167 thoughts on “Quick hit: Dumbest thing ever, or second-dumbest thing ever?

  1. Oh my god. I have to say second dumbest because of the MS thing, but I couldn’t even read the whole thing. I seriously wonder if she didn’t have a column ready, so she passed off her seventh-grade daughter’s handwritten stream-of-consciousness essay on weight as her own. I am no writer, but that is a SERIOUSLY stupid “article.” I won’t get into how everything in it seems to be either 20-year-old pop psychology or based on some fallacy or another, because I assume others can do a better job of picking that apart than I can.

    “the healthiest, cutest, mate” Are you KIDDING me??

  2. I know, that’s why I couldn’t even write a proper post about it! There’s just such a high concentration of stupid you can barely LOOK at it. I hate to let malicious attacks stand in for cogent criticism — I like to have malicious attacks serve as a decorative enhancement to cogent criticism instead. But seriously, what can you say about this besides “are you shitting me????”

  3. I could have written circles around that article when I was twelve.

    Oversimplified, outdated, low-grade pop-psychology mixed with a peurile vocabulary makes for an ‘article’ too stupid to exist.

  4. Was this article produced by The Health Institute of Nutrition? Because there seems to be a lot of “good facts” in it! Perhaps I will have my suitors read it as well. I’m especially pleased by the way it avoids “bad facts.” Yuck!

  5. I glanced at it, but then I had to go vomit so I couldn’t finish. I think it’s at texture thing, I just can’t consume something that feels like shit to my brain.

    That didn’t even make any sense… warning reading this article (looking at it?) makes you dUmmR

  6. I am seriously rendered mute (er, finger-mute?) by the stupidity. Do yourselves a favor and don’t read anything else that woman has written. It’s all f’ed up.

    I’m writing to Huffington Post. I read the site everyday (several times a day) for “news”. This lady has got to go.

  7. wow. just….

    and the comment at the bottom: “The therapist I went too for this years ago was obese and she (I think) trully believed this junk too. She said it was a “feminist issue,” but I think she was full of it. No help there!”

    oh these silly wymyns and their “feminist issues.” they’re just trying to take my Venus razor away.

  8. Blech. I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about that awful piece of “writing,” but the bit about the “No Muffins” reminded me of something:

    A couple days ago I was in this awesome bakery that’s around the corner from my house. (They have the best croissants I’ve ever had, and their oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are to DIE for.) This little old lady was in there at the same time, inspecting all the trays of muffins and asking the bakery staff what all the different types were and then making her selections. She pointed to a tray that was kind of off to the side and asked what they were.

    Bakery employee: “Those are low-fat muffins.”
    Little old lady: “Oh, NO thank you.”

    Wait, I lied; this part was just too infuriating not to comment on:

    What we tell little children who want to hit their buddies because they are angry at them is, “Use Your Words.” I use this phrase all the time with my overweight clients who use weight as protection. They are using their bodies for fear they won’t be able to say “No” when they need to.

    First of all, the “weight as protection” idea makes me want to smash things. My mom tried to pull that on me a bunch of times (including at times when I wasn’t even fat). Um, no. But what really gets my goat is her admission that she uses preschooler-appropriate language with ACTUAL ADULTS. How condescending can one woman be?

  9. I was most impressed by her modesty. Her fear of being followed around by men like she’s Marilyn Monroe! ROTFLMAO!!!! Yeah, that happens to all thin woman, well, the ones who look like Marilyn Monroe anyway.

    Groan, this might inspire me to sign up for an account there. So far the only post is one saying that she knows now that she’s worth living in a thin body and she even once had an evil therapist try to sabatoge her weight loss efforts by saying fat was….gasp…a FEMINIST issue!

    Ow! The stupid! It buuuuurns!!!!

  10. “Excuse me, but telling me that fat is a feminist issue is TOTALLY not helping me change myself to please a man!”

  11. I couldn’t read it all, the beginning hurt my brain. Was there an editing problem? Maybe two articles were merged?

    But (from reading comments here) I also hate the “fat as protection” bullshit. An aquaintence said that to me once (about herself) and I just ignored it because I couldn’t think of anything nice to say. But the same friend now says she’s fat because she tried to be vegan for awhile. Again, can’t think of anything nice to say.

  12. On top of every other reason folks want to tell me I’m fat…now I learn it’s because I’m AFRAID TO BE THIN?

    I can’t take this much stupid in one damn day. I’m gonna go shut my door, turn off the lights, and hide and pray till morning.

  13. Right. Being “attractive” scares the shit out of me. Actually getting the social rewards that come with a slim body? Oh, no, not for me! It’s so much more fun to be an object of ridicule and have every smug asshole on earth decide they know everything there is to know about me based on my pants size. That’s what I signed up for, damn it, 24/7 contempt, and I’m gonna keep stuffing my face to keep that contempt coming my way!

    Except that I ate a lot more when I was much thinner and suffering from untreated depression. Oh, wait…

  14. use this phrase all the time with my overweight clients who use weight as protection. They are using their bodies for fear they won’t be able to say “No” when they need to.

    What does “fear they won’t be able to say no” mean. Like they’re sex addicts who can’t say no to any man who asks, so they make themselves unattractive so nobody asks? Or are they afraid of being raped? Because if that’s the case, teaching them to “use their words” is really not going to help anything… words don’t usually do much to deter rapists.

  15. The “Diets” one has a line that says: “What we know hasn’t changed in a very long time.” Argh… and here I thought I was being original with my “good facts” bit!

  16. I vote for this one, if only because this woman is actually professionally in charge of helping support fat people:

    Irene Rubaum-Keller is a licensed psychotherapist, writer and leader of the group, Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA, Irene pursued careers in acting and singing. She spent five years on the soap opera, General Hospital as Nurse Laurie White, and recorded and performed with her band The Wiseguys. With lots of down time on the set, Irene spent it getting her M.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University.

    In l995 Irene met Hope Edelman, author of the book “Motherless Daughters, The Legacy of Loss”, and discovered the need existed in Los Angeles for women who experienced early mother loss to gather, support and learn from each other. Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles was formed and is going strong today. http://www.motherlessdaughtersbiz.com

    In addition to her work with Motherless Daughters, Irene maintains a private practice and is on staff at UCLA’s Risk Factor Obesity clinic. She has published articles in Benning’s Health and Fitness Journal, Strive Magazine and The Therapist. Her television appearances as an expert guest include: World News Tonight, Penn and Teller’s Showtime Original Series, 9 on the Town, UPN, KTLA and NBC news.

    That’s frightening.

  17. Wow, she’s totally number two on the stages of perception/troll-ness, isn’t she?

    She’s also number two in many other ways, I’m sure.

  18. Wow. I’ve seen more cogent writing during a raid in World of Warcraft when the screen is full of “ZOMG PWNING U NUB!! Watch ur fukn AGGRO!” (Translation: you’re an idiot.)

    It looked like a really poorly written regurgitation of the pseudo-psychobabble notion that female sexual assault survivors gain stunning amounts of weight to make themselves less sexually desirable to predators

    I believed that about myself for enough years to do myself some serious damage by putting all of my efforts into being “strong enough” to lose weight instead of working on the issues of setting healthy boundaries, making people earn my trust, and not putting up with anybody’s shit for any reason.

