130 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. aww sweet kitties.

    Kate, how’s your pup?

    Let’s see what’s new with me…
    I got a sample of Miss Dior Cherie with my Sephora order this week and I’m wearing it today. I think I found a new favorite. I smell so good I want to lick myself. Is that weird?

  2. I’m going to Manhattan tomorrow!!!! Can’t wait. I’ve only been once before, and that was a single day of whirlwind tour on a friend’s itinerary. I’m only going to be there for 8 hours, but trying to pack in as much with the kids as possible.
    Anyone know a killer good place to eat in midtown? :) We’re going to be triangulating between Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Central park for the day – don’t think we can make it much further out on the time we have.

  3. car, you need to ride the ferris wheel in the Toys R Us in Times Square. It is extremely awesome. (It does cost, but I don’t remember how much.)

  4. Aww, JR – a kitty tent! I must have one. (I have a newish kitten, who is busily destroying my apartment as we speak. She had lots of fun this morning at about 4am making the lamp on my nightstand crash down on me and things to that effect.)

    Did anyone see the Big Bang Theory this week. One of the characters has a new Hollywood-fat love interest, played by the gorgeous Sara Rue. I kept cringing waiting for the fat jokes to come, but they never did; they just treated her like they would any other love interest on the show.

  5. Lilah, we got the cat tent at IKEA for $7. It also comes in red.

    PS. The link is for US IKEA. You might need a different link to order in a different country.

  6. I finally completed 3 weeks of business travel. I’m exhausted. And splurging on a massage. Because after days of driving, my back needs it!

  7. I have a really fluffy Friday question/situation to pose to the gang here. I am finishing up several BIG quilt projects for Xmas gifts and I’m thinking up a fun project to start for ME.

    I do a great deal of embroidery work and like to make quilts- so I got this fun idea to make a quirky quilt about being fat. I want to make an alphabet quilt and have each letter be a slang word for fat. I can give you all a few examples of what I have in mind:

    A: avoirdupois- picture of me in a french beret
    B: big boned- picture of me with a skeleton mask
    all the way down to Z: zaftig

    SO- can you all help me find good alphabet “fat slang?”

  8. DivaJean, love the idea and when you’re done with that one, I’d commission one for myself!!

    I thought I’d try to help come up with a few fatastic words. Unfortunately, in searching Thesaurus.com for ideas, I was appalled to find this:

    Main Entry: fat
    Part of Speech: adjective
    Definition: overweight
    Synonyms: beefy*, big, blimp, bovine, brawny, broad, bulging, bulky, bull, burly, butterball, chunky*, corpulent, distended, dumpy, elephantine, fleshy, gargantuan, gross, heavy, heavyset, hefty, husky, inflated, jelly-belly, lard, large, meaty*, obese, oversize, paunchy, plump, plumpish, ponderous, porcine, portly, potbellied, pudgy*, roly-poly*, rotund, solid, stout, swollen, thickset, weighty, whalelike

    Gross. Gross as a synonym for fat. I have a masters degree in professional writing so I’m pretty confident in my understanding of the English language and no, gross is NOT a synonym for fat! That is an opinion.

    I’ll be writing to the website to let them know this immediately. Erg.

    Sorry for the rant. Diva I think your quilt will be beautiful and powerful! I hope you post pictures!

  9. DivaJean that is an awesome project. I hope you will post pictures also.

    Femmeknitzi that is horrid. Gross as a synonym for fat. Geez.

  10. femmeknitzi, gross also means “big” so we could look on the bright side and assume that’s the definition they’re using.

  11. Just wondering . . . could “gross” in this definition be the Americanization of “grosse,” the French word for “fat”?

    Then again, I am probably giving Thesaurus.com waaaaaay too much credit.

  12. I went to the doctor yesterday and emerged with not-good news, and also had to set the doctor straight on some assumptions he made about what I eat and do. Then when I came home, I broke my toe.

    JR, what cute kitties! I want a me-sized kitty tent now.

