justira ([personal profile] justira) wrote2010-11-09 09:41 pm

[Make-Your-Own Meme] Fitness and salads OR what health means OR the very dramatic story of my life

Hey it's a post from that ridiculous/amazing/this is the worst idea/this is the best idea Make-Your-Own Meme "blog every day of November" thing! Original post/list of topics. Feel free to add more: LJ | DW — anon and openID welcome!

[livejournal.com profile] thebaconfat: you've mentioned before trying to get fit and/or eating salads; is that something you still struggle with? (here)

This post needs a disclaimer because there is Serious Business within! I am okay, I swear. I have resources and if I need help I will seek it, so please do not worry ♥ I am happy to discuss any of the topics mentioned herein, though =D

So I am really happy to have this topic (thaaaank you, [livejournal.com profile] thebaconfat!) because I've been meaning to talk about it for a while, and what's better than a blatant excuse?

So ages and ages ago, I mentioned that I would start biking to work due to giving my car away. And then I barely said anything about it ever again except for that one time I got hit by a car. Haha.

But actually the biking (and the salads; I will get to the salads, I swear!) has spawned a whole lot of thinking, and, poor [livejournal.com profile] thebaconfat, you have officially triggered my long-overdue post about health. I'm sorry, but you asked for (approximately 1/7th of) it.

Let's start with some backstory! My family has always been really big into sports, and always pushed our kids into sports. My grandmother was an equestrian and possibly actually a jockey (I don't remember =( ); she pushed my mother at horseback riding, gymnastics, and figure skating (my mom's butt was just too bony for the latter, lol) before the one that stuck: waterskiing. True fact: my mother was the waterskiing champion of the Soviet Union.

And that? That is my family's standard for sports and what I was held to throughout my childhood. Okay? Okay. =d

My uncle is a downhill skiier, and my dad is more into team sports; he likes volleyball and actively plays soccer and indoor soccer. Both of my sisters (they're 12 and 16 years younger than me, fyi) have been doing gymnastics since they were toddlers, as well as some horseback riding.

Me? I did gymnastics too (idek; it's a Soviet influence thing — gymnastics was really big), but what actually hit it for me was rock climbing. Starting from I think 9 years old, I began my career as a competitive rock climber. That was training every day, in one form or another, for several hours at a time when it was a straight climbing session (as opposed to a stretching or running or strength training day or wev). There were competitions every other week or every third week or so. Please note that it in no way occurred to me that this might be excessive or even unusual for a kid my age. It's just what was expected, right?

I quickly joined a competitive national youth climbing league and that was basically my life for a few years: racking up points at competitions, until winning the regional competition (which I always did, I think?) got me an invite to nationals. I even competed in an international invitational once. I made the national team (top 4 climbers in each gender and age group) each year I competed, and I think I placed 4th at the international.

So yeah. My early calibration for what constitutes a reasonable amount of physical activity and success in one's health: probably a little fucked up.

In fact, I burned out by the time I was 13 or so. I, seriously, after years of getting up at ass-o'clock on saturday mornings, climbing into the back of the van, being driven 2-5 hours to wherever the competition was, crawling out of the car, stuffing a CLIF bar in my mouth, stretching, climbing, winning (or not) and going home to train for a few weeks and doing it over again? BIG SURPRISE. There is something seriously fucked up about burning out on something before you even hit high school. What.

After that, I played soccer, because NOT doing a sport was unacceptable in my household; it would make one lazy and unhealthy immediately. Trufax. In soccer, I played goalie, and midfield when I subbed out; but I was the primary goalie. This was in large part because of the upper body strength I still had from climbing. I was a WIRY bugger. Like a goddamn whippet.

That was middle school. In high school, I did a little track and field — only short-distance stuff: sprints, jumps, and throws.

And then I discovered martial arts. I did tae kwon do. I trained for 1.5-2 hours every weekday and 5-7 hours on saturdays. Honestly I lost friends over that shit. I did tae kwon do for a bit over half of high school, I think, and a little into college.

And then things started going wrong. My joints hurt. A lot.

