Being “Healthy” does not remove your Human Mortality

I’ve been having a week of “I just don’t want to mentally fight against the mainstream BS today” kind of days.  From the Proposed Soda Tax bringing up self-righteous drivel along the “See, yah.  Stupid fatties and all their SODA drinking” rhetoric to the bit about 1,000 self-conscious women surveyed not realizing they don’t Eat Enough Fruits and Veggies or get enough Exercise to be considered Living Healthy to Delta’s head-long and excited rush to join other airlines in denying that each individual person deserves a seat regardless of size: I’ve just become weary of trying to argue at people who won’t give someone not in full agreement with their own views the benefit of LISTENING.

Fighting the current

Fighting the current

I just haven’t felt like being an Upstream-Swimming, Mainstream Media Current-Fighting Salmon of Logic trying to defend my own habits and/or the lack of anyone else’s universally given right to examine and pass judgment upon them lately. I get the feeling sometimes I’m talking to myself here in a room full of a few listeners and a bunch of folk lacking the willingness to consider other people as human beings; banging my head against a wall of denial in the form of fearful haters.

From being told I’m a liar to arguing fruitlessly that, regardless of my own personal truths my size and shape, MY HEALTH is no one else’s business but my own; I’ve been pushing away a seeming influx of all of these negative attitudes and words.  But it feels like I’m pushing back at the tide with a broken and invisible sieve.  Such things take their toll on this here chipper snowflake of sunshine. (Let that mental image soak in…okay let’s move on)

However, I like to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging because I feel my roll in my little Fat Blog niche here is to say some things that others wish they could just to get some folks thinking about what they see and say without consideration for where their convictions come from.  I’m here to be visible and give out that glimmer of hope that “Hells yes!  Look at that mentally strong woman pushing back against the status quo and saying ‘No More!’. I CAN come to terms with my own body and learn to live in this crazy world as who I am, IN THE BODY I HAVE ALREADY.  And doing so does NOT reflect upon me in some sort of negative moralistic way.”

Mostly I feel I manage to accomplish just this. Even if only for one person at a time like my co-worker who just read my copy of Lessons from the Fatosphere by Harding and Kirby and now is beginning to think about where all these body-hating messages come from and who benefits from a society of self-hating individuals.  From encouraging loving movement for its own sake to eating food for nutrients or desire and trying to keep moral judgments out of it I try to propose dropping that ages-old “battle” we have been taught to have with our bodies and desires.  But mostly I’m here to say “You don’t HAVE to hate yourself.  See?”

So what is my end goal?  Or rather, continuing goal since I don’t think this sort of self-loving style of discussion will ever be the norm pushing against the negatives?  I want folks to love themselves and, therefore, begin to realize in doing so that all the hatred manifested towards others is not productive, harmful even, to their own mentality as well as to those upon whom they hate.  I want you to read here and leave each post with a smile or a bit of something to think about. I want you to catch yourself all of those times you think or say ‘Oh I could never wear/do THAT!’ and pause to think, “Wait.  Why not again? What precludes me?  Since when do size or shape dictate what I’m allowed to be/do in my life???”

Is that my “mission”?  Perhaps.  That makes it sound like I’m evangelizing though but perhaps I am.  This is a revolutionary sort of idea to push forward…that one can love or at least stop hating WHO they are and WHAT they are and HOW they look: all at the same time.

Perhaps, all said and done and this ramble coming to a close, I really have no greater purpose here than to simple BE and not be silenced; no matter how violent or oppressive that wave of negative back-lash tries to push me back into dark and silent self-hating fat-obscurity.

  • I am me.
  • I am fat.
  • I am beautiful.
  • I am healthy and lucky.
  • My level of health does not indicate my Willpower or how Good I’ve been.  I must never forget that no matter how “good” I may be, or any of us may be, health still remains mostly a crap-shoot.  And at the end, no one gets to collect winnings… you have to take the “winnings” all along in the form of being thankful for the blessings you have instead of remaining terrified of your human mortality.
  • I am braver than I give myself credit for.

And I propose the following:

  • You are beautiful and worthy of basic human dignity. Yes, regardless of size, shape, color, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, background, ethnicity, race, hair style, economic standing, level of literacy…anything.  You are worth of respect and of being treated with basic decency.
  • Your Health is not a reflection upon your morality.
  • Your Health is also not indicative of your ability to Hide from Mortality’s Reality.

