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Why Fat is a Queer and Feminist Issue

Shortly after Barack Obama took office in 2009, first lady Michelle Obama kicked off the national slimming program “Let’s Move” and inaugurated an escalation of America’s already deeply entrenched “war on obesity,” seeming to interpret her husband’s campaign messages of “Hope” and “Change” in a manner fortuitous to our country’s $60-billion-per-year weight-loss industry. As with the metaphorical wars that came before it (against “drugs” and on “terror”), in the battle against fatness it’s difficult to discern the heroes from the villains—or, in terms made famous by the punitive yet highly popular reality TV program, to distinguish the biggest winners from the “biggest losers.” Those who soldier on in the war against “obesity” are at times ambiguous about precisely what (pounds of flesh?) or who (fat people captured on television eating fries?) are its intended targets. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” could be the rallying cry for America’s fight against the putative vice of fatness. The consistent butt of jokes, a handy icon of “unhealthiness” and loss of self-control, that which we feel we must protect our children from becoming—is “fat” what “queer” was a generation ago?

Ever since radical feminists Judy Freespirit and Aldebaran founded the Fat Underground in 1973, fat activists have worked to make visible the inseparability of homophobia and anti-fat prejudice. Today, a thriving fat and queer community is foregrounding similar intersections. But queer communities more broadly have not yet embraced the cause of fat liberation. “I don’t think that, in general, gay and lesbian attitudes about body size make fat people feel accepted,” queer fat activist Julia McCrossin remarks.

As an example, she points to weight-loss programs promoted by the Mautner Project (the National Lesbian Health Organization) that are premised on the belief that being fat is unhealthy. This is the first parallel between fat oppression and homophobia: the widely accepted cultural assumption that we’re dealing with a dangerous disease.

In 1966, Time magazine described homosexuality as a “pernicious sickness.” Today, “a deadly epidemic” is the cliché about “obesity.” The terms “obese” and “overweight”—favored by a medical establishment that receives generous endowments from the pharmaceutical industry (makers of weight-loss drugs) and the diet industry (funders of most major studies on “obesity”), and which itself has much to gain from the pathologization of fatness (bariatric surgery is big business)—give the impression that higher-than-average body weight is an illness. But the correlation between body size and health is actually minimal. Risks associated with being “morbidly obese” are no greater than that of being male, and “overweight” people live longer than people of “normal” weight. What’s more, the claim that fatness is a health risk ignores a basic principle of statistical analysis: Correlation is not causation. The small differences in life expectancies between average-size and very large people are most likely not caused by being fat but are instead the result of factors correlated with fatness: social stigma, economic discrimination, and the harmful effects of weight-loss dieting and diet drugs.

by Anonymousreply 9509/15/2013

Another parallel is it helps to know someone who is obese or gay, to be sympathetic to their issues. I used to be pretty bitchy about people with weight issues (on DL at least) until my obese niece moved to town and I got to know her better. It totally changed my attitude about it. Yes she overeats, although there's a genetic aspect as well, she's the spitting image of her obese grandmother. But everyone has flaws, it's superficial to focus on that particular one.

by Anonymousreply 108/13/2013

I agree with r2, it's very important that society judge people for their appearance. Fatties should be all be rounded up by the fashion police and forced to wear a scarlet F on their clothes.

by Anonymousreply 408/13/2013

Some, if not many, weight-challenged individuals have hormonal/glandular disorders that predispose them putting on weight. It's not their fault, so stop targeting them.

by Anonymousreply 508/13/2013

Shaming fat people doesn't make them any thinner, it makes them hate themselves. Nobody changes their life to please a bully, just so you mean girls know.

No, before a person can really change their life they have to value themselves, they have to have hope, and they have to have a plan that's likely to work. So while I know that carrying around hundreds of pounds of fat is damned unhealthy, I still see that the Fat Acceptance people are wiser than the fat-hating bitches. It takes self-respect to do something as hard as losing weight, the body Nazis want to destroy that.

by Anonymousreply 708/14/2013

R8 is too much of a food/health nazi for me.