  13. car – try Mars 2112 for a place to eat.

    http://www.mars2112.com/

    I think the kids would love it. It’s outer-space themed, and people dressed like aliens mingle with the customers. You have to take a virtual ride before you can enter the restaurant (unless you’re pregnant or have a heart condition) but it’s a lot of fun. And the food is pretty reasonable, for NYC. I also recommend The Jekyll & Hyde Pub. I believe it’s on 58th, but it’s in an alley and not well advertised. It’s amazing. After a ‘fear test’ (not that scary) you are seated and it’s like you’re in an old horror movie. They do live interactive shows, and play B&W horror movies while you eat.

    Oh, and it’s snowing in Maryland y’all. I don’t think it’s going to amount to anything. I’m not ready to slosh around in snow just yet.

  14. Yeah, ya’ll are right. I looked up the definition on dictionary.com and here’s what they say:

    gross   /groʊs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [grohs] Show IPA Pronunciation
    adjective, -er, -est, noun, plural gross for 11, gross⋅es for 12, 13; verb
    –adjective 1. without deductions; total, as the amount of sales, salary, profit, etc., before taking deductions for expenses, taxes, or the like (opposed to net ): gross earnings; gross sales.
    2. unqualified; complete; rank: a gross scoundrel.
    3. flagrant and extreme: gross injustice.
    4. indelicate, indecent, obscene, or vulgar: gross remarks.
    5. lacking in refinement, good manners, education, etc.; unrefined.
    6. large, big, or bulky.
    7. extremely or excessively fat.
    8. thick; dense; heavy: gross vegetation.
    9. of or concerning only the broadest or most general considerations, aspects, etc.
    10. Slang. extremely objectionable, offensive, or disgusting: He wore an outfit that was absolutely gross.
    –noun 11. a group of 12 dozen, or 144, things. Abbreviation: gro.
    12. total income from sales, salary, etc., before any deductions (opposed to net ).
    13. Obsolete. the main body, bulk, or mass.
    –verb (used with object) 14. to have, make, or earn as a total before any deductions, as of taxes, expenses, etc.: The company grossed over three million dollars last year.
    —Verb phrase15. gross out, Slang. a. to disgust or offend, esp. by crude language or behavior.
    b. to shock or horrify.

    Merriam-Webster confirms. Some of this is probably legit, some outdated and some I think is subjective. I don’t know.

  15. Just a vent. I didn’t know where to post this and then I saw this open thread. It’s a miracle I tell ‘ya.

    The diet talk has gotten out of control among my friends. Just suddenly, this past week. And my best friend made sure to tell me she’s not dieting, she’s just changing her way of eating. Starting with meal replacement bars and then switching to small amounts of real food once she got used to eating tiny amounts. But it’s not a diet.

    And for awhile now I’ve been totally confident and accepting of my fat self and suddenly, just like that, I’m not. I’ve been weight lifting again because I like it, because I love that macho shit, because I feel strong. But my friends think it’s to lose weight and they totally mean well when they try to bring me into the conversation. How good people are for not eating, how great they lost X many pounds, how much better they look now that they are thin because fat people are obviously ugly pieces of shit. Not in so many words of course.

    And they’re really nice people. I hate the mind fuck they are doing to themselves. I hate the example their kids are getting (one 10 year old – TEN! – has already started dieting because she sees her mom’s example).

    But selfishly, I mostly hate the effect it’s having on me.

    I really need some fat love right now.

  16. Femmeknitzi, posting this without link as my previous comment is stuck in moderation:

    Gross originated as a word borrowed from the French in the 15th century, which in turn was borrowed from the Latin grossus meaning ‘thick.’

  17. How about some good news for a change?

    Last night I had an appointment at the YMCA for an orientation on their nifty little computerized exercise tracking system (very very cool!) I was a little apprehensive about the whole meeting-a-training thing, bracing myself for assumptions and talk about “looking great in a bikini”.

    I was so pleasantly surprised. Not a single word. AND his assumption (he asked me to confirm) was that my goal was “general fitness”. No assumptions about my current fitness level (frankly pretty poor) or my overall health (quite good). He treated me exactly as he would any other person getting the orientatation.

