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|Saturday, January 3rd, 2009|
mad and male
my latest blog is in regards to a paper i have to write for my class "politics of Obesity" which analyzes the spheres in which obesity is considered a problem (which it isnt btw) below is my blog cuz i dont know how to link it. let me know what your thoughts are. its long.
So i wanted to journal before i wrote my final paper. The prompt for this paper is pretty complex. We are to review our journal entries which we had done throughout the class ( which included a week of writing down what we ate and how we felt, going into a high-brow and low-brow restaurant and write how we feel, and a discussion with your parent on how your social location affected the way you consume and think about food and obesity) and examine these entries in regards to how we feel we have been governmentalized (with respect to Foucault's theory of govermentality and biopower) and how our thoughts reflex our anxieties about falling out of the norm. Its a very complex paper in which we must draw on foucault, boredieu, and another framework to be the backbone of this paper. (Im having trouble writing right now). the way i have been going about this is reexamining the journal entries i have written about, examine the texts in which i will be citing from and just thinking about the structure of this paper. Its weird trying to examine yourself from an academic physcological perspective. So in my journal for Tuesday i wrote this,
"Its weird, this morining, i felt different. I,m, writning now because i literally just looked in the mirror and said 'im finally seeing myself for you you really are, fat' and stared at my midsection, which instrad of thinning at my hips, goes straight down, making me look like a block. Its fustrating because im lonely, and want someone who can just tell me im beautiful and actually mean it. But i dont so im just trying to rely on myself. And that not really going over so well. I guess i'll just run later today or something, get this image out of my head and actually do it. I always lift up my shirt whenever i look in the mirro to see how far i've come, yet everytime im disappointed and i really do only see the things i need to fix."
This really revved up my engine. I started thinking i have become a consumer that fixates on only the things i need to change in order to establish myself as a sex symbol. i allow the images of what others proscribe as 'perfect' to become ideologies i aspire to and try to embody. I was reading an article by Bordo, who states that the bulemic body is the ideal embodiment of capitalism. That embodiment fits the rigourous standards that capitalism places on the population- our constant need to be good consumers to fuel our economy, but also literally embodies the restraint and discipline we are expected to have. Learning about the politics of obesity and its effect on our bodies is so interesting. NO ONE is exempt from these ideologies. The way we are governed and made to believe that obesity is an epidemic has completely caused the largest problem of self-loathing. Thats because these are unrealistic goals. We constantly see these images of perfection that only priviledge a certain group. Then when you start talking about priviledge, the whole race, gender, and classism thing comes into play. Who mainly believes that these are views that show self discipline? White people. Obesity targets groups of individuals that do not meet certain standards, but worst of all, it marginalized millions because there are only a select few who can truly govern themselves to be the perfect image of our society. These unrealistic goals are bogus and downright bullshit and i just cant believe that so many of us are susceptable (sp?) to this. How many people have consciously though about weight? about what they eat? how they exercise or how they look or how they are percieved by the opposite sex or the same sex or by sexual partners???? we care because we are told that one body type is right and anything that is not that type is wrong and "unhealthy". We praise thinness but if they go too far "anorexia" we worry about them, but if they're too large we look at them with disguist. WTF?! We need to consciously wake up from this fake nightmare where we all hate ourselves. But you know that will never happen because capitalism will fail. They market and bank on the fact that you will find something wrong with you. too fat, teeth not white enough. (how many fuckin toothpastes do we need) but thats what being a good consumer is all about, we have the right to choose. the consumer right. The way children are raised, now getting ridiculous. did you know that some states are having weigh ins at their schools? and if they are considered overweight....a reportcard is sent home with their bmi (body mass index) which by the way, "in 1998 the National Institues of HEalth released new guidelines on the measurement of obesity, using the now familiar body mass index. By reducing the recommended cut-off point from over 27 BMI to 25 BMI, several million Americans became overweight in one fell swoop."(Kuczmarski and Flegal, 2000) RIGHT!!!! WTF. its just weird how a group of doctors got to literally choose that a certain weight is now considered unhealthy. So if you trust your doctors to solve all your problems, i would think again. We aint living in a world where what they say is truth. What they say is formulated by their beliefs and those with large pockets full of money. to say it more eloquently... Judith Guthman and M. DuPuis write
"the social-constructionist literature raises the additional issue that norms of thinness vary among historical periods, and, of course, in different cultural contexts. The suggestion here is that what sconstitues the ideal body has less to do with health and more to do with ideas of perfection, goodness, femininity, and so forth."
its weird. im done with this now, im tired still have to write the actual paper tomorrow morning. yey.
|Monday, March 26th, 2007|
First (well, second) biking day of the year. Sore butt. Lovely scenery. Hooray spring. But that's not the point of this post.
