Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The first word in HAES is Health

Good with Cheese reminded me at exactly the right time that the "health" part of HAES means a lot more than just eating well and moving my body regularly.

See, I came down with a nasty cold Monday. One of those where you feel fine all day, and then suddenly, after dinner, WHAMMO! Sore throat, stuffy head, general ick. I've been coughing, blowing my nose nonstop, have a fever on and off, have been trying to come up with a way to make the insides of my ears stop itching, and generally being a sickie.

Here's the thing: having this cold has been making me have long, INSANE conversations with myself (no, the conversations aren't insane just by virtue of the fact that I'm talking to myself; THAT'S completely normal) about how I need to get to the gym to keep up my pattern of exercising 3x a week (sometimes even 4x a week, if the dogs can con me into a W-A-L-K).

I feel strong and clearheaded when I exercise regularly, and I love the endorphin rush. And since I couldn't work out for most of November, all of December, and all of January because of a sprained ankle, when I got back to the gym in February, I vowed to make it a regular part of my schedule. Not to lose weight, but because it makes me FEEL GOOD.

After not working out for almost 3 months, and then getting back into the habit of regular exercise for the past 3 months, my lizard brain keeps zipping around, yelling "!!! Get to the gym!!! Go go go!!! Can't miss a week!!!" I even said in my comment to Good with Cheese's post that I've "been good" by working out 3x a week for the past 3 months.

Yup. I fell into the trap of the good/bad mindset, where exercise = good and not exercising = bad. I didn't mean to, but I think that's the whole point -- it's still ingrained in me that some behavior is "good" and other behavior is "bad," and if I don't stop once in a while to check my brain, I can be hip-deep in self-congratulation for my exercise streak.

You know what IS "bad"? Pushing myself to work out when I can hardly breathe because I have an icky cough. Convincing myself that I can go to the gym and "just walk around the track slowly" when I hardly have the energy to read a book.

I said in my comment to Good with Cheese's post that my "row of gold stars" is broken. But, hell, who deserves a gold star for pushing herself too hard and maybe getting sicker, for exposing lots of other people to her cold, for NOT listening to her body? No gold star there.

I needed the reminder in Good with Cheese's post that the "health" part of HAES comes from listening to my body to find out what it truly needs, and then giving that to my body. Some days my body does need to move, and I try to honor that. But this week, today? My body just needs to rest and get better. Anything else doesn't qualify as "health" and damn well doesn't earn me a gold star.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why is the US in a recession? Because of all the fat people, that's why!

I was reading the beautiful Love Letter to a Fat Man at Men in Full, and clicked on the link that inspired it — an MSN Finance article titled "What if No One Were Fat?"

It doesn't use the kind of vile sentiments that many fat-hating articles do, but make no mistake, the author of this article hates fat people. She must, given the fact that she blames all of society's financial problems on The Fat People. No, seriously.

"The estimates below assume the average American adult is at least 20 pounds overweight, a figure nutritionists see as fair."

"Savings on fuel for cars and airlines due to their lighter loads would top $5 billion, according to industry studies. Researchers say each overweight driver burns about 18 additional gallons (70 litres) of gas a year, or just under a billion gallons (3.89 billion litres) altogether."

What about all the trucks/SUVs/Hummers that are, in and of themselves, significantly heavier than sedans, economy cars, and the much-loved Prius? I drive a Toyota Echo, which weighs literally less than a ton — FAR lighter than most of the other vehicles on the road. I think that MORE than makes up for my "extra 20 pounds."

"Savings in the air are far greater: The jet-fuel savings alone could double North American airlines' forecast 2008 profits to $3.8 billion and maybe persuade them to stop stranding passengers because they can't afford the fuel for flights."

Yes, you read that correctly: fat people are responsible for airlines' bankruptcy, and, worse than that, for all the Skinny Folk getting stranded at the airport. Because it has nothing to do with fuel prices, or airlines' fiscal planning. Your fat ass is why Delta and Northwest just merged.

Kind of makes you feel powerful, doesn't it? I'm getting a headrush from all my Fat Power! Let's see what other financial woes I'm responsible for!

"Plus-sized clothing costs 10% to 15% more, so shoppers would save $10 billion on shirts, pants and dresses. And clothes might fit better too. Cynthia Istook, an associate professor in textile apparel at North Carolina State University, says the economies of making fewer sizes would be tremendous. Clothing makers could then afford to offer more variety in hip and bust sizes, rather than asking every woman to squeeze into an hourglass shape."

God, if you FAT PEOPLE would stop being so selfishly fat and demanding clothes that actually fit properly and look good, why, the rest of the Skinny Folk would have more clothing options! My skinny mom is going to be forced to go to work in a POTATO SACK because I just won't stop being fat!

"Because 3,500 calories translates into a pound of fat, somewhere along the way, America's 227 million adults have eaten 16 trillion calories too many. That's 14 billion Big Mac meals, with fries and a soda."

Do I even need to address this one? I'm so tired of hearing that "3,500 calories" line, along with the implication that my body is a laboratory-calibrated calorimeter.

Besides, lots of Skinny Folk eat Big Macs, too. Surely at least one or two of those 14 billion Big Mac meals were consumed by a non-fat person.

"The medical costs of obesity-related problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease run near $140 billion, or more than 6% of all health-care costs."

(Sigh.) Say it with me: CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. Oh, but wait. Skinny Folk ever get diabetes, strokes, or heart disease. (Except, for example, my Dad's ENTIRE FAMILY.)

"Productivity in the workplace would jump as people took fewer sick days and spent less time at work feeling unwell. Ross DeVol, the director of health economics at the Milken Institute, says the loss of productivity due to people showing up at work sick is "immense." Using a recent Milken report on the subject, he calculates that if no one were obese, the added output from workers and their caregivers would give the country a $257 billion boost."

This, however, is the biggest crock of shit in the entire article. (And that's hard to do, given how utterly ignorant the rest of the article is.) Can anyone find for me where in that paragraph "being sick" is caused by obesity? How does being overweight give me the flu? Or migraines?

Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant. That paragraph is based on the utterly incorrect assumption that fat = unhealthy. I know as a matter of goddamn fact that I don't take any more sick days than my non-fat co-workers. Seriously, now. Are we to assume that more fat people call in sick to work because they're pinned to their bed by the sheer gravitational pull of their ASSES?!?

You tell me. Because I can't think of any other reason.

" 'Jenny Craig would be very unhappy' if everyone were slim, says Rand's Sturm. And so she would, along with the rest of the $55 billion weight-loss industry."

I certainly can't argue with this, but I have a more realistic way to put Jenny Craig out of business: JUST STOP DIETING.

"Manufacturers and builders wouldn't have to make doorways bigger, car seats wider, furniture stouter."

Because of all those selfish goddamn fat people who have the nerve to demand that they be treated like human beings!

"Some even argue that global warming would slow a mite, as consumption of gas, energy, fertilizer and methane-producing cattle decreased."

Ahahahahahaha!!!!! I'm actually PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for global warming!!!!!

The POWER!!! I'm drunk on the sheer force of my AWESOME FAT POWER!!!!

"...the net effect on the economy of a slimmer population would be a lot of reshuffled resources, with a nice rise in productivity that should take living standards up a notch."

And back to the main point of the article (well, one of the main points; the other being ignorant fat hatred): You Big Fat Fatties Have Put America In A Recession — Are You Happy Now???

I didn't know I had it in me.