liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Politically speaking, I am firmly committed to a body-positive stance. If I want to sum up a fairly complex set of ideas, I would say that means I don't think people should be judged or face discrimination based on what their body is like, whether that's on aesthetic grounds, or health grounds, or (as so often happens) a convoluted mixture where the two are confused or treated as interchangeable. I also am positive about bodies, in that I don't think it's virtuous to mortify one's body for the sake of attaining some higher spiritual or similar goal, I think people are their bodies, and bodies should be treated with respect and care. But that's not the aspect of body-positivity that I want to talk about here.

As part of being body positive, I include fat bodies. There are lots of different groups trying to improve fat people's experience of the world, using labels such as fat acceptance, fat positivity, health at every size, fat pride and so on. And they all have slightly different ideas of what it means to be an activist in favour of fat people. I broadly agree with all of these movements, but I don't subscribe in detail to every aspect of their philosophy, so I don't consider myself as a member of any of the movements supportive of fat people. For me, it's part of my general belief that people are their bodies and people are worthy of respect; there isn't a certain weight or BMI or whatever above which that principle ceases to apply.

Given this, and given that I generally love Body Impolitic, you might think I'd be all over this recent post on International No Diet Day. In fact, it really bothers me.

It has often been my experience that when I, or other people on the internet, say we are fat positive, people react by assuming that we must hate thin people. Maybe some fat activists do, but I strongly doubt it, and I certainly don't. Thin people, just like fat people, have the bodies they have because of their genetic inheritance, their upbringing, their environment, their lifestyle choices based, I can only hope, on much more important priorities than whether I find them aesthetically pleasing. It would be hypocritical in the extreme if I were to react negatively to thin people just because they happen to be thin. As far as I can tell, the people who hate thin people are those who are desperately trying to lose weight, who believe that thin people have the highest value in the social pecking order, and therefore "hate", or perhaps more accurately are jealous of, people who are more successful at achieving the thin ideal.

The other assumption that people make, though, is that I and my activist allies hate dieters. And it feels to me like Oelbaum's project, as described by Murray at Body Impolitic, is contributing to that false impression. The thing is, I have personally chosen not to diet, because based on the evidence I have seen, I conclude that most weight-loss methods are not effective for most people. Further, while I am aware that there is a correlation between being extremely overweight and poor health, there is almost no compelling evidence that a fat person who loses weight will have health outcomes as good as someone who was always thin to start with. That's partly because very few people do in fact lose substantial amounts of weight in the long term, so what evidence there is is based on small and quite likely exceptional populations. For all that's a personal choice, not a political stance, I can see why people sometimes become defensive if I refuse to participate in their hobby, and furthermore doubt that their weight-loss plan is going to do them as much good as they think it is.

Politically, though, I am strongly against the pressure exerted on many people (especially fat people, but on quite a lot of relatively thin people too) to diet, to the point that it's almost compulsory. If I have decided that the putative benefits of dieting aren't worth the cost, I want other people to have the right to make that judgement call too! And like Oelbaum, Murray, Chastain as quoted in the Body Impolitic article, and many others, I am in fact angry with the weight loss industry, which puts almost unimaginable resource into pressuring people, both individuals and healthcare providers and purchasers, to spend lots of money pursuing a chimeric goal of weight loss.

But that doesn't in the slightest mean I am against individuals who want to lose weight! The medical orthodoxy is still after all that weight loss is good for you, so it is entirely reasonable to follow that view. Some individual health conditions may be improved by weight loss – type II diabetes may be, at least for some people, ditto PCOS, and some joint problems and pain can be alleviated by reducing the weight borne by the affected joints. Some people can't access needed treatment unless they meet weight goals; I might have a problem with doctors restricting healthcare access on that basis, but from the patient's perspective, it only makes sense to do what it takes to get your condition treated.

And some people just plain feel better when they weigh less; it's not for me to judge whether that's because they buy into beauty standards that I consider artificial or for any other reason. People have autonomy over their own bodies, people have the right to decide that it's worth going hungry in order to have the body shape they feel good about. Wanting your body to look a certain way isn't "superficial" or trivial, it's a valid desire, because people are their bodies.

