I know I’ve been really ranty lately so today I wanted to do a pleasant blog about something positive, like ponies – but the government just keeps doing dumb ass things to fat people so we’re going to do a little from column A, a little from column crap.
First I saw this article (trigger warning: fat shaming, correlation vs. causation error, headless fatty pictures, comments as expected, including suggesting that we should just starve poor fat people, I hope that person’s mama is proud.) The headline states “Obese Adults Should Get Counseling, Federal Task Force Says” so already I’m super psyched.
It seems that “a federal health advisory panel on Monday recommended that all obese adults receive intensive counseling.” While I can see how we might need counseling to help us deal with all the BS we encounter from the useless War on Obesity, sadly this would just be more weight loss propaganda – but in counseling form. The news study didn’t say how many people on the advisory panel stood to profit from the recommendation, but I’m curious. My first question was answered by this sentence “The panel acknowledged that one problem with its recommendation was that no studies have shown such intensive programs provide long-term health benefits.”
Wait…What? Let me get this straight – ONE of the problems is that they have no reason to believe that this will work. If that’s the case, does it matter what the other problems are? Are there problems bigger than the fact that they want to spend a ton of money on an intervention which has no basis in evidence? Why are they still considering this?
Obesity is not a disease, but even if it was, I would not submit to being part of an experimental treatment. Even if we pretend that obesity is a disease, there are NO OTHER DISEASES where everyone who has the disease is constantly subjected to experimental treatments with no evidence basis and without being informed of the experimental nature of the treatment or that it fails 95% of the time, and that 80% of the time it results in the exact opposite of the intended outcome; all by people who are making tens of billions of dollars a year in profits selling the experimental interventions without ever being asked to provide evidence of efficacy, and in fact blaming the people with the disease when they are not cured. And the reason that doesn’t happen is because it would be completely nuts. Patient’s rights advocates would rightly freak the hell out. As fat people, we have the right to freak the hell out. We have the right to say no to this, vehemently. We have the right to refuse to be experimented on, especially at our expense and for someone else’s profit, especially when the “diagnosis” is a simple ratio of height and weight.
Here’s how I expect my counseling session would go:
Counselor: “Ragen, are you aware that your body is a socially unacceptable size to which I am erroneously attributing disease causality.” No wait, that’s what they should say, what they would probably say is “Ragen, are you aware that you are obese and that you need to lose weight to be healthy?”
Me: “I didn’t consent to be the subject of an experimental treatment with no evidence basis, so first how about you provide me with evidence that this counseling is likely to lead to permanent weight loss, let’s say over a five year period, with no negative side effects. I’ll wait” And then I die of old age in the chair before he/she can produce any evidence.
Then I found out that the government in Western Australia teamed with Heart Foundation and Cancer Council WA to create television spots that show pictures body fat, making it look as disgusting as possible (as if the rest of our innards look like cute fuzzy bunnies) in an effort to shame and terrify people into losing weight. Now, it’s not that people aren’t trying to lose weight (the diet industry makes billions every year), it’s that weight loss hardly ever works, and when it does there’s no proof that it makes people healthier in the long term.
But the WA government can’t be bothered with annoying facts and evidence – they’ve got to “do something” about obesity. Apparently they didn’t feel that it was enough that the media, government, medical establishment etc. work day and night to make fat people ashamed and terrified of how we look on the outside, now they want us to also be ashamed and terrified of how we look on the inside as well. I say fuck a bunch of that – I’ll hold a sign that says “beautiful inside and out” while wearing a glittery pink argyle bikini and holding a body scan picture, and the WA government can come kiss my big fat ass.
So I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring of suggesting random crap for “curing” obesity. I think that every fat person should get a pony. Why the hell not? Who knows, maybe ponies are the key to thinness. I have precisely as much evidence to support my theory as the US and Australian governments have to support theirs and they are looking at millions, maybe billions of dollars of funding for their programs. If we’re going to waste my tax dollars then I’d like to waste them on a pony, because even if I don’t get thin (which of course I won’t) – hey, pony! Of course, I’d rather have my tax dollars go toward making evidence-based healthcare from HAES doctors available and affordable for me, but I think the pony thing might actually be more likely.
Activism Opportunity – They want a war on obesity? Let’s give them one.
