Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Fudge #WEP


If you're hell-bent on using this picture of a pan of fudge, go right ahead.

Critique guidelines:
Major points only. Given the subject matter, I can foresee this becoming a real shit show otherwise.

August 1

I made fudge. If you need a fast chocolate fix, this is the quickest ever.

1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips into a bowl and nuke them for one minute. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into a parchment-lined 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Eat.

This recipe is the epitome of me in the kitchen. I don’t do anything that involves a lot of prep work.

I am once again recovering from severe emotional dysregulation.

I feel hopeless. Even my writing is like horrible homework.

I want to do the writing part of writing and leave the promotion part to someone who knows what the hell they are doing. I am not a social butterfly. I am more of a social pill bug. If I see someone coming, I curl myself up into a ball and hope they won’t notice me. Unfortunately, at my size, it’s hard for them to miss me.

Social pill bugs tend not to be treated well, even at the doctor’s office. Dr. Deborah Serani, a psychologist who lives with clinical depression, writes about this phenomenon in her excellent Psychology Today article.

This vitally important takeaway from the article sizes up (Heh! See what I did there?) the attitude that heavy people and patients with mental illness just “aren’t trying hard enough.”

In 1948, The World Health Organization defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Regrettably, it didn't take into account chronic illness or disease and the layered challenges individuals face with such conditions. While the definition of health has changed over the years, most professionals - and the general public - believe health is a state of well-being that a person "earns" or "maintains." This social construct goes like this:
If you eat well, you will be well.
If you exercise, you will be fit.
If you don't have good mental health, you just aren't trying hard enough.
And that those who can't, won't or don't achieve well-being are just weak, lazy - or worse - need to be shamed to get it done.

Shaming doesn’t work, but even doctors, who are supposed to be so much smartier than the rest of us, don’t understand this. If shaming worked there would be no addicts of any kind. There would be no fat people, and nobody would have mental health problems. Everyone would eat the exact right amount of the exact optimal kind of food at every meal. Nobody would drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or weed, snort cocaine, inject heroin, or become addicted to pills. Everyone would be content to do the jobs assigned to them by those in power.

I recommend re-reading Brave New World. Or reading it for the first time if you haven’t read it yet.

As for me, if hating myself thin never worked during the thirty-three years I tried to do just that, it sure as fuck ain’t gonna work now. The doctor should have berated my thyroid, which killed itself and thrust me onto the path to largeness when I was just thirteen years old. She should have berated my ovaries, which developed PCOS once I was old enough to menstruate. She should have berated my pancreas, which waited until I was 49 years old, but then joined my thyroid in death.

If anything, this woman of medicine who is so much smartier than me should have berated me for becoming bulimic at twelve and starting down a path of lifelong food insecurity, both self-imposed (dieting) and involuntary (not having the money to buy adequate supplies of food while social services tells me I make too much money to qualify for assistance.) Better yet, rather than berating an old broad coming to you because she has a fucking sleep disorder and the sleep specialist said she should, why not berate a society that allows food insecurity and pushes people to hate their bodies?


This doctor, by the way?

A pulmonologist.

I was there to find out if something was awry with my lungs, not to have bad drugs with serious side effects suggested to me on the slim chance (see what I did there?) they might turn me into the svelte, slinky vixen that every woman is supposed to be.

I am not unaware of my size nor of the theoretical correlation between my size and conditions. However, I’m working on making peace with my body and food because dieting and eating disorders (among other factors) have caused me serious trauma. Even if I remain at my current size (given my history, this is the most likely outcome) my overall health will still improve if I am receiving appropriate care for my underlying conditions.

I guess everyone would have been happier if I’d lived fast, died young, and left a good-looking corpse.

Fuck all of them.

I look out of my shell and realize I’ve failed at my goal of opening people’s eyes to the way bias against troubled people or those who don’t conform to a certain rigid standard of beauty and acceptability hurts the world.

I am aware that I’m ugly.

Those who puff up their egos by shaming those who don’t conform to their standards don’t realize they are ugly too.

I had a couple pieces of the fudge. I think I prefer cookie bars.

Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I don’t eat dessert after every meal or even every day.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Image by HK Mennist from Pixabay

It should go without saying, but I know it doesn't. Comments such as "but it's unhealthy to be fat," "but if you just eat less and exercise more," and "but if you just tried the sawdust and metal shavings diet" are not welcome.

As for the first comment, I'm not going to waste time debating with you. Go read this book. 

As for the second comment, I am excellent at starving myself. It is my first reaction to being size shamed, along with suicide ideation. I can't engage in orthorexia the way I used to because of my back problems. Go read the aforementioned book.

As for the third comment:


  1. I am sorry that you are in a bad place. Again. Very sorry. And hear you about doctors. I am currently waiting, not very patiently for my latest issues to be diagnosed so we can begin to talk about possible treatments.
    In my eyes ugly is a description of behaviour rather than appearance.

