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Fat people, and the language of oppression…

Posted Sep 14 2009 8:17pm

The language of the anti-fat brigade is, at heart, the time-worn and despicable  language of oppression. If “Jew” or “Black” was substituted for fat or obese in their all too frequent attacks, these people would probably be arrested. The Evening Standard, below, for example, should surely have been busted for inciting public disorder, but it wasn’t, because even the government sees fat people as a legitimate target, unworthy of the protection extended to other minority groups. Indeed, they’re not slow, themselves, to join in the persecution, as Jonathan Porritt, the government’s chief fuckwit green advisor, has even, bizarrely, accused fat people of causing global warming, which rather makes me wonder if he actually has both oars in the water. Odd, really, since our PM isn’t exactly a paragon of slenderness. Rather, a portly, jowly, sod with a butt like a taxi with both doors open . It’s worth noting, too, that the lad Porritt is not exactly lacking in the chins department.

Nuffield Health has, today, launched yet another attack, in a study claiming that we’re not taking obesity seriously enough (they certainly are – the buggers make a fortune from gastric-band surgery), and that fat celebrities, such as Beth Ditto, James Corden and his Gavin & Tracey co-star Ruth Jones, not to mention Jo Brand or Eamon Holmes, make obesity look acceptable.

Susie Orbach, writing in The Guardian, says that she can’t find the research that Nuffield cites, which is interesting – not to mention sinister – did they make the whole thing up?  (I can’t find Nuffield’s press release anywhere, either, though 60 newspapers and online sources cite it.)

Well, it should be acceptable, insofar as fat people, including celebs, should not be persecuted by the media, nor should fat kids be bullied by their peers. In most other ways, though, it shouldn’t be blindly accepted. Most fat people are capable of losing weight, but many lack the discipline or incentive to diet (and, no, not being fat is often not sufficient incentive). And some find it hard – or impossible – to lose weight no matter how hard they try. And this is the group I want to talk about – disabled people whose levels of enforced inactivity makes losing weight, in any meaningful way, almost impossible.

I’m fat. It’s for reasons mostly beyond my control (prescribed steroids), but I’m still fat. So, for the past month I’ve lived on little but salads, with a bit of fish for protein – a piscatarian diet. Against all expectations, I’ve actually enjoyed it .

I’ve come up with a salad that doesn’t make me feel as is I’ve just downed a pint of nitric acid – as a normal leafy salad does. Nothing dramatic, just shredding leaves, slicing red onions thinly (don’t like spring onions), and grating carrots, or beetroots, and dressing it with a mustardy vinaigrette. Served with a bit of fish, lightly fried in a little oil and butter or, the healthier option, baked, and maybe a thin slice or two of home-made bread to mop up the juices, and I’m in business. Maximum flavour, minimum calories.

Often, too, that’s the only meal I have. I don’t snack, either, most of the time, though I do have a snack at bedtime – it helps me sleep.

So now you’re anticipating the look-at-how-much-weight-I’ve-lost smugness. Well, you’re not going to get it because overall, despite a few fluctuations, I have not lost a bloody ounce.

How the hell does that work? I mean, I’ve eaten only one meal a day for sodding years now (since 2003, at least), to no avail, but, even so, the recent change represented a dramatic reduction in calorie intake. I’ve even thrown away my deep-fat fryer, and fattening foods like sausages, stews and pies have been eliminated though, to be fair, my stews were often more vegetables than meat anyway.

Exercise is the crux of the matter. Essentially, I can’t exercise in any meaningful, calorie-consuming, way. It’s simply not possible. Most days walking around my flat is a challenge (damned small flat, too). Previously, when I’ve needed to lose weight, just pulling on my boots and walking everywhere was the major weight-loss and keep-fit aid, but that’s no longer possible.

I’m not sure – because I’m not that obsessive (though I have been in the past) – exactly what my calorie intake is on any specific day, but on average I estimate it’s below 1,000 calories per day, and that takes into account  two visits to the pub per week. So even though I can’t exercise I think I should be losing weight, even if only slowly, but I’m not. At all.

I’m probably not alone, as disabled people often find losing weight difficult or impossible, and this blanket demonization of fat people is entirely wrong – we are not all over-indulgent, pie-guzzling, losers, who could lose weight if only we’d make the effort. Life isn’t that simple.

American hack Morton Kondracke, recently said that being fat, never mind obese, should be as socially unacceptable as smoking. Which is poisonous bullshit. Smoking kills not only smokers, but, potentially, anyone close to them, too. I’m as disabled as I am primarily as a result of a lifetime spent in enforced proximity to smokers – being close to fat people, on the other hand, would have done me no harm at all. The London Evening Standard, a few months back, even suggested that fat people eating chocolate should be publicly ridiculed. Hell, why stop there? Let’s stone the greedy buggers!