The fact remains that a lot of the other posters in this thread type fat.

by Anonymousreply 908/14/2013

Fat is whack.

by Anonymousreply 1108/14/2013

Are these great big fat people?

by Anonymousreply 1208/14/2013

All I know is that I was sick constantly until I got fat and for the last thirty years of fatness I've had almost no medical expenses at all. That doesn't mean terrible things aren't happening unseen in my body, but I do resent the made up statistics and lies about fat causing all our health care premiums to go up. It's a lie. In thirty years my total medical care has not run $5,000 to any party including insurance.

by Anonymousreply 1308/14/2013

No you won't R15.

by Anonymousreply 1608/14/2013

I've already explained, I've been fat for thirty years and I've had none of the problems you mention. Maybe I'm due for a fall. But we get an atmosphere of hysteria in this country that drives out rational and scientific discourse. Lots of smokers live to 90. Is smoking bad? Sure. Are smokers BABY KILLERS who should be shunned and charged extra for insurance and denied employment? NO. It's all stupidity and madness. The cost of health care is so high because doctors and hospitals and insurance companies are thieves who are never called to account for their charges. It has literally nothing to do with the lifestyle of the people.

by Anonymousreply 1808/14/2013

Fat isn't a queer/feminist issue. It's a public health issue pure and simple.

by Anonymousreply 1908/14/2013

What r18 said

by Anonymousreply 2208/14/2013

The obesity epidemic is real. And it's MUCH more serious among lesbians. We always snicker about the high incidence of obesity in the southern states where Mississippi leads the nation in obesity rates (32% of adults are in the obese BMI range; the U.S. average is something like 28%). A whopping 75% of lesbians are obese. This is serious.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to spend $1.5 million (£1.01 million) on a study to learn why 75% of lesbians are obese and why gay men are not.

Over the past few years, several pieces of research have shown lesbians are more likely to be obese compared to gay and bisexual men.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, has received two grants administered by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the relationship between sexual orientation and obesity.

Robert Bock, press officer for the NICHD said: “Obesity is a serious public health problem affecting a large proportion of the US. The study is examining reasons why the risk of obesity varies according to sexual orientation, in order to inform the development of future strategies to prevent obesity.”

“Our study has high potential for public health impact not only for sexual minorities but also for heterosexuals, as we seek to uncover how processes of gender socialisation may exacerbate obesity risk in both sexual minority females and heterosexual males,” researchers said.

The project is being led by S. Bryn Austin, Director of Fellowship Research Training in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

by Anonymousreply 2308/14/2013

Public health authorities are people who were too stupid to get into medical school. They are always the last on the food chain of information, not the first.

R21, for thirty fucking years I've been paying medical premiums to subsidize your frequent illness from being too thin, your sports injuries, your bum knee from running and your tennis elbow and your bronchial infections from exercising in bad weather and your bad back....and received almost NO MEDICAL TREATMENT AT ALL FOR ANYTHING and you sashay in here in like the little scumbag punk that you are and call me unhealthy and say you don't want to subsidize ME should I get heart disease or diabetes or whatever after I've spent thirty years subsidizing you! Die a slow painful death with no health insurance, that's what you deserve.

by Anonymousreply 2408/14/2013

I am not in "deep denial" over my health, you are. I have been healthy for thirty years. Everybody should have this problem. You're the one who needs to dial it down. You're the one who is on the attack. You are the one who is unethical and dishonest, just a gay basher in another guise.

by Anonymousreply 2608/14/2013

Nothing is more indicative of a flawed character than someone who violently hates fat people. Especially in gay men, if I meet someone who is like this, I run and run fast.

They're also the type who treat servers like garbage.

by Anonymousreply 2908/15/2013

different strokes for different folks, R30. Some people are healthy when they're big and some people are not. Just like some people are healthy when they're thin and some people are not. Do you spend as much time calling bullshit when thin people "claim it is a healthy lifestyle?"

by Anonymousreply 3108/15/2013

[quote]The obesity epidemic is real. It's been medical and scientific fact for decades that being overweight leads to very high rates of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and myriad other life-shortening conditions.

Actually, no, it is not medical and scientific FACT at all. There have been no controlled studies confirming that having a higher than average weight causes or leads to these conditions. Doctors have come to associate body weights on the extreme ends of the scale as a possible predictive indicator that these diseases may occur. Big difference.

