Update On Everything.


Things have been going well. I have been eating paleo for 23 days now. This will end tomorrow. It simply will not be practical to eat that way while in Sydney. I will not have a lot of control over the amount of sugar in things or the ingredients. And I have been reading about these gelato places for *months* and longing to try them.

This is going to be a very interesting thing, to see how my body handles sugar now. I wonder if I will get an appetite back. I still do not have one.

My intentions are to go back to Paleo when I return home, and start over again.


I recently mentioned in my food exhaustion post about the huge amounts of meat involved with Paleo. On second thoughts, it is not truly that meaty. I think the reason it seemed like a lot more meat for me is because I did not eat very much of it beforehand. If I did eat meat, 9 times out of 10 it would be chicken.

I certainly didn’t eat things like pork or beef much previous to going Paleo – unless out somewhere and it was served to me as a surprise. An occasional pork roast, tacos with beef, a hamburger or a spaghetti bolognaise were the extent of my experience with those foods. I’m so excited about pork, I am a huge fan of it now. Beef I can take or leave.

I have been cooking meat in bulk which is not something I ever did before, so it seems like a lot more meat in the diet when you put in a 1.5kg (3 pound) pork roast, a 1.5kg beef roast or 4-6 chicken breasts into the pressure cooker. But most of the meals I cook in there I get 8+ meals out of and some of them end up frozen for eating later.


I think the most important thing for me has been cutting out the sugar. I think has changed everything.

I have always been someone who chooses full fat over fat free because I find what they replace the fat with is generally sugar and I have always believed fat is preferable to sugar because our bodies know what to do with it.

But if someone new to paleo was used to eating the low fat stuff, and they had a mindset that fat is bad, it would be a big change in their mindset. Plus, they would be used to getting those sugar highs from the “fat free” sugary food they were eating.

I was going to update you on my teevee watching but I have run out of time and could not get the images to cooperate, so that will come to you as a surprise later. ;)

food, life lessons, Making Choices, paleo

Making Changes

Change is never an easy thing to accomplish.

“Experts” say that you must do something 21 times in order to change a habit. I have found in general it can be slightly higher than 21 times. But if you focus on it and keep trying, you will get there. You will make changes.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a teevee show on MTV, oddly enough. And watching it, I realise that if someone had done this for me when I had just finished high school, I would be an entirely different person now, and I certainly would not have the weight struggles I have now.

The name of the show I am not a huge fan of – it is called I Used To Be Fat. Some of the people on the show were not what I would consider to be “fat” just larger than your average stick thin teen. But after finishing high school they were given personal trainers and access to more healthy food – a target of weight loss – and a calendar which told them how many days to going to college. You can watch episodes via that link, by the way. I recommend Jordan, that was my favourite one.

What happened with these people – with *one* exception – was absolutely inspirational to me. It kicked me into gear and made me go to the gym every.single.day for an entire week. Even when I didn’t want to, or it was super late at night, or I felt unwell. I still went.

It got me doing exercise at home on top of the gym work. It showed me exercises I could add into my day. It is the thing that makes me say – after doing a shift at work and finishing at 11pm – I am going to the gym NOW.

But there was one person who did not succeed on the show. Tanner – epic fail dude! The reason he did not succeed is because he was not making the changes for himself – he was making them for his girlfriend, who had absolutely no care or compassion for him and after seeing how much time he was spending at the gym instead of with her, she dumped him. Which sent him into a spiral of not doing well. Then just as he was getting back on track, she un-dumped him, causing him to focus on her instead of exercise and healthy eating.

You have to want it.

You have to want it for yourself

Not because you think you need to do it, or because someone else said so, or because you feel bad when you eat something unhealthy or because you don’t like how you look in your clothes.

You have to wake up one morning and say “I value myself enough to eat decently and make sure I get some exercise”. And then you have to commit to it, and kick your own butt if you don’t do it – not by guilting yourself, but by making sure you do it the next time.

But most of all, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You have to keep going even when life tries to derail your train. If you eat something bad you can’t endlessly guilt yourself over it. You say done can’t be undone make a better choice next time – and then follow through.

You have to challenge yourself.

