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Jul. 10th, 2011

OUR FAT COMMUNITY

Over the 4th of July weekend, we attended another science fiction convention (Westercon – we don't usually go, but it was in our neighborhood, so what the hey).

One panel was talking about the effect of technology on our lives, and the subject of non-geographical communities was brought up. I started thinking what a change non-geographical communities have made in my life and how important they are.

I wonder how different my life would have been if I had access to the fat acceptance community when I was a kid. And while I did not have a rotten childhood or adolescence, it was far from perfect (Thank you Mom for marrying the bat shit crazy step father, but such is life.)

The support and information offered by this community is so valuable to me now, but it would have made a huge difference for me when I was growing up. To know that there are fat and happy people in the world, that I'm not the only one, and that I'm not some sort of freak of nature because I am able and willing to live in my fat body. Yes I was constantly dieting and constantly judging my body harshly, but I also was out there living and doing what I wanted to do (or at least as much as I could get away with without my parents finding out).

To learn that diets don't work, that it's not my personal failure would have been amazing. Think of all the time, effort, and money I could have saved not trying to turn a fat person into a thin person.

Not everyone can afford to attend a NAAFA Convention. There are a lot more size-acceptance dances and other events, but they are not everywhere. Some people are tied to an area because of mobility issues, family responsibilities, etc. But with the internet, fat people no longer have to feel isolated. There is a big fat size-accepting community out there waiting to welcome you with a big warm cushy hug.

So remember, you now have choices when it comes to the community (or communities) you want to be a part of, you are no longer restricted by what is available in your geographic location. We are everywhere and yet we are a community.

originally posted at fattiesunited.wordpress.com

MY OLD ASS IS DRIVING UP HEALTHCARE COSTS

David Stipp thinks that my fat ass is what is driving the increase in healthcare costs. But he's wrong – it's my old ass that's doing it.

http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/obesity-aging-cause-ballooning-health-care-costs-31879/

It is clear that Mr. Stipp doesn't like fat people – to the point where he doesn't even see the irony in his own article. In one paragraph he tells us that more than a third of the US population is "obese". In the very next paragraph he tells us that the CDC attributes $147 billion in US medical costs to obesity – and he tells us, that's 9% of all medical healthcare costs.

So wait. We comprise 30%+ of the population, but only 9% of all medical healthcare costs are attributable to our "condition". Fuck, yeah. We must be a pretty healthy bunch. So much for the ideas that if you're fat you must be unhealthy and that fat is a disease that must be treated.

Mr. Stipp is all in favor of "healthy" (i.e., thin) people living long lives, but he seems to feel keeping the old fatty alive is just a waste of money and resources. After all, what kind of quality of life could we have? Never mind that his ideas for living longer include long term dieting and use of diabetes drugs by non-diabetics.

Well first of all, if you aren't mean to be thin, we pretty much know how dieting ends up. And second of all, I consider pleasure of eating as part of my quality of life. I also would not be happy with a life that entails a disordered relationship with food, where I count every calorie and weight each morsel, etc. No thank you. Not my idea of a good time – especially not if it's a life sentence.

Again, we all die, sooner or later. Longevity (much like fatness) appears to be tied more to genetics, environment, and socio-economic status.

Mr. Stipp says the proof of what he is saying can be found in a 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

What Mr. Stipp fails to say is that a 2010 CDC study (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr024.pdf) refutes what he is saying. The CDC report shows that older men and women have, on average, the same number of hospital admissions and doctor visits regardless of size.

In trying to find the study to which Mr. Stipp refers, I went to the NEJM website, and searched through the 2003 issues for the term, "medicare". I got dozens and dozens of results – articles, book reviews, editorials, and correspondence. So then I searched for "medicare", "obesity", and "age" and I think I found the study to which Mr. Stipp refers – Health, Life Expectancy, and Health Care Spending Among the Elderly.
Only the Abstract is available for free – but this is the conclusion for the study:

"The expected cumulative health expenditures for healthier elderly persons, despite their greater longevity, were similar to those for less healthy persons. Health-promotion efforts aimed at persons under 65 years of age may improve the health and longevity of the elderly without increasing health expenditures."