Furthermore, just because most people don't lose substantial weight in the long term through dieting, doesn't change the fact that some people do. Estimates run at around 5%, which isn't that tiny, 1 in 20 people have a metabolic quirk which means that when they consume fewer calories and do more exercise, they get thinner. Not just a little bit thinner, which nearly everyone does, but substantially and sustainably thinner. I don't want to argue those people out of existence because it suits my political cause! Well-known Fat Acceptance blogger Kate Harding at some point said something like Congratulations, you're literally a freak of nature, which I considered really unhelpful, calling people freaks is never good politics, and anyway, people who lose weight through changing their calorie balance are in real terms not that rare at all, it's only slightly less common than being left-handed. From a HAES perspective, I'm all in favour of people changing their lifestyle to be more healthy, and for many people that means doing more exercise and eating less or differently, and some (a relatively rare few, but some) are going to lose weight if they do that. It would go against my principles entirely to have a problem with that.

Sometimes this feels a bit like some of the debates within feminism about expressions of conventional femininity. Feminists may passionately argue that women shouldn't have to wear makeup and high heels to succeed in the world or be taken seriously. And some people are always going to hear that they're wrong or inferior or somehow "unfeminist" if they do want to wear makeup, high heels etc. People shouldn't have to diet; that doesn't mean people who do diet are the problem. I try to be as supportive as I can of friends who are aiming to lose weight.

I don't agree with Oelbaum characterizing dieting as always being about self-loathing or measuring our worth on a bathroom scale. And I don't like Murray referring to a dieter as the infinitely exploitable sucker. I have a big problem with her dragging in eating disorders, and with Murray endorsing this by calling diet books "Create Your Own Eating Disorder" books. People with mental illnesses are the worst possible people to blame for social problems! Someone who has an eating disorder is not a gullible fool taken in by pro-diet social messages, no more than anyone else is. And people who diet and worry about their weight shouldn't be inappropriately diagnosed with eating disorders to make a rhetorical point.

So, much as the Willendorf project – making replicas of the Venus of Willendorf out of papier mâché made from ripped up diet books – is cute, Oelbaum's ad campaign I think misses the mark, and I am really quite uncomfortable with Murray's write-up of the project. I also feel quite uncomfortable with today being designated "International no diet day". I like the idea behind the project, and in some ways I'm marking it by making this post setting out my body positive, partially anti-diet stance. But I am very uncertain about the implementation; apart from anything else, I think the idea of having a "No Diet" day is potentially quite damaging. Because nearly all weight-loss diets have, whether formally or in practice, "days off" when you're excused from your diet for just one day. That's part of the reason why diets are often quite unhealthy in the first place, because people are encouraged to use their days off to stuff their faces with as much of the forbidden foods as they can possibly eat, knowing that they'll have to go back to abstaining when the day is over. It's all tied up with the idea of "naughty" foods which are bad for you but you can indulge in them occasionally as a treat, and that itself is very much the message of weight-loss marketing, and marketing from other industries which piggy-back on keeping people hungry, dissatisfied and insecure so that they can more easily be tempted to part with their money.

Have I alienated everybody yet?

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Date: 2013-05-06 07:05 pm (UTC)
randomling: Rose Tyler (Doctor Who) (rose)
From: [personal profile] randomling
You haven't alienated me! In fact, I think you're talking an enormous amount of sense here.

I find it often really hard - for myself, personally - to separate the idea of dieting from the weight of socially-mandated self-loathing that comes with it. And self-loathing is a pretty good gateway to a bad episode with depression for me. Which doesn't mean it's that way for everyone! But it certainly means that for me, I tend to choose my own mental health over the potential health benefits of being a "normal weight".

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Date: 2013-05-06 07:12 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
You may have already read my comment to [personal profile] jack's entry, where I declared that weight tracking that is not fraught with guilt at plateaus/gains, and is not spiked with overenthusiastic celebration at losses/guilt at not losing more, is something that's needed, so Diet Culture Weight Tracking is not the only form of weight tracking out there.

One of the best medical weight-related interactions I ever had was when I was regularly giving plasma. As rapid weight loss is a symptom of some health problems, and as the amount of plasma it is safe to give depends on body weight, weighing is part of the donation process, and the computer system informed the technician if there was a weight loss of more than 10 pounds in a one-month period. The tech explained that they needed to make sure I was healthy enough to give plasma, which included drinking enough water and eating enough. It left me with the conviction that they cared more about my health than about my weight, unlike some previous interactions I'd had where excessive food restriction, excessive exercise, and excessive weight loss were all praised, and the effects on my general health were ignored.