I'm riding on the sidewalk in Streeterville, by Water Tower. Admittedly not a nice thing to do, and while I'm being very careful of pedestrians, if I were not a biker, a biker on the sidewalk may well peeve me. I pass this woman - about 60, short, and overweight, though probably not obese - with plenty of room left on the sidewalk.
"Get off the sidewalk" she hisses, "Fatty!"
Um. The first part I get. But Huh? Current Mood: confused
|Wednesday, February 14th, 2007|
How did this slip past me in the news?
FDA Approves Orlistat for Over-the-Counter Use
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved orlistat capsules as an over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss aid for overweight adults. Orlistat was initially approved in 1999 as a prescription drug to treat obesity, and remains a prescription drug for obesity at a higher dose than the OTC version. OTC orlistat will be manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline under the name Alli and is indicated for use in adults ages 18 years and older along with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet, and exercise program.
"We know that being overweight has many adverse consequences, including an increase in the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, Deputy Director for FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "OTC orlistat, along with diet and exercise, may aid overweight adults who seek to lose excess weight to improve their health."
OTC orlistat is not for people who have problems absorbing food or for those who are not overweight. Orlistat helps produce weight loss by decreasing the intestinal absorption of fat. The 60 mg capsule can be taken up to three times a day with each fat-containing meal. Because of the possible loss of certain nutrients, it is recommended that people using orlistat should also take a multivitamin at bedtime.
The most common side effect of the product is a change in bowel habits, which may include loose stools. Eating a low fat diet will reduce the likelihood of this side effect. Also, people who have had an organ transplant should not take OTC orlistat because of possible drug interactions. In addition, anyone taking blood thinning medicines or being treated for diabetes or thyroid disease should consult a physician before using orlistat.
FDA approved OTC orlistat based on the review of the sponsor's safety data and after submitting the product for the consideration by an FDA advisory committee in January 2006. The committee voted in favor of OTC approval
|Sunday, February 4th, 2007|
|Tuesday, September 19th, 2006|
Man, I hate being hungry. Even though I'm hungry because I've let my appetite get out of control and gained 5 pounds back and size 12s are squeezing me so I'm eating reasonable amounts of food in the hopes of getting back to where I want to be. But my body says that eating a lot is what it wants.
Why does my body want to eat a lot? How can I make it stop? Why didn't the extra serving of broccoli at lunch make my body happy? Why can't I ignore hunger the same way I ignore pain or fatigue?
I'm hungry! I wanna eat!
|Friday, July 14th, 2006|
It's all about the number.
I weigh 217lbs. That's down 39lbs from my highest of 256. That's a hell of an accomplishment--or so people keep telling me. Honestly I don't _see_ much difference. The size 16 pants on my ass tell a bit of a story. I was talking to someone not long ago that weighs right at 200lbs. (Good for her, I'm not picking.) And I'm insanely jealous. I mean I'm _HUGE_ compared to her. I feel enormous, while I think _she_ looks pretty damned good. Of course I'm 3-4 inches taller than her. An objective person might think we're about the same size. Buy I, alas, am not objective. Its all about the number. I know it shouldn't be, but there it is.
I've got around 70lbs before it becomes an issue of health, but the numbers upset me. They seem wrong. 145-155, my ideal weight, still _sounds_ fat to me. (I have had this problem to a scary-severe degree in the past) I have it lodged in my head that you aren't skinny unless you _weigh_ less than 120. Period. Height is not an extenuating circumstance. I _know_ what I look like at 114lbs. Its not good. But...I don't know. The numbers scare me. The thoughts that I occasionally have (_THIS_ time I could really do it!--do what exactly, I'm not sure...starve?) also scare me. I know I have an unhealthy obsession about the numbers. I know that I have friends that will hit me with heavy things if I persist in my belief--firmly held in spite of vast evidence to the contrary--that I should weigh less than 100lbs.
