Wednesday, March 12, 2008

just shoot me

I made a mistake.
Some work friends started a blog about losing weight after having a baby and I tried to be supportive. Even though talking about dieting is to me like talking about sex
(kinky sex) is to Mother Teresa: disturbing and against everything I believe in. And unlike sex, it's not even titillating. A yawn. A bore. Insulting.

I read this entry and decided to include it here because otherwise my comments (below) would sound like the disjointed rant of a schizophrenic in dire need of a good long soak in a pharmaceutical bath. I'm too depressed to link all this shit as well. It's from momhouston.com, called Taking It Off-Moms Losing Weight. Read the source if you care. [bolding mine]

My daughter deserves "skinny parents" [blog post by TTsMom]

Is it still considered "losing the baby weight" if you were already overweight when you got pregnant?????


I got married a little over three years ago. My husband the love of my life and truly is my best friend. We have gone through some very tough times together in a pretty short amount of time, and it has only made us stronger. After two years of being pregnant, and not pregnant, and pregnant again, we finally had a full term, healthy baby girl in September.

Bringing Taylor home was the happiest day of my life.

F I N A L L Y…our family is growing. Taylor is growing so fast and changing so much. I realized that I grew a lot too in a very short amount of time! I’ve always been a big girl, and after I had Taylor I finally realized that I have to do something about it. My daughter should not have a fat mom because I’m too lazy to do something about it. I joined Weight Watchers at work with some friends, and luckily my husband is supportive of it. He is even doing it with me.

I have a very difficult anniversary coming up next month, and I already want to eat. Food makes me feel better. Chocolate is my drug of choice and I have to overcome my addiction. I have to stay strong, and I’m hoping this blog will keep me from falling off the wagon.

Losing weight is not just about eating right. It is a complete lifestyle change. Not only do I need to continue to eat better and make better choices, but I also need to incorporate exercise into the mix. I hope that my husband continues to stick through this with me. I want Taylor to have "skinny parents" who can keep up with her when she starts crawling and walking!!
My two-cents:
I'm glad this gives you such happiness. Since I can't imagine commenting here again, I am going to have my say and be done.

"My daughter should not have a fat mom because I’m too lazy to do something about it."
"I want Taylor to have 'skinny parents'"
"My daughter deserves to have skinny parents"

Deargod, tell me someone else out there is appalled.

Your daughter deserves to have happy, healthy, loving parents. Your daughter doesn't give a rat's @ss if you're skinny, but bygod you will teach her to despise you if you are overweight as she grows up. You will teach her by hating your not-skinny body.

Furthermore, thank you for teaching yet another female child that how women look is so important that she should feel entitled to a skinny mom.

This is not about health. This is about how you look. Oh, yeah, being healthier is a great side benefit of weight watchers but the drive here is body image. Negative body image.

I'm done here. This is too depressing.
Apropos postscript from Overheard in New York:
Mom to six-year-old son: Junk food is crap. If you eat it, you will be fat. Like Mommy.
--Central Park

8 comments:

Menchuvian Candidate said...

Have you read Rethinking Thin?

Epiphenita said...

no. i feel like if i devote one more millisecond of my life to body image or weight or dieting, karma will rip off my limbs and lobotomize me. i have, admittedly, overcorrected on this subject.

Menchuvian Candidate said...

I hear you. The book, though, is a great aid in just letting go of all of that stuff-in large part by debunking the science reporting that underlies much of our understanding about weight and weight loss.

Anonymous said...

Um, it's quite possible this lady has an unhealthy body image, but if you leave aside your desire to rant about someone having the laudable goal of shedding excess weight, what she seems to be focused on is 1) not being lazy, which seems like a reasonable goal, 2) keeping up with her daugher as she grows older, 3) and making healthy choices about food and exercise. Yup, she uses the word skinny, indicating she probably has been affected by society's obsessions, but in your response "methinks the lady dost protest too much." To say the Weight Watchers is driven by body image, which I believe you imply, is simply gross misrepresentation of an organization that emphasizes a healthy approach to life.