Dear self: welcome to lifelong sports injury.

Basically: my tendons were predisposed to be fucked, and I fucked them good. The configuration of my shoulder joints was very loose (a little like being double-jointed — I basically have "loose" joints everywhere), which meant I SHOULD have been stopping all my kicks and punches and jerky motions earlier than everyone else to compensate. But I didn't know, of course, and in the end I managed to seriously muck up my shoulders, including an outright tear in my right shoulder (note: tendons don't heal tears).

But that took forever to diagnose. All I knew at the time was that suddenly, my favourite physical activity, a pillar of my life, hurt like hell to do and my doctor was telling me to stop it (first doctor: did not manage a correct diagnosis).

Honestly? It sucked pretty bad. I spent a lot of my freshman and sophomore years of college unable to lift my elbows higher than my nipples — elbows, I say, not arms. (Interactive activity: try it yourself! Lift your elbows to your nipples!) I often kept one arm (whichever hurt worse that day) in a sling — sometimes I kept both in a sling, taking out only when necessary.

And it felt like the biggest failure, this huge betrayal of my body. What was going on? I had gone from a LOT of physical activity to NONE. But wait, could I not do lower-body centered activities like running?


Your upper body and arms do a lot of compensatory movement in lower-body activities, too, like moving your arms when you run. And I couldn't even really do lighter-impact aerobics because also at this time I discovered that I had workout-induced asthma. Fun.

So I had this very considered and mature reaction: I threw an adult tantrum.

I basically sulked. For YEARS. After my first few months of attempting physical activity failed (and possibly what broke my heart was going home for break, trying to go back to my old dojang to train, and not being able to), I basically just quit sports. No, I didn't just quit sports. I quit physical activity. I quit my body. Screw you, body, I said.

Finally, about halfway through my junior year (that's three years after I started college, for those keeping track; I took a year of leave in the middle), I had apparently sulked enough, and started trying to pull the remnants of my health back together. I started doing tai chi, a nice, low-impact martial art. Then I started doing iaido (a Japanese sword art), which I loved and guess what I did that several hours every day, too. I am smart.

But I also found a competent doctor and physical therapist and started really working on getting my shoulders as well as they could be. For a while, I worked really hard on my health and I was in great shape.

And then, in summer of 2008, things started going... wrong... again. I can't really pinpoint an exact cause (and I'll say why in a moment), but I do remember that my summer training with iaido soured when my shoulders started going downhill again (had I fallen behind on my PT?). But I know what really did me in: by the end of that summer, I was having one of the worst depressive episodes of my life. Possibly my worst ever. (By the way, I have depression!) And that kind of thing, I always have such trouble remembering what starts it; everything just sinks into grey.

So I started my senior year horrifically depressed. I was crying every damn day and — hey, trigger warning for discussion of suicidal thoughts, highlight to see! — I very sincerely wished a bus would just run me over. For anyone worried, although I have very often wanted badly to die, I have never been able to actually attempt killing myself, because I know it would make people feel really bad and I can't handle the guilt. (Guilt complexes: also fun but in this case kind of backwards-wise beneficial?) But I still really really really wanted to die kind of a lot. So wishing for a swift accidental death seemed pretty ideal.

Anyway. Bad times. Realizing how badly I was doing, how badly I was worrying my partner, I knew I needed help. So I started seeing a therapist (again) and a psychiatrist (again) and finally, for the first time in my life, consented to be try antidepressant meds.

Meanwhile: spoons. I had none. I was in school, I was writing a goddamn thesis. I tried and tried to do more physical activity, to at least continue my lovely low-impact tai chi or at least my (very lackadaisical) yoga. But I just slipped and slipped.

And then!

Then my knees started hurting.

And I gained weight. A lot of weight. From a combination of antidepressants and sudden lack of physical activity. At the worst of it, I weighed one and a half times as much as I had before the whole mess had started. That's 150%.

For someone with such a physical past and with mental issues to deal with on top of it.... basically it sucked. It sucked hard.

My relationship with my body was officially screwed. At twenty three I felt like I was falling apart, unattractive, and hopeless.