    I finally got my issues worked out. I am finally happy and healthy. I am also fat…and attractive as all get out.

  19. Let’s say we are friends with Megan and we used to have girls night out. She was the one that would be left sitting after everyone else hooked up. Now, you are still there sitting and Megan is out there dancing. Yuck. If you are her coworker and Megan used to work non-stop and now that she is dating, Megan works less and you have to work more. Yuck. If you are her sister and she was always the heavy one and you the pretty one and now Megan is also pretty and not only that but because of the big change in her, she is getting a lot of attention. Yuck. So, you can see that Megan might get some less than positive comments from these people that feel more comfortable with 250 lbs. Megan.

    Whenever I hear a story like this, I wonder if thin!Megan has started preaching the Gospel of Weight Loss incessantly. I’ve never known anyone who started disliking a friend because she got skinny. I’ve known plenty of people who started disliking a friend because she got skinny and decided it was her job to save all her friends from the horror of TEH FATZ.

  20. “Excuse me, but telling me that fat is a feminist issue is TOTALLY not helping me change myself to please a man!”

    LOLZ. Seriously.

    I want to go back to the “fat as protection” thing, because IMO it’s one of the more insidious myths about fat people, especially fat women. It has this false front of sensitivity to it, like “Oh, the poor fatty, she’s just SCARED of love/sex/whatever.”

    But, really, it’s just another variation of “Fat people are unattractive,” because the underlying assumption behind the idea of “fat as protection” is that fat is sufficient to make us unattractive to others. No one would make this argument if they didn’t think that fat repels prospective romantic partners. So it’s just another way for people to hate us “for our own good.”

  21. She’s a psychotherapist? That’s truly frightening. If I’m understanding the piece at all it looks like she’s fallen right into that illogic hole known in the psycho-babble world as “projection.”

    And, yes, the writing sucks. Had one of my students written it, the piece would have so much red ink on it the original text would be obliterated.

    The stupid, it burns. . .

  22. Oooh, I bet Penn and Teller made her cry.

    And did anyone notice that the only commenter on Teh Stoopid misspelled her username? Just sayin’.

  23. UGH. I don’t know about stupid – it’s just scary and sad, what that psychotherapist wrote.

    At least with the politician, fat people unversed in HAES can drop their jaws and go “stupid F*#%G politicians! That’s discrimination!”

    But with the psychotherapist, there’s more danger of people thinking, “Oh, she must know what she’s talking about. She’s an expert in the field, and she wants to help me because look – she tells me she wants me to succeed and tell her how I’m doing! She’s compassionate! Maybe my body really IS a manifestation of fear!”

  24. ….too many….curse words….traffic….jam….in brain….

    Seriously, I got to the part about fat being some sort of motherfucking defense mechanism to prevent dudes being attracted to me, and couldn’t decide whether to look this woman up to go kick *her* ass, or laugh *my* ass off. I mean, I am so tired of that particular moronic storyline (’cause I heard too fucking much of that sort of pseudo-psychology bullshit growing up as a fat girl who’d been sexually abused UGH)….plus (as I’m reminded damn near every day, which is about how often I’m accosted by some dude hitting on me) it just plain isn’t true.

    I couldn’t finish it. I may go back and try again with a view to feedback….the snow in Chicago put me in a bad mood this morning, and this moron seems like a good target for my rage.

  25. Reminds me of the (quite thin) friend I have, who, when I tried to tell her a little about what it’s like to be fat in this country said, I swear: “Well, at least you won’t be raped.”

    Yeah. Cause fat women (and girls) are never raped. I found fat a great protection against that when…OH WAIT…it DIDN’T actually protect me from that. I must not have been quite fat ENOUGH.

  26. She is really terrible writer. I clicked on the DIETS WORK!!! article and this cracked me up:

    “Remember the popular one where you only ate fruit until noon, waited two hours and then ate other things. Those authors made millions.”

    Remember that one time? There was that diet? And those authors? Who made millions? Remember?

    I mean, who needs facts and research and written communication skills when you can just, you know, say things.

  27. The parody is in that she actually BELIEVES the foolishness she’s spewing.

    But… the diet article… it’s all “Remember that pineapple diet? It totally works because the acid gives you sores in your mouth and you can’t eat LOL!” It cannot be real!

    But I’m sure it is. Sigh.

  28. I mean, who needs facts and research and written communication skills when you can just, you know, say things.

    Bwah! Yes, this exactly sums it up.

  29. meowser, it’s gotta be, right? Because she’s all coy, like “Super Penn and Teller Secret Showtime Show!”

    Hey, it looks like the episode is on YouTube! This should counteract some of the dumb. (Also, Penn is hot.)

    (I probably shouldn’t watch that at work, so y’all will have to tell me if she’s on it.)

  30. Unfortunately, it’s not a parody. Louise Hay, anyone? She’s one author who champions that weight-as-protection crap (and far worse, for her, every ailment directly symbolizes and expresses a mental or emotional state – breast cancer connected to ‘issues with nurturing’, anyone?), but it’s a very prevalent idea in New Age/self-help circles.

    (I’m just intrigued as to in exactly what context this woman appeared as an expert on Penn and Teller. OK, I know she’s a shrink, but I’m imagining all sorts of evil, painful and squishy scenarios.)

  31. Huh. So somebody took all the Fat Bingo squares and cobbled them into a column. Or rather, something that looks sort of column-y.

  32. The “fat as defense mechanism” thing is painful for me to contemplate because not only have I had that accusation leveled at me, I had internalized it and in turn, leveled it at others. It’s such bullshit because it does violence to the person’s actual lived experiences and invalidates who they are by passing this judgment that their own physical being is some sort of a construct. No, it’s not a construct and it’s not a defense mechanism, it is WHO I AM.

  33. I wouldn’t completely ridicule the “fear of being attractive.” While the way she talks about it is pretty pathetic, some of us have talked about our fat being a “jerk filter” which is the same idea. And to be honest I have felt uncomfortable with the increased attention to my body when I have lost weight in the past. So it can be an issue for some people. The mistake here is in believing that our weight is controlled by psychological processes when it seems to be in fact almost entirely physiological.

    But this is the most pathetic part of the article IMO:

    She was the one that would be left sitting after everyone else hooked up. Now, you are still there sitting and Megan is out there dancing. Yuck. If you are her coworker and Megan used to work non-stop and now that she is dating, Megan works less and you have to work more. Yuck. If you are her sister and she was always the heavy one and you the pretty one and now Megan is also pretty and not only that but because of the big change in her, she is getting a lot of attention. Yuck.

    That shows so much ugliness about the writer. It’s all about competition, and she sees it as a zero-sum game. Anything Megan gets has been taken away from other people (which is such a ridiculous idea).

    I’m very, very sad that she’s a psychotherapist. My therapist has been nothing but supportive of my HAES efforts and size acceptance ideas, and I’m very grateful for that.

