Friday, 30 May 2014

Fat Shaming

I could post for years on the subject of fat shaming, it's so pervasive and disgusting. We hear all the whiners insisting that they are only looking out for others' health and how fat people should not feel comfortable living.

I assert that if you have ever eaten something unhealthy, you're a hypocrite. How dare you go stuff your face with sugar and carbs and fast food yet attack someone whose metabolism is slower than yours (for whatever reason.)

We are somehow seen as celebrating disease and being "unhealthy" if we push for fat acceptance. So many people feel compelled to insist that "shouldn’t encourage obesity."

Sort of like when you attack someone for their choice of clothing or their hair color/style, or anything else that doesn't bring you pleasure? We shouldn't allow people to exist comfortable without us telling them they haven't lived up to our narrow minded expectations and demands, right?

How dare women walk around with small breasts. How dare fat people not be miserable all day. How dare short people be all short. How dare anyone wear glasses instead of contacts. How dare we walk around with *gasp* VISIBLE PORES! How dare women get older. How dare we look TOO GOOD, lest we arouse lustful thoughts in men who are incapable of controlling themselves!

WebMd states:

Medical causes of obesity can include:
  • Hypothyroidism. This is a condition where the thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces too little thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone regulates our metabolism. So too little hormone slows the metabolism and often causes weight gain. If your doctor suspects thyroid disease as a cause of your obesity, he or she may perform blood tests to check your hormone levels.
  • Cushing's syndrome. This condition results when the adrenal glands (located on top of each kidney) produce an excess amount of a steroid hormone called cortisol. This leads to a build-up of fat in characteristic sites such as the face, upper back, and abdomen.
  • Depression. Some people with depression overeat, which can lead to obesity.
There are also certain inherited conditions and other diseases of the brain that can cause excess weight gain.
Certain medications, notably steroids, some antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, and seizure medications can also cause increased body weight.

They also state that usually obesity is caused by "overeating" but I can point out a few things -- overeating is not always a choice thing or something within our control. We work on control all the time, but when your thyroid refuses to do its thing and you eat a cupcake, it's going to create much more fat than it would in someone whose body is functioning as it should.

Case in point, me and my husband. My husband is thin and can't seem to gain weight. I on the other hand, have struggled with my weight since childhood. I used to walk all over NYC (didn't own a car) and was still overweight. I walked quite a few miles every day. I walked from 44th street to Lincoln Center and back. My blood pressure was EXCELLENT. I didn't have any health problems. But I was still overweight.

I would try not to eat much while my husband could shovel in multiple helpings. I was eating low fat and doing portion control while my husband didn't have to think twice about what he put in his mouth. I was not eating a lot of food, not having multiple servings -- heck, I eat slowly and am usually the last person to finish eating and usually also have to bring food home in a to go box while everyone else's plates are clean AND they're having dessert! (Dessert, I don't do. Hate dessert.) Then I found that carbs were my personal culprit (i.e. a calorie is NOT a calorie and I was eating not too much but the wrong combination of foods), went on Atkins and started losing weight at a more reasonable rate, but still -- how was it that my husband didn't put any weight on considering he worships at the Golden Arches, drinks soda after soda all day long, eats pies, candy, Reese's peanut butter cups, peanut butter and ice cream by the gallon, bags of donuts, Kool-Aid, and full packages of naked, cold cooked spaghetti??? By rights he should be dead by now or at least diabetic. Nope, he's not. His cholesterol is about 2 pts. above normal. His weight is fine.

We went to a new doctor in Canada and during our initial chat with him, he pointed out that there are a couple of types of people and my husband was the one who watched what he ate and ate healthfully while *I* was the sort of person who ate whatever they wanted, whenever. (!!!! SERIOUSLY !!!!) He assumed this and could not have been more wrong. I was the one who paid attention to every meal, I was the one eating low carb, I was the one concerned with health. Hubby didn't give a shit because hey, according to society he was thin and thin is healthy! So why bother?

Did I mention that my husband also does not eat any kind of vegetable beyond corn (cooked), carrots (raw) and sometimes, in those RARER than pigs flying moments, lettuce? And might I also add that corn and carrots are heavy on sugars.

Society would look at us and say I am the problem. That I have no right to feel comfortable in my body. That I am somehow making wrong choices and need to be punished. But no one would KNOW that my husband packs away fast food and crap with absolute reckless abandon. No one would judge his eating habits or point out that he really should expand on his vegetable horizons. That he should take good care of himself and have some self respect.

Because you can't SEE what he's doing wrong.

And you can't SEE what I'm doing right.

And thin does not equal healthy. It doesn't mean the thin person is always eating veggies and tuna or that they don't eat fast food ever or crap or sodas or get drunk or practice safer sex or are responsible in ANY way. It could be as absolutely simple as their metabolisms are faster. Yet they're not attacked for any of their poor choices.

So to anyone who actually thinks it's ok to tell me how I eat or how I live or should live, or feels they can dictate another person's life for any reason, I will come by and pick up your porn, beer, pot and everything else you use that can be "unhealthy" so we can burn it on the "Healthy Only, Always" bonfire and I'll hand out some kale chips. In the meantime:

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