My fear at this point is that my fear of getting too skinny and still striving for more, of just disappearing, will sabotage my weight loss efforts now. Now is a safe time to feel that I should loose weight. I am obese. I should lose weight. But if I can't look in the mirror and see a person who looks good, not good for a fat person, but good, I don't know when to stop. Being overweight is a safety net. I look fat to me because I am fat. How do I lose the net and still avoid falling to my death?
I know it sounds stupid. I feel stupid saying it. But...
I'll try not to worry about this until I see the far side of 175. By then, maybe I'll have slimmed down to chubby. I can be happy with chubby. Current Mood: nervous
|Tuesday, June 27th, 2006|
I WANT TO BE DONE!!!
A brief moment to whine. I'm _tired_ of counting every blasted calorie that goes into my mouth while watching skinny women with good hair scarf french fries. I'm bitter. I'm NEVER going to be able to eat fries or carbonara or most of my favorites EVER without having to think about what I need to substitute to get them. Even in 'maintainance phase' you have to keep track of everything.
I refuse to be one of those people who looses a bunch of weight and then gains it all back because I need fried food. I don't need fried food...often. I'm just bitter.
I've been vomited on twice this week. Its an interesting diet strategy. Food avoidance through continued disgust. UGH.
|Thursday, June 1st, 2006|
1/3 of the way there!
I am now 1/3 of the way to my 81lb weight loss goal. (I pound more than 1/3, actually.) I still feel blobby and gross, but I _have_ to look different, even if _I_ can't see it. That's my theory anyway.
I've been 'paying' myself $30 for every 10 lbs I loose. And as a wierd coincidence, the next belly dance class is short and I have a credit for them cancelling one of Brynn's music classes, so the $60 I've banked will now actually buy me something fun that I really want.
So, yay, I guess.
Go Me!!!!! Current Mood: proud
|Saturday, April 29th, 2006|
I very nearly just spent $50 on pants I do not need (excuse to get Crainefish out of her house for hours nothwithstanding--or relevant any more, really). Why, do you ask, was I nearly _forced_ to buy expensive, unnecessary pants? Well, three reasons really...
1.) I have poor impulse control and they were cute pants.
2.) I was shopping _by myself_ and the allure of trying things on was strong.
3.) They were a size 16. It wasn't a fluke. I tried on four different pairs in four different styles. (This is a Lane Bryant 16, not a real world 16, but it was a 16 and I'm taking it.)
Maybe this diet thing doesn't suck _quite_ as much as it did yesterday. Current Mood: bouncy
|Thursday, April 13th, 2006|
All my summer shorts fit pretty comfortably. Not 'fit loosely' in any way, but fit. Am pleased about that. I tend to be much more sedentary in the winter, so that doesn't usually happen.
|Thursday, April 6th, 2006|
I am annoyed. angry. frustrated. generally pissed.
I gained two pounds this past week. And my diet wasn't too bad. (ok, I remember cookies on Sunday and 1/2 a thing of ice cream on Tuesday, but I was still pretty good...) And I've really worked on increasing my exercise time and my water intake.
I admit, sometimes I wonder why I even bother. What's the point.
There has to be some mental block, because I've done this many times before. I lose 15 or so pounds. Then something clicks and I can't do it anymore. My diet doesn't suffer much, but my body won't let any more go. Then I get all mopey and depressed. Then people start to avoid the cranky fat girl. Then I give up and gain 25 pounds.
I want to break the cycle. But I'm not sure how.
I resolve to start anew. But I've done that before to no avail. I guess I just keep going as I've been (sans cookies) and hope for the best.
Grr Arg. Current Mood: aggravated
|Tuesday, March 21st, 2006|
In Mourning For the Radishes
I open the fridge, hungry and grumpy, and nose around for something edible. My eyes fall upon a bag of radishes, bought a week or so ago. "I should eat those before they spoil", I think, and immidiately, a different voice inside of my head growls "Don't Want To! Yech - healthy! Me Want Real Food!"