And then I graduated and came home to my folks and they fat shamed me.

A lot.

This was particularly hilarious to me because the weight gain was triggered by the antidepressants, which I needed for the depression that my family had a rather large hand in causing.



I eventually convinced myself that free rent was not worth constant harassment and got my own place again (I'd lived on my own (plus the partner and cats) for every year but freshman).

And I made sure that place was within biking distance of my work.

I was still too low on spoons -- and honestly just too unhealthy -- to bike, at first. But eventually I got to a place where I could, and then my family needed a car and finally, I was in a place where I should bike.

So I did. To be continued.

For now, we turn to SALADS.

So I have some long-standing issues with eating.

Let's start out with this: I was mildly anorexic when I was younger, and I still have body image issues.

[TW for some anorexia discussion] When I was a young teen though, I was convinced that I should weigh less than 100 pounds. Anything above that was obviously fat and terrible and we all know the drill. That tiny amount of fat on my stomach was obviously unacceptable. (Keep in mind, this is when I wasn't that temporally divorced from being a child athlete.) I often surreptitiously skipped meals.[/TW]

I did not realize at the time that these thoughts and eating habits (more on those in a sec) were, you know. Anorexia. This is actually a very recent discovery, in the past year or so (since I've been thinking a lot about health this year), where I thought back on this and went, holy shit. I was anorexic! Only mildly, but still. Holy shit!

I... probably still am? It's complicated.

So me and food, we didn't really start out on the right foot. And then there were three more problems: money, depression, and a surprise.

Money: it is hard to feed your family a healthful variety of food when you do not have much money. I am not kidding when I say about half my meals were pasta for an absurdly long time (until I met my partner, actually, haha). Even after my family did start getting more money, we retained a lot of the eating habits.

Depression: Eating takes spoons! (lols) Eating takes a surprising number of spoons for me. It's a chore. I wondered about that for a while, by the way. Why did eating take so much energy for me? I was always so overwhelmed by flavour. I would gravitate towards bland foods (pasta, anyone?) and grow weary of them very quickly and not enjoy eating — but when I tried to eat more exciting foods they just took so much mental energy to process. Wtf! and I did not have unlimited spoons. I had other shit to deal with. What the hell was the deal?

Surprise! I'm a supertaster! It turns out.

I didn't know that until this year either, but it explains so much.

So the end result of this cocktail was that I ate really poorly, especially when I was a teenager. I often skipped meals — either on purpose (cough) or because I really and honestly forgot. I had other things on my mind, and I felt so shitty a lot of the time, one way or another, that honestly the hunger didn't really register.

And after years and years of such abuse, I managed to fuck my metabolism and my appetite. I don't really sense hunger anymore. For several years, I would not know I was hungry until I got dizzy and started falling over. Either my stomach gave up on sending the signals, or I had learned to entirely block them. (I've since been slowly nurturing myself away from this and do actually feel genuine hunger sometimes now, but I still mostly can't tell until I get the shakes.)

So my eating habits, they were horrible.

Enter my partner.

Thank everything ever that he likes to cook.

This is not a hole I could have dug myself out of on my own. The sports/body/physical stuff, the depression stuff — maybe. I'm eternally grateful for his help and support on those, but I can envision myself having crawled out on my own, eventually. This one, I'm not so sure about.

My partner makes sure I'm fed, basically. I fail at feeding myself. Like seriously, I am an adult and I fail at feeding myself. Left to my own devices, I will forget to eat for days (I am not kidding) and then have like, a plate of pasta or something inbetween. FOREVER. He cooks for me, and we both try to make sure to have a relatively healthy diet. We're not all that great at it, but we're trying. And hey! at least I'm eating?

As a final note about the anorexia and whether or not I might still have something there: I really don't know. It's only recently occurred to me to even wonder, like I said. And I know I still have some serious body issues and that my relationship with food and eating is still not very healthy. I know I definitely, even now that I'm aware of it, have food right there that I could eat and I just... don't. Because I don't *really* need to, right? I'm not like starving or anything. So I can skip out on that lunch and maybe some of this damn antidepressant weight will go away, right? Maybe?

