Saturday, July 22, 2023

It's interesting how this gets reversed...

 If you had a problem with alcohol or drugs, and you walked into a bar or flop, rejecting an offer to join in, it would be pretty clear that the "good" behavior was coming from you, and the "bad" influence was coming from the environment.  Nobody could sanely make the assertion that the "normal people" would have the whiskey or cocaine, and only esoteric, overly controlling, type-a people would abstain.

However, in nutrition, that gets flipped around.  I walk into a house where someone is baking bread, and my behavior (abstaining) is the esoteric behavior, and their behavior (indulging) is the norm.  I'm the special one for electing to pass on the cocaine, they are behaving totally normally, even lovingly, by serving it up.

There is a lot that goes into this: First off is this persistent feeling that obesity is a problem of sloth, of the will -- something that is a failure of the person suffering from it.  If you can't "handle" a little fresh baked bread or apple cider doughnuts hanging out on the counter, then that is on you. "That is your problem fatass."

The second thing that feeds into this is that as a culture, we haven't figured out how to express love outside of serving food.  We don't know how to connect, except at the table.  Modernity has removed other modes of connection like joining in song at a congregation, reading out loud with each other, playing a sport in a playful way, going fishing, or whatever.  The daily automaticity just lands us back at the dining table.

Both of these things, blaming the victim, and a culture of fattening each other up out of love are problematic, but both of them are deeply ingrained in our society.  The only way forward is to be the "weird" one that just says "no".