Monday, June 29, 2015

Fat Warp Essays #5 The Rebellion of the Obese!

The way of the media, the way of the culture: be thin or be fat shamed.

Until women and men achieve inner resolutions which bring a unity of purpose in a community of spirits abiding in harmony, there will be rebellion, psychological manipulation and the desire to cut off Medusa's head (media images of the hyper thin body as beautiful) with swords of defense. Some obese women have gone into psychological combat to kill the skinny Gorgon superficially represented by celebrities and guests on mainstream media's women's shows. This is because celebrities in 45 second sound bites often are unable to reveal the quasi spiritual and physical wellness they may have achieved losing weight.. Sometimes, the TV program editors are agenda driven. They cannot allow profound topics on a program for the imaginary, dull audiences their bean counting marketers have determined watch the show. Fat people are sickened by such pap and in the past decade have answered with fervency using: fat rebellion, weight gain as a shield, fat rants on Youtube, books praising what it is to be fat and beautiful, apologist's rants to accept the fat body.

In both mainstream and alternative media both mainstream and alternative fat women have speared the unrealities of uber-thinness, photoshopping, the BMI calculator's normal weight index and they have piked these unrealities around the castle that promotes gorgeous appearance and fitness. They are continually raising a challenge to defeat noxious standards of "how thin we should be."

There are the inspiring TED Talks which "spread the word" that it is "OK to be fat." Panting in support of these rumblings against the grain of "looking good," the Fat Acceptance Movement  truncheons "fat ridicule" as discrimination. For them fat lady jokes are as as damnable as telling a woman she is ugly. The Fat Acceptance Movement has redefined what "looks good," adding 50 to 300 pounds as acceptable.

Likewise, in comedies filmmakers use hyperbole about weight and loveliness with celebrity casting to massage the American appetite; recently mindful of their audience, they are benign and gentle about obesity, unless the tone demands otherwise. The importance of one's inner humanity over appearance becomes a film theme when heavyweight heroines (Melissa McCarthy) are featured. However, the majority of women unconsciously are not convinced fat women are heroines. And unlike following the example of the thin and fit, no woman is mentoring and embracing becoming a fatty heroine.
Righteous rebellion of the obese in protest of the uber hype about skinny appearance and healthy eating.
 F.R.A.F. (Fat Rebels Against Fitness)

In a category of their own, not advocating "fat rights," or overtly politicizing their weight or appearance, there are those obese who are in a righteous rebellion. These women embrace the condition of what only can be described as fat pornography, or manifesting an obsession to be fat. In an irrevocable and peculiar turn around, excessive weight is the red flag waved and hauled on high. The mercilessly taunted fatties taunt back, crowding out others with their large bodies. It is as if in their hugeness they say, "Here I am." It is a subtle "F-you!" These obese displace air and oxygen with physicality. As each cubic foot gives way to their mountainous flesh, power is exerted and territory is claimed.

Rebellious fat people have a Walmart, Target notoriety or infamy, if you will; they are the online jokes as people have uploaded photos of their appalling appearance...examples of folks who shop in Walmart or Target. They defy the images of thin; they slap down the culture's lionization of beautiful. They succeed in themselves without acceptance and they boast with their swaying flesh, that the culture's finger pointing is wasted. The very act of "thumbing their nose" at standards of appearance is an outrageous wickedness. For them, that wickedness, is fun. So they intentionally eat to be fat to annoy and provoke. In this way they gain power over the labels by willingly becoming extremist. They are the ungainly, unsightly, grinning and macabre horror. And they enjoy this stature. Happily outrageous and offensive, the uber obese cannot be made to feel ashamed of their weightiness. They have gone beyond the state of humiliation. They revel in their power to terrorize the thin, reminding the beautiful what they can look like if they "let themselves go," or "forget" themselves and eat that extra cookie.

