Diary of a Fat Chick

Fat girl living in a skinny world

Of Stools and Stepladders July 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 10:42 pm
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After coming up empty in my search for a step stool at Linens ‘n Things and Home Depot yesterday, I visited Lowe’s today. When I finally found the correct aisle, I looked for the kind of stool I wanted.

Remember those round things librarians used to use years ago? Lowe’s didn’t have that kind, but they did have a variety of step stools. Unfortunately, the weight limits were low. The highest limit was 300 pounds, but it was a full-fledged step ladder, for which I have no room in my kitchen. The smaller step stools also had the lowest weight limit. At 255 pounds, my husband wouldn’t have been able to use those stools! What’s up with that?

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Fat Kids? July 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 10:40 pm
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Pdiff left this comment, so I wanted to make my reply a post.

So Rhohwyyn, what if the child was obviously over weight. Would you be supportive of unsolicited intervention then? Childhood obesity can be a serious health issue too.

Just curious.

Pdiff

I think it’s hard to know – for the untrained eye – when a child is unhealthily overweight. It’s normal for children to be “chubby.” In general, I don’t think it’s really something to be concerned about, at least not to the extent that it’s being freaked out about in Oz.

I have a feeling, too, that many, if not most, parents can see when their children are fat, just like most people know when they themselves are fat. Or do parents have blinders on when it comes to their own children? I doubt it, though, because how many of us heard from our parents – mothers, in particular – that we were too fat? Practically all of us. Maybe the solution is finding a way to speak positively and gently about fat and health, not tear down our children for things they can’t control?

 

Crash diet warnings June 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 8:54 pm
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I’m proud of the Daily Record. A few weeks ago it published this warning about the side effects of crash dieting. I gotta hand it to them; they didn’t pull any punches. It’s good to see this kind of thing in the public media.

 

Casting Stones June 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 10:16 pm
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I went through my clothing a month or two ago and weeded out everything I can’t fit into right now. Since I didn’t have a big enough box, the two large piles of jeans, capris, sweaters, and tops are sitting on my dresser. My dresses are in the closet, or the piles would be even bigger. Now that we’re moving, I want to get rid of the clothing so I don’t have to move it with us.

Thus, I posted an ad on Craigslist inviting girls who want to buy the clothing to give me a call. A woman – I’ll call her Susan – and I played phone tag for a while before we finally connected. During our conversation, Susan revealed that she has been going to Curves with her friends, and she has already dropped two sizes. She sounded so happy. I think I was happy for her. But I don’t know.

The word on the Fatosphere is that weight loss efforts like that are typically short-lived. How will Susan, now so happy, feel if she gains back any of the weight she has lost?

I also have to ask, am I questioning her happiness because I feel like she’s naive or because I want to be a killjoy? There’s plenty of commentary on the Fatosphere decrying weight loss from a negative attitude toward one’s body. That’s a good thing. But then, what about the women – and men – who try to put a positive spin on losing weight? Is there room in FA to applaud those who lose weight, who don’t buy into the “I’m fine the way I am, so deal with it” mentality?

I haven’t talked with Susan in depth, so I don’t know her story, but I wonder what her motivation is to join Curves. She sounded like a happy, emotionally healthy woman on the phone, so perhaps she was attempting to be healthy, as defined by Body Positive, by “getting active” and the weight loss was just a side effect. But could it be more insidious than that? And really, who am I to judge?

I think judgment that stems out of our concern for an individual’s mental or physical health can be appropriate, but how do you tell when it’s warranted and when you’re just overreacting. I have to do more reading to see if this has been previously discussed, so please feel free to weigh in with your thoughts or any helpful links.

 

Weight: The final frontier June 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 8:04 am
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The Fat Identity. How fat is different.

“I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people who are subjected to it think they are getting exactly what they deserve.”

That’s one of Meowser’s great summations that rattles around in your head for a while, planting its seeds.

Weight is one of the last frontiers of discrimination/prejudice because it is something we can change. Religion is a fundamental part of our moral and ethical system, as well as our psyche. For most people, it is something we can’t imagine changing. Gender/sex can be altered by surgery and hormones, but not at the genetic level. Likewise, national origin and race cannot be changed – unless you’re Michael Jackson, and even then it’s doubtful. Age, of course, cannot be stopped.

So what’s left? Weight. It is something we are told from little on up that we can change. The media say it. Our families say it. Our doctors say it. Thus it must be true. And since all of those well-respected people (hah!) say we can change our weight, and we fail to do so, then we must be failures.