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa020614

Looks to me, live long and healthy or live short and unhealthy – the healthcare costs balance each other out. Am I missing something here?

No wonder Mr. Stipp did not include the cite for the study, since its conclusion does not prove what he is saying at all.

And once again, this is why we need to be informed fatties, and not take for granted what we are told by the fat-haters.

May. 16th, 2011

Your Fat Isn't Going Away

Your body considers its fat to be a precious resource to be defended and protected.

Want to know how much your body defends its fat?

A recent study of women seeking liposuction treatment showed that after the fat is literally sucked out – it returns – within a year - just to a different part of the body.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01kolata.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/oby201164a.html

So get your thighs sucked out, and you could end up with a new belly – or fat upper arms, etc.

The hypothesis is that the fat doesn't come back to the liposuctioned area because of the previous trauma. Your fat just looks for a new home in another neighborhood.

As one doctor said, "It's another chapter in the 'You can't fool Mother Nature' story."

The really sad thing is, more than half of the women in the control group, even after they were told the results, still wanted to undergo liposuction. WTF?

Now, I already knew that fat cells are your friends forever. When you diet, you don't lose fat cells, you simply "collapse" them, make them smaller, not less in number. What I didn't know is that your body carefully controls the number of its fat cells. Fat cells live about 7 years, but when one dies your body makes another to take its place. And apparently when you suck fat cells out or even have them surgically removed, your body replaces them.

So you can love your fat where it grows, or you can try to remove it and you can take your chances on whether you like where the fat decides to live next.

Me and my fat ass have agreed we should live together in peace, harmony, and love. And the only time I will encourage my fat to move is when I'm shaking my booty!

Aug. 31st, 2010

Fatties – Let's Get Physical

http://fattiesunited.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/fatties-lets-get-physical/

For years I was not comfortable with other people touching me. No backrubs, hugs limited to family and then with as little touching as I could get away with.

Anyhow, I think part of the problem is that many fatties are so uncomfortable in their own skin, that they shrink away from human physical contact.

It took a friend of mine who was a hug-monster to teach me to endure and finally come to love hugs. It was well worth the work of forcing myself to hug people. And I also think that was one of my first steps on the road to fat acceptance. Other people didn't shrink away in horror at the thought of hugging me --- so why should I have my panties in such a bunch over my body?

Hugging is such a goodness; and personally, I think hugging a fat person is extra-comforting. I think it takes folks back to their childhood when a hug was enveloping!

Simple human contact is important to everyone! So your hugs are not just something good for yourself, you are helping someone else too. Win-win!

So give it a try; and keep at it, because it is sooooo worth it.

Aug. 29th, 2010

Writer's Block: What's my motivation?

Cindy Lauper should have been Tink instead of Julia Roberts in Hook

Aug. 23rd, 2010

Qnexa vs Fatties

http://fattiesunited.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/qnexa-vs-fatties/

It is a very good thing that the advisory panel for the FDA voted (10-6) against approving Qnexa, a new weight loss drug. I just don’t understand why the vote wasn’t 10-0. Even worse, the vote is simply a suggestion. The FDA could go ahead and approve the drug anyway.

Also surprising is that the panel says Qnexa works better than “any approved weight loss drug”. Really? Here’s what Qnexa does – you lose 6% to 10% of your body weight – IF YOU ALSO UNDERGO A PROGRAM OF DIET AND EXERCISE. WTF.

Isn’t a 6% to 10% weight loss be what you would expect from dieting and exercise alone?

What in the world do these other “approved weight loss drug[s]” accomplish if they can’t match the obviously underwhelming claims for Qnexa?

Qnexa is a blend of phentermine (the phen in phen-fen) and topiramate (a drug developed to treat epilepsy). Topiramate is linked to attention and memory problems, depression and suicidal thoughts and has caused birth defects in lab animals. Qnexa may also cause a condition called metabolic acidosis that speeds bone loss and increases the risk of kidney stones.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, MD (health director for the consumer group Public Citizen) explained, “This is not a new therapy. It is just a repackaging of old ones that have significant dangers.”

So it doesn’t really do much and it’s dangerous.