Sign the petition against the WA fat shaming campaign. [trigger warning: it contains a picture of body fat. I don’t personally think that’s triggering because it’s just what we look like on this inside, but I wanted to let you know.)
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76 thoughts on “Government to Give a Pony to Every Fat Person”
Since we are constantly judged by weight- how about the bigger you are the more PONIES you get?!? Seriously, thanks for taking all the crap out there & turning it on it’s head & helping us laugh about it!
Given how much research would have to be conducted (because it isn’t being conducted now, because they keep wasting it on these useless goddamn weight loss studies) and how many doctors freshly trained or untrained and then retrained (because so few of them have any fucking clue), giving all of us a pony might even cost less than the other.
Hell yeah! PONY!
And sign me up for the bikini wearing, kiss my big fat ass parade! I’m so THERE!
Thank you, Ragen.
You beat me to it, Mari! I want, I want, I want! Although I’ve never been a bikini girl, so I’ll take my glittery pink argyle in a one-piece, please — preferably one of those cool retro 40s-ish styles.
I noticed the “one drawback” thing, too. On the bright side, at least they admitted to that. There was another story I spotted in the news on this same topic quoting someone who claimed that there were effective methods people just needed to know about.
As for the medicalization of obesity — I believe a healthy human body maintains its body weight fairly well. (That much ballyhooed pound a year between 20 and 40? That’s a potato chip a day. Write that in your food log.) At my heaviest, I was hypothyroid, and couldn’t get a Dx because I kept testing high normal — despite exhaustion and going through gallons of hand cream and hair conditioner. No food log was going to kick my thyroid into action, nor would it have been an easy task to increase my activity when it was all I could do physically to drag myself through the day. I get so frustrated when doctors do not assess whether the weight is actually creating a problem and do not look for underlying issues.
I have every symptom of hypothyroidism but test normal. What’s up with that? Is the established “normal” range wrong or is there something about being obese that makes our tests wonky?
I’d like to know that too – I test normal, but I can’t get warm, my skin is dry and flaky, and I have serious, long term problems with fatigue that’s wrecking my life 😦 When I say “I can’t get warm” I mean when it drops below 70 I’m wearing two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and layering shirts under my jacket. While everyone around me is in jeans and t-shirts, bare armed.
About thyroid, I dont know if this is any help but your thyroid can put put the right amount of hormone but the cells dont accept it just like in insulin resistance. Science hasnt craked the code to make the cells accept the hormones. Hope this helps you.
Nothing about being obese makes the test wonky, but there are two different “normal” ranges — I think the usual standard is .5 to 4.5, while some argue for .3 – 3.0. I am pretty sure I was testing above 3 at the time, and I felt like hell, so I tend to think the latter is more accurate. I always encourage people that if they clearly have the symptoms but are high normal to have the doc check again.
Yes, your speculation about the testing ranges is correct. Specifically, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists changed their recommendations in… 2002? to the 0.3 to 3.0 range. However, a lot of labs continue to use the older range (0.5 to 4.5 or 5.0) as their reference — which means that a lot of individual providers also use those older ranges by default.
I don’t know what it is about being overweight and testing normal/high for thyroid or what it is about labs not accepting new range of thryoid range. But trying float euthyroid sick syndrome to your doctor. I told my doctor I know I’m hypothyroid and I’m going to see every doctor in a 100 mile radius until someone treats me for me. He did, wouldn’t give me the hypothryoid diagnoses, but would diagnose euthyroid sick syndrome, but I got synthroid. He even ended up upping my dosage several times. Low and behold, I started getting regular 28 day periods with normal temperature shifts, which I hadn’t had in 10 years. Too bad it was too late to have a kid. Gee, I guess I wasn’t missing my period just because I was a fat load
I did eventually get the hypothyroid diagnoses I know to be correct, but that was long and complicated and I won’t bore you with the details. Keep pushing your doctor to treat you like a person and not a weight.
The same doctor how made the cookie diet, Dr. Segel (sp) in Fl. did a research study and found that just like people have insulin resistance, some people have other hormone resistance. The thyroid glad can be putting out the right amout of hormone but the cells are not accepting it. That is why the tests show everything is fine. Talk to your doctor about it. The spelling of his name could be Seigel or something. Google him. You can read about it. Good luck and hope this helps you.
