Sunday, March 30, 2014
Regardless of where and when, there is always a point where the tide of NO MORE SMALLER/ACCEPTABLE FATS starts happening.
It happened at Fatshionista and the Inbetweenies community was semi born.
I've seen it on tumblr in the last I dunno two weeks.
Some folks have asked me about it.
So some of you will not like what I have to say and that is okay.
For me personally my actual body has been varying sizes.
I have been super underweight thin.
I have been supposedly "healthy".
I have been chunky. (Me right now I suppose)
I have been about the US average.
I have been kinda fatter than the US average.
And at my higher weight I was what is now considered "small fat" (around a size 18-20).
As I have said before, fatness is not a purely physical state. Fatness is cultural, fatness is contextual. It is not one thing or another, it is many things that intersect to create an experience living in a body.
So here is the problem with some of what I've seen lately.
Being that I come from the perspective of someone who has been up and down the spectrum of fatness, and treated as a former fatty, as an almost not fatty anymore there is some degree of misinterpreatation of what people who look to be smaller fats can/should contribute.
So let's start with the inbetweenie thing.
Just as when it was coined, right now I really hate that term.
I am not inbetween shit.
I am not a before and after.
I am in fact, regardless of what your feelings might say about my current ass size, a fat person.
Regardless of how you look at and process the size of my body I am still treated as a fat person.
I am still trolled. I am still treated like a shit filled bucket of obesity by healthcare professionals. I still have some issues finding clothing to a degree.
Now again, we have to understand that these experiences of mine, yes even with some small degree of thin privilege are still the experiences of a fat person.
My perspective is that of someone who in terms of the microcosm of the culture immediately around me is treated as a fat person. If we are to believe what some people on the street have said to me, I am on the very brink of dropping dead from THE OBESITY.
My perspective and lived experience is different than that of someone who is significantly fatter than I am.
Some of our experiences may parallel, they may intersect but they will be different because no two fat people live the precise same experience and that is okay.
It is more than okay it is great.
What a lot of people do is look at a picture and decide that the person they are looking at isn't that fat. Then there's the question of why does this person think they are fat, they aren't fat this is my space.
Personally I feel like that is unwise.
When you just see someone, an outfit picture or whatever or the size clothing they wear, that does not speak the totality of their experience.
Given the rising numbers of people who are entirely done with fat shaming, there are going to be more people who ID as fat even yes, if they are small fats because likely they have experienced life as a fat person.
It also matters that the size on a label doesn't totally tell you what is going on.
I'll use myself as an example.
When I was about a size 20, I had clothing from a regular big box store that was labeled a size M. On one hand this is a demonstration of a degree of thin privilege. On the other it shows you that clothing sizes are ridiculous.
What it did not tell anyone was how I was treated by people and society at large.
That is the distinction I'm talking about here.
I don't think that excluding smaller fat people from general fat spaces is great.
That said, not every space is for every one.
If there are DeathFat people talking about where to buy pants, unless I have something substantive to say (as in, hey DeathFatties X store has these pants up to a size 30) I don't need to interject in the conversation nor do I need to feel left out.
If the conversation is about fatness in general, that is the space to speak up.
What bothers me the most is the idea that if someone does not look appropriately fat, that they have nothing of substance to say. I feel like that glosses over the intersections of fat life.
It bothers me when people use the phrase Acceptable Fats to only mean smaller fats when in fact the acceptably fat especially in fat circles tend to be very attractive White women of any size. Especially if they have an hourglass shape or rock a pin up style or other very identifiable style.
That is just short sighted to me.
If you are uncomfortable posting an ootd because people who appear to be not fat enough to be really fat in your eyes, that is something you need to work out for yourself.
I believe that is a big turning point in FA and on a personal level a big step beyond You Go Girl type body politics.
That is the point to start really digging into the vast array of fat experiences and understanding that an experience or life different than your own is okay. It is vitally important to the politics of fat acceptance to understand that while Fat Acceptance Voices need to be first and foremost fat people, that those fat people are not all going to be X amount of pounds.
This is the point where a person needs to decide if they want to take their Fat Acceptance further than YES I'M BEAUTIFUL TOO.
Let's get it straight that there is nothing wrong necessarily with YES I AM PRETTY or YOU GO GIRL level body politics. That is a necessary part and something that does need to be represented.
For me, this is just not what sustains me.
I need more beyond looking good.
For me personally my adventures in Fat Acceptance have been less about LOOK I AM PRETTY TOO, to no you cannot treat me this way simply because I am fat.
