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I am a fat man. That's who I am and fighting it is insanity.

I am a fat man. I am not a thin man inside a fat body struggling to get out. I am not waiting to emerge into a new life as a thin person. I am a fat man. I have been so all my life, and I shall be so until I die.

Being a fat man does not mean I am weak, or stupid, or gluttonous, or greedy, or thoughtless, or any of the negative aspects that the bigots assign to me. My fat is like my brown (now graying) hair, my blue eyes (well, eye), my right-handedness, my pinkish skin, my slightly overlarge ears, or other physical descriptors of my body.

I have spent over four decades believing that fatness was something terrible that I had to fix, that nothing in my life mattered unless the focus of my life was becoming thin, that the only success of any importance and my only value to society revolved around my weight and my shape and as a fat person I was an utter failure and deserved the abuse and approbation that came with it. And so I spent those four decades on diet after diet that failed. Optimist, weight watchers, OA, and more. When each diet failed to give me the weight loss or made me so miserable I abandoned it, I hated myself more, wondering why I alone was so stupid, so weak, such an utter failure and waste of a life. It was a terrible way to live.

Several years ago, I threw all that away. 95% of everyone who tries to lose weight fails. It’s not just me, it’s everyone. Oh, weight is lost, for a while. Then after a few years, the weight comes back and more. I decided to accept myself and my body as I am. Since then, I’ve been happier and healthier than ever before.

Yes, I said healthier. Because the definition of health does NOT begin and end with “how much do you weigh.” Weight as a measurement of health or fitness is really a pretty lousy standard in many ways. My body, and yours, evolved through periods of feast and famine, and has mechanisms to help us survive through the famine time. It uses less energy, it sends urgent messages to the brain to work harder at finding it more food, and when the famine ends it stores as much as it can to prepare for the famine’s return. So when you starve your body trying to make it lose weight, your body is fighting against you, and given a chance will do the opposite of what you want because it can’t conceive of starvation by choice rather than forced by environment.

So I’m working to adopt habits that support my body, make it better as the wonderful fat body it is. I am feeding it better food, and being more active with it. This is a work in progress, bad habits built up over a lifetime of yo-yo dieting are hard to break, but I’m making progress.

My greatest regret is that I can’t give this message to my 20 year old self, accept yourself as the fat man you are and revel in it and be the best fat man you can be. Three decades less of yo-yo dieting and instead of healthy habits would have certainly given me a happier life. (And, irony of ironies, would have likely meant I’d have stayed closer to my then low 200s weight rather than my current one.)

It’s not easy, of course. Talking about this on forums has led to some significant abuse and name calling, challenging my right to make my decisions about myself when I take a stand so far out of normal belief. I suspect I’ll get plenty more when this hits twitter (along with endless spam on weight loss methods). And every message sent by the general media is that as a fat person I’m worthless, that I can’t even allowed to be shown to succeed and be a role-model to others of my side or else that’s “encouraging obesity”.

I'll be coming back to this again, I suspect. But for now, I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam - and that's wonderful.

Posted on March 24, 2015, 2:46 am

Donald Brown
@GadgetDon

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Testing some internal features of RSB

You won't notice anything. To apologize for this intrusion into your feed, enoy this picture from City of Heroes closing days.

Posted on March 23, 2015, 6:00 pm

Donald Brown
@GadgetDon

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Now using shorter URLS in blog posts

The full URL article includes the title of the blog post - which is what I tweet. So tweeting bloth the title and the URL is excessive. You'll be happy to know I created a "shorturl" that I'm now tweeting.

Posted on March 23, 2015, 9:31 am
Last updated on March 23, 2015, 5:48 pm

Donald Brown
@GadgetDon

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I'm loving Forever and hope it gets renewed

One of my biggest surprises this season on TV was the show Forever. It's not looking good for renewal but I'm hoping, and you might want to check it out.

The synopsis is that there's an immortal doctor working as a medical examiner for the New York Police Department who gets involved in solving crimes. When he is killed, he is reborn, naked, in the nearest body of water. Dr. Morgan is also trying to find a cure for his "curse". "This has possibilities" I thought before the season started. But it's turned into one of my favorite TV shows this season, possibly my favorite (other contenders were The Librarians and The Flash).

The main character is Dr. Henry Morgan, who was shot and thrown overboard from a slaver ship after he refused to let the captain just toss a slave overboard from fears of chollera. That was 200 years ago and he remains eternally youthful. Abe, played by Judd Hirsch, is his confident and friend, helps him out in various ways including bringing him clothes after a rebirth.

This relationship is the best part of the show. Abe, it turns out, is Henry's adopted son. Henry was an army doctor in World War II when he met a pretty nurse named Abigail and they adopted a baby saved from the death camps in Germany. While they often function as friends and sometimes Abe even is Henry's mentor, they shift easily and naturally into father/son. Handled poorly it would be embarassingly silly, but they make it work very well.

There's a pretty widowed police detective that Henry works with, there are hints of blooming romance and it is only a matter of time when Henry shares his secret with her and they get involved. But they're approaching that slowly. And it might not go there.

Another aspect is the way they've told Henry's backstory, in flashbacks. It usually impinges on the mystery of the week (when a bitter matron of the arts is killed, turns out Henry had met her decades ago while struggling with the question of whether to marry Abigail), but I like the story they're telling. One of the best parts was Henry's first wife, who he had married before his fateful trip. His attempt to tell her about his changed life went disastrously wrong, and had repercutions many years later in an unexpected way.

Finally, there's been a villain, Adam, who knows Henry's secret. It turns out that, like Henry, he is immortal, but has been around for 2000 years. Turns out he's a bit more complex than he first appears, and shares something with Abe - he too was in the concentration camps, the doctors discovered his secret and experimented to find out why. Adam is interesting and I'm looking forward to Tuesday's show which involves him. He's not the focus of the show, only appears irregularly and if the show was just Henry vs. Adam it would be weaker. But it's a nice addition.

The show may not be for everyone. But I've found it fascinating. It's worth checking out before its gone. And here's hoping it gets a shot at a second season.

Posted on March 23, 2015, 4:26 am

Donald Brown
@GadgetDon


Mud Sweat and Gears - great TV show

Many years ago, I encountered a wonderful show on TLC, "Junkyard Wars". Two teams were given a challenge to complete some task, and spent a couple days collecting stuff from a junkyard and creating something to rise up and win. I found the idea wonderful, and have seen most of the US shows and many of the original UK version of "Scrapheap Challenge".

Since then, I've enjoyed other short-lived shows where people worked to make something out of what they've got. "Monster Garage" was fun (and I will always remember the limo fire truck). Monster House had its moments, and every year I look forward to Punkin Chunkin.

The most recent addition to this group is on BBC America, Mud Sweat and Gears. Two auto journalists, Jonny Smith and Tom "Wookie" Ford, compete to create cars to compete in various categories, each aided by two car enthusiasts. They made Cop cars, Delivery vehicles, cars for the automotive equivalent of the Olympics games played every four years (This blog is not an official You Know What sponsor) and more.

They start with working cars, and make some modifications. They only have a day, so can't go too crazy with the modifications. Most shows, what I really enjoy is the design/building process. But the hosts are very competitive and the competitions are visually interesting so they're the main fun on this show. It's clear that the hosts don't know what the competitions will be, in the "Carmageddon" episode both made decisions that proved to be very poor choices as it turned out.

Is this life changing TV? No. It doesn't try to be. But I've found it a lot of fun!

 

Posted on March 18, 2015, 1:26 am
Last updated on March 21, 2015, 4:18 pm

Donald Brown
@GadgetDon


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