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Of course this is a completely invalid analogy

[ 2 ] August 6, 2009 |

I’m still not sure why, exactly, but I’ve been assured repeatedly that it just is.

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals [obesity researchers] should not tell gay [fat] clients they can become straight [thin] through therapy [dieting] or other treatments ["lifestyle changes"].

In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy [telling people to eat less and exercise more], a concept espoused by a small [gigantic] but [and] persistent group of therapists [weight loss "experts," your mother, your best friend, and the stranger in the grocery aisle], often allied with religious conservatives [almost everyone else in the culture], who maintain that gay men and lesbians [heavier than average people] can change [become thin].

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some [a great deal of] research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

The failure rate for “reparative therapy” isn’t any worse than the failure rate for attempts to produce significant long-term reductions in body mass in larger than average persons. (Or average or smaller than average persons for that matter). But somehow, while trying to turn a gay person into a straight person is now considered an irrational and destructive thing by all enlightened opinion, trying to make people thinner is considered a good thing, because they could be a lot thinner if they really wanted to be. They just could. Really. Because this guy over here lost 75 pounds and kept it off. But that’s not at all like that one guy who used to have sex with men but now doesn’t. Not at all. It’s totally different.

Comments (2)

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  1. ohands says:

    This was great.

  2. Jonathan says:

    For the sake of disclosure, I want to say that I do believe that obesity is a health risk. I don’t say that as a doctor, or as a nutritionist, only as someone who has been told their whole life that this is the case. If it is an incomplete perspective of the issue of fat vs. thin, and less defensible medically, as a growing number of voices are saying, than please forgive my indoctrination. But I guess my question comes from a different place. I understand how dehumanizing and judgmental certain comments can be about your body, because I’ve had a problem with my ‘figure’. Only it’s the other way. I’ve been too skinny. As in, scrawny skinny. As in Crohn’s Disease diarrhea-16-times-already-today emaciated malnourished skinny. People sometimes have the unimaginable gall to say I’m lucky to not have to worry about my weight. I only bring this up because, while my body issues are not the same as someone who is considered medically obese (certainly not culturally), I think I understand some of the emotions and self image issues associated with a socially undesirable body type. And during times of my worst illness, I had all sorts of advice on how not to be so skinny, check that, scrawny, no wait, skeletal. It was humiliating and dehumanizing. Lots of advice came about my diet, and what I should eat, how much, how often, with what, etc. Because Crohn’s can be debilitating and very painful, it made me test a whole range of different diets, some that offered a bit of relief, some diets that exacerbated the symptoms and landed me in the hospital. What was also so much of a struggle was the fact that there was no clinical evidence diet had ANY IMPACT ON CROHN’S. Sorry for all caps. But in my years of testing and refining, and learning, I found that certain foods didn’t do very well in me. Fast food gave me frightening diarrhea (I know that’s not totally uncommon), I know that ice cream goes right through me. No matter if it’s organic or coconut milk and agave or just the plain off brand vanilla. I’m absolutely getting to my point. I found that the foods that tended to be the worst offenders to my Crohns were also considered the least natural (burgers should decompose, ice cream does NOT grow on trees). After learning about the food industry, about which foods are most heavily subsidized (sugar and corn and soy, three ridiculously nutrient-less substances) I became angry. It’s the least healthy foods that are cheapest. Broccoli has just as much protein as red meat (when compared calorie to calorie – granted it takes A LOT of broccoli to match a lump of meats caloric density), cultured foods have shown clinically to have better immune system support than pastuerized products. So I guess this is my question, what I struggle with: I REALLY want to eat ice cream because it’s fucking awesome. And I can’t do it. I could, but then it becomes pain, not emotional, but real bleeding gut pain. So, if we associate a country’s (the US) largest subsidized products with the growing number of obesity, why are we saying obesity is a natural state? Does my question make sense? I really don’t want this to sound like an attack, and I certainly don’t want you or anyone to think I’m miserable with my eating habits now and I want everyone to be miserable with me. I make the best damn meatballs in the state of Texas. And holy shit I found the secret to pie crust it’s flaky every time I make. Every time. And I apologize if my wording is too wordy. I never want anyone to think I like them less or think them less worthy because of the shape of their body; I’ve been there. By the way, I did enjoy the perspective, I grew up Christian, and gays was the Devil’s work. If I could have been taught something so off base as a young child, I’m open to the probability that it happened in other areas as well. Thanks for putting this out there.

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