Friday, June 08, 2012

So you're worried about my health?

As every fat person who says things on the internet or reads them on the internet whenever anything is on the internet about fat people, people lose their minds.


etc etc.

So for those people I'm going to explain why I am always skeptical about claims by anyone who doesn't know me or behave as if they really care about obesity.


I'll use myself as an example being that I was recently reminded of this.

When people talk at (yes at, not to. Talking to infers a back and forth communication) if they only focus on the fact that they can see or that I've said that I am fat that is not care.

If all you who are so concerned really cared about my health you might ask how my allergies are this year.

Why do none of these people every say, "Shannon, how are your periods? You good and regular? Was that last one a gushing clotty mess? Need a tampon?"

That never happens.

Nobody who talks at me about my fat and supposed myriad of Obesity Diseases ever asks me if I'm having good poops? Not one of those people ever says "Hey you had an awesome poop last night? That's GREAT!"

Never happens.

Here's the thing. If you really care about the health of fat people or a fat person you'd concern yourself with their overall health and not just the fact that they are fat.

Health is more than weight. Is weight involved? Yes it is. Do please understand that while weight is intersected with overall health, it is not the indicator of overall health.

Moving along.

Let's for a moment say that there is indeed an Obesity Crisis that is more dangerous to humankind than terrorism.

People say they want to fight the obesity epidemic.

Their tactics?

Internet bullying, being shamey, blaming fat people for health care costs and everything under the sun. That isn't a new thing, that has been happening and clearly if you care about it so much you see it's not working.

If your care and concern was sincere you would probably not use someone being fat as a reason to just be a jerk or to flex your self righteous muscles or to profess to/show the world how much "better" you are than a fat person.

If you are that worried and you do in fact care let's talk about what you can do and what is appropriate.

You would start learning about what it is actually like to be fat. I'm not talking about watching some jackass model don a fat suit for a day. You would read blogs, you would listen to what fat people say without needing to drop in your handy weightloss tips or other ultimately unhelpful opinions.

At this point if you're reading this, or anything else on the internet it's not that hard. I won't do it for you because you are smart and awesome and can do it yourself.

You would start to understand that no matter what diet, how much you yell, how many names someone is called, some people are just going to be fat. You don't have to like it, you don't have to date or be attracted to fat people. You just need to accept that there are going to be bodies you find unappealing, unacceptable and maybe even awful. There is nothing that you or anyone else can do about that unless you're really into some bad shit.

You would not participate in a culture, or in discussions about "the Obesity Crises" that are literally meant to do nothing but humiliate people.

Do you really care?

For all of the rage and poison I have gotten over the years based strictly on me being fat from people who supposedly care so much about my health, none of it has ever done me any good. It has more often than not hurt me.

Do you really think that calling someone names on the internet, or mooing at them when they walk down the street or telling them that you hope they "enjoy" dying slowly show that you care about anything but your own opinion? Does it show that you are even a decent person?

If you really want to do something about fat and fatness here's what you can do.

Start learning about the correlations between having access to quality non abusive preventative and just regular health care is. I encourage you to talk to your own doctor about the difference in your own health whether you're fat or not, if you were too ashamed, uninsured or otherwise denied access to things like blood work, basic tests and things like cancer screenings.

Seriously. Ask your doctor what the difference in being treated for a problem immediately vs going untreated for ten or twenty years. Pick your disease or problem.

Use me as an example.

At one point when I was around 21 or so I had two really bad inner ear infections. I have had problems with my ears for my whole life and I called my doctor to explain my situation and was told to come in immediately.

I was fatter than usual. I think around then I was fatter than I am now.

Now when I arrived I had a fever, both of my ears were red, I was nauseated. I had been on another antibiotic prior but, because of years and years and years of antibiotics a lot of antibiotics don't work as well for me when I have things like ear or sinus infections. It's an established fact that this can happen.

Instead of giving me a different antibiotic my doctor gave me a long lecture about being fat and tried to get me to accept a prescription for diet pills. I kept saying no thank you and she would bring up yet another drug. At some point during this time when I'd told her repeatedly that I was really nauseated (turns out my fever had spiked, a regular occurring thing when I have ear infections) and I vomited all over the exam room and the doctor.

