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The question with no answer

Friday, Jun. 16, 2006 @ 8:36 pm
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Most of the time I am a very opinionated person. I have very strong beliefs on many issues. I don't always discuss them, unless somebody asks me or a particular subject comes up and I feel comfortable enough to express myself to that person. It isn't that I'm too scared to share my opinion its that I try to keep an open mind (but not so open my brains fall out) and respect other people's views. I love to discuss issues with other people even when they disagree, but I also feel that in some cases expressing yourself has the potential to come across as attempting to force your views on other people. (Certain tract leaving door to door religions come to mind, but that is awhole other issue not for this particular post).

The point I'm getting at is we all have certain strong views, certain points of view, and sadly certain biases. Even those of us who consider ourselves open minded, modern and liberal are guilty of this. Oh we may not be rasist, sexist, homophobic or anything as evil and obvious as that. But we still have biases. How many times have we seen somebody we've never met, or just met somebody and before we talk to them or really know anything about them, have already formed an opinion about them because of how they dress, how fat/thin they are, what they are eating/not eating, how tall/short they are, what they drive, what color or style they have of thier hair.

No matter how much we know in our heads that one can't judge a book with out actually reading it first, the fact is as humans we use our outward senses to make our initial judgements on someone. If we see a large tall person yell at someone we are much more likely to be scared even if the person is really gentle as a lamb and has valid reason to yell. If we see a large women sitting alone eating giant cheeseburger, our first thoughts are going to be a lot nastier than if it was a skinny man. If we see someone driving a certain type of vehicle and dressing a certain way, we make assumptions about that person's income, values and background. Yet those assumptions are not always true.

I know I am guilty of this. Despite the obvoius fact that many people are naturally skinny my own bias often means I have to force myself not to think that all skinny good looking people are "anorexic bimbos", especially if they are famous. I know logically that that isn't true. Just like it isn't true that all fat people are lazy pigs. All vegetarians are not hippies, and all religous people are not conservative right wing nuts out to convert the world. The point being people are complex.

If some one just saw me on the street, they might see a heavy person who dresses casually and wears loose clothing. They might assume that I am trying to hide my weight with loose clothes, because they wouldn't know I've recently lost weight. The fact that I am quiet and reserved with those I don't know often gives people the impression that I would be the kind of person who likes easy listening music and chick flicks. They would never guess by looking at me (most of the time), that I am a Sci Fi geek, who loves action movies and hard rock music. They would never guess that I can be quite outspoken and a good debater. I don't give off that vibe.

also know a guy who has features that are more feminine that many women I know to a stranger one would think he was gay as they come, but he is totally straight. Conversely someone can be macho and gay. Appearances are often quite decieving. One of the toughest and loudest people I've ever met was barely 5 feet tall. My brother stands 6 foot 3, and has muscles on muscles. He could easily intimidate almost anyone, but he is as sweet as a teddy bear and wouldn't hurt fly. He looks like a regular person, but as soon as you talk to him, you quickly realize that he is developmentally disabled.

The reason for this discussion is this website.

I have such mixed feelings about it. ON the one hand as a very large women, I know all too well the discrimination faced by the overweight on daily basis. I know what it is like to be ignored in stores, to go in to clothing store and leave almost in tears because nothing fits or the only clothes they have in your size are butt ugly. I know what it's like to have people assume you are lazy, or lonely or desperate when they know nothing about it. I know what it's like to be stared at, and to have people scared to let you sit on thier fancy expensive chairs because they think you might break it. At my heaviest, movie chair seats would dig in my sides, and everywhere I look I'm bombarded with messages on how to "Loose 40 pounds in two weeks on the citrus and vinegar diet", while being surrounded with pictures of underweight models who resemble famine victims.

I'm the first to agree that people come in all sizes and shapes and that people shouldn't be judged until one actually knows them and can make an accurate judgement based on character and personality. Even one bad day can give someone the wrong impression. It isn't fair. Overweight people are not stupid, they know what size they wear and they know what they look like. But it isnt' anybody else's business.

But and this is the big but, I also know the increased risks associated with obesity. I have the blood pressure and the cholesterol to prove it. I lost my father to heart disease. My son already has some weight issues. I want to live a long time, I want the energy to deal with life, not be a bench warmer. I want my son to have a happy successful life. I want him to live as long as possible, but I also want him to enjoy it. I deserve to be treated just as well as my smaller counter parts, I have the same rights to eat as I choose and see fit.

But I also know that unlike genetics, weight is something I can control. It isn't easy, and it isn't simple. But it is somethign that can be controled However it isnt' a simple issue. If it was a simple easily solved issue, we wouldn't have this discussion. I believe all people should be given an equal chance to prove themselves. But I also don't believe in supporting someone in something that is so obviously bad for them. Food is alot more complicated than seatbelts or smoking. But it also takes good, wonderful people away from thier loved ones, cuts people's lives shorts and destroys quality of life.

I wish I knew what the answer was. And no I dont' think skinny means healthy. Being too skinny can be just as bad as being too fat. Healthy means normal blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol etc.. Able to do all daily tasks, walk a couple miles (or do other exercise of similiar duration for those who can't walk for other reasons), able to have energy for fun and after work activities. It means having most all the nesessary nutrients on a daily basis. It means being able to walk a couple flights of stairs at a leisurly pace and not getting out of breath. It means being able to have hobbies and lifeout side the house. It means being able to put your wn shoes on. And most of all it means looking in the mirror and not hating what you see.

I wish I had an answer.


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In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.

I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.

I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.