Well, maybe I AM sorry I posted my musings....

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.....on weight!

But not really.

I think there is one thing that I must make clear to you about my thinking: I manifestly do NOT equate fat with sinfulness. First, "fat" alone is a judgement call. In our society, any woman who does not look like a lollipop with clothes on is considered "fat" by the women's magazines. There is little tolerance for difference from that norm. So I'm not talking about comparing people to some magazine's idea of beauty.

Second, even if a person is objectively "fat", there are a myriad number of ways that you can get there. There are lots and lots of women who have totally WRECKED their metabolisms with yo yo dieting--wrecked to the point that they would have to eat an inhumane smallness of calories to reach anywhere close to a "normal" weight. Those women can truly eat a "normal" amount of food, and still be overweight. In that sense, TSO is wrong--the body's calculation of calories in/calories out can be skewed to a desperately wrong level. Those women are really caught in a bind--I DO know what it's like to eat in a restaurant and think that every single person is judging what you eat. "Look at that fat girl. Why is she eating that ice cream?"

And I DO think it is weird that we live in a culture that will NOT JUDGE anyone for anything, except for being fat.

But what I also know is that for me there IS a moral component in my struggle against my weight. I am overweight because I have indulged my appetites in unacceptable ways. We are expected to control our appetites--for drink, smoke, sex, whatever. I don't think we get a pass on food. I just don't.

And the G.K. Chesterton argument doesn't wash. Just because he is one of the greatest writers and thinkers of all time and we all love him to pieces and bits DOESN'T, therefore, mean that he might not have had a poor relationship with food! Who knows? I don't. Being wonderful, even being a saint, doesn't mean we have to think that EVERY SINGLE thing about his life was 100% perfect and as he would have it (or God would have it). And I know, personally, of NO ONE who has picked up a book of Chesterton and said, "Well, I don't think I'll read it, it was written by a fat guy." I've never heard his thoughts dismissed in that way.

Look, I don't think that we're called to all be the same size or the same body type. But I do think I (repeat I, I, I, I, I, I, I) have to be careful insure that I'm not giving myself a pass with regard to food and eating. That it is put in its proper place, time and amount. Gluttony has been (continues to be?) my "pet sin." And I am not prideful enough to think that I am the only person in the world for whom that is true. I have sat through too many OA and WW meetings to believe that. I'm just like tons of other people.

It's NOT the FAT that's the issue. It's the indulgence.

So, it's weird. Yes, we can make fun of fat people--the last socially acceptable boorish behavior, in Elinor's words. But at the same time, you can see just from this little blog, that jokes are the ONLY way we can talk about fat. Joking about it can get your head handed to you on a plate. But so can trying to have a reasonable discussion of it. It's fraught with emotion. Some of that is externally generated--from society and its condemnations. But for years MY heat in the discussion was generated from a pricking of conscience that I didn't want to feel. I'm am trying to get straight with MY conscience in this deal. And I am finding much to not like in myself regarding this struggle.


Dear Terry,

I think you might misread my intent with Chesterton. And I would take some exception to the contention that a man could be constantly committing a mortal sin (gluttony) AND be a saint. That was my point. That it is up to the individual to determine whether they are making the choices required by the Lord--not to a bunch of people who stand outside the situation. So I was arguing for the integrity of what you first posted.



Whew, I missed a good one this Super Bowl weekend. Quite frankly, a truckload of your summafans seem to suffer from rectal-cranial impaction on this issue. Not a few seemed to take the rancor our society directs at fat people and just redirect it. Fatness brings out the bile and the defensiveness.

Fatness, and I use that word deliberately, is more tahn a calories in/out equasion or a triumph of the will grace-a-thon. Everyone has a biological makeup that we can direct but not control. A woman biologically geared to hold weight will never diet herself to skinniness. Seen Slutney Spears? Seen her thighs? All that exercise and diet control and her body still asserts itself. Yes, diet factors into weight and so does exercise, but so does biology. But prayer and fasting aren't magic bullets either. Fat is not a spiritual state. The only thing prayer can do is help you see clearly the body God gave you and help you work towards keeping that body healthy. Healthy does not always mean skinny. If you are naturally larger, getting thin can damage your health.