Traditionally and statistically, men are much more likely to have a heart attack than women. So do we then say that being male LEADS to heart disease? Do we start thinking of testosterone reduction treatments to get to the root of their maleness problem? Or do we consider it somewhat of a risk factor and encourage men to make sure they get regular check ups past a certain age?

The BMI was created by an astronomer in the 1830's who was interested in seeing if he could apply the same mathematical laws of probability to humans that were used in astronomy to predict movement of the stars. He started by creating a mathematical formula to calculate average weights and deviations from that average in a group of soldiers. It was intended as a statistical tool to measure averages and not as an individual diagnostic medical tool.

But of course, in later years with the advent and growth of the insurance company, the formula was seized upon as a way to predict mortality rates. Statistician Louis Dublin calculated the average weights of 25-29 year old Americans, the age group with the lowest mortality rate, and made their average weights the IDEAL weights for every adult. In other words, if you don't have or retain the physical characteristics of the age group which has the lowest mortality rate due to AGE, then you are more at risk of dying. It's like predicting your chances of dying by counting the lines on your face. And needless to say the whole criteria for determining these "ideal weights" was based on a desire to improve profit in the insurance industry, not health in the populace.

Now we have a current fuss going on about an "obesity" epidemic that was created when the NIH published two extremely faulty studies in 1999 and 2004 which tried and failed to pinpoint a BMI number that could truly be used as a measure to predict disease. The studies completely failed to do and in fact the 2004 was guilty of publishing wildly inaccurate statistics including the famous "obesity is responsible for 400, 000 deaths a year" statistics which they later retracted, claiming "computer errors". Yet this is the figure that was repeated and repeated in the media and is STILL repeated. There is NOTHING in any of those studies that clearly indicates that obesity causes any kind of disease at all. It just looked for associations of weight and rates of mortality whether those deaths were from car accident, heart attack or snake bite.. So they were using a faulty indicator, the BMI, in a faulty way.

And yet, this idea that excess fat is a surefire killer of humans has taken hold of the population ever since. And I'm constantly amazed at how hard people cling to this idea and will hear no argument against it.

I've brought this up on DL before and of course been called fat and told I'm "cherry picking" facts, as if every current idea about weight hasn't come from doing just that.

In my opinion, this irrational focus on weight alone is a deterrent to the sort of research that could be done on common diseases such as heart disease and cancer. We have decided we have found a common link without any proper research to determine the validity of this. This is unhelpful at best and maybe even dangerous because other factors go ignored.

by Anonymousreply 3208/15/2013

My observation is that people are getting fatter. Whenever I see vintage pictures or movie clips it's obvious.

High Fructose Corn Syrup has created an epidemic.

by Anonymousreply 3308/15/2013

Are you gonna eat those slices of Nut Loaf?

by Anonymousreply 3408/15/2013

Oh, boy.

Yet again a fat thread on the DL that pulls me into its tractor beam while, simultaneously, I wish nothing more than to flee in terror.

Over the past few decades, the NY Times Sunday Magazine has published pieces on the rumbles that take place between researchers within the mainstream medical establishment on what, for instance, is the impact of cholesterol and fat intake on the body.

In short, even experts are divided on this topic.

So, if I'm to rely on my own empirical evidence, here it is:

1. Children are fatter now then when I was a child.

2. I have tremendous sympathy for people who are overweight and I can't stand fat scolds.

That's it. That's all I know from my own powers of observation.

by Anonymousreply 3608/15/2013

[quote]My observation is that people are getting fatter. Whenever I see vintage pictures or movie clips it's obvious.

I don't know about that. Look at the clip below of stock footage from the 1950's. I see the same basic variety of body types that I do on the street now. Some people are quite slim, mostly the younger ones. Some people have more pudge, mostly the middle aged ones. This is what I see these days too, on average.

In the US today, I think that you might find more extremes of people who are VERY fat and also people who are keeping themselves sickly thin because there is such a paranoia about fatness and such disagreement as to what "fat" is. For some segments of society what used to be considered normal is now considered fat.

Among the very fat, I think that the extremes in fatness might have to do with a new wave of insulin resistance and they might have to do with corn syrup. It might have to do with carbs. It might have to do with a lifetime of yo yo dieting. Who knows? We're too busy demonising the poor fatties.