It doesn't happen much, but it's there. So I don't know.

And whatever's going on there, it definitely didn't help with the weight gain I had. That was not a fun relationship, between my latent anorexia and the sudden weight.

Eating well was very hard when both my partner and I were in school — and also, you know, I was dealing with some other bullshit, as outlined above — but once we were out and living on our own again, we really started working on the diet and nutrition. For me, I am terrible with vegetables, and so one of my goals became:


And now we are at the present! Let's review.

I have depression.
I have a history of disordered eating.
I have workout-induced asthma.
I have tendon issues in my shoulders.
I have less severe tendon issues in my knees.

At this point, I had done almost zero physical activity for about 1.5 years.

So this is when I started biking.

My area is very hilly, and the commute's about 5-6 miles, depending on route and if you're counting the up-and-down (I SURE DO). I use a hybrid/mountain bike, not a city/street bike, so it's not feather-light or anything.

The first day I biked in, it was about 95 degrees out and it took me almost two and a half hours and lots and lots of asthmatic wheezing (did I mention I'm stubborn?). That's like less than 2.5mph. That was. That was very sad.

But I made it to work. And then I even made it home at the end of the day.

And then very shortly after that I got sick, and stayed sick.

I picked up biking again late in the summer. After some small improvement pre-sick and the nice long "rest", my first time biking in again: I did it in one hour.

Now, about three months after that, I consistently do it in half an hour or even a little less. That's almost 11mph. That's somewhere between 4 and 5 times as fast as when I started, and absolutely no wheezing anymore.

I know 11mph is really not much as far as biking goes, but it means a lot to me.

I've learned a lot in the past year, about myself, my body, my relationship with my body, my health. About health in general! Both mental and physical. I've spent a lot of time lurking in social justice circles this past year, and that's included skulking around disability activism and fat acceptance. I've watched (and infrequently participated in) some very interesting conversations there.

I still have thin privilege, but the fat acceptance movement helped me a lot. Which I'm very grateful for. It was probably all the reading I did there that helped me identify that, shit, I had some pretty disordered eating in my past. I learned about Health At Every Size. I tried to foster a better relationship with food. And I tried really really hard to accept that the weight I had gained as a result of my meds was okay. It did not mean I was terrible. I tried...

I tried to accept my body. Which is where we hit snag. (Note: I've been talking about the fat acceptance movement in particular, rather than the general body acceptance that it's part of, on purpose.)

Something hadn't been sitting quite right with me, with all the feminist and body-acceptance messages I had been hearing about loving my body and "health" at every size. I'd been meaning to blog about it for a while, because the ideas had slowly coalesced. Things like:

  • I am permanently injured. I can't do many things I used to enjoy as big parts of my life. I don't want to love this.

  • I have depression. It steals my spoons. Is this health? What IS health?

  • My physical therapist AND my therapist both recommend light exercise.

    I look at my PT and think: I am so depressed. How will I be able to get up and do this?

    I look at my therapist and think: my physical injuries make this so hard.

    And I don't say anything

  • I'm not cisgender. (Have I mentioned that? Haha.) My body is, on a fundamental level, not quite right for me. I have a hard time loving that I inhabit it.

There were just so many intersections where it wasn't working for me.

And then I read this: Conversations About Body Image: A Place at the Table for Me?. And I think it really helped coalesce a lot of my thinking. I recommend it to anyone interested in these issues, just as something to get some thoughts moving. Then there was a follow-up post: Further Conversations On Body Image: Examining Health at Every Size (HAES). This in turn led me to the Fat Nutritionist (whose posts I'd run into before) and this post, linked in the aforementioned follow-up: The obligation to be healthy at every size. I recommend this post SUPER HARD: it's a quick read but everything in it needs saying and hearing, and it contains some great links. I REALLY love that post, and recommend Fat Nutritionist all around, as awareness of social issues like poverty is part of her outlook on nutrition, and I love it. I want to quote two parts from it, once already quoted by s.e. smith, and one that struck me personally.
It is sad that this even needs to be said, but given the fact that we essentially live in a health meritocracy, let me be the first to announce:

You are under no obligation to be healthy.

