A very upsetting conversation

So here I am, apparently opening the door to have a Facebook “friend of a friend” tell me that I’m wrong. I find it ironic that people will say, be who you want to be, but then find ways to tear you down.

So I will share this, not because my arguments against him are sound. This kid made me cry, so obviously my arguments are not sound. And sure, there are those who will agree that I am attacking him. It’s hard not to attack a person who has placed you on the defensive. And over what you might ask?

This status update:

Fat stigmatization in the modern world… did it happen because of the growing science of health suddenly realized that fat is bad? Nope. Invented by insurance hawkers, stigmatization was picked up by every other shyster to SELL PRODUCTS! That’s right. It’s a marketing scheme, and one that has become so effective that people will blow money on everything from gym memberships which allow them to do exercises that they could do for much cheaper at home, to miracle pills that just get rid of the fat, no dieting needed! But, of course, I can’t point this out. By suggesting that actually, society’s attitudes towards the fat are specifically geared toward making money at the expense of people’s actual health is “blaming others” for my fat. Fat. The only category of human in which violence, bigotry and hatred exists and it is still ALWAYS the victim’s fault, not the abusive assholes that mistreat us. Good to know. Now it all makes sense as to why I personally have deserved and continue to deserve to be treated TOTALLY like shit by at least 70% of the people I meet.

Don’t believe me? Well, then check out the work of two highly educated women writing on the topic: http://www.beautyredefined.net/the-lies-we-buy-defining-health-at-womens-expense/

Throwback!

Yeah, I’m bitter. I entered school as a normal kid, at a healthy weight, and I was happy, popular and I smiled all the time. I didn’t know a stranger.

I graduated school feeling like I was the lowest sort of human being on the face of the earth, that I was worthless, ugly, stupid, and disgusting because I was fat. Nobody would ever or could ever love me, because I was fat. It was hard for people to even like me, because I was fat. And I should be thankful that anybody bothered with me… because I was fat.

So yeah, I’m bitter. I used to be a happy person and now I spend all my time trying to “get over it” … And by it most people think I mean my fat, but what I actually mean is getting over the negative self image that others placed in my head, and constantly negatively reinforced the whole time I have grown up. I hold the people that called me fat when I wasn’t fat responsible for the fact that I am now fat. Children are very subjectable to the words of others. That’s why so much attention is being paid to bullying today, because as a society we have realized that sticks and stones break the bones, and words break a person’s mental well-being. Tell me its a cop-out, that I am making excuses and not taking personal responsibility. Tell me all that if it makes you sleep better at night. But I’m the one that has to live with a fat body that others tell me I should despise, and a broken mind that I can’t get to shut up. I am the one who suffers from what others have told me is me. So why should I go so far as to blame myself for my own suffering, as if I am actively choosing to be miserable? Such self-blame makes depression, negative self-image, and an overall feeling of helplessness worse, sometimes to the point of wanting to commit suicide.

So here’s the conversation. I share it with everyone and anyone because I’m an adult and people still find ways to make me feel worthless, lower than low, just because I can’t easily be what they are.

No one deserves to have a stranger pop up on their page, and say these things. They are NOT HELPFUL, not insightful, not educational. They are prejudiced, plain and simple.

Loren S.: Be who you want to be. The only thing that gets my goat are people who think they can’t change their bodies, or that their weight is genetic or out of their own control. Calories in, calories out is all it comes down to. Nobody’s body is some magical place where the laws of thermodynamics do not exist. And yes, pretty much everything you see in the media about weight loss is misleading or straight up lies. This is what leads people to believe that they cannot change, which is untrue. They have just been mislead. Because as you said it, they dont need a gym membership, pills, or contraptions. They simply need to take in less calories than their body requires to maintain its current weight. But hey, there’s no money to be made by telling people all they have to do is eat less.

(Notice that he says he agrees with me and that I can live however I want, but he is pretty much telling me how to live. Since I can change, and haven’t, and speak about genetics, I obviously want to fail… because it’s all so simple. Calories in and calories out. If I’m not losing weight, I’m obviously not trying. Never mind the fact that his reductive reasoning is, for many of us, illogical. Just look at this blogger’s take on the subject: http://thesmarterscienceofslim.com/calories-in-calories-out-has-been-proven-false-and-frustrating/).

