I mentioned last week that I've been sick.
I've not just been a little ill but really fucking sick as in I missed three days of work and have done litte more than take cold medication and sleep.
Now I have had to go out on and off and being so congested makes me more easily winded than normal. To be expected of course.
So as I was breathing a little heavily and standing waiting for the light to change this woman decided it was a good time to preach to me about being fat, never ever exercising and see that's what you get when you "let yourself go".
Normally I can let that sort of thing roll right off of my back but, being sick and ill tempered I gave her big piece of my mind.
I don't recall exactly what I said but, she went away red faced and probably a bit ashamed of herself.
Being that I don't remember exactly what I said I'll reform some of my opinions.
First of all, the assumption that fat is the absolute antithesis of "health" and "fitness" is erroneous. No links do your own fucking research.
I put health and fitness in quotes because there is no evidence I've ever come across that supports the idea that there is a single standard for either of those things.
There was a time when I worked out 3-4 hours a day 7 days a week. I did that no matter what. I wholeheartedly believed that in order to be a "healthy fit person" this is what I had to do. I started out exercising about an hour a day 3-5 times a week but because my body did not look the way "fitness" looks in mainstream media, I increased the time and effort I put in.
My goal (through diet and serious hardcore exercise) was to end up looking like a smaller bigger boob having Terminator 2 (wasn't it?)Linda Hamilton. I wanted mid-late 90's era Janet Jackson Abs. I wanted an ass so tight that bouncing quarters off of it could prove dangerous. And I did what doctors and magazines tell us to do.
I radically altered my diet, I lifted weights, I ran, I did squats, I did yoga and yet my body did not become that icon of fitness.
Months of excrutiating hard work later, my body was smaller yes. Yes I was thinner but I was not hard bodied. I did not have the 8 pack abs of my dreams, my ass still jiggled, I still had round cheeks, I still had big thighs. I still had fat. And I hated my body. I felt betrayed by my body and I hated it.
Not only was my self esteem in the shitter but, I was really damaging myself.
The diet I had myself on was causing me to have low blood sugar related brown outs and near faints. I was forgetting things, easily angered. Cold all the time.
And the exercise that my doctor at the time was encouraging was causing my knees to deteriorate more no matter what kind of shoes I bought. I spent hundreds of dollars on fancy cross trainers and nothing helped. Most days as the intensity of my exercise increased I would be visibly limping by the end of the day.
I hurt myself doing every ab exercise in the book.
I stressed myself out doing yoga because even then I fucking hated it.
At the time the first person to ever explain to me the idea that fitness and health don't look the same and aren't achieved in the same ways for everyone was a lady bodybuilder I'd become friends with. She sat me down and we made a list of all the ways I was feeling pain, then we made another list of the good things that were going on and the bad outweighed the good.
I took that list to my doctor (at the time I thought my doctor would in fact be of great help) and she dismissed it. When I questioned her she gave me one of those no pain no gain speeches, congratulated me on my (too) rapid weightloss and dismissed pretty much everything else I said.
Things that I felt were becoming serious problems she dismissed as just things that happen when you haven't exercised. However I had been exercising regularly for a long time at that point and it wasn't that kind of thing.
She was the first doctor I fired.
After that though my friendship with the lady bodybuilder led me to some new friends who helped me form my early ideas about Body Acceptance. In the end that bullshit I went through really helped me out.
The bottom line is that from experience and from knowing a lot of different kinds of people I have learned that health and fitness are what you make it.
As for the sort of person who sparked this, I really have no use for them.
It's flawed at best to assume that you can know without a doubt (as fat haters and health moralists tend to present their arguments) how a person eats, what their fitness level is etc by simply how they look.
It's a rarity in my experience that people will level the same accusations at people who aren't visibly fat.
It's a rarity in my experience that anyone ever harasses a visibly thin looking person to "put down the fork" or "put down the cupcakes".
When it comes to food, foods that cause you some degree of harm in the long run will do it for everyone not just fat people.
That said, I do not believe that food choices are moral imperatives.
If you want to align your food choices with your own personal morality that is just fine with me, however being that my morals are not your morals don't badger me to do the same as long as it falls in line with your beliefs.
I still have difficulty sometimes understanding why people make these things so complicated.
It boils down to this for me.
You do you, I'll do me and we'll all be just fine.
Now I'm very tired, I don't feel well and I need to eat something.
Sexytimes advice this week and some more fatshion. And perhaps something about race that has been percolating in my brain. All this barring a relapse in sickness.
I love you guys. Be nice to yourselves.