And, as an addendum: even if you were, eating “well” and exercising wouldn’t guarantee your success. There. I’ve said it. And as much as this might chap the ass of every health promoter out there, I feel that personal agency and a basic sense of privacy are sorely missing from most conversations of health promotion, and from conversations of Health at Every Size.

This, despite the fact that the definition of health itself has not even been definitively pinned down, that it has evolved through numerous variations through the years, and will likely continue to evolve. Despite that nutrient requirements are different for each person. As are genetic profiles, family histories, and every single one of the social determinants of health.

The factors that determine health are different for everyone — which means it is up to you to decide what to do. No one can do it for you.

I don't have any answers yet, really. I just find myself at the intersection of a lot of things, and fumbling around, trying to find what works best for me.

So about those salads!

I have kind of failed at the salads. But I'm working on it. I think I've come a long way, and I... I really want to be proud of myself for that. I'm slowly restoring myself to a reasonable level of physical activity. And honestly, I still cry (did I mentioned I used to cry about this a lot) sometimes when I think that I will probably never be able to seriously take up tae kwon do or iaido again. But I might still be able to do tai chi. And I might, maybe, one day, get back into rock climbing. Maybe I could even play soccer again. Maybe I could do something new, and try to swim, to help with my lungfail.

And I'm not... I'm not really okay with the fact that my body will never ever be back to the way it used to be. Not really. But I still think I've come a long way. I still have bad, self-destructive thoughts, but I'm trying. I try to eat; my partner tries to make sure I eat. I buy clothes in my new size. I try to tell myself that my new body, my changed body, my injured body, my body that's irrevocably different after such big sudden weight gain and almost equally large loss — I try to tell myself that it's still mine, for all that I feel kind of disassociated from it on the gender front. It's the only one I have, and while I doubt I will ever have an entirely good relationship with my body, I can at least stop trying to punish it for being mine.

... and try to eat more damn salads.

So that's biking and salads. And a little extra >.>
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2010-11-10 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
*all the hugs*

Wow, you are mega-brave for putting all this out there. I just want you to know that. ♥
shanaqui: Ban from GetBackers. ((Ban) Tired)

[personal profile] shanaqui 2010-11-10 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for writing this post. It's very interesting, and you're very open, and I love that you're willing to discuss this.
seventhe: (Internet)

#1 - On Working Out, Weight, Bodies, Being Healthy - And Salads

[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
OH LOOK, HERE COMES THE COMMENT FLOOD. You know I love this post and have loved it so I am SO going to get RIGHT TO THE MEAT (twss) of what you have made me think of:


I am active. And I am active about being active! Meaning that I try to do actual research about working out? About "health"? Things like that? I read articles! Etc. I would like to think I have a pretty basic understanding of "the gym"!

Which is why I find this hilarious:

I trained my body to run 8 miles this year.

I gained 10 pounds while doing so.

So like... doesn't that fly in the face of everything ever, all the things we hear about "Oh, if you work out and eat right you'll lose weight!" Right?

First: Losing weight and getting thin and being healthy are all NOT RELATED.

Second: The KIND of exercise is important. Long slow running is basically shit for "weight loss". Yeah, I'll burn 800-1000 calories on an 8-mile run based on my pace, but you know what? Long slow running makes you fucking hungry. And all the literature says: DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF WHILE TRAINING. IT IS THE #1 WAY TO INJURE YOURSELF. IT IS LIKE THE #0.02 WAY TO INJURE YOURSELF. IT IS THAT EASY.

SO like... I have always had fundamental problems with the PROJECTION of "health" on our society, but this just clinches it for me. I trained to run 8 miles. That is a LOT of training, a LOT of miles. It was HARD. 8 miles is RESPECTABLE. It's REASONABLE. It's GOOD. I am MORE IN SHAPE than I was in January. And I gained weight! I GOT FATTER.