Me: And that is exactly the sort of problem I am trying to combat. The human condition can’t be reduce to thermodynamics, Loren. There are a lot of other factors to contend with. My weight is a genetic issue. It isn’t fully in my control. Anyone who knows the science of weight should know that such a reduction is at the head of the stigma that is being cast against fat people. You assume those things. They are not scientific fact. And if you would read up on the issue, you would find it is much more complicated. I may get your goat, but why? Because you think I am inferior. If I don’t change I obviously don’t want to. And it just pisses you off that I don’t try. But you don’t know me. You don’t know how hard I try, what I have done to try, and how little of it has actually worked. I would recommend that you do not respond on a friend of a friend’s status, just because you can. You don’t know me, which is why you feel you are able to freely spout bigotry. And it is bigotry.

Loren: It is fact. I have studied weight loss/gain, and have used my knowledge to gain quite a bit of weight (I was extremely underweight). I was always told, “you have a fast metabolism”, or “your father was skinny, you will be too”. When it comes down to it, it was just old wives tales. I don’t think you are inferior at all, I just know that you have been mislead, and that it is completely not your fault. Please do not accuse me of such petty moral stature.

There are genetic medical conditions which can have a strong effect on people’s weight, however, they are extremely rare (we’re talking less than 1 in 200,000). However, if you do suffer from such a condition, I can understand how horrible it must be, as fat shaming goes both ways (for skinny people as well).

What angers me is that so many people are lied to. Controlling one’s weight should be mandatory learning in school. 1lb of fat = 3500 calories. Your body, based on your age, gender, height, current weight, and amount of exercise, requires a certain amount of calories to maintain that weight. If you eat more calories, you will gain, less calories you will lose. So, if you calculate your BMR, you can find out what your maintenance level is and go from there. If you eat at a 500 calorie deficit for 7 days, you will be at -3500 calories, and will have lost 1lb (of fat, if you are eating balanced, nutritious foods). You can also go the other way to gain weight, which is what I did. Was it easy for me? Hell no. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Did it get easier as I went? Yes. One of the main reasons why it is so difficult is lipid levels in the brain. The chemicals which stimulate dopamine receptors and drive you to eat (telling you when you’re full or when your stomach is empty). These levels change gradually, its not something that changes in a week or two. But they will change. You just have to put a whole lot of effort into it and be consistent.

If you want more information I can definitely provide it (as well as medical studies and citations). But please, don’t attack me, I’m not your enemy here, I’m not going to shame you for your weight, but if you want to change it, I’ll be glad to use my knowledge and experience to help. Cheers.

(Notice how, originally, it is the excuses fat people make that bothers him… but then, suddenly, after I start “attacking” him, it’s the lies I’m being told that angers him. Because obviously he’s actually in my corner, I just don’t know it. But he must be in my corner, if he’s telling me how to live right?)

Me: And I have a lot of knowledge too. And try to use my knowledge. Which is why I do see a lack of morality in your comments. The narrative of personal responsibility is a shaming technique, pure and simple. Yes, you have learned ways to gain weight. Good for you. I know shaming goes both ways. But I’ve never been a person to shame another person for their weight, big or little. I don’t tell my friends they are “too skinny”. The ones that show a great deal of sudden weight loss might gain me some concern as to whether they have been sick or not, but the ones who remain thin regardless of what they eat are just that. Thin, regardless. Just as some of us are “fat” regardless. The problem is, in our society, 10 pounds or 100, it doesn’t matter. People can be slightly and perfectly healthy and over weight, in terms of the greatly dysfunctional BMI, and yet people will treat them as if they are “fat” and out of control. It is such a narrative of control, of personal responsibility, that has caused maladaptive behaviors, such as anorexia and bulimia. By pushing a person to think they have control in a world where they do not have, you see people suddenly trying to hyper control their own physicality.

