are their absolute inferior, you put them right at ease. I have to say, being judged by your appearance does give you a great opportunity to see through beauty myths-indeed this has affected my view not only of looks, but of things such as availability of clothes. which quite a lot of fat people don't bother themselves with at all.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Superbad acceptance

I've always wanted to excel at something. I though that would include being a nice person, a good person, kind too. Seems I've failed.

I finally have to accept that by the dictates of society, I'm bad. My self image of myself as a middling to good person has to change. It doesn't matter what I feel like. I must take the public vote into account and it seems, I'm the epitome of everything rotten about civilization.

I feel a little irked I must say, not so much because of my previous ambitions more because, I've not developed a badass persona. I wasted my time cultivating goodness, suppressing nastiness, policing myself to be good. I feel horribly wrong-footed.

I wonder if the truly wicked feel as I do, they're just going about their business living the best way they can manage, but through others, the slow dawning realization, they find out, they're bad. What they do, is not good. What do they do?

Memo to self: research the 'superbad' and find out their coping strategies and presentation styles. Do you go with and say, hey nuts to you, I'm really bad, so that's that, sort of superbad acceptance? Or do they masquerade as good-I guess these tend to be those 'charming' psychopath types-being rather cool, they have the psychic energy to fake goodness? Or does one say ghaaaarrrgh, I be a monster, like a pirate?

The last one doesn't appeal, too showy, especially for a women, they'll probably just lock you up and fry your brain. No, for now, I think I'll just be myself and just accept that's superbad.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

What unrequited dreams set a course

Reading Ivan's post brought to mind some of the less talked about costs of our investment in calorie manipulation and weight loss dieting as the solution to weight control.

Those who really need help have nothing much available to them. They just don't seem to matter to those who use the obesity canard to service their own needs. What he says about his experiences is fascinating, he speaks of his current health struggles and how that brings thoughts of wanting to be thin to his mind. And no, it's not a sin to acknowledge your feelings about being thin.

The issue is what it takes out of you when you can't get there. There is a here and now and that's swallowed up in wishing.

What I would like, in lieu of a real answer for people like Ivan is a route out of that longing, to making the most of where he is now. Making that better, without that seeming as thin as his dream.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Bad moments

Over at the notorious B-L-O-G watrd Lissa asks about being in the moment and the difficulties of getting there.

In a world of self creation/actualisation, with our plans for world domination, or just the domination of self, we can fall into the trap of always being and thinking ahead of ourselves.

The information age is one of sensationalism, and we struggle with the mundane and seek escape in fantasy. Nothing wholly wrong with this, it is part of coping with day to day life and a vital part of our ability to envisage better.

What also causes disconnection from the self in this moment or any other is the background to each and every moment, your constant beliefs, especially those about yourself.

There is a lot of talk of mindfulness and returning to it, that can be tricky to get that balance and get back into the habit. But when you get there, you will be surrounded by the self you have created, and if that is unbearable, mindfulness, will also be hard to bear.

Indeed, a toxic view of yourself may well be the driving force for evading being in the moment. How can you want to be in the moment when that moment is always horrible, because you are always horrible?

When we take it upon ourselves to view ourselves in carelessly degrading and demeaning ways, because for instance we think this is honesty and facing up to the truth, our mental and emotional defences don't just ignore that, they cannot, they must act to minimise the effects of our vandalism of ourselves.

Those defences act in ways similar to our physical defences, they attempt to void the poison, or they attempt to separate us from it. You can perceive the latter when you begin to notice that people who foul their own nest, become semi detached from it.

They often don't recognise this themselves, so caught up are they in feeling their righteous sense of honour about facing the truth of themselves, they don't notice that whilst branding themselves, they identify so much with what they consider a righteous status, that they often don't see themselves in the light they've branded themselves.

They see themselves as goodness in waiting.

This doesn't fully save them from the damage and exhaustion of their view of themselves, it merely minimises the damage. This can unfortunately prolong it by making it less clearly perceived. Though the damage limitation helps to keep worse at bay.

They are not totally unaware of the pain they feel, they tend to blame it on the what it is they've labelled themselves, not on the consequences of labelling themselves with a negative status they cannot escape.

Being in the moment requires you to live with all that you believe yourself to be underlying the moment. If it is bad, that is what you will be communing with. You will find yourself bored, easily distracted, or feeling various feelings of anxiety and panic emerge, unhindered by your usual distracted or semi-detached states. The one good thing about attempting mindfulness, is that it will give you a chance to become aware of this.

Only if you realise it though, because the moment and being in it, will only benefit you, if your moment can be lived in.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Eating predestined conclusions makes you fatuous

This report on a study soon to appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, claims eating quickly is responsible for overeating. Hey, isn't everything, why not that?

Overlooking the promiscuous misuse of that term to the point where it has become ill defined, we'll stick with, eating more than, less.
The habit of eating at your desk which has become more prevalent in recent times is helping to fuel the obesity epidemic.

How so?

Encouraging people to eat quickly whilst doing other things.

The study split people into groups and gave them the same amount of ice cream, 300ml. Different people ate at different speeds.

Those who took 30 minutes to finish their portion, reported feeling fuller than those who were quicker and their blood sample had higher levels of hormones that tell the brain the stomach is full.

Scientists believe eating quickly stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full.

Believe is right, because this would mean that people eat fast to resist fullness. Fullness gives a large range of pleasureful feelings, a sense of satisfaction, which brings an emotional uplift, you know when you sit back after having had your fill, feeling like all is right with the world?

