there seems to be a movement of fat activisim. i am not a part of that, not because i don't believe in it, i do in fact believe in it, but rather because it is not enough of a priority for me. there was a time when i was going to invest myself in it, decided to write a book called "Fabulous Attitudes Taboo" (F.A.T) - i never wrote the book, got distracted, instead i used the title for my blog and never address issues of being fat. kind of an interesting turn of events.
but normlr's post
made me start thinking about being fat and about fat people and about how fat people are seen.
i am a fat chick. a very fat chick. i guess that means i should have opinions on these things.
and in truth, i do. there are things that drive me bonkers, like the assumption that if you're fat it's because you are weak. the assumption that being fat is due to a lack of will power. the assumption that being fat oh-so-obviously means you do nothing but eat shit food and sit around and watch tv.
i'm not saying there aren't fat people who don't eat shit food and sit and watch tv all day, although i'm willing to bet money there are thin, or at least 'not fat' people who do that too.
then there are fat people who eat reasonably healthy food, in very reasonable portions, who go to the gym regularily, who live a 'normal' life, but we're still fat.
there are so many reasons someone becomes fat, so very very many, and i won't get into all of them here obviously, but some examples are -- a way to try and build safety - the body's defence mechanism against sexal abuse as a kid (seriously, it's a very common reaction 'i'll just make myself as unattractive as possible and he'll keep his filthy paws off me'); a reaction to medication; a pre-existing medical problem; and of course, good ol' genetics. and none of these or any other 'causes' of obesity work in a vaccuum, it's a nice combination of things that play into something like this. it's certainly not a simple "geeze, they can't take care of themselves".
yes, the reason several memebers of the same family are all fat may stem from them all having the same bad eating and exercising habits, but it also may just stem from a genetic predisposition. who knows.
i dread going to the doctor because i dread 'the talk'. every year, every physical, she tells me i need to lose weight, as though it were just that i hadn't figured it out yet. she also sends me for a battery of tests, glucose (test for diabetes), cholesterol, thyroid (although that's just to monitor my meds, i've been hypo-thyroid my whole life, got diagnosed and medicated when i was 14 or so) and so on. she of course also test my blood pressure and does other random poking and proding. then she tells me i'm healthy. that all my tests come in at the good to very good range. and then she says "they shouldn't, but they do". she obviously completely believes that fat must automatically mean unhealthy. her words, though likely not ment to be, are filled with judgement. even if it's not intended, it's still heard.
i am constantly surrounded by things that try to make me believe that i am a bad person because i am fat. i like to think that i have a pretty healthy outlook about myself when it comes to my weight, it's very much 'this is me, take it or leave it' when it comes to meeting other people, and very much an issue of health otherwise, i focus on being healthy, not on losing weight. i focus on eating nourishing food in reasonable amounts and on getting a reasonable amount of activity in my life. but even still, even with this 'healthy outlook' i can't help occassionally getting sucked into the idea that i must be a bad person 'cause i'm fat.
depending on the airline/airplane i am one of those people who needs to ask for a seatbelt extender, and i cannot begin to tell you how humiliating it is to ask the attendant for that, in front of other people, within earshot of people. it makes me want to cry. to avoid having to face that, some people go to the length of buying their own airline seatbelt extender. i can't tell you how happy i was when i boarded the air canada flight and didn't need to ask for an extender (my previous experience was on air transat, where i did need one).
i was telling a friend about someone at work, she's a superstar, but she doesn't care about her appearance, in any way. this has nothing to do with the fact that she's fat (although she is) because you can still take care of your appearance no matter what body you have. anyway, like i said, she's a superstar, she does amazing work, she's funny as hell, and just, well, is a superstar. i was telling a friend about this and telling him that it gave me a bit of faith because you always hear stuff about how attractive people get ahead and not attractive people have to fight much harder. i said the respect and regard she gets gave me a bit of faith in the system, and then he (the friend) said to me "and, you have to admit, she might be why they decided to give you a chance". huh? first, i'd like to say, i might be fat, but i'm cute as hell and i present myself quite well at work, so the only thing he could be refering to here is the fat part, which was not actually part of what i had been talking about. second, i'm sorry, what? they hired me because they had success with another fat person, so they thought i might be good to? now, this particular friend says asinine things, things that tend to end up being hurtful and he never really understands why they would be hurtful (never with malicious intent, just without a lot of forethought, and perhaps a wee lack of empathy), so i'm not saying this is a standard example, but i'm willing to bet that if i were black and i was talking about another black woman in the office he wouldn't say that.
i don't know, this is getting really rediculously long and i should stop now. maybe i should start writing about this stuff more in my posts, so that i can stay a little tiny bit true to my blog title. i guess what i'm saying is, i'm not a fat activist, but maybe i should be...
also, normlr, i don't want you to take this as a personal attack or anything, i'm not upset at you or mad at you or anything, it just sparked some thoughts that i figured maybe i should get down. i'm not actually sure i even expressed them in here, or know what they are, i just sort of started rambling. so really actually, thank you for the spark, for the inertia... *grin*