Archive for the ‘fat haterz’ Category

oh, my mistake

THE TRUTH REVEALED: the entire United States is FAT because we are guilty of being clueless of how many calories [we] do or should eat (according to a totes accurate and representative INTERWEBZ survey of 1,024 people).  THX USATODAY!

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak of the International Food Information Council Foundation (Jesus, what a name), “an education group supported by the food, beverage and agricultural industries” (who are TOTES not involved in making tons of money off of diet food),

Having some frame of reference could be an important first step in tackling your weight, she says.

Unless I was in a VR chair during my formative years – in which case I didn’t actually live them and my brain is filled with false images of people I’ve never met and places I’ve never been – when I was a teenager, I carried around a notebook.  In that notebook, I would write down the calorie count of everything I put in my mouth.  I would tally up all of the calories and, using the average amount of calories burned while jogging for someone of my height, weight, and age, I would subtract the calories an average body burns in a day and exercise until I’d burned off the rest.  I wouldn’t feel “balanced” until I’d done so, even if it meant working out until I was exhausted, sick, and shaky.

I did not lose weight.

But but but Wendy says “Your output must equal your input or you’ll gain weight.”  How could I have been so wrong?!  There must be something wrong with me – my body doesn’t work right, maybe I’m just not working hard enough, I just need to exercise more and eat less, and then I’ll be healthy and not a disgusting lazy fatass!

Oh, wait.  That’s not right.  I’m not lazy. I do hot box yoga, and swim, and hike.  And sometimes I don’t.  I weigh less now, eating when I get signals from my body and not restricting my diet, than I did when I was a teen and only eating fat-free ranch dressing and SnackWells cookies.  There must be something else amiss here.

Oh yeah!  I remember!  Calories-in/calories-out is a LOAD OF FUCKING HORSESHIT.

And show me a goddamn fat person in the United States (especially a ladyfatz) who is not conscious of their food intake and the burning judgmental stares of bystanders.  If there is a reason fatties are still fat, it is NOT that we are unaware of what awful people we supposedly are.


today in science

A friend of mine who is a domestic violence victim advocate (and who is currently rocking an internship at Sport In Society, if I may toot her horn for her) let me know about this gem.

I don’t know how you could pack more awfulness into a single article, under the guise of science.*

I’m just going to list them out, as bulleted lists are a shortcut around actual thinking:

  • Calories in/calories out: “Perceptions of neighborhood safety are important [when considering child obesity] because children have fewer opportunities for physical activity if their parents fear for their safety outside the home.”
  • Making mothers solely responsible for their children (‘S PROBLEMS), a la controlling for variables such as “mother’s weight, smoking during pregnancy, and depression as well as the child’s television viewing and bottle versus breast feeding.”
  • Placing the onus of domestic violence on mothers’ shoulders (you are a BAD MOTHER if you can’t simultaneously suffer domestic abuse from your male partner and make braised kale with roasted garlic for dinner).
  • I’m going to stick with this one for another bullet, because, seriously?  The first line of the article?  “Children whose mothers said they were chronically abused by their partners were more likely to be obese by age 5 than similar children whose mothers did not report such steady family violence.”  So, it’s not the abusive father that’s messing up the kids – it’s the mother who is chronically abused that is responsible.
  • Completely eliminate links between socioeconomic status and food options. And domestic violence.  And the roles of women.
  • Being flat-out confusing.  We start with, “Children whose mothers reported intimate partner violence” and end up with, “children exposed to abuse of their mothers.”  Kindly clarify what in the hell it is you are talking about, plzkthx.

My friend elaborates, “[…] how nice it must be to be so privileged that you have never had to think about what an abused woman might go through, to the extent that you’re hypothesizing that intimate partner violence, where one partner exerts sometimes total control over the other, *might* “change the way mothers care for their children.”  Indeed.

The frosting on the failcake is this:  “[…] researchers urge doctors and public health specialists to be aware of domestic violence and neighborhood safety when thinking about ways to prevent childhood obesity.”

Fuck working to end domestic violence!  Just make sure the kids don’t grow up to be NASTY FATTIES!

*I’m depressingly sure someone will enlighten me.
ETA the link to the actual article.  Jeebus.

fa adventures in the cubicle forest

The number one oppression, hands-down, that I see in my workplace every day, is fat-hatred.*

I’ve started, just as a way to keep my head from exploding, to document how many times I interact with a woman eating, or discuss something food related with a woman (i.e., “Should we get Nip ‘n Sip for lunch?”) and she does not engage in fat-hatred. So far, I’m 0 for 7. Okay, I had one short interaction sans DEATHFAT but it got canceled out with her coming to me 20 minutes later to confess to me her entire caloric intake that day, while self-loathingly poking herself in the stomach.

