Don’t Pick On The Heavyweights
I remember the pain of being the fat person on an airplane, waiting for the stewardess to finish demonstrating how the seat belt had to be buckled. Was there really someone on the plane who had never buckled an automobile seat belt, who did not know how this apparatus was supposed to work? Sitting dutifully through the safety procedures description was a reason to squint, to ignore while seeming to listen. Then, the stewardess would hand off the seat belt example, which was really an extender. Suddenly, the fat woman could feel safe, and ignore her extender, as the belt fastened low on the hips, just like everyone else.
The “growing problem” (pardon my attempt at humor) of larger-size people is not a reason for guilt, but it is an obvious factor in the safety of transports. Obesity in America is the function of an over-processed food supply that addicts people to foods. Of this I am sure, having seen too many examples, including myself. Personal responsibility, detailed descriptions of the determinants of leptin secretion, none of these helped this morose fatty when there were only one or two in sight in any group.
Now there are more – scads more. Every time you walk into a room there are so many heavy-weights that there seems to be nothing else.
If these people are anything like I was nearly 200 lbs. ago, they want mutual support instead of guilt trips.
Body size and weight are now a matter of political correctness. I know you’ve heard me mention many times that our First Lady is only a self-proclaimed expert on diet and exercise – a little outside her field as a lawyer. Her avocational credits seem to come from good genetics that don’t make her prone to obesity as well as an addiction to working out (notably with her husband, who also inherited his genetics from a bean pole, apparently).
So instead of presuming to train the obese in “intelligent” lifestyle choices (mainly comprised of myths, government propaganda and the agenda of the agricultural and food production industries), we should offer support. Society needs to value its fat people, something I am sure I never felt when I was fat — really fat — and in denial, whether going with my Mommie to Lane Bryant when I was small, or feeling cheap when eliminating whorish clothes from my scope in more contemporary malls. The first way to value fatties is to acknowledge their lead for safety. I was presenting a scientific paper at a meeting in Phoenix, many years before, when I wanted to take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. The pilot of this craft, I remember vividly, turned out to be an Israeli Army veteran. (I enjoyed speaking Biblical Hebrew, hesitant but not incompetent, as he responded with the modern variety.)
I paid $75 for my seat — a lot when you are only a resident physician — but I wanted this experience. I would be fastened with a seat belt, inside a vehicle with open sides. Yeah, safe, okay, it made sense, but I wanted to see the beauty and I wanted the experience. (It was so beautiful, so very beautiful, that I wanted to go back with my beloved husband, who told me in no uncertain terms that he would not enjoy this.) There was a terminal, a sort of miniature airport, where all four passengers had to check in for the flight. We each had to weigh ourselves. It was kept as private and confidential as possible, but it was made clear to us that this was essential to our safety and our seating would be assigned. I was heavy and I knew it, and I remember squinting, looking through my eyelids and seeing what the scale said, and not saying it aloud. I was doing what was, for me at least, a fairly high risk thing. I had never gone skiing, and my mother had not let me ride a bicycle, because she was convinced I would fall over, crack my head open, and IQ points would scatter out and down the gutter. My extra weight was actually a benefit in this case – I won me a seat up front, next to the hunky Israeli pilot. I also enjoyed mumbling strange things in Hebrew and getting him to reply, and I considered that a reward. I would not have done as well sitting next to one of the other passengers — members of a nauseatingly mundane middle class family from the Midwest. Despite the seat belt, and the wonderful colorful vistas (I was not going up at sunrise, but sundown was deliciously colorful), there was some kind of cosmic justice in the fact that the correct seat, the safe seat, was also the best seat. I felt important, valued. Even though I grasped the sides of the seat so tightly my knuckles were white, I will admit there was a certain comfort in knowing there were some kind of emergency parachutes attached to the seats and us by some mechanism I did not want to think about. I’m certainly glad we didn’t put them to the test. I will even admit there was a bigger comfort in the landing. Too many things, like seat width in public transports, I believe to have been calculated on idealistic, optimistic, underestimation of the size of humans, anyway. Self- love has to come before any lifestyle change.We need to value larger folks. We need to keep them safe. Blame and guilt have no place here. A realistic evaluation of the average size of the human body may be frightening to some, but it is necessary, even loving, to keep people safe as they really are. Not as fashion or even politics thinks they should be.
FREE PREVIEW OF MY LATEST BOOK
This Is NOT A Diet Book:
How I Lost Over Half My Body Mass Without Diet, Exercise, Drugs Or Surgery
By Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD
Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the SUBJECT: Free Sample Chapter
I will send you a PDF by return email with all the prefaces and introduction as well as the entire first chapter of my book.
No obligation to buy … just see if you like it and then get back with me if you want to order it.
The book is available as an attractive digest-sized paperback or as an e-Book.