But I still think that people are on average, mostly average-maybe less toned than they used to be, thanks to computers and TV, but still average.

by Anonymousreply 3808/15/2013

[quote] End of that argument. Or is the WHO run by judgmental gay men trying to shame perfectly healthy people?

No, not end of the argument. The WHO isn't always right about everything. The WHO will change its recommendations according to new information and new data. The WHO is a reflection of current thinking about health among medical professionals.

In past times, medical professionals held all sorts of assumptions about health and medicine that seem outrageous now because we have better information than we did. And the information was gained by empirical research with real studies done with real control groups.

No such study has been done that would prove or even suggest the excess weight LEADS to these diseases or even that losing weight will help prevent them. All conjecture have been based on statistical evidence that has not even had an adequately consistent method to determine or agreement about what overweight or obese actually is. Obviously we can observe and identify extremes but if extremes in extra weight have been statistically observed to often accompany certain diseases, it is still quite an irrational leap to then suppose that all extra weight is unhealthy.

And if extreme extra weight has been statistically observed as one of the indicators of a risk for certain diseases-this does not mean that excess weight is CAUSING these diseases or LEADING to them. It might mean that the presence of extreme weight is an indication of other factors that are the key contributors to the disease. Thin people get these diseases too, just as much as fat people. There are fat people who never get these diseases. So why is that? Is it a dietary factor? A gene? Insulin resistance leading to inflammation? Too bad nobody seems to be trying very hard to find out. We'd just like to point fingers and assume that every person who is heavier than average is destined to die early and is too busy chomping on cake to care.

by Anonymousreply 4108/15/2013

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by Anonymousreply 4608/15/2013

And health professionals are money-grubbing sociopaths, for the most part, who always make it out to be the patient's fault.

What's the truth? This debate is EXACTLY like the debate on government debt. Since the government is paying close to 0% interest on debt, it is paying far less to finance its debt than at any time since World War II so it has never made more sense to carry debt than right now. Sure government debt is BAD but to make it into a CRISIS is just political granstanding and stupid.

And it's the same with the obesity epidemic. This last decade we've seen the first dramatic extention in lifespan since the 1950s so if the people are too fat, well, it's NOT killing them yet. It would be better if people weren't so fat. Fine. But it is NOT bankrupting the health system (indeed, making people live longer does tend to stress the health care system, so if fat were killing people, it would mean lower lifetime health expenditures for fat people: but we haven't seen that in actual fact).

So all the hysteria about fat is just so .... REPUBLICAN. It's all about scapegoating and feeling superior. And ridiculous on its face.

by Anonymousreply 4708/15/2013

[quote]Exactly. That's why we'll listen to them and not to you.

Be my guest. I don't care what you do with your own body.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you DO care what everyone else does with their bodies.

by Anonymousreply 4908/15/2013

R41 is correct as to the evidence.

by Anonymousreply 5008/15/2013

Thanks, r46. I nearly choked.

by Anonymousreply 5108/15/2013

Let's be honest. Mostly gay men trash women and other people about their looks. They can be very bitter and shallow and unfortunately some of them find their attacks as a sign of witticism. Actually, it's so much less. When someone is insecure himself, he tries to ridicule everything that is not beautiful enough. I wonder how this kind of people can bare their own cruelty. I guess it's like a bad habit for them to be like that, they can't shake it off that easily. How sad!

Some women are like that too. They are not so openly bitter though.

by Anonymousreply 5208/15/2013

*bear

by Anonymousreply 5308/15/2013

It seems clear to me that r46 nailed it. This thread is now closed.

by Anonymousreply 5408/15/2013

r14 The difference is eating is required for survival and smoking is not. Also smoking is not a reflection of someone's appearance, which our society places entirely too much emphasis on and has made everyone into insecure neurotics. It's all about the bottom line. Make people hate themselves so they'll buy beauty and weight loss products.

Treating fat people like shit is lower than low and too many people get away with it because our society has told us fat is evil. Fat people know they are fat. Telling them they are fat and making them feel bad about it doesn't do shit to help them. A lot of fat people's self esteem is probably non-existent based on this treatment and people with low self-esteem have no desire to better themselves because they think they aren't worth it. Why should they since society is against them? These same people will also eat more as a means of coping with their low self-esteem and depression. Certain foods effect the pleasure centers of the brain, mainly sugars, so the vicious cycle continues.

by Anonymousreply 5508/15/2013

Who's healthier at age sixty, a Sierra Club hiker with a paunch, or a society matron who still fits designer samples because she's had 27 plastic surgeries and eats once every other day?

