passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
[personal profile] passerine


The intersection of one post talking about how defining foods as "healthy" and "unhealthy" when it really means "low-calorie" and "not-low-calorie" isn't cool, a post equating foods with warning labels for allergens to oversensitive whiny people, and another comment thread about how "breastfeeding is the healthiest choice, and unless someone took your kids away you DID make a choice"...is not doing the best of things to my head.

Because, damn it, I just want the fucking Food Police, in EVERY form, to stop. I want their reign of terror to be OVER WITH.

Bodies are bodies. Some are fat, some are thin, some are more able than others, and "thinner" does not equal "more able". And this is one of those super-fun intersectionality things, in which it's more OK to have a physical disability if you are thin, and more OK to be fat if you're extremely able-bodied. When I was shopping with a thinner friend who has various pain issues, I was glad she was able to use a SmartCart, sorry the issues were acting up enough for her to need to...and a little bit jealous, because I would not dare use one myself even when the alternative is to grit my teeth through the grocery store run so I can limp back to the car sobbing in pain. Because fat = lazy = needs more exercise to lose weight = if she's too lazy to WALK, then of COURSE she'll stay fattyfatfat. (Never mind that one of the issues with the bad leg - plantar fasciitis - is specifically made worse by extended time walking, is very common in women with BMI >30, and can lead to NOT BEING ABLE TO WALK AT ALL FOR SEVERAL MONTHS if someone continues to push past her limits.)

Food is food, and what is right for one person might not be right for another. I know happy vegans, and I know people who attempted veganism only to find that their body does not support that way of eating. I know people who have life-threatening allergies to foods that are staples of my own diet. I know people who can eat with impunity those things that I have distinctly unpleasant reactions to. I know, from my experience with gestational diabetes, that specific "bad foods" (in the sense of disruptive-to-glucose-control) vary widely from person to person.

Related to this? It is no more right to tell someone who is underweight-by-BMI (whether or not a clinical diagnosis of eating disorder is involved) to "just eat a fucking sandwich" than it is to tell someone who is overweight-by-BMI to "learn to love yoga instead of eating a whole cake" or to tell someone who is depressed to stop being depressed. Why does anyone think statements like this are new and unheard-of insights? Why does anyone believe someone who has Issues With Food is going to be effectively shamed into giving them up, instead of being shame-spiralled into getting worse?

And about the babies. Babies need love, attention, and nourishment. Breastfeeding, when it works, is an awesome way to provide these things. However, in the end, babies need to be fed more than they need to be breastfeed. Babies need loving parents more than they need a human food source. I started out fully intending to exclusively breastfeed Alex for at least 6 months and to never ever give her formula. This plan had to be abandoned when she crashed from the 93rd percentile for weight to the 7th percentile over the course of her first two months of life, and I discovered that my breasts did not like to let down for pumps, not even rented hospital-grade pumps. There was also the serious issue of thinking it was more important for Alex's long-term well being that her father NOT commit suicide. With Tori, nothing went catastrophically wrong, and she even went happily between breast and bottle for a while, but she lost interest in breastfeeding at about the time she found interest in solid foods. Theoretically, I could have exclusively breastfed Tori - if I wasn't working, if I was willing to ignore Alex, etc. It might have worked. Maybe.

But it doesn't make as much of a difference as I was led to believe it does, and I'm angry that I put myself through that for the sake of pleasing the Food Police. It was as if, since I'm a lost cause because I'm fat, at least I can try not to "fuck up" my kids. But you know what? My kids aren't fucked up. One has a skinnier build than the other, and still has to be reminded to sit down and EAT. But BOTH of them are healthy, happy, active kids. And I shouldn't feel like I have to extra-hard prove that just because I'm fat and not as able-bodied as I would like.

Date: 2010-07-06 05:29 pm (UTC)
phoenixsong: An orange bird with red, orange and yellow wings outstretched, in front of a red heart. (Robert: 2.5 months)
From: [personal profile] phoenixsong
*hug*

Do I have to even begin to tell you how defensive I feel when I have to explain to people why I'm not breastfeeding? As in, I had all the best intentions in the world, but you know, when you eliminate six of the Big Eight allergens from your diet for three weeks, and your child is spitting up and passing blood within 36 hours of resuming breastfeeding...clearly BFing is not going to work for that child. If it had, the restricted diet sucked, but I would have done it.

Dammit. There I go again. I think I'm okay with having to formula feed, but as soon as someone else gets involved in the conversation, I get all apologetic and crap. I even feel GUILTY because I realized after the fact that my freakin' prenatal may have had one of the things I was trying to eliminate in it. I should not have to defend the medical necessity of my son eating formula -- especially when he's clearly thriving on it, meeting or exceeding all his developemental milestones, and overall the happiest baby I've ever met.

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