    As I was leaving, I thanked him for his overall attitude, and specifically for not assuming my goal was weight loss. His response was a slightly incredulous, “but you didn’t ask about that.” Awesome.

    So here’s a shout out to Shaun and the Mukilteo, WA YMCA. Big wet sloppy kisses all around!

  18. Chunky for C is a good one- I’m thinking an image of a Chunky candy bar would look good- since all fatties stuff ourselves on junk all day.

    D is for Diva. Sorry- not dumpy. I am one of that group of women who embraced the Diva word (hence my online name).

    E anyone?

  19. Because of my pregnancy, I’ve been avidly reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. And something has been disturbing me about: the person or persons who wrote it seem to be significantly fat-hating. It’s all “don’t gain too much weight during pregnancy”, “don’t dare eat anything that isn’t on our diet”, and “it’s okay to gain some weight during pregnancy, but not if you’re not pregnant – that just means you have no willpower”. It’s really not making me happy to be reading it, except for all the information it provides otherwise, but I’m already feeling some trepidation about gaining weight anyway.

    Has anyone else ever noticed this? If so, are there other books you might suggest?

    And a side note: I saw “The Big Bang Theory” on Monday; I already adore this show, and this just made me happier, to see Sara Rue on there and to see that she hasn’t really lost weight as I feared she might after her failed show. They just treated her as a hot chick, which she is.

  20. Simply Mac, she did lose weight, but she’s apparently gained it back — FUNNY THE WAY THAT WORKS. I’m happy to see it and hope she’s happy — or at least not hating herself — about it. And as LilahMorgan also pointed out, it’s pretty great to see her being treated as the hot chick she is, with no fat jokes.

  21. I love Sara Rue. She’s gone from hot to hot mess back to hot again. I mean, really, the blonde hair was killing me.

    I bought new ankle boots yesterday. They hurt, but I had taken all the tags off so they can’t be released back into the wild. I had tried them on in the store, and I thought, “hey, they’ll stretch”.

    This is highly untrue when dealing with man-made faux leather.

    But I love them because they’re the late 90′s, thick-soled, chunky-heeled shitkickers I so constantly lust after. Sadly, the only companies that make them now are Mudd, Xhiliration, and No Boundaries. None of them make wides at all because Juniors don’t have wide feet, after all. However, their medium width is more of a C-width than a B.

  22. Simply Mac, What to Expect is sort of joke among my (admittedly hippie chick, natural minded) friends. It’s intent seems to be to terrify pregnant women into a little ball on the ground, unable to do anything without their doctor’s approval. Ok, I exaggerate a bit. But their section on birth is pretty crappy too. And the next book (first year) sucks even more. I don’t have any other titles to suggest, it’s been awhile since I’ve needed them. But yeah, the weight gain scare in that book should really just serve as a tip off that some of the other advice might be fear mongering too.

  23. I don’t get the fascination with the Ruby show but I don’t watch much tv in general (sometimes I buy DVD collections of series). Like, I have zero interest in yet another fat person being made into a spectacle of weight loss. I mean, dieting is highly performative anyway and I hear enough about that shit from the people around me. Why deliberately seek it out?

  24. As for gaining weight during pregnancy – this whole “you shouldn’t gain weight when pregnant” thing just makes no sense. You are growing another being inside of you and that being has weight. That being is surrounded by a sack full of fluid which also has weight! Plus, you bascially have a big ol’ parasite – you need extra nutrients and extra nutrition to survive the process with your health (and teeth) intact. What the hell?

  25. E is for exquisite. :)

    Hugs to Shannon. I hate listening to people talk that way!

    Thanks for all the suggestions, too. :)

  26. hey kate – any word on when you all are going to get back to regular, substantive postings? i’m looking forward to it.

