Obesity and the psychic vibe

I was musing on the end of BSG, and how pleased I was that my “angel hunch” about Starbuck turned out to be true. Yep, I’m still thinking like a writer. At least that’s something! But I was also thinking about how weird the vibe was off of Katee Sackhoff. I know it seems bizarre to anyone who hasn’t done this, but I can usually tell when someone’s sick. It’s a specialized empathy and I’m hardly ever wrong. And yeah, it works on tv too. So I’ve been thinking all through the last half of BSG that it wasn’t Starbuck who was off, it was Katee. Like the girl had checked out. Phoned in the last 10 episodes. Something.

Then I started thinking about that last scene, with her and Lee in the field. She was so thin, her chin was so sharp it was distracting. She looked ill. And I was thinking to myself suddenly, I wonder how I’d ever explain weighing 300 lbs to someone like her? 5’6 and maybe 100 lbs. How could I explain that one day I was fine and healthy, with more curves than she ever had but still happy with my weight, the next day my thyroid was destroyed, and I gained 150 lbs. No, seriously, I used to look normal. I used to look like a normal human being until my doctor, in the name of chemical experimentation, destroyed my thryroid and never even told me.

So then I decided – hey, let’s look up Katee and find out what she’s up to these days. See if she looks healthier now. And about 3 minutes later I found out that she had thyroid cancer while filming those last 10 episodes of BSG. She was sick and unhappy and didn’t know why and it was really kinda hell to film them. Right after they wrapped she was diagnosed. She received treatment for the cancer and got the thyroid removed, and for now all seems well.

Stuff like that happens to me all the time, but sometimes it still blows my mind. I wish I could put those little psychic twinkles to some sort of useful purpose! I know I can do it, but I still don’t know why.

Which leads me to another thought. It’s a tangent, but I do that. People are screaming at the top of their lungs about the ills of obesity, without ever really addressing WHY so many people are like this now. Forget me for a second. Cheap foods are high in fat. Industrialized foods are very high in fat. Finding nutrition takes time and it takes money. Diabetes spiked right after WWII – immediately after processed food hit the mainstream – and never looked back. Even if you choose an apple over a Big Mac, they’re so genetically manipulated you’d have to eat 4 to get same nutrition you’d get from 1 pre WWII apple. No, seriously. I looked it up and everything.

So now that we’re all sick, tired, fat and eating industrial garbage that kind of makes us feel like we’re not hungry, I find it odd that the one socially sanctioned prejudice still standing is obesity. And the one snap answer for it is always “well, you eat too much”.

Yes. Some people eat too much. It’s true. And some people *are* fat because of it. Also true. But in this age of industral garbage posing as food, I’d argue it’s a lot less than you’d think. Especially the kids. Sure, they play video games instead of baseball. It’s a problem and I don’t mean to discount it. But when they get up, what’s in the fridge? Ice cold water or soda? The healthy sandwiches they eat are made with bread loaded with high fructose corn syrup. The lettuce in their healthy salad has no nutrition, just like the margerine they eat to avoid all that nasty cholesterol. Oreo cookies don’t even qualify as food – how’s that for a fun fact!

The point is that hell yes. I’m not just obese, I’m morbidly obese. I’ve been told I can kiss at least 10 years off my life when I gained the weight I didn’t know I was going to gain. But really, that’s not true. The last time I got it calculated, it’s estimated that the rest of my family will last well into their 80’s, while I’m destined – all things being equal – to die at 54. 11 years from now. What I need is a way to buy healthy food and a safe place to exercise. Like everything, it all seems to boil down to money. I can’t get my knee or back fixed – pre-existing condition. No one will touch it. With them out that limits most workouts anyway. A swimming pool would do it, but in Colorado public pools are only open for a few months. I could join a club, but not on what Disability pays. They closed our local YMCA and opened a “fitness center” that only people within 2 miles get good rates for. I’m 3 miles away.

I hate sweets. I loathe chocolate. Give me cake, cookies and ice cream and I’ll normally just dump it in the trash. No, my weakness is the potato. I LOVE potatos in any form you can find them. My diet is erratic, and yeah sometimes I eat more than I should. No potato chip is safe around me, it’s true. But that’s also why I don’t buy them anymore. I love cheese, and nachos. But I don’t spend all day shoveling food in my face. I simply eat industrial garbage. I’m on food stamps. It’s what I can afford. So I eat crap, and I have no metabolism at all. Because of my illness I can’t go out to walk, and this isn’t really the neighborhood for that anyway. My condo is made of tissue paper and if I jump up and down to Richard Simmons I’d most likely end up sitting on the lap of my downstairs neighbor. My doctor told me – one of those wonderful guys that you just wish you could stab to death – that if I was alive in a year to bitch about it I could be considered a success.

No matter how you slice it, 300 lbs will NEVER look like a success.


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