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Yup, gonna post even though I have had no time this week...

New Year resolutions, and all that. Next week should be slightly less hectic; This week I've been taking down Xmas stuff (it's a fairly wide-spread UK superstition that all Christmas decorations need to be down by the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan 7, also known as 12th Night), returning stuff to stores, preparing for 12th Night (yes, we'll be there), and making some decisions about the future and stuff.

So, it's actually really pleasurable to read this. Someone in the diet business who actually understands that people aren't all supposed to be exactly the same weight, and moreover, understands that people can be fat and healthy and skinny and unhealthy, and every combination in between? Lovely.

Bodies are not simple machines, something the HAES and FA communities have been saying for years. We all react differently - me, for instance? I need sugar to digest anything properly. I can live happily on fruit and dessert and high-sugar vegetables/starches (winter squash, lima beans, etc.), but protein isn't such a vital need. I've also got mondo-adamantium teeth and bones despite a distinct loathing of drinking milk (ugh. Cereal, yes. In a glass? Hell no - unless it also is warmed and whipped with chocolate), and a not-very massive consumption of dairy products (I will sometimes eat yoghurt, but only if I feel like it - and none of that Activia/fake dessert flavoured crap).

(Seriously, real yoghurt is so much better than the fake stuff we're peddled.  And I'm not eating key lime pie yoghurt when I want key lime pie, dammit. That stuff is blech, and doesn't deserve to call itself yoghurt.)

I've been eating when I'm hungry and eating what I want for years - the only change to my size has been when I went on certain drugs for my pain. I do best when I stay away from gluten, and I don't like eating when I'm not hungry, and I don't eat that much (good fatty!), but never in my life have I been skinny. I'm not meant to be a size 0. If every woman is supposed to be one size (and a very small, self-effacing, not-taking-up-anyone's-space, don't-mind-me-I'm-too-small-to-be-obtrusive size at that), then all of society except Calista Flockhart, Sandra Oh, and Ellen Pompeo is a failure.

Sure, that's what the diet-industrial complex wants you to think, but they're only in it for the money. If we were comfortable with our size (whatever size we are), then we wouldn't spend millions on their products. Even better, 90% of us will fail on a diet, gaining back all we lost, and then some more, with a net result that in the long run, dieting causes weight gain in a large number of people.  Those diet-pushing fuckers are brilliant at making money, not so brilliant at making us healthy.  Sadly, I know way too many people who have wrecked their metabolism beyond repair, thanks to years of yo-yo dieting (which is also bad for your health, studies find). 

(Shocker, I know

We've got to get over the "fat people are icky!" meme - and if I can do it, so can the rest of us.  I was all up in the fat-hating when I lost weight - I was horrible, and lacked understanding, scientific knowledge, and most important of all, empathy.  People will be all sorts of sizes, and their size is absolutely no indicator of their health.  I will put myself forward as the prime example of this; the diet pushers would say that I am healthier now that I'm thinner, but when I was fat, I could fence, I could lift heavy weights, and I could even open a door without experiencing pain.  Now, not so much.

Sure, my pain has nothing to do with my weight loss, but then, being fat has nothing to do with being unhealthy, either.  You can't tell why someone is fat, nor what their health levels are.  Even at my fattest, I could hike for miles, and climb mountains.  I could bench-press 300# with my legs.  I was frighteningly healthy - I rarely got colds, never got the flu, and could out-walk most people half my size.

Fat and health do not go hand in hand, except when the fat is a symptom of ill-health.

Not a cause, a symptom.  Women with PCOS (there are a lot of them) gain weight from the resistance to insulin that is caused by their hormones.  Diabetics have insulin resistance that causes weight gain (as do many of the drugs).  Malfunctioning thyroid, pituitary tumors, Cushing's disease - all have uncontrollable weight gain as a symptom.  Physical injury causes weight gain when people can no longer be as active as they were.  Drugs designed to treat depression, epileptic seizures, pain - all cause weight gain (oh, boy, do I have direct experience with that!).  The diet vampires fight so hard against this evidence of the complexity of weight variance because they would lose billions if we ceased to believe their brainwashing.

Again, someone's size is absolutely no indicator of their overall health. 