  34. Like a few others here, I remember believing these very things, when I was still trying to lose (or keep off) the weight.

    It was protective defense against sexual harrassment &/or made me feel invisible &/or made me Visible: it was hard to change due to stasis: that it was protection against commitment (particularly humorous given I’ve been single for 6 months in my life): and that I must be (insert psychological issue here) in order to WANT to be fat.

    Yep. Bull. SHIT.

    I think there was a self-help book… but I can’t remember what it was.

  35. fear of being followed around by men like she’s Marilyn Monroe! ROTFLMAO!!!!.

    Which, of course, didn’t even happen to Marilyn Monroe who was lonely all her life.

    Quick show of hands: how many of us comes from lone lines of women who, according to this idiot, were apparently hiding from love and sex? Uh-huh. Thought so.

  36. Art3mis, right, it certainly seems possible to me that some people are glad for their fat keeping shallow people away. Or even that some people use their appearance to reject unwanted attention (although I’d think they’d do that with things like clothes, which are a lot easier to control voluntarily). And some people have eating disorders that can lead to weight gain and can be related to other psychological challenges. But emphasis on SOME PEOPLE. Because the fat experience is actually not universal.

    It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a self-help book. People love the idea that all fat people, especially all fat women, are intrinsically unhappy — for the same reason they feel terrifically threatened when we aren’t. “But if you can be fat and happy, why am I bothering to hate myself so much?”

  37. Because the fat experience is actually not universal.

    Thanks for the reminder, fj. After reading the posts following my last one I realized that I was making a generalization; seems I’m stuck in “stage 2″ of perception.

    I still can’t get over how poorly-written that column is. It’s like the book reports I wrote when I was in fifth grade.

  38. I think stage 2 is actually really useful as long as you can step out of it afterwards. I definitely approach most stuff initially by saying “how would I react here” or “can I understand this based on my own experience.” It’s natural and usually useful, unless I’m feeling particularly detached or unsympathetic. It’s only when it’s the only trick up your sleeve that it becomes a problem.

  39. I definitely wouldn’t totally pooh-pooh the concept of fat as protection or to “become invisible” either, but it’s more that she’s a) presenting this as a novel concept, like “problem solved!” when I know every fat woman here has at least heard of the idea before, and b) telling fat readers that this is how we feel even if it doesn’t seem right to us. It’s the whole “thin people know what’s best for fat people” thing.

  40. Because the fat experience is actually not universal.

    That’s why one of the random tag lines at the top of my site says “Because thin people are unique snowflakes.”

  41. The thing is that it’s really two separate issues. 1) How we feel about our body (psychological), and 2) What weight our body is programmed to be (physiological). It’s interesting to explore #1, but no matter how much you think about it, it’s not going to magically change #2.

  42. Don’t you love how people transfer their own personal experiences onto, oh, million and millions of other people? “I did it this way, so this must be true for you, too.”

    Sigh.. the narcissism inherent in such flawed logic is astounding sometimes.

  43. Aside: I love this blog so much. I’ve only started commenting regularly in the past couple weeks, and already I feel so welcomed! This blog and the Fatosphere in general has seriously changed my life, no exaggeration. Thanks for all the thoughtful, intelligent, and hilarious conversation. I can’t think of a better way to waste time at work!

  44. I, personally, am one of those who is absolutely thrilled that my fat is fairly effective douchebag repellant, as I had a major problem with creepy guys bothering me when I was thin, probably because I look very young and innocent no matter what. But that’s just me, and it has nothing to do with not wanting to be attractive in general, which I, and a pretty darn good supply of non-douchebags, think I am. It’s just a side benefit that happens to take care of an annoyance, and that is awesome.

  45. I have an account at HuffPo as “NotJustABill.” I haven’t posted anything there for a while, but just now I gave them this:

    If you were just some random fat-hating douchebag and you believed this stuff was true of every single fat person, I’d probably just ignore you. But you are a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL who sees patients (right?), and as such, you are committing MALPRACTICE if you are transmitting these attitudes to your fat patients across the board.

    We are not all the same. Maybe SOME of your fat patients are “hiding in their fat,” or whatnot, or “hate” their formerly fat friends who lose weight. (Although you might want to consider that maybe we don’t hate their new weight so much as the smug, self-righteous attitude that often accompanies fresh weight loss.)

    But if you think I actually prefer second-class personhood, if you think I actually ENJOY having people make baseless assumptions about me and my habits and supposed lack of intelligence and ability to love and feel, reject me for health insurance, employment, friendship and love, refuse to make clothing in my size, get told that GLOBAL WARMING is my fault (and I haven’t owned a car for years!), and in general be treated as a pariah without people knowing anything else about me but my pants size, if you think that’s the SAFE option for me in this world, you are simply blind.

    I ate LESS — a lot less! — when I was much thinner and suffering from untreated depression. I am fat because of the combination of a metabolic disorder and 15 years of antidepressant use. (Despite making drastic changes in my diet and exercise habits, I didn’t start to lose any weight at all until discontinuing the drugs.) You can ask my doctor if you don’t believe me.

    We are not all the same. We are not all the same. We are not all the same.

    (Comment is pending approval; I don’t know if it will get posted or not but I wanted you guys to see this anyway.)

  46. We are not all the same. We are not all the same. We are not all the same.

    If only we could make this “therapist” write this 5,000 times on her office walls.

  47. Whoops, I just realized I made a huge mistake in the next to last para. Should be “I ate MORE — a lot more!”, etc. (I submitted erratum to my post. But shit, that makes me feel stupid.)

  48. Aw, it’s okay, Meowser! It’s a great comment and she wasn’t gonna listen to you anyway. The people who will won’t care that you had to submit an erratum.

    But just to be scrupulously accurate, you set the movement back 100000 years.

  49. I think there’s a closet somewhere labelled Old Retread Ideas, and when columnists have nothing to say, they go rummaging around in the back, shake off the dust, and retread it – thinking no one will notice.

    Guess what, honey. We noticed.

    The “fat as protection” meme is so useful, though – it provides so many multiple insults at once, with so little effort. That women can’t handle their problems. That fat women are asexual and unloved. That any man who loves a fat woman is a freak. That fat is something you “choose” – thus it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. That women need (the writer’s) therapy to unscrew their heads.

    Pretty economical, I’d say, and thoroughly deserving of a “bullsh** call.”

  50. I don’t know why, but this line kills me: “At some point, even if this happened very young, you gained weight.” Um…yeah. It’s called GROWING. Last I checked, we all do it.

    The rest of it makes me want to scream with rage.

  51. Srsly effed up article.

    No one f*cks you if you’re fat? Really?? I see plenty of large ladies with babies, are they all getting the artificial insemination? I doubt it.

    In my own experience, I have more sex now (as a fat woman) than I did 100 lbs. ago.

    She also trotted out the old “Even if you are 400 lbs. and in physical danger, the people closest to you want you to stay the same old (insert your name here) that you have always been.”