And with that said, I am challenging myself. It started with trying to run on the treadmill which I would only do if nobody else was in the gym in case things went terribly wrong (like I fell off, or couldn’t keep up, or something)

I managed it twice with nobody else there – walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds.

And then I had done it a couple of times so I thought things went ok, I’m giving up on caring what other people might think, I know at least I won’t fall over and I know I can do it. So I did it with people in the gym, and it went ok.

And I have kept going with it. Every day for the past 4 days, I have done 15-20 mins on the elliptical, and then 9 mins on the treadmill with a cool down.

Then today I discovered Couch to 5k.

And it looks pretty much like what I am doing already, only I am doing it in a smaller way. So my plan over the next few weeks is to extend the amount of times I do the running (eg 4x, 5x, etc) and slowly work my way up to the 20 minute thingy, and then work on it from there.

It might take a bit longer than 9 weeks for me. We’ll see. It’d be nice to be that kind of fit..

challenges, exercise, life lessons

The Wedding Grinch

There is a girl at work who is getting married. Everywhere she goes, she takes her wedding planning diary with her! There are no words. I do my best to avoid rolling my eyes.

There are plenty of wedding shows on the teevee, some funny, some quite tragic. As in spending thousands upon thousands on just one day tragic. It is *one* day, people. Some people spend years planning and looking forward to this one day.. and then what? What’s next?

My favourite wedding show without any doubt is “Don’t tell the bride”. The wedding planning is handed over to the groom. The show gives them money towards the wedding. He has 3 weeks to plan it and he must choose everything, including the dress for the bride. She does not get to see the dress until the day before the wedding.

Usually the groom does quite a good job. There are occasionally dress issues where the bride refuses to wear the dress and the groom has to work something out last minute which usually busts the budget and means he has to drop something else he had planned.

There was one occasion where the groom decided to have the wedding in Vegas. His bride was expecting 100-200 people at the wedding. He could only afford to take the parents and the best man and bridesmaid. The brides sister and brother were left at home. The wedding nearly got canceled by the bride who was disgusted and very unhappy. It probably should have been cancelled – if he can get it that wrong he must not know her very well!

Maybe I am just getting old.. I don’t like to see such a focus on one day when there are so many days.. I think it potentially leads to depression once that day is over and the bride is left thinking.. well that is over.. what now?

life lessons, wrong world


You might see more posts from me than you had been previously as moving raises some issues for me. :)

Yesterday, I began the task of packing up my office. My office has two huge bookshelves which quickly turned into 4 large boxes of books. I then packed up all my art stuff.

For some reason – even though I know I have to downsize because the new place is a little smaller and does not have storage space.. I am finding it difficult to let things go. I thought I was more than ready to de-clutter.

Earlier this year I chose to swap some of my books for new books. I used to be into true crime stories but these days seem to be switching to other kinds of books.

I had several Ann Rule books which are worth quite a bit when you take them in to swap as there is a big demand for them and I decided to let them go and swap them. I read them one final time, and then took them to the book swap. I still have a couple of her books which I wanted to keep, but some of them just no longer seemed relevant to me.

As I was packing my books I began to see a few others which I will want to read one last time and then let them go. And yet..

.. as I was packing up my art things, I found myself holding onto a small plastic container which arrived in this house packed full of cobalt blue beads which I have since transferred into a storage container. Thus the container was empty.

I found myself thinking.. I should keep this.

And I actually put it into my art box.

An empty plastic container.

It is at this point that I began to recognise, maybe I have a problem here. Maybe I am going to find this process of letting go of things – de-cluttering – saying goodbye to things I own – a lot more difficult than I expected.

So I took the empty plastic container out of the art box and put it into the recycling. Then I decided to get rid of some more plastic from that box – a couple of my art sets came encased in plastic – I de-encased, and recycled.

On the inside I want to let things go, but there is some part of me that wants to hang onto things.

life lessons, Moving House, moving on

Warm Feeling In Leg – Oh Bye!

Last week I mentioned in this post that I kept having a warm feeling in my leg. Since then many people have arrived here searching for things like – warm feeling lower leg – warm feeling down lower leg – warm leg feelings – what causes warm leg – warm feeling in leg – warm leg – warm calf – hot warm leg – warm shin – heated leg.