So I think there's a lot to say about the intersection of: Health, Appearance, "Thin"ness, being "In Shape", and (everfucking) Society -- and its place maybe isn't here, on your post, but in the midst of the talk about biking and sports and salads I wanted to point out:

There is a lot of shit out there we get fed. It sucks :(

seventhe: Rydia (Rydia)

#2 - On Relation To Food (And Emotions)

[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)

I do not have, and have never fought, anorexia. I've been touched (sometimes sexily!) by many people who have. I can't really imagine what it's like! It is scary! We are so obsessed with our image/appearance that people are literally starving themselves. It makes me very sad.

But I also have an unhealthy relationship with food! (BECAUSE: IT IS ALL ABOUT ME NOW)

I have hypoglycemia. I am very probably pre-diabetic (one of the reasons I try to be very health-conscious, with the gym and the salads and the whatnot, because I would like to not get there) due to family history. It has only ever been mild-to-moderate - I've only actually passed out a couple times from it - and it really more affects my energy levels and moods rather than actually endangering my health.

The thing with mild-to-moderate, not-serious attacks, is that you can treat it easily, with food! So my doctors for years have told me: be prepared. carry granola bars. have a snack. get some tbell!

Do you see where this is going?
Because it becomes: I'm tired. Have a snack! I'm sad. Have a snack! I'm upset! HAVE A DAMN SNACK. I'M ANGRY AT YOU AND I'M GOING TO EAT THIS GRANOLA BAR IN YOUR DIRECTION.

(UM! My unhealthy relationship EXTENDS TO EMOTIONS, by the way. I have a HUGE DIFFICULTY owning my own emotions? Because I'm always like BUT I AM JUST HUNGRY/TIRED. I'M NOT REALLY UPSET. *HAS SNACK* and then at that point I "get over" whatever upset me in the first place?

I have a HUGE problem recognizing, admitting, and owning that I am actually angry, sad, bothered, upset - any emotions in this spectrum. I really do. And it stems from years of this, of assuming I wouldn't be insulted by that if my blood sugar were up! That wouldn't hurt if I had eaten a sandwich! I'm 'unreasonably' upset, it must be time for pasta.

IT. HAS BECOME. Okay, this is actually more relevant than I thought, because I think it's a lot like you can't tell if you're hungry? Well my emotions ALL FUCKING REGISTER LIKE HUNGER: THEY'RE ALL THE SAME. I can't tell them apart and I can't tell which ones are serious and I can't tell when I'm upset and that's actually kind of terrifying.



So my brain has adopted the correlation of "EAT WHEN YOU'RE SAD." or even "eat when you're tired" - I assume I don't have to elaborate any more on how messed up this can get.

Now that I've been working with multiple doctors for a long time, and NOW that we've made the breakthrough of my awesome vitamin-absorbing deficiency, a lot of my energy problems have stabilized. (Another side note? I am amazed at how the systems of our bodies WORK TOGETHER. You know? Like this, like how stabilizing the vitamins my body won't store for itself helps me have more energy. Like how going on the Pill helped stabilize my entire immune system (what? is it time for the TUMOROUS WARTS story? or is that TMI!) my freshman year of college. I think it's so cool! We are one giant and interwoven system!)

We're waiting until November's blood test to examine my blood-level stabilization, and from there we'll start looking at the hypoglycemia. Maybe now, it will be easier to get a handle on that -- it has seemed so for the past couple months, so I am hopeful.

It's SO STUPID how our bodies mess up such a basic thing as OUR RELATION TO FOOD, isn't it? Like... come on, body. Stop undermining me.

seventhe: (FFEX: Doink!)

#3 - On Loving Your (MY) Body

[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)

The last part of this post really resonated with me because it put words into a way I've been feeling for a while.

There are a lot of things my body does that I don't love, alright?

And a lot of them have to do with how it compares to other people.

Example: I have asthma (I may have, or will have, COPD). Exercise is one of my triggers (exercise-induced). I can't run as fast or as far as other people that I know, who have been training in much the same way as me for about as long, because often "pushing myself" results in a painful and terrifying asthma attack. I hate that my lungs don't work right. I hate that they reject something that I enjoy, something that's supposed to be good for them. But it's like the extra added cherry of hate on top that other people can go do intervals or sprints and I can't - it feels so unfair.

