Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just for Pepsi Blue.

Since you care so much about my health I think I should correct a few of your assumptions.

First, my current pain issues.

To understand where I am coming from we have to go back let's say three generations in my family. Being that I take very heavily after the maternal side of my family we'll go there.

My Mother who is tall and up until her thirties was actually quite underweight, enough so that when she tried to give blood despite her having a rare and sought after blood type was not able to because of her weight, has had knee problems since childhood. Also ankle problems, back problems.

My Grandmother, who is very tall (almost 6') and for most of her life until menopause was just barely not underweight, has knee, back and hip problems and has since childhood.

My Great Grandmother who was a shade taller than I am, less busty but about the same size as I am. Had knee problems and arthritis for a good portion of her life.

Also, I am not built like either my Mother or Grandmother. I am significantly shorter, broader at shoulder and hip, way bigger busted. I am built more like my Great Grandmothers sisters, and her Father's side of the family.

Unlike many Black families hypertension and diabetes are quite rare in my family. Generally speaking many people in my family regardless of weight are prone to joint problems, anemia, and other generally life long ailments.

I personally have had health problems since I was an underweight, wee tot. Yes Pepsi, believe it or not my health problems started long before I got fat. Shocking isn't it?

I was born very premature and did not grow properly, I had serious inner ear problems, and worst of all I am now and always have been clumsy.

What started my joint issues is that at 16 or so, at a rotund weight of about 125 pounds (for reference here, I am now 31 I am 5'3")I had my first serious knee injury. I believe that time it was a combo of cheer leading and running that led to me injuring already weak knees.

I was not fat.

When add together a genetic disposition to weak joints and back problems, with a teenager who didn't know better, and age. At 31 you could be in pain. At 31 I am in pain. And to spare the tender feelings of whomever that was, I won't even curse.


At 19 years old and while I was a strict vegan who worked out 3-4 hours daily in order to maintain an unrealistic weight, I reinjured both of my knees. And was told by my rheumetologist at the time that I was probably going to need daily anti-inflammatories.

Moving along.

I injured my back not due to weight but, due to clumsiness. I slipped and fell on black ice and pinched a nerve in my neck, bruised my tailbone, pulled several muscles and generally screwed myself up pretty badly.

Like many people fat and thin, these injuries have not helped me out in any way.


Where you inferred that I don't exercise at all from me saying I hate doing yoga I don't know. I actually exercise I just don't do yoga. I walk about 6 miles just in my day to day getting to work, walking at work, walking home. It would be preferable to me if I could belly dance more, or actually enjoyed doing yoga. I would also be really happy to be able to workout a bit more however, as my actual doctor (not the nurse practitioner) has advised me, doing what I would like to would probably cause me more harm than good.

Again, not related to being fat.

Also not related to fat I have terrible eye sight. Not related to fat, I have a messed up equilibrium thanks to very severe inner ear infections as a child.

Now if we are to talk "obesity related ailments" I suffer from none of the following:

  1. Hypertension. My last BP check was mid-range normal but a little high for me personally due to my BP generally being a little low. Thankfully it doesn't crash anymore thus I don't faint.
  2. Diabetes. I get checked regularly and due to my partner being borderline diabetic I have on occasion randomly tested my blood and my blood sugar levels both fasting and after eating are well within healthy range.
  3. Liver. Liver is very healthy. No elevated enzyme levels. No sign of problems with that. This is something I keep a close eye on with my doctors because I take a lot of NSAID type drugs.
  4. High Cholesterol. Nope.
  5. Sleep apnea and respiratory problems. I have not had bronchial problems, pneumonia, asthma since I was about 10 and I was not fat then. I don't have sleep apnea.
I'm sure you're brilliant and get my point.

I can't speak for all experience when it comes to being fat only my own.

So when I say that my issues right now have nothing to do with being fat. They have nothing to do with being fat.

I had the majority of the same health problems when I was underweight, I had them when I was a normal weight, and have them now. Being thinner did not make me better, healthier or happier.

