Diabetes or Diarrhea – Take Your Pick*
Posted by Miriam Gordon on September 18, 2008
Metformin, otherwise known as glucophage, is a medication that works to lower elevated blood sugar and help the body process the excess sugar more efficiently. However, if you have the unmitigated gall to eat sweets while taking this medication, you will be punished by having copious diarrhea. I found this out first hand. I guess this is the price I pay for feeding my addiction.
We all know that in this life, there is a price to pay for everything. Supposedly, the metformin I’m taking is helping to lower my blood sugar. So either I get diabetes or I get diarrhea, or I attempt to deprive myself to the point where I am physiologically compelled to binge. This “most appropriate” punishment for those who “dare” to be obese applies also to those taking Xenical, or it’s over the counter version, Alli. If you eat food with excessive fat content while taking these drugs, you will either be sitting on the toilet all day or forced to wear a diaper. So either deprive yourself of the food your brain is screaming at you for, or suffer those consequences. Either way, we are punished for doing what feels natural for us.
Another version of punishment reserved for the fatties amongst us, compliments of the medical establishment, is weight loss surgery. Having your stomach stapled or a lap band put around your stomach internally to restrict the amount of food you can ingest is tantamount to punishing yourself for eating too much. Do you know how violently ill you become if you try to eat more than a few spoonfuls of food after you’ve had this surgery? Bad, bad fattie!! You deserve to be punished for your gluttony and sloth!
The same woman who prescribed the metformin for me gave me a scientific paper to read, by a prominent childhood obesity expert, who questions whether the obesity “epidemic” is based on gluttony and sloth! His take is that children are not at all in control of their nutritional environment, so they are innocent of these cardinal sins. However, what is he saying about the adults? I wonder if the woman who prescribed the metformin for me and gave me this article to read is attempting on a subconscious level to tell me that I am gluttonous and slothful.
If one searches PubMed for articles with the word “obesity” in the title and “gluttony” in the Title or Abstract, 12 papers come up! This proves that there is as much anti-obesity bias amongst the most prominent academic obesity researchers as there is in the general public. Most of these articles attempt to convey that the popular view of fat people as gluttonous and slothful is wrong, and that scientific progress is providing more and more evidence to combat this hideous notion. However, I believe they need to use these words because they are trying very hard to convince themselves of this. After all, from the moment they were born, they were immersed in the same western culture which has held absolute contempt for fat individuals, and it is therefore an intractable part of their consciousness.
There is no need to include incite-ful (no pun intended) words, such as gluttony and sloth, in any publication written to present scientific data in an objective manner. These words are included in scientific publications in order to attract the attention of those (read: everyone in western society, including fat people) who have a strong, unfavorable gut reaction (again, no pun intended) to fat people and obesity.
*Note added in proof, March 21, 2010: I originally wrote this post over a year and a half ago, and as with my other original posts, have decided to add notes in proof rather than delete the posts. I’ve decided on this course of action despite the fact that some of the language I originally used may be offensive to those in the fat rights-acceptance and health at every size (HAES) communities, because it reflects the overwhelming bias against fatness that everyone in modern western society has internalized. Tragically, it is internalized by those who, like me, have naturally larger body sizes, and feel the constant need to beat themselves up for it.
I only became aware of the fat rights-acceptance and HAES movements in August 2008, and I remember being absolutely blown away by the idea that there are people out there who actually support fat people, our rights, our health, and improving the quality of our lives. At the time that I wrote this post, I was angry and confused, because I was in the process of transforming fundamental beliefs about my body and my value as a human being. I feel incredibly fortunate for having undergone this transformation and thank everyone who has ever worked toward the goals of civil rights for fat people, and has advocated for love and acceptance of fat people, along with promoting HAES. However, the recognition of just how difficult it is to make this mental leap of faith is critical to the advancement of these movements. We must not condemn those who can’t yet accept our views, but instead show them patience and understanding. In the end, I believe the fat rights-acceptance and HAES movements will prevail, despite tremendous odds, out of sheer common sense.