On this week’s Drag Race, Raja spoke passionately about why she wanted to be the next Top Drag Queen. She said, “I would love to leave a legacy for all the little boys who are teased, who are afraid, who don’t know how to express themselves creatively yet… It’s okay to say ‘fuck you.'”*
RuPaul, who I’m growing to love more and more every week, responded (as best as I can remember…I can’t find a video online and I already deleted it from the DVR), “That is something, isn’t it? The power of Fuck You.”
Yeah, Ru, it is. It is everything. In a world where far too many people want to tell the different and the creative to go away and not be seen, there’s incredible power in knowing it’s okay to say, “fuck you.” It’s okay to not be loved by people who are determined to hate. And most of all, it’s okay for you to tell them that they don’t matter to you, even if you only say it in your head *and* even if you say it out loud.
I’m starting a running program in earnest. I’ve never exactly been inactive. I generally do something active at least once a week, but it wasn’t regular, and I had no real goals around it. I’ve never been a fast walker, and until maybe a year ago, I really hadn’t run at all for more than a few seconds at a time. When I did my very first 5K in 2009, I procrastinated on training for it and basically got saved by it turning out to not have the stringent time limit that I thought it did. I walked the vast majority of it and finished in something like 70 minutes…and that was with me walking fast and full of adrenaline (and I was far from last). The fastest time I’ve ever really done in a timed event was a 20:30 mile. (If you dig around, there’s faster results showing for me on the Corn Maze 5K, but we’re all pretty sure that was a shorter-than-5K course. But, it was a PR for me, we think…just no way to know exactly how much.) I do other things like Dance Central, skiing, and biking, but it’s really hard to gauge progress on those activities as other factors get in the way of the data.
Anyways, I started on the Couch-to-5K (C25K) plan, but I had some problems with that plan’s aggressiveness. I was having cramping in my bad ankle trying to keep up with it. So, on DH’s suggestion, I decided to change to the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method. Jeff Galloway does the course design and training plans for the Disney runs, and he’s well known in the running community for having created a method that lets you run without injury, even for larger and/or older runners. As of last week, I was at 30 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking, which is the target goal of Galloway’s beginning running Silver plan (intended for people wanting a moderate training cycle and who have never done any real physical activity at all). So, now, I’m following Galloway’s half-marathon training plan (posted on the Disney running site), which is 3 days a week. I do two nights of 30 minute sessions, including 5 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of run-walk-run intervals, and 5 minutes of cool down (which I admittedly combine with a sprint and thus a longer cool down, because I like to run super fast at the end when/if I feel up to it). The idea at this point is that I’m gradually reducing the amount of walking time until I get to 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking. On the weekend, I do a longer session for distance. Last weekend, I did 2.5 miles. That didn’t go so well (even though I do nearly that much on a weeknight), because the day before, I had walked around 4 miles at the zoo. What I should have done was do a quick 20 minute run-walk-run session instead of the distance because I’d done so much distance the day before (even lackadaisically), but I wanted to stick to my goal. I suffered for it, though…it was painfully slow-going because my muscles were tired. In good news, though, tonight was my first attempt at 30 second run/1:45 walk, and it was so easy that it felt almost too easy! I also averaged 3.9mph, which is much faster than I’ve done in the past. I noticed that my walking pace was faster when I was walking. It’s actually presenting a problem for me, because I’m doing more distance than I anticipate in the time, so I end up looping around the block a few times at the end.
While I was out tonight, I was thinking about that line from Drag Race. You see, my mom has been having to deal with doctors and hospitals recently. She has to deal with them a lot, but in particular lately, she’s been having trouble breathing, and she had to basically throw a fit in order to get them to run tests on her to see what was wrong. In the medical system, they have these ways of taking away the power of fuck you, especially for fat folk, and it is demoralizing. They use the VFHT, the Vague Future Health Threat (tm Ragen Chastain), to intimidate and scare fat people. They tell them to go away until they’re thin…or more accurately, until they die. Doctors, even more than the rest of the US, have a big old hang-up about fat people. They don’t want to treat them, and they don’t want to see them. They’d rather amputate your organs than treat you, nevermind that doing so will definitely impair your quality of life, may make you less healthy, and could in rare cases kill you. And, they have power assigned to them such that they get to put action to their prejudice in very scary ways.
Thinking about that, I realized that a big part of why I’m doing the running and training…and why I signed up to do a half-marathon in January at Disney (!!! squee !!!)…is the power of fuck you. It’s because I know my body pretty damn well. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this level of exercise. And the fact of the matter is, I’m not going to lose weight as so many will probably think I will. I’m sure I’ll lose some. But, I’ve never been thin, and I don’t think I ever will be. It’s not in my chemistry. I have speculation as to why, but it’s just speculation. And, while I’ve always been pretty active in various activities, I’ve never had something good I could point to and say “look, I did [physical activity], you stupid idiot…your prejudices about me are wrong.” I can say that I’m active, more than most Americans, even more than most thin Americans…but without something concrete, I think people think I’m lying or exaggerating. Even when I was doing Karate 3-4 times a week while stupidly doing a starvation diet at the same time (and damn near killing myself in the process…passing out periodically as a matter of course), that wasn’t concrete enough. Saying I had a green belt had some value, but not enough. Also, I wasn’t as militant then as I am now. I still thought I was wrong for being who I was then, hence the starvation diet.
This will give me something concrete. I can point to it, for me and for all the fat folk out there, and say, FUCK YOU stupid doctors! (not all of them, mind you, just the stupid ones) FUCK YOU for equating fat and unhealthy! FUCK YOU and your stupid prejudice! FUCK YOU for making my fat brothers and sisters feel like crap! Because here I am! I have awesome cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar…and I’m more active than all you bitches! You can’t doubt it now…I have DATA on my side! I will fight them with science. I am so looking forward to getting to do what many of my favorite HAES bloggers have gotten to do…to wait for the doctor to say “you need to lose weight…maybe try walking sometimes” and to look them dead in the eye and say, “I ran 7 miles last weekend. I do about 10 miles a week on average. I go through running shoes like you go through TOILET PAPER, you IGNORANT PREJUDICED ass! Now, treat me like you’d treat a thin person, since you’re too fucking stupid to understand this any other way!”
And yeah, I know, they’ll throw out another VFHT and insist that I must be eating too much or whatever (which is bullshit)…but I will have data and science and accomplishments on my side. I’m going to get some power of Fuck You, and I’m going to use my powers for good.
* Now, granted, that was hypocritical as hell coming from one of the Heathers. Raja and Manila are both in my hate book because of how mean they were to the other girls, especially the fat queens. Granted, I think Carmen was the source of much of the grinchiness, but Raja was right there in the thick of it.