For the thin this fat rebellion is a loss of sanctity. Their usual cultural veneration is displaced by the demonstrated gall of being insanely, madly fat. In amassing flesh, the heavy achieve success by physically taking up space. Displacing air with huge mounds of flesh is an egregious condition for the thin. For who of them wishes to embrace the fat person's distended, misshapen load? The magma blob of earth is an impenetrable fortress and the thin and fit's attempts to ridicule, attack or reason with the fat creatures are like a bobby pin chiseling a battlement. They can only flee from the bulbous fat locker and affirm that the pillow paunches are not normal or reasonable or human. This is how the fat become the alien, the other. Only spiritual individuals, ministers, clerics or Buddhist monks would dare to communicate with the inner beings of such self-engineered, malformed mounds.

Judgment, criticism? "Would you allow yourself to be that fat: 200 pounds overweight?" The hypocritical, less fat, less overweight stare in wonder at the mountain of flesh accumulating on obese bodies. These obese have made themselves into a voyeur's playground. Oogling online pictures of ungainly, unwieldy Walmart fatties trundling or golf carting down the aisles in search of snacks has become a fun, finger-pointing past time for the average overweight person. Meanwhile, the thin cringe.

Doctors and critics are missing the point. Obese folks are projecting self-satisfaction in their rebellion. You can imagine the conversation blooming from their minds:
"The culture prizes slender beauty? Well, I am happy that my quadruple chins and hillock hips torment and torture you so you feel the need to criticize. I have gotten your attention, even if it is negative. I am gleeful and happy. Yes, I am disgusting. But I love it. Pleased to meet you, too! I hoist you on your own petard. I laugh at your disgust."

Anorexia is the reverse of Fat Rebellion; it is skinny rebellion against hyper attention to appearance. Preference?
 The Fat Acceptance Movement  is forced to respond in embarrassment when the unhealthiness of these megaliths is pointed out. What the movement doesn't realize is that the uber obese are not interested in being accepted. They are rebelling against the fascist concept that all must fit into an unrealistic weight image and when every one of us does not, they are ostracized or punished for it. That punishment is monstrous, not the obese person's fat.

Fat rebellion is the obese's clever stand against such monstrous cultural narrowness using physical metaphor, hyperbole and reverse psychology. "You say I must be thin? I'll show you my interpretation of thin!" Though they are are damaging themselves to do it, they are making an extreme point for all of us who hate having to fit these wacko skinny images to be a part of the greater culture's acceptance. The fat rebellious advocacy is just, though it is doubtful it will generate a political movement. It also doubtful that the current "fat acceptance movement" which is tame by comparison will ever fully "accept" the uber obese. However, my hat is off to them in their rebellion. I get it!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hanging in the Balance

Here is the devil I need to make friends with today.
In my house the record keeper of infamy, the scale, has been used for everything but its function. It is an extra shelf on the floor so magazines can be piled on top of it. Scale batteries are never replaced so it is dark if stepped on which it never is. Even better, I've tossed scales in the garage hiding them where I can't easily get to them. There, they molder and rust, unloved, forgotten. Matching my yo-yo weight loss to the loathsome devices, I must have purchased, dumped out and repurchased white scales, clear scales, electronic high points, to fit my bathroom decor and mental readiness. When I've purchased a new one, I fantasized I was turning over a new leaf and readying myself for a different weight loss plan or iconic transformation. "Fat" chance. Over the years I have thrown out fifty in the various Spring clean-ups, probably 100 if I allow for the truth.

When my excess weight is not recorded by sight, in the mirror or on the scale, it doesn't exist in my mind. There is always the comforting thought, I will diet tomorrow. Tomorrow is pushed farther back into next year. Next year never comes. Until there is recognition and fear, the decision to do something is pushed away. But sometimes, the light comes: forgiveness for my ugly fat is accepted, a particle of self-love and acceptance is received and a miracle occurs. I make the decision to diet. This is a long time coming. And though it may come, after initial weight loss, it will leave.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Naturopathy vs. Aleopathy. Should Your Doctor Use Elements of Both? Part II of my Medical Rant

Let's face it. Fifty years ago, doctors and practitioners (mostly aleopathic in the US), were not under the constraints they are today: the threat of medical malpractice, medical school debts, the pressure of the medical device and big pharma allurements, inflationary insurance, the stress of being overworked, new medical insurance under Obamacare, collegial/medical pressures to "fit in" and systemic bending the rules.