There is a place where we are always alone with our own mortality, where we must simply have something greater than ourselves to hold onto—God or history or politics or literature or a belief in the healing power of love, or even righteous anger…. A reason to believe, a way to take the world by the throat and insist that there is more to this life than we have ever imagined.

~Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist.

Don’t hold onto your perception of “Health” (Whatever it may mean to you) as the only goal worth obtaining for your fleeting time on this Earthly plane.  Be larger than life and LIVE it the way you keep thinking you will in “a few more pounds” or “just one more class” or “just a few more dollars saved up”. I’m not trying to be all “Death is coming no matter what so RUN!” here.  I AM suggesting that spending your life worried about the size of your freaking ass (or OTHER PEOPLES’ asses) certainly doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend this blessing we call “Life” to me.  There is more to life than counting calories and judging others.

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9 thoughts on “Being “Healthy” does not remove your Human Mortality

  1. This is a beautiful post, and I just want you to know that I always look forward to your updates. Your blog always improves my “Sanity Watcher points” count for the day, and for that I am deeply appreciative. Not that I could blame you if you needed a break!

  2. This is a beautiful post, April, thank you. And indeed we are all worthy & beautiful & unique & worthy of respect, of full access to the world, of whatever life has to offer. And we ARE ALL mortal, we will all die, &, yes, thin people too do get catastrophic diseases & die young & fat people too do live long & relatively healthy lives & live as happily as those around us to permit to live &/or as we demand the right to live. There is NO way of eating, moving, living, etc., which necessarily guarantees better health or longer life, it is indeed a crapshoot, & ultimately we all come to a losing roll of the dice. It’s what we do with the time we are here which matters.

    And while I wound up in writing mode, I am completely freaking tired with the people, the companies, institutions, politicians, & on & on who are taking away personal freedoms in every way they can & turning modern culture into one where the individual’s body is public property & everyone is supposed to have the right to pass judgment on how we look, eat, live, etc. & to give unsolicited & unwanted advice on how we can live better & longer. I guess I am just too old & stubborn & set in my ways, but this is MY life & MY body & it is no one else’s damn business how I live, what I eat, how much I exercise, or if I walk down Main Street with purple boxer shorts on my head. I had that reaction when someone on another blog commented on the sad death of an anorexic woman by saying that she guessed we all just think we should mind our own business too much & allow others to live as they see fit. Perhaps, in the case of someone who was isolated & friendless who starved herself literally to death, it would have been nice if someone had cared enough to try to help her, but it was her life ultimately. And I think instances like this are FAR outnumbered by instances where usually many people take it upon themselves to tell someone how to live & my take on modern culture is that for the most part, we don’t mind our own business & respect the autonomy of others ENOUGH…especially if those others happen to be fat.

  3. I am going to add here that, I agree, this is a beautiful post. You write in a lovely way. You are funny and, of course, beautiful.
    You are an expert at being, as far as I can tell, so I encourage you to continue.
    Thanks for saying so much, so well, and brightening my day.

    • Thank you folks! I’m actually really happy that my words here can and do touch others and evoke happiness or thoughtfulness. I don’t NEED the validation but nonetheless I will admit that it is encouraging! Patsy I think that sadly a world of instant access to the most intimate details of the lives of those in the “Limelight” *cough*OprahKristieEtc*cough* has led us further and further into a style of social action that reflects some belief that not only are we entitled to view and judge every aspect of everyone else; but it is some sort of civic duty AND moral benchmark against which others can value their own lives.

  4. Wading through the piles of shear CRAP can get real tiring. When something or some situation pisses me off to the point where I feel like just throwing my hands up, I usually resort to my personal mantra: ‘It’s a Remarkable Day in the Universe’. Which reminds me that, on a Universal scale, our sun will have been born, gone nova, and died in less than a second of that Remarkable Day. So how much could whatever is annoying me really matter? Weird, I know, but it does serve to put things in a little better perspective.

  5. Hi – delurking just to say: I love reading your blog and this post in particular is just lovely. Please keep posting – you are making a difference.

  6. Pingback: 4th most “harmless habit” that “ages” you « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

  7. Pingback: Dieting: how to wreck your health « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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