I don't love that.

Other example: I don't sleep well. I dabble in insomnia almost every night. I wake 4-8 times a night EASILY, sometimes more. Just for the reference, that's at least once an hour. Most people fall asleep in 7 minutes (this is a statistic from Trivial Pursuit, lol!) -- it takes me at least 45.
I hate that my body won't take sleep - and I hate the way I feel when I don't get it, groggy and stupid and vaguely angry at the world under the surface. But I can't stop thinking, other people get to sleep just fine. Why can't I?

I don't love that.

And neither of these get into the way I feel about how my body LOOKS. Am I supposed to love that I'm a 28-year-old with cellulite? Because I don't. "You look fine," other people say. "You look hot," a few tell me. But It Isn't About How They Think I Look.

(And gosh, I am sure they just mean to compliment me, but sometimes it's actually more insulting! I am not digging for compliments. Your opinion of my body isn't mine, and it doesn't affect mine, and I'm not suddenly going to change MY mind because of your opinion. I want to have a conversation about it, I want to be heard. "I don't like this," I say, and I'm wanting a better answer than "But I think you're so hot." YOU KNOW? Or am I dumb. It is about ME, and MY FEEEEEELINGS.)

I'm sorry, but I don't love that I have cellulite on my bum. I don't HATE it, I am not full of SELF-LOATHING, and I'm neither starving myself nor working myself to shreds to get rid of it - I am reasonable. But I don't really love it.

It's... it's an odd boundary, isn't it?

I love and support HAES, and I see so much awful information, so much fat-shaming vitriol, and this doesn't even touch that I have thin privilege that allows me to avoid to many things I haven't even really wrapped my head around yet.

There are a lot of things wrong with my body. And I don't really love them. I'm not okay with the way this system runs. But I'm not loathing it (not always, although ask me after an 8 mile run to get a fun different answer! MAGIC EIGHT SQUALL SAYS: WHATEVER.), and I'm not ashamed? I'm just not... Hey Gung-Ho Sev's Body, Let's Go Do Some Shit.

Anyway. I can really relate to that portion of what you wrote. I have been browsing those links and will continue to think about this for myself.

seventhe: (Fandom: Hell Bus)


[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)


♥ ♥
seventhe: Rydia (Rydia)

Re: #3 - On Loving Your (MY) Body

[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
#1 -- I think your point on the misinformation is key -- alright, fat-shaming is abhorrent no matter where it comes from, let me State This Immediately; my thing is, it's worse because people think it's justified, right? The Unhealthy Fatty; The Lazy Fatty. (Fuck: I am one of the LAZIEST PEOPLE EVER. Watch my thin privilege. Watch it lay on the couch and eat nachos.) The Buy Better Food Fatty. The I Don't Want To Pay Your Health Insurance Fatty. And it isn't like correcting all the sources of judgmental lies about "health" will magically make the problem away, but I cannot help but think it's a key factor in the perpetual motion of all of this sludge. It's like oil in the engine; can we please, please take it out and start slowing this fat train down??

(Also from the POV of SOMEONE WHO WORKS IN RESEARCH, it is INSANELY frustrating to watch myths and lies be perpetuated in the name of "science"? Like I understand that it's a personal pet peeve, and on the scale of "reasons to fix this" it falls a long way below "treat everyone like a decent fucking human being", but. It still sticks in my craw, badly.)

This is partly why I tell everybody, when they're so impressed about my running training, how it went. "Man, 20 miles per week," they say. "You must be hot now!" or "You must have lost weight." And that's like --- WHY IS THAT EVEN YOUR REACTION? Are you not PROUD OF ME? For running 8 miles? Did I not do this as a personal challenge to think I could? OF COURSE: I WAS ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT DROPPING SOME POUNDZ. MY BAD.

