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I am not fat.  I am a physically fit 38 year old and future Registered Dietitian (RD), not the enemy of people with obesity nor their judge.  And for the record, I can't stand the taste of coconut water and sunflower seeds.  

But I'm not here to lecture anyone about the foods I choose to eat.  I can only say that I derive equal pleasure from the sacred ritual of eating.  I consider it the way I most intimately connect with Mother Earth every single day of my life.  Her gifts fill my body and fuel my spirit.

I write this diary feeling disheartened by the way the diarist of "I am fat" cast others concerns (some which might be totally legitimate) for her well being as frivolous or even worse, as veiled contempt.  I don't cast judgment on any person's lifestyle and I don't blame anyone for seeking pleasure and/or comfort from any source in life.  We all have a different source of happiness spiritually and materially.  

But I am for real concerned with the health of Americans and the continuation and thriving of our species so I feel we all should take the time now to examine our relationship with Mother Nature.  This examination should not pit proud hard-luck "fat" folks aaginst their lucky judgmental "skinny" nemeses.

I empathize with the struggle of every human being who is overweight or obese.  Their condition cannot be something nature intended.  We evolved to swiftly escape danger, to hunt with agility, strength and stamina, to migrate endlessly some seasons.  We seem to have lost touch with our history and thus fallen out of the natural state enjoyed by our distant and recent ancestors.  

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. should be a discussion where health is viewed as a great contributor to our quality of life on a material level (and some even say on a spiritual plane as well), instead of this short-lived celebration of delectable morsels shaped like little squares.

We are talking about a sick, dying country who cannot trace their medical problems and biological complications back to the foods they eat, concoctions not native to our biology however delicious, molecules and compounds that send the wrong signals to our genes which every millisecond regulate all of our biochemical reactions and choreograph our deeply mysterious and dynamic metabolic state, taking cues from the very foods we decide to ingest.  

Health care professionals don't know how to treat patients with obesity because their schooling and research is beholden to industry and tainted by common myth (which is also perpetuated by clever marketing).

Obesity resembles every other debate in politics.  Locate the money; you will find a pile of lies.  

Global warming.  

Manmade or the result of natural cycles?  

We squandered decades on the "debate" and lost precious time.  

Obesity.  

Manmade or genetic inheritance?  

We will surely waste many more.

We of the skinny and fat masses hear the voices of the privileged few loud enough and for sufficient time until those misleading thoughts and untrue ideas become embraced by the many, practiced by us and woven inextricably into our culture.  

Bad food + drugs that manage symptoms = medicine.  

Obesity = genetics + overeating + laziness + lack of will power.  

It's all bullshit.  I'll give you that without hesitation.

Like global warming science, Nutrigenomics (the science that attempts to describe how mother earth's nutrients interact with and nourish bipedal carriers of the human genome on earth) has been around long before its shadow "debate", likewise successfully submerged for decades deep beneath that familiar, dark persistent noise.

The majority of the country is overweight or obese largely because of the food supplied rather than the food demanded.  Like electric cars, many of us demanded them a long time ago.  Like any other large industry monopolizing basic resources we need for survival, there are only a handful of agribusiness and factory farms that control our food supply.  So close your eyes, sink your teeth into the moist, tender sweetness of the brown squares - I'm scared as shit.

It's what they put on the supermarket shelves that does more large scale damage to our health care system than what any one single consumer pulls off the shelve.  

How can we be expected to make good choices when we are surrounded by bad ones?  What we have are cars that get 25-40 MPG when we need ones that run on electricity.  We have homes that devour barrels of foreign oil when we should strive for solar panels on every rooftop.  We have thousands of nuclear, coal, gas and oil fields dwarfing every one or two wind mills that dot the landscape.    

And here is a kicker to ponder:  Is a polluted food supply as detrimental to our children's future as a polluted planet?  Is it a coincidence both the health of Mother Earth and her children are simultaneously deteriorating?

I'm not here to eat shit food and smile about it.  I'm going to fight the good fight for the next generation and when I finish a dietetic internship I will find work as a food service director for schools.  

You will hear this skinny-chic bastard speak at school assemblies, see him set up educational workshops for the community, watch him hold Q&A at farmer's markets, design curriculum with health and PE teachers, start school gardens, develop newsletters, generate email databases, rally communities around health and sustainable living.  I'm going to land a federal and state grant(s) to establish a non-profit for child nutrition FGA (Future Gardener's of America) and see it flourish.

And I guess when my children have birthday parties, maybe I might let them eat a small brownie with their coconut water and sunflower seeds ;)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Awesome diary, GB (12+ / 0-)

    Really appreciate your point of view.  I wish you the greatest success in your future and am glad that our future will contain people such as yourself.