So I didn’t want to say anything too soon, but the same day I posted that post I went down to the chemist and got some of the B vitamins which were suggested in the thread I found when I searched for warm leg. I actually got a B complex which had b 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12 and Folic Acid. I also found out that my local chemist has incredibly cheap vitamins, they were about half the price I was expecting. It says to take 2-3 per day with food, and I started out taking 3 per day because any extra is flushed right through according to my pharmacist, so I would only use what I needed.

I was already taking a daily vitamin anyway, but that one doesn’t seem to have an awful lot of B group in there. For example, B1 was 1.7mg, and taking 3 per day of the B complex = 45mg. Quite a big difference there.

I started taking them on the Tuesday, and by the Friday I was still getting a little bit of the warm feeling but it had changed quite a lot, it was a lot cooler than it had been before and it was much less often. However the warm feeling was replaced by an annoying muscle twitch in my face which also had me panicking a bit, because it lasted two full days. By Sunday the warm feeling was completely gone and as yet it has not returned. For the last few days I have cut back to taking 2 B group vitamins a day. I’ll keep up that amount of B vitamins until I have finished this bunch of 100 tablets and then see how I go, but unless I am under a large amount of stress I think it should be ok.

That was the big problem I feel – there was a situation going on here which had really caused me quite a bit of stress. It had been a while since I was under any kind of major stress at all, a good couple of years. So if you do have anything like that going on in your life, it may be worth taking some extra vitamins to get you through it – your body needs your help! ;)

health, life lessons

Does A Lack Of Comments Break You?

One of the bloggers I read regularly has little melt downs when they write a post and nobody comments on it. Watching this happen is not an easy thing for any reader, but for me it is extra difficult because I am the kind of person who doesn’t normally lie to people they think of as friends. I don’t like to sit by and pretend that I’ve never seen this happen before. It has happened many times.. It seems to me that this is some kind of cycle, a pattern of behaviour.

If you are a blogger and you base your worth as a blogger on the amount of comments you get on a post or you find yourself hesitating before you press the publish button because you’re afraid of what people might think, it turns out you might be a people pleaser.

It is hard to say goodbye to someone – even if it is someone you’ve never met in real life. The more I think about it the more I believe I have to do it, because I am enabling this person to continue their pattern of behaviour – and when I speak up and point out that they have an issue in this area, they attack me rather than face the issue. Honestly these days I have a lot of things on my plate and I don’t need someone treating me this way.

Have you ever made the difficult decision to walk away from reading a blog? How did you manage it?

life lessons

Making Progress – Accentuate The Positive

All of the communities near where I live have their own progress associations. I was recently talking to someone from the local progress association and I was amazed to find out the real story behind a local road which used to be a dirt road but was closed for about a year while it was made into an asphalt road. It has completely changed the way I view this road.

We drove down the dirt road when we first arrived in the area. It was kind of spooky. A huge amount of dust would be kicked up by any passing cars even though it had recently rained. In some places the water had eroded the road making it a bit dangerous because people had to drive on the opposite side of the road on blind corners. When we got back to my parents place the car was absolutely filthy.

The progress association had been trying to get the road fixed for 10 years. This road was the only way for several towns to access the main highway if the other road became flooded. One year right before an election, one of the candidates made an election promise to have the road “sealed” (changed from dirt to asphalt) if they were voted in. The election happened, they were voted in and just two weeks later the president of the progress association was on their doorstep reminding them of the promise they had made.

Some time passed before work finally began. The road was completely closed to through traffic and we looked forward to it opening even though we weren’t residents here.

The new road opened in early 2007. I believe they got one of the best pieces of road I know of anywhere in New South Wales. It is my favourite road. It is smooth and beautiful to drive on. Here’s a picture of it from Google Earth. I’ve put little pink lines around it so you can see which road it is.


What an accomplishment – what a thing to get ticked off the to do list! 11kms of road, costing just over 4 million dollars. I didn’t know about all the hard work and effort that had gone into getting the road before I went to the meeting. Now I am just amazed by it every time I drive down that road. I’m only a recent newcomer to the town but I feel so proud of them – and I can’t imagine how happy they must feel about it after working so hard for so long..