    This is why I cannot discuss with my friend (whose lab-band surgery is scheduled for this month) why I think weight-loss surgery is a bad idea. *GRRRR*

  52. Yeah the idea that fat girls don’t get guys coming on to them? Really? Have you ever been in a bar at closing and see where all the skeezy bottom feeders go?

    They think fat girls are easy so the slither right on up next to you.

    ew. I’d much rather be intimidating because I’m too hott and out of his league. thanks.

  53. oh mah gahhhhhhhhhhhh.
    She’s HILARIOUS!!! True facts abound!!
    I bet she learned most of them during her five years as Nurse Laurie White on General Hospital.

  54. p.s. not that that is a universal statement either… I’m just saying, being fat doesn’t actually protect you from having to say no to sex… that’s all.

  55. I bet she learned most of them during her five years as Nurse Laurie White on General Hospital.

    Hahaha, I thought you were kidding! But you’re not!

    Five years isn’t quite accurate, but still. I feel like this explains so much.

  56. Well, I don’t have an account there, but I just wrote to the huffingtonpost to tell them that this columnist is bringing down the tone of the whole site with her poor research and even worse writing. Who knows if it will have any effect, but it feels good to be doing something.

    Text of email:

    I like to think of the Huffington Post as a place to go for interesting, somewhat liberal analysis and punditry, but by keeping Irene Rubaum-Keller on staff, you’re seriously interfering with that image. Her articles are condescending, poorly researched and so poorly written, it’s difficult to believe the writer graduated from high school, let alone graduate school.

    If diets work as she claims here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irene-rubaumkeller-/diets-work_b_82229.html why do studies show time and again that they don’t: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20070411/diets-dont-work-long-term? If she truly believes they work, shouldn’t she at least address all the studies that show they don’t and show that when they don’t, people’s bodies are in worse shape, not better?

    She’s bringing down the level of your site, and she needs to go.

  57. My own experience, so very contrary to hers, doesn’t really matter.

    Any therapist who understands their clients soley on the basis of their own personal experience is a very poor therapist indeed.

    Giving personal examples can be fine. My therapist shared some coping strategies she had developed with me, and they helped me to develop my own strategies that were relevant to my life. Having a therapist assume something about you that isn’t remotely true is, to be blunt, sheer narcissistic incompetence.
    (If anyone already said this stuff, sorry for the repetition. I was too annoyed to read comments… I would have commented on that article, but since I’m maligning the author’s professional competence, it wouldn’t be out of line for them to filter me out.)
    I’m sure she’s fine for people dealing with non weight related issues, or whose experience happens to mirror hers. But she could stand to question her assumptions.

  58. No, I am TOTALLY the putz, because occhiblu quoted that bio in its entirety and somehow I MISSED the General Hospital thing!! How could I miss that? Am I immune to humor or something?

    I love how she overstated her General Hospital experience. (She was on two episodes in THREE years… but I guess that’s the same as being on two episodes in five years, or two episodes in 100 years. No idea why she picked five, though.) Really makes me trust the rest of her credentials, you know?

  59. Gah. What an idiot this woman is! It worries me that she’s a psychotherapist and working in the UC system.

    I think I need to get a t-shirt that says “YES, I’M FAT. COPE.” and wear it the next time I visit UCLA…

  60. Em, I didn’t even see that one! Did you email it? Kate’s usually the media hound, since if I’m going to trawl for news stories it should really be for my day job, so I’ve just been doing things that people email us while she’s out of town.

    ETA: Now that I see vesta44’s coverage I do remember reading her blog about it… I guess I just didn’t feel I had anything to add. Not that I had anything to add to this one, but I thought people could have some fun with it. Maybe Kate will have something to say when she gets back.

  61. She was on 2 episodes in 3 years!!

    Really puts this line into perspective, hey: “With lots of down time on the set…”

  62. BTW, I just watched the Bullshit episode on the Obesity Epidemic, and she’s not identified on it by name if she actually does appear in it. Maybe she was in a different one, or maybe she was one of the nameless ones.

  63. Really puts this line into perspective, hey: “With lots of down time on the set…”

    I was wondering about that. I’m currently getting an M.A. in counseling psychology, and it’s a shitload of work and time and energy, with tons of set commitments. It’s not like you can just pick up a book every now and then between takes.

  64. Was she stoned when she wrote this? Even if the subject matter wasn’t crap, the roundabout writing was like walking through a funhouse hall of mirrors during an earthquake.

  65. [quote]I hate to let malicious attacks stand in for cogent criticism — I like to have malicious attacks serve as a decorative enhancement to cogent criticism instead.[/quote]

    Fillyjonk, this is pure gold. I hope you don’t mind if I use it now and again; I’m in love with it :D

    As to the huff-po blog thing; like many things I’ve read there, too dumb to comment on. 7th-grade stream-of-consciousness crap written by a 12 year old, except not as good. Bo-ring.

  66. Although a thing or two that she claims to have thought has passed through my head in the past, I did NOT glom them all together nom nom nom into a vat of Patriarchal Apologist Soup.

    Force feed this girl, who apparently did her clinical psych work at General Hospital, some Critical Thinking KoolAid.

  67. “What does “fear they won’t be able to say no” mean. Like they’re sex addicts who can’t say no to any man who asks, so they make themselves unattractive so nobody asks? Or are they afraid of being raped? Because if that’s the case, teaching them to “use their words” is really not going to help anything… words don’t usually do much to deter rapists.”

    Nonono, Becky, you’re missing the point. Fat women aren’t sexually attractive, so rapists don’t rape them.* NOW do you see?

    *Results not typical

  68. Right, Annie, that explains why all those women filing restraining orders at the county courthouse are always young, gorgeous and slender, they’re the only ones who ever attract psychos. **eyeroll**

  69. OMFG, is she kidding? Seriously? I second (or third) the “was she stoned when she wrote this?” theory.

    Men and women fucking hit on me all the time. Seriously? Is she really serious with this shit??

  70. This person is a *therapist*? She gets *paid* to spout shit like that …?

    Damn. I keep telling my husband we should’ve had scruple-ectomies in our youth.

  71. WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, wait a minute! I have, on one hand, people telling me that I am fat because I am NOT SCARED ENOUGH (of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, hangnails, zits, common colds, and depression). I have, on the other hand, this new person telling me that I am fat because I am TOO SCARED to be thin?

    I’m so confused. I need a kitten donut. My brain, she hurts.

  72. I bought into crap like this for years and felt if I could ‘just figure out what I was afraid of’ I could lose weight. THANK YOU for introducing FA to me. I haven’t felt this sane in such a long time!!!!!
    PS I hate donuts.

  73. Nonono, Becky, you’re missing the point. Fat women aren’t sexually attractive, so rapists don’t rape them.* NOW do you see?

    Rape as a compliment, yeah. But where does: “Use your words” come in? Once these women are all slim and sexy and unafraid, what happens when the men start lining up to rape them? They use their words to say: “Don’t rape me” and the men back off?

  74. I think they’re supposed to sort of express their desires to the universe, just like they’re doing by deliberately getting fat because that is the universal sign for “don’t rape me.” So they should request out loud to the universe that they not get raped, and then they ought to be covered.

