Isn’t it interesting how so many people who have never met us are nevertheless quite sure they know exactly what we want? I have been inspired by a number of amazing posts by fellow HAES experts this week that talk about the notion that no matter what the cost, we all want to be thin.
It all started with Ragen Chastain’s amazing post about the notion of having a “fat brain”. She talks about the various “experts” she’s run into who promise that being fat is simply a state of mind. These experts tell us that if we just get our mind right, we’ll be thin. And I have to state, I’ve run into a fair share of folk who have suggested the same thing to me. I remember sitting through a lecture during one of my fitness certifications where the leaders decided to go off book. They drew a stick person on the board with a hole in the center. They said that fat people eat because they have a hole in their lives that they need to fill with food. They suggested that once these poor fat folks figured out where the “empty spot” was and learned to fill it with something other than food, they would be thin. I wish I could say that I stood up at that moment and asked the leaders where the “hole” was in my fat body, because I sure couldn’t see it. I think I was too angry and freaked out to stand up at that moment. (And in retrospect, maybe asking a fitness instructor to help me find my “hole” wasn’t such a good idea after all. And in light of the proposed medicalized bulimia apparatus a new “hole” may wind up in the future of quite a few fat folk.) I seethed the entire weekend and ultimately wrote a scathingly bad review and called the district supervisor. But the message of these misguided teachers was nevertheless quite clear. I had a fat body because I had a fat brain. And nobody wants a fat brain, right?
Except, I kinda do. Because you know what? Brains are made up of mostly water and fat. And we can argue on and on about the type of fat that is in our brains. But no matter how you slice it, a scrawny, skinny brain is not the very best for thinkin’. I like my fat brain. In fact, I might even want to plump that bad boy up a little. So score 0 for the folks who felt quite confident they could read my chubby little mind.
On to the next cyberbump on this topic, this time delivered by the always amazing Dr. Deah Schwartz. It seems she was pretty upset about the last line found in this article discussing how endocrine disruptors have been shown to cause obesity in mice. The article begins with a picture of two mice–one skinny and one fat and ends with the line, “After all, which mouse would we rather look like?” Clearly the author believes that no one would rather look like the more rotund rodent. Just like nobody could possibly want a fat brain. Except, I’m not so sure. I think the tubby mouse actually looks a little cuter. And since this mouse study seems to indicate that mice who are on a diet seem to be depressed all the time, I think I’d prefer to look like the fluffier little fella.
Look. If you wanna be my lover (or friend or collegue), don’t assume you know what I want. Don’t assume that I am eager to meet your aesthetic standards for the way I look or what I eat or how I hope to be. If you want to know, ask. Then I’ll tell you what I want what I really, really want. The answer just might be something completely different than you originally thought.
The Fat Chick.
P.S. Tune in to the blog tomorrow for the next episode of my new YouTube show: “Right Now! with Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick). And don’t miss the telesummit I”m doing with Anne Cuthbert tomorrow about setting safe, healthy and happy exercise goals. And finally don’t forget to add your minutes and miles to the Fit Fatties Across America form. Help us get all the way to San Jose in time for A Fatty Affair on Saturday! We’ve got 1,300 miles to go, so enter your time and your miles today!