I’m Shocked! No, Not Really.

Wow. Ok, so via the good folks at Yahoo! News (and the wonderful Kate), I have now learned that my fat is a lifestyle choice.

Yep. I’ve deliberately decided to be fat. I mean, I rolled over one morning, admired my size 4 curves in the mirror and thought….nah. I should TOTALLY gorge myself on the baby donuts I hear about and sit on my ass everyday until I hit the sizes 20-24 range.

What the FUCK, yo. We’re not gonna go into the whole “simple formula” to losing weight thing (burning more calories than what one takes in=thin) foolishness right now. Cause based on that I really WOULD be a size 4. What I want to focus on is the societal ramifications of being fat.

So, what this supposed expert is telling me is that I want to be ridiculed? That I ENJOY my family bestowing the wonderful “you’d be so beautiful if you’d just lose 10/50/100 pounds” phrase on me? That I love men “complimenting” me on my size because that means “you know how to cook! we see you ain’t missed a meal, so your man won’t either!” I’m deliberately choosing to elicit stares when I order food at a restaurant or at a food court in a mall? Seriously, though?

Or, even better, I’m ASKING for my treatment, because the expert says it’s a lifestyle choice. And with these choices come consequences, right? Have mercy.

Ok, I’ll leave that soapbox alone for the time being. Let’s get into what this health economist had to say.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

Hm. America is becoming a First World economy. Ok, so how does Mr. Finkelstien gather we’ve become this booming economy? By working, right? Now, if the poorer folks weren’t doing all this doggone working so that the economy could be boosted–and I’m not talkin’ regular 9-5 type work, I’m talkin’ 12-18 hours a DAY–while the richer folks continue to make money without consideration to their poorer workers, there wouldn’t be a NEED for labor saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods. Quite a few folks can’t afford rent or electricity and have to choose between feeding their kids and keeping a roof over their heads. And it seems to me that if with this advancing economy folks STILL have to live like that, we ain’t becoming a damn thing except a fancy Third World country. We just have a government that cares enough about its own image to try and do some things to help. But Welfare and Medicaid/care can’t do but so much. So, I’m gonna leap of the economy soapbox and continue with the health ramifications we fat folk have pounded in our head on a daily basis.

Naturally, with an article like this comes the OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC!!!!1! assertion: when you get fat, you are susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Yes, folks, let us continue to beat this dead horse about how unhealthy fat is. But essentially, Mr. Finkelstein is saying that since medicine has improved so vastly, folks can choose to be obese. The repercussions aren’t that great anymore.

“When you have a first-rate medical system that can cure the diseases that obesity promotes, you no longer need to worry so much about being obese,” he told AFP.

“With our ever-advancing modern medicine there helping to save the day (at least for many people), are government and the media blowing the magnitude of the ‘obesity crisis’ out of proportion?” his book says….and draws the conclusion that “many individuals are making a conscious decision to engage in a lifestyle that is obesity-promoting.”

“People make choices, and some people will choose a weight that the public health community might be unhappy about. Why should we try to make them thinner?” Finkelstein said.

I was under the impression that there was no more obesity epidemic. Silly me. Anyhow, I reckon, as I have stated above, there are some pretty good reasons to worry about being obese. Not because fat is a bad thing that must be abolished (as every health expert/diet company/someone’s mother wants you to know) but because of the social stigma that is having wobbly bits. So, did the article find a regular person to say that no…fat really isn’t a choice? Of course! And they found a doctor, too! Here they are, in their own words:

Obesity is not a choice for Alley English, a 28-year-old mother from Missouri who has struggled with a weight problem all her life.

“If you knew that you could be what society considers normal, why would you not choose to do that?” English told AFP.

“As we get older, life does get more rushed and we do tend to make the easier choices sometimes,” English, who currently weighs 392 pounds (178 kilograms), told AFP.

“But you can’t say if you quit going to the drive-through, exercise more and eat more vegetables, you’ll lose weight. There are so many more factors involved.”

[Linda] Gotthelf also disagreed that people choose to be obese.

“There are studies in which people have said they would rather lose a limb or be blind than obese. Being obese is not a desire,” she said.

“For many, this is a problem they have struggled with for many years… it gets discouraging after a while,” she said.

“I would not doubt that if you asked obese people if they could push a button and not be obese, close to 100 percent would say they would push the button.”

Ok, y’all really didn’t have any hope for the doctor, huh? Me neither. I left out the other Sanity Watchers point eating statement she said before this one. You’re welcome. However, I have to differ about being “normal.” I’d never want to “push a button and no longer be obese.” I’d love to push a button and zap the bigots to another dimension. I’d love to push a button and end all the wars and conflict. But since I know my weight has nothing to do with my health, getting rid of it isn’t important. I’m all about my health. I want to be and feel strong. Be in shape. And “in shape” shouldn’t have jack shit to do with size, although unfortunately in this world it does. I’m just tired. Tired of folks assuming things about others’ lifestyles as if it’s their God given right to tell me how to live.

But, you know, I’m fat, and since it’s a choice, I TOTALLY asked for it.

6 Responses to “I’m Shocked! No, Not Really.”

  1. January 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Oh yeah, and the comments about Omar the Tentmaker being my tailor are just so amusing. Who I am, fundamentally, doesn’t change no matter what my size is, so why would I want to change? I like who I am, and I don’t care much what others think anymore. If they don’t want to take the time to get to know me just because of my size, I don’t have time for them and their opinion is just that, an opinion (we all have them and they only matter to the ones who hold them).

  2. January 11, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Wait. Omar the Tentmaker? The hell? Folks kill me with the lengths they’ll go to to embarrass or shame someone else.

    Oh, and Vesta…don’t go telling people that nothing but size changes when they lose weight. You’re gonna take down the diet industry…and then…ANARCHY! 🙂

  3. January 12, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    You’re damned right this is not a “First World Economy” for everyone. Not even close. When our president can talk to a woman on television who works three low-wage jobs just to stay afloat and tell her how “wonderful” it is that she does that, that should tell you all you need to know about the staggering lack of clue out there about how most people live.

    And like Paul Campos said, fat hate is just an excuse for the “upper crust” and their most ardent wannabes to be able to spit on the “uncouth proles” without pushing (most) people’s class-snob buttons. They want us to believe that being refused friends, lovers, jobs, apartments, school admissions, visibility or audibility in mass media, and decent clothing options is all about diabetes. Which most of them couldn’t even begin to define, let alone know the actual causes or rates of.

    (Fun fact: For all the foaming at the mouth over type 2 diabetes in children, the actual diagnosed incidence of type 2 in young people under 20 is so rare that the American Diabetes Association doesn’t even keep statistics on it. But all forms of diabetes in youth under 20 total 0.22% of that population — so if even half of those are type 2, which is a generous assumption, that is less than one-twelfth of one percent. There’s your epidemic.)

  4. January 12, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Whoops, that should be, “less than one-eighth of one percent.” Butterfingers.

  5. January 12, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    *head scratch*
    So we’ve gone from obesity epidemic to a diabetes epidemic?

    Sigh. Anything to avoid doing some real reasearch, huh?

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