Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fat Warp Essays # I: The Fit

Photo courtesy of this site.
Lean, rippling muscle. Sharp outlines edged and refined. Creases, distillation of intent, chiseled, precise, powerful. Fitness is a lovely bitch. She punishes those who would be fit and torments those who lack the determination to smash down lifestyle obstacles to arrive on the bulls eye of a normal weight and size. In male or female the essence of fitness is anti-nonsense: it speaks of a coherent strength and vitality. If human wholeness' potential for perfection is obtained, it is because of synchronicity: a oneness of mind, body, spirit. The mind's will and determination cuts the flesh into a physical fortress. Using the discipline of weight training and intense cardio exercise laced with austere abstinence, there is the loyalty to this recognition: all luxurious indulgence of the flesh and being is unclean. It pollutes the spirit, body and soul. All toxicity including lack of confidence, anxiety and self-sabotage must be jettisoned for health and wellness in every aspect of one's being.
Photo courtesy of this site:
People who are synchronized have reached the apex of control over their own human weaknesses. This is not the realm of Olympic athletes who only adhere to physical attainment. It is the realm of human poetic artistry: the divinity of perfection. It is the fullness of life manifested in peace. In every cell there is completeness, an attainment of the whole, a unified homeostasis (balance) on every level: physical, emotional, social, mental, psychic, sexual, psychological, spiritual. This condition is dense health, vibrancy, oneness of being. Light fills every cell and the black hole of depression, sadness, infirmity, sickness and debility is blocked from entering. The immune system functions at optimum levels. Achieving this state becomes a lifelong process and requires a holistic, present lifestyle which brings abundance and prosperity.
Photo courtesy of this site.

It also doesn't exist anywhere for anyone for any length of time, unless one lives a cloistered life. Granted, it may be, perhaps for a season, until the aging process takes hold and the health force is curtained. Show me that unique individual who has achieved maturity, physical wellness, wisdom, soul peace and spiritual grace in the present, extending into the ever-present present and into perpetuity? I have yet to meet him or her. Short of that wholeness of being, many fit and/ or thin are mentally and psychically oppressed about staying thin and fit. This oppression may subject them to various states of stress that weaken and further subject them to dis-ease or addictions to maintain a steady state of "thinness" or "fitness." For some the oppression about appearance may eventually turn into an obsession. The obsession becomes self-enslavement: God forbid they gain weight and become fat or are thrown off their exercise routine. This has given rise to extreme disorders: bulimia, laxative dependence, binging and purging, and fitness crazes that jeopardize life in the long run (i.e. steroid use, after menopause for women excessive exercising to counteract weight gain via hormone changes). If the obsession becomes extreme, some choose death over weight gain; the anorexic periodically do. And the ages of anorexia are extending from tweens to those older Americans in their 70s. This not only includes women but the numbers are increasing among men as well.
Photo take from this site.
Let's face it. We believe we ARE our appearance. IF...we have a few bad hair days, we wake up with a new crease or dark circles under our eyes, our partners check us out nude and raise that eyebrow that is instigating we have put on a few pounds, we can't get into our 00 size jeans...THEN our emotional well being is wrecked. For guys the equivalent is less egregious; you overhear the female executive assistants refer to you as fat blossom. For females, and maybe less so for males, the recognition that our appearance is less than what we want it to be is a devastation. We run to the ubiquitous exercise gurus, "state of the art" gyms, and yoga instructors and body trainers for help. We canvass the lowest calorie/carb sports drinks, protein bars and shakes for our sustenance twice a day with a salad and no dressing for dinner. We select the wheat grass fast and stay on it for two weeks. We drink plenty of water and go on #thinsporation sites "for the hell of it." We skulk around the scale for repeated and frequent weigh-ins, willing the pounds off.

Yes! We live in the 21st century. Until we're dead (except for those whose families want an open casket at the funeral home), what we look like is a daily emotional crucible. We're stuck with ourselves and the mortality of our flesh. How our mind, emotions, psyche, soul and spirit deal with it makes all the difference in the world.

Test Yourself About the Fitness Craze
Trampoline Fitness Craze
Voga: London's Latest Fitness Craze
Over 50 eating disorders
Geriatric Eating Disorders? Yes.
Anorexia in Men

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Fat Warp Essays Introduction

Picture of Angelina Jolie taken from this site.
Our culture's "appropriate" appearance images have been with us since the invention of reflection: painting, the mirror, the camera, the moving image. The current accepted "look" evolved from "Hollywood" beauty and glamor which molded the body image to its current distortions of thinness and fitness. We have allowed images in the media to oppress us. Corporations have kept us unsettled in guilt so we need their products and they make money. Our attempt to look "thin and young and beautiful" has been a national sickness for decades. Our obsession with the perfect face and body has actually fostered rebellious obesity, sexism and elitist, classist arrogance amongst men and women. Such images have proven dire, exacerbating anorexia, bulimia, and monstrous body and face distortions from excessive surgeries and use of cosmetic fillers to (dare we say it), gender-bending confusions. Indeed, what is wrong is within. The masks of our appearance hide the psychological and emotional ills that fester inside. Despite our attempts to mold our bodies and faces to the fascist "master race beauty" sex ethos to feel "better," we still hurt and are never satisfied. We have become toxic. We have moved farther from our own true selves and have corrupted our interactions with others.  How can we free ourselves from cultural appearance images and create our own style that moves beyond all this and allows us to see an individual's soul or know our own? Is it possible?

See these related articles:
 Body Image Fears: Girls as Young as Seven Go On a Diet
I'm Very Insecure About My Looks After Receiving Abuse on Social Media
Thinspiration example...there are many
Experts: Weight Loss Surgery; Not an Easy Way Out

Photo taken from this site
In the interest of mining for truth from the fictions that surround us, I've decided to write a series of essays which are in no apparent order, just designed in the moment, for the moment. The series of posts entitled "The Fat Warp Essays" demonstrate skewed cultural notions about health, obesity, wellness and sexuality. Some posts reflect the damaging attitudes internalized from the fascist cultural appearance concepts. Other discuss how individuals try to escape the pain and fear of not "fitting in" through rebellion or self-hating acceptance. The essays gradually highlight how the damage of these cultural images impacts the young and old, males and females. The essays get behind the sick overarching need to be excessively thin, forever young, fit, surgically perfect. The posts also peer under the rebellion against "perfection:" fat folks have unconsciously moved into obesity out of rebellion. Others rebel with an "I don't care," slob look (an example for guys is to be unshaven and redolent... "disgusting chic"). Such rebellion indicates anger, frustration and annoyance at the false, the condemnatory and the superficial obsession with appearance. Such rebellion cries out "LOOK AT ME, I'M DIFFERENT." The rebellion is also a cry that "enough is enough."

The rebellious select a path to cope that is as self-damaging as those who internalize appearance images in self-hating, skinny acceptance. Since when is loving oneself and one's heritage demonstrated by cutting, poking, prodding or starving every part of one's body to "look good" by another's standards? It is no wonder that those who have had excessive surgeries and fillers look weird and malformed. The fat and the skinny-fit of our culture are in misery about being fat, fit or skinny. They are continually obsessing about it. This is their story. Is it yours?

Anorexia Blogs Nearly Killed Me
Thinspiration on Instagram: Pro-Anorexia Community Persists
Obesity Society website
Obesity in the US Adult Rates, 2014
Plastic Surgery procedures in 2013