Another issue I want to address is weight loss.
There are people in FA and readers I have heard from who disapprove of my weight loss.
I don't care.
Here's the thing, bodies change. Sometimes it is on purpose, sometimes as with me shit just happened.
That has not changed my views on Fat Acceptance. It has not altered the validity of a word I say here.
If you cannot look past the size of my ass, I think that is something you need to look at for yourself. Being that my tune has not really changed, did you only take me seriously because our asses were similar?
If so, my brand of FA is just not for you.
Whether someone is fat right now, really fucking fat, super fat, not that fat or whatever it is to a degree all the same to me.
Regardless of the how of fatness in your life, whether it is fatness based on the culture you live in, the culture of your family/friends, because you are really just super fat or whatever you need FA too.
You are welcome too.
Let me say that again.
You are welcome.
This is important stuff for you to know.
Even those of you who aren't fat at all and never have been fat in any context, it is important for you too because it can change how you treat people and how you interact with the world and that is important.
So there it is.
Monday, March 24, 2014
So I'm posting this via email to see if I can use that until I migrate everything off of Blogger.
My other choice would be to just start over at blogger but I don't know if I want to pay for yet another domain name.
Okay moving it along.
So after talking to some people I found out a.) I'm not alone in my Intuitive Eating Frustration nd b.)I could have an actual medical problem.
I also realized that most of my feelings that day were due in part to my super fun n awesome 3 week menstrual cycle.
In thinking more about it I can see where my own inability to quite let go of the idea that it doesn't make me "good" to do these things well. It just helps my body not be freaking out.
I had one of those moments where I was like, okay well shit.
I already know that most of my body is very reactive to my emotional state. And normally if it is a bigger emotion (yes even happy) my appetite is fucked.
Now rather than my thought process immediately going to, okay jerk time to eat. My thoughts turn more towards, good/bad fatass dichotomy.
It was so buried under a lot of other shit I couldn't figure it out.
What amazes me more is just how pervasive that is. Instead of just taking care of myself, I get upset with myself.
How many of us do that?
It just makes me chucklea little bit. Shit this stuff is so damn hard.
As some of you kniw I'm busy rewriting my self care book and it occurs to me again that I not only am writing it for me because Gods know I need it. I'm writing it for you too. We all need it.
So I'm feeling less like a total failure and more like a regular human who does wrong shit sometimes and I am ready.
Even as I write this, I just realized I haven't eaten real food in a long time. I will do that in a minute.
So to wrap this up, here is the new intro to the self care book. Keep your eye out.
And per usual you can head here to buy some little stories or an essay from me on etsy.
Why are we here?
Here's the real poop. I wanted to do better. I put out v.1 of the self care book in a hurry. It came from a good place, I just wanted the message out there immediately and it as flawed.
I had so much more to say, more to do and so here we are my homies.
So let's go over some stuff before we get into the hard part.
First up, who is this for?
This guide is for the rest of us. It's for those of us who wouldn't line our litterboxes with what we shall call LadyMags (you know, those magazines that tell you things like, YOU GO GIRL but your thighs are awful and your vag stinks) and may not have vaginas or be the "woman" those magazines target.
It is for those of us for whom platitudes and advice to think positive make us want to hurl.
It is for us poor people.
It is for fat people.
It is for thin people.
If you: have eating disorders, mental illness, are non neurotypical, non gender conforming, for the confused, for parents, for people of color, for queer people, for straight people.
This is for us.
All. Of. Us.
Okay homo out.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
For me that is mostly made up of making sure I eat enough day to day.
That being what it is I have been trying very hard to utilize intuitive eating.
The result is, I am really bad at it and it makes me feel awful.
I often feel like as I close in on (the 16th is the day) 37 that I should have this shit figured out. It honestly deeply upsets me that I have such a hard time keeping myself fed properly.
When I say properly mostly I just don't want my blood sugar plummeting to the point where I feel like I might faint or start crying or when it gets to the point where when I do go to eat, I vomit.
One of the most frustrating things about this is that I've had this problem since I was a teenager. When I was a teenager I was told to diet and exercise.
When I was thin (too thin for my taste) the problem was exacerbated by the amount of exercising I was doing and that I was trying to be a vegan.
My body did not approve.
When I was fatter than I am now, same problem.
Again I was told to eat less and move more. One doctor also decided I was absolutely diabetic despite nothing in my medical records or testing indicating this and made me (at the time I was not comfortable saying no to a doctor) do the fasting test twice because originally she accused me of lying and fasting for longer to make my test results good.
