Another poster child for FA...

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http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/video-tv-anchor-takes-on-viewer-who-complains-about-her-weight/

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Slenderwife Slenderwife
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

There is so much going on here. I'm not sure she was bullied. But I'm not sure why the viewer took it upon himself to write the letter. I mean, it was a nicely worded letter full of truth, but wow.

Unless she is currently carrying a child, childbearing isn't a reason to be overweight.

Also, have you seen her husband? Normal weight guy, good-looking. He could almost be a poster here.

There's a lot going on with this story. I'd hate to see fatness become the norm.

Also, I live in a northern (colder) state like Wisconsin. I have noticed that the cold makes people turn to comfort foods and when I say I'm chilly, they give me crap about my (normal) weight. You should hear their cries of agony when it gets hot in the summer! They are dying under the extra insulation.
Andrea T Andrea T
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

"Obesity is one of the  worst choices a person can make and  one of the most  dangerous habits to maintain"

Sorry, not buying it. I don't  believe  that anyone that writes letters like that cares as much about anyones health as  having to see  fat people, especially in a setting that used to be   very focused  on   the anchorperson's looks.

Why not just be honest about it and say" If  I wanted to see fat chicks I'd watch Lifetime?"
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

In reply to this post by Slenderwife
Slenderwife wrote
There is so much going on here. I'm not sure she was bullied. But I'm not sure why the viewer took it upon himself to write the letter. I mean, it was a nicely worded letter full of truth, but wow.
Yes, I agree. I go back and forth about it. On the one hand, the letter attempted to be even-handed--and it was surely preferable to writing to the news station to tell them to get rid of the anchor! And he surely is right that obesity is a growing health issue in this country. On the other hand, the implication that she "still" has not lost weight, as though he checked in periodically to see, seems weird to me. Her response, too, evoked a double reaction in me. On the one hand, she is articulate and honest. On the other hand, turning her message into a anti-bullying advertisement in which she links being overweight with the color of one's skin or sexual orientation or acne (whoa. think for a minute about that set of terms.) was bizarre and self-serving. It was a personal letter and it was not anonymous, either. She could have ignored it instead of turning it into an occasion for self-martyrdom.

The really interesting element is why her husband posted it in the first place.  Yes, he wants to "support his wife"--but, ummmmm, might he also appreciate the opportunity of letting someone else bring up the issue he's wanted to broach but can't... let someone else be the "bad" cop, so that he can be the "good" cop while wife is forced to be "honest" about the situation...
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Andrea T Andrea T
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

I just  found the whole implication that she needs to be slender  to be  a good example for young  girls  creepy. Since when are role models supposed to be found on the idiot box?
Slenderwife Slenderwife
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

Good insight about the husband, Mme. X.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

This post was updated on .
Why, thank you, Slender!  Yes, I took a moment to think about what I would do if my husband shared some email he got criticizing him for being fat . Let's see.  I know! < smiley image="light bulb going off." > Post it on Facebook!

Are you kidding? Humiliate him under the guise of defending him?

But my vague and retrospective revulsion at the episode goes further. It's not just that the husband was using Facebook (of all things) and his sacred position as Defender of His Wife to broach a topic that he didn't have the balls to say to her directly in private ... but also that the wife was using her position as a NEWS ANCHOR to bully the poor schmuck of a lawyer into submission out of revenge and anger.

Really. Bullying is about malevolent use of power. Who has the "power" here? A dumb guy on a bike who succumbed to the temptation to give private and unsolicited advice? Or a news anchor with an audience of thousands (millions, counting the internet) who decides to take a cheap shot by turning herself into a martyr?

I don't usually agree with Brady a.k.a Diet Coach, but this one smacks of self-righteous fattitude as Exhibit A for Bullying.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Diet Coach Diet Coach
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

This post was updated on .
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Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

Well, but in this case, it's not the husband who is getting picked on or bullied. He is enabling his wife to pick on some other hapless guy who stupidly wandered into the situation trying to spread his gospel of fitness.

I still don't agree that "ridicule works" as a technique in marriage therapy. It just makes the one  doing the ridiculing look like a dork. I do see a place for ridicule in public situations, but even there, it is dicey territory--preferable to violence, but something that can spur violence and hurt in the long run.

Better to be gently frank than perpetually sarcastic. Besides, if one truly wants to ridicule one's partner, why stay married?
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Slenderwife Slenderwife
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

We only apologize because we've been conditioned, as women, to not look at appearance. Thanks, Disney. With your promise of princes but admonishment to love a Beast. I guess guys are crushed under all the PC-ness of "real women". It all sucks.
yorktown38 yorktown38
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

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burpo burpo
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

In reply to this post by Mme.X
Too many touch-points to address them all.

Obesity is commonly characterized as not only a choice, but as a lifestyle, that of a moral slouch.
To use twelve-step shorthand, an addiction is something that no longer helps, something that's taken on a life of it's own
and makes one's life unmanageable. It's something that is destructive, yet the knowing addict cannot stop on his/her own.
Seriously, (now, we're not talking about the mere muffin top, here) given all of the drawbacks; the immobility, breathing difficulty, public ridicule and self-loathing, why would anyone "choose" this?

