Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Fatness Dilemna
Because our ideas about beauty are skewed, clothing for the rest of us is...limited. When's the last time (other than celebrity folks who can afford designer clothing) you saw an attractively dressed over-sized man or woman?
Aside from clothing issues, there are other things to consider. Our notions of intelligence, talent, competence, imagination, capability, wisdom are all based on size. When fat people demonstrate any of the above in a public way, people confess amazement and disbelief. A few are honest (or arrogant) enough to say exactly what they think, "That's amazing because he/she is fat! It's too bad he/she eats so much."
Hmph. First of all, not everyone who is obese (boy do I hate that word!) eats a lot. My daily caloric intake is between 1000-1200 calories.
Second of all, my IQ is not measured on a scale in my doctor's office. Sometimes I wish it was that easy!
Do I advocate obesity as a lifestyle? Of course not. I'm not stupid, just fat. But I submit that fatness is not a measure of who I am. When I'm moving around in my life, I don't 'feel' fat. I'm just me. Until I have to make some accommodation for my size (such as finding attractive clothing or climbing stairs), I don't spend my time thinking about being fat.
Actually, until I stand in front of a mirror, I don't think about it at all. And then, I'm not so much worried about my shape as I mourn the speed my age is catching up with me.
When I strive to 'lose' weight, that's because I would feel better. When I walk in the therapy pool or exercise, when I try to consciously spend my time on my feet and less on my butt, when I drink water and never have soda, all those are things I do to be healthier.
I've read all the articles about how obesity costs more money in healthcare and other national interests. There's no denying that. But I submit shaming and making fun of fat people isn't productive. If I were to say some of the things people have said to me to individuals who were disabled, a different color, a different ethnicity, a different religion, people would be appalled. Yet, evidently it's okay for people to say them to me because I'm fat.
I especially love when I see a new doctor and the first thing out of their mouth is, "You need to lose weight." Well, yeah, because I'm not smart enough to figure that out.
What would I tell you if I could?
1. Don't treat me like I'm stupid, deaf, blind.
2. Don't assume I do nothing but sit on the couch watching television. Actually, I'm not that interested in TV and my couch is incredibly uncomfortable.
3. Don't assume I eat all day. That's a big no-no for me. I have three meals a day (small ones) and one tiny piece of dark chocolate per day as a treat.
4. Don't assume I never exercise. I walk and go swimming. How about you?
5. Don't assume I was always fat. When I was nineteen, I weighed 97 lbs. Most of those skinny chicks on the beach will not remain that way because of hormones in our food supply.
6. Don't assume I'm jolly because I'm fat. I have moods like every other woman out there. Some days are good. Others aren't so hot.