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Date: 2013-05-07 01:01 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Aches and Pains)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
excessive food restriction, excessive exercise, and excessive weight loss were all praised

I had a moment of cognitive dissonance the other day when my partner reported that his GP had picked up on (lifestyle-based) weightloss and been concerned about potential health issues. I'm overweight, and no GP ever has treated weightloss ever as anything other than positive and a sign of health, and none of them have *ever* brought up the idea that it might be linked to a health problem and that I ought to be checked out.

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Date: 2013-05-06 07:27 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Assuming that fat acceptance activists hate thin people is like assuming that LGBT people hate straights: a nonsensical conclusion that quite a few people come to. A fair number of people seem to hear "actually, I don't want to be like you, I like who/how I am" as "you shouldn't be the way you are, you should be trying to be like me."

The piece of "like me" that I would promote is a broader self-acceptance: the problem isn't heterosexuality or bisexual people choosing other-sex partners, it's compulsory heterosexuality. Thin people aren't a problem, wanting to be thin isn't usually or inherently a problem: tthinness as a demand is the problem, and that set of demands is where wanting to be thin can be problematic (in directions of "I can't do X until I lose weight" as well as eating disorders). Hannah Blank posted early today on the theme of "There is no wrong way to have a body," which includes any combination of height, weight, amount of hair, shape, primary and secondary sexual characteristics, etc.

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From: [personal profile] redbird - Date: 2013-05-06 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2013-05-06 07:57 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
In my greater social circles some years back, the following occurred:

Person A (who is large-framed, fat, and has what looks from the outside like a tumultuous relationship with their weight) posted a thing about muffin-top, which I read as a: "please, wear clothing that fits and flatters the body that you have, not clothing that hurts the body you have but would fit the body you want to have" sort of thing.

Person B (who is small-framed, often thin, and has various body-weight-related Issues) read it as a: "I hate you, skinny bitches" screed.

The ensuing did not go well.

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Date: 2013-05-06 07:52 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (wel)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
As a primary poster on Body Impolitic, let me say first that I really appreciate your thoughtful engagement with Lynne Murray's post. I imagine she will also have something to say, but this comment is just from me.

From my perspective, you are completely right and you are also missing a crucial piece. I do believe that dieting-to-lose-weight is not always based in self-loathing; I do support individual dieters in the right to be on their own path; and I don't believe that all diets are equivalent to creating eating disorders.

At the same time, any analysis of people's right to follow the dominant media-driven capitalist/kyriarchal paradigm is, in my opinion, insufficient if it doesn't acknowledge the difference between making a personal choice to follow that paradigm and making a personal choice not to. I think "International No Diet Day" has to be placed in a context where the other 364 days are unacknowledged "International Diet Days."

And while dieting-to-lose-weight doesn't have to be about self-loathing and doesn't have to create eating disorders, there is no doubt that the entire structure that supports, encourages, and damn near demands that we diet is constructed around self-loathing. Eating disorders pre-date dieting-to-lose-weight (see Fasting Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg for some data on this) but they do not (in fact, in the Western world's historical context, they cannot) precede the pressure on girls and women to hate ourselves and our bodies. As a result, dieting-to-lose-weight and eating disorders are far more often constructed around self-loathing than they are constructed positively.

It's simply different to follow and to resist the dominant paradigm, and while we all have the right to do both and owe it to each other to appreciate individual choices, I think we always have to acknowledge that distinction.
Edited Date: 2013-05-06 08:49 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2013-05-06 09:02 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
[reading with interest, interested to see where this conversation goes, not pissed off by anyone yet!]

[liv, I have Thoughts on my utter inability to be supportive of people trying to lose weight, but perhaps I should wait (hah) until I am more talking-in-sentences? But basically: with a history of disordered eating, conversations in which people take the attitude that weight loss in and of itself is a good, wholesome, and entirely unproblematic goal? Not something I can deal with being around. And I don't think that's wrong, either; not that I think you're saying that it is, but. A thing.]

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Date: 2013-05-07 03:11 am (UTC)
boxofdelights: (Default)
From: [personal profile] boxofdelights
I feel blessed to have read this comment while I am making notes for moderating Wiscon's Choice Feminism panel.

