Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
Here’s the thing. I speak at length about how I eat right, exercise, do active stuff and take care of myself. I go to the doctor regularly, all of my numbers (blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol) are great, if not a bit on the low side. I like to work out. I enjoy being active. I am, what is often referred to in the Fat Acceptance Blogosphere (Fatosphere) as a “Good Fattie.” I do everything right, short of starving myself, and still don’t lose the weight.
On the other side of the coin are “Bad Fatties” who eat nothing but bon-bons and baby donuts (thanks to Kate Harding and the other ladies on Shapely Prose http://kateharding.net/), who never, ever exercise or do anything. Of course, their numbers (blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol) are NOT good, and they are OBVIOUSLY dying from their DeathFat.
But how can you, the casual observer, tell the two apart?
This isn’t City of Heroes/Villians, or WoW or any other MMORPG where people’s stats and life bars float above their heads telling you how healthy you are.
Not to mention, IT’S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS!!!! Seriously. It isn’t any of your business. Not even a little bit. And I don’t care if you HAVE to sit next to them on the bus, or stand near them in a bus shelter, or look at them in public. It remains none of your fucking business. As I’ve said before, fat people know they’re fat, and if shaming people into losing weight worked, we’d all look like Kate Moss. But it doesn’t. So knock it the fuck off, asswipe.
Also, just to throw this in the mix there are *gasp* skinny people out there who eat like shit, whose numbers suck, who have diabetes, heart disease and all that crap that is supposed to zero in on the ZOMG FATTIES! And you can’t tell by looking at them either.
So, here’s an idea. Instead of your default being “Treat fat people like shit because they are OBVIOUSLY killing themselves with their unnatural appetites and willful destruction of the world,” why don’t you change your default to, “Treat ALL people like human beings regardless of what they look like.” That way you don’t have to look like an asshole, and I don’t have to raise my blood pressure by restraining the urge to slap some sense into that empty melon you have sitting on your shoulders in lieu of a head.
As a skinny guy who has high cholesterol, I can say that you’re totally right. No one will even believe me that I am likely (genetically speaking) to have a heart attack rather sooner than later, because I’m skinny.
I have to confess – when I’m treating a patient (I guess I do this for both overweight and non overweight patients), I look at the condition of the skin on their legs : is it discolored? Are there non-healing sores? I also look at whether they’re covered in sweat or gasping from the effort of walking in. Do they look unwell around the eyes/are they sunken? Sometimes I get a feeling within the first few second whether they’re healthy and large or unhealthy and large (or thin, for that matter, like a lot of poorly controlled diabetics, heart patients, drug/alcohol abusers etc).
But it did take me years to develop this instinct.
You really can’t tell by the numbers – I’ve seen some really big people who are in great shape. And some skinny ones whom I’ve had to say ‘are you trying to kill yourself’ to. So keep posting sensible stuff.
At that point, I would not consider you a casual observer. Linked with the fact that if they’re coming to see you in the ER the assumption that something is wrong is a pretty solid one.
This is why I don’t tend to talk much about the circumstances of my weight/size/shape, or the nitty-gritty of my eating and exercise habits or my health stats (aside from the stuff I do to track issues I’m trying to address). I have absolutely no responsibility to “justify” my size, shape, weight, health, or habits to anyone. Whether I am “good” or “bad” on this score is not relevant to my relationships and interactions with others–not to mention that size and health are not “moral” issues anyway.
And you said you had nothing deep to say yet…
Here’s a question, and it’s not meant to be offensive so I apologize in advance if it is.
I’m by no means a skinny-minnie and in fact, I am well over healthy weight. My question is, how to I tell a friend who is even larger than me and she’s aware that she’s a big girl, that I’m worried about her health without implying she’s fat?
As you’ve said before, fat people almost always know that they’re fat and nagging isn’t going to change us. But in this gal’s case, going up and down stairs a couple of times leaves her wheezing, and she’s got joint problems and other health (including mental health) issues, and exercising will make her feel better? Even if she doesn’t lose weight, it will help the rest, so is there a tactful way to tell her or convince her to come work out with me?
She knows. Leave it.
You can ask her if she’d like to work out with you, as a social thing if you’re so inclined. But if she says no, leave her alone about it.