Alternative medicine has taken tremendous strides as the pressures have been squeezing mainstream doctors. At times, it would appear that only the few top notch medical industrial complex doctors connected with teaching universities and hospitals attempt to put into practice their professional Hippocratic oath. The public is NOT as stupid as corporate elites would prefer they be. More and more they have turned from aleopathy to naturopathy. There are medical doctors who also practice holistic medicine, implementing the best of both. They are turning away from treatments that they see are often counterproductive to encouraging patients' immune system healing. These doctors are less prone to overdiagnosis and overmedication. They continually read different journals and are not so ready to embrace an industrial medical complex approach. The trick is finding them; they are out there and they are excellent because they use a number of modalities. They reject the "one size fits all," stupidity of chemical protocols and systemic medical complex practices. Some are even specialists in cancer treatment alternatives.

Does your doctor tell you to avoid at all cost processed foods, sodas, white sugar? He/she should.
 The industrial factory office is the place where a doctor spends little time with you. It is the place where a surgeon (before a hugely expensive and risky operation), does not look you in the eye but glances down, looks out the window, or writes notes while talking to a tape recorder. You have to search for a great doctor who treats his patients so they understand the risks, a doctor who spends time with you, a doctor who follows the professional oath he swore to uphold. (see previous post). And for those doctors who use the three minute approach? For three minutes (minus the time you had to wait in the office for your appointment), they get to charge your insurance company upwards of $60-120 for the visit which may be a follow-up "hi" and "goodbye." Because insurance pays, and we pay the Co-pay, we may not think about it. Next time, THINK ABOUT THAT THREE MINUTES. Ask questions; try to GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH! Or switch doctors if it appears that his time and money are worth more to him than caring for your health and well being.

Increasingly, Naturopaths are receiving licenses as states license them. These alternative doctors spend much more time with you. They use a number of ways to check a diagnosis, not the least of which is touch, observation and listening acutely to the patient. They ask many questions and dig deep. They are skilled in the art of diagnosis and use intuition. They understand that as represented in the doctor's professional oath from long ago, medicine is an art which incorporates experience, intuition, research, education and knowledge. Overdiagnosis with medical instrumentation and/or technology which can overblow "every little infelicity" is much rarer. Over testing, overmedication, misdiagnosis and other problems are less frequent. They understand that prevention is better than giving a pill for every occasion, a pill which now more than ever comes with multiple side effects. They are not doctors who adhere to the American Medical establishment's entrenched and egregiously costly protocol in the service of the corporate medical industrial complex model. They exercise more care; use a holistic approach recognizing the person is least of all the body. They treat the whole person, mind, soul, body. And the good ones do this with logic, brilliance and humanity. And many of them are apprised that with the egregious amounts of chemicals and toxins in our environment, that toxins that are making us sick. Aleopaths discount this. Natropaths and doctors who use both modalities do not. (Dr. Mercola and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez are two examples of medical doctors who practice both, Gonzalez specializes in cancer interventions which work).

Gardening heals: mind, soul, body.

Toxic chemicals making you sick? Your mainstream doctor will burden your system with more. It is necessary to de-tox yourself. Click here for an article about this.

