I notice that I’ve been rather quiet of late. I’ve been trying to reflect upon why I’ve not had any blog-post brainstorms lately. Part of it is a dip in the cycle of “willingness to deal with the world’s daily dose of fat-phobic crap” and part of it is just a weariness stemming from a sad belief that no matter how hard I try to explain, only those who already accept what I’m saying are likely to be “swayed” by any argument I try to have or any rant I try to post. But since I’m usually pretty sunshine-y a person I don’t like to let such thoughts take over my mind and darken my mental doorstep for long.
So I’m around and pondering the “good fight” against hatred and stigma of anything that doesn’t fit what is considered the “Neutral” or “acceptable” human form. So what have I been thinking about?
I’m reflecting upon what it means to be “neutral“. Can the framework of the life we’ve lived and the bodies we inhabit truly ever be left “at the door” of any discussion we have? Especially discussions of politics or health??
I worry about what is happening to health care lately and the ethics around the system currently being tested in my state.
I see the lack of media attention given to the latest study showing (yet again) that calorie deficits do not make for an automatically healthier (or longer) life.
I’ve also been considering why it is I fight so hard to show that I’m healthy while remaining fat. I certainly don’t feel that someone practicing the currently prescribed lists of “healthy actions” are somehow morally superior to anyone who doesn’t. Perhaps it is just that I feel someone, somewhere, might see this and instead of immediately assuming I’m lying, think that “Hmmm. Maybe it IS possible to be fat and still fit? Maybe “health” does not come in a One Size Fits All package? Maybe the behaviors we have “stuffed down our throats” by the media, by culture at large, by disdainful haters… that credo of Eat Less, Exercise More, doesn’t necessarily have to result in weight loss? What IF people really DO come in a vast array of shapes and sizes? What IF the world should be filled with a variety of human samples…would that destroy my own life in any way? Does that mean that not only is it none of my business if someone IS fat, but also it isn’t my business HOW or WHY they have become fat? ”
I’m wondering a lot lately about how it is that people would much rather believe all sorts of convoluted “reasons” that fat happens to exist on my body (I must eat too much despite denying it, I must be lying about swimming twice a week or belly dancing for an hour each Friday, I must be an unhappy compulsive eater, I must just not realize How Bad fat is for my health, I must be eating too many carrots or cough drops or white rice/bread…) rather than acknowledging that Occam’s Razor (the simplest explanation is likely the true one), rather than demanding that people just aren’t Trying Hard Enough or don’t have enough Willpower/Motivation, might simply suggest that: Human Bodies are DIFFERENT. All of them. Naturally. Made just as they are meant to be. We don’t know WHY some are fat. They just ARE.
I’ve also been wondering why it is that I feel such a need to constantly show that I AM following the dictates of “Healthy Behaviors” in regards to including a variety of foods in my diet and physical activity in my life. Is it related to that need to show that a fat woman can be following all of the “rules” and still be fat (and still lucky in health?) Or is this part of that guilt-induced culturally learned reflex similar to what I think drives that knee-jerk “Oh but I don’t mean YOU” addendum someone might add to a slur against fat? Is this effort all some sort of knee-jerk “But, I’m not like THOSE fatties” disclaimer?? I’d like to think it is not. My intention is certainly not to infer that any particular set of eating or physical activity behaviors is inherently morally superior to another. Though if that is how I come across I need to recognize that intent does not matter nearly so much as received perceptions. I feel that Health should be a morally neutral concept. Someone who gets the flu is not some kind of Healthy Behavior sinner. Nor is anyone who happens to be diabetic or born with a congenital defect or who is Fat. Nor is anyone who goes through life and becomes ill in any way.
Aging and getting sick are NOT reflections upon the sort of person you’ve been. Remember the song “Only the Good die young”? Really there IS no rule for WHO dies young. OR who lives better in the mean time (unless we’re talking about “better” in terms of what can be bought by means of better socio-economic status…but that’s a whole larger can of worms, all tangled up with race and gender and politics and economics that I’m no where near ready to address in a Pull-This-Apart sort of analytical manner). Yes, there are risk factors linked to the length and quality of a person’s life. But frankly they are none of anyone else’s business. I don’t feel people have some sort of given right to belittle the food or movement choices of ANY person, no not even if you first declare that you know that you yourself have “things to work on” too as some sort of mis-guided effort to be “understanding” of the people who you feel need shaming/othering/snarking in order to understand that they don’t fit the current cultural model of “Acceptable Body/Acceptable Behaviors”.
Do I protest too much that I’m doing things right out of some fear that maybe I’m NOT? What if I’m not eating Intuitively and really am eating too much all the time? Is it not enough to exercise as I do? Did stopping the swimming for over a month somehow make a liar out of me for all the previous posts extolling my Good Virtue as a “Good Fatty”?? Why have I hesitated to post about that slow in physical activity and what it might mean? Why does that Guilt still plague my mind in the same what that thoughts of “Oh, I’m being so BAAAAD by eating this mini candy bar” might have worried my dieting mind in years past?? Perhaps I need to remember something posted by Adina Nack regarding Naomi Wolf, on Sociological Images: “Eating healthy and moderate exercise are good goals, as long as your self-image and self-worth are not defined by your weight/size.”
In short…I’ve been thinking a lot if not posting.