Seriously, no one who is fat has not heard about a brazillion times that exercise will make them feel better, etc…
However, she may have a medical condition she isn’t comfortable sharing. Gods, the number of times I’ve gotten shit from people who tell me I need to do more leg machines at the gym, and then when I patiently explain that no, I have chrondomalacia (which I’m spelling wrong) and arthritis, and that those machines will hurt me worse, only to get told I don’t know what I’m talking about … Yeah, because neither I, nor my orthopedic surgeon have ANY idea what I’m talking about here…
I shouldn’t have to explain to people why I don’t run (knees), don’t use the leg extensions (knees), don’t a lot of things.
Be prepared that she will rebuff your offer and leave it at that.
Holy crap, after the butt surgery when I could barely shuffle around, I had people lecturing me on not taking the stairs. They didn’t see a cane or cast, so I must have been fine, right?
So many conditions and illnesses are “invisible” in that there are no obvious signs that lay people can pick up, even when they see you day to day.
I’m sure tons of people who see me out dancing at the clubs like a maniac, have no idea I have chronic arthritis in my knees, hips and ankles. Yes, I CAN dance for hours, but I pay for it the next day. Oh, do I.
I hope you don’t think I was being overly mean at you, but… Yeah.
*grin* No, not too harsh. I understand the aggravation because people have done that to me. Not often, but enough.
I don’t care if she’s fat, I just want her to be healthy. And it sucks that I can’t do anything other than ask and not be upset when she declines. And not be aggravated when she complains about her newest ache and pain and medical condition. *sigh*
If she hasn’t told you she’s seeing a doctor for those things, then you can suggest it. Again, if she says she is, or that she isn’t interested, let it lie.
If everyone looked like Kate Moss, wouldn’t it be hard to tell people apart?
OH I know. The Frood eats like hell and doesn’t exercise nearly as much as I do, yet he’s skinny. I eat healthy stuff and walk everywhere…yet I get grief?
I would really like to give you a larger venue for some of your writing here. How would you feel about being a guest author at the California NOW blog?
I would love it and give you kisses forever.
Would I have to clean up my language? Not a deal breaker… but I do have a potty mouth. I can clean it up.
Nope, it would be under your name, and I’d do an announcement before your first post that said, “Hey, here’s this guest writer,” so it would be clear that you wouldn’t be reflecting on the organization. Might give you a line of disclaimer text for the bottom of your posts that just said it was copyright you and didn’t necessarily reflect the views of CA NOW. That’s about it. Give me an email address, and I’ll send the invite code out. Feel free to use posts you’ve already written here and re post them there, but don’t overwhelm the site by doing a ton at once. Oh, give me a bio too, so that I can make a, “Here comes this guest author!” post. You can even send a photo if you like. 🙂
Um, and send the bio etc. to communications at canow (dot) org, ’cause that’s the work me.
I will, tonight. I don’t have access to a current(ish) picture of me here.
I could so do a comic book about supervillian Death Fat (who would look like Beth Ditto and totally rock) destroying the world. Except I’m afraid people wouldn’t catch the satire.
I hate, hate, hate when I hear someone say, “I know some people can’t help it, but most of them can, so…”
So it’s okay to torment the ones who can’t? So it’s okay to throw a wide net and if you sweep up some ‘innocent’ fatties it’s okay because numbers are on your side? Who proclaimed you a Fisherman of Lard anyway? Why don’t you shove your net up your ass and leave all of us alone?
I have my own fat-hate issues. I don’t mind fat on other people. I mind it on myself. I got sick first *THEN* gained the weight. Not the other way around. Yeah, the extra weight exacerbates my illness. Yeah, I’d like to get rid of it. Yeah, I need to exercise more. And to the people who say I should just push through the pain, let me take a tire iron to your joints, work you over real good, and then you do your workout and call me the next day and tell me how you feel.
And since it’s an invisible illness, I get swept up in the bad fattie net.
I don’t care if someone is fat because of genetics or because they live on buckets of chocolate-dipped KFC and Ham-flavored Mountain Dew. I just don’t. And I am quickly losing patience with people who do.
Yeah. Dealing with the aftermath of the butt surgery really brought home the realities of having an invisible disability in a way even the arthritis never did. I could barely walk, and people were constantly scolding me for not moving around more.
Not to mention all the “You look so great!” because the five months of prescribed laxative use made me lose weight… and hair… and my immune system.