Archive for February, 2008

25
Feb
08

Fat More Dangerous than Terrorism?

You know, I have to go back to my no-news ban. My psyche was happiest this way. Anyhow, as I clicked through my Yahoo! News today, I see an article that basically tells me that obesity is more dangerous that terrorism. What amazes me is that, well, we’ve talked about this already, but apparently the doctors and researchers wanted me to know and understand that the Threat of Fat is real, and as such, we’ve got to fight it.

I am trying my damnedest to understand this whole theory. Seriously. So, I’ll break down the newest article, and perhaps we’ll learn together.

First, let us look at the assertion:

“While we’ve been focusing so much attention on that, we’ve had this silent epidemic of obesity that’s killing millions of people around the world, and we’re devoting very little attention to it and a negligible amount of money.”

No attention? So, the diet industry hasn’t registered a blip on his radar? Silent? See comment about the diet industry. In other words we know full well about this supposed epidemic (which I thought didn’t even exist). I reckon plenty of money is being spent, both consumers and researchers alike, that let us know that the threat and shame of fat is alive and well.

An estimated 388 million people will die from chronic disease worldwide over the next 10 years, according to World Health Organisation figures quoted by the alliance.

“There’s a political paralysis in dealing with the issue,” said [Lawrence]Gostin, an adviser to the US government and a professor at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities.

He noted that prevention of obesity and its effects had hardly rated a mention in the current campaign for the US presidency.

It hasn’t? Did Meowser make up the quote out of thin air?Also, there are MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO FOCUS ON. We’re in a war, in case you’ve forgotten. How’s about we focus on getting our servicewomen and men back home? How’s about we focus on providing more jobs so this economy can do better? How’s about we focus on getting better healthcare for folks who can’t afford it? I’m not concerned with keeping costs low. I want folks to be able to just AFFORD IT. We have bigger things to worry about and fix than someone’s supposedly broken waistline.

Like terrorism, some passing health threats get major government attention and media coverage, while heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer account for 60 percent of the world’s deaths, the meeting was told.

“It is true that new and re-emerging health threats such as SARS, avian flu, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, bioterrorism and climate change are dramatic and emotive,” said Stig Pramming, the Oxford group’s executive director.

“However, it is preventable chronic disease that will send health systems and economies to the wall.”

These “preventable chronic diseases” he speaks of are obesity and lung cancer and the like. Except non-smokers get lung cancer too. And folks can’t exactly explain why that is. Preventable, huh? You can reduce a risk factor, but reduction don’t equal prevention.

There was, however, a part I could actually get on board with:

“We need to build the physical activity back into our lives and it’s not simply about bike paths, it’s about developing an urban habitat that enables people to live healthy lives: ensuring that people can meet most of their daily needs within walking and cycling distance of where they live,” he said.

Thus said Professor Tony Capon. I’m ok with this, as well as the reducing carbon emissions and making fresh food more affordable. I will also note I’m mad I had to wait to the END of the article to find something of some use.

But you know, when it comes to obesity, when it comes to smoking (and other “lifestyle choices”), they have to put the hysterical before the common sense. I just wish folks focused on the common sense more.

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16
Feb
08

My Original Career

Yay! Swedish Chef!

 Before I decided I wanted to do the literary thing, I wanted to be a chef. I say this now because in the last few weeks, I have been revisiting that dream. Full disclosure: I almost went to culinary school instead of university. Really. And I don’t regret going to university first, because it’s given me the platform I’m gonna need if my latest career move is to come to fruition.

I’d like to be a food writer. And a pastry chef. Only because I couldn’t bring myself to make soup of a turtle. Espcially if he was still looking at me when I was gonna cook him. Well, that and my grandmother (on mom’s side) used to be a pastry chef. She worked in the grocery store, I think. And her pies and cakes? Were some of the best around. And so beautiful! My mother says I got the baking gene from her. And I ain’t half bad when it comes to taste. Aesthetics? Well, I’m gonna need some help on that.

I’m feeling a little more comfortable putting that out there now, after so many years of saying I want to be a lawyer. And what’s important for me to remember is that one’s initial dreams don’t fade simply because another path is taken. They’re always there, and I have all the time in the world to do other things as they strike me.

But I think I’m gonna follow this path first and see where it leads me. But, culinary school is NOT cheap. Neither is the move I’m gonna have to make. So, I’m still on that job search grind, because money must be saved.

And maybe, with the added boost of degree number 1, I can bring about the first career plan I had in mind.

15
Feb
08

Self-Love…What A Beautiful Thing

Well, I’m still full throttle in getting my life together. It’s improving, slightly. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. So, in between job searches, I’ve been keeping up with the goings-on about the fatosphere. And when I saw this entry over at Big Fat Deal…OMG. It struck such a chord with me (as it did for folks over at Kate’s as well as folks on their personal blogs) because I saw ME in that 14 year old girl.

I’d just started my freshman year of high school, and I was coming off of being valedictorian of my 8th grade class (we had a graduation, I had to write a speech, the whole nine). I wasn’t comfortable in my skin, in that school, hell, in that damn STATE. Background: I was a transfer student my 8th grade year. There was a super-smart young man there whose niche was being…Super-Smart Dude. Here I come, and I take spot as Super-Smart Gal AND take his place as valedictorian. Folks were pissed at me…how DARE I come rolling in that school and upsetting the natural order of things?