    1. Conversely, the sleep specialist is very good at listening rather than lecturing, which is why I tend to be compliant with what she suggests rather than turning into a stubborn ass. Now I'm grumbling about the sorry shape of the US medical system once again. My o2 sats go down to 58% during episodes of sleep apnea, but it will take 3-6 weeks for me to be set up with a CPAP device. The medical assistant commiserated with me about this.
      I also need to make an appointment to see a speech therapist. The pulmonologist did make the useful suggestion that it's possible I have vocal cord dysfunction rather than asthma because when she listened to my lungs they sound clear, but when she listened at my throat, there was wheezing.
      I tend to agree that ugly is behavioral rather than appearance-based, except when it comes to me. I am objectively extremely physically unattractive, and I know it.

  2. Hi! I hear you. I've been there. I just wish the world was a kinder place.
    I too prefer quick fix recipes in the kitchen, going to try the fudge!

  3. I'd love to try some of the fudge - but more importantly your health ... I take a pro-active approach and am doing what I can ... in other words the things I feel (and know) help me ... breath exercises ... everything I do is done gently here at home ... but always a little at a time - pacing myself. Good luck - cheers Hilary

  4. Sending hugs your way. Ugly does indeed come from the inside. So does beauty - keep believing in yours.

  5. I'm sorry you feel so bad. I hope you get better soon.

  6. I hate to admit I have just as many complaints about the medical profession as you, but I do. Being told that they can only tell me why for this, or why for that once they perform the autopsy, is really a lousy excuse for ignorance, but there you have it! I am sorry that you or anyone has to go through such harshness, but isn't why we write. You're a talented writer, so please keep sharing that wonderful talent. Be you! And thanks for sharing the fudge recipe. I just might try that!

  7. I'm a fairly good cook, for the things I feel like cooking. I like cooking for special occasions, and cooking in layers. I guess I like the prep time - lets me drink more wine longer, lol. Don't remember where I read it, but the saying was something like we can only be who we are. And sometimes that means eating chocolate, just for the shear joy of it.

  8. I am so sorry to read about all that you have had to endure.
    If only people looked beyond body size, our society would have been a better place to be. :(
    I was "thin" for quite a long time, and it used to be a torture putting up with all kinds of questions, esp. after I got married. I still remembered being asked if my husband didn't feed me well.

    Tight hugs to you!

  9. I'm so sorry to read about your issues. Thank you for sharing them at WEP. I hope you find the medical and other support you need at the soonest. In my view ugly equals a lack of compassion and openness rather than not conforming to arbitrary standards of appearance, especially for those with ovaries.

  10. That recipe certainly fits my style -- we're currently staying in a lovely apartment that has only a micro and a hot plate. But I probably won't be making your tempting recipe. Too much sweet, I'll say, as I curl into a ball and try to avoid any visitors. But the view here in truly beautiful, large pines, cedars, and eucalyptus, with the occasional rabbit darting across the lawn below. BTW, my husband has been waiting 8 months for his bipap (they keep losing the papers). Now, I wonder if it's because they think he's ugly or they're just incompetent. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. We're both introverts and I hope we are beautiful on the inside.

  11. Sorry that you have been so mistreated by Doctors. I hear your frustration - as a Physio I've known many jerks who just look at pictures and test results without seeing the person. My specialisation is back pain and I've had many women under 55Kg who were told by the "Doctor-Specialist" that they are overweight and that's why they have back pain. The sad thing is that they (the Doctors) believe it! Sometimes I think it was better in the middle ages when everyone in the village had a place and were accepted. No TV etc telling us all how we should look, behave and be. Not even a weekly bath. However there was no chocolate either! How I long for a society which is accepting.

  12. Eat the fudge.
    The pulmonologistsssss (I went through every one in 20 miles, waited a decade, then saw the whole new crop) gave me piles of steroids and said to stay as still as possible as much as possible, then when I put on eighty pounds were all "you need to loose weight, it's making you worse." Or your lack of care made me worse. Athletes take steroids and then workout like crazy. I'm just saying.

    They don't know everything.
    And anyone giving you crap is secretly angry or distasteful of themselves.

    Screw it. Eat the fudge.

  13. Big hug. Promoting is hard and the big advantage of traditional publication is getting a little help with it. But they still expect writers to do a lot of stuff that isn't writing.
    A century ago, thinness was equated to poverty. Dresses had huge things under them to make women look larger at one point. Instead of ugly, go with "sexy af in a different century." There is probably a universe in the multiverse where my burn scars make me a survivor and that's attractive, and whatever you've got going on as the height of hotness. No one can disprove this, so we may as well call it true and be joyful.

    The IWSG is celebrating 12 years today, which is so amazing for a blogging community of writers. A dozen years of support! 🎉
    "The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library." – Albert Einstein quote
    September is library card sign-up month! Get one, use one, and be grateful such places exist.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction &Reference Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge


This is a safe space. Be respectful.