Thursday, May 5, 2011

International Diet Day, Malissa Jones, Loving Your Neighbor, and Eclairs






May 6 is International No Diet Day (INDD). It was started by Mary Evans Young in England in 1992. I know many people can't wait for this day. I appreciate it for the fact that it picks up both venom (maybe from those on a diet?) as well as supporters each year. I am thankful for a few things: (1) its creation, (2) longevity, and (3)the ability to shock those not 'in the know.'

In Mary's own words, she describes how she began INDD:

"I started INDD in the spring of '92 following two things. The first was seeing a television programme where women were having their stomachs stapled. One woman had split the staples and was in for her third op[eration]. And then a young girl of 15 committed suicide because 'she couldn't cope being fat.' She was size 14 (12 in US). I decided somebody had to stand up and try to stop this bloody madness and in the absence of anybody else, I decided it would be me. So I sent out a press release titled 'Fat Woman Bites Back'...and got some media attention. I was desperate to keep the anti-diet/size acceptance concept in the public eye. So, without really thinking about it, at the end of a live TV interview I said, 'Don't forget to celebrate No Diet Day.' ...Having declared it on prime time national TV I then set about organising a picnic in Hyde Park. Alas it rained, so we adjourned to my living room instead." ~Mary Evans Young


Goals of the INDDT:
-Celebrate the beauty and diversity of ALL our natural sizes & shapes
-Declare a personal one-day moratorium on diet/weight obsession
-Learn the facts about weight-loss dieting, health, and body size
-Recognize how dieting perpetuates violence against women
-Honor the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgery
-Help end weight discrimination, sizism and fatphobia

I think it is important to share these words from Mary Evans Young with you:

19th International No Diet Day
Greetings to all of you celebrating this auspicious day.
How far have we come since 1992? Well, in some respects a long, long way.
More health professionals support a 'health at every size' approach.
There are fat study groups in colleges as younger people are challenging the status quo. And people in the public eye are speaking out about their experiences.
Plus there are a few more clothes to choose from.

But, the pressure is still on us all to be other than we are...
Whether child or geriatric
There's far too many people ever ready with their knives.
And quacks peddling magic drugs and potions
Fat remains an easy and socially acceptable target and a useful vehicle for others to project their self hate.

It is not unusual for oppressed people to understand their oppressors more than they understand us.So, no surprise if people scratch their heads in puzzlement as we say, in our various ways, "get off our backs" -when 'they only have our best interests at heart'.But today is a day of pride and to use our precious creative and fighting energy to challenge institutional sizeism and the nasty trinity:
diet, media and fashion who exploit us all for their own ends.

As a British politician famously said, "Don't let the bastards get you down".
INDD is an opportunity to change the rules: encourage self acceptance and respect for all. And use your love and friendship to have a great day.... in the way it suits you. Go well.

In solidarity, Mary Evans Young
Oxfordshire, England

Sign up for and pledge a goal for International No Diet Day on Facebook!

There have been a number of good FAT things here in the NYC: A great article published in the Village Voice by Camille Dodero (@camilledodero) about FAs (Fat Admirers-- "boys who like fat chicks."

As well, my heart weeps for the recent article about Malissa Jones, once dubbed "fattest UK teenager" who, after having gastric bypass surgery is now suffering from anorexia. Find the article here: Malissa Jones

For me, INDD is about the good it does and provides, principle first, for all the good people of the earth, and for those who suffer--like Malissa Jones, and the #%^&*&@! doctors who forced(?) her to have that surgery. However, I will state as I have many times in the past, if you chose that for YOU-- I support you, because I feel you will need support. And because I personally feel-prolifically feel that EVERYONE'S JOURNEY MUST BE HONORED. If you "hate" Malissa Jones because she now suffers from anorexia, I only have 2 words for you. I whole-heartedly agree with Mary Evans Young--honor those "-Honor the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgery."

This is a processing point, a problem beyond skin, sometimes even beyond soul. If is for those who suffer. I love and care for you. I pray for you. I pray you gain peace--whatever form it comes in for YOU. Whatever is right for YOU. And as Ive said time and time again: as we lay our heads down tonight upon our pillows-- somewhere- some one's last words to themselves are " I ate the carrot," and for others it is "I did not eat the carrot." As long as you are nourished my sister, or my brother, may you sleep restfully. The constant physical, emotional, mental battle is--simply, feroious.

The roller coaster ride that exists, emotional and physical, exists for many. Please take a moment of silent reflection or thought for all who have tried and continue to so, some at great peril to themselves in one capacity or another--who have been victims or victimized doe to their size, weight, or some combination thereof. I always pause to think that there were a lot of women buried in muumuus, because there was nothing else. For thee, I pray.

