How we treat our pets vs. how we treat ourselves

1 Nov

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This is Greebo. Greebo is about eight years old. Also, Greebo weighs fifty percent (!!!) more than he should.

I feel bad that I let it come to this – mostly out of laziness. A hungry cat will let you know, in no uncertain terms, that it wants to be fed NOW. Which is annoying if you want to sleep in on weekends. So we got a dry food dispenser, and I never wasted a second thought on how he might just eat and eat and eat.

Studies suggest that obesity in mammals reduces life expectancy as well as quality of life in aging mammals.

Basically, what I did to the poor tomcat is bodily harm due to negligence. (Note: His sister Ronja, under the same circumstances, eats less, she is a bit pudgy but in upper normal weight range for a cat her size.)

I bet if Bastet were here she’d bust (bast) my ass over this. How dare I treat her precious feline friends like that?

Anyway, this train of thought has brought me back to the way we, as mammals, often treat our own bodies – stuffing ourselves with (oh so tasty!) garbage – or excess prime quality food – keeping ourselves from exercising and putting all that weight on our joints even if we know that it is bad for us.

I have an easier time talking about it right now, as I have lost almost one third of my body weight so far, going from “obese” to “upper normal” weight over the course of several years. And you know, I am all for body acceptance. But just as you hopefully got outraged about my negligence of Greebo’s health, I would like to think that people who cared about me got outraged when I put my own health at risk by going up to two hundred pounds.

Yeah, that was not the case. No one ever mentioned my weight. When I started exercising and reducing my calorie intake – the oldest diet known to mankind, I would guess – on the other hand, I got lots of worried remarks. Running would destroy my knees (so would all that excess weight, and running is way better for my cardiovascular system and depressive episodes, thank you very much!). I would stop looking good if I lost “too much” weight (as if I care – my physician and I have everything in check, we’re aiming for a healthy weight range with adequate body fat percentage), I was making myself unhappy by “depriving myself” (while I was still eating burgers and pizza and ice cream, only not as much … and health and exercise surely do make me happy!) etc. pp. ad nauseam. Just last week a few female colleagues ganged up on me and told me they were so worried they would start sending me care packages.

At that point I had had enough. With a big smile I offered that we could just calculate the group individuals’ average weight (total group weight/number of group members), which would surely turn out healthy for everyone. Then I left, before I could embarrass anyone any further. What can I say? My patience for bullshit is limited.

And what about body acceptance, you ask? I do not jsut accept my body, I love it – hair, stretch marks, pale skin, zits, scars, the whole bunch. I like to think of it as just another pet I have been trusted with for this episode of human existence (this sounds so weird, sorry! ^^ ), and I hope to take the best possible care of myself while I am here.

Just as I hope to take the best possible care of my beloved fluffy cats, who are planning to murder me in my sleep RIGHT NOW.

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5 Responses to “How we treat our pets vs. how we treat ourselves”

  1. Magaly Guerrero November 3, 2017 at 6:56 am #

    People are strange creatures when it comes to weight, above or below what they believe is the right amount. Weird.

    • diandralinnemann November 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

      Not just thinking of weight … I have a diabetic colleague, for example, who has to be really disciplined about her sugar intake (like all diabetics), and some colleagues are upset if she won’t accept a cookie or a piece of chocolate. “Oh, it’s just one piece!” Yeah, and you are surely going to donate a kidney if hers fail due to diabetic nephropathy, right? As humans we have a hard enough time keeping all our cravings in check when we could in theory give in to them all, all the time. o.o

      (I made the mistake of baking bread yesterday. I can’t be trusted around bread. And the carbs trigger my migraines.)

      • Magaly Guerrero November 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

        Dearest, I dance with Crohn’s Disease, there is little about people’s stupid responses when one says–I can’t eat that, I can’t drink alcohol at all, I must exercise… that you can tell me that I haven’t heard. And the looks, oh the looks. Some days, they just have to be glad that I’m disciplined enough not to kick them in the teeth.

    • diandralinnemann November 3, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      Well, there are no health restrictions (for you) when you kick them. Unless you tear a ligament. (And that’s why we train. ^^)

      • Magaly Guerrero November 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

        We must be mindful of our ligaments when we kick our health restrictions, lol!

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