Fat-hatred is insidious and all-consuming. It manifests itself in men policing women, women policing women, and women policing themselves. In fact, it’s an awkwardness-producing behavior to not shame yourself in a conversation. The first one is easier for me to take because I can just say “keep your fucking trap shut” or something a bit politer, and be done with it. The second is more complex but offers itself to “it’s none of our fucking business what anyone else does with their body.” But that last one, that last one is hard – how do you respond to women who are proclaiming that they are the largest creature since the blue whale and they’re going to burn for all eternity because they couldn’t say no to that last potato chip?

My tactic to date has been to nod and say something like, “Eating [x] doesn’t make you a bad person,” or “Yep, [x] is really tasty.” I am for neutralizing: continuing the conversation about food, but removing the morality from it. I generally try to avoid using specialized terms, because people tune out when I send words like “morality” and “fat” tumbling from my mouth hole.** My personal issue with this is that fat-shaming has become one of my buttons – y’know, those buttons that when they’re pressed cause one to unleash red-bottle fury on unsuspecting passersby.

My own story is, sadly, not unusual: I was an athletic kid, then I quit sports when I was 11 because puberty hit and I became a fat girl, and fat girls get laughed off the field. Then, for 15 years afterward my reality was dominated by the idea that I was fucking disgusting, horrible and worthless, I dieted (and failed) chronically, subscribed wholeheartedly to the fantasy of being thin, and waited for my life to start in earnest. So talking with women twice my age still hating themselves, still unable to eat without judgment, still making sure everyone around them knows how much they despise their own lack of discipline so they won’t be shamed by others, makes me depressed sad exasperated furious FUCKING BATSHIT.

I think of this post as a baseline for future workplace FA updates, since it’s very immediate and meaningful for me. Maybe I’ll even invent a snazzy title for the series. But, I don’t want it to just be a chronicle of all of the fat-shaming I witness/experience, because a) it’s impossible given the frequency, and b) it doesn’t serve a purpose. My goal is to use these experiences as a learning tool to work on my FA advocacy skillz, and sifting through them after they’ve happened is a great way for me to do that.

Also, hopefully, they’ll be nice to read.

*with racism coming in a close second. Just last week, after inquiring what I was reading [answer], I had a white co-worker tell me that if we didn’t have racism, we wouldn’t have Archie Bunker, and that’s a shame because he was just great.
**Although a few weeks ago I snapped and spat “food is not a moral choice” at a particularly prolific fat shamer whom I’ve seen make fat women in my office very uncomfortable on multiple occasions. Not that effective, but I felt better.

oink oink cough

So I just read something I got through a colleague: it’s an update on the US’s H1N1 status (pandemic flu and all that). In the summary it mentions, “There also is growing evidence to support early concerns that people who are morbidly obese are at greater risk of serious 2009 H1N1 complications.” O rly! Soooooo… I click on the link for the evidence to support this claim. I get sent to the CDC website, where I read:

“In a subset of 268 patients hospitalized with novel H1N1 early on during the outbreak, the body mass index (BMI)* of 227 patients** was calculated. Obesity (defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30-39.9) was noted in about 15% of these patients and morbid obesity (defined as BMI greater than or equal to 40) was noted in about 8% of these patients.”

Okay, so in total, 23% of the patients in the hospital with H1N1 are classified as obese or morbidly obese. Apparently… that shows that fatties die from H1N1? Zuh? It’s even better when you mosey on over to another part of the CDC website that says 32% of Americans 20 years and older are classified as obese or morbidly obese. Soooooo… just to clarify, the percent of patients in the hospital with H1N1 that are obese IS LESS THAN THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF FATTIES IN THE GENERAL POPULATION. Therefore, fatties die from the flu.

The best is what the CDC follows up with:

“Although the importance of obesity as a contributing factor to novel H1N1 complications is currently unknown, many obese persons have other known underlying diseases that put them at risk for flu complications.”

So this is the breakdown. CDC: “ZOMG fatties die from flu complications more than everyone else!” […] “Actually, we don’t know if fat has any effect on flu! But we do know that other people say being fat is bad, so we will state it as fact!”