Some places in this country, progress associations are the exact opposite of their name. They try to stop anything they don’t personally approve of. I am so thrilled to be living in a place where the progress association is all about progress. I have joined the local association myself. Last month I attended the first Progress Association meeting and met some wonderful people. I intend to get involved in the excellent work they are doing.

Each little step they take, every bit of progress they make is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But as this road proves, when you work together amazing things are possible.

life lessons, power of positive thought

Do you have a plan?

The other day I realized something scary. We now live in a location that can be cut off completely if there is a bushfire. The only way to get in or out of here would be by boat. We don’t happen to have a boat of our own, and the only friend we know who has one just sold it. The other half leaves in the morning for work and it is possible that he may not be able to get back here at the end of his work day. So I have been thinking that we need a plan to deal with a bushfire emergency – and I need a plan in case I am here all alone.

It’s not impossible, either. My sister almost lost her home in the bushfires over Christmas in 2005. They were visiting here when the bushfires happened – and at home by itself being fed by her partners family daily was their cat. They had to come up with a plan to retrieve the cat on the spur of the moment, and they had to enlist the help of the firefighters, who had better things to do than attempt to collect a cat from its home without even a pet carrier.

They did manage to collect the cat which was a big relief for my sister, and when they got home they saw just how lucky they had been. Within a metre of the back door, there was fire damage. The house that used to be behind them was entirely gone. Their back fence was entirely gone. She also lived somewhere that they had to evacuate people by boat. It is lucky for all involved that she was not there because she is a major drama queen at the best of times – if you put her in a life and death situation she’d fall apart completely because she does not have any resources to deal with it.

Ever since that happened, the pet carriers have never been somewhere I can’t get to them in moments, and if we have to go away the cats go to a boarding place – not just any boarding place but one which has a clear plan for dealing with any kind of emergency. It is a plan they give a copy of to people who board their cats there with emergency contact numbers, how they make decisions on whether to stay or go, the procedures they use for keeping enough food on hand to feed 20 cats for 3 months, right down to three different locations they can take all the pets to if the boarding place is at risk from fire.

After just moving house, I don’t have a lot of food in storage here. I could probably live for 2 weeks on the food in the fridge and freezer, but what if there is no power? Again the location where we live now could easily lose power for an extended amount of time if there was a bushfire.

Do you know the phone number for your insurance company and the number of your policy off the top of your head? Me either. It’s not the kind of thing I have memorized – but I have memorized the phone number of the local Chinese restaurant, and the song lyrics to many songs.. that’s not going to help me! ;) If you were away from home and something happened to your home, it is handy to have that kind of information stored somewhere.

Another thing I like about the site is that you can choose to share your plan online with other family members. Not only is this useful but it may get them thinking about creating their own emergency plan.

Consider all the people in New York after 9/11 who could not get back to their apartments – and thus their pets – for weeks. I’ve seen so many people say “I leave the toilet lid up now in case I can’t get home, so the pets can get water” but if that is your only plan for an emergency I think you’re going to find it difficult to cope in the event of an actual disaster and so will your pets. I’m going to buy one of those pet feeders where you can put a longer supply of dry cat food ASAP because pets need food as well as water!

I think it is worth considering what you’d do in the event of an emergency, and it is worth creating a plan. It is also worth regularly backing up your computer data and storing it somewhere other than your home. It is worth putting all your digital photos onto CD or DVD and sending a copy to a couple of family members. It is worth making an inventory of your books, dvd’s, and treasured items in case you ever need to replace them. You can do that photographically and I’ll write a how to on that sometime over the next few weeks.

We never like to think of what could happen but there are times that we should think about it. For those of us in Australia, now is the time to begin thinking about summer and the upcoming bushfire season. Make a plan, just in case. ;) If you never have to use it, that is fantastic – but if you do have to use it you’ll be prepared as a family.

Does your family have an emergency plan? If yes let me know in the comments.. ;)

Home, life lessons

Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

I am all for making positive changes in all areas of my life, but sometimes you have to put the blinkers on and focus your sights on one specific area. Right now for me, that area is organisation – or organiZation if you’re from the US – and time management.