I just got back from hiking in the sierras, and there were a lot of middle-aged and older folks on the trail. Now to my mind a sixty-year-old who can carry a heavy pack up a mountain at 8000 feet above sea level is as healthy for their age as can be, and FYI the people who do that don't have perfect gym bodies. They usually have round bellies or love handles or jiggly thighs or something, because they eat good food between hikes and don't care too much about how they look.

We've got to stop thinking that Thin = Healthy, because healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes. Stop judging by appearance and read R41, you small-minded bitches!

by Anonymousreply 5608/16/2013

Also, if the Obesity Epidemic is real, why the fuck aren't the various health organisations really looking at what is causing it?

This makes me suspicious. If it's such a crisis, then why aren't they doing real studies about it? Why are they repeating tired and scientifically unsound bromides about energy in vs energy out-which is a total oversimplification and misuse of the laws of Thermodynamics, which were never meant to be applied to humans in the first place. Why wouldn't they in fact be paying attention to the process of how and why fat is stored,; which is a complicated process and has everything to do with the KIND of food coming in and how it interacts with the hormonal system. And what does this have to do with glucose storage and does this have something to do with rising diabetes rates?

And why, if this is really about fat storage, why are health organisations focusing on weight itself as a measure of health? The BMI is completely based on weight and height and says nothing about if the composition of the weight comes from muscle or fat. This is why some top athletes are considered overweight by current BMI standards even though they are obviously extremely fit.

There is so much sloppy science surrounding the subject right now and why? You'd think if health organisations were really concerned, they would be doing concentrated studies.

I smell a rat-being tested for the latest version of Phen Phen or Alli-Oops. And lots of fat people being given expensive surgeries that are probably worse for them than remaining fat.

by Anonymousreply 5708/16/2013

[quote]why the fuck aren't the various health organisations really looking at what is causing it?

Uh, they are. A google search of "what's causing obesity in America" yields 60,000,000 results so this is not some mysterious "no-fly" zone where people dare not go. The CDC and many other organizations have been looking at this for a long time. Inactivity, HFCS, and fast food are major culprits, but it seems unlikely there is a single cause.

Really: In the end, one can acknowledge that being mean to fat people is wrong AND acknowledge that being fat is unhealthy. It's possible. I hope you get there one day.

I guess this is the new face of the epidemic. So many people are obese, there would have to come along voices to tell them there's no problem with it.

by Anonymousreply 5808/16/2013

R57 you sound batshit insane, there are countless labs around the world studying everything you can think of related to health and the obesity epidemic.

by Anonymousreply 5908/16/2013

Half the people in this thread are batshit insane. We have one poster boasting about being so healthy he hasn't seen a doctor for over 30 years and in other posts he's calling the entire healthcare industry "money-grubbing sociopaths". Yeah, THAT'S an objective, unbiased opinion.

Trolldar is an eye opener on this thread.

Fat people deserve respect and dignity. Being overweight is unhealthy and better habits should be encouraged. These are not mutually exclusive statements, and the second one is not evidence of "violent hatred", "gay bashing", membership in the Republican Party or cruelty directed at waitstaff, nor does it indicate that the speaker "deserves to die a slow death without health insurance".

Seriously, the batshit insanity running rampant and largely unremarked-upon in this thread is breathtaking. Most people are just saying that obesity is unhealthy, and they're being attacked like they suggested public floggings for the overweight.

by Anonymousreply 6008/16/2013

I haven't been to a doctor for Myself R60, but I certainly have been with others including the terminally ill. I stand by my statements.

by Anonymousreply 6208/16/2013

Read this post from a weight loss consultant. It's quite illuminating:

“I worked at a popular weight loss company for three years. I loved my job there. I LOVED my clients. I loved making a connection and sharing my knowledge. And I learned a lot about nutrition, about dieting and weight loss and what works and what doesn’t. My job was to be a weight loss consultant, and I learned that job very well. I can design a 1,200 calorie meal plan, tell you which activities are most likely to make the number on the scale go down, and how many carbs are in a cup of rice. I can talk the diet game like it’s my business… because it was. Volumize with vegetables. Don’t go too long in between meals. Start with a bowl of broth-based soup. Are you drinking enough water? Did you exercise enough? Did you exercise too much? Let’s look at your food journal. This is not an anti-weight loss company post (although I could write that too). It’s a letter to each and every woman that I unknowingly wronged. My heart is beating a little bit faster as I write this, and so I know this needs to be said. The words have been playing in my head for months. Sometimes it just takes time for me to get up the courage to say the right thing.

