Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am a person, not an epidemic.

I am offended.

I am offended by the constant Chicken-Little shrieking in the media about "obesity", and what "is to be done" about it.

If you are one of the people running around, waving their hands in the air, getting all worked up over the "obesity epidemic", I want you to do me a favor: Sit down, and shut up. And listen.

When you talk about "obesity", you are using a word that is cleverly designed to remove the humanity from the equation. If you say "obesity", you don't have to face the reality of living, breathing, feeling people who happen to be fat. I think it's about time you face reality.

So here I am. I am a fat person. I'm right here, right now, and there YOU are, saying you have to "do something about" me. You can no longer hide behind your abstract concept of "obesity". What you are really saying is that you want to "do something" to change my body. MY body. And you know what? I am standing here, and I am telling you, "NO."

You are claiming to do this for my "health", but you aren't even asking me if I want it done. You see my body, and because you don't like what you see, you think that it is okay to shame and coerce me into making my body into your ideal.

This is not about "health", it is about freedom. I am not obligated to look the way anyone else wants me to look, and I am not obligated to work toward an arbitrary "health" goal that may or may not actually benefit my health anyway. But you would deny me the basic human dignity of deciding for myself how I want to live my life. And to that, I say, step off.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Answering the wrong question

An article from BBC News announces that eating breakfast "keeps teenagers lean", quoting one anti-fat proponent as saying this revelation is "ironic". The researchers noted that those who ate breakfast were less likely to be lethargic and inactive, so their higher activity levels resulting from this morning fueling compensated for the calories eaten, and then some, leaving the breakfast crowd thinner than those who avoided eating breakfast.

What bothers me is that they were looking at how thin the subjects were, instead of how healthy they were. The message of "eating breakfast will make you thinner" is less important, in my opinion, than "eating breakfast makes you feel more energized, and lets you do better in school and other activities." The fact that they need to use the carrot of thinness to grab peoples' interest makes me very sad, because I know that, even if the researchers felt that feeling better is more important than being thin (and that's a BIG if), our anti-fat atmosphere really promotes thinness over actual health and well-being. In fact, thinness seems to be regarded as shorthand for health and well-being, even though that isn't really true.

What researchers really need to be looking at is whether or not something makes people feel better and live more fulfilling, productive lives. I can definitely argue that eating breakfast DOES do those things, which is a good reason to eat it. Instead, we're worried about what will make people thinner, and it's a neurotic obsession that drives people to waste their lives weighing food, deliberately going hungry in an atmosphere of plenty, and eat foods they don't actually enjoy. Even when we ask about quality over quantity, those seeking thinness claim that there can be no quality of life without being thin--and I, and all the other FA bloggers, want them to know that it is simply not true.

Believe me, I do understand that discrimination and cruelty affect quality of life--I do! But instead of torturing your body in trying to make it more acceptable, which is usually an exercise in futility, join us in fighting for social change. Know that you've got a whole group of smart, strong, outspoken fat folks who are ready to support you. Know that yours is a shared experience.

So ask this question when a new study comes out: How will this make my life better? Don't worry about whether it will make you thinner.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still alive, still fat, no worries :)

I've been super busy with projects--including a photography project I'm working on for the cat rescue's fundraiser! It's going to be really sweet.

We've also had good luck with fosters lately. Ansel was adopted, and Graycie was spayed this past weekend--she tested negative for feline leukemia, thank goodness! Little frightened Clarence makes progress every day with his confidence, and I have high hopes for his eventual adoptability.

I hope everyone is doing well, and I will get back to writing soon; I just need to have some more time and energy to put into it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Foster kitty news

We've had a decent week here in our foster home. Sweet little Salvador got adopted by a very loving young woman. He had been so very sick and thin that I had her wait a couple of weeks while he was recovering. We had to switch his antibiotics to fight the infection. I also had to treat him for ear mites a couple of times. He was under four pounds at over six months old, and I am proud to say that he gained over a pound under our care! His new mom reports that he has stayed healthy, and she is absolutely in love with him!

Ansel, our black and white kitty, was very shy and skittish. He was especially afraid of hands, and he would flinch and cringe if we went to pet him near his head. One day, about a week ago, I was hanging out with him, and something just "clicked". I can't even describe it, but it was like he had some kind of epiphany. The trust barrier was broken in one instant, and he became a purring ball of love who wouldn't leave my side after that! He flirted, rubbed against us, threw himself on the floor and showed his belly until we rubbed his belly, and velcroed himself to my side at bedtime. He was a new cat!

Ansel is currently at the adoption center, waiting for someone to notice how wonderful he is. I visited him last night, and he was so happy to see me that he leapt into my arms when I opened the door to his enclosure. He then snuggled with me and flirted with the volunteer that was on duty! When he threw himself at her feet and looked up at her, I said, "He is asking you to rub his belly!" She replied, "Really? Cats don't normally do that!" So she gave him what he wanted, and he responded by being totally in love with her.

There was another cat, Onyx, out of an enclosure and getting exercise at the same time. Ansel was very polite and walked up to Onyx, rubbing against him and occasionally giving Onyx a gentle, friendly lick on the forehead. Onyx was pleased to have a nice friend, as was Ansel! They played together a little bit, but Ansel was mostly busy getting snuggles from his human friends.

Little Ianto got neutered on Sunday. He continues to have bad mood swings, but he's improving. He's attached to me and follows me everywhere, even to the bathroom. He wouldn't leave when I was taking a bath earlier, just curled up next to the tub and waited for me to finish. He's a sweet baby most of the time, now that he knows we are going to feed him and not abandon him. He is kind of growly when there is food around, though.