But what really toasts my goat and lead to the above rectal-cranial impaction crack is the drooling moron who made the crack about getting to a "good looking" weight. You can darn well be beautiful no matter how fat you are. What, does fat make you unable to take care of your skin? Is good posture or a confident air become impossible for the 3X woman? Hell no! There's some funky threads out there for fat chicks and there's no excuse for not finding them and wearing them. Beauty is 85% attitude. People are beautiful. Fat is fat, no more no less. Forget the "good looking" weight, get a "good-looking" 'tude. Beauty is beauty, fat or not.

Be beautiful now, don't wait for some mythical body utopia.

"Seen Slutney Spears? Seen her thighs? All that exercise and diet control and her body still asserts itself."

Uh...what's wrong with her thighs?! They're gorgeous!

"But for years MY heat in the discussion was generated from a pricking of conscience that I didn't want to feel. I'm am trying to get straight with MY conscience in this deal. And I am finding much to not like in myself regarding this struggle."

I think your struggle with conscience is very commendable Terry and I think that in itself will bring rewards on its own merit.

Part of my struggle is then 10 pounds I think I carry as a memorial to a failed pregnancy. I don't feel guilty about holding onto it, I don't feel anxious about it either - more numb really - talk about the psychology of fat!!

"There's some funky threads out there for fat chicks and there's no excuse for not finding them and wearing them. "

Interestingly, if you dress like a fat girl, you'll look like a fat girl. I noticed this in my Jazzercise class. Once a gal that always always wore oversized T's and sweat pants and always looked overweight and unfit, forgot her stuff for class and had to borrow a top and shorts. She looked AMAZING!, at least 20 pounds lighter just in different clothes. I learned my lesson that day and have tried to change my "style" ever since.

Why is it that plus sizes always nowadays

1) feature big, loud prints?
2) are SLEEVELESS? Why anyone would think an overweight woman would want to showcase her upper arms, I can't imagine!

Plus size clothing is much better than it was a few years ago. I particularly like the styles and fit of Liz Claiborne -- either from the sale racks at Elisabeth or under her Crazy Horse label at Penney's.

Kathy, if I have asked that once, I have asked it a thousand times! What woman our age wants to display her upper arms? Not me. As a matter of fact, my slender sisters don't go sleeveless, either, because the family just seems to have thick arms. I'll put in a plug for Lands End - most of their women's line comes in the plus sizes, including the really pretty things. We got the L. L. Bean Spring catalog, and there was a near-perfect correlation between things I liked and things that don't come in my size. Lands End for me.

There are great plus size clothes. There's several good online sites and there is usually an Ashley Stewart store in the mall. Find what looks good on you and what you are comfortable in. There's no excuse to hide your beauty just because you are fat. You'll never maintain a healthy weight if you treat yourself like a schlub.

I hear you, Elinor!--I just got a "jade green OVERSTOCK faille tankini" from Land's End for a mere $19.99--IN MY SIZE!

Land's End is just as high-quality as L.L. Bean, but somehow L.L. Bean never seems to have sales!

Even when I've found stuff in L.L. Bean, it always seems to hang funny on me, no matter how large or small I've been at the time.

I know it's got triple-sewn seams and the finest materials and rich tradition--but it hangs funny, dammit!

An old friend of mine had non-stick-like upper arms, even as a slender college maiden. She was adorable! Another friend used to call them "hoagie arms." (er, we hailed from the Philadelphia area).

Does it make any sense to regard gluttony and obesity as a sin? Does it make any difference? Being fat (obese) makes me look lame and sad. I feel living a miserable and demeaning life. I can't find a partner. There are no excuses, I am fat because of the fast food, fries and ice cream, there is no disease nor thyroid nor stuff like that. Therefore I even can't go and condemn the fast food chains, because this mess is all my own misbehavior. Btw I don't ever have met yet any other obese people who don't overindulge in mountains of food...It doesn't help me at all to know that there are people who are fat because of a disease! I am terribly saddened by my disgusting looks.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on February 2, 2004 3:12 PM.

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