    Hope you make the Rec List.

    We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

    by SeaTurtle on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:20:48 PM PST

  •  Good luck in your career! You bring (10+ / 0-)

    Enthusiasm and knowledge!!  We all benefit when someone steps up with passion and wisdom, in whatever area of expertise.

    The 'shift' is hitting the fan.

    by sydneyluv on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:24:27 PM PST

  •  It's the judgment that gets to us. (13+ / 0-)

    The idea that I'm only fat because I'm lazy and would rather pig out that do anything else was galling when it was my parents - who really should have known better - who were saying it.

    I'm a little less irritated by total strangers - but only a little.  

    A total stranger who was pissed at having to take the bus to get her car from the shop sat down next to me once.  Her kid was complaining about a bunch of stuff and then claimed to be hungry.  She asked if he was actually hungry or just bored.  He said bored.  She said that he shouldn't eat when he's bored because (stage whisper) he'll get fat if he does.  I wouldn't know - boredom has never been a factor in my life.  I did manage to bite my tongue on saying that to her - I didn't want a twit like that to decide I was rude rather than stupid.

    I did snarl several years back at the friend who complimented me on my will power in not eating the dressing that came with a packaged salad.  Will power had nothing to do with it - I don't like most salad dressings.  I wouldn't have eaten it on a bet.

    We remember the idiocies committed against us.  It's one reason I refuse to lecture smokers.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:27:51 PM PST

  •  Interesting....it could then be extrapolated that (5+ / 0-)

    the fresh fruits and veggies that are supplied to us may also be bad for us as well.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:40:03 PM PST

  •  Thanks, there is something wrong with our food (13+ / 0-)

    As I said before.

    That's the only thing that makes sense.

    Tipped & rec'ed

  •  When you grow up hearing (13+ / 0-)

    'Fatty, fatty, two-by-four, can't fit through the bathroom door' or 'You went swimming in Lake Erie and the water rose 2 feet' or when your mother and brothers continuously criticize how fat you are and make fun, it takes a toll.
    Your family and your home should be a safe place, especially for a child.

    Or when you stand in front of your 7th grade class giving your book report and the kids and teacher snicker and make fun of your weight.
    Or when you date and your boyfriend tells you that you've gotten too fat and he's outta there.

    Or when a husband tells you he no longer loves you because you've gotten fat, and calls you lazy, a slob, and ugly and tells you that he's embarrassed to be seen with you because you make him look bad.

    Or when you go off to work, and have coworkers stand in the aisle outside your cubicle mocking how fat you are in your dress.

    I've heard every single fat joke out there and remember them all.

    I've been the object of ridicule throughout my entire life, so don't, please do not doubt someone's experience by saying this

    some which might be totally legitimate
    , because the complaints and hurt are most definitely legitimate.
    •  Suicide amongst heavier teens due to bullying (7+ / 0-)

      is not uncommon, sadly.

      http://www.goodtherapy.org/...

      Anorexia is another possibility for those too focused on weight, and also well-correlated with suicide.

      All this is based on society's mandates about what is, or is not, beautiful or acceptable.

      I say, to Hell with them.

      I am sorry about the jokes tossed your way. I hear you and find these truly reprehensible and would say something any time I saw someone bullied about their weight, myself. It's despicable, the lowest of low blows.

      Societal standards are boring and homogenizing and ultimately very painful.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:17:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been a yo-yo'er forever, too (5+ / 0-)

        And had my period of anorexia before it was recognized or even known.

        And I hope my comment didn't sound as though I am a victim, because I am no one's victim.
        I am a survivor and a survivor of many blows that life has heaved my way and I am still standing, happy and proud of my accomplishments.

        I was trying to emphasize that people with weight issues deal with a form of discrimination and judgment and down right mean people all of their lives.
        We understand the stink-eye and disgust, even when people don't verbalize their distaste and hate of us, and people do judge appearances, be it skin color, disability, or weight.

        I'm retired now and am comfortable with who I am, but I admit that I'm still learning who I am - if that makes sense!
        :-)

        All we need is LOVE!

        by arizonablue on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:29:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am sorry you had to deal with this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, arizonablue

      People can be so cruel about weight. May you find sunshine in your life.

      Impossible is nothing

      by DrSpike on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:25:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrSpike

        I am very happy and have overcome it and can look back at it all and realize that it made me stronger and a better person - more caring and considerate of others.
        Hard way to learn, but I survived it and came out the winner!

        All we need is LOVE!

        by arizonablue on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:57:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just reread the boxquote in context (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue

      and I think you misread it.