  75. Re: tits/diabetes
    Not that I had anything to add to this one, but I thought people could have some fun with it.
    Oh pretty please, do it! I mean, vesta44 ist awesome, but the Shapelings are an army. :-)
    They are suggesting to follow up the study with a control for the positive effects of surgical breasts reductions on blood glucose. For god’s sake!!!!! I can’t sleep at nights over this one.

  76. I vote dumbest thing ever, because at least the bill had to be a properly formatted bill, whereas this article would fail you out of a freshman comp class.

  77. “big-tits-give-you-diabetes”

    Yes, that’s why my diabetic friend is almost completely flat-chested. :P

    The article? Oh dear. I can kindasorta see what she was trying to say (she probably feels it’s like people with cerebral palsy who say they wouldn’t want to be cured), but she fails. A lot. And any analogy between unable-to-lose-weight fat people and non-cure-desiring cerebral palsy people breaks down in approximately 8 million places, rendering it fairly useless.

  78. she probably feels it’s like people with cerebral palsy who say they wouldn’t want to be cured

    Margaret, I’m not sure what you mean by this or where you see it in the article. Care to clarify?

  79. Her credentials say she is an eating disorder therapist who specialises in compulsive overeating and body image issues.

    I am so scared for her patients. She must make them feel like shit. They can take consolation in the fact they won’t get raped I guess.

    Beyond horrified.

  80. sweetmachine, I can’t say for sure what Margaret means, but there are a lot of deaf people who are very against the cochlear implants – they want their children to grow up in deaf culture, to be proud with their deafness, not to try to change and be “cured” because they say there’s nothing wrong with them.

    There are little people who are against the lengthening surgeries (that’s a bit more extreme, though) for the same reasons.

    As well as intersexed who say “leave our genitals alone” (especially at birth) and who don’t want to be “fixed.”

    If the same holds true for CP people, I can see what they’re getting at. It’s not hard to understand – we don’t want to be fixed either.

  81. AnnieMcPhee, thanks for your comment — I am familiar with the disability rights movement to a certain extent and definitely with the examples you have brought up (which are important and interesting ones!). But I was confused by Margaret’s comments because CP isn’t curable, and because I didn’t see a mention of disability in the article. Furthermore, I think the reasoning behind the resistance to “cures” is cultural (like in the example of the Deaf community), whereas the linked article states (outrageously) that resistance is because of “fear.” I totally get not wanting to be “fixed” for a problem that is culturally constructed, but I didn’t really see where the CP analogy specifically was coming in.

  82. “Margaret, I’m not sure what you mean by this or where you see it in the article. Care to clarify?”

    I know of people with CP who have said that, if there was a cure, they would not want it. The article brought to mind those people.

    The writer probably thinks fat people are like that, albeit subconsciously (though she said nothing of the sort in the article). She may have been thinking of people who have an incurable condition who don’t want a cure, or not. It just reminded me of that. But if you were to use that as an analogy, it would fail in so many ways.

    Hopefully I explained myself a little better.

  83. Thanks, Margaret, that does help clarify. I guess I just found the article writer so willfully ignorant that I’d be surprised if she’s ever thought about disability in her life!

  84. My first post on this blog!

    Wow, what garbage. Where did she get her degree? Quack University? I feel for anybody she counsels, fat or thin.

    Everywhere I go, I see fellow fat women who have men, and a lot of those men are thin. When I do get hit on, it’s always thin guys, never ones my size or larger. As for big boobs, well I’ve got ‘em and guess what? My blood sugar rarely goes above 100.

  85. Firstly -Personally I use the fat in my boobies to protect myself in case my plane goes down – I fly with my own flotation devices. Corinna I now have a coffee soaked keyboard than k you very much :D

    Secondly -So I am fat as a defense mechanism. Wonder what I had to defend against in the womb? Seeing as how I have been fat all my life. HMMMM
    Oh wait I know what she would say ” you knew in the womb that your mother was going to give you up for adoption and it was not going to be happy …” or something else equally woo woo and absolutely brain hurtingly ( is that even a word ? If not I just invented it) stupid.

  86. Once my brain recovered (you could SEE the screech marks it left in the air), i had several thoughts on this one:

    1) THIS is what happens when journalism opens its doors to people with room temperature IQs.

    2) Yes, fat women are TOTALLY ZOMG UNSECKSAY. This is why i’m happily married, and have never had trouble finding willing sexual partners. Wait… *confused look*

    3) Way to objectify/dehumanize both genders! Men are reduced to animals working on phallus-based instinct, and women are the pieces of meat that, in order to be validated, must be attractive meat.

    4) Awww… it’s so CUTE that you have an opinion! Now, perhaps it’s time for someone to learn that Opinion Does Not Equal Fact! After that, it’s POTTY TRAINING TIME!… where we learn that poo is NOT meant to be flung at other people. Doesn’t that sound EXCITING?!

  87. Incidentally, not sure if I’d call this “journalism” in any meaningful sense. As far as I know, HuffPost does not pay its contributors, so they are as much “journalists” as any of the rest of us are in theory. In practice, though, anyone here (posters or commenters) kicks this woman’s overprivileged rear end as a “journalist.”

  88. It’s worth thinking about the atmosphere in which she probably practices… she’s a former soap opera “star” and she’s in California? Her patients are probably as far removed from reality as she is.

    The mistake is in giving her a blog under the idea that what she has to say about living in La-La Land somehow holds meaning across the spectrum.

  89. “When you are obese, you are less sexually attractive. This makes biological sense because you are also less healthy”

    Whiski.Tango.Fatlady.

    I couldn’t make it past that. And then I pushed through and read the whole damn thing. Now, I feel ignorant, and possibly glad to know that if I would just get over my fear of someone wanting to have TEH SECKS with me*gives side-eye to the bedroom door where the hubby’s sleepin’*, I’d be all skinny! Yay!….

    Dear gods. You know, there’s a periodic conversation I have with a friend of mine. She’s a fat girl too. I’m the bigger of the two of us(I’m clumsy, the padding is helpful, what can I say? /grin), and I am in a sane and happy relationship. She wouldn’t know one if it socked her in her eye. So, sometimes she says to me, “How come if someone like YOU*eyeballs my flub* can get a guy like your man, I sit here with no one?”

    And they never wanna hear the fact that their size has dick all to do with it. I don’t even find that stuff offensive anymore, I would be offended all the damn time, otherwise. *shakes her fist at idiots*

    All I can do, really, is try to be an example to every fat girl I know. And to talk to them, A lot. About self love, and how who really gives a shit what number’s on the tag of your shirt? Really.

  90. confession: I haven’t read the 120+ comments yet

    I gain(ed) weight as protection. I use(d) my fat as a buffer.
    When I was molested at 7, I started hiding and sneaking food. When I was raped at 16, I started binging.

    I wasn’t aware that what I was doing was attempting to protect myself. I wasn’t aware that I had disordered thinking about weight and sexual attractiveness. But that was the case for me.

    And now here I am, at age 34 and 315 lb, happy as a motherf*cking clam.