Now why would you recklessly cast this aside, to eat faster and according to this report, lessen the chances of this happening and increase the likely amount you will ingest?

Why pleasure of course. Hang on a minute: D'OH!

Let's go over that.

Eating more than you need is more likely to lead to indigestion, heartburn, sluggishness, physical discomfort etc.

And yet scientists are prepared to 'believe' this is likely.

It is much touted that fat people eat faster, on average than those less so. I don't know, all I do know is that honestly the fastest eaters I've ever witnessed happen to have been amongst the thinnest people I've ever met.

If this is more than mere anecdote, it might be in part because fat people are more likely to make a conscious effort to slow down their eating.

I once had one of the few successes I've ever had doing this. I apropos of nothing decided to do this one time.

Unsurprisingly, everything was fine at first, then even though I suffered no discomfort whatsoever, it's as if something shifted in the background-internally that is- and for the life of me, It wasn't the same.

I could get no pleasure whatsoever from eating, so I actually stopped, usually out of boredom, but strangely unsatisfied, I felt what I'd eaten, but not in the way you are supposed to feel it.

It was a feeling way out there in the distance somewhere, unconnected with anything like fullness or satisfaction, but running parrallel to it, I knew I'd eaten though.

I carried on, but that's really what did for me in the end, the inability to get any pleasure at all, eating just became, not so much a bore, as a blah. Gray meaningless somehow. This is the kicker, it didn't lessen my appetite. It didn't give up and slink off, as usual, it just became more insistent, until it all became too self defeating and I stopped.

I would not claim universality for my experience, but I'm pretty sure aspects of it are widespread, if not, certainly, the upshot is.

Which is that the same as other attempts to slip calorie reduction and the threat of starvation past the body's defences, it might in a few yield dramatic results which will be trumpeted wildly as if we've never heard it before.

And the overwhelming majority will find it short lived as the body merely adjusts. Yeah, it doesn't always cotton on/act, immediately but come on, if someone was stealing amounts from your bank account, at some point it's going to register, right?

Monday, 2 November 2009

You wish we were thin haters!

Checking out Natalie at axisoffat, I couldn't believe the nerve ofthis woman.

I do not wish to label or put down any specific weight groups, but this article does illustrate is how certain people who are relatively slim or merely plump, make sure that their chosen dissatisfaction with their own bodies (and lives) means no one else is entitled to make peace with their own.

They seem to think they own weight and who gets to be OK with themselves. They deeply resent thinner people, and cast them in the role of people who by their very existence, prove a painful reminder of their own discontent.

Yet they keep them on a pedestal, on the other hand, they despise fat people, who they think they've been given as a motivational tool, and wish to prevent them having any sense of self respect.

In her article Virginia Haussegger describes model Linda Evangelista as a freak, because Evangelista told her in an interview that she makes no effort to participate in the superstitions that are supposed to control people's weight. Good on her, she sounds like my kind of woman and I never thought I'd say that.

Thing is, anyone who's naturally thin, is the same, it's nothing to do with being a professional coat hanger. In fact, we are all 'naturally' the size we are, however we got their it was 'natural' to us as it is to Evangelista, whether we've struggled against it, or not.

She describes her as a beautiful goddess, merely because she's photogenic and doesn't diet.


Well she did not tell Haussegger to call her that, that is her own view. It's part of her mission to be a weight watcher, again, her decision. Like so many who have belief systems that degrade them, she cannot suck it up, she has to share;

The appearance of fat is ugly when it reeks of sloth and a lack of discipline. Being skinny is ugly when it reeks of malnutrition and starvation.

With her mentality, she sees herself as somehow the 'wisdom of the middle' and the standard by which everyone should judge themselves. This is the ego fighting back after taking a pounding from being compared to 'goddesses'.

But that's not what most women are objecting to when they criticise skinny models in magazines.

Absolutely. Like herself, they are struggling to get out of the bind they've put themselves in with their tendentious inferiority complexes.

She then quotes Karl Largerfeld, himself a former long term fattie saying that women who complain about the size of catwalk models are fat mothers eating bags of chips; who's he kidding?

Maybe that's how it was for him when he was fat, I wouldn't be surprised, he is surrounded by thinness. That's enough to addle anyone's brain when it comes to their weight.

From this she goes on to the clincher;
Fat women hate skinny women. Maybe they console their misery with more chips.

Oh how some would love it if we were sitting there in raging at anyone thinner than ourselves- wait a minute, that's Haussegger! It's self loathing that does that, not being fat, also a very good reason to start appreciating yourself for what you are, not angling after being someone else.

Only silly people wish to partake in thin shaming. Many fat people recognise we are brothers and sisters under the skin, and vice versa. We recognise that certain people wish to demonise or be jealous of us due to their own insecurities and as you see, can't take it.

If you decide to stop hating yourself and go crazy and actively seek to like, nay love yourself, you don't feel the need to hate others, why should you? Their very existence cannot provoke insult if it's not there. You can admire beauty and not feel in any way lessened by it.

I don't and have never given a damn about the size of models, I know what they are for and have found the blaming of them to be a lot of displacement from the true culprits. As if models have any more effect on girls and women than authority figures who tell them fatness is a health risk and immoral or family members they look up to who shout out at fat people 'why don't you just stop eating?', then act really shocked when weight anxiety prompts their children to take that literally.

I have very little time for the fashion industry in general, and abuse of it's own workers should be dealt with the same way any employers who bully and are reckless with the health of their staff, but are they to blame for anorexia?