Real food, right... As I'm digging around for the cheese and pita, another part of my brain finally catches up to say, perplexed, "But Al... You _like_ radishes!"( a long digression on - you guessed it - radishes, and other vegetablesCollapse ) Current Mood: annoyed
|Thursday, March 16th, 2006|
Well, I have lost a total of 18lbs.
But, I see no difference in my relative proportions. I'm not sure where the weight is leaving. My proportions seem the same size to me. This is almost 20lbs. Wouldn't you think you could see a difference? I mean, ok, my clothes are getting looser. I don't think I've lost imaginary fat, but 18lbs smaller I look in the mirror and wonder just how huge I used to be.
On another note--all of you that can eat french fries and cookies for lunch--I _Hate_ you.
Also, my sweater seems to weigh three pounds. If that is so, three pounds isn't much at all.
But 18...Brynn is about 21lbs. I've lost almost the entire body weight of my child. And I'm still larger than any two other people in my belly dancing class. (But I know the choreography--so there's a point for me. :P)
I'm trying to rustle up some enthusiasm for this whole weight loss thing. I'm averaging three pounds a week. That should do it. But...alas...it is not so. I'm down 18, I still have 55 left to go. It seems like a lot. (Although if I can keep up with three pounds each week, that's only 18 weeks...So...fourish months.) I could be a size 12/14 in July or August.
Well, wish me luck, I guess. Maybe by hot weather, I'll have legs that should be allowed into shorts.
|Thursday, March 9th, 2006|
Body Image and Identity
I have come to a somewhat horrifying realization:
I will always be a fat girl.
I might some day be a fat girl living in a skinny girl's body, but I will always be fat. I'm not talking about flab and miles of excess skin--although Yikes!. I'm talking about identity. And oddly enough, identity doesn't pay attention to what you _actually_ look like. It only cares about what you _think_ you look like. This is why women larger than me can show up at the beach in a leopard print bikini and lounge on a towel for all the world to see without a trace of a blush. And it is why I shall always be fat where it counts.
You see, I'll always be the girl who _lost_ 80lbs and never just the girl who happens to weigh xyz. It doesn't matter what the scale says. It doesn't matter that at one point in my life I was TOO SKINNY to run for Miss America. In my heart and mind, in the way I behaved, and most upsetting, in the way I was treated, I was fat.
My senior year in high school (I know, high school doesn't count. Everybody is miserable in high school...), I went to this leadership seminar retreat thing. I weighed 111lbs at 5'9''. I was so skinny that you could count my ribs, and my hip bones jutted through my skirts if the fabric was thin. (I have pictures. I can prove it.) Yet when we did the stupid trust fall exercise (where you fall back and let people catch you) I got comments about squashing people. It doesn't matter how skinny you are, when the instructor has to be your catcher because no one else is 'brave' enough--you're the fattest person in the room. I can never be skinnier than that. I'm more than 100lbs heavier today than I was then, but I'll never be fatter than I was that day.
I'll always be fat.
No matter what.
And I hate it.
But once people know you as fat, they'll never see you as anything else. They never forgive the only cardinal sin left in our society, no matter how fully you repent.
Ten pounds should never be the key to your own self-worth. But don't kid yourself. If its ten pounds too much, it is likely to be the key to your worth to others. I'm not talking about the people who love you. They try. They LIKE you for you, not your waist-line. But society in general punishes the fat. If you're addicted to crack or run somebody down driving drunk--its not your fault. You get to be the victim if you're responsible for the death of another person. But if you're overweight--not only are you TOTALLY at fault, there's no forgiveness. No 12 step program that makes it ok.
So why do I bother?
Three reasons really.
1. Stark seems to think that he'll be able to see a skinny woman if I can ever manage to become shaped like one.
2. Brynn. Its hard to have a fat mom. Its really hard having a mom fatter than all your friends' moms. When she went to school, my stigma would become her stigma. (There's a reason those 'Your Momma's so fat..." insults still get used on playgrounds.)