    I am adored by my husband of 8 years. I could have my choice of sexual partners (I choose my husband, not that it matters). I am a sexual being. My weight has little to do with that.

    But that didn’t keep 30 years of accepting society’s bullshit from literally weighing me down. And even though I may want to lose weight (don’t hate – I want the cute clothes that are available to thinner people), I also love who I am and how I look. I don’t diet and try not to beat myself up for turning down a bloody banana because it was white.

    That “article” was asinine to be sure. But there is some small truth to it. I thought I needed fat to protect me. I don’t. Not that I can do anything about it even if I wanted to…

  91. Sweetmachine and Margaret, that’s what I’m realizing too. On junkfood science there was just those cards where they say that 10% of people said they would abort if they knew their child was predestined genetically to be fat. It’s the same with people who would magically be given the foreknowledge to know their child would be gay.

    Yet you ask people who are happily fat or gay (or deaf or anything else) whether they would accept a cure if there *were* one, and the answer is quite different.

    In fact, I think this is a fascinating avenue for discussion. There are people who also answer questions like, “If you knew your unborn child would be gay/fat/deaf/etc. and were offered a 100% effective surgery/magic cure but it kills 20% of the babies who get it, would you do it?” It’s kind of shocking how many people say yes to those things. And again, when you ask the people who are gay/fat/deaf/etc. the answers are different. At least in those who have learned to accept themselves. This movement is absolutely essential – how many people would STILL say they’d rather be dead than fat/gay/etc? What in hell is this culture doing to them?

  92. I hope this isn’t too dumb to add re: fat being a defense. I played along at home with Oprah in a visualization exercise (hey, it was a long time ago.) You imagined yourself standing face to face with your abuser (stepdad for me – er, not sexual in my case) and you then pictured your body going from where it was to the very absolute fattest you could possibly imagine it to be – 500 or 600 lbs I’d say in my case. Then you morphed that body down to the absolute utter limits of the skinniest you could possibly imagine it – skeletal for me. And I got a tremendous jolt when that imaginary self got skeletal. It scared the piss out of me – in front of him. I felt terrified, defenseless, etc.

    For 16 fucking years (maybe more) that STUPID exercise has stayed with me – and I have actually internalized some idiotic new-age hocus belief that my fat really WAS a defense mechanism. Despite the clear evidence of my own senses that I most certainly did not want to be fat and that I got so through no real fault of my own.

    Moral? Don’t do stupid fucking new-age exercises with Oprah. And if you do, don’t take the stupid results as meaning anything meaningful. Trust me, when I’m not hypnotizing myself and think rationally and objectively (even about my own subjective experience) I know that shit was not realistic at all. Because you know, when you *actually* face that person, if you’re scared? You still feel skeletal (or whatever else scared you) even if you are 250 pounds. If you’re not scared, you are not scared. Creative visualization? Pffft.

  93. You guys are my touchstone. My protection from doing anything insane. I want to scream at the snopes people and every other people but I know I mustn’t. Must. check. first.

    It’s so fucking hard. How? How do you get that confident?

  94. Oh, why can’t I stop reading stupid things?

    Here’s another of her posts that is like the Bizarroworld vversion of intuitive eating.

    Title: “Eat What You Love And The Weight Loss Will Follow.” Sounds about a third of the way promising, doesn’t it? Like, maybe she bought half a clue from the Clue Factory outlet store.

    But you read it and… ugh. She turns the decision to eat half a serving of french fries to an epic battle within and concludes that it’s okay to eat something you actually like, as long as you visualize both decisions and decide which one will make you less miserable… and of course, you have to remember to count the calories because that’s all weight loss is, calorie counting.

    Oh my goth. Half a serving of freaking french fries. I’m not trying to minimize the sort of very real food guilt that she’s talking about… but she’s portraying the endless agonizing as a good, healthy thing… a decision making process that you should train yourself to do.

  95. It hurt my brain to read ( though, as a nice bonus, convinced me that my own writing isn’t nearly as bad as I fear) but I’m going to respond to some of the finer details. It’s raining. I don’t want to leave the apartment.

    Some of us put on weight because we didn’t want to look too good and be sexually attractive

    As Art3mis said above, some people do (consciously or unconsciously) view excess weight as protection. I’ve read/heard enough stories that I’m not willing to dismiss that out of hand. I don’t think it’s the majority of people but I do think it can be an issue.

    Unfortunately general weight articles which put a great deal of emphasis on that notion (as opposed to articles devoted specifically to the topic) are the reason I have to put up with well-meaning family members worrying that a: I don’t really like men or b: that something happened to me when I was a teenager. A lot of traumatic things happened to me in my teens but, as one of them was remaining a virgin until college, I’m fairly certain none of them had anything to do with unwanted sexual advances.

    We have an inborn drive to perpetuate the species by choosing the healthiest, cutest, mate.

    Not exactly true. If people only flirted based on the need to perpetuate the species then today’s size zero movie starlets wouldn’t get an ounce of attention. Sorry gals. You bring in the box office sales but you don’t exactly have good birthing hips.

    Also, what society views as attractive changes. Lillian Russell was one of the most the most famous (and lusted after) actresses and singers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, she’d be lucky to get cast as the quirky sidekick who sits at home eating ice cream. Think Russell is a fluke footnote in history? Try doing a Google image search on Titian or Rubens. Today, poor Titian’s Venus would be doing crunches. And Rubens’ Andromeda? She’d never leave the house in short-shorts.

    An important point to keep in mind is that the people closest to you, do not want you to change. Even if you are 400 lbs. and in physical danger, the people closest to you want you to stay the same old (insert your name here) that you have always been.

    The saboteurs. They’re not a complete myth but, from experience, they’re usually few and far between. This article is a little hysterical and paranoid in that it sounds like everyone will be out to get you. I once lost over 100lbs. I only had one person try to knock my off what she considered my “pedestal”. Actually, the lengths she would go to were kind of amusing.

  96. Hmmm. I vote for this article as the dumbest thing ever, if only because it was ridiculously poorly written. For the love of God, someone take away this woman’s keyboard. That was just painful to read.
    I feel sorry for her patients, to be honest. I’m REALLY hoping that she’s just terrible at expressing herself on the Internet and she’s not like that in person.

  97. Hmm, I’m just scared to be thin because I can’t afford all those new clothes that might make me even more attractive ;-)

    (ps — I couldn’t even get through the first three grafs. Ain’t no way I’m torturing my inner reader that badly for shit I don’t have to do for work.)

  98. Oh . My . God!!! That writing was awful! My incoming freshmen students, turning in papers that they’ve written at 3am after partying all night, have better writing skills than hers. How on earth did she get through college and, I assume, graduate school with a teenager’s writing abilities.

    Not to mention her analytical or empathetic abilities. This woman is a psychiatrist? That seriously scares me, as she seems totally unable to conceive of anything outside her own experience (as others have determined, stage 2/projection). I’m sure her statements have a grain of truth in them for some people – at times in my life I have wanted to insulate myself from the world around me, and other friends and family members have gone through similar experiences. But that doesn’t mean everyone does that.