Where the fuck does this end? How long before fat people actually are stoned in the street? Not too long, I suspect, if fascist crap like this becomes the norm. Watch for the “Fat person beaten to death” headlines – I doubt they’re far away. Especially if this campaign of vituperation and calumny continues unabated…

The language of the anti-fat brigade is, at heart, the time-worn and despicable  language of oppression. If “Jew” or “Black” was substituted for fat or obese in their all too frequent attacks, these people would probably be arrested. The Evening Standard, below, for example, should surely have been busted for inciting public disorder, but it wasn’t, because even the government sees fat people as a legitimate target, unworthy of the protection extended to other minority groups. Indeed, they’re not slow, themselves, to join in the persecution, as Jonathan Porritt, the government’s chief fuckwit green advisor, has even, bizarrely, accused fat people of causing global warming, which rather makes me wonder if he actually has both oars in the water. Odd, really, since our PM isn’t exactly a paragon of slenderness. Rather, a portly, jowly, sod with a butt like a taxi with both doors open . It’s worth noting, too, that the lad Porritt is not exactly lacking in the chins department.

Nuffield Health has, today, launched yet another attack, in a study claiming that we’re not taking obesity seriously enough (they certainly are – the buggers make a fortune from gastric-band surgery), and that fat celebrities, such as Beth Ditto, James Corden and his Gavin & Tracey co-star Ruth Jones, not to mention Jo Brand or Eamon Holmes, make obesity look acceptable.

Susie Orbach, writing in The Guardian, says that she can’t find the research that Nuffield cites, which is interesting – not to mention sinister – did they make the whole thing up?  (I can’t find Nuffield’s press release anywhere, either, though 60 newspapers and online sources cite it.)

Well, it should be acceptable, insofar as fat people, including celebs, should not be persecuted by the media, nor should fat kids be bullied by their peers. In most other ways, though, it shouldn’t be blindly accepted. Most fat people are capable of losing weight, but many lack the discipline or incentive to diet (and, no, not being fat is often not sufficient incentive). And some find it hard – or impossible – to lose weight no matter how hard they try. And this is the group I want to talk about – disabled people whose levels of enforced inactivity makes losing weight, in any meaningful way, almost impossible.

I’m fat. It’s for reasons mostly beyond my control (prescribed steroids), but I’m still fat. So, for the past month I’ve lived on little but salads, with a bit of fish for protein – a piscatarian diet. Against all expectations, I’ve actually enjoyed it .

I’ve come up with a salad that doesn’t make me feel as is I’ve just downed a pint of nitric acid – as a normal leafy salad does. Nothing dramatic, just shredding leaves, slicing red onions thinly (don’t like spring onions), and grating carrots, or beetroots, and dressing it with a mustardy vinaigrette. Served with a bit of fish, lightly fried in a little oil and butter or, the healthier option, baked, and maybe a thin slice or two of home-made bread to mop up the juices, and I’m in business. Maximum flavour, minimum calories.

Often, too, that’s the only meal I have. I don’t snack, either, most of the time, though I do have a snack at bedtime – it helps me sleep.

So now you’re anticipating the look-at-how-much-weight-I’ve-lost smugness. Well, you’re not going to get it because overall, despite a few fluctuations, I have not lost a bloody ounce.

How the hell does that work? I mean, I’ve eaten only one meal a day for sodding years now (since 2003, at least), to no avail, but, even so, the recent change represented a dramatic reduction in calorie intake. I’ve even thrown away my deep-fat fryer, and fattening foods like sausages, stews and pies have been eliminated though, to be fair, my stews were often more vegetables than meat anyway.

Exercise is the crux of the matter. Essentially, I can’t exercise in any meaningful, calorie-consuming, way. It’s simply not possible. Most days walking around my flat is a challenge (damned small flat, too). Previously, when I’ve needed to lose weight, just pulling on my boots and walking everywhere was the major weight-loss and keep-fit aid, but that’s no longer possible.

I’m not sure – because I’m not that obsessive (though I have been in the past) – exactly what my calorie intake is on any specific day, but on average I estimate it’s below 1,000 calories per day, and that takes into account  two visits to the pub per week. So even though I can’t exercise I think I should be losing weight, even if only slowly, but I’m not. At all.

I’m probably not alone, as disabled people often find losing weight difficult or impossible, and this blanket demonization of fat people is entirely wrong – we are not all over-indulgent, pie-guzzling, losers, who could lose weight if only we’d make the effort. Life isn’t that simple.

American hack Morton Kondracke, recently said that being fat, never mind obese, should be as socially unacceptable as smoking. Which is poisonous bullshit. Smoking kills not only smokers, but, potentially, anyone close to them, too. I’m as disabled as I am primarily as a result of a lifetime spent in enforced proximity to smokers – being close to fat people, on the other hand, would have done me no harm at all. The London Evening Standard, a few months back, even suggested that fat people eating chocolate should be publicly ridiculed. Hell, why stop there? Let’s stone the greedy buggers!

Where the fuck does this end? How long before fat people actually are stoned in the street? Not too long, I suspect, if fascist crap like this becomes the norm. Watch for the “Fat person beaten to death” headlines – I doubt they’re far away. Especially if this campaign of vituperation and calumny continues unabated…

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