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From: [personal profile] wild_irises - Date: 2013-05-07 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
From: [personal profile] lynne_murray
Thanks, Liv, for responding so thoughtfully to my Body Impolitic post. I think that the Comment Moderation feature often shields me from people who violently disagree with me, but rational discourse from different viewpoints is a rare and often useful thing.

My experience differs from yours in some ways. For starters when I say I'm "fat positive" I don't usually have people assume I hate skinny people. More often people suggest that I'm suffering from a delusion of some sort, as one reader put it "I don't agree that it's okay to be fat." Fortunately, she followed that up by saying the liked the mystery story anyway. I also get many readers of my fiction saying that they were put off by my characters who kept bringing up the subject of fatness and they didn't want to hear it. Recently I've been accused of being "pro fat" with the suggestion (sigh) that I want to spread the fatness or encourage people to be or stay fat. Not true. I want people to feel good in their own bodies, listen to them, respect them. I believe our bodies are constantly giving us feedback, and once we learn to listen, it's better for us.

Just for the record neither I nor Brenda Oelbaum called anyone a "freak" or any other disrespectful name (although, as an unrepentant hippie I have no problem with anyone calling ME a freak, a word with a proud fringe-dwelling heritage). My guess, and it's just a guess, is that Kate Harding's "freak of nature" comment boiled over from the frustration of seeing many times daily the claim that "just do thus and such" and dramatic weight loss will be yours.

I do have to address a couple of your comments about my Body Impolitic post. You say:

"I don't agree with Oelbaum characterizing dieting as always being about self-loathing or measuring our worth on a bathroom scale. And I don't like Murray referring to a dieter as the infinitely exploitable sucker."

I think self loathing often comes into play with food restriction to achieve weight loss. There are recent studies showing that dieting resulting in temporary weight loss most often is followed by weight cycling and damage to self-esteem. That certainly was my experience, during the years from my first doctor-prescribed diet at the age of 9 (which came with an unwholesome side order of amphetamines) to the last few attempts to change my weight more than 25 years later. I feel I can talk about being an "infinitely exploitable sucker" because I lived that life. I don't think my experience was uncommon at all, and I firmly believe many others still suffer from being milked as cash cows by an exploitative, cynical diet industry. It pissed me off then and now. When I get angry and feel protective of people getting ripped off, I get snarky, so sue me--not really, please don't sue me!

I struggled to give up the dream of magically changing my body size to avoid the stigma attached to being fat and I don't miss it.

You go on to say:

"I have a big problem with her [Oelbaum] dragging in eating disorders, and with Murray endorsing this by calling diet books "Create Your Own Eating Disorder" books. People with mental illnesses are the worst possible people to blame for social problems! Someone who has an eating disorder is not a gullible fool taken in by pro-diet social messages, no more than anyone else is. And people who diet and worry about their weight shouldn't be inappropriately diagnosed with eating disorders to make a rhetorical point."

Okay, I don't mean to clinically diagnose anyone. I think that sub-clinical obsessions around food and eating don't have to qualify as formal disorders in order to mess up our lives. I agree with wild_irises' comment that

"[W]hile dieting-to-lose-weight doesn't have to be about self-loathing and doesn't have to create eating disorders, there is no doubt that the entire structure that supports, encourages, and damn near demands that we diet is constructed around self-loathing."

At no point did I say that the victims of eating disorders "are to blame for social problems."

On the contrary, if you look at the kind of mass marketing, psychological talent involved in the big business of marketing diets and diet products to all of us, we don't have to be "gullible fools" to fall for it. All we have to do is listen to the almost unavoidable drum beat of propaganda about how our bodies are Wrong or Unloveable or Unfit or Ugly & etc. & etc., and once we let those words into our heads we are more vulnerable to sales pitches.

Vulnerable. Not gullible. Big difference.

I DO firmly believe that listening to our bodies can include eating what makes us feel and function better and staying away from what doesn't--aka Intuitive Eating. For example, I'm allergic to Ahi tuna steaks. I ate one. It was very tasty, and nothing could ever convince me to eat one again--spectacular and immediate badness. I'm sparing you the awful details. So that's a food restriction that makes perfect sense....for me. I figured it out on my own, with my body giving me a very clear "hell no" message.