I want to say that - I think - I am assembling a thought here, please help me complete it: I think a lot of it comes down to agency. Or, maybe, "false agency"? Your body is yours to do with as you please, and to treat as you please, for better or for worse. I stand behind this.

But when people choose to do things to their body like - when you're choosing to do a thing to your body based on false information, false pretenses, false stereotypes and pressures carried over by society... is that agency? Like I said, I'm stumbling over myself trying to parse it. You said Choosing to do things to yourself in ignorance is also a choice, which is also true, but... it's a different kind of agency? It's agency being led around the nose by society, I feel (and look, I'm sure I'm not innocent here, either, okay).

ffffffffffffffffff Something in this tangle is bothersome. YOu said it above and I agree with you, THIS IS HARD AND COMPLICATED.

And in the end if you choose to be a gymrat and be toned and sleek and all of that, that's awesome -- but it would be more awesome if it didn't come with the fat-shaming and the constant need for justification by putting down others who may have a different set of priorities.



about Priorities! The balance of emotional, mental, physical "health" and comforts!

This is something else I can get behind -- okay, so.


LET'S TALK ABOUT STRESS. Stress is huge! And it's HUGELY UNHEALTHY. And yet nobody talks about it - or it's the general thing, like, "Oh, go work out! Go for a walk! YOU'LL FEEL BETTER. It lowers stress!"

Really! So after leaving my house at 7 am, working until 6pm, attending class until 8pm, and arriving home at 8:30pm starving and exhausted, I should go for a run? With what math does the positive benefit from that workout cancel the physical stress, lack of sleep, disruption to a meal cycle, complete absence of relaxing, vegging, decompressing time, etc? That isn't my body's math. I try to solve this equation every semester I am in class, and I fail.

Again: Maybe it's your body's math. I am sure it works for a lot of people! But the assumption that the math works out in one direction for all bodies and all lifestyles is bothersome and ridiculous.

There really is so much more to health than the physical. This: How healthy is a body when the mind in it is miserable? QUOTED FOR TRUTH.

And seriously, ffff: in the ongoing battle between spoons and healthy food, uh, sometimes the spoons win. I like take-out chinese food because it is fast and delicious and comes with plastic dishes I can throw out. Some days I am too drained to even consider anything other than chinese vs pizza? How is dragging myself off the couch to grill a lean chicken breast that I don't want good "overall" health? I thought we weren't supposed to make ourselves eat the things we didn't want.

Last. What you hit on, in the end and above in the comment, is interesting and problematic and interesting. And problematic. (YES.)

I keep coming back to examples about myself, of course, because I am in my own head. I complain to someone that I haven't been running, or that I'm feeling a little chubbz today, or even about my damn cellulite, right. And the answer is "You're so hot, shut up" or "But I think you're hot". And... I'm trying to unpack this:

- that isn't the issue. *I* don't like it. It doesn't matter if you like it. Or don't.
- assuming that that's the issue - that I care; that I'm looking for compliments - is problematic in itself, somehow?
- but what answer would be "okay" or "correct"?" I don't know.
- and does that mean I shouldn't go around expressing these things? I have to sit on my thoughts about my own body?





seventhe: (Internet)

Re: #3 - On Loving Your (MY) Body

[personal profile] seventhe 2010-11-10 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)

and the biggest kicker is that even all of the hardest work, most careful eating, and most nutritious salads in the world can't fend off so many of our problems. People like my dad still get cancer. Can we maybe pull some $$$ out of the giant wheel of the health/medication/pharmaceutical/doctor clusterfuck and put it towards curing AIDS and healing cancer?

stealth_noodle: Max, Sam, a gun, and a popsicle. (Default)

[personal profile] stealth_noodle 2010-11-10 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Supertaster = amazing superheroic alter-ego, y/y?

It is awesome that you're so open about all this and willing to post about it. And also inspirational for someone like me, who managed to grow up with a mental block against discussing my issues until I'd worked them out on my own (which is not exactly surprising in light of my family, but very much not helpful for my mental health). Reading this post hit me in a "HEY, I SHOULD TRY HAVING MORE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MY BAGGAGE" sort of way.