Poor Clarence is still afraid. The people who'd adopted him and returned him undid a lot of the trust I'd built with him. It was like they didn't touch him at ALL. He has certain "safe spots" where, if he's curled up in them, he will be just fine with me petting him. He is scared, though, if he's approached when he's walking around the house. We're working on it, poor baby. I can now scoop him up and hold him on my lap while I read, and he purrs the whole time instead of acting like I'm going to eat him.

Owl's not improved at all. All of the work I did just vanished after his adoption and return. Not only did they traumatize him; he also just seems to have some developmental delay issues. Not sure what's going to happen with him as he gets older, but I'm going to have to just ramp up my approach with him.

We have a new foster, Graycie. She was caught as a stray by a lady who brought her in to an adoption clinic. Brian and I were there to bring Ansel in, so it was kind of fortuitous for Graycie. She's six months old, and was being mounted by a male at at the time of her capture. We don't normally just take in cats that people bring us without warning, but the volunteers staffing the clinic were kind of at a loss as to what to do, and were on the phone with the director. We can't just have random untested cats in the center, in case of pathogens, so I told them that if the director was okay with it, we could take her and isolate her at our foster home. The director said that, as long as she wasn't feral, we could take her. I assessed her and determined she was not feral, so we kissed and hugged Ansel goodbye, put him in the enclosure reserved for him, and put little Graycie in the carrier. She's tiny, slate grey, and was really mad at us the first couple of days. She is a lot happier now, and she will be spayed on Sunday as long as her FeLV test is negative.

Yesterday, I visited a fellow foster mom, and I gave her some tips for dealing with a particularly difficult kitty. The first step was to trim kitty's claws, as it's hard to work with a creature that is capable of shredding you! It's the very first thing we do with new ones in this household, because they will tear us up even if they don't mean to. I also loaned her my Feliway plugin for her foster enclosure, and told her that kitty needs to be picked up and held, even if she doesn't want it to happen--she'll get accustomed to it once she realizes that kicking and fighting doesn't work anymore. My last email from the foster mom indicates that things are going pretty well, so that's good :)

So that's the state of things here. I've been putting a lot of effort into my business, my fosters, and my marriage the past couple of weeks, but I do have some blog ideas to write about, so hang tight during this little hiatus :)

My sweet love

I have been very busy of late. Last week was spent preparing for a surprise birthday party for the love of my life. It went perfectly, and he was quite happy. I wanted to talk about how much I love him, because I don't say it enough.

Brian works from 10am til 2am with a two hour break inbetween.

When he comes home, I like to watch him sleep, because he is so beautiful, and I like to look at him. I don't see him very much anymore, so every moment I get to be in his presence is precious to me. I don't want to sleep through those moments. I kept him up a bit late last night, first by having him help me clean Graycie's ears, then by making love to him, so I let him get to sleep right away tonight (he took a few minutes before going to bed to say hi to Graycie. She loves him).

I love to see him sleeping, so peaceful and lovely. His face is just so endearing to me, and I love cuddling up to him, sliding my hands over his smooth skin, feeling his muscles, stroking the little patches of body hair. I especially love the patch right below his navel; his body hair is very fine and smooth. He also has a patch right on his sacrum that I enjoy petting. Of course, I also play with his long, lovely head of hair, stroking it back from his face and clutching a lock of it while I press myself against him.

He's so warm and smooth and soft, and he smells so good. He doesn't understand that part; he isn't very big on smells, but his natural scent is intoxicating to me. I've never been able to date someone who didn't "smell" right to me, even if they were perfect in every other way. I also love to nuzzle my cats, enjoying their individual scents. Aakhu smells like a dry, dust summer breeze. Dom smells kind of like a fresh bandaid out of the package. Ptera, oddly enough, has a sweet vanilla odor--one that even Brian was able to detect.

Nuzzling Brian's back, neck, shoulders, chest...the scent of him just makes me want to eat him up. I have to restrain myself from nibbling on him when he needs to sleep; I want my sweetie to be rested enough to work safely, although I do want him to know how much I love him, and how much he turns me on.

And his sweet sleeping face, so guileless and relaxed. I adore his face, the strong nose, his full, well-defined lips, the high cheekbones, the naturally arched eyebrows, and, most of all, the beautiful smile. The smile is the first thing I noticed about him, so sweet, charming, and friendly. It reflects his kind, gentle heart. If I kiss his cheek, forehead, or, best of all, that little birthmark on his temple, he smiles in his sleep. That gives me a little thrill, a shiver that feels like it's deep in my body.

And then, there is his tendency to be surrounded by the feline family. His sleeping form is a cat magnet. They love him so very much; they see him as I do, as a gentle, tender soul who can be trusted not to cause harm. At the moment, little Ianto, just a troubled child of a cat, is pressed against Brian's hip, sprawled on his back, with a paw covering the face. Morgan is in her usual spot, tucked into the bend of his knees. Earlier, Dom was on Brian's pillow, a plush, purring hat, and sweet little Anya was snuggled against Brian's back. Ptera, at least, prefers me, and is frequently curled up in my arms, or under my blanket, pressed to my side. If she were here right now, she'd be in my lap, between me and the keyboard.

We all love him so much. His gentle touches, his harmonious voice, his snuggly body. He is so willing to cuddle and be cuddled. He is so unwilling to cause harm, purposely or inadvertently. He is always eager to use his hands to soothe aching muscles, give loving caresses, provide food and water and shelter to all of us. He is the most generous man I have ever known--generous with his material possessions, his body, his strength, and his feelings. I am the most fortunate person in the world to have chanced upon him; I could not ask for more, except to wish I'd met him sooner.