The diet "truths" (where "truth" = myth and/or outright lie) need to be staked through the heart and roasted with garlic stuffed in their mouths.  Thin people have diabetes.  All fat people do not get diabetes.  Thin people have heart attacks, get cancer, and die.  So do fat people.  People who participate in high-risk activities cost taxpayers far more than fat people.  BMI is meaningless as a measure of health.  Heck, being "slightly overweight" (as if there's an absolute weight that's ideal for everyone!) helps you live longer than being "normal" (why measures of longevity aren't being used as an ideal for weight measurement speaks volumes about the lookism of fat-phobia).  What we're told about losing weight is not true.  If it were, why would so many people be fat, when the stigma of fat is so fierce that total strangers feel entitled to lecture fat people on their diet, and doctors refuse to treat fat people because they're "gross"?

It's just so nice to see someone mainstream (even if they're not publishing in the US) point it out.


( 8 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
I really liked what that doctor had to say.

I'm on WeightWatchers, after having been lax with it for awhile, but I've found that I need to track my food and activity levels. Or else I am sitting on the couch hosing down pasta and meatballs and not really moving, as I was during the holidays when my classes weren't in session and I wasn't going to the gym.

I had a doc's visit after Thanksgiving and my blood pressure readings confirmed that if I don't lose more weight, I will have to go on medication (high blood pressure runs through my family). And I really, really don't want to do that. Bless those who are fat with normal blood pressure and otherwise healthy. Unfortunately I don't fall into that category. And I know why I gained all this weight. I ate myself there.
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
amen sister.
and WHERE and HOW you are fat makes a difference....
they have known for years that apple shapes tend to correlate with metabolism issues and diabetes (tend, not absolute) so you would think that someone with a few extra pounds right there would get a lot more attention from the doctor than soeone with more extra pounds all over.
its all about the charts.

i have friends who are size 16 who get continually told "exercise more" who do strenuous exercise every single day, and could bench press the doctors car i bet.... they are healthy as horses, but "too big"
their resting pulses are low, theiur arobic endurance is fabulous. does it matter? no.

meanwhile you have people like me, where my weight is CAUSING some health issues , but is also the symptom of health issues (vicious circle time)
but i get told "take up jogging"
hello? bad knees? part of the issue????
Jan. 6th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Amen to that !
Thin doesn't equal healthy either. Thin isn't necessarily something that makes you happy. I get so annoyed with people being envious because I'm "thin". Except it's not a blessing, it's a symptom of a not so nice disease, and all I want is to keep some of the pounds from this pregnancy after it's over.
Jan. 6th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
May I link to this?
Jan. 13th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2011 07:49 am (UTC)
So so true. I found out late last year that I'm not PCOS although I've too high levels of androgens, and that causes slow & steady weight gain. That's what made it impossible to lose any weight despite doing more exercise and being fitter + stronger than my size 8 colleagues. If the absurd "calories in/out works the same for everyone"m really did work the same, I'd have been leaner than most of the people I worked with who ate lots of take away and did virtually no exercise.

At least I have low blood pressure, enviable cholesterol, and are physically stronger than my height+weight leads many to assume I am.
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Jan. 15th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
This applies to weight for women, not men.

Once, a long time ago, I read why the diet and fashion industry have tried (and in all too many cases succeeded) to make us want to be excessively thin and tiny.
It's really rather simple and goes back millenia. Back when wisdom gained through experience, and especially female wisdom, was honored one of the signs that one had some age and therefore wisdom was.... can you guess? Additional weight around the midsection. In addition, the Wise Ones were the elders and power people in the tribe.

So, by trying to convince us all to be small and skinny the Diet and Fashion Industries, most of which are controlled by men - and far too few men appreciate strong women - are trying to put us females back in the no-power zone. So they don't have to contend with us. And our wisdom.

And leave us not forget the "bean counters" - as opposed to real accountants - who want to squeeze every last drop of profit from clothes making which means the less cloth they use the more they (might) make. Never mind that most of the clothing is unattractive and poorly made. But that's another topic.

As someone succinctly put it : "You can't carry wisdom and experience around on a toothpick." Note to those who happen to be built like titanium toohpicks - you are another story.

As to the young ladies of today: I don't know which is more frightening for their healthy future - the 8 year olds who are at least 30 lb overweight and who never do much except text or the ones who are so thin you wonder if they'll ever be able to have healthy children.

And don't get me started about doctors who a)Don't listen; b) Don't know a damn thing about nutrition.

Thanks for re-pointing out that weight and health do not necessarily equate.

( 8 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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