Zoos and Clouded Leopards / Scales and Size Acceptance

Zoos and Clouded Leopards
We went to the Zoo for Stuart’s birthday. It was a good day, considering that Zoos disturb me. All those animals that should be wild and free, but instead are caged (even the best designed “habitat” is a cage). I know that in some cases, the only chance species have to survive extinction is in Zoo breeding programs, but that still doesn’t stop the individual animal’s misery. The Clouded Leopard’s pain was quite simply devastating. I could feel her pain, her sadness, her sense of hopelessness. She was beautiful, and I told her so, and as I did she looked me in the eye. I told her that I could feel her pain and that I was sorry she felt that bad. Her muscles relaxed slightly, as I said this and psychically sent her love and well-being. I was nearly in tears. Some of the animals seemed happy, or at least content, but that poor leopard was not one of them. She is in a deep amount of pain, and nothing I can do will help her.

Scales and Size Acceptance
I also wanted to post this response I posted to a discussion group I am on about size acceptance, and throwing out your bathroom scales. The initial question was:

Who all here owns a bathroom scale? Who all uses it? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

And my response was:

No, not a scale in sight. Last time I owned a scale was about 10 years ago, when I was at my worst with body image. A diet shake for breakfast, an apple for lunch and salad for dinner…not good. I lost about 30 kilos (I think that’s roughly 60 pounds or so for you guys in the US????) but I did it at the expense of my peace of mind. Scales are the work of the devil if you ask me ;-) So much of my self worth was dependent on how much I had lost (or had not lost) in a particular week. The best thing I ever did was throw them out and stop dieting.

Now after about 8 years of not dieting, and just eating according to what I feel like eating when I feel like eating it – with healthy choices in mind…mostly :-) – I am much more at ease with my size and weight. I find that I can look in the mirror and enjoy my shape, not for it’s potential if I lose a few kilos, but as it is now (still have ‘bad’ days of course, doesn’t everyone?). My weight has gone up and down during this time, but I believe that is a natural thing which doesn’t bother me. I haven’t been on a scale in a long time, and could only guess at what I weigh. At the moment, I am on a downward cycle (My jeans from last year completely slip over my hips), but that is not through any conscious decision to lose weight. I don’t feel like I am depriving myself of anything – quite the opposite in fact! However I am sure that at some point, I will be on a gaining cycle again.

Size acceptance, by my definition, is a long journey to self acceptance. We are battling against anti-fat propaganda and pressure to be thin. In fact, I believe it goes further; it’s a pressure on women in general to be aware of the *beholder* (you know “beauty is in the eye of…”, etc.) That is, we judge ourselves (and are judged) by external things – how we dress, our make up, whether our hair is professionally coifed or tousled, our size – things that are basically superficial. The realisation that we can base our self esteem on things other than our appearance is a big one, but very very hard. I don’t think anyone can perfectly achieve size acceptance 100% of the time, but being aware that it is a path we can choose is a really important first step.

I think I will adapt this to be part of my intro the the Fatadelic website I am putting together.

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