So here goes:

Dear Former Weight Loss Clients (you know who you are):

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because I put you on a 1,200 calorie diet and told you that was healthy. I’m sorry because when you were running 5x a week, I encouraged you to switch from a 1,200 calorie diet to a 1,500 calorie diet, instead of telling you that you should be eating a hell of a lot more than that. I’m sorry because you were breastfeeding and there’s no way eating those 1,700 calories a day could have been enough for both you and your baby. I’m sorry because you were gluten intolerant and so desperate to lose weight that you didn’t put that on your intake form. But you mentioned it to me later, and I had no idea the damage you were doing to your body. I’m sorry because I think I should have known. I think I should have been educated better before I began to tell all of you what was right or wrong for your body.

I’m sorry because I made you feel like a failure and so you deliberately left a message after the center had closed, telling me you were quitting. I thought you were awesome and gorgeous, and I’m sorry because I never told you that. I’m sorry because you came in telling me you liked to eat organic and weren’t sure about all the chemicals in the food, and I made up some BS about how it was a “stepping stone.” I’m sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet. I’m sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn’t touch that food, yet I still sold it to you.

I’m sorry because it’s only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1,200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1,200-1,500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself. Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches… oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to “kick in” after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe.

I’m sorry because you had body dysmorphic disorder, and it was so painful to hear the things you said about yourself. You looked like a model, and all of my other clients were intimidated by you, asked me why you were there because clearly you didn’t need to lose weight. And yet you would sit in my office and cry, appalled that a man might see you naked and be disturbed by the fat that didn’t actually exist. I’m sorry because you should have been seeing a therapist, not a weight loss consultant.

I’m sorry because you were young and so beautiful and only there because your mother thought you needed to lose weight. And because there were too many of you like that. Girls who knew you were fine, but whose mothers pushed that belief out of you until you thought like she did. Until you thought there was something wrong with you. And the one time I confronted your mother, you simply got switched to a different consultant. I think I should have made more of a stink, but I didn’t. I’m sorry because you were in high school and an athlete, and I pray that you weren’t screwed up by that 1,500 calorie diet. Seriously, world? Seriously? A teenage girl walks in with no visible body fat and lots of muscle tone, tells you she’s a runner and is happy with her weight… but her mother says she’s fat and has to lose weight and so we help her do just that. As an individual, as women, as a company, hell, as a nation, we don’t stand up for that girl? What is wrong with us? There ain’t nothing right about that. Nothing.

I’m sorry because every time you ate something you “shouldn’t” or ate more than you “should,” I talked about “getting back on the bandwagon.” I cringe now every time someone uses that phrase. When did the way we eat become a bandwagon? When did everyone stop eating and become professional dieters? I’m sorry because I get it now. If you’re trying to starve your body by eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it’s going to fight back. I used to tell you that then, when you wanted to eat less than 1,200 calories a day. The problem was, I thought 1,200 was enough. I thought that was plenty to support a healthy body. Why did I believe that for so long? I’m sorry because I wasn’t trying to trick you or play games to get your money. I believed the lies we were fed as much as you did.

And it wasn’t just the company feeding them to me. It was the doctors and registered dietitians on the medical advisory board. It was the media and magazines confirming what I was telling my clients. A palm-sized portion of lean chicken with half a sweet potato and a salad was PLENTY. No matter that you had “cravings” afterward. Cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Yeah, sure they are. I’m a hypnotherapist with a past history of binge eating disorder. I KNOW cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Except when they’re not. Except when they’re a sign that your body needs more food and you’re ignoring it. Then they’re a sign that your 1,200 calorie diet is horse****. Then they’re a sign that you’ve been played.