The accepted normal range is actually pretty broad, and it is possible that your T4 levels are not optimal for you(normal does not mean normal for YOU). I had a similar difficulty, and I’m doing much better with a higher synthroid dose. It could also be that you don’t have enough T3. I recommend the book “It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!” by Dr Elizabeth Lee Vliet. There’s a good section about thyroid problems in it, and lots of other great info as well.
If they succeed in medicalizing obiesity – then our ponies would be service animals!!!!
As a trainee counsellor, I would want no part of it. It goes completely against my ethics and those of my hoped-for profession.
I’d like the pony, though. Shetland variety, please.
As a counselor for most of my adult life, I also want no part of this. It frankly pisses me off to see the word mis-used to really mean “insult, condescend, lie to, manipulate, direct, and control”.
I hear ya!
Yep, there are just small issues like informed consent and respecting clients right to self-determination. Oh, and those pesky requirements for beneficence and non-malfeasance…
Exactly! Do you think if this idea goes ahead, that *any* ethical counsellors will be involved? I doubt it – they’ll all be weightloss coaches. It will be like being counselled by Jillian Michaels…
I gather that it’s primary care docs that they want to do the “counseling,” which again, as I understand it, will consist mainly of “Hey, you’re fat. Did you know that? Follow this diet. ‘bye.” Were some real counselors to be involved, I’m sure some ethical ones would want to get in on it in order to re-direct clients/patients toward HAES, healthy self esteem, safe foods, and so forth.
I want a pony.
Sure, I’ll agree that this particular fat person needs counseling–because I need counseling but can’t afford it. The kind of counseling I need is cognitive behavioral therapy, because I tend to allow the diatribe of idiots to completely destroy me. I need to stop hearing the voices that say I’m a worthless piece of shit and start hearing the ones that say I’m pretty cool no matter what some fucknut who needs a scapegoat says.
Based on this comment alone, I’m saying you are pretty cool. If I had a pony I would give it to you.
I would like cognitive behavioral therapy and a pony, please.
No, strike that. I would like my own Pilates Reformer instead of a pony. Someone else can have my pony.
You’re a genius. I want a pony.
How about hot tubs for those of us who don’t have room for a pony?
I honestly think a puppy would contribute greatly to my health and well being right now, and it would be cheaper than a pony, so yes, please government, give me a puppy!!!!
Heck, I think you’re on to something here. Pets have actually been proven to increase health, where weight loss hasn’t, so if the government used all those Hate And Shame Dollars to adopt homeless animals like ponies and puppies and kitties and bunnies and etc. and distribute them to the fatties of their respective countries, we’d be solving a big homeless pet problem and contributing to public health in one!!!! OMG HURRY LET’S WRITE TO OUR CONGRESSPEOPLE.
I’d promise to take me pony for a walk every day! :). If a dog is a good way to make friends, then how much better would a pony be at it!?!
*hifives!* Heck yeah! I would be your friend, and we could walk our puppy and pony together. Pretty soon it would start to look like a parade! Maybe we could even start a dog and pony show! We could call it something like Big Fat Talent, or Cute Injections or the Fluffy Health Squad… hm I’m running out of silly/ironic ideas but you get the picture. 😉
I want a pile of kittens, but I’ll harness train them, so we can go for walks with your pony and puppy. Or the kittens can ride on the pony’s back which is the CUTEST THING EVER.
And strong social support networks are associated with better health, so we’d be improving our health on that front too!
Did you say you needed a BASKET OF KITTENS? http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sevenkittens there you go. 🙂 Cute overload. Seven Kitten Livestream FTW. Also, I would like a pony. Or a horse – I always wanted a horse. LOL
I want a pony and a cat. Having pleasant contact with animals has been shown to lower blood pressure. I cannot see that having either would lower my weight, but dieting certainly wouldn’t lower my weight and didn’t do so over all the years that I struggled to accomplish it.
At least we would all be happier, with a pony or a pony and a cat.
I don’t need a pony and I already have three cats. So I would be happy if the government would just give me my share of the counseling funds in cash, to be spent on the feel-good method of my choosing…
Hookers and blow, anyone? 😉
Statistically, thinness correlates with higher incomes. So I think giving us lots of money would be a great intervention to test.