      I write this diary feeling disheartened by the way the diarist of "I am fat" cast others concerns (some which might be totally legitimate) for her well being as frivolous or even worse, as veiled contempt.
      He's not talking about or casting any doubts on the legitimacy of the other diarist's feelings.  He's saying other peoples concerns for her are quite possibly legitimate, and not merely 'concern trolling' as that diarist seems to feel.

      The antecedent for the 'some' is the 'concerns for her well-being' which the other diarist takes instead as attacks upon her, rather than legitimate concern for her.

  •  While (4+ / 0-)

    you say you are not judging people, but you post

    But I'm not hear to lecture anyone about the foods I choose to eat.  I can only say that I derive equal pleasure from the sacred ritual of eating.  I consider it the way I most intimately connect with Mother Earth every single day of my life.  Her gifts fill my body and fuel my spirit.

    I write this diary feeling disheartened by the way the diarist of "I am fat" cast others concerns (some which might be totally legitimate) for her well being as frivolous or even worse, as veiled contempt.  I don't cast judgment on any person's lifestyle and I don't blame anyone for seeking pleasure and/or comfort from any source in life.  We all have a different source of happiness spiritually and materially

    .  

    What point are you trying to make?

  •  A lot of times we're not eating (6+ / 0-)

    the food we grew up with or that our parents and grandparents grew up with.

    So much of our fruits and vegetables have the glow of healthfulness but in reality their nutritional content has been depleted.

    And now we have to contend with genetically modified food too. The two that appall me are tomatoes modified with fish scales to protect them from frost and the recently FDA-approved Frankensalmon.

    Even if you wanted to eat absolutely healthfully, it has become a full-time job of critically reading labels, avoiding fructose, corn syrup, soy and hunting for Farmer's market-fresh food.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:27:28 PM PST

    •  Precisely, we have to become our own doctors (5+ / 0-)

      A future generation of us will have to navigate their personal health without the truth and our children will have to learn how to keep their body's and minds healthy largely on their own.  We simply don't have the time for that.  I know a ton about food and health and the connection between the two, yet I still can't make the best decision every time I go shopping because the choices are so limited.  And as long as profit is the motive for insurance companies and food companies, health status in this country will continue along its freefall.  Scary times indeed.

    •  It doesn't take long to know (5+ / 0-)

      Which foods are dirty (GMO) and which aren't. We gave up all GMOs about three years ago. That fixed wife's IBS, by the way. At first there is a big slow mess reading all the labels, but it gets learned — it's easy to go grocery shopping now.

      I ended up giving up breakfast cereal, even though there's organic out there. Probably was good for me not to do that anymore.

      We got skunked by the Bt fresh corn. Weren't paying attention when they introduced that. But now, fresh corn is farmer's market or organic. Zucchini can also be GMO. It doesn't have the RoundUp-Ready trait or the Bt trait, but has a virus-resistance trait. Maybe not harmful, but even our localest supermarket sells organic zucchini year round.

      Corn products were really difficult. We love Mexican food and for a long time we couldn't find any organic tortillas. Couldn't find organic masa flour for making tortillas either. So we bought a 25 lb. sack of whole organic corn for 48¢ a pound, a Corona corn meal and learned to make tortillas from scratch. By the way, I've never had better or cheaper tortillas than homemade.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:57:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think we'd be better off if we did. (0+ / 0-)

      If I ate the food my grandparents grew up with as a kid, rather than all of the crap I grew up with that didn't exist when they were kids, I suspect I'd be a lot better off.

      But I think the point you raise is an important reminder of why seed banks and growing heritage varieties of various plant species in gardens is a good idea.

      The monocultures being foisted off on agriculture by the chemical companies are one serious blight away from being history.  Diversity is a really good idea.

  •  I am thin too actually... (8+ / 0-)

    I think my BMI is just shy of 18%, and I'm a woman in my late thirties. I'm quite thin but kind of on the curvy side for a thin person; apparently I have a very small bone structure. That runs in my family.

    I am a vegetarian. I have been for life. I don't eat processed foods much because I enjoy cooking, and also, I don't like eating that stuff. I'm really kind of picky about eating and tend to eat a select diet of supermarket veggie sushi, brie, feta cheese, olives, coconut water, salads, mezzes, and lots of Thai and Indian curries. I drink a healthy amount of alcohol, definitely over the recommended weekly level -- mainly bourbon. I drink a metric fuckton of green tea and black coffee, unsweetened and not much else although some almond milk too. I don't really eat bread much other than sometimes whole wheat pitas and whole grain crackers. I have a horrific sweet tooth and could live on ice cream, so I don't buy it, nor do we have any sugar in the house (or honey, or anything like that right now). I have no food allergies other than oysters.