  27. Hey, I’m new here, been reading this for s couple of weeks, though I’d comment.

    Completely random but I went to buy a new bra today, Why is it so hard? I’m a 40C but if I go into the plus size shops they’re my size around but presume my cup is about twice as big as it is and don’t go below DD, if I go in a normal shop if I’m lucky enough to find a 40, the only thing they have in my cup size is frumpy. I’m trying to work a sexy top with open cleavage here, I don’t want something that covers me up to the neck and has more black lace and flowers then a victorian mourning dress! I was really excited about maybe finding some cute bra’s and I’ve struggled just to find a trandard black one that fits.

    Such an effort.

  28. Howdy all..I was wondering if anyone might know of any HAAS gifting web sites for Christmas? A friend of mine passed on http://voluptuart.com/

    I love their stuff.. I just wonder if there are any other websites out there folks are aware of? Thanks.

    Katie

  29. Simply Mac, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is possibly the worst book about pregnancy ever. Fearmongering, bizzare complications, peculiar and un-followable rules, it just doesn’t help. In my opinion, of course.
    The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger is much calmer and manageable. And there are others, it depends on what kind of info you want. There isn’t that much to *do* once you’re pregnant, other than eat right and sleep well.

  30. TR – The book does say that dieting is an absolute no-no during pregnancy and that you MUST gain at least 20 pounds while pregnant for the health of the baby. So it’s not so much that you shouldn’t gain ANY weight, but that you have to VERY careful not to gain too much.

    Fortunately, I didn’t buy this book, I borrowed it, so I’m hoping to go to the bookstore and find something that makes more sense. And thanks for saying what you did, Shannon; I need to know that others are seeing what I’m seeing in this book. I want to be able to eat what I need to in order to get through this killer first trimester, during which I have been mostly sick. And though I know nutrition is important, I also know that there are very few things that my body does not reject right now.

    So anyway; the book is just kind of ridiculous and I just need to find a replacement.

  31. Tangle – I saw your post after I posted. I’ll have to check that book out! I’m scared enough as it is, so I don’t need more fearmongering, ya know?

    Thanks for the tip!

  32. Simply Mac, my lady doctor told me she gives her newly pregnant patients a list of books that may be useful and at the bottom in big bold underlined print is “DO NOT READ WHAT TO EXPECT…” because it’s so OMGWTFBBQ about everything. So, FWIW, medical professionals agree that it’s kind of a crock (I’ve never been preggers before, so I don’t know)

  33. Happy Friday everyone!
    Kate, how’s Lucille doing?
    It snowed here last night . . . and is snowing now . . . and actually stuck!
    My toilet trauma is slowly going away.
    I suddenly feel like I need a pedicure and a parafin wax treatment for my hands.

  34. Hey everyone! Just saying hi, as I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks. I’m in the midst of a very trying family situation, and I don’t have the mental wherewithal to do proper posts. (emi, we’re trying but I don’t have an answer to your questions.) I’m glad to see your cheery faces/monsters in the meanwhile.

  35. I hope no one minds my posting this, but it’s marginally related as it includes feminism. I’m going to copy/paste what I posted to the feministing community:

    OK, so I’m a journalism student. I’m taking a magazine writing class and for the final project I have to write a feature length article. My topic is feminists who participate in traditional “woman’s work” hobbies, such as knitting, sewing, baking, etc. I’d love some feedback from any of you who participate (or don’t but have an opinion).

    I’m going to say that if you comment, you consent to me quoting you in my article. Chances are, it won’t be published, but I may try to submit it to some magazines, so publication is a possibility. If you’d like me to use your real name, please leave it (you can email it to me if you’d rather); otherwise I’ll refer to anything I use by your username. I’d just rather not have to sift through answers that say awesome things but don’t want to be quoted. :)

    I’ve written some questions, please answer any or all of them, or feel free to stray and say whatever you think on the topic.

    In general, what is your view on feminists reclaiming traditional “woman’s work” as leisure activities?