My contribution to International No Diet Day:

If we are friends on facebook, or you can follow me on Twitter @FatGirlsFloat

I am taking a pic of everything I consume tomorrow.... a photo documentary, you might say and posting it on Twitter and Facebook.

I want people to please understand that I am pretty regimented in my eating schedule/pattern; because if I am not, then I will not eat, forget to eat, and get too caught up in work to eat... .and lived off a "diet" of coffee[kawfee as we say here in the NYC] for years. I realized that that was definitely NOT HAES as well as not healthy!

I have been told a number of times: "Kira, why are you fat? You don't eat "like fat person"?!" What the hell does that mean?! Good friends Yossi Loloi and David Garrett have seen me at my best and my worst, but not scarfing down -I should say eating- a whole pizza.{Sometimes my old 80s high school self comes out!} And they kind of just don't see me, but for some reason do not necessarily expect me to "over eat"--just maybe are surprised I am 325 pounds. To quote a beloved pastor I heard speak, "It wasn't from eating tofu, ya'll." {Ahem, tofu, not Tofu.} And I will admit that I was not angelic about my eating habits. However, my biggest battle was going for very long periods without eating. Still is, sometimes. And I am not here to apologize.

Further, I recall going to the Philly Bash and rooming with dear friend Nancy Goddess. She and I have discussed this--privately and publicly. Nancy ate constantly throughout the weekend. I was failing asleep to crunch, crunch, crunch. it did not bother me, I found it amusing, and I don't know why-- as well as endearing. She was once 420 pounds, having had gastric bypass surgery in hopes to having an operation to fix her knee, and has lost a considerable amount of weight. Nancy joked all weekend, "Kira.. what the hell is wrong with you? How are you 300 pounds? You don't eat. You gotta find yourself a chef." That last thought led me to pen "I Wanna Marry a Chef" in Nancy's honor.

Now, please don't misunderstand me. Eat what you want. What I believe might be different from some: eat what you want until you are satisfied, be present, try not to eat 'on the go' (hence my disdain for those who eat in the subway--more because I don't like to witness the oddity and smell!), unless you HAVE to; and to try to plan to some degree. Why? It works for me. I like structure, and for the bulk of my professional career-- and waking hours-- I need both fuel, and convenience; so bringing my breakfast and lunch work for me. I eat what I choose to eat, what works for me, and for the physical ailments from which I have looooooong [since age 13!] suffered: PCOS, anemia, and a lack of enough B12. To be direct, I kinda live like it is LENT all year 'round. It might be structured eating, but it is not no diet.

I have a hard work schedule…... I am up at 5am! Leave for work at 6am-ish, and well...... do not live in a work area that you can buy lunch….. so I have to bring it. I know that by sharing it leaves me open to criticism, so I am actually interested in what people will have to say. Judgment is passed around like people giving out Halloween candy. Ba dump bump. Cast ye, your first stone. I do not wanna feel judged by what I do eat, or what I don't eat--or how much. By anyone. Oh, right.. and I, like everyone else, is entitled to my own damn opinion. I do not need to tote the party line; I am independent. Still convinced I am the Sarah Palin of Size Acceptance. I don't know, for some reason I just FEEL rogue.

And.... most funny (to me) was one year when Velvet was in town and we had dinner with Yossi, Substania Jones(?),and her friend Pony from college!--Pony's response was the very best I have ever heard, as he inquired about International No Diet Day, he said" What do you guys do? Sit around and eat eclairs?" Not a bad idea, Pony. Not a bad idea at all. Please, I hope someone eats a damn eclair! I don’t really like ├ęclairs, but SOMEHOW I feel obliged to eat one every May 6th, just because Pony said that! So, I guess one goal tomorrow will be to eat an ├ęclair.

With love and NO diet sense, just good eating-- whatever that means!

Love you all....

KIRA NERUSSKAYA
New York City….. and lives in walking distance to Veniero’s! See you there?!
Please hit me up @FatGirlsFloat on Twitter and #CheerTheEclair. If I get enough of a following/response I will send pics and/or video of "The Eclair Eating"

ps. it is currently 11:43 p.m. EST.. dude I had 4 hours of sleep last night.. I wanna GO to bed!

2 comments:

  1. After reading a few articles on Malissa, I really think it might be more related to complications from the surgery itself than actual anorexia. Just the way she described the physical pain. It just makes me think of the way I'd feel after have a stomach bug - anything I eat for those first few days feels almost sharp and burning. I just hope they don't totally ignore other possibilities. :(

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  2. Hadn't heard of INDD -- thanks for posting about it!

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