Trust me, you have shamed me. What you said was hurtful, whether you realize it or not. If you would take a step back and really LOOK at what you are saying, you are pretty much telling me that I choose to live like this, that I choose to be the subject of ridicule, rejection, that I choose to be sick, that I must somehow be lazy or a compulsive eater. And you came to these conclusions based on what you have researched, you say. But the science of weight gain and weight loss are vastly different. You say that eating a balanced, nutritious diet will automatically mean you lose fat. And yet it is just as likely that a dramatic drop in calories (and one’s own body is left up to determine what is “dramatic”) will make a person’s body go into stress mode, wherein the weight that is lost is not fat. A body determines starvation at an individual level, but when it feels it is being starved, it will go for the muscle before draining the fat stores. You talk about more exercise, and yet exercise can be difficult for people. I myself tried to lose weight the supposedly “appropriate” way, by lifting weights. Only to find that I have a congenital defect in my back that makes it impossible for me to lift weights, or do certain exercises. Even walking causes an undo amount of stress on my body, and ends up being counter productive.You talk about feeling attacked and suggest I am being unfair. My question is, why do you think I don’t know my own body or about weight loss. What makes you think that I’m some gullible shithead that is being lied to? What makes you think you have the right to offer me advice or say the things you have said? I offered up an opinion to try to get people to broaden their knowledge base of the issue based on what I have been reading. And what I have been reading suggests that stigmatization has a long-term negative effect on actual weight loss. That is why I shared this, because I want people to know that actually, our standards of what is appropriate were created by people who wanted to make money by separating a certain population as being a “trouble” group and then using advertisements like the above to convince them they have a problem and that whatever is being sold to them will solve it. I don’t share this because I expect people to solve my fat for me, or to come to me with the tired “well you do it to yourself, just stop eating so much” solution. Regardless of how much I do or don’t eat, I don’t necessarily lose weight. I lose weight when I am happy, in a better environment, and not around people who, because you think you know something about the issue, give me advice. What I said when I first posted this comment in no way stigmatizes you at all. So I ask you, why did you feel the need to even bring up the calories in, calories out crap? What is it about you that you feel it is necessary to educate my obviously stupid ass. Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that what your rant implies, that I just don’t know any better? That I’m stupid because I’ve been lied to, and that if somebody nice like you would only come along and tell me that I eat too much then, BOOM, I’ll suddenly drop all this weight and be sooooo much happier?

As I have come across before, if your concern for my health makes me feel bad, then you are doing it wrong. That is why you feel you are being attacked, because your comment has placed me in the defensive. If you don’t like it, then don’t shoot your proverbial mouth of off.

And so I do what any reasonable person would do. I blocked him because, quite frankly, if you’ve told a person they are being a bigot, and they try to defend themselves instead of apologizing for obviously and seriously offending you, they are no longer worth the effort. So I blocked him. But didn’t get rid of him. Oh no. Suddenly one of his little buddies is popping up in my personal inbox to defend him, because Loren has been so SUPPORTIVE of Cody, who is an ex-fatkid. Congratulations. He’s been great to you, and you two boys have been able to feel as if you are in control of your lives because of weight loss or gain.The only problem I see with  that is I’m still being preached at by two people who are of the opposite sex and thus biologically different from me, and VASTLY younger. By a good ten years I’d say. I’m the one making assumptions. I’m the one attacking. I’m the one who is apparently being offensive… by sharing an opinion that doesn’t attack a particular individual but instead tries to empower individuals to acknowledge that people are trying to make money by telling us what to do with our own bodies… and then by not putting up with some stranger coming in to tell me that, actually, everyone can live how they wish to live. Just as long as us fat people stop making excuses and just change.

And that’s why, even at the age of 33, I still cry a lot over all this. I weep often. I get upset. I rant and I rave, and I attack.

I am sick to death of the Lorens of the world. I feel like I am currently fighting a losing battle for the mental well-being of the mes of this world. Men and women who want to be treated like human beings, not like we’re walking Twinkies.

But apparently, I’m the bad guy here.

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