    Why do you think such activities have seen a recent boost in popularity?
    Do you think that Betty Friedan and others had a valid argument against women engaging in these activities? Why?
    Do you feel that these hobbies help or hinder feminism in general?
    Do you think these hobbies will remain popular in the long term or are they just a passing fad?
    Do you personally engage in one of these activities?
    If so, what activity do you participate in?
    How long have you been participating? Is it something you were taught as a child or did you pick it up later?
    If it is something you started as an adult, what drew you to it?
    What do you feel you get out of it?
    How has it impacted your life socially and as a feminist?

    Thank you to anyone who participates!

    (you can email me directly with answers at LizaK1020@yahoo.com if you’d rather not post your answers and/or name here)

  36. @Keeks, dehumanizing headless skinny photo is right — between that and that horrible dress that makes the model look like some sort of undead wasp woman, it’s downright disorienting.

    It’s an interesting article, though, and I’d like to see more research … I know I’m less inclined to buy if the models and mannequins are thin. Well, and why shouldn’t I be, given that the implied message is, ‘We don’t care about you’?

  37. I’ve been having the hardest time lately. I’ve only recently become aware of the fat acceptance movement. And I’m trying to internalize it. It’s easy for me to see it in others and get angry on a global level but harder for me to accept myself.

    I’ve found that in the past all major size shifts (upwards) have directly resulted from a diet. I will coast along for months or years at the same size and then something will make me think that I’m not “right” and I’ll do something – anything – name a diet, I’ve been on it. Then I go from an enjoyment of food to an obsession – I’ll lose 40 pounds (that’s the magic number, apparently) – and then gain 60 or 70.

    ****Does anyone have any advice on how they moved the fat acceptance internally?**** I want to jump on the “healthy at every size” bandwagon. I just can’t seem to figure out how to keep eating better and exercizing more separate from “dieting” in my mind.

  38. I just discovered I made it into the Adipositivity calendar for 2009 and am thrilled!

    Eucritta, you have a sphinx cat! I love them – they’re like Devon Rexes, (of which my family has had several), except covered in peach fuzz. Here are my – dead common but much beloved – furkids, for them as likes that kind of thing:-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/buttercuprocks/collections/72157602091451208/

    Kate, I was so sorry to read about Lucille. Big hugs to you and Al and Solly.

  39. The “What to Expect” books are a fairly useful reference work because they have decent indexing. But reading them could show up all sorts of scary things. Don’t read them. Refer to them.

    Devaluing traditionally feminine crafts, leisure activities, roles etc is just as unfeminist as forcing women to participate in them.

    My 4-year-old daughter has finally agreed to let me brush her hair, as long as I put it in two plaits, of which she is very proud. Since she won’t have it cut, this is a major domestic win.

  40. Lotus, not sure if this will meet your needs, but when I was looking for a strapless minimizer bra (which I thought was an impossible combo for a 40DD like me) to wear with my wedding dress, I came across the Lilyette convertible minimizer at Kohl’s. I didn’t expect to use it for anything other than my wedding, but have worn it many times since with tops that tend to show a little strap-boatneck tops and the like- when worn with a regular bra. Also the minimizer part comes in handy when worn with button down shirts-gets rid of that gap between the buttons that sometimes is a problem for bustier gals.

    Sorry to totally sound like a commercial, but it really was a great find. Good luck on your search!

  41. For those who have asked about Lucille (thanks), she’s still around and doing better. Last Friday, after a really bad 24 hrs., I resolved to call the vet on Monday and schedule an appointment to put her down. But over the weekend, she got back to her normal (for an ancient dog) self, and Al and I decided to hang in there and see what happens; our plan now is to wait for one more bad day, at which point, we’ll let her go. So far, so good, though I don’t expect she’s got long.

  42. Pregnancy – I had read somewhere, no citation sorry, about women who were delivering their children and then suffering from PTSD-like symptoms from the stress of 9 months of “OMG your Baby could DIE at any second, and it could ALL BE YOUR FAULT!”

    Word meaning- I was taking one of those online tests yesterday and a questions came up, “It is very important to me that sex be neat.” or something like that. The answers were Disagree, Somewhat disagree, Somewhat agree, Agree.