And that’s mostly why I’m sorry. Because I’ve been played for years, and so have you, and inadvertently, I fed into the lies you’ve been told your whole life. The lies that say that being healthy means nothing unless you are also thin. The lies that say that you are never enough, that your body is not a beautiful work of art, but rather a piece of clay to be molded by society’s norms until it becomes a certain type of sculpture. And even then, it is still a work in progress.

I owe you an apology, my former client and now friend, who I helped to lose too much weight. Who I watched gain the weight back, plus some. Because that’s what happens when you put someone on a 1,200 calorie diet. But I didn’t know. If you’re reading this, then I want you to know that you have always been beautiful. And that all these fad diets are crap meant to screw with your metabolism so that you have to keep buying into them. I think now that I was a really good weight loss consultant. Because I did exactly what the company wanted (but would never dare say). I helped you lose weight and then gain it back, so that you thought we were the solution and you were the failure. You became a repeat client and we kept you in the game. I guess I did my job really well.

And now I wonder, did I do more harm than good? When I left, you all wrote me cards and sent me flowers. I still have those cards, the ones that tell me how much I helped you, how much I cared. But I’m friends with some of you on Facebook now, and I look at your photos and you look happy. And beautiful. And not because you lost weight since I saw you last. But because I see YOU now. You. Not a client sitting in my chair, asking for my assistance in becoming what society wants. But you, a smart and lovely woman, who really doesn’t need some random company telling her there’s something wrong with her.

So I’m sorry because when you walked in to get your meal plan, I should have told you that you were beautiful. I should have asked you how you FELT. Were you happy? Did you feel physically fit? Were you able to play with your kids? There were so many of you who never needed to lose a pound, and some of you who could have gained some. And maybe sometimes I told you that. But not enough. Not emphatically. Because it was my job to let you believe that making the scale go down was your top priority. And I did my job well.

I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a “failure.” None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you.

Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.

And I can’t stop it. But I can stop my part in it. I won’t play the weight loss game anymore. I won’t do it to my body, and I won’t help you do it to yours. That’s it. End game.”

by Anonymousreply 6308/16/2013

It's actually from here:

by Anonymousreply 6408/16/2013

This thread is making me hungry.

by Anonymousreply 6508/16/2013

Fatties begone!!!!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 6608/16/2013

[quote]no one is seriously calling for fat people to be shunned.

I am. They're gross to look at.

Shun the fatties! Shun the fatties and the smokers! It would be a much nicer and more attractive world if we did.

by Anonymousreply 6708/17/2013

The writer of R64's content sounds fat and depressed. By the way, having an eating disorder is not the same as being fit. Fit isn't fat, and fit isn't starving.

Anyway, like the last piece of pie, a fat advocate will have the last word on this thread.

by Anonymousreply 6808/17/2013

r69 That writer is a weight loss consultant and physical trainer who feels guilty for not telling these women their diets would do more harm than good.

by Anonymousreply 6908/17/2013

R64, that long screed was originally written by an internet blogger called My Fairy Angel. She claims she had a near-death experience and became the living embodiment of a combination fairy and angel afterwards and was charged with a mission to enlighten us all. Take a look around her ludicrous website. Another New Age con artist.

She also promotes her own psychic-hotline style weight loss program (coincidence?) where she counsels customers by 'phone. Cost: $1200 (though I bet that's just the beginning of the gouge). Here's part of her pitch:

[quote}To apply: Give yourself at least 30 minutes of quiet time for this. Step away from your computer and find a quiet spot. Center yourself with 3 deep breaths in and out. Answer the question, "If my relationship with food represents my relationship with life, then _____." Write as much or as little as you want, allowing yourself to go with what whatever comes to mind without judging. When you're done, e-mail me the answer with the subject line "Fly, Butterfly, Fly."

Fly, Butterball, fly!

by Anonymousreply 7008/17/2013

I agree fat has always been a lesbian and feminist issue. Most men have an undeserved positive body image; hence the whole bear thingy.

by Anonymousreply 7108/17/2013

I don't understand judging people for being "fat" (which is a totally subjective term anyway). Nobody owes it to anyone else to look any which way or even "be healthy," whatever that even means.

by Anonymousreply 7208/17/2013

This article is outrageous and badly written and could never be published in a mainstream publication. The author, Berkeley Professor Anna Mallow, is a normal size (or "thin", as people call it now), but her wife-to-be is a big gal.

by Anonymousreply 7308/17/2013

[quote]I don't understand judging people for being "fat" (which is a totally subjective term anyway). Nobody owes it to anyone else to look any which way or even "be healthy," whatever that even means.