    I don't exercise right now due to work/am sedentary.

    I'm no paragon of health.

    But y husband eats exactly the same food that I do and he's technically "obese" and has struggled with his weight for his entire life. He doesn't eat all that much either. I know because I feed him since we don't really do processed foods. Last summer, we both went on a big hiking thing and I dropped weight (10 lbs) but he didn't. Hm. My metabolism is obviously faster.

    I am not fat but if I were, I really wouldn't obsess about it. I've seen too many good people given grief about their weight in my life. Because likewise, I've been mistaken as anorexic when my weight drops due to busy-ness, and people have tried to feed me when I'm eating fine and well. Other peoples' bodies are no one else's business, whether it is a matter of weight, fitness, reproductive rights and health, gender identity, physical differences, or what you want to wear.

    I am not fat but I am also not judgmental or dogmatic toward anyone who is: in fact, I celebrate the unique beauty of every single person, and for those who truly love themselves despite societies' mandates, I say that's the most beautiful thing of all.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:13:25 PM PST

    •  My husband is thin (4+ / 0-)

      Not skinny thin, but he's just right and we eat the same foods, because I prepare meals.
      We rarely go out to eat and we have had our junk food, like potato chips, but we've cut all that out because once again, I wanted to lose weight.

      I've read everything I could get my hands on over the years about diet and weight and food.
      We exercise 6 days a week - 3 days walking 2.5 miles and 3 days doing aerobics.
      We do not drink alcohol.
      I've a propensity for type 2 diabetes, and 10 years ago, was told that I was diabetic and I made radical changes in my diet back then - I do not eat sugar or sweets of any kind, and eliminated all white foods from my diet and switched to brown rice, whole wheat, and wheat pasta.
      I no longer am considered a diabetic but I watch it, as it does run in my family.

      My husband dropped over 10 pounds very quickly, and I've lost 17 pounds but it's taken over 4 months.
      Since my husband doesn't need to lose weight, he does eat more than I do now, but I've reached that dreaded plateau.
      Not sure what to do about that yet, but I am working on it and not giving up.

      All we need is LOVE!

      by arizonablue on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:49:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is a lost part of the equation (3+ / 0-)

        we're all just different. Even if we do the same things, we can still have different outcomes. We are mistaken to think we'll have the same ones. And because of that, we are wrong to impose a "one-size-fits-all" view onto beauty standards (pun intended).

        I think I may be diabetic as well. I have to be tested again. My bloodwork recently came up as on the edge, fasting.

        You sound healthier than me.

        But I'm not a huge fan of health. I'm a bigger fan of pleasure. If the two coincide, great. This isn't because I'm lazy so much as that I think I'm a terrible hedonist, laugh... and sort of do as I do being a huge fan of joie de vivre. American! Puritans in so many forms!

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:28:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I like your attitude, mahakali overdrive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, kkjohnson

      Your vegetarian diet is undoubtedly more healthful than what most of us eat.  Yet your husband, eating the same diet, struggles with his weight.  Most of us who are overweight can look around at friends and co-workers eating twice what we do -- they're slim, we're not.

      "I really wouldn't obsess about it." I agree.  What we eat and how active we are are important, but all sorts of other factors are at work here too,  Plus, what worked for us at thirty doesn't work at sixty.  We have to keep trying, but really -- one's weight isn't the most important thing in life.

  •  Well done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer

    This is what people need to hear. Stop the blaming bs, it’s not your fault you are overweight. The food choices you have stink and food manufacturers know what your body craves, but is not good for you. The good news is you can overcome it, but I won’t fool you, it takes work.  

    Impossible is nothing

    by DrSpike on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:19:16 PM PST

  •  My fav Public Health guy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kestrel228, kkjohnson

    May I suggest you check out the work done by Richard Jackson? He's at UCLA, has a PBS series and books about how the built environment can either promote or prevent healthy living.

    I'm a planner, and am adding "health impact assessments" to the environmental, equity, and other assessment tools.

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

    by Urban Owl on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:52:54 PM PST

  •  Maybe you should try the dark chocolate coconut (0+ / 0-)

    milk. It's fabulous!

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:09:46 PM PST

  •  Lots of medicines trigger diabetic reactions in (0+ / 0-)

    metabolism, especially the mood drugs- the research is out there.

    Big Pharma is 3rd most profitable conglomerate in the world right now- I wonder why...

    Everything one puts in mouth does something to our brains and bodies and lately seems more harmful than good IMHO.

    Only you can truly KNOW you're body and self. Take your personal control back! Please!

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones." "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:17:12 AM PST

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