Even though Fillyjonk posted about it here and I got involved in comments, I deliberately did not post about the last asshole thing Dan Savage said about fat people, because dude is obviously way too invested in defending his right to hate teh fattiez, and at this point, far be it from me to try to take that away from him. For some reason, he really, really seems to need it. I guess maybe that’s the compulsive self-comforting behavior he found to replace eating (see below). Poor bunny.
But tonight I look at my referral logs, and OH YAY, I’m getting traffic from the Slog. Hmm, what could it be?
Turns out Dan’s discovered the “obesity is a lifestyle choice” thing. And linked to our discussion of it. And yeah, take a wild guess what he thinks about it.
No, wait, don’t guess. Here you go:
No, you certainly can’t say that you’ll lose weight if you stop eating fast food, get more exercise, and eat more vegetables. It’s true, of course, but you’re not allowed to say it.
I’m not even gonna bother with that. Obviously, I’m lying through my teeth about my eating and exercise habits, as are the majority of Shapelings. It’s all donuts, all the time. In fact, I’ve rigged a system of ropes and pulleys between the couch and the kitchen, so I don’t ever have to expend any calories getting up to get more donuts. Periodically, Al flips me so I don’t get couch sores, but I hate that part, ’cause then I can’t see the TV until he flips me again.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s where it gets interesting. A commenter named Big Sven describes his low-carb diet — modified South Beach. (Amusingly, Sven recommends Gary Taubes’s book. I wonder if Savage’s head will asplode if he picks that up and reads Taubes’s findings about obesity studies and exercise.)
Big Sven, we’re on the same diet. Congrats on your success. Eggs rock.
And Big Sven responds:
Sweet! But aren’t you… skinny?
Yes, but I have to watch and think about every piece of food that I put into my mouth. Always have. I am not effortlessly skinny, which most folks in the FA movement assume. I know diet and exercise can work… because they work for me. The reason most diets don’t work is that people think they can go off them. You can’t. It’s about lifestyle change and habit change and, yes, finding new comfort foods and activities that can replicate the kind of emotional satisfaction that food, or certain foods, once provided.
Bacon and eggs for breakfast, not a box of cereal. Wow. It works.
To which I responded:
I am not effortlessly skinny, which most folks in the FA movement assume.
Actually, few of us assume that since, as others have said, you’ve made all the same points a thousand fucking times now.
It’s about lifestyle change and habit change and, yes, finding new comfort foods and activities that can replicate the kind of emotional satisfaction that food, or certain foods, once provided.
That sounds a whole lot like recovery from Binge Eating Disorder, not a “lifestyle change” for a fat person with typical eating habits. If you used to overeat to find emotional satisfaction, and you’ve overcome that, that’s terrific — I mean that sincerely. Eating disorders are miserable. But if that’s the case, your relationship with food was not typical of most fat people. That’s what you really, really don’t seem to get. I mean, the tiniest bit of research would clear that up, but hey — why confuse yourself or your readers with facts?
When it comes to fat and nutrition as those things apply to human beings OTHER than you? You’re plain ignorant, and you’re a complete asshole about it. And I never cease to be baffled by how proud you are of both those facts.
To be honest, that response was somewhat disingenuous, since what I really think from that description is that he’s swapped one form of disordered eating for another. “I have to watch and think about every piece of food that I put into my mouth” is not actually a normal, healthy relationship with food — and yet, this is what Savage would have all of us fatties do. Watch every bite. Think about every bite. Obsess about food. Obsess about how much we hate fat and don’t ever want to go back there. Because… why again? Oh, right. Because that’s way better than eating well, exercising, not obsessing, and remaining fat. Because, you know, IT’S FAT. COME ON, PEOPLE!
Also, I find it rather curious that in the post, he says losing weight is as easy as knocking off fast food, exercising more, and eating more vegetables, but then he admits he’s actually on a perma-diet — and it’s the kind that involves loading up on bacon and eggs. Last time I checked, bacon and eggs were a lot closer to fast food than they are to vegetables, no? And don’t a lot of fruits and vegetables have those dreaded CARBS BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA?
But hey, what do I know about nutrition? I’m fat. Of course, I have never in my life considered eating a box of cereal for breakfast, seeing as how I don’t have an eating disorder, but I’m still fat — which means I obviously eat exactly like Dan Savage used to and am morally obligated to eat exactly like he does now. Duh.
Sweet Jesus, I hate Dan Savage.