And because that lil’ junior high was one hall (seriously), that stigma carried into the high school next door (also one hall). As far as insults go, they couldn’t call me stupid or slow (as quite a few kids called each other), but they had plenty as far as physical attributes go. As I’ve told y’all before, I’ve always been fat. So, naturally, they had to “call out” my bad skin, my glasses, my teeth, my belly….the whole nine. Added to my tomboy phase? Y’all, I was everything but a child of God then. So, here is what my 14 year old self needs to know:

Dear FN,

You think this is the worst time in your life. You want people to look past what you deem as physical issues and look at the person inside. Let me tell you something, darlin’. You don’t have physical issues. You have PUBERTY. Your skin is gonna clear up, and that’s gonna be the FIRST thing you’re complimented on. Your gonna look at your crooked smile and no longer care about having braces. And when you get them? You’re gonna rock that same bright smile you did when you had the gaps. Your glasses? You’re gonna get some new ones, and colored contacts, and clear contacts, and you are gonna ROCK THEM HARD. You’re gonna treat them as accessories as opposed to extra appendages. And you’re not gonna be ashamed.

And yes, you’re fat. Guess what? That’s not gonna change. And that’s OKAY. Darlin’, at 14,you are way ahead of your time for looking for more than looks, and you’re gonna have men swooning at your feet. Because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You wish you’d heard that more often, but girl, people LOVE you. YOU, as a person, are fucking awesome. And I’m sorry that you didn’t hear it more. But you will. From others, but most importantly, from yourself.

Keep singing. Keep writing. Keep being outspoken…don’t diminish your light because someone tells you it’s burning too brightly. When that man tells you that in class, tell him to get some damn sunglasses. Don’t feel like you always have to be strong. Let someone else help you. It’s not the you against the world, girl. There are folks, your true friends, that are there to help you shoulder the burden. Let them. And let the bitterness go. Everyone that used to treat you badly doesn’t translate to everyone is gonna CONTINUE to treat you badly. So don’t feel like you have to be in bitch-mode forever. Cause these troubles you’re having? Aren’t gonna last long. Believe it.

I love you,

Your 22 year old self.

And what’s even better about the 14 year old girl? She’s gotten all that love, insight, and caring NOW, when it matters so much. And it’s changed her outlook about herself and life.

The power of the Fatosphere. It’s unequaled.

06
Feb
08

Job Hunting

So, in the Endless Pursuit of Getting My Life Together, I’ve been looking for a stable job. Well, I’m getting interviews, which is half the battle, but no offers yet.

As I was scanning the listings at Monster, I came across a customer service job for a diet company.

I’m not tellin’ y’all which one. No publicity here, folks.

Anyway, in my Relentless Pursuit of Work (RPW) I actually CONSIDERED the position. Now, I know what y’all are thinking. If she needs the job, why not work for random diet company A? It’s money, and more than likely, it’s GOOD money. All of which are very valid points.

But knowing what I know about diets, from both first and second hand experience, there is just nothing in my soul that wants to help perpetuate the self-degradation that is diet. ESPECIALLY the chain folks. I don’t want to be the person helping others to wreck their metabolism. Or the hassle and pain of group meetings and weigh-ins. Or help them order prepackaged food that smells of Alpo.

Furthermore, I know full well as soon as someone calls me I’ll dissuade them from even paying for the plan with a healthy dose of Fat Acceptance! Or perhaps I’ll piss ’em off enough so that they’ll at least hang up and THINK about it. At any rate, even if I got the job, I’d more than likely get fired. The same day.

Yeah. So, I’m gonna keep looking. I need something I can stick with, and y’know, not get fired from.

And I owe people emails. (Sorry Phledge! I haven’t forgotten you, I promise!) Shame on me. I’m gonna work on that.

As soon as the RPW flowin’ through my system calms down a bit.

03
Feb
08

Don’t Want To Watch The SuperBowl?

 Special Addendum: I would like to send my condolences to the families and friends that were affected by the shootings at the Lane Bryant in Chicago. I send my prayers and healing vibes to you all. While fuzzy animals damn sure can’t fix what y’all are going through, maybe watching them can be a bright spot in your day. Peace and Blessings to you all.

Then you should totally watch this instead.

That adorable clip is brought to you by the good folks at Animal Planet. For the last three years, they’ve done the puppy bowl (it airs at the same time as the SuperBowl.) Hours of cuddly, fuzzy, and chubby puppies playing with their tails, each other, and various squeeky toys. Best show ever.

And I didn’t forget about you kitten lovers!

That is the kitten half-time show. There’s something for everyone!

So, if you’re like me and your favorite team didn’t make it to the Big Game this year, flip to Animal Planet at 3pm (2pm central) and watch adorable animals.

01
Feb
08

Well. It’s Come To This.

I’ve had folks tell me that the best way to get fat folks to lose weight is to ban them from restaurants.

Well. Congratulations, Mississippi! You have been the first state to lose its fucking mind!

You know, I was gonna write a whole rant about this. I had it planned in my head. But seriously? The stupidity of this law…I think my brain is about 5 minutes from going all asplodey. Seriously. And um, y’all legislators do realize that quite a few fat folks come to Mississippi to, well, eat, right? As a southerner (and I lived in Mississippi for a time), I know that some of the best cuisine comes from the Delta. So, you’re willing to a) fuck up people’s livelihoods and b) fuck up the tourism industry just because y’all want to make a statement about obesity?

Yeah. That’s it. This just might be the STUPIDEST fuckin’ thing a state has done. It’s like Jim Crow all over again. Unbelievable.

So, if y’all wanna get your protest on (and you KNOW these folks are getting an eloquent angry letter from me), here’s some contact info, via JoGeek.

If there are folks there in Mississippi that are not registered, y’all please go and make that happen. Tomorrow. Because there’s no telling what else will be proposed in other states. Make swift work of this, and go forth and snuff out this scourge.*

*And when I say snuff, people? That’s a synonym for “stop”. I am NOT, under any circumstances, advocating violence of any kind. Trust me, a legal action (voting against this, protesting, writing eloquent angry letters) gets one much farther than acting like a brute.




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