Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fat Genes and my fat ass.

Word is all over the fatosphere about some article (this link via Kate) that admits that you might be fat beacuse you have a gene but, the magic formula is 3-4 hours of exercise daily.

Now I've been debating with myself about this particular entry all day. In the end brain won.

Granted as ever I have issues with the terminology used in the article. I personally don't "blame" (usually in anti fat whatever the context of "blame" is to put off responsibility for) my fat on genetics or a virus or some other bullshit.

Just like any other physical thing about me my fatness is a combination of many factors not just one. Let's list some.

Genetics. Like my eyes that have a black ring around the iris, my weakling knees, the heart murmur I had as an infant, the shape of my feet, the texture(s) of my hair, even the shape of my lips and nose, I can look (and I am GOD DAMNED privileged to have the ability to say it) at my family and pick out these exact same traits to one degree or another.

My feet and hands look a lot like my Mother's and Grandmothers, Her Mothers and her Mother's sisters. Long fingers in relation to the palm, kind of knobby around the knuckles. High arched feet, the second toe on both feet is longer than the first and the ubiquitous ugly pinky toes. That is a sure fire method of seeing if I am blood related to someone. 98% of the people in my family have ugly little pinky toes with whacked out little nails on them.

Now if I were still thin and I was having an issue with my high arched feet, and was blogging about my journey through podiatry, and being ashamed of my ugly feet and my need to wear orthotic devices in my shoes, would any of the anti fat acceptance/anti fat people become the anti high arches people? Would those same people who are in power point at me and say I was blaming my problems genetics?

Another factor in my fatness, because I injured myself badly in the past. I am not physically able to exercise more than about an hour a day. Anymore than that and I am in enough pain the next day to make functioning horrible.

Also, I refuse to torment myself and quite frankly I am pretty happy with myself the way I am.

Really think about that for a minute.

Back to genetics.

I can also trace certain facial tics, and one expression that I do to some genetic link. I have a great Aunt whom I think I have met twice ever, she and I look almost identical. I once saw a photo of her taken from the side, her hair all crazy, in a black dress sitting at a table in bare feet and I took it around to relatives asking who'd taken that picture of me because I didn't remember. I was met with a lot of bemused looks and told that was a great aunt not me.

When I say we look almost identical (I found these things out after she passed away) same height, same build, same shoe size, same face shape, same lips, same over all body shape and size. What are the differences?

She did not exercise. Ever. She did not believe it was ladylike to sweat or wear sneakers. She ate pretty much whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. Except she hated vegetables. Hated them. She drank like a fish, smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes for something like 40 years. Lived to be about 77 or so. Never had emphysema, diabetes. She did have high blood pressure and heart disease.

Me. I do exercise. I like getting sweaty although aesthetically I pretty much hate athletic shoes. I make an effort to eat well. I don't overindulge my sweet tooth because it does bad things to me. I smoke but not nearly as much as I used to. I don't drink often. I don't have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.

So much the same and so different.

Genetics?

Now I agree with the article that if you are genetically inclined to be fat yes, it's possible to counteract that. What they don't mention however is the harm you could potentially be doing yourself and I abhor that.

Never in these articles do they mention mental health, they don't appear to study what the long term effects of essentially exercising 15-20 hours a week.

Given how busy many people are already where are you supposed to fit in this extra 3-4 hours? If you have children should you cut your time with them so you won't oh no be fat? Should you tell your employer you need to work less hours so you can fit in this extra workout time? Should you start cutting out activities like sleeping, cooking, cleaning, reading, studying, and living your life?

Oddly enough they don't address these things beyond the always annoying breezy answers of take the stairs! Park far away!

These constant admonitions often have little bearing on real life. Granted I myself do enjoy adding an extra quarter mile to my walk when I can. I find it to be a good thing for me. I don't find it to be a moral imperative or a show of my worth as a human being that I do this sometimes.

It's not a moral imperative nor is it frankly anyones fucking business if I do or don't.

I rarely if ever see these cheers for extra fitness, alongside cautions.

