The Rotund's guest blogger Rebecca posts about difficulties with the definition of health. Excerpts:
Sometimes it’s a bit oppressive to live in a culture that believes that regular exercise always leads to a higher exercise capacity. That’s not true for everyone. Because I have CFIDS and fibromyalgia, I’ve been perceived as lazy and deluded.
I was once told by a massage therapist that the subgroup of her patients who’ve had bad physical reactions to her massage is the same subgroup of her patients who “want to be sick.” [....] Fat folks receive the same blame, the same labels of “difficult.” (If we weren’t difficult we’d have laid off the baby-flavored donuts already and become thin.) Both groups are told we’re lying about our body’s physical workings.
There’s one way in which being sick and in pain every day for fifteen years makes fatpol a little easier for me. I appreciate what my body can DO. I’m so euphoric on days when I can take a walk or cook a goulash that residual insecurity about fatness wafts away on a breeze of triviality.
Thinking we can completely control our health has a quality of bargaining with God or performing magical rituals. Of course there are healthful actions people can take. But the degree to which those actions succeed, especially given the myriad other factors in everyone’s life, is often complex and untraceable.