And 3. I'd like to feel smaller than Shamu. I might not get to be thin, but I think I can convince myself that I am, at least, less fat.
I've talked to counselors about this. At least one thinks I use my weight to make sure I'm noticed. Large things draw attention. I do wonder sometimes. But if that's my reason d'etre, my conscious and unconscious mind better open a few lines of communication. Because I may get noticed, but I'll then immediately be written off. Fat women aren't interesting. (Skinny women _getting_ fat are, however, fascinating.)
I saw a special yesterday on gastric bypass and on how desperate people are to change their appearance that they're willing to risk major surgery and life long food restrictions. I don't think I'd go that far, but I can understand how people do. We're all desperate.
But maybe there's something to be said for body-image as identity. I've worked up quite a bit of self-loathing. If the weight goes away (and by some miracle, it wisks away all the excess belly skin when it goes) what will I do? Will I instantly love myself unconditionally? It seems unrealistic to expect that. Do I just hate the way I look or is my waistline merely a convenient excuse? If I'm not fat anymore, do I have to come to grips with these feelings--feelings that I can't conveniently tack on to something I can, at least theoretically, change? If its not the fat, what don't I like? And how hard will it be to change that?
UGH! Current Mood: annoyed
|Saturday, March 4th, 2006|
This is wierd--but good wierd--I think
This diet of mine is freaking me out. It seems too easy. Don't eat refined flour or sugar. Limit saturated fats. Don't snack. Otherwise eat what you want (mostly) until you're full. Its all about the glycemic index and blood sugar and fat absorption. The science seems shady to me, but it seems to be working.
I am _never_ full on a diet. NEVER. In order to lose weight, I have to eat less than 1200 calories a day. I feel deprived. I feel HUNGRY all damned day. But not now. I don't feel gross and unhealthy either. (Some bits of my body even seem to be working better.) The food I eat is natural (i.e. not made up of almost entirely chemicals) and it tastes good.
I don't feel like I'm losing weight. I'm honestly suprised every week when I step on the scale and the number is smaller. I feel kinda like its some great cosmic joke and I'm actually getting fatter...I wish I had some other validation--but at my weight, 12lbs just isn't that much.
I guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing and see if the scale keeps doing what its doing. And maybe in a few weeks I'll get to buy new pants.
That would be nice. Current Mood: cynical
|Wednesday, March 1st, 2006|
Zen and Weight Loss
This book I’m reading, “The Zen of Eating: Ancient Answers to Modern Weight Problems” by Ronna Kabatznick…is intensely interesting. Not just because it’s mindful eating from the Buddhist POV…but it really does start with the WHY of eating rather that the WHAT of eating. I’ve read plenty of diet books. This one is a little different.
One of my favorite books…not a diet book per se…is “Passing For Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding Myself” by Frances Kuffel. She gets some flack for having been a member of OEA…who very un-anonymously wrote a book about her experience in losing 200lbs…and suddenly becoming a “woman.”
I read it at a point where I had lost 80 lbs…and wasn’t losing any more. And I was doing a great job of looking at how _bad_ I looked and felt rather than how much _better_ I looked and felt. Really…I have the whole self-flagellation thing down…
Anyway…I still feel incredibly overweight. I realize I’ve gone from Obese to just plain old overweight…but I still have lots of arm fat…shirts don’t fit like they should…and I’m floppy…and stretchy…and I’d like to be able to walk into _any_ store and shop…not just stores that I know run all the way up to a size 16-18.
But…yesterday…I forgot to bring my breakfast to work…so I overate. And today is ice cream day here at work…and I’d really like some…but I don’t _need_ any.
Anyway…back to this book I’m reading…in one chapter, the author brings up an interesting point. Most religions seem to have some sort of view that food is sacred…and almost all of them have some sort of dietary law and/or restriction on certain foods. Jews keep kosher…Muslims keep halal…many Christians observe Lent. Many Hindu’s are either vegetarian…or avoid beef. Buddhists tend to also be vegetarian…and times of fasting and/or feasting are a hallmark of all religious practice.