Not once have I tested even being pre diabetic except when I had two raging ear infections. And when you have infections your blood sugar levels are off and upon retest my sugar was again low normal.
I find as I get older my physical tolerance for having low blood sugar gets to be less and less. I get upset, I want to cry, I feel dizzy.
As I try to maintain my weight and prevent the blood sugar crashed I'm getting frustrated and mad at myself because I feel like I fail at intuitive eating.
The things I want to eat are either things that won't particularly sustain me.
For instance today I had some Emergen C this morning. (ThANK YOU AGAIN FOR THOSE) and some toast. That is huge for me being that I hate eating when I first wake up.
I walked to the transit center, walked to my bus downtown then walked to work.
I had some coffee and a cookie.
After a while I ate a package of Susie Chun (they are tasty) nori.
Now a bit later, I felt shaky but I wasn't particularly hungry.
This is where I get frustrated.
I feel like I ate enough in terms of satiety but my body was sending distress signals so I ate some cheese and crackers.
I have more food but I know that it is going to be hard for me to eat it because I'm already fairly full.
I am so frustrated.
I am frustrated because the medical advice I get is really counter intuitive.
If I'm already not quite eating enough, why would it be okay for me to eat less?
Oh wait because weight loss cures everything right?
I feel like a living example if what a lie that is.
Weightloss did not cure the joint problems I have had going on 20 years.
Weightloss did not cure my blood sugar issues.
Weightloss did not cure my insomnia.
Weightloss did not cure my anxiety.
You know what weight loss has done for me every time it has happened?
I had to buy smaller pants.
Because of the medical industry's hate of fatness, I feel that it has failed to preserve or enhance my health.
I have been stripped of my trust of doctors entirely.
I feel that because regardless of how much I have weighed at any one time, I have not been cared for because I was either fat at the time or had been fat previously.
I don't trust doctors to treat me with basic respect.
I don't trust doctors not to simply decide that whatever is wrong with me it is because of my weight whether the issue is correlated to fatness or not.
I don't trust doctors to listen to what I have to say.
I don't trust them.
That trust has been broken.
Put it this way.
If everytime you see a particular person, they kick you in the shin at some point you are not going to trust them not to kick you in the shin when you see them.
That is self preservation. That is our nature. We don't want to be abused.
I don't want to be abused.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't want or expect miracles. I understand how medicine works, Here is what I want.
I want to be treated with basic respect and dignity.
I want to get medical advice based on the actual facts of my health.
I want to walk away from an appointment feeling empowered and like my health, my entire health not just the size of my ass matters.
I don' think that is too much to ask.
And yes, I realize doctors are humans and have their personal biases.
I don't expect them not to have any of those.
I do expect them to be able to put them aside enough to treat all patients equally. To treat everyone from the most perfect specimen of human health to the riddled with illness people the same.
So at this point I am left with intuitive eating and working shit out on my on.
It is so damn hard.
Sometimes I get very down on myself for being so bad at the basics of keeping my blood sugar normal. I get down because part of me still wants to believe that a doctor would never give me bad advice because they are freaking doctors.
So for now, I do what I can.
I enjoy my exercise.
I try to enjoy my food.
I try to manage my problems.
And I hope that some day the medical industry takes a hard look at itself, and finds itself as lacking a I do.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I will post a video of me reading some grown folks lit at the bottom.
It was intense and I had some panic problems but overall I'm glad I went.
AND now my darlings some news.
I decided that I am going to rewrite my self care book.
In doing that I will include some posts from here, some tips for Queers and Fat people and people who are not really oppressed and poor people and well fuck all of us who are fucked up and need help.
Here is where you come in my homies, if there are any self care related things you have always wanted to ask, get anonymous if you need to (sign out of google/other accounts) and leave them on this post.
Now I've already decided I will cover selfies, I will cover toxic bullshit magazines, the things that cut us to the bone, the bad days and some (big) surprises.
I'm going to talk about trashy tv shows and feeling smug when you see bad pictures of people who have been mean to you on facebook.
Shit is about to get real.
I'm also still committed to keeping it accessible so I will be putting it out through my etsy store.
OH my birthday is coming up.
I am turning 37 and I have some stuff to say about fatness, how my body has changed and how I am doing with all that and I hope y'all will be pleasantly surprised.
Also eventually when I have the time and energy I'm moving this whole shebang to word press. Eventually.
So that's all for right now my darlings.
And here is me reading two pieces of fiction. This is not kid safe so use headphones or however you dealwith that.