Epiphenita said...

well, shit. this was bound to happen, public blog and all, some dunderhead without the nads to identify him/herself was going to miss the point and rag about me putting down the hard working dieter.

okay, just because i'm up for a pissing contest, here goes. "the laudable goal of shedding excess weight" was not the issue. "it's quite possible this lady has an unhealthy body image" and "to say that weight watchers is driven by body image is a gross misrepresentation"??? what, are you daft?

yes, anonymous, weight watchers emphasizes a healthy approach but that's NOT THE DRIVING REASON WOMEN JOIN.

furthermore, what is this "methinks the lady doth protest too much?" are you calling me fat? or are you saying, if i was just skinny, i wouldn't be offended by the body hate i see women exhibit every day? by the body hate a huge industry gets rich on every day?

spare me the trite defense of the dieters of the world.

Dr. Ding said...

dear anonymous:

somehow you have entirely missed the point of this post, which was how sad it is that kid's mom is more worried about how momma *looks* than about how momma really *is* around her child. being a skinny parent by no means guarantees being a healthy parent, physically or mentally; one can always drink, smoke, inject heroin into one's eyeball, and/or act like a complete narcissist and be skinny, sure. But a good parent, nah.

hope this clears things up. :D

Menchuvian Candidate said...

Hi, Anonymous-are you related to the Cobb County Anonymice? no? hmmph, oh well, I never liked them, anyway...

My take on this is a bit different than yours; there are aspects of the post to which Epiphenita was responding that resonate pretty powerfully for those who think critically about fat, weight loss, and the diet industry. And, yeah, if one does step off of the conveyor belt of conventional thinking about fat, it is a very sad posting.

First off, I don't read anything in the original post that speaks of an unhealthy body image. That is a term which usually applies to people who are dysmorphic. There is no evidence here of any such thing. What is there, in spades, is value laden language-her daughter deserves skinny parents. Eeep! Bad science alert! As Dr Ding so rightly points out, "skinny" does not equate "healthy," let alone "good." Nor does fat equate "unhealthy," let alone "bad," or "lazy." Her "daughter should not have a fat mom because I’m too lazy to do something about it..."

TTsMom wants every good and glorious thing for her daughter, but the very language she is using is imbued with self hate. It is gender differentiated-and that is reflective of biases in our society as a whole. Kind of like how a "man cold" is so very much worse than a woman's, female fat-or even the very aspects of a body that can be defined as feminine-is "worse" than a man's. Look at the language, her weight loss is imperative, whereas he's even doing it too.

Science overwhelmingly supports the idea that, with two overweight parents, Taylor is likely to be fat herself. Am I saying that her mom should embrace her own fat, and encourage Taylor's? No, and neither is Epiphenita. What we both recognize, however, is that inculcating the child with the value of self hate over body fat is toxic and overall destructive to her well-being.

As for Weight Watchers as an organization, I was unaware that their advertising focused on aspects of health improved by diet that weren't tracked on a scale or recorded by a measuring tape. While their current campaign of "Stop Dieting, Start Living" is admirable, perhaps, it is also a marked departure from multiple decades of previous exhortations.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Epiphenita, Anonymous is my name, so I'm just as out there as you. Seriously, since I'm making what I think are polite comments that (gasp) have some disagreement, what possible difference would it make if you knew my name was Daphne? And why would you assume I diet? To be clear, I was not implying you are fat- I have no idea, and truly it's besides the point.

M.C.- thanks, you make very good points that I didn't consider during my first reading of "skinny parent." The "deserving" skinny parents is indeed disturbing, as is the use of "skinny" as well. I don't think the writer thought about the content as much as anyone who has commented on this blog, and so her comments are revealing.

I can't speak to Weight Watchers history, but friends and acquaintances have only talked to me about the emphasis on exercise and healthy eating, not on some ideal measurement or even weight. Their niche truly seems to emphasize a healthy approach to life.