A 45-year-old fat man trying to find his inner skinny dude.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Individual or Society?

This is kind of a followup to my last post. Recently I've read about a couple of instances involving fat people suffering consequences because of being fat--beyond the usual health issues, etc.

The first was a woman who was charged an extra five bucks for a manicure because she is fat. Wear and tear on the chair was the justification. Have a look here: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/24708583/detail.html.

The other is about a weight discrimination case brought against Hooters: http://abovethelaw.com/2010/08/hooters-and-the-heavy-consequences-of-having-boobs/. Apparently discrimination against people based on their height or weight is prohibited by the Michigan Constitution.

So, first is the old dilemma--can you legislate morality? Probably not. People love to mock fat people, or at least see them as some sort of prehistoric creature. Kids are the real barometers of this behavior. I was a fat kid and thin kids were complete assholes to me. Adults do it, too. Don't believe me? Read the comments on the Hooters story above. People are merciless.

The theme of those comments is to blame the fat people for being fat. I think they're right, too. I mean, you don't have to be an asshole about it, but the only way you get fat is to put too much food into your body. (I'm not talking about medicines or medical conditions, here.) So, yeah, one must take responsibility for being fat.

But there's another school of thought that says that the Standard American Diet makes people fat, that it's not their fault. That they have no hope against the marketing muscle that is directed at getting them to eat. Look at Refusetoregain.com (on the sidebar), which is a wonderful website with great information. The doctor who runs that site has choice words for the people who market food, especially shitty food.

But what's true? Is it a balance? Sure, all that stuff looks great on TV. Yeah, it can make me want to eat. But it's up to me whether to do it.

I had a zen moment tonight. I went to the Fitness Grill in Brea, CA, for pizza. (Heard about it at a WW meeting.) It is a great place with good, healthy food options. I had a 9 inch pizza with turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni. But I ate three pieces (after a small salad), and I was fullish. More than satisfied, less than stuffed. I really wanted to eat the last piece. It was great stuff. But I stopped. I have the points, but I stopped because I don't like being too full. I listened to my body. And I can eat that last slice tomorrow. So nice.

So yeah, I made the decision about what to eat. I'm responsible for what goes in. I think that's how I come down on the debate. Yes, food companies sell a bunch of shit. Yes, portion sizes are much more than anyone needs. Yes, people market to kids who don't know any better. But when it comes down to it, it's up to me to take care of me. No one else is going to do that. No one is coming to save me.

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