I've been mulling over the idea of creating this blog for a few weeks now. I guess I was finally spurred to do something about it out of the incredible discussion/drama that's going around fat blogs lately regarding "no dieting talk" rules in fat activism spaces. I personally agree with that idea, but the way some people have been expressing it has really been upsetting me. Mostly, it's because a few of my favorite bloggers have used the term "fence-sitters" to describe those people who might support fat acceptance but still be dieting toward weight loss.
As a bisexual person, the term "fence-sitter" is deeply offensive to me. When I first told my best friend about being bisexual, the first thing she responded with was not happiness for me or acceptance of what I finally chose to tell her, but instead that nasty word: "fence-sitter." It was one of the biggest let-downs of my life - that my gay, liberal, and (I thought) open and accepting best friend would turn out to be a bigot in her own way. She was able to live with me as gay or straight, but nothing in between.
I've heard "fence-sitter" many times since then, and about 75% of the time it seemed to be directed at bisexual people. So this whole "no dieting talk" thing got me thinking about that, once I saw that word being passed around. I'm certainly not on the side of the people who think dieting talk should be accepted in fat acceptance communities - I think fat acceptance and activism blogs should be totally devoid of it. Why should we, as fat people who are happy (or getting there!) with our bodies, have to listen to someone else's body negativity when there are plenty of other places on the web - probably a hundred times more, actually - for dieters to vent and chat about themselves and their food and body problems and hatred?
But, you know, it did make me empathize with them a little, I guess, when I saw that word. It's not at all the same kind of trouble as being bisexual - far from it, and there's really no comparison there at all to be made - but I do understand being caught between a rock and a hard place. I'd bet that a lot of people objecting to these posts might feel like they have to choose sides, and when my best friend - someone who'd helped me learn to like myself enough to tell her about my orientation - gave me that impression, that there were only two sides and I had to pick one or just go away, it kind of stung.
(I know that, in these discussions, some people are having trouble delineating between Dieting and Dieters. Most of the bloggers posting about it are talking about Dieting, and Fat Acceptance as a political movement - not about individual people, whether they be fat people, fat people utilizing HAES, super-sized fat people, Dieters, or what have you. And not about judging them, either. However, it seems that the feelings of many of these people - the Dieters, in this case, and super-sized fat people as well - are getting caught in the crossfire. This is what I'm attempting to address.)
So then I started thinking about how I've been fat all my life, and this dieting thing had never really touched me, even though I grew up with tons of body negativity and had been encouraged to lose weight all my life. And then I thought about how I've been bisexual all my life, and encouraged by both gay and straight people to hurry up and pick a side, or shut up and go away. But one thing that really defines and affects me now is being disabled, and I haven't been disabled all my life.
I've always disliked doctors because of the way they've treated me because I'm fat (among other things, which I may discuss later). Unfortunately, I have to see quite a lot of them now because of multiple sclerosis, which was diagnosed almost a year ago. One thing I've found is that I'm constantly having to distinguish between being disabled because of MS and being disabled "because I'm obese and going to die!!!1" The latter of which, you know, just isn't true. Because fat isn't inherently unhealthy, doesn't kill you, and shouldn't be a sign of personal failure, either.
And then there's the ironic part of being fat and sick: the MS actually caused me to drop about 60 pounds after onset, and I haven't been able to find my "normal" weight since. I was able to gain most of it back thanks to steroids, which lessened my condition and made me healthier (!!!) again, but I've been hovering around 240, where I used to be 250, and sometimes I dip down to 220 if I'm having another exacerbation. And everyone's like, "Oh, it's great you're losing weight!" And I wanna say, "But, but, but... I'm losing weight because I can't eat, and my stomach feels like it's being squeezed tighter than Melora Creager's corset, and, and, and..."
... Oh yeah, there's that too. The title of the blog is taken from Rasputina's "The Endomorph" and lyrics. I mean, I am an endomorph. And I'm slow, 'cause I can't walk without a cane anymore. And I go back and forth, because I'm a fence-sitter... uhm, I mean, I'm bisexual. Even though I really mostly like men, but my fiancee of six years is female, so... I dunno.
I'm all typed out, and I think this introduction's pretty much done with. Maybe I'll just save the rest of this for another day. So make way for plenty of links to blogs and half-assed rants and raves, okay? Take care.