    The Diets Work!!! article was even worse: eat at 10x your desired weight, without exercise, and you will magically reach that weight? Really? Everyone’s metabolism is the same, and it doesn’t slow down? Well, all of us who’ve restricted our calories to 1200 or less and exercised hours a day must be big fat liars then, of course, otherwise we’d be skinny.

    You know, I feel sorry for her – this woman obviously has a lot of issues with food and with acceptance. But I hate that she’s going to be transferring these issues to people she’s trying to “help”

  99. Whiski.Tango.Fatlady.

    That? My fat tummy is still hurting from laughing.

    I wasn’t aware that what I was doing was attempting to protect myself. I wasn’t aware that I had disordered thinking about weight and sexual attractiveness. But that was the case for me.

    Alyce: First, I would like to congratulate you on what sounds like a healed wound, and express my regrets that you had to go through sexual trauma in the first place. It is certainly not my place to validate or invalidate your perception of your experience. But one of the common mantras here at SP as well as at other FA/SA communities is that neither you, nor your parents, nor McDonalds, nor HFCS, nor a horrible psychological experience, can make you fat if you were not already genetically predisposed to being fat in the first place. To me, shifting the focus from traumatic experiences to body issues sounds like a ruse. I am definitely appreciative of the way our perception of our bodies affects our mental health, but if the real issue is sexual trauma then professionals should call a spade a spade. It’s already hard enough to deal with the guilt, fear, and anger of enduring something like sexual trauma–why muddy the waters by an illegitimate distraction? So, yeah. Our fat, no matter what we think of it, is a natural event; the humiliation and violence perpetuated against us is wholly constructed by other humans.

  100. I believe that some people are disposed to being larger than others. Myself being one of them. I also believe that it is possible to force yourself above your natural set point through inactivity and diet (mostly, binging).

    My body was meant to be in the overweight range. It was not meant to be in the morbidly obese category. Otherwise I would have moved into that range much sooner and not at the same time that I pretty much gave up any pretense of caring about my health – physical or emotional.

  101. They have let through very few comments, granted, the majority are critical. I just commented as well, let’s see if they let that one through.

    I can’t believe that a site I generally respect as much as the Huffington Post would allow this tripe on it.

  102. In the “we are all different” vein I’ll reveal that my adult weight has varied between about 175 and 275 pounds due to overeating/compulsive eating on the high end, and dieting on the low end (not starvation dieting–I’ve never done the 800 calories a day, exercise hours a day thing; it’s more that I do something like 1200-1900 calories with about an hour a day of fairly vigorous exercise, and at some point I feel I’m not losing enough and start to get crazy and beat myself up, and then I start bingeing and we’re off on the upward portion of the roller coaster again).

    So for me only it is certainly not impossible to eat yourself above your setpoint (whatever that might be for me personally… I think size 14 or 16, maybe 200 lbs.). However, I don’t really think my experience is that of the typical fat person. I know most people’s setpoints are somewhat less fluid than mine, and most fat people don’t eat compulsively or excessively in comparison with thinner people.

  103. P.S. I still think dieting is not good for anyone. It certainly doesn’t seem to be good for my mental health. Whether I can walk that talk at the moment is another question.

  104. I’d say most people can eat themselves above their setpoint, scg — it’s just a question of how far and how permanently. People seem to think that if they don’t restrict, they will uniformly gain 200 pounds forever. Most people can’t push themselves that high even with effort, and research shows that gaining weight well above your setpoint range takes as much effort to maintain as losing weight below it. You’re eventually going to boomerang back because the amount of effort required is unrealistic. (Of course, it’s easier to stay alive while eating much too much food than much too little, so there’s probably slightly less physical impetus to return to more typical eating habits.)

  105. Yes, that makes sense. I still think my setpoint is somewhat more “forgiving” than others’ (I have found it “easier,” though not in terms of the mental anguish, to move my weight up and down over the years than I think other people have. And I’m sure there is a factor there of my setpoint happening to be somewhat lower/more socially acceptable than others’, so it can appear that “diets work” for me moreso than other people) but it’s a complicated issue and I definitely don’t understand all of the biological stuff that goes on. Anyway my personal experience is sort of beside the point… I just wanted to make the point that we have all traveled a slightly different journey to get to wherever we are.

  106. I know enough people that can barely manage maintain their weight on 1200 calories or less but can lose weight when they eat 2000 calories that I know calories in/out is bullshit.

  107. I still think my setpoint is somewhat more “forgiving” than others’

    That certainly seems plausible… people seem to have pretty high variation in that regard. And your main point is of course well taken!

  108. You know, when I was growing up I thought my fat was the reason I never got asked out and was treated like crap by guys; but that all changed when I went to college and started getting hit on on a regular basis. :)

  109. This woman is a psychiatrist? That seriously scares me, as she seems totally unable to conceive of anything outside her own experience (as others have determined, stage 2/projection).

    She’s a therapist of some sort. I doubt if she has any qualifications beyond, perhaps, a degree or certificate from some shady institution or another. However, even if she is formally qualified, we all know that one can belong to a profession and still really suck at it. Look at the doctors in First, Do No Harm.

  110. I’m sad to report (in case we didn’t ALL know this already) that MOST psychotherapists are completely screwed up when it comes to fat clients. I’m a sex therapist and a licensed marriage and family therapist (and also a proudly fat, size-acceptance activist!). In graduate school, I took several courses and trainings which focused on the “epidemic” of obesity and have been so-called “trained” in how to craft interventions to dissuade us shapelings from our evil eating-disordered ways. Needless to say, I was not that popular in graduate school and nearly fell to blows with many of my peers over my fat-acceptance, HAES politics. We are few and far between, but there are some of us who don’t tow the party line. Having this perspective doesn’t always make me that popular with clients, particularly in the work I do with couples and I suspect I’ve lost more than a few folks because I don’t support them in their attempts at weight-loss. Instead I prefer encouraging people to build the biggest, happiest damn life they can in the body they have. This woman is a twit. Unfortunately, she’s a dangerous twit. Instead of becoming demoralized, I’m determined to do more to off-set her influence. Onward, Shapelings!

  111. spacedcowgirl, my husband has fluctuated with 50 pounds all of our adult lives. Not through any conscious effort – his setpoint just seems to be that fluid. He loves to eat, to be sure, and sometimes he’ll just bulk up for a while – and then the pounds will start falling off again (usually when he’s too busy with work to eat much or eat properly.) I do agree that setpoints aren’t set in *stone* they’re set in the fluid medium of human bodies – and an individual can vary to differing degrees than others.

  112. She reminds me of my step-mother. It appears she took a few community psych courses and now she thinks she’s fucking Freud.

    I’m really sorry to disappoint her or her FAT theory but men hit on me all the time. And I’ve never once met a person who was too terrified to lose weight because of increased male attention.

    She’s messed up.

  113. She gives justification to the author’s of the Mississippi’s bill bigoted beliefs. And they to hers. They grow fat on their own self-satisfaction and self-righteousness while trying to starve others of self-esteem.

