Archive for March, 2010

FatLand, Part II: The Early Days

March 31, 2010

It was almost as if they were upset that none of us had diabetes or high cholesterol or heart disease or arthritis. Going even further out on a limb, I would bet that at least one or two of them hoped that some of us would develop them. That way their previous theories and prejudices would hum along nicely, as would their grants from fat-hating foundations.

In a way I was tempted to give my sister and fellow residents a pep talk about perhaps eating their fruits and veggies and getting in a walk every day. But then I thought, well, it’s never been proven that consuming x food or walking y miles actually prevents anything except supposed risks. And wasn’t the point of this “experiment in living” to show that if we just lived without worrying about our weights or lifestyles and went about the routines and pleasures of living, we would simply be living as others do?

And they -or someone, somewhere- had to remember that we are a majority, not a minority, according to the National Health Center, since something like 63 percent of the population of the USA was now “overweight” (overweight for what? over whose weight) or -that oh-so-fearful bugaboo of an expression – obese.

I was so looking forward to that first part of the first segment of the first show, where we would all introduce ourselves and people would get to hear that we were simply ten people who happened to be fat and had virtues, failings, problems, elations, wishes and hopes in our lives just like everyone else.

It was scheduled, Karen told me, for July 4th. How corny could they get?

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FatLand, Part II: The Early Days

March 30, 2010

That in itself came as a major revelation to the execs who had to approve it, that there could be and actually were ten people with no underlying medical conditions or problems. They had two teams of docs check us out. The doctors were almost as astonished as the execs. It was rich. They kept exclaiming to each other, “I don’t understand it.”

FatLand, Part II: The Early Days

March 30, 2010

Ten of us fat people go into a house and live. That’s it.  They don’t put us on scales or diets. We are not called to “date.”  We had to fight for that, though, and the compromise was that we list everything we eat on the electronic “board.”  But we don’t get weighed. We don’t get told what to eat.  We make out lists and they buy whatever we ask.

And for the “experiment in living,” as they call it, they chose ten healthy fat people.

FatLand, Part II: The Early Days

March 24, 2010

It was our own show. And we didn’t even have to pitch it.  All it took, seemingly, was one sympathetic and enthusiastic exec.  She piloted it through the maze of offices and boards.

We knew, of course, that one of the main selling points of the show was that myriad companies were looking forward to selling heaven-knows-what brands of diet pills and smart meals and even -the ultimate clunker/clinker- body-changing surgery.  We decided that for the sake of getting the show on, we would have to live with this.

The entire concept of the show itself was exquisitely, heartrendingly, kneebendingly simple.

FatLand, Part II: The Early Days

March 24, 2010

The three archivists are searching now. They were given a grant by the Board to find out about the early days of FatLand.  Part of me wants to give them every last ounce of information I have, and damn the consequences. Part of me wants them not to find me.

Whichever wins, I am in deep and unadulterated trouble.

FatLand Part II: The Early Days

March 23, 2010

I made a bargain, and I have kept it. I harbor no illusions about my own altruism, but the bargain was not for my sake.

Perhaps I was glad to avoid what will undoubtedly precipitate a crisis. Fate tricks us into thinking that we can leave well or even somewhat ill alone and gloss over the past to live free of emotional debt in the present. I am sure I am not the only one to find out that this is not so.

FatLand: Part II – The Early Days

March 20, 2010

Well, it has finally come.

I cannot say that I have been happy or fulfilled here, even though the hideout is gracious and stately in a gracious and stately European capital. But the stateliness and grace were bought at the expense of the truth, and this has weighed upon me constantly. How ironic, that people used to think that “weight” and supposed heaviness of body were sins. The real sin is the weight on the mind that comes with hiding the truth.