    So, this sparked a twenty minute conversation among my friends about the possible connotations of the word “neat” as related to sex, and whether they could possibly mean “tidy,” etc., etc. And I, finally, answered Agree with the idea that it is very important to me that sex be novel and fun.

    When I got the results, this website told me that I might need to engage in some self-analysis or perhaps talk to a professional because I “overvalued” sexual cleanliness and might be self-hating or a perfectionist.

    So, what do y’all think? If a trade-off must be made between novel and spic and span, which is preferable? :D!!

  43. Aw, *hugs* Kate and Lucille!

    Liza, I’m a knitter who took it up as a teenager, and I think that exploring traditional ‘women’s work’ activities as hobbies is definitely compatible with feminism. Things associated with the female are often devalued (throwing like a girl, etc.), so it is definitely worthwhile to both appreciate the skills and creativity necessary for ‘women’s work’ as well as eliminate the othering of and scorn for activities previously associated with women only. In other words, actively demonstrating that female-oriented =/= suck. Quiliting, knitting, embroidery, and so on are incredible art forms and should be admired in their own right rather than brushed off because women have been the primary artists.

  44. I made a LiveJournal community recently about practicing HAES and exercising for the fun and health of it. I got really sick of gym communities where weight/weight loss is the most important part of training. Currently we have three members, and I’ve been slacking with posting, but I hope to make it a vibrant community.

    Totally unrelated to my self-plug but linked to the theme, Shannon, I totally get that too re: people jumping all over you with diet talk. One of my other big-girl friends went to the gym with me recently, and she kept talking about her diet plan and how much weight she was losing. It was really disheartening. I go to the gym to feel better in my body or to train it to be a fat gazelle, not to get rid of it. Also, one of my friends my be anorexic and her friend has another severely disordered relationship with food. So right now I can’t escape it in my group of female friends.

  45. @Liza ~ I love crotchet and I can quilt a bit and love to sew. I cook and bake; I have days when I just want to bake every freaking recipe I can get my hands on (My roomate in college used to call them my Bettey Crocker moments). I can also change the brakes on my own car. I learned to cook and crotchet from my grandmother at a young age, right next to my younger brother. I learned to change the brakes on my car much later in life from my step-father. I have fun doing both.

    I don’t think either set of skills should be gender-identified (my brother learned to crotchet at the same time as I and we both can make an awesome batch of Perrogies!). It is frustrating when gender labels are pinned to any particular skill because it detracts from the skill it takes to perform the task as well as the beauty there is in performing it!

    I don’t think me crotcheting and loving to cook is any less compatible with being a feminist who believes that a woman should have equal access to any job, skill, education or hobby than it would be an incompatible match for a man who loved to hunt and fix his own cars to believe in feminism. The problem doesn’t come from having these gendered hobbies, it comes from our society pinning such genders (and negative conotations) on certain hobbies. At least that’s my thought on it if that helps!

    The whole part that I take out of granting everyone, male and female, equal rights to life is that it means equal in everything. If I wanted to be a Stay-at-Home April and cook, do light cleaning and crotchet to my heart’s content, washing the cars or changing their brakes once in a while; I should have the same access to that opportunity as I should to be a high-powered exec who likes to hunt and fish and mount trophies of dead things on my walls who might also like to quilt on weekends. And my husband should have the same chance at both of those as well.

    Maybe I’m just rambling at this point.

    Oh look! Self-linking: http://roundshape.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/on-being-well-rounded/ (I play trumpet!)

    Also, hampster on a piano? Still awesome. ^^

  46. I just requested to join! (Under the name “orangetango”)

    Speaking of “woman’s work” I am screwed. Years ago, my mom gave me some cross-stitch booklets with designs for miniature stockings. well, I didn’t use them for years, and she never asked for them back. When I moved to Texas 6 months ago, I threw them out. Well, my mom recently sent me two mini stockings to stitch for my cousin’s kids. And then she said that when I’m done, she’d like the books back.

