Monday, July 19, 2010

Fat & Happy = Enjoy Being Fat?

I'm having a discussion, so to speak, with a person on Facebook about WLS. She thinks getting a lap-band is safe as long you've done all the research and follow all the surgeon's directions for "lifestyle" changes.
Personally, I don't think any WLS is safe, no matter how much research you've done, no matter how well you follow the surgeon's directions for lifestyle changes. I said that until they come up with a way to make fat people thin that has no negative side effects and doesn't kill people, I would stay fat, healthy, and happy and continue to live my life in spite of everyone who tells me that I can't do that until I get thin.
Then she comes back and says that knives kill - am I going to stop using knives? I told her: Analogy FAIL! Knives also have other fundamental uses that don't kill when used properly. WLS surgery, even when used "properly" still kills people, and doesn't work as it's intended to work - make fat people thin. Bottom line - if you're willing to risk death on maybe getting thin, then I'm not going to tell you that you can't do it (your body/your choice), but like I said, don't come crying to me when the surgery fails you and the surgeon blames you for the failure (and believe me, it will happen, it has happened too many times in the past and will continue to happen too many times in the future as long as people keep buying into the fantasy that they can't have a life until they get thin). You can talk until you're blue in the face and you'll never convince me that WLS of any kind is a good idea - been there done that, got the t-shirt/hat/keychain/poster, thank you very much.
Then she says: Okay. You'll stay fat. That's fine. Some people don't enjoy being fat. Besides, a lot of surgeries kill people. I'm sure WLS doesn't kill anymore people than the average surgery does.
My response:"How many other surgeries have a 2% mortality rate within the first month after surgery? How many other surgeries have a 20% mortality rate 5 - 10 years after surgery? None that I know of that are elective (and WLS is elective, it's not a surgery that's immediately necessary to save a life) and done on otherwise healthy people (and in spite of what has been said, most people who have WLS are, for the most part, healthy, they're just fat and their doctors refuse to look beyond the fat for any other cause of any problems those fat people may be having)."
I never said I enjoy being fat - I said that until there's a way to make fat people thin that has no bad side effects and doesn't kill fat people, I'll stay fat, healthy, and happy (what, I should be miserable until I can get thin? Yeah, right, ain't happening). I'll continue to live my life in spite of everyone who tells me I should give up and hide until I meet some arbitrary ideal aesthetic. Nope, I'm going to keep on being fat at the world and if the world doesn't like it, tough cookies. If more fat people had my attitude, there would be a lot less overt fat bigotry in the world because the bigots would be afraid to open their mouths.
Now, maybe being fat, healthy, happy, and living my life being fat at the world might mean to some that I do enjoy being fat. Maybe it really means that I have farther to travel on the road to size acceptance than I thought. Maybe it means I'm making the best of my life as it is, with the body I have (even though it's not the body I'd like to have). I don't know.................

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please sign the petition to stop fat hatred on Facebook

If you haven't seen the petition to stop fat hatred on Facebook on another blog, it's on the sidebar here. Please sign it and help us get Facebook to put a stop to all the groups promoting hate speech against fat women (and men, but they're mainly going after women).
Atchka, of Fierce, Freethinking Fatties, started this campaign. One group has disappeared from FB, but there are over 300 more, and some of those groups have over 100,000 members. That's a lot of hate, folks, and it carries over into the real world. We've all had to deal with the haters in our lives, and I agree with Atchka - it's time to draw a line in the sand and say "This is unacceptable and intolerable and we're not going to take it anymore."
FFF also has some great ideas on Guerrilla Activism (and if you check out that link, you'll find a couple of other posts that have some good ideas, too).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dear Abby misses it again - as usual when it comes to fat

I just had to take Dear Abby to task today over advice she gave to a woman who wrote asking what to tell a patient who asked if she was "happy with the way I have let myself go." Letter-writer had been dealing with her mother's cancer over the period of 2 years and her mother had recently died. LW works in a medical office, and sees patients as often as every 3 months or as seldom as once a year.
Naturally, dealing with the stress of her mother's illness and death, her weight has fluctuated in that time. She asked Abby how to deal with the comments about her weight.
Abby's advice?
I see no reason why, if someone is so insensitive as to mention your weight, you shouldn't let the person have the truth with both barrels. If that doesn't shame him or her into an apology, nothing will. However, because you prefer to conceal it, try this response: "You know, I gained this weight the old-fashioned way -- one bite at a time, and that's the way it'll have to come off."

No, no, and hell, no!!! My response to Abby follows (yeah, I wrote her a letter):
Dear Abby,
This is about Impatient with My Patients In Rhode Island from July 10, 2010, who gained weight when her mother was sick and dying/died of cancer. Your answer - that she should tell people who commented on her weight gain that the weight would come off just like it came on - one bite at a time - is less than stellar. Since when is it anyone's business whether Impatient is happy with her weight or not? Your answer perpetuates the myth that others have the right to comment on anyone's body, which is definitely not so (her body, her business).
How she gained the weight is no one's business, and whether she intends to lose it or not is no one's business. A much better reply would have been for her to say "Why do you want to know?" accompanied by a cold stare. That puts the onus back on the asker, and usually makes them feel like a fool for asking a question that is none of their business (which they rightly should feel).
You're also assuming that Impatient gained the weight by overeating, which may not necessarily be so. If she was under a great deal of stress dealing with her mother's illness and death, that can wreak havoc with one's metabolism, which can cause fluctuations in weight without a change in eating habits (so you perpetuated a stereotype, thanks a lot....NOT).
You really need to educate yourself about Health At Every Size and Fat/Size Acceptance if you're going to give advice to fat people. Perpetuating stereotypes and body-shaming is not the way to help fat people deal with a fat-phobic world (and even those who are not-so-fat but have put on few pounds for whatever reason).
Fat and Proud in MN