Monday, February 04, 2008

Apparently, Mississippi thinks I should eat at home...

...or at least a few of them do.

But more about that in a second. First, I've had a post about weight in the hopper for a while now. Some thoughts that have been knocking around about reshaping my body through the training process with the Elf and how that's altering my own body image and relationship with food. Changing composition, improving strength and flexilibility, and supporting it through proper food choices.

But there is a saying in our family that sticks -- "Short, fat and squatty. All a$ and no body."

Thankfully, I've avoided the tail end part, but not without thousands of miles on the bike. But I haven't been able to avoid the biological imperative passed down through my parents and their parents.

The short story is that I've always been short and I've always been heavy. I've never been whispy or slight and buying clothes has always been a struggle. And since the advent of my 30s, my metabolism has gained a surly attitude and needs a lot more convincing to work with me, rather than against.

But, I've begun the process of self acceptance. This is what I look like. And with the exception of some refinements in shape and possibly a little weight, this is essentially my body for life. And I've grown used to it and tried to see the sexy side to my curves. It's a process, for sure. I am green with envy when people talk about running an 8 minute mile -- that will never be in my cards. I still worry about what I will look like in my wedding dress and I harumph about getting the proper jean fit. I don't fit the norm of beauty, but I've managed to find my beautiful side.

And for the most part, I'm satisfied. Satisfied because it's perfect? Nope. Because it's not. But I am satisfied because it's mine. And I learned a few years ago that trying to fight the things out of your control is guaranteed failure.

So. Here I am. A kind of short woman with a great deal of muscle and an extremely healthy lifestyle. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I am careful about my nutrition, and exercise is my part time job.

And, there may be a point where I would be turned away from a restaurant in the state of Mississippi because as an OBESE patron, I would not be allowed to dine out. Anywhere.

Yes. LET ME REPEAT THAT. As defined by the state of Mississippi, I would be obese. Thus, restaurants (any that have more than 5 seats) would be obliged to turn me away. Yes -- that is they would lose their permits to operate if they failed to do so.

I swear. Read the proposed bill here. (Thanks to The Big Fat Deal for the heads up.)

Honestly, when are we -- as a populous -- going to realize that poor health status is not just about what the scale says and healthy decisions are made based on education, available resources, and healthy food options.

This is NOT about regulating behavior. This is about providing the collective resources for good nutritional choices, regardless of financial means or geography, and supporting a culture that incorporates and rewards physical activity. Regulating behavior by legislating access is a simple "answer" to an overwhelmingly complex phenomenon.

And moreover, the use of BMI scales is thoroughly inappropriate. Even if I were to allow for the argument of some form of regulation, the BMI scale is simply not a sophisticated enough tool. Period. I am a perfect example of how it can be over-inclusive (do I really need to be regulated by the state because I cannot manage my own dining decisions alone?), and the individual with a normal BMI number and dangerously high cholesterol or unmanaged diabetes is the example of how it can be under-inclusive. Want to regulate your residents? At least use criteria that is appropriate.

This bill to be motivated by stereotypes and is entirely too shortsighted and unsophisticated for what should be expected of elected officials. Reps. Mayhall, Reed and Shows should be ashamed of their submission.

9 comments:

Brent Buckner said...

That's outrageous.

Krista said...

You tell 'em, woman.

FYI: I directed a question at you on my blog. Help. Thanks. :)

Stef said...

This is almost too egregious to even know what to comment -- except to echo what Brent said. Outrageous indeed.

Wes said...

I love Mississippi. As an Alabamian, they are my saving grace :-) So many laughs, you understand...

Curly Su said...

wow, really interesting. SO surprising it's coming from mississippi, somehow...

LBTEPA said...

That would be funny if it wasn't so TRAGIC and DISGUSTING.
BTW well done on the improvement in running!!

21stCenturyMom said...

These Republicans pride themselves on being anti-government and and anti Nanny state and then they come up with crap like this.

I wonder if they can spell the word 'hypocrisy' or if they have any idea what it means.

Steve Stenzel said...

Yeah, I just heard that rep. talk on a morning show, and he had nothing. What an ass. He talked about raising awareness, but then having no way to enforce it anyway. What a waste of time!!

Erin said...

Hopefully this bill won't go anywhere, but it's atrocious nonetheless. I applaud this post, though, your acceptance with your body, and your drive and determination. I'm still working hard to get where you seem to already be. Well done, you!