    Do I remember the booklet titles? No. Do I remember the booklet publishers? No. Is it possible they’re out of print? Yes. Would I recognize the covers if I saw them? Yes. Am I spending inordinate amounts of time scrounging the internet for replacement copies? Yes.

    In short, I’m screwed.

  47. Simply Mac – I’m expecting as well, and the fat fear-mongering in books other than the What To Expect series is astounding. Even if they’re trying to be realistic about weight gain, there is always a subsequent sentence about not gaining too much weight.

    And goddess help you if you’re trying to conceive – the primary advice for even the marginally chubby is to lose weight first, as you’ll be (cue ominous music) GAINING ALL THAT PREGNANCY WEIGHT…

    Anyway, one book I did read that didn’t suck at all was Dr. Cornelia van der Zel and Jaqueline Tourville’s “Big, Beautiful & Pregnant” (New York: Marlowe and Company, 2006), which made me feel a lot better about being fat and pregnant. It also includes online maternity/nursing clothing resources, as well as a link to our very own Well-Rounded Mama’s other site, plus-size-pregnancy.org, which in a roundabout way, led me to the fatosphere.

  48. @Simply Mac: Oh, you mean What to Freak Out About When You Are Expecting? Yeah, throw that thing in the bin (or give it right back to the lender).

    Another option is Fearless Pregnancy, which was pretty good (though I don’t remember what they said about weight, per se). It’s more focused on common sense than freaking you out.

    And, if I can be your pregnancy book for a moment, please allow me to reiterate that anyone who tells you that your weight fundamentally affects your pregnancy can shove that bullcrap anywhere that makes them uncomfortable. Can you imagine telling a woman with a morbidly obese BMI that she SHOULD NOT GAIN WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY? Like the baby should eat her fat or something? What is this? Doctor Who? I don’t even understand how they could say that out loud and it just points out the whole bullshittery around this.

    Ack. So mad. Good luck with your pregnancy, though! You know what is best for your child, even now.

  49. @Simply Mac: Oh, oh, oh…have you also been told that there are antihistamines that can DRAMATICALLY reduce the symptoms of morning sickness? I don’t know how you feel about drugs, so feel free to ignore me, but morning sickness does not have to be something you just suffer through.

    Yes, fun fact…they think that morning sickness is much more akin to seasickness than plain old nausea. Interesting, huh? Others just call it hormone poisoning, because that’s just the damn truth.

    Done with pregnancy talk for the day. Carry on.

  50. “Devaluing traditionally feminine crafts, leisure activities, roles etc is just as unfeminist as forcing women to participate in them.”

    Love that quote from Ailbhe (speaking as a feminist stay at home mom – I really don’t get why so many people I meet thing the two can’t go hand in hand. I’ve also met a SAH Dad who got a lot of shit for his decision. As if the day to day job of raising kids is only a worthwhile occupation if it’s other people’s kids and you are being paid for it).

  51. Let me say this about “What to Expect”: It’s GARBAGE. I read a bit of it in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. When I got to the point of “Don’t put anything into your mouth that isn’t perfectly healthy,” I tossed the book down and never picked it up again. I tried looking at some of the other books (the first year, the toddler years, etc) and realized that, basically, the authors are full of it.
    My advice to ANY pregnant woman is to run as far away as fast as you can from these books.

    Also, I am a feminist. Until recently, I was also 100% a SAHM. I now work part-time at a job I enjoy, that also brings in a little extra money. In these times, we can use it, lol!

    Keep the pet pix coming!

  52. Can you imagine telling a woman with a morbidly obese BMI that she SHOULD NOT GAIN WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY? Like the baby should eat her fat or something? What is this? Doctor Who?

    SRSLY. That IS what they tell fat women, that the baby should eat their fat. Like all nutrients a fetus needs are fat-soluble. Like your fat is just as accessible to your fetus as breast milk. Like your fat is some kind of appetite suppressant that works even when you’re growing a whole other LIFE inside you that gets BIGGER AND BIGGER EVERY FRIGGING SECOND. I don’t know what these people are thinking, honestly.

