Sunday, February 27, 2011

Supersize me?

I'm a few years behind the times, but I finally watched Supersize Me last night.  I have to say I wasn't impressed.  So many people I know said "Oh, you gotta watch this movie, it'll change your life".  Let's ignore the presuppositions made by the person who assumes that a movie about the evils of fast food is going to change my life and look at the movie.

Spurlock talks about the "obesity epidemic" at the beginning of the movie - and the inference all along is that all fat people eat only fast food and don't exercise.  I found this to be offensive, and damaging.  Damaging to the naturally thin person, as feeding the myth that your size is an indicator of your health allows the naturally thin person to think they are healthy simply because they are thin.

The other problem I had with the film was the methodology of the "study".  He not only did not exercise the entire time, he reduced the amount of normal physical activity by taking cabs when he would normally have walked.  Small wonder he had the lab results and weight gain that he experienced.  If I uppped my fat intake and reduced my physical activity, the same thing would have happened.  Perhaps it would have been more realistic (but less dramatic for the cameras) to have not changed his normal physical routine.  How much of the damage would have been mitigated by that activity?

I'm not suggesting that we start getting all our food from the drive thru.  I agree with Mr. Spurlock there; fast food should be rare.  I also think that if we make them taboo, it makes them that much more attractive.  "Ooh, look at me being bad, eating this cheeseburger".

Or you could follow the principles of intuitive eating and allow yourself to have the Mickey Dee's.  After I stopped going to Weight Watchers, I "let" myself eat whatever I wanted.  It didn't take long for me to get sick of the fast food, and I am getting close with sit down restaurant food as well.  Even the Angus burger isn't enough to make me want McDonald's that much.  It took 27 meals for Morgan Spurlock to start feeling like eating was a chore.  I don't remember my own time frame, but it was far less meals than that.  (on a basis of once or twice a week, not all day every day)

So did I ever have a point?  Well, sure.  Use your noggin when you watch a documentary like this.  Common sense tells you not to eat fast food every day.  Apply some critical thinking, and don't take what you see without an internal debate about it.  It's easy to take what someone else says as truth; this doesn't require any work on our part.

In the future, take a minute to decipher what is true.  Separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.  A lot of good information was buried under the sensationalism of the movie.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Concern Trolls

Tonight I met a concern troll in an unexpected place - the massage therapist.  I get her issue - I understand that she didn't want to touch me.  Sometimes *I* don't want to touch me.  However, to hide that disgust under concern for my health - unacceptable.

I went in for a massage because my shoulders were tight.  I am experiencing quite a bit of personal and professional stress right now, and I carry it all in neck and shoulders.  I mentioned that I had been stretching, but that the stretches weren't cutting it.  The therapist told me stretching wasn't going to do it for me because I am "hippy".  So my belly fat causes shoulder pain?  I just don't get it.

She redeemed herself with a really good massage, but the beginning sure hurt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I had a long talk with my mother tonight about labels and Aspergers.  She doesn't really want to believe that she produced an Aspie.  I get that, because she would have to admit that she's one too.  And she may not be ready. She says it's just another label.

I tried to get her to see that while it may be just a label, it's a label that explains so much for me.  The meltdowns, the shyness, the clumsiness, the issues with noise and light and so on.  Having this name to call it means I am  not so abnormal after all.   I'm not crazy, or stuck up.  I'm just different.

I think it's much easier to meet a challenge when you know what the challenge is.  You can waste a lot of timing climbing a mountain if the challenge is to find a certain tree at its base.  That's the benefit of having the label.  It may not define my challenges, but it does tell me what letter to look under.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Which We Are Introduced and I Talk About Fat

I stumbled into Fat Acceptance around the same time that I was diagnosed as having Asperger's.  The two don't go hand in hand, but they do serve as the filter through which I view the world at the moment.  Asperger's does not define me, but it sure does explain me.  My fat does not define me either, but it is the first thing you see when we meet.

There are so many people who have written much more eloquently than I about both subjects, so the logical question from you (if *you* exist, dear reader) is what am I doing writing?  The thoughts in my head need to get put down somewhere.  I highly doubt at the moment that anyone will read this, so I have the benefit of a journal with the fantasy/illusion of being a writer.

I have been fat my whole life.  I don't remember a time when I was not fat.  I have gone through stages with my fat - hatred, ambivalence, dislike, and now, slowly, acceptance.  The things written by others in the fat world have helped me on that journey towards acceptance.  To those writers, I am grateful.

To define fat acceptance from my point of view - it is not giving up on my body or my health.  Health and fat are not mutually exclusive - as best written here (I hope it's OK that I linked to you, Ms. Harding - you're wonderful!).  To say I accept my fat and my body does not mean I am giving up on either.  Fat acceptance does not mean sitting around on the couch a la Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her - although if you do, that's OK too.

Fat Acceptance to me means eating healthy TASTY food until I am satisfied, and moving my body because it feels good to do so.  I refuse to starve myself to meet someone else's ideal.  And God didn't intend for exercise to be a chore.  So when it becomes "working out" - I'll take a break.

What I've said today is nothing new, but let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.