Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Enough with the Fat Shaming

As a fat person with a rather healthy lifestyle, I am tired of the assumptions made about fat people. People look at a fat person and assume that that person is fat because he or she lives a lazy, gluttonous lifestyle and therefore has earned her fat and thus has no right to be respected. That he or she should just take it when they are ridiculed for dressing comfortably at the beach, or going to the beach at all. Or openly laughed at when her butt or stomach jiggles when she's jogging down the street. This is okay. Because obviously it is within everyone's reach to be thin. Obviously fat people are just slovenly and so deserve our disrespect. Right?

Making assumptions about fat girls (and boys) is just as wrong as making assumptions about skinny girls (and boys). You know, like that they're anorexic or bulimic. Or that they've had "work done". The fact is, most skinny people I know are very fond of cake and beer and all of those other things that fat people are assumed to indulge in. And most skinny people I know have sedentary lifestyles, or get a good portion of their exercise at the nightclub rather than the gym.

Personally, I believe that I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. I cook from scratch, garden, take regular walks in the woods and downtown (pushing a stroller) and I am a huge fan of Yoga. I also meditate daily. I drink green tea. I do not drink soda, diet or otherwise, except for medicinal purposes (it's great for nausea and that scratchy allergy season throat) and then, I wouldn't be able to finish a can if I wanted to. Gross. I despise most junk food and the texture of white bread, white rice and cake makes me gag.

Why am I fat? I don't know exactly. I've been to the doctor and had some tests, but the migraines and the fibromyalgia kept distracting her and finally everything got too expensive and I had to stop. I know have a wonky thyroid that is sometimes high and sometimes low. You'd think it would balance itself out. But it doesn't. The cure? To KILL my thyroid with RADIATION and take synthetic thyroid hormones orally for the rest of my life. That is something I'm going to have to think long and hard about and discuss with another doctor after my shiny new Obamacare kicks in. (Yea, I signed up since my husband got called back to work. Starts in September. Costs about the same with a lower deductible and more things are covered.)

But my mother is fat, my grandmother, grandfather and great-grandmother, all fat. I do have one skinny uncle. And a skinny sister. (She isn't even fat when she's pregnant!!!) I also have a chubby sister and a couple of chubby uncles. My husband who works 10 hours a day in a cubical farm is skinny. He usually takes leftovers from home for lunch, but he eats out or orders in with his coworkers very often. He also spends most of his weekends at the bar, eating bar food and drinking beer. (He's a professional musician.) Yet he weighs 50 pounds less than I do. His parents and siblings are also skinny.

Judging from these completely unscientific observations, diet and activity don't have shit to do with weight. (<- That's sarcasm, by the way. I know it's hard to tell in print.)

When Dear Abby tells a woman who asks her how to deal with her mom's fat shaming to stop being so comfortable in her own fat and lose it, I'm a little pissed at Dear Abbey. How does Dear Abby know why this girl is fat or at what stage of fat she's in? Is she on her way up, is she on her way down? Has she struggled with it for years before finally being able to accept that this is just the way her body falls? She obviously enjoys swimming so she's more physically active than the majority of America. I'm sorry, some people are just naturally bigger than others. Some have bigger boobs ( Boobs are made of fat, you know), some have bigger hips, some have bigger thighs. Me, I have a big belly.

Those healthy weight charts the doctors have in their offices also make no sense. They don't take into account how much muscle someone has and I'm convinced some people have heavier bones than others too. Once upon a time got really sick for awhile and my weight dropped to 130 pounds. I was well within my "ideal" weight and my doctor would have probably been thrilled had I been able to see her (I was uninsured and lacking an advocate at the time). But I looked like hell. Everyone commented on it. People thought I was on drugs. You could count my ribs at a distance and my shoulder bones looked really weird. I looked like a walking corpse. But I was well within my healthy weight zone. I think my "ideal" weight is probably closer to 150-160, but my doctor would call that obese. (it's still about 30 pounds out for me though)

I am going to end this ramble now because it's late and I should be asleep and I am having trouble organizing my thoughts at this point. I leave you with a picture of a fat girl pole dancing. I don't know if you've ever tried pole dancing, but that is something that needs some serious core strength and muscle control. This woman works out and she works hard and she is my hero of the day.