I know, let’s give it to the fatties! They’ll try anything.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Jun. 11th, 2010

FAT HEROES – OR WWMWD

Have you ever read Marilyn Wann’s book Fat!So? Have you ever attended a NAAFA Convention and been so inspired by one of their speakers? Do you follow the Fatosphere?

Our world is full of fat heroes nowadays. What a joy.

These are people who have made fat activism and fat acceptance part of their lives, sometimes even being able to earn a living doing it! How cool is that?

I really think it behooves fatties to find the resources that are now (finally) available and use those resources to educate yourself on fat issues, fat statistics (join ShowMeTheData or FatStudies on Yahoo); and how to fight back in the war on fatties.

Surround yourself with reminders of these wonderful fat heroes; and try to emulate them.

I think we should all wear bracelets that say WWMWD (what would Marilyn Wann do) – feel free to substitute the initials of your own fat hero – maybe even your own, because any fatty who ever stands up for him or herself is a fat hero!

fattiesunited.wordpress.com

Jun. 2nd, 2010

Taking care of my fat ass

We had a fire drill at work today.

Now, I can go down the 7 flights of cement stairs (even though it kind of freaks me out ever since I went down a flight of stairs face first a few years ago); but the next few days afterward, I know I’m going to suffer for it. The calves on my legs will cramp up and I will be in A LOT of pain. Out of stubbornness and pride, I have dragged my fat silly ass down those stairs numerous times over the years.

Then it occurred to me, who was I trying to impress?

I think we often have the urge to be the “poster girl/boy” for fat and healthy (I know I do); but you know what? I know I can get down those stairs if I have to (again, my ass may be fat and silly, but I love it just as much as anyone and will always do my utmost to save it).

So I told the powers-that-be in our office, I would no longer be participating in drills. I will wait in the stairwell and if there is a real emergency they can either call me or send a cute fireman up to save my aforesaid silly fat ass. I made it clear that if I had to participate in the drills, I would be absent for the days afterward because I was no longer willing to come into the office hobbling around in pain.

I have come to the point of realization that no pain is no pain. Yes, it would be great if I could romp up and down 7 flights of stairs without consequence. And I probably could, if I wanted to really work at it. I don’t. At least not now.

And you know what? I don’t have to. Can’t make me, nobody is the boss of me. So there.

So my message is look at what you do and why you do it. And then do what is best for you – what you need to do, what you want to do.

fattiesunited.wordpress.com

Apr. 30th, 2010

FAT STEREOTYPES & SOCIETY

(You know I'm on a rant when the title is in all caps!)

There is a "myth" that fat women are sluts. You know, because we are all so desperate to be loved we'll let anybody do anything to us.

Like many myths/stereotypes there is a pinch of truth. Many fat women do feel so unworthy of love that they will put up with a lot just so they won't be alone.

Happily, more and more fat women are realizing that they deserve to be respected, treated well, and LOVED.

More and more fat women will not "settle".

Of course, many thin and average-sized women are promiscuous and often for the same reasons fat women are – because of self hatred/feeling unworthy. Lots of people get screwed up about their self image, regardless of their size. But, the big difference is that fat people are constantly told by society, as a whole, that they are unlovable.

Talk about things that make me go GRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

And what really hurts me is that society doesn't take responsibility for the harm that fat bigotry causes. Society creates a hostile environment for fat people, and then claims that all of the problems fat people have are because they are fat! Excuse me?

How often does a fat person forego getting exercise because they just can't deal with how they may be treated? Or forego medical treatment? Or forego trying for a better job? Or forego making friends?

And even if society wants to say that not all fat people are treated badly … it does not even have to be the actual treatment --- it can be just the fear of the possibility. And no one can say that fear is unjustified.

You can't smack somebody upside the head every time they smile, and then ask why they are so gloomy!

If society wants me to take responsibility for my fat body, fine. I want society to take responsibility for the damage it has causd to each and every fat person.

I'll be waiting right here for my apology --- and it better be good.

fattiesunited.wordpress.com

Apr. 27th, 2010

Any words of wisdom?

My employers just accepted my offer to take over the word processing job at our law firm provided I can work from home.

This is a huge change for me and the law firm, and we are stumbling around trying to figure out what needs to be done and how best to accomplish this.

Any thoughts?

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