And let’s talk about some things.
First let’s talk some real life shit.
As I get older a few things happen. I’ve noticed that unfortunately for me, when I am ass deep in an insomnia cycle or when I am stressed out I lose my appetite. As you might imagine this can be troubling because in an average day I walk a couple of miles in my day to day life and the body needs fuel.
I’m having to learn a new skill. I really do not want to lose any more weight so trying to keep the size of my ass stable along with making sure I eat enough is hard.
So what interests me the most about my ass and how it has changed is how other people treat me.
From unwanted and unnecessary congratulations to increased cat calls/street harassment, to my sudden absolute inability to reliably buy the right size things the fact is the only thing my weight loss has really changed is what size pants I wear.
What amazes me is that the people who have (both on the internets and in meat space) supposedly been ever so concerned about my health continue to not ask about my actual health.
For instance, someone I see time to time commented on my weight loss and prattled on about how “good I look now” and “how fantastic I will look by Summer” if I keep doing what I’m doing. This person didn’t ask how I am feeling, if I am okay, how my poops are lately just went on and on about my apparent near suitability to wear a bathing suit and how I must have some big secret.
This person prior to me losing weight was forever cautioning me against diabetes, high blood pressure etc without ever asking me not one damn time if I actually have any of those problems.
I’ve had other people coo about the size of my ass but out of probably 20 people I run into or see on a regular basis only 1 who is not my bestie has asked after my health.
To my own eyes I don’t look all that different. I wear the same kind of clothes, I still have not a lot of ass, big boobs, etc. I am still shaped in a way that makes for Jrs size bottoms to be my jam and womens size tops.
To other people I have become acceptably fat. I am between the before and after picture. The presumption that I have been “working” to “do something” about my weight and that I am to be rewarded with praise is what is going on.
At this point, I will listen to the praise and correct it.
Here is the facts.
The actual health problems I have were not magically solved by however much weight I lost. Just as in the past when I have dropped weight for whatever reason, they remain the same. Some are worse.
That is the reality of my real actual health.
What interests me most at this point is how even after I have explained the circumstances of my weightloss, how is it that people will tell me how much “healthier” I am when what they really mean is that I am more aesthetically appealing to them. If I was in fact healthier I would say so, rather than be fairly worried that I am going to go another year of my life sinking into cycles of insomnia that leave me emotionally and physically spent.
That I am going to continue worrying about the state of my knee joints. I am frequently worried that the days when my knees are swelled up on both sides and things in them are grinding, that I won’t find relief because weight loss was supposed to have magically cured me.
So again if we are to believe that if only fat people would lose weight, magically our lives would be better is a fucking lie.
I can’t totally correlate the following but I do find it curious.
At my current weight I have been catcalled in more dangerous ways than I have been in years. I’ve been groped on the bus, a man tried to follow me home, I have been cornered by a group of drunk White men, followed from the neighborhood I work in to the bus I take home downtown, etc.
Being that it is fucking Winter and I have an actual almost knee length puffy winter coat you can hardly see my body let alone see how cute it may or may not be.
More people have felt entirely entitled to grilling me about what diet system I use, where and how I work out, what I do or don’t eat etc. Most of them don’t ask they tell me what they think I’m doing and don’t believe me or seem to care when I say, stress and insomnia have caused me to lose some weight. Along with a sprinkling of depression because I can’t fucking sleep.
Not one of these people gives a hot fuck about my health.
Not one has said, oh man Shannon I hope you get some sleep. I hope you feel better.
No 99% of the time they just kind of chirp and tell me to keep on going.
Keep going until when?
The fact is that being too much smaller would in fact fuck up my life and my sense of self and my self esteem. I do not care for my body when I am in my mind too thin. It causes me deep problems and I’d like to not do that again.
What I glean from this type of behavior is this.
People don’t give a shit about my health or the health of any other fat people.
They want to look at me and feel pleased. Sometimes they want to feel superior, sometimes they want to think they are being helpful but mostly they want to project their own ideas onto my body.
If I were to believe that weight loss could cure all of my ills it would be an easy step from trying to be healthy to pathological problems regarding eating.
If I were easier led, I would not make the effort to eat enough. I would soak up the praise and let myself just not eat as much. Lose more weight no matter what.
I would end up damaged and in worse health than I am right now.
And yet, it would be okay with people because I’d not be fat anymore.
This is 20 goddamn 14.
I am not going to play into that. It is beyond maddening and damaging to my psyche to play that game.
So my darlings, this is what I am doing.
I am trying very hard to take care of myself as best I can. That means I try to sleep, I try to not be too hard on my body. I know my body, I know my body will tell me when stuff is not okay and for my own survival I need to listen.
I am going to be here with y ou because we all need to work to reject these messages. Death fatties, average size fatties, small fatties, thin people, whatever gender you are, disabled people all of us need to stand on the line that no, mob rules does not apply to our health and happiness.
We need to stand firm that our health is our business not yours.
We need to remember that fat is not just physical. Fat is cultural, fat is contextual and fat is diverse. What a fat person experiences in one place might be totally different in another place. What is a fat experience to me, might not be your experience and that is okay.
We need to remember that FA and body politics aren’t really a haven for a lot of us who are oppressed on other axis.
We need to make sure we don’t collapse under the pressure of using Whiteness to be the face of our movements because it is easier to accept Whiteness.
So my darling darling dears.
Officially we are not fucking around.
We are not having it.
No Chill 2K14.
Shit is gonna be ruthless this year, some of you will not be okay with that and that is okay with me.
The rest of you, please remember sometimes I’m bitey and snarky and angry but only because I care. I care so much about the things I talk about, I get emotional. This is me. I am not going to let my doubts as to how appropriate I am etc.
Countdown to me rereleasing my new and improved self care book.
And if you are interested in my other writing look here, my friend Dena interviewed me.