  114. I hate to say it, but I think that one of the reasons I became overweight is to keep the men away. I had a lot of problems as a teenager and young adult, not knowing how to say no, and was really preyed upon. Of course, now I wouldn’t put up with that shit, but the damage is already done.

  115. I know this is really stupid. I can sort of relate to it though. I’ve been afraid to be thin, because I thought then I’d turn into a mindless, self-absorbed, fat-hating person.

    I heard Fiona Apple had Anorexia because she didn’t want to have any “bait” on her body, after she was raped at 13. So I guess it can go both ways.

  116. Since FA is barely even alive in the UK, Fat Is A Feminist Issue was pretty much the only book available to me back in the pre-Amazon day when I started my journey. One of the reasons I couldn’t read it all the way through was the fat-as-a-means-of-repelling-sexual-attention theory which surfaced very early on in the book. Even though I was completely new to the notion of self-acceptance at any weight the stench of bullshit was overwhelming. Here is a book that’s supposed to make fat women feel better about themselves effectively saying fat works as a barrier to relationships because it is universally recognised as repulsive. (Gee, thanks, Susie Orbach, relationship counsellor, profoundly helpful of you to let that view go unchallenged). And comfort eating is the only thing that makes anybody fat. Ergo the only way to feel better about yourself is to let go of those (oh-so-easily-shed) little issues that make you comfort eat and – boom! – instant skinny! See it’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. A magical lifestyle change. Too bad if society is disinclined to let you let go of those issues that specifically contribute to your disordered relationship with food in the first place.

  117. Linda, I’m only saying that some bodies vary only a couple pounds in their weight and others seem to vary more, without really changing their eating habits or activity. My husband varies by 30-50 pounds over time with very little to explain it.

    Buffpuff – oooh, nice burn. I didn’t intend to read that one and sounds like that was a decent idea :D

  118. To quote Adam Sandler:

    “Mr. Madison, what you have just said, is the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    It’s like someboy read her “Fat is a Feminist Issue” while she was drunk or heavily drugged. Every now and then she touches on something that I’ve heard more sensible people talk about, but at about the level of a five year old.

  119. “Linda, I’m only saying that some bodies vary only a couple pounds in their weight and others seem to vary more, without really changing their eating habits or activity. My husband varies by 30-50 pounds over time with very little to explain it.”

    Okay, that makes sense. :) That sounds different that what you were talking about before though (varying food intake accounting for weight loss/gain.) I do get confused because different people seem to mean different things by it.

  120. @stephanie: “I think there’s a closet somewhere labelled Old Retread Ideas, and when columnists have nothing to say, they go rummaging around in the back, shake off the dust, and retread it – thinking no one will notice.”

    I’ve had an idea in the back of my mind for a few years to dig through the archives of various popular women’s magazines, look at the recommendations of all their diet articles (and the books they are based on), and see how many times the exact same advice is given under different names. Maybe I should have gone for a PhD in sociology or something instead.

  121. Linda, I think the idea is that people have a range of sizes that are natural for their body, but this range is bigger for some people than others. For instance, Sweet Machine can be two or three sizes smaller when she has a bike commute than when she has a bus commute, whereas it’s unlikely that a similar change in activity levels would even make my shirts fit differently. Most people can push themselves outside of their set range with concerted effort, including changing food intake, but the effects are temporary; the idea with the setpoint is that your body gravitates there comfortably and stays within that range when you leave it alone. But you might be at the top of your range when you’re not trying to gain weight but are tending to be less active, say, or at the bottom when you’re not trying to lose weight but are tending to eat less. For some people those points are much farther away from each other than they are for others. (Diets can affect this, too… for most people dieting seems to nudge the range upward, which is borne out by research.)

  122. There’s so much stupid in this piece. And . . . if you’re angry and pissed at a person becuase they’re thin . . . you’re *shallow.* Personally, I was always pushed by people in my family to change my weight and lose weight when I was a pre-teen. No one wanted me to stay ‘good old’ me. They wanted me to be a thinner me.

  123. @Mandark – I totally did that with Cosmo’s “2317 ways to please a man” or “645 ways to be better in bed” articles that they keep on printing. It was a few years ago, in college, and was…disheartening, to say the least. I imagine that the diet articles would be much the same: repetitive, horribly sexist and utterly repugnant to anyone with a shred of self-worth.

    But yeah, this article had me swallowing bile.

  124. She is in fantasy land with the idea that it is a biological mandate that people prefer thin sexual partners. I haven’t heard that one trotted out in a long time. It’s just so ridiculous on so many levels, as several people have pointed out already, such as the fact that fat is associated with fertility because *gasp* fat on the body is healthy, especially in pregnancy and birth (did you know that estrogen is stored in fat cells? And that estrogen intensifies the effects of oxytocin, which is a crucial hormone in the birth process? And speaking of estrogen, that it’s theorized that heavier women have an easier time going through menopause because of the connection between estrogen and fat?) I’d like to know also what she’d make of the fact that my biological mandate was so strong that in spite of years of cultural conditioning to the contrary, I chose a fat partner (the fattest one of all my suitors, most of whom were not fat,) with crooked teeth, a receding hairline, and a weak chin. What’s especially interesting is that whatever chemical exchanges were going on to draw me to him also overrode what I “knew” to be about his degree of visual attractiveness so that he was literally visually transformed in my eyes into a hunk. And? He turned out to have a hardy constitution and to be a natural athlete, which I never would have guessed by looking at him. And? We have made four stunningly beautiful children together. My body obviously knew something that our modern culture doesn’t.

  125. It’s sad, because I STILL believe to this day that my fat shields me from unsavory men. Obviously, this woman is picking up clues from people like me.

    However, my fat did not stop my best guy friend from hitting on me.

    My fat did not stop the boy who signed in my year book, “To the prettiest girl in the school.”

    My fat did not stop my sister’s boyfriend from saying I was one of the most attractive females he had seen in his life.

    So, somebody tell Irene to STFU! As I get older, I have to keep telling myself that being fat does NOT automatically mean I am exempt from the human race. I have a right to make friends. I have a right to make and keep boyfriends!

  126. Remember that one time? There was that diet? And those authors? Who made millions? Remember?

    Interesting trivia I just found OTM:

    http://www.worldometers.info/ over $3 trillion dollars spent on dieting in the US this year… is that a calendar year???
    Jen

  127. Fat didn’t shield me from unsavory men when I was in grad school. The university was in the “combat zone”, a place with open prostitution. When I would leave at night for the subway, wearing a parka almost to my knees, scruffy pants, a wool cap and a backpack, cars would honk at me. Apparently, I looked both desirable and like a prostitute, without showing any skin or wearing any makeup. At least I think that was what was going on- I never turned around to look.

  128. I know I’m jumping into this terribly late, but I wanted to echo everyone else’s general “WTF?!” about this article and about the attitude of fat that people have.

    It was interesting, however, that she blamed her inability to lose weight on the fact that the two muffins were higher in calorie count rather than the fact that expecting your body to function on the nutritional value of ***two muffins*** a day is actually likely to put your body into starvation mode…..geeeez. That’s a woman who should NOT be giving advice on health!!!

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