There are a lot of people out there who aren't really in tune with their bodies, there are a lot of people who are so ashamed of their bodies and physical condition they won't go to the doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

I have had more than a few friends and family members tell me they have to lose fifteen or twenty pounds before going to the doctor.

And people applaud that.

This is a disservice.

There are so many people who are not fitness experts and will (and are right now) hurting themselves. And the diet industry and machine doesn't give a shit.

Fat hate and discrimination is not about care or health. It's about money.

If you care about someone who is say dyslexic, do you berate and tease them? Do you shun and shame them into treatment?

If you say yes, than you don't get it or have any idea what caring actually is.

If you want to make money off of people is there any simpler way than to encourage their self hatred, then sell them something they are to believe is the balm for that self hatred?

I am tired of the games and bullshit perpetuated by these people. I am tired of lip service being given to the idea of someone being able to make their own decisions regarding their health and well being. I am tired of ignorant people who can't see beyond their own self hatred.

This is the kind of fuckery we should all not put up with.

As I said the other day. No matter what it is about you, someone will take issue against it.

So all you folks sitting proudly on your taut narrow buttocks, I do hope you've got your armor because you are not immune.

Someone out there is going to play on every insecurity and fear you have and want you to pay for it. Whether it's spiritually or right out of your pocket.

Perfection applies to all and none of us.

Believe what you like, but for your own good think about the messages you are swallowing whole.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to write something.

And I have a migraine of stabby proportions.

Homo Out.
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5 comments:

lilacsigil said...

I have had more than a few friends and family members tell me they have to lose fifteen or twenty pounds before going to the doctor.

And these are the people who will die of perfectly preventable or treatable conditions because they have been beaten, by medical professionals and just about everyone else, into extreme shame - and so they are denied medical treatment. I say this as someone who was told for 18 months that I should eat less and exercise more, while gaining 55kg (about 125lb) with an undiagnosed thyroid tumour. I was ashamed of myself, and wouldn't have gone back, but my girlfriend forced me to go and saved my life. I hope these people have someone like her in their lives.

Piffle said...

Sending some happy thoughts your way to counteract that migraine. Nasty things.

It's fun to look at old pictures of family members if you can. My Mom, my sister, and I are all nearly identical in pictures of us as young kids (under ten or so).

Pure ableism, that prescription to exercise so many hours a day. And I agree with your point that they don't nearly investigate the damage it can do. Hell, if anyone spent so much time on a single activity otherwise they'd diagnose OCD.

Lady Jaye said...

Another great entry, I love reading your posts. :)

We used to have a picture of my great-grandfather as a teen (unfortunately, we lost that pic). He looked so much like me that he could have passed for my brother on that pic (or my teen self in drag). I also do look like my grandmother and my mom... (incidentally, it sometimes feel like I got the near entirety of my gene pool from that side of the family. LOL)

Re: exercising. I love sports but I admit it: I'm a lazyass. :P However, my aguagym class is resuming in 2 weeks and it'll do me so much good. I debated over registering for the twice weekly class or 4 times weekly and chose twice weekly, as I don't have the discipline to be there that often. And I don't care if I shed any weight from that class, I just want to be healthier and also have a good way to release stress from work (love my job but there are days that aren't so good, like in any job). Methinks that these are much better reason to do any kind of activity than the usual "lose 25 lbs for Christmas/summer" bullshit that comes out every year.

Jen said...

Given how busy many people are already where are you supposed to fit in this extra 3-4 hours? If you have children should you cut your time with them so you won't oh no be fat? Should you tell your employer you need to work less hours so you can fit in this extra workout time? Should you start cutting out activities like sleeping, cooking, cleaning, reading, studying, and living your life?

This really struck me; I love to move my body and get sweaty, I love to chase my son around, garden, bellydance and even roll our the yoga mat once in a while but I do NOT have the time to 'work out' like I'm 'supposed too'. It would cut into time I have with my son, to study, to LIVE MY LIFE. Excersise and being thin is not more important than being happy, and not excersising leaves me the time to BE happy, to do the things I really love doing.
*good vibes to get rid of your migraine* Man I hate those.

devi42 said...

I linked to this. Hope you don't mind.

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