As you can see, I feel quite passionate about these issues, but I always aim to be constructive and encouraging even when I'm gettin' snarky with it. I appreciate your feedback and hope that my response clarifies at least my intentions, even if we still don't agree on every point.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-07 05:55 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
The Willendorf project also, by picking the Woman of Willendorf as its standpoint, makes the dubious assumption that societies which celebrated plump women were more body-positive than ours. Possibly so, but for reasons other than their preference for the plump, surely - since having the resources to BE plump was pretty damn rare until the mid-twentieth century, for many people.

Not to mention the dubious assumption that the society which created the Willendorf figure was in fact embracing fat women. Assuming she's some sort of fertility figure (which we don't actually know; that's an educated assumption), many societies attribute traits to goddesses and fertility fetishes which are unacceptable in regular women.

AHEM. Here be your angry historian rant of the day, vaguely related to the topic of the post.

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From: [personal profile] kerrypolka - Date: 2013-05-08 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2013-05-07 06:47 am (UTC)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kake
There are many things here, so I'll just respond to a few that caught my eye — I hope you don't think this is cherry-picking.

[...] I don't consider myself as a member of any of the movements supportive of fat people. For me, it's part of my general belief that people are their bodies and people are worthy of respect; there isn't a certain weight or BMI or whatever above which that principle ceases to apply.

Does this also apply (for you) to feminism, anti-racism, etc?

The medical orthodoxy is still after all that weight loss is good for you, so it is entirely reasonable to follow that view.

I don't entirely understand why this is the medical orthodoxy, given the lack of evidence, particularly against the background of a move toward evidence-based medicine.

You touch on this when you say: That's partly because very few people do in fact lose substantial amounts of weight in the long term, so what evidence there is is based on small and quite likely exceptional populations. Yes, exactly. The evidence for the health benefits of losing weight just isn't there. You don't see research like, for example, this meta-analysis on reduction of certain cancer risks after giving up alcohol, with follow-up periods of up to 25 years[1]. A sufficiently large population of people who've lost weight and kept it off for 25 years would be headline news in itself. We don't have that, so we can't find out what the effects are.

There is also very little research into the negative effects of attempted weight loss. If there are positive effects, do they outweigh the negatives? Who knows! There's no data.

You mention a figure of 1 in 20 for people who can lose weight and keep it off. I see this figure a lot, but I can't remember the last time I saw a citation, and hence can't go and check, but isn't it based on a single study from decades ago? The true figure may not be 1 in 20; it may be 1 in 1000. We don't know, and nobody seems to be seriously trying to find out, and that's very odd.

We also don't know how to identify the people for whom it will work. In other fields, you see lots of research into which subgroups a given type of intervention will work in, with the aim of targeting resources where they'll do most good. Again, there's very little (if any) work on this for attempted weight loss.

Well-known Fat Acceptance blogger Kate Harding at some point said something like "Congratulations, you're literally a freak of nature", which I considered really unhelpful, calling people freaks is never good politics [...]

I think hyperbolic language like Kate's can be both appropriate and effective in the early stages of a movement. I think fat acceptance has passed that stage now, but I'm not sure it had when she said it.

My overall opinion of publically-announced attempted weight loss is that (like many other things) it may well be a good and sensible choice for a given individual, but the associated effects cause harm to society. I think we should try to change society so this isn't the case, and this will help both those people who are harmed by the diet culture and those people who would like to just get on with their attempted weight loss in peace.

[1] Example chosen fairly arbitrarily — I just happened to have the reference to hand because I copyedited the article. I'm not experienced enough with meta-analyses to know how high quality this one is, but my main point is that it exists.

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Re: Body positivity and other social justice

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Re: Body positivity and other social justice

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Re: Body positivity and other social justice

From: [personal profile] kake - Date: 2013-05-09 06:43 am (UTC) - Expand

Side-track re women's bodies

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Re: Side-track re women's bodies

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Date: 2013-05-07 08:22 am (UTC)
ext_57867: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mair-aw.livejournal.com
I read this close together with an unrelated piece of writing which included this extract at the end, so here's a belated national-poetry-month offering:

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

19. I Sing the Body Electric

I SING the Body electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves;
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do as much as the Soul?
And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?
[...]
I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them, or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment—what is this, then?
I do not ask any more delight—I swim in it, as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women, and looking on them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well;
All things please the soul—but these please the soul well.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-07 02:16 pm (UTC)
mirabehn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirabehn
Oh, this is a stonking post, with really interesting comments. You've definitely not alienated me! And I thoroughly agree with you.