However, as fatfu points out in her article, the media, our families, and our medical professionals fail to fully inform us about the true results of dieting. Changing your lifestyle to minimize “junk food” and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables is commendable, and I recommend it. Dieting, though, just to get rid of “extra” pounds is pointless. No dieter I’ve ever met has had a comprehensive plan of how they will maintain their weight once they reach their target. Really, diets should come with full disclosure statements, just like surgeries or signing up to use some Web sites or computer programs. I’ll post one later.

 

June 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 10:33 pm
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Over at Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose, the conversation has gotten around to others’ perceptions of our bodies. In particular, I like this comment from Tal:

In other words, she knew I had a rack of doom, but had apparently never noticed that I’m over a size 14. I responded that I wasn’t just talking about in the boob area and she just said “oh, well you should try shopping there anyway!”.

I’ve had similar experiences, particularly with male friends who have accepted me as one of the guys and therefore don’t think seriously about my body at all.

But women definitely do it, too. Well-meaning friends have bought me clothes in a 1x, when I’m at minimum a 3x. Or they drag me into a store and pick out things they think are cute, and don’t realize that the store not only doesn’t have my size, but doesn’t have anything that would fit even one of my thighs. Sometimes I think smaller-size folks who have never lived in the Big World honestly don’t understand how different things are when you’re outside of S/M/L.

Although I also have had similar experiences with midsize friends, too, who think I can shop at Lane Bryant (um, no.) or who don’t understand that there are some places that I can’t go because I can’t physically fit there (the back seat of someone’s hatchback, for instance.)

Not that anyone here has done it, but I do have to say that some folks who are on the smaller side of plus piss me off, because they talk about their experiences of “being fat” as if catcalls and a lack of dates is all that we have to go through. They talk about all the cute clothes that finally come in large sizes and don’t realize that even plus-size shops don’t carry things in my size (hint: if your clothing line stops at size 28, you’re still cutting off millions of potential customers.) When you’ve lived several years of your life not even being able to fit in restaurant booths or airplane seats, you start to realize that the “problems” of being a size 20 or so really aren’t problems at all, and you really start to wish that people that size would stfu about how bad they have it. Yes, you’re fat. Yes, that means you have somewhat limited choices in clothing and romantic partners, and you often get the evil eye from your doctor. But at least you can fit on a hospital gurney or a roller coaster, so quitcher whining.

I’ve encountered this at Christmastime. My father’s family tried to buy a sweater for me a few years ago. It was, of course, too small. The sweater was from JC Penney, so after returning it, I tried to use the store credit on something I liked. I think I was too morose about not fitting into any of their clothing that I don’t even remember what I bought with the money.

My husband is a great mathematician. When I met him, he claimed to be a pro at guessing people’s weight. I think I weighed around 350 pounds then and didn’t want to tell him what I weighed. He guessed that I weighed 275 pounds. I laughed. He finally found out the truth a few months later.

My husband has always said I look smaller than I weigh. I find that funny, because if that were the case, I’d be able to wear smaller clothing. Although, I do have this theory about clothing sizes and weight. Take a clothing size above 12 and add a zero to the end of it. That’s how much the wearer should weigh. Or do it in reverse. Round up the wearer’s weight to the nearest 10s, then remove the zero. Thus, at 360 pounds, I should wear a 36. By some manufacturers’ size charts, I should wear a 36. Somehow though, 36 is too big for me. I normally wear about a 30/32.

 

Obesity as scapegoat June 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 1:43 pm
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Thursday, June 19

Prepare to be angered by this article. It is about an Ohio doctor/surgeon who was allowed to sexually harass his coworkers for more than 30 years. Terrible, horrible stuff. On top of that, he botched a hernia repair – six times! – and left the patient so damaged that she can’t even lift a bag of groceries. His excuse for the woman’s problems? Obesity.

Obesity my big fat butt. Nowhere has it been documented that six surgeries are needed to repair a hernia. Obesity can’t account for sepsis, which is an unchecked infection that occurs from poor medical care. And who knows if the patient was actually obese? A good surgeon would have been able to work around the extra fat if she carried any.

But more importantly, why was the doctor so quick to blame his mistakes on the patient’s size? Is it because obesity has become society’s whipping boy? It’s not okay to denigrate others for being too tall or too short, too white or too black, but it is okay to say someone is “too fat.” What is “too fat,” anyway? As posted on The Rotund, “fat” is nebulous.

Gah. Just gah.