When I was vegetarian…I found it extremely easy to avoid meat. And I was STRICT lacto-ova-vegetarian…no fish products, no rennet cheeses…nada. So why can’t I stay on a freaking diet? Here’s something that I got out of one of the stories she has in her book about Lent:
“People look down on you if you give up something you rarely eat anyway, like caviar or porcini mushrooms. It’s better to give up something you eat all the time, like cookies or butter. That’s really making a sacrifice and connecting to the spirit of the holiday. Otherwise, giving something up becomes meaningless.
During Lent, Anne (character in the “testimonial” story) never has the difficulties she has when she tries to lose weight. “Restraint during Lent makes me feel good about myself,” she says. “Restraint when I’m trying to lose weight makes me feel terrible. I walk around feeling like a deprived two-year-old. I want what I want, and I want it now.”
So…the interesting thing here…she seems to be saying that it’s easier to give things up in a structure where we feel rewarded for doing so. And the rewards of being thin and healthy are not immediate enough…at least not for me. Despite the thyroid problem…I still could lose a few pounds if I could just get off of the “Jesus…I’d die for a hot dot!” trips…I’ve managed to maintain my current weight within 10 lbs since 2003…but I’d like to lose more…for my back, for my knees…and because I know it would make me feel better about my appearance.
But I had no problem with conforming to several days of small meals when it was in the context of my religion. I didn’t feel deprived. I had a chocolate bar in my backpack…that I brought back home with me after sesshin.
|Monday, February 27th, 2006|
If I May Bitch a Bit
I've lost 9lbs. This should, in theory, make me happy. (And I suppose it does.) But this means that I'm DOWN to my immediately post-pregnancy weight. (Although my pants fit better.) Which means I still have 10lbs of baby weight to loose before I get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight--and a good fifty lbs after that. I know, I know, be proud. but ACK!
|Thursday, February 23rd, 2006|
The Zen of Eating
OK. So a weekend of oryoki. It was interesting. Every meal out of three tiny little bowls.
Really made me pay attention to exactly what I was eating. And exactly why I was eating it.
There's this time in the middle of the meal...where if there's food available...you can have seconds. You have to wait until almost everyone is finished...pause...a signal is given for seconds...and then by the placement of your spoon or chopsticks...the server knows which dish you want seconds of. You use hand signals to say how much.
Really...after the first couple of meals...I wasn't interested in seconds of anything. Not that the food wasn't good. But...I dunno. I wasn't hungry for more.
It was interesting...especially because back when I weighed 280+...I was an "eat until it hurts" eater. I'd make and eat entire boxes of Kraft mac and cheese...with added broccoli...and tuna...and then a few glasses of milk.
And then raid the freezer for ice cream.
I don't know if I learned anything valuable...but I thought I'd share.
I'm reading a book on Zen and Eating...It's around here somewhere...written by a woman who is a Zen Buddhist...and a former consultant for Weight Watchers. I'll lend it around when I'm finished. (Unless Tim put it in the pile of books for Crainefish...my mind is starting to go.)
|Thursday, January 26th, 2006|
Caution: Angry fat pregnant chick ahead
If one more person today tells me "wow, you look like you've lost weight!" I seriously cannot be held accountable for what may happen.
It's bad enough being a fat chick dealing with looking pregnant. It's much, much worse when somehow at 5 months pregnant I look thinner than I did not pregnant. And that somehow, this makes me more attractive than all of the grooming rituals I have given up since the onset of said pregnancy. I have 3" + long roots, I haven't gotten a haircut since october, nor have I shaved, or attempted to remove my rapidly encroaching unibrow, I stopped wearing makeup to work or anywhere except when I feel like it, I wear comfortable clothes which are not attractive, and thanks to other issues, I can't sleep so I have gigantor circles under my eyes. But that 10 lbs I've lost, well that totally makes up for everything!!!
|Thursday, January 19th, 2006|
So, I have begun a diet of sorts--an attempt to cut out the crap in my diet, add more veggies, not finish stuff just because its on my plate, not eat when I'm bored or lonely or feeding Brynn, and not eat because things smell good.
It seems to be something of a success if my employer's scale is to be trusted, because it says I have lost three pounds.