I have no problem with the corporate medical industrial complex model of seeing the patient as consumer. I have no problem with their looking for high profits and encouraging the doctors to exploit your illness, disease, anxiety, stresses. I have no problem with industrial doctors acting in the service of pharmaceutical companies who dispense medication like candy and hook doctors with special rates,perks and freebees that they do not pass on to their consumer-patients. I have no problem with doctors treating "patients" more like clients or that euphemistic phrase found in retail clothing stores, "guests," which does not mask that they see you as a walking wallet. I have no problem with side effects for meds that sometimes include "stroke," "blindness," "death." That is fine. JUST OWN UP TO IT and not in a TV ad that lasts 3 seconds or a huge print-out that may not be clear for those who are loath to read and understand the dangerous side-effects.

With the practice of medicine, we are discussing life/death/wellness/harm. The medical industrial complex to a large extent is guilty of predation and exploitation of disease and illness which results in harm/death. The determination can always be, "Well, they died of the disease eventually." Well, if there was NO intervention, would the person have lived longer? There are cases, many of them, where this is true. And of course, the opposite is true. There is a risk one takes with a medical doctor who is mainstream and who treats certain illnesses.

On the other hand, wouldn't it help if we, when selecting doctors, could eliminate the ones concerned with making money, the ones not really adhering to the oath they may have sworn to uphold, the ones who don't care that they are poisoning you in the service of their own profits? In a surreptitious way isn't that occurring when secretaries and assistants hand over the insurance forms for you to fill out? Are they not saying, "Just give us access your bank account" even though the treatment you get may not really prevent illness over the long term? Understand why aleopaths are there: for themselves and their families and to treat your systems. They are not equipped to treat the underlying illness or disease and they are clueless to properly diagnose it within a range of varied symptoms which could be any number of diseases for all may run together after a while and often do. Look. That's OK. Doctors just need to own up to where there are in this dark age of unenlightened science heading backwards. Admit it is all I'm suggesting.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Naturopathy vs. Aleopathy. Which More Closely Follows the Modern Hippocratic Oath? Part I

Do we know how medicines really affect us?
Is the Medical Industrial Complex Harming You or Helping You? Are you asking enough questions of your doctors?

Most of us are aware that doctors swear an oath before they receive their license and begin "practicing" in earnest to pay off the medical school debts. Back in the day doctors swore to the various healing gods, until it was thought that this was unrealistic as no one believed in the healing gods of the Greeks. Using the original Hippocratic Oath, then became outmoded.
What did physicians do? They swore the oath most probably mouthing the words and concentrating on wanting to remain ethical and moral to the best of their abilities. It was a simpler age then, house calls were made, and there was quaint discussion of a doctors cultivating a good bedside manner for hospital patients. The pharmaceutical companies, medical device industry and the medical industrial complex was not what it is today, even when the oath was updated in 1964 by an Italian fellow with a tasty surname, Louis Lasagna.  He was Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University. Here is the oath as it was updated. It is referenced from Janice H Tanne (2003), "Louis Lasagna". BMJ 327: 565. Be reminded this was 50 years ago. How things have changed.


I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. (OVERDIAGNOSIS AS WELL?)   XXX
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug. XXX

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of
another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me so that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my powers to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with all humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all I must not play at God. XXX (medical deities excepted?)

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being,
whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes
these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. XXX

From Suzanne Somers' book.*
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. XXX

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human
beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with
affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I
long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.[5]

In France, the oath which the French have configured must be signed. Other countries have come up with a combination of the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath. In the US, a survey was given to medical schools at various times as to gauge what oath they had their students swear to. All of the medical schools in 2000 did give some type of profession oath and many use something along the order of Louis Lasagna's. One would have to write to the school to see which oath they administered and then check to see which school your doctor went to.

An interesting fact is that in Germany during the Third Reich, the medical students did not take any oath, though they knew the medical ethic of "nil nocere," do no harm (which by the way is misunderstood to be part of the oath, though it isn't). Do you believe your doctors are following the oath as they have treated you? Or are they primarily serving themselves out of self-interest? If you believe it to be the second one, then switch your doctor, fast.

*Photo courtesy of Dr. Mercola's FB page.