Pushing Jack Back Down the Beanstalk: So, I’m Fat; Must I Be Made Constantly Afraid?
by Daphne Yvonne Bradshaw After my adventures with my now ex-doctor, I started thinking of all the fear mongering put on me and on others like me. I am constantly warned of a shortened lifespan with a terribly painful death awaiting me from cardiovascular (or insert another major disease or, if the fear monger is particularly rude, “your lifestyle choices!”) disease. This is even more a certainty because of diabetes, of course. The diabetes alone adds more terror — the potential loss of limbs, sight, and other ghoulish complications. This death is expected at any time because of my morbid obesity and other risk factors. Just an aside here–I am WELL beyond being morbidly obese, thank you! So, I will die eventually in a larger than life manner? So? I live larger than most life around me already. Now what?
Well, I am told that this demise will be extremely painful over a long period of time, but my death will come unexpectedly at anytime. Yes, the fear mongers do use a lot of redundancy and contradiction, I repeat … and I am still trying to figure out how to reconcile that. Excruciating but unexpected demise? Long period of time but suddenly? Hmmm….oh well…onward with my rant… When I am doing all I know to do and all that I am convinced can be safely done, is it still reasonable to beat me up over these risk factors? Have I really deserved what I get because of these factors? Do only people of large size with my risk factors get this treatment? Is this fear mongering normal for the wider population? or even the narrower population? Do skinnier people with the same disease(s), minus the morbid obesity (but note that fat is not a disease!), get the same whipped frenzy of terrorization? Has any of the “mob squad” ever studied genetics, body chemistry, endocrinology, or even basic high school science? Yes, I do include our medical professionals here, alas. Maybe the skinny, maybe the whole population, maybe we all get these scare tactics, but do people like me get it more than the “norm?” What is the acceptable harassment and terrorism of fat people index for today anyway? Do any of these terrorists realize that fear is itself a major risk factor? Hmmm…maybe that is their angle? They DO want rid of my hulking hugeness by any means necessary. I hear it replayed now–“Kill the giants!”
Oh, and it starts young, too. We have to save those fat kids before they grow any bigger and have more risk factors! Why, don’t you know that even KIDS die of cardiovascular disease now-a-days? Uh, perhaps, but so do some major league pitchers, Olympic ice skaters, wild/health food nuts, avid joggers, … Oh, oops, I wasn’t supposed to look there. Foolish footnote freak that I am! Geesh. Sorry about that. Personally, I see scare tactics used to sell almost everything this society wants us all to buy. It is right up there next to the woman’s boobs which are used to sell everything else. But, I can’t help but feel that the supersized and the still-fat-but-less-than-supersized do get more of the terrorization. Terror keeps all too many of us in line…docile…not rebelling and disabling the farts who are pulling all the strings and stealing all the fear hostages’ money.
I do resent being targeted so often for things I either cannot control or for things I am doing the best I know how to do. I know these diseases are nothing to take lightly, but do I have to be beaten into terror in addition? Can’t I enjoy whatever life I have nevertheless? Can I opt out of being afraid or being made afraid?
My next trick is learning how to stop being afraid and just smile. I will button up my overcoat, put on my hat, silently smile for now, and wheel myself right past all my detractors. Want to come along with me? Yes, there will be obstacles in my path and yours, too, no doubt. Does anyone have suggestions for the huge hurdles? Oh, I forgot that I am too large for jumping hurdles. Drats! Ok, so I will have to settle for mowing them down with my wheelchair! Onward ho!