This is a small example but it illustrates my point. This doctor did not really want to treat me for anything other than being fat. This doctor made (at the time I was too young to know I could say no) me do fasting blood sugar tests three times because she said I was lying about how long I'd fasted because given my weight I HAD to be diabetic.

Despite no actual evidence, not one of my tests showing anything even close to being pre-diabetic. That is what she focused on. She would not give me anything for my insomnia because she said it was because I was fat, she would not even discuss my ongoing joint pain which is what had led me to gaining weight at that point.

There was no care.

Now ask yourself, if you have a health problem. Let's say you get sinus infections like clockwork every 8-9 weeks. Let's say that every time you go to have that checked out or to try and find a solution, the only thing you're told is to lose weight. Not that your weight has anything to do with it directly, but that's what you're told.

How would you feel about that? Would that be okay? What if you had in fact lost weight, found it didn't help and regained the weight because you stopped dieting and all you're told is to lose weight?

Is that okay?

No frankly it's not.

The problem is that health as I keep saying is just not only about weight.

Not only that but not all of us are going to be in peak physical condition. That's okay.

If you want fat people to be healthy, don't fight fat people. Fight the things in place in our society that prevent or make it very difficult for fat people to have space to deal with their health regardless of what or why they may or may not have health problems.

If you want to fight the problems that can come with being fat don't just take whatever TV personality doctors say to heart.

If these things are beyond your capacity at the very least you can not be a douchebag.

Don't call fat people names. Don't troll their blogs. Don't steal and repost their photographs. Don't complain if you see a fat person just going about their lives. Don't moo at people. Don't harass people.

You know, if you can't actually engage with us fatties at least learn how to be a decent person and leave us the fuck alone.

Next week, I'd like to talk about the hypocrisy of people who supposedly care about how fat I am and the things they've said to me and why they were not doing anything to make me not be fat anymore.

I turn it over to you my homies. Do you have stuff to add? An experience to share? Need to show this to anyone?

Go ahead my darlings.

Homo Out.


Anonymous said...

I don't trust these fat health people mostly because I rarely if ever see them care about: the repeated surgeries and assorted complications that often come with WLS, making exercise accessible and affordable for fat people, addressing the mental health of fat people, addressing unethical prejudicial treatment by health professionals etc. Very few people who claim to be concerned about obesity will engage in a deep way with fat health and remain ignorant in the myriad causes of fat. Some people are just gonna be fat no matter what, some because of repeat dieting, some cause of genetics etc. There is a deep need for a lot of people to talk about fat at the most generalized, stereotypical level as much as possible, as one big fat monolithic problem and experience and that need is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Shared. Thanks for writing this... I look forward to reading the next post. XO...

Manda said...

This is so very very very true, I can't even go into how just amazing you are for having written it. I've always had that b.s. 'oh i care about your health' label slapped on to just completely inappropriate or ridiculous questions about my weight. Like hey, just got back in touch with an old friend of the family and instead of catching up and sounding excited to communicate after so long not doing so, the question 'so how much do you weigh now?' comes up and just throws things off. It's like...are you serious? Haven't seen you in years, haven't talked to you in ages and your concern isn't how life is treating me or if i finally got that business I wanted to start off the floor and into something concrete or even hey, heard you were married girl, congrats on that! it's 'so, how much do you weigh?' like the answer to that question will directly determine if I've accomplished anything worth while in life. It's disgusting how this line of questioning is somehow acceptable and labeled as 'I'm just trying to watch out for you.' No it's not. Just like how you said, making moo noises or shouting derogatory statements at people does nothing but make the shouter a douche and pretty much probably strikes yet another cord in the fat person being shamed in that way. As much as it'd be sweet for people to actually pull their heads out of their asses and actually attempt to help and not shame us fatties, I don't think it'll happen. People are too in love with what they think is right and what happens to be 'right' is thin and what we see on TV and on the covers of magazines. Anything outside of that is wrong and should be shunned at all costs. It will always be acceptable to blame fat people for problems because it's been ingrained in people by not showcasing equally all types of bodies and that things like diabetes, heart disease or other falsely toted 'fat diseases' aren't exclusive to fat people and never have been. Bob who is at his socially acceptable weight has just as much damn chance of getting diabetes as Sara who is socially labeled as 'morbidly' obese. But nobody ever says or sees that. It just makes me sick and I'm ranting now so I'm gonna stop, lol. Love this entry, love your blog <33

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