(Especially about the "freak of nature" thing. I really like a lot of Kate Harding's work, and as you say in a comment above, it's clearly coming from a place of really understandable frustration. But it's not helpful.)

a few more commentary thoughts

Date: 2013-05-07 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lynne_murray
I appreciate all the fascinating commentary and have just a few last comments of my own before I slip from Dreamwidth into my regularly scheduled Dream World--as in fiction (my father used to say "you're living in a dream world." to suggest my tenuous grip on reality, now I own it and live it.

I agree with highlyeccentric's point about not knowing the meaning of the Willendorf figure to the culture that created her, whether women were empowered or enslaved--there's a lot we don't know. And yet she bears witness through the portrayal of her physicality. The delicate details of sensuality in her form tell us that her flesh was valued, and I think that's a healing thing, no matter what kind of (now unknowable) culture created her.

I LOVE the Whitman quote, a reminder to revisit him, thank you mair-aw!

Liv, you say:

"from what I know of the ED literature (as an interested amateur rather than any kind of expert), a lot of the time an eating disorder is a way of exerting control, or a form of self-harm or obsessive-compulsive type of issue, not necessarily a desire to be conventionally beautiful."

Control is a major goal in our culture and the desire to control our bodies when we can't control other things is a major motivator for many. A close friend who went through an anorexic interlude after her life imploded on several fronts told me, "There was only one thing in my life I could control--what I put in my mouth." Fortunately she's survived and is in a much healthier place.

Also from my own experience with ageing, I now notice how much marketing is done to ramp up anxiety in people who already fear getting older, dealing with physical limitations and losing control of our lives. But that's another rant!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-08 01:52 am (UTC)
403: Fractal of nested rainbow curves. (Edges)
From: [personal profile] 403
This. So much this.

While looking for something else, my GP happened on signs that I have early-stage metabolic syndrome. I'd like to reverse that, so I'll be paying a visit to the diet-and-exercize specialist. I've got two weeks to figure out a polite way to rephrase "I don't give a good goddamn about my weight; talk to me about insulin sensitivity."

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-08 03:56 pm (UTC)
pretty_panther: (hp: neville is bamf)
From: [personal profile] pretty_panther

I hear ya. I agree with some things you are saying and disagree with others but you make far more sense than people who get on their soapboxes usually.

I might have a problem with doctors restricting healthcare access on that basis

I have to say, with my best friend working in a field that deals with this regularly I feel the need to defend this. She works in radiotherapy and when it comes to planning this stuff and then treating people they see many patients where they physically can't find the cancer because of the fat rolling around it and often risk frying organs trying to get around stuff to get the cancer. Often weight means the equipment they have won't support a certain weight limit. I also know there is a lot of times where it does seem like doctors just think weight loss is the answer to everything but yeah, there is another side to it.


And people who diet and worry about their weight shouldn't be inappropriately diagnosed with eating disorders to make a rhetorical point.

Yes. I hate that 'diets' have this label of self-loathing too because I didn't hate myself. Some do but it isn't a universal thing and I feel like society has this black and white view of if you want to lose weight you're not 'strong enough' to accept yourself and if you don't want to lose weight you're fat and therefore less of a human being. I did it because I love myself and want to feel the best that I can and have my diabetes be as stable as it can be and diabetics will always react better to insulin when slimmer because of how insulin is processed in the body. I also hate how people get a lot of abuse from people over keeping an eye on their weight, not necessarily doing anything other than watching. I mean, totally apart from the whole 'diet thing', what weight I am requires different levels of insulin. The world isn't black and white. It isn't fat and thin. It isn't right and wrong, and I can't get over how people can't see that.

As for the 'no diet day', yeah that is terrible. Especially as diets are not just about losing weight. Everyone has a diet. A diet is just what you're eating. The term has been hi-jacked into this weight loss machine and that has always annoyed me. I think my weight loss plan worked because it didn't have naughty foods. Nothing was banned so there was less reason to take a day off and go mental and binge. It was just a case of if I used calories having chocolate cake, I'd have less for the rest of the day. I understand how it implies every other day is diet day but that whole aspect is just weird and sad to me.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-08 06:54 pm (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
Surely everyone who consistently reduces their calorie intake and maintains a reduction over the long term will lose weight. I'm a bit confused by your 5% figure. Is that 5% of people who try succeed in maintaining a reduced calorie intake? It reads as 5% of people who reduce their calorie intake lose weight.

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