I have good reasons for wanting to get organised. I want to start a business over the next two months. I realise that if I started a business now without having the right skills in place it just would not work. So it is time to take a deep breath, suck it up, and get to it. At the start of this week I made a personal commitment to myself – I am getting organised.

Now some of the stuff I am going to say here is going to seem.. lame.. silly.. possibly even stupid. In order for you to understand where I’m going you need to know where I am at now. I’m not going to lie to ya’all. ;) here’s my major issues.

I am easily distracted.

I have trains running just fine on the tracks but then suddenly they crash. IE – I can be in the middle of doing something and then my mind throws out something else I need to do, and I will stop and change direction.

I’ll be in the middle of writing something and remember I wanted to check a website. I will be in the middle of one task, and remember one that needs doing RIGHT NOW. Yes, this is happening as I type. I haven’t updated the Aussie Blogs List yet, cos I took a day off today.

It happened again just then, as I was typing this. I noticed my glasses were dirty. This brings us to another issue I have –

I don’t put things back where they belong.

I was watching a West Wing in the lounge room yesterday. Part way through, guess what happened? I noticed my glasses were dirty. So I came in here to my desk and took my lens cleaning cloth out to the lounge room. I had to stop typing this post to go and get it.

My computer is a mess.

On the inside, that is. Information goes in, but I have no easy system, no good way of finding things, my desktop has always been a nightmare of files just dumped there. In fact here is how it looked at the start of this week.


I need to take charge NOW.

When I am running my own business, working to deadlines? All those little distractions and things not being where they should be and not having a system of where things get put and how to find them again on the computer – these things are going to add up and drown me. Especially because the business I want to run is computer orientated.

So how to fix it?

Step One – Done!

Get my computer organised and start a system of where things go that will work for me.

Thanks to this wonderful article – How to Keep your Desktop Organized (without getting insane) my desktop now looks like this.


Step Two – In Progress

I am a digital packrat. There are folders full of files. Take for example our photographs. We have a lot of them. We never had a system for organising them other than to put dates on the folders. Consequently, we now have a lot of this –


Yes, that right there is the date we began putting some kind of name on the folders. But the no name folders go back to *cringe* 2 years before that date.

There is no magic wand I can wave here, but thanks to another article I read – A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats, and How to Know If You’re One of Them – I now know how to cure it.

I’m looking through two folders a day, naming them, putting aside good photos I want to use for the thought of the day photos. I am also looking through two bookmarks folders a day, sorting, deleting, moving. This will take time – If I tried devoting one day to it, I’d still have a lot of folders not labeled. Better to do little chunks daily than overwhelm myself right now.

Step Three – Time Management – Done Daily

1. Create a daily list of tasks.
2. Give each task a priority A, B, C,
3. Ensure that you work on the “A” tasks first.
4. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once.
5. Ensure that you make the best use of your time.
6. Don’t postpone anything – Do it now!

Step Four – Day Planner


I have done this for the last three days and spent a day preparing for it before that. It’s rocking my socks, ya’all. You have no idea how focused I feel right now. It’s a happy feeling. :)

Step Five – Checklists


Yes, this is possibly the most lame of all the things I am doing, but it is helping me remember the things I do daily. I plan to update it in a week or so when I have identified more things I do daily. This is laminated so I can tick the boxes each day with a whiteboard marker and then rub that off ready for the next day. Yes, in the past I would forget my head if it were not screwed on, apparently. Now I have the checklists, sitting right in front of me, there’s not much chance of that.

Step Six – Email Check

One of the ways I get distracted is by the little envelope that pops up when I have new mail. Solution – open the mail in the morning, check emails, reply emails, close emails. Open again at lunchtime, dinner time, before bed. So if I don’t reply urgently, now you know why – and you can know when to expect that reply.. approximately.. ;)

Step Seven – Time Off For Good Behaviour.

This new stuff I’m doing is pretty intense right now, because I have a lot of organising I am doing. The major two things I need to finish are sorting my google reader and going through my archives here. These are both time consuming. So at lunchtimes, I step away from the computer for an hour. At dinner time, I step away for two hours.