I "love" (whatever that means!) how universally accepted terms are undefined to you, simply because they represent things you'd rather avoid facing, like "fat" and "healthy."

by Anonymousreply 7408/17/2013

I guess this explains why Gaga is queen of the gays.

by Anonymousreply 7508/17/2013

"Nobody is calling for fat people to be shunned"

Just dis-employed, overcharged, kept out of public view, and continually ridiculed.

by Anonymousreply 7608/17/2013

All I know is that when I transferred into a 80% black school district my health insurance rates went up because so many of the employees were fat.

by Anonymousreply 7708/17/2013

[quote]Fly, Butterball, fly!

As God is my witness, I thought butterballs could fly!

by Anonymousreply 7808/17/2013

[quote]I "love" (whatever that means!) how universally accepted terms are undefined to you, simply because they represent things you'd rather avoid facing, like "fat" and "healthy."

Really? What's the universally accepted definition of healthy when it comes to weight?

For the record, I'm very physically active and smack in the middle of a healthy BMI range, so I'm not pointing this out to be self-serving. The fact is that people act like they definitively know what healthy means in relation to weight, but it's educated guesses at best and pseudo-science at worst. Certainly there's no hard and fast criteria that justifies degrading or humiliating anyone over it.

by Anonymousreply 7908/17/2013

R80, Body fat percentage, when measured with a good system (not neck/waist measurement) is pretty reliable. BMI is a good measure for most people that aren't weightlifters.

by Anonymousreply 8008/17/2013

I used the word "obese" in reference to Coca-Cola and McDonald's on Facebook and got a slew of posts decrying my "fat shaming."

What the fuck is wrong with America where the use of a word obesity (a thing that is real) is "shaming" people who have it.

by Anonymousreply 8108/17/2013

Good TED talk:

by Anonymousreply 8208/17/2013

Being grestly overweight is a sign that something is going on...if not physically,then perhaps psychologically or spiritually.

by Anonymousreply 8308/17/2013

Whatevs

by Anonymousreply 8408/17/2013

r5 quit being a fucking idiot. Very FEW of them are hormonal in origin.

by Anonymousreply 8508/17/2013

FYI for fatties: there is a lot of maneuvering room between 1200 cal/day and 2500+ cal/day. Enough with the "poor us" bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 8608/17/2013

I agree with this nuanced viewpoint:

"Labeling increased rates of overweight and obesity in the United States as a "myth" is inaccurate and dangerous. When a highly visible public health issue is dismissed as a fairy tale, conversation is stifled. Concurrently, the health field's obsession with obesity has reached a fanatical fever pitch, with troubling consequences."

I can think of people I know that eat a lot of unhealthy food and are thin.

by Anonymousreply 8708/17/2013

r84 I know when I was about 5 I would sneak into the pantry and eat handfuls of Crisco straight out of the can. Now that is pretty fucked up and indicative of some problem but I don't think I ever told anyone about his. Yes I am a fatty. Got that way as a child and it stuck. I did lose 105 lbs. at one point, then got depressed because my life didn't change in the way I thought it would and gained it all back.

by Anonymousreply 8808/17/2013

*this

by Anonymousreply 8908/17/2013

I eat pretty average now and I'm fat. I used to eat very healthy and excercise and I was still fat but a little less. If changing my diet and excercising isn't helping what else can I do?

by Anonymousreply 9009/15/2013

Oh, really, R81? Are you a doctor?

by Anonymousreply 9109/15/2013

Lindy West, is that you?

by Anonymousreply 9209/15/2013

I was thin as a rail as a child. My Sicilian grandmother actually tied me to a railing when I was 5. She was afraid the wind would blow me away. I started packing on the pounds in grade 4, when I was being abused by the older boys in the neighbourhood.

by Anonymousreply 9309/15/2013

Fatties!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 9409/15/2013
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