What are some direct effects of me being fat?

The biggest one is that I have regular periods. I menstruate on a pretty regular 27 day cycle which for me, is a miracle. Up until I stopped yo-yoing and hit my natural set point, I did no menstruate regularly at all. For a quickie very good explanation of set point have a look at the National Eating Disorder information center answer here.

Also, I suffer fewer migraines. When I was trying to maintain a "thin" "healthy" weight, because of the restriction of calories I had near constant low blood sugar and suffered some horrific migraines. That was not great.

When I stopped trying to fit a standardized mold that clearly did not and does not apply to me directly, as in I stopped dieting and fighting my body I also stopped losing my hair, I stopped being so depressed, my self esteem increased.

In short Pepsi, Fat Acceptance has nothing to do with my health problems. Being fat, not so much. Even though you didn't ask, I'll tell you.

My diet is pretty good. Granted I have a terrible sweet tooth and drink way more coffee than my doctor would like. I'm doing all right.

My current state of anger and frustration doesn't stem from being fat. It stems from feeling helpless, it comes from the knowledge that while no I'm not disabled, I am not as able as I would like to be. It comes from being 31 years old and feeling feeble. It comes from not finding relief or help from the medical professionals I am supposed to trust with my life.

It comes from, people like you who use pseudo concern as a front to be insulting.

It comes from being unable to manage my own health in a satisfactory way because, I have medical needs I can't fulfill myself.

Still with me?

I will say that there is a possibility if I gain weight, I will have lots more problems. I don't dispute that and I recognize that. I acknowledge that whomever you are, you might just be spouting off because that's what you do there. I acknowledge that whomever you are, you might have been a perfectly thin, healthy wunderkind who has never been sick, fallen down, injured themselves, or faced a significant health challenge.

That's fine.

This brings me to the heart of why I believe FA is absolutely necessary.

There is no reason in this day and age that anyone should still believe that you can know a persons health, morality, level of education, sexual preference etc just from looking at them. Fat people, thin people, in between people are all what? People.

Fat Acceptance is not about denials about being fat, it's about not having to deal with being treated as lesser than because you have a different body.

That is why Fat Acceptance is important to me. I deeply believe that humans are humans are humans. That's it.

Now being that I usually only get incoming links when someone quotes me there directly (and thank you for not doing that stupid comparison to Biggie Smalls. He and I look nothing alike. Wrong skin tone, I am not a man, etc) I have my doubts you'll see this. However if you do I hope you get it.

For anyone else. Maybe you needed to see it. There'll be more at some point I'm sure however, I am done being the Educating Fat Negress today.


Anonymous said...

I think you make an excellent point that no one has a moral obligation to be healthy, or thin, or whatever it is that makes folks happy. I really don't understand people who visit sites just to bitch at random strangers.

I have a similar body--size, shape, age, health issues. Joint pain (mine is from lupus) and inner ear infections. I had many other health problems when on the rollercoaster of weight gain/loss. Anyway--I know you're not soliciting advice so feel free to ignore me--I've had some luck with pain relief with acupuncture. The problem is that insurance usually doesn't cover it and it is damn expensive.

I hope you find something that provides relief. It's hard to explain chronic pain. It's a real soulcrusher.


Tari said...

Okay, first rock. SO HARD. Just in general.

Specifically about this entry, though, and your pain issues...I dunno if you've ever tried acupuncture or TCM at all, but I've used both to treat chronic pain with a broken tailbone, herniated discs, and whenever I overdo it and aggravate them even years later. I don't know any practitioners in Seattle, but I'm sure they're out there, and if you've not tried it, it might just do the trick. Worked miracles for me.

Regardless, I'll send some warm fuzzy pain-free juju your way.

Sniper said...

This is what separates the good bloggers from the average. In this situation I would have contented myself with "Go fuck yourself, you fucking fuck," but you created a thoughtful and informative post. Brava!

Haddayr said...

Yes, this was thoughtful and informative. Too bad it was wasted on an idiot fat-basher.

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