Ponies would probably go further toward improving the mental health of a lot of fat people in our fat-hate-stuffed culture. At least, I know I’d be much happier with a pony than I would listening to a counselor tell me how I’m going to DIE HORRIBLY for no apparent reason. Even if the pony was a bitey one.
So now we who are obese are all insane overeaters who need mental help in order to keep away from the Twinkies? As if there weren’t enough real problems out there already. How about mental health professionals to help heal the damage done by stigma and shame?
How about using the already limited resources on people who actually need it. If you’ve ever been to the Mission District in downtown Los Angeles, you will see there are many homeless people there who are in need of mental health care. But they go without for want of resources.
So of course it is far more important to save the poor fatties from themselves than help people in real need.
Could I get a duck instead. I have a pool and no room for a pony. Great post as usual. I wonder if I could get a taxpayer grant to do counseling for people who grow hair on their arms. I could councel them not to grow hair, it probably wouldnt work anyway but the tax payers can pay for it and everyone who grows hair on their arms would be required to sign up. Sounds good to me.
I am exceedingly fond of this reply.
When I began reading the linked article I was happy that at least they pointed out that requiring us to pay extra for health care is punitive. However, when I got to the part where that dipshit doctor says that we need to get the counseling EVEN IF WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT, I was so enraged that I had to stop reading for a few minutes. Seriously??!! Again because if we don’t get the counseling we might not know that we are fat? I mean given the shitty treatment we get from society as a whole I amsure we are clueless that we are fat!! Seriously, these people need to get their heads outta their assholes!
Oh, and sign me up for a pony please.
fucking SERIOUSLY? OBESE adults instead of say, HOMELESS adults? If they want to provide counseling to everyone there are tons of populations vulnerable to mental illness who could use it more than obese people.
Ponies for everyone!
I would like to donate my share of counseling dollars toward rehabilitation for people addicted to drugs. I look forward to having my pony help me carry my groceries to the car!
I’d like a monkey and a pony, please. As a therapist, this whole thing makes me laugh. Funding is tight enough for people who want it and can’t afford it. Imagine people who don’t need it and don’t want it… First thing you learn in therapist school: the counselor supports…doesn’t manipulate. Sheesh.
Can I get a small pool instead? My yard isn’t big enough for a pony, and it’s like fiftyzillion degrees here lately, so I’d like a large vat of water set up in a shaded spot (since I’m so pale I glow in the dark, which means sunburns unless I stay in the shade and sometimes even then heh) where I could just lounge all day like the hippo they claim I am.
Alternately, I’d settle for a small chicken coop and enclosed run full of bantam chickens… sure, the eggs are the next thing to useless since they’re like a teaspoon of egg each, but OMG y’all, bantam polish chickens are absolutely the most ridiculously cute chickens on earth! And the cochins that look like little fat round chicken-balls… so… adorable…
We used to have bantams and one of them laid XL eggs. No kidding! But if you’re going to get Polish don’t to a mixed flock. The other hens can’t resist pecking their heads–I had to give mine a haircut to get the others to leave them alone! I miss the girls…plan to get another chicken tractor as soon as I get my next hip replaced.
How about Japanese silky bantams? They look like big cotton balls with beaks! 😀 They just beg to be cuddled.
I don’t think I want a pony…maybe something bigger, like a Clydesdale or some other really big kind of horse. I think I would look pretty badass riding my Clydesdale everywhere. If that’s not possible, how about my very own litter of Shiba Inu puppies? Yeah, that would be fun. More cute than I would know what to do with.
I actually think the counseling might be a really good idea. In fact, I’m envisioning a “counseling center” with spacious comfy furniture, lovely water features, lot’s of accessibility for people of all abilities. There are counseling rooms for fat individuals and large group rooms for lots of fat expressive arts programming. And, of course, being a practical social work type who understands the effect of stress can have a huge impact on health, there will be dually trained massage psychotherapists who will provide 50 minute massage sessions to help you work out your “issues” with mandated treatment. There will likely be a jacuzzi, as well.
Fully funded by the government. Now that’s a use of tax dollars I can get behind.