I don't mean to be inflammatory, nor coddling, but there is a, shall we say, low-grade mental illness at play here.
For whatever reason (any destination can be reached from infinite roads), obese people have wound up at the holy shit end of many a spectrum. It's obviously hell, a nightmare. Many non-obesity related examples should come to mind of things that logically make good and sound sense, yet don't seem to resemble our patterns of personal choices. Relationship choices, how we yell at our kids, etc ...

It's like the middle class suburbanites who equate poverty with laziness.

Think of it like this. Some have asserted that being gay is a choice. Now, why would anyone choose to be part of a group that is routinely and savagely maligned and persecuted if it's just as easy to check column A?

If we could choose who we're attracted to, wouldn't we just choose a reasonable healthy person and be done with it?
We don't because, we don't choose attraction. It chooses us. "Free will" choices are mostly multiple choice, not essay.
We choose from that which we can perceive as options. Some of us simply don't see things the way others do.

Also, madness is compounding. I don't wish to elaborate, as I could go on all night. Just think about it.

To wrap up, those of you who find it effortless to judge are truly blessed. You obviously lead lives free from problems of any adult moral complexity, thus you cannot relate to (or even perceive) what happens when you find yourself in an evaporating puddle of functionality.

People who are truly extreme in their circumstance are not there because it's a fucking picnic.
They are there, desperately trying not to sink farther.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

burpo wrote
...an evaporating puddle of functionality.
Truly a beautiful, evocative, heart-rending phrase.

Alas, where does that leave the spouse...?
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
burpo burpo
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

This post was updated on .
I'm always baffled when presented with questions like this.
(Reading back over this, I realize that this sentence may come off as snotty. I DO NOT mean to.)

None of this stuff happens overnight. Often, if there's an infidelity or some other type of breakdown in the relationship,
you find that the relationship had a crappy foundation, intimacy-wise, to begin with.

When my girlfriend comes home, I can tell by her face if she's had a good or bad day, but so many people live with a true disassociation from their partner, then get all pissed off if "she got fat."
No parent whose kid winds up turning tricks for meth says, "Up until that day, we always ate dinner as a family..."
(No. I'm not espousing Neo-Con "family values." I'm saying that constant communication minimizes surprises.)

"Where does that leave the spouse?" I don't know. Is the spouse part of the problem, enabling, etc...? Is the spouse standing there, arms folded, feeling entitled to an unaging, unchanging sex object. Is the spouse at the end of their rope in dealing with someone whose disease has eclipsed the person they first met and committed to?   Is the addict/obese person seeking help?

Every situation is different. That's my point. Simplistic reactions and sloganeering are of no use. In fact, they are destructive.

Are you wanting your spouse to get better or are you feeling gyped?

Is this about having a healthy, loving and functional relationship or about having all of the "finer things" that you "deserve"?

By the way, if your spouse's reasoning is of the simple, "Eew, you got fat" variety, let 'em go. Then, get some help. You're better off without someone like that. As a dear friend used to put it, "Fuck that noise."

Far too many people cry "victim" when it's revealed that they entered a marriage without doing their homework or paying attention to the all-too-visible warning signs. If you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to know better. Remember, you chose this person. You weren't assigned and most people, at the dating stage, give you indicators of all of the personality traits they're likely to have. We often just refuse to plug the big numbers into the equation, so we are caught "unawares" when answer is a disaster.

How many times has some young woman just giggled when I've said, "He's self-centered. Dump him"? She thought he was being cute and alpha male. A year later, she's got a face covered in gooey mascara, pretending that she only now has discovered that she's bonded with someone she sees as a monster.

PS: I do think that each partner has a responsibility to be as attractive as possible to their partner and to not just be intimate when one is "in the mood." (If your partner wants closeness and you're not in the mood, damn it, GET in the mood. That is your partner, for Pete's sake. Part of monogamy is not sleeping around, but the other part is dancing with the one who brung ya.) But, I wouldn't leave my partner high and dry, to figure all of this shit out on her own and bring me the spoils of victory. Why have a relationship if it's to merely have one more person to disappoint, rather than an ally?

BTW, John Singer Sargent is the Man.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

burpo wrote
Is the spouse part of the problem, enabling, etc...?
Obviously. In all cases. As long as one is staying in the relationship. But that was the agreement.
burpo wrote
Is the spouse standing there, arms folded, feeling entitled to an unaging, unchanging sex object.
No. But that doesn't mean the spouse doesn't perceive it as such.
burpo wrote
Is the spouse at the end of their rope in dealing with someone whose disease has eclipsed the person they first met and committed to?
Yes
burpo wrote
Is the addict/obese person seeking help?
No.
burpo wrote
Are you wanting your spouse to get better or are you feeling gyped?
Well, both. I'm not so naive as to believe in justice in this world, but that doesn't prevent me from feeling like a toy that never got taken out of the box. Is that my fault? Hey, you were the one who said that one doesn't choose one's situation. Was it my fault that I was afraid of sex and anything approaching an alpha male because of a wild sister growing up? Was it my fault to hope that if I thought that by being the most fantastic wife in the world, offering everything a man could want, that I could make him happy even though, yes, I knew very well that he was depressed?
burpo wrote
Far too many people cry "victim" when it's revealed that they entered a marriage without doing their homework or paying attention to the all-too-visible warning signs. If you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to know better.
Please. You yourself said how complicated these things are. What--is one going to wait around for Mr. Darcy to appear? It's always a package, and sometimes more than others a surprise package. Not because the signs weren't there, but because one is not sure which way someone will grow. We are all, each of us, a multiplicity.
burpo wrote
Remember, you chose this person.
Thanks for the reminder.
burpo wrote
If your partner wants closeness and you're not in the mood, damn it, GET in the mood. That is your partner, for Pete's sake. Part of monogamy is not sleeping around, but the other part is dancing with the one who brung ya.
If you knew how hard I worked, you would see the cruelty in this line. And I think it applies to so many of the other TS's on this site.

