Sunday, November 27, 2011
Imagine a TV program whose contestants were grieving widows trying to get over the loss of a spouse. Imaging that program included a host who screamed into a widow's face that she were disgusting and unworthy and weak-willed, that she should just suck it up, stop feeling sorry for herself and go on this date, even if she wasn't ready.
Or how about a show featuring adults who were abused as children, where the host sneered at their pain, called them *$* babies, and told them to just get over their problems and stop being traumatized.
We wouldn't stand for that. We would object to active abuse being heaped on almost any group of people.
And yet we accept it as okay if the people are fat. As if fat itself defines a person, and that definition is "lazy, weak-willed, stupid." As if fat people don't deserve the respect we pay to other people.
As if fat makes people second-class citizens.
The Biggest Loser creates an artificial environment where the contestants have one job and one job only: get less fat. And it makes them do this job in an appallingly unhealthy way. The amount of exercise that people endure, and the way they are made to eat, are nothing short of torture. If this was happening at Guantanamo Bay, human rights organizations would be up in arms.
Instead, millions of people tune in each week to watch far people get tortured. Because fat people don't deserve any better.
This is appalling. It would be appalling even if The Biggest Loser was successful. But the fact of the matter is that the failure rate of contestants after production is right up there with the failure rate of all diet programs, which is abysmal. Fast weightloss is an artificial panacea, and dieting is a rube's game designed to make big corporations rich while sacrificing the health of ordinary Americans.
But more than promoting the fantasy anyone can be thin if they just allow themselves to be tortured and treated like dirt, The Biggest Loser teaches people to hate themselves for being fat. It radiates loathing, and treats responsible weight losses like some kind of failure.
It tells people like me that they have no dignity.
You know what? I'm not buying it. Yes, I'm fat. Yes, I am working on becoming a healthier person, and being a healthier person means that I should weigh less. But on every step of the journey I am still a worthy human being deserving of respect. I am a person who has the right to laugh and love and enjoy a good meal.
I will not let reality TV take that away from me.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Hubby 2.0 (an excellent upgrade) and I are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. Now, our actual anniversary was back in September, but the autumn was so busy that we never got a chance to celebrate. This weekend, which was supposed to be filled with travel and other people before the car breakdown, has finally given us the breathing space for some time to spend cuddled up together just appreciating each other.
He's a wonderful guy, and I feel very fortunate to have him in my life. It's wonderful being with someone who really cheishes and appreciates me.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I was very good for Thanksgiving. I worked out, I ate within my calorie allowance. I've never worked out on holidays in the past so I felt very smug.
But today I want to skip my workout and stuff myself on chocolate.
It's not that I feel deprived by yesterday in any way. I didn't force myself to stay within my eating plan, I just wasn't hungry anymore! But there's a part of me that thinks it should be rewarded for doing so well on the holiday. Like an extra bonus 10 pounds lost, or not needing to work out for the rest of the weekend.
Intellectually, I know that this is childish and a completely counterproductive attitude. My Id, though, is stamping its feet and demanding candy and cartoons.
And then I realize, that's what this journey is all about: it's not just a matter of counting calories and working out; it's about retraining that willful instinct within, reteaching it not to expect its rewards to be in food and sloth.
So I will drag myself through my workout today. I will drink my fruit smoothie instead of eating chocolate. And I will be one day closer in my retraining regimen.
I'm doing it for the children.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Sat down to Thanksgiving dinner. Filled my plate with reasonable portions of all the goodies. "This is good," I thought. "If I only eat this much, I won't be too far off my food plan."
Ate about a quarter of what was on my plate and realized that I was already full. Nibbled a bit more at things and realized that because I was full, they didn't taste very good. Stopped eating while I was still comfortable.
Am still perplexed. Seriously? I'm happy with only that much food?! That's so unlike me!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Isn't that an odd thing to sound thankful for? But I am. You see, we had intended to make a 1,600 mile roundtrip journey for Thanksgiving this year. And if we had done that without getting the car into the shop, our driveshaft might well have failed. As the mechanic put it, it's encased in such a way that it wouldn't have dropped out onto the highway. Instead, it would have torn out our transmission or rear differential. And at that point, we'd be talking the kinds of thousands where you probably just buy a new car.
So I am thankful for the repair we had, instead of the repair we might have needed.
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