Oh, and the pony stable will be on the grounds as well. Can’t forget the healing power of ponies (no really, there are equine therapy programs).
I LOVE your idea of counseling. This center sounds lovely! Of course there will need to be spa treatments. Since we need to get in touch with our bodies…
I’m in an equine therapy program. It’s pretty cool, actually.
I can’t even read the article. Makes me want to scream. I’m grateful that you were so kind as to give a synopsis. 🙂
I am tired of the political brain-trusts sponsoring such nonsense. Don’t we have enough need for basic medical care and not enough money to cover it? Why create more?
I like all the remarks in the various replies about giving us animal companionship instead. I have seen many articles detailing studies which found that the companionship of pets increase quality of life which impacts health in a positive manner.
As for the pony… I would not turn down a pony, we have the room, but I’m not sure we’re in a good position to pay for the upkeep of a pony. We have a few cats already, I’d take subsidies for their food/veterinary care instead!
lol, I like the cat subsidy idea! We’ve got five of them and I swear every time one of us gets paid, someone needs the vet. Last week my husband was all giddy that he got paid and ALL the bills were current, we had no outstanding non-recurring debts waiting for a paycheck, and in short the entire sum of the cash could be considered somewhat discretionary in the sense that we could afford to fix any one or two of the eleventy-hundred things that were waiting for that mystical ‘if we ever get a little extra money…’ day to arrive.
Half hour later I get an instant message “Come look at Isis’s eye please…” I swear it’s like they KNOW. Fortunately it turned out to be nothing, she just got into a spat with one of the other cats and apparently got a little scratch next to her eye. Nothing requiring a vet bill. But still, it was a bad moment for a second!
So, do I have to engage in a counseling session, or do I just get an hour of the counselor’s time? Because they could clean my house or run my errands. I’m certain that would improve my health!
Nadira, I like your idea. Great one.
I love this idea also… at the very least, they could do dishes! hehe
Let’s start a movement! Ponies for Fatties! Not only would the ponies AND all their food and lodging be cheaper for the gummint than intensive “counseling” and the ensuing mental and physical health costs of increased fat stigma, they would make us happier. I suppose I could flex enough to allow people their kitties, chickens, and ducks, but really, aesthetically, I just want to see Pony Nation, where the huge increase in the pony population would cause massive change to our whole infrastructure. Every store would have to have pony parking lots. Pony transport for taking your pony on vacation, to the office, etc, would be a growth market. Every street would need a pony path as well as a sidewalk. What do we want? Ponies! When do we want them? NOW!
You are absolutely adorable!
I’ll take the pony if they’re paying for the upkeep. Oh, and I would TOTALLY offer up some of my yard for other ponies should people with smaller yards wish to house them here. I’ve got a few spare acres! 😀
See, this is how solutions are discovered! People coming together and sharing resources…
I think they’d be service animals, too. Going into stores & restaurants! I think I want a llama! They are sooo adorable in their little harnesses!
Pony ramps and pony-accessible spaces! That would benefit people of all sizes who live with disabilities.
I will confess: I am not as healthy as I could be. If someone said, “Here, let me offer you some counselling to help you feel more confident to be active and make healthy choices.” I would be okay with that.
Unfortunately, this would not be that. This would more likely be, “Hey, just in case that lifetime of shame hasn’t fucked you up already, let me pile some more on there. Good luck with that confidence and emotional eating habits!”
And for that matter, I don’t think everyone should be subject to it because of their size. I would like it; I wouldn’t force it on anyone else.
Ponies are lovely, but I haven’t the room, the income, or the inclination to own one at present I’m afraid.
OTOH, I would just adore to have a sheep. It could take care of the wild overgrowth of both the front and back yards, and what with having recently taken up needle felting, I can see lots of advantages to having all the rovings I could possibly ever use right at my fingertips. Maybe I would even take up spinning yarn and try my hand again at knitting.
Or, if I decide I don’t like having a sheep around, I could always make a lovely mutton stew. Mmmm… delicious sheep.
Yes, I am sick. It’s just my sense of humor always is.