I plan on having at least one light schedule day each week until I have a good handle on things, but I still want to make sure I get two of photos and bookmarks done each day. I took today off, got a haircut, went to see a house, put in an application so we might be moving, got my glasses fixed, did a little shopping. Whoa, what was that? Yes, we might be moving to my dream location. More on that tomorrow.

Step Eight – Buy In Bulk

The inexpensive things I find myself looking for, I need to purchase them so I can have one in each location I may need them. The lens cleaning cloth is a good example. They’re not expensive and it will cost me less to buy 2 more of them (I have 2 now, one in the car – one on my desk) than my time is worth to keep chasing them from room to room.

Step 9 – Put Things Back

The things that I can’t buy extra of, I need to put them back when I’m done. Simple, hey? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I am committed to doing it.

What happens next..

I’m taking it one day at a time right now. I am hopeful that in three to four weeks I will become unconscious competent in being organised. However I think it may be a habit I need to keep working on and these skills of time management are going to be so useful to me in my business, I’m going to keep using them.

All I know is, I’m feeling motivated. I’m sleeping a bit less because when I wake up, I want to get onto the daily tasks I have set. I’ll update you urgently on developments. ;) so stick around!

get organised, how to guides, life lessons, mistakes I made, moving forward, work

Fat Is The New Black.

Overweight people know what it feels like to be looked at and judged – but maybe EVERYONE knows that? Maybe we all judge each other based on appearance all the time? I know I do it. Do you?


When we are walking down the street, we are constantly looking at people and making quick assessments. Will this person hurt me. Will this person try to mug me. Am I safe here? Is there anyone around not making me feel safe? Logically these are assessments we need to make in order to stay safe. The trouble is, we’re all making wrong assessments. We’re making assessments based on our own history, our past experiences, what we’ve read, what others have told us.

It is no different to you driving past a car accident. How many of you think “He must have been going too fast” “That car must have run into that other car” “He lost control going around the corner”. We want to try and learn from the mistake that driver made. Anywhere you have seen an accident, you will find it difficult to drive past that spot without remembering what you saw. Perhaps not consciously, but your subconscious will do it for you. There’s a whole science to accident investigation. Our assumptions are probably way off. We still make them anyway.

If when you were a kid, Santa scared you, you might subconsciously be scared of men with beards, right? You might have thought, when you saw that above image – that man has a huge beard, I find that scary, I would keep away from him. If you have had bad experiences with people of color, people of a certain sex, people who dress a certain way, teenagers, homeless people, bikers.. you will subconsciously steer well clear – maybe even consciously. People who have had good experiences with those people might give them a smile, approach them and say hi, feel more comfortable in their presence.

A book I highly recommend to change your thinking on many topics is Gavin De Becker’s The Gift Of Fear – here is a quote from it –

Our intuition fails when it is loaded with inaccurate information. Since we are the editors of what gets in and what is invested with credibility, it is important to evaluate our sources of information. I explained this during a presentation for hundreds of government threat assessors at the Central Intelligence Agency, making my point by drawing on a very rare safety hazard: kangaroo attacks. I told the audience that about twenty people a year are killed by the normally friendly animals, and that kangaroos always display a specific set of indicators before they attack:

1) They will give what appears to be a wide and genial smile (they are actually showing their teeth).
2) They will check their pouches compulsively several times to be sure they have no young with them (they never attack while carrying young).
3) They will look behind them (since they always retreat immediately after they kill).

After these signals, they will lunge, brutally pummel an enemy, and gallop off.

I asked two audience members to stand up and repeat the three warning signs, and both flawlessly described the smile, the checking of the pouch for young, and the looking back for an escape route. In fact everyone in that room (and now you) will remember these warning signs for life. If you are ever face-to-face with a kangaroo, be it tomorrow or decades from now, those three pre-incident indicators will be in your head.

The problem, I told the audience at the CIA, is that I made up those signals. I did it to demonstrate the risks of inaccurate information. I actually know nothing about kangaroo behaviour (so forget the three signals if you can — or stay away from hostile kangaroos).

In our lives, we are constantly bombarded with kangaroo signals masquerading as knowledge, and our intuition relies on us to decide what we will give credence to.

