WEEK 3 - 24th-31st July: Bears beats beets, the onion of despair, Karen’s First World Problems …
Monday 25th July – Sunday 31st July
Not much to report. As with Ibsen’s Little Eyolf absolutely nothing happens in the second half of the play except in the spiritual battleground of the characters. They barely move from the drawing room, but the heaven’s fall. It’s like that here. It’s like that with people in general. There is too much ‘action’ presented to us as our reality, Squid and Hunger games, races and cups and outrage. Nothing much happens for most folk – apart from the poor millions of bastards suffering under attack and starvation.
This blog could be called Karen’s First World Problems. But the concept of the Karen is horseshit. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s a slur that is a lazy way to stick it to the man without upsetting the man. It’s good old-fashioned misogyny, even given the amount of asshole ‘cis’ white women who behave badly. (One could brandish any number of ideological movements ‘Karen’ given the basic criteria. ISIS for one. Talk about entitled and outraged.) Ah yes, the concept of the White Woman. No. The only distinctions that matter are class distinctions. Economic/class distinctions. I will be an existentialist Marxist nihilist til the day I day. Just like Mummy taught me.
The Chris Pratts from last week are losing weight, and they are grumpy. The handsome thique father/son duo have been the life and soul – til the diets kicked in. They both look healthy and miserable now. The son seems to have gone back to the city and has been replaced by his mum – a very slim and toned lady. I wonder if all this was her idea – sending her boys off to fat camp. Who knows. It does beg the question why we chubsters have ended up chubby. I don’t buy that some of us just ‘love food’ and embrace life. That’s a crock. Most overweight people are unhappy because of the weight. Balls to the body positivity movement. Change the system rather than making women drink the kool aid of ‘I’m fine with my body even though society at large treats me like shit because of it’.
I’m fat because I’m traumatized from a young age. Food is fucked up in my head and I confuse it with all sorts of things it aint: pain management, love, punishment, discipline. Basic mothering. A way to get some relief from the beleaguered grind that is me. I live in the past, mainly. The horror, the horror, etc. Or the future: the fear, the fear, etc. The Here and Now is usually pretty ok, but I can’t enjoy it because of the horror the horror etc. Warmth, shelter, friends are usually available in the Here and Now. But I know too many ADHD punk anarchists who live in the ‘here and now’ and expect everyone else to foot the bill. I speak from experience with more than one live-in boyfriend who lay around smoking dope and ripping music from CD’s to ‘spread it to the people because music should be free’. While I went to work and paid the rent. Pimps.
Fun fact. My mum worked at a drug addiction centre in Chelsea in London 1969-1974 called C.U.R.E. I used to go there with her after school. The activity centre for the junkies on the second floor was called the Here and Now. They used to make political banners up there. And shoot up.
Wednesday – Friday
More of a blur. I stick to the food plan because there’s no alternative. I walked into the local village on Thursday – 6km from the Farm. Just to have something to do. Went into a supermarket out of interest. The cornucopia on the shelves, particularly the sweets and cookies section. The Poles know cookies. I bought a nectarine and some cherries – a little bag. I guess you can say I’m 18 days sober, and I don’t want to fuck it up. But sober from what? Cakes and cookies? Binge eating? Stress eating? No one seems able to tell me. All the money and research goes on heroin-chic anorectic girl-childs. (Btw, any man who desires to specialise in treating anorectic teenage girls is shady as fuck you ask me. Come on. It reeks of pervy agenda, no? This is women’s business, you creeps.)
So I’m left to figure out the treatment for this fuckery by myself. I suspect I need to simply stay away from baked goods, chocolate and ice-cream. Being on a fat farm is the easy part. What happens when I return home – or whatever you call it?
Looked in the mirror on Friday and had a shock. A moment where I recognized myself. Like seeing an old friend. I’ve always been gently criticized by friends and clinicians for my eternal attempts to lose weight, as if I am trying to be something I’m not and never can be. As if chub is my base line and natural state. Makes me want to twist and shout. But realised it in the mirror Friday. I don’t want to be something I’m not. I want to be something I am. Hallo old friend. There you are. I missed you.
Fat has protected me from all the demons of my magical thinking. It’s a standard operating procedure for folk like me with my background. But after the breakdowns, psyche wards, medications and years of faithfully attending therapy (twice a week, every week since 2015), fat is not a strategy that works any more. It’s holding me back. Goodbye old friend?
The purple hot soup we get at every meal is fermented beetroot juice, I have discovered. It smells like feet and fannies. Tastes of vinegar. Dwight Shrute was onto something though. Fermented food is good for you. Mighty good. I drink it dutifully.
Last time I did a wellness thing was 2007, Thailand. A colonic irrigation retreat in Koh Samui. I ate nothing for 12 days, rinsed out my arsehole twice a day with a steampunk contraption made of rubber hoses and a washboard over the toilet, sat on copper plates facing north to ‘zap the parasites’, had vaginal ozone cleansing (I know). I lost 5kgs in twelve days and gained it back by the time I got to Bangkok. My oldest friend Christian reminded me the other day that he had to take me to hospital when I got back from Thailand that time. I’d forgotten that.
This time – will it be different? I don’t know. I spend my life trying to control my weird instincts. Trying to control myself like I’m a go-kart swerving into a hotdog stand. I’ve given in to my impulses before – and it’s won me awards but brought down a world of pain in the form of rage and criticism.
I’m facing a fact: I’m not doing anything I want to do these days because I’m afraid of what will happen. Not physically - though I’ve had my share of bottles thrown at me on stage and being reported to the police and crazed borderline personalities screaming in my face because they don’t like my ideas. Acutely, I’m afraid of the online outrage. The dismissal, personal attacks, viral disgust, the nasty messages in the in box when you wake in the morning. Nowadays I try to do art that nobody knows about. Pay my rent doing other stuff and do art in secret so no one will hit me.
Though here’s the kicker. I suspect I’m at the Fat Farm to lose weight and become strong. So I can stand up to those motherfuckers, and open my mouth again. If I’m not a chubster, it’s one less thing they can hang me for.
We fill our water bottles from the cooler in the reception. I filled four x 1.5-liter bottles and carried them back to my room after lunch on Sunday. Six liters is 13 pounds - nearly six kgs. That’s how much weight I’ve lost since I’ve been here. The tote bag with bottles of water was heavy on my back. It was a shock to think I’ve been carrying that around all this time.
I have one more week to go. This is just a prologue.