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Athleticism, knees, fat, doctors - Input Junkie
July 19th, 2011
10:11 am


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Athleticism, knees, fat, doctors
From Ragen Chastain, a fat dancer and athlete:

People worry about her knees. She explains that she uses the same care a thin athlete would-- attention to specific muscle tightness and how she moves, and gets excellent results.

The comments include discussion of doctors who use "lose weight" as the default advice for fat people, including one case where the result of delayed diagnosis of cancer was deadly.

If a doctor says "lose weight" without listening or celebrates unexplained weight loss, it's a very good idea to either change doctors or insist on the same treatment a thin person would get.

The Trouble with Proving It is Ragen's account of attempting to prove to people who are prejudiced about fat that she's actually physically very competent. She uses text, photos, and eventually really impressive videos.

The answer she got back was "You're still fat", which says quite a bit about the stability of prejudice.

Links picked up from Big Liberty, a fat liberation newsreader.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/490047.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for those links, to remind me of what I had discovered a while back. Not quite twenty years ago I started taking classes in a particular (rare) style of Qi Gong in order to increase mobility and to ameliorate the effects of long-standing carpal tunnel syndrome. After several months of that I discovered, over and over, that things I had thought I couldn't do because of my weight were things I hadn't been able to do because of my tight muscles and feedback-loop sedentary habits. It's a thing I keep discovering.

That being said, I do notice that when I lose some weight my knees hurt less -- but that my knees hurt in the first place because of bad movement habits, and that I lose weight in the second place largely due to improving my movement habits.

But that Ragen -- she is beautiful.
[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
What's the name of the Qi Gong style?

And as for jumping to conclusions about fat, I was doing child's pose as part of The Five Tibetans (a cross between yoga and calesthenics).

Child's pose was a miserable, breath-constraining, claustrophobic experience for me for quite a while, but I was stubborn and persevered. (I don't recommend this as a good way to do yoga or any other exercise, but I got away with it that time.) After a while, child's pose became a great deal easier, and I found that the problem wasn't my stomach getting in the way.

I read that the purpose of child's pose is to free up the lower back-- that's what was constraining my breathing.
[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
I don't really know the name. But the main teacher -- whose name I also forget -- lives in Hawaii, and was trained in this stuff since early childhood and honestly was getting way too esoteric the last time she visited Santa Cruz, and the fun went out of it for me. I know it was not Crane style, because I saw that and it was boring.

Most of the Qi Gong I have seen since then has been boring. The stuff we did was mostly Standing Flowing and Standing (something else that's not flowing, with a meaning like forceful, I forget). It was like Tai Chi, but slower, and with more narrative force: each form had a whole string of motions that you did. Other styles I've seen were either more yoga-like, with poses happening, or just basic exercises like rolling the shoulders, and screw that, you know? I can do that without a teacher, and I do, sometimes.

Actually, now that I think about it, I could go back to doing the standing flowing forms. And the walking ones, though I only learned a few. I certainly feel better when I'm doing them. I just started doing my "bed" exercises again (little crunchies, leg lifts, and pushups before I get up -- my bed is hard enough to support them)

[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)

There are degrees of quality that I don't think you can get to in standardized systems, but without standardization, a lot gets lost.
[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link. People's reactions are pretty telling.
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