Australians are going to have a particularly difficult time forgetting those kangaroo signals, because we see kangaroos reasonably often. ;) Right Aussies? And I can tell you, every time I see one, the above passage is remembered within my skull.

So you may be reading this post wondering – where is she going to talk about fat being the new black? I’ve written before about being one of only two fat people in a room of over 500 high school students to hear a lecture titled “Fat People Are Dirty People”. That was over 15 years ago. Our situation has not improved, people.

Fat people are looked at, judged. People who are overweight can feel the looks of disapproval wherever you go, and they even come from people who aren’t exactly stick thin themselves. If you eat in public, expect disapproving glances. You can almost feel the people thinking “They shouldn’t be eating that”. Fat people are called names, have jokes told about them – and they are expected to laugh! – are taunted, teased.. they find it harder to get a job, they find it harder to be promoted, they find it difficult to travel – seats too small, people don’t want to be stuck next to the fat person.. this list can go on for pages, my friends.

Can you take that previous paragraph and say the same thing about a race, a color? Not these days. It is illegal to discriminate based on race. It is considered inappropriate to shoot disapproving looks at people of color or race. People of color or race are not judged on what they are eating – unless they are also overweight!

It is not illegal to discriminate based on weight. An excellent article you should read is Do We Really Need A Law To Protect Fat Workers? – a couple of quotes from the article but I hope you will go and read the entire thing.

“Hiring, firing, discipline, training, wages, we’ve got more than 40 studies now in both the lab and the workplace,” says Mark Roehling, a management professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing. “People in all of them tell you they discriminate on the basis of weight. I had one guy tell me there was one kind of person he absolutely wasn’t going to hire – a fat girl. And the punch line is, this guy was overweight himself.”

Consider Roehling’s survey participant, the one who told him “there was one kind of person he absolutely wasn’t going to hire – a fat girl.” Now replace “fat” with “black.” It’s the textbook definition of discrimination. And because it would be so unfair, so wrong, so illegal to follow through with it, it’s hard to imagine that anyone in today’s society would dare.

Another very good example of what I am talking about appears to have reared its ugly head on Facebook. According to mo pie from Big Fat Deal in the blog post Face! (Book) which I have put a couple of quotes from but again, I encourage you to read the full article –

Although Facebook does crack down on religious and racial hate groups, fat hate groups are flourishing. I’m not suggesting that these groups should be shut down; I think the worst ones (like “let’s kill all fat people”) have been, and I’m more inclined to let people say their piece than be censored, where possible. Even so, I did a couple of searches and poked around and found hundreds of groups dedicated to fat hate.

Here are some more Facebook groups: “Dammit, I Hate Fat Chicks!” “DISLIKES- FAT GIRLS WHO WEAR SKIRTS AND TIGHT CLOTHING” “Fat Chicks – Exercise or die!” “Fat people should go on starvation diets” “God d@mm!t I hate fat people!!!” and “If you’re fat…we aren’t friends.” A group simply called “I Hate Fat People” has 529 members.

Replace fat with black, hispanic, asian, any race, any culture – would it be accepted? No way! Facebook cracks down on religious and racial hate groups because LEGALLY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DO SO. They are not required to do so when it comes to weight.

The sooner “weight” is added to the civil rights act in the US the better. The law says (in part, you can read the whole thing here) –

to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

And maybe a couple of other things should be added there – ie sexual preference and possibly others – what would you add?

Until then, it is accepted that you can say whatever you like about fat people, refuse to employ them, refuse to promote them, treat them with disgust, treat them without respect – and there is no way those people can do anything about it, other than to lose weight. I wouldn’t bother, personally. Losing weight does not always solve the problem, because once you’ve been a fat person you will always appear that way in people’s minds. I’ve experienced that myself as I wrote in my previously mentioned post..

So in the meantime, we overweight people have to accept ourselves as we are, and refuse to hear those who want to treat us badly. As Martin Luther King said –

Don’t ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn.

Thanks for reading my article, if you liked it, stumble it so the word can get out to more people. If you have a spare moment, please leave your thoughts in the comments. ;)

This post is a part of a two week special on Race, Society and The Internet in conjunction with the Hump Day Hmmm.

Hump Day Hmmm, life lessons, politics, what not to do, wrong world