There is that. And “pony stew” just doesn’t sound delicious at all. I can’t ride a pony though. WTB 1 Morgan Horse (and the land to keep it on… i don’t think our suburban backyard has enough space LOL)
I’ll take an alpaca and an Ashford Traveler spinning wheel instead of a sheep. I do love to knit and spin. I don’t like to sit around and talk about why I’m fat so that I can lose the weight. (Note: I already tried that. It didn’t work. Granted, I’m much more able to deal with my mother’s BS. So there is that.)
May I please have a Unicorn?
This is a total aside but it came to mind when you mentioned how we look inside.
[Trigger Warning: living human organs]
We may not all be fuzzy bunnies inside but have you seen this amazing, awesome, and award-winning photo of the human brain?
As an obese person who loves ponies (and horsies), I approve of this plan. Because even if — like every other current weight loss plan — the pony thing doesn’t work, at the end of it, I will still have a pony.
Just a thought: If the government was *actually* concerned about our health, how about they stop poisoning the water and stop using genetically modified fruits and vegetables (that are then covered in pesticides)? Hmm? How about that? Or what if they paid people a living wage so that we don’t have to work 18 hours a day, usually sitting at a desk somewhere, not getting much needed physical activity. What would that look like? Maybe it would result in weight loss for a whole bunch of people. I mean, that’s just as likely as more fat shaming being the “cure” for fat.
Honestly, I’ve just about lost faith in the whole medical system. After being on this planet for 26 years, my doctors have JUST NOW realized that I’m hypoglycemic and thus, much of the food I’ve been putting in my body is as good as poison to it. Also, apparently based on my blood type, I’m supposed to avoid things like dairy, eggs and red meat. I’ve never felt so freakin’ stupid in all my life that it’s taken me a quarter of a century to figure these things out. But I guess with all the rampant DISinformation out there, I shouldn’t beat myself up too much.
Can I have a kitten instead of a pony? My apartment is waaaaaaay too small for a pony.
I had to say something about the news I’m reading about new the diet drugs, just like the old diet drugs. Stockholders are getting rich now so that they can run when the women who take them get heart valve trouble. Science is dead in America. It was eaten by greed. So sad.
Bravo!!! I adore your courage and scientific attitude — I am a science major and through my own study come to a belief that gene and pre-disposition leads to a very wide range of metabolic equilibrium, in plain English that means everyone’s BODY has a different balance weight that it would tend to return to if it is exercising and dieting in the same scale as all other people. I think if one is eating healthy, exercising regularly, and maintain metabolic health, then one deserves to feel good about whatever bodyshape they are in. I am sending this blog to every friend of mine…
I am Asian and for my entire teenage years and early twenties, I was obsessed about the fact that I am bigger than almost everyone else around me. Then I came to US to study and found out I actually wear size 4 clothes and look perfectly normal compared to everybody else around me. It is so arbitrary — what we consider as “normal”, what we consider as “beautiful”! I’ve had boy friends in Asia telling me that I should lose weight since his arm cannot go around my waist, but after I came to US all the men I have dated told me that if I get any skinnier, they would bump into my bones when hugging me, and my weight have not changed between there and here… Alas, after ten years struggle I have decided that I will not let other people’s standards dictate how I view my body. I hike regularly and eat healthy, and have put on a few more pounds since I am aging, and my metabolism has slowed down a bit, but that does not bother me any more.
Finally, I want to mention that in the Tang Dynasty of China, fat is also taken as beautiful, so is in ancient India. I think the concept of beauty is highly shaped by social economical concerns, therefore in Africa, when hunger is still a realistic concern, being fat indicates a good social economic status, therefore is envied by everyone else. On the contrary, in current developed countries such as US, there is such an abundance of material wealth that the standards of beauty has shifted to the other extreme — isn’t it funny to comply with such arbitrary preferences of society?
Could I please have the main cast of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” delivered to my door? That would make me one happy little chubster. 😀
– MRS KH
Please share! I want a Twilight Sparkle ❤
I was just about to post how this would make Bronies ecstatic, and then noticed, there already was a thread about MLP: FiM. 😀
I want a pony!! I’m almost certain that there is more evidence that animals make people happier than that counselling cures obesity.
Also, I love your sense of humor and attitude.
I am sadly not over 18, and so cannot sign.
Warm and fuzzy innards….
Knitted digestive tract: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60206.0#axzz2WkqtouVc
Knitted animal disections: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aKNITomy