Skin deep? Bone deep? Or FAT deep?

I really should stay away from parenting messageboards.

Trouble is, I get too evangelical. Someone posts something negative about their weight and there I am, the Adipose Avenger, waxing lyrical about FA. Trying to get the truth out, trying to reassure them that they’re normal, I’m normal, we’re all normal. But the level of vindictiveness out there! Boy… it gets hard to take sometimes. Not so much because of the insults – hell, I’ve had trolls here tell me they hope my babies will die inside me – but the whole *sheep mindedness* of it gets me! Does no-one *think* anymore? Did any of these people go to Uni, or Polytech? Did any of them do a class that involved even an iota of critical thinking?? I doubt it… they swallow the crap they’re told and cling to it like the last life raft off the Titanic. One woman even told me I was being irresponsible getting pregnant while fat; *she* would have lost weight first, to give her child every chance in life. Keeping aside the whole idea that diets don’t work and pregnancies aren’t always planned, there is also the idea that being fat will somehow harm my baby. Um… how? Birth defects, I was told. And besides, fat women have fat babies, don’tcherknow. Ahhh…. ok, well the first is rubbish and as for the second, well, perhaps that’s genetics in action? How would losing weight (and it would be temporary, because – all together now – diets don’t work) affect that? Besides, wasn’t there a study/theory years ago that proposed to opposite? All I can say is that my Mother began her gestational years skinny and ended up plump, while her babies (as adults) have gone the other way… the children born when she was hardly eating are obese adults, the ones born later when she was bigger and ate a fair bit are slim. Co-incidence? Perhaps. But it makes me wonder…

And there’s the thing that annoys me about all this; these people *don’t* wonder. They read the fat-fearing sound bite and absorb it to regurgitate at a later date, on and on, until they drop. They don’t think, they don’t look critically at it, they just accept it. Deeply.

I don’t propose to have all the answers. But I do balance what I read with what my common sense tells me, with what I’ve seen in my own life, and make my own conclusions. I don’t fool myself that I’m *right* but I do take pride in thinking. Isn’t that what the brain is for?

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7 Responses

  1. I like your post. As a mom, I’m also very worried by this whole lets save children from being obese campaign as though their parents just sit around all day feeding their kids lard. Both my hubby and I are big–horizontally and vertically, so there is a great great genetic possibility that my daughters are going to be tall and heavier than what is acceptable.

    But to answer your question, yes, most of the people in this world are sheep.

    • Yep. My kids eat healthy and are active. They’re slim now but there’s every chance they may grow up and take after fat me rather than their normal-weight father. And that’s OK. Meanwhile, I know slim parents who had their kids eating junk food at the age of 1… but it’s OK, because Mum and Dad are skinny, so kid will be too? There’s a real lack of logic there.

  2. My wife is 400 pounds. I’m about 265. We have two daughters, one is a waif, the other a chunk. Both are perfectly healthy (apart from Linny’s eye problem and Lottie’s UTI) and we feed both healthfully.

    And yes, the fat hatred is DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. The slightest suggestion that conventional wisdom is wrong brings out the viciousness in some people. It’s like they just can’t wait to humiliate some deluded fatty into accepting their death sentence. But, it’s what we have to deal with if we’re going to educate the general public. And the more visibility FA gets, the worse it will be. People will see it as their duty to damage FA as much as possible. It will get much uglier before it levels off, I’m afraid.

    Anyway, keep evangelizing. Not everyone who reads those boards is a zealot. Some people do actually think and digest what you’re saying.

    Peace,
    Shannon

  3. “the children born when she was hardly eating are obese adults, the ones born later when she was bigger and ate a fair bit are slim. Co-incidence? Perhaps. But it makes me wonder…”

    I know there’s at least one study (and possibly more) that shows that Dutch(?) children who were in utero while their mothers were struggling to find food during WWII have a greater inclination to be fat. I believe that the theory is that in periods of starvation, the mother’s body somehow triggers a proclivity in her unborn child to have a slower metabolism, precisely so that the child has a greater chance at survival in a world that might not have a lot of food readily available.

    I don’t know if it’s true but it makes sense.

    • Yes, I read that one as well, and it made sense to me too. Of course, now people are quoting a ‘phantom’ study that says the exact opposite…

  4. No, there’s quite a bit of research to suggest that babies that encountered famine conditions while in utero have more diseases later in life, more propensity for obesity, etc.

    In particular, research shows that babies gestated during times of starvation but then exposed to normal or above-average food supplies after birth are particularly vulnerable to various conditions.

    It’s actually one of the things that most bothers me about the stupid suggestion that women of size not gain weight (or even lose weight) while pregnant. While not as restrictive as true famine conditions, it’s certainly logical that restriction in utero (esp followed by normal intake afterwards) could actually set our children up for MORE problems, rather than preventing them.

    Where’t the PROOF and long-term follow-up that restrictive weight gain in fat women is safe for babies and doesn’t cause more problems in the long run?

    Sorry, I won’t let my children be a research experiment for their biases. Normal eating all around, in utero and out, that’s the ticket for all of us, whatever our sizes. Sensible nutrition, sensible exercise, and trust our bodies to gain what they need.

    What a radical concept, eh?

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