What is your stake in all of this? Who are you? You offer thoughtful comments, but are you also one of those, like Paradoxically and Brady (a.k.a. Diet Coach) who descend upon this site in order to offer advice from a distance? No disrespect intended.

Thanks for your comments.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
burpo burpo
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

First off, I'd like to offer you an apology. When I use the word "you," I am in no way meaning you, the individual in the most personal sense. When writing my contributions to this post, I use the word "you" the way a stand-up comedian or politician addresses the crowd.

The points I try to make (I do not claim to be an expert) are not EVER in the hopes of slamming any individual. True, my frustrations leak out and I do take responsibility for that.

There is no Original Sin, here. No one here invented this poker game. We are just playing the cards we're dealt. Hopefully, the more we play, the smarter we play.

What is my stake in this? I am a participating member of society. This is an important issue, one that touches on many more important issues.

Personally, I have spent the last dozen years in a free-fall of mental and physical sorts. Sepsis. Schizo-effective lapses. Multiple and contradictory diagnoses. Hospital time. I've lost some neuro-functionality, been plagued with rampant suicidal ideation and gained so much weight that washing dishes or taking a shower is difficult.
I have an encyclopaedic catalogue of nasty and judgmental reactions from the most casual passers-by.

Madame X, I hope you believe this. I am not your adversary. I wish you love and comfort, however and wherever you find it.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

Thank you, Burpo, for your frankness, care, good wishes, and effort to post, which, being an action, does always take effort. And of course I believe you. There is something in your words that betrays that sort a kind of transparency and thoughtfulness and substance which is only born of experiencing (or the ability to imagine experiencing) (and the ability to feel) somethink akin to what you describe.

You do not owe me any apology. I'm just having a bad day--woke up sick, after a day in which I exerted myself, my energy, my life force, my will, my every fiber of positive being, all in the service of hope which was shattered.  Oddly, I also ended up shattering two things: my old pyrex measuring cup, which fell to the floor in a million pieces, such that even the larger pieces themselves contained infinite spider webs of internal fracture. And then the framed name plate thingy outside my office fell just now--again the sound of shattering glass. And I'm just the sort to take these things metaphorically. So if I sound crusty, please don't take it personally. Your comments are not flippant, or control-freaky, and frankly, it is just nice to be able to speak. I hang so many hopes on such little things, and then when the Big Picture reasserts itself in a Big Way, a feel a bit bruised.

You're a writer, by the way. If not by profession or conviction, then in your soul somewhere. And that surely is ravelled into any solace or "recovery" you discover. I'm still back at the disappearing puddle. Those phrases are rare to encounter, and really such a pleasure. Thanks.

I feel better now.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
burpo burpo
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

I rarely offer advice, especially of the unsolicited variety.
So, feel free to ignore.


Be gentle with yourself... and be sure to get what you need.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

burpo wrote
... and be sure to get what you need.
But how?? How? How? Compromise my convictions, my sense of self, the idea of fidelity that shadows every surface in my life--in order to feel that passion which defines my character and seems to grow with equal strength from the depths of my being??

At bit excessive and self-indulgent here.

Sorry.

But truly, your advice is appreciated!
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
burpo burpo
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

What I mean is a little more immediate, a little more manageable.

Even if you're in a Big Picture struggle (there's always a Big Picture struggle), listen to your body.

If you're tight in the chest, go outside, to a bathroom stall or just sit in your chair, close your eyes and
breathe.

If you are overwhelmed by your thoughts, maybe you need to zombie out to the stupidest sitcom imaginable.

Pull off the road.

Sing at the top of your lungs. Scream from their bottom.

Visit a friend, even if over the phone.

Buy yourself something dumb for under five bucks, then give it away when you're done playing with it.

Introduce yourself to a stranger with a fake name. (fake accent- +50pts.)

Take the minor detour. Trust me, all of your crap will still be waiting for you when you get back.




Should not your convictions be your passions?
LiveLifeWell LiveLifeWell
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Re: Another poster child for FA...

In reply to this post by Mme.X
Great responses MX.  

Burpo offers an  overly simplified (yet well stated) view from the opposite side of the fence.  It's not easy on EITHER side.  That's the whole point.

Definitely Side B of Diet Coach.
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