    Anyway, SimplyMac, first, congratulations! And second, the Plus-Size Pregnancy site, founded by Kmom of the Well-Rounded Mama blog on the Fatosphere (another great source!), is your friend at a time like this.

  53. Hey Simply Mac! Did I congratulate you yet? Congratulations! Also, here’s a present. If you put the following in 7 point font it should fit on a business card. I recommend printing up a bunch; it makes public motherhood a lot more fun:

    Thank you for the (circle one) PREGNANCY / CHILD FEEDING / PARENTING advice. I am deeply touched that you were kind enough to point out my failures. Sadly, I shall persist in living the way I did before you enlightened me. You see, I reproduced solely because I (circle one) HAD HOT HOT SEX / LIKE ATTENTION/ WANTED AN EXCUSE TO GORGE MYSELF. My reasons were 100% selfish, and that is why I currently get so much satisfaction out of not:

    _________________________________________
    (write area of failure here)

    …in the way that you personally approve of.

    Deliberately neglecting my offspring for the sake of my own desires is the only thing that gives my cruel, shriveled, tar-like heart any pleasure. Once again, thank you for your concern.

  54. LilahCello, that is a very sweet looking puppy — I hope it works out.

    On the WTEWYE, I agree with the fat hating stuff. Aside from that, it was a good book for me because I tend to jump right to the worst case scenario, so I found it somewhat reassuring — but I only read as far as my trimester/week and didn’t read ahead.

    FWIW, I gained about 25 pounds in pregnancy, and just saw a DVD of myself just before I went to the hospital to give birth, and I didn’t look as big as I remembered myself to be. (If you are considering a home birth and can find a midwife and doula to support you, I think it’s a great option). I weighed around 230 or so pounds when I delivered. I was pretty careful about eating when I was pregnant because I had diabetes going in and was on insulin right away, but I certainly didn’t starve myself. I was pretty freaked out about the diabetes and pregnancy, but my little one turned out perfectly healthy. At one point during my pregnancy, my A1C was 4.7, which for those who know about these things, is, like, really, really good.
    The result of this pregnancy has just crawled into my lap and is demanding a game, but any pregnancy and type 2 diabetes related questions are welcome on my blog.

    Juliebean — I recommend some good books out there, starting with Rethinking Thin. It’s definitely a process, with starts and stops and backwards sliding. Give yourself time. It’s a lot to unlearn. There’s no rush. I’m not really a great example, I forget everything I’ve learned about fat acceptance about 4 times a year :-)

  55. I’m back. And some other things:
    Hi Sweet Machine!

    Jan, that is an awsome story, and I’m constantly amazed at how many Shapelings are from the NW. I love my Y, too (South Sound YMCAs).

    A Sarah — there’s a lot of money to be made in those business cards. Or on t-shirts. Or as inserts in shower invitations (may have an impact on shower attendance).

    I give parenting advice, but it’s usually along the lines of, “well, chances are they are going to cry about something, whether it has to do with you or not, so don’t feel bad.”

    Ailbhe, I appreciate your victory. Hurray for braids!

    Keeks, maybe the headless photo is a common organizing force. Headless bodies, unite! (But if the wrong body/head arrangement happens, well, I imagine that is not a good thing, in a body-snatchers sort of way.) But seriously, maybe we can start a movement against photos of people without heads. Maybe we can start filing class action suits against newspapers that publish the photos.

    Okay, I’m done.

  56. To all of you, thank you thank you thank you for being here…and for all the advice – which is completely accepted. My Baby Daddy/Fiance is buying into the book and urging me to eat according to it, but I’m giving it back and getting one of the ones suggested.

    A Sarah: LOVE the business card idea! That is AWESOME!

    Meowser: I will definitely check out that site. I was getting freaked out the other day reading about plus-sized pregnancy and all the “damage” I’m doing to my child, but then I was reading other things about how these women had been warned but then had perfectly perfect babies.

    It’s really just not fair: these people are just feeding off my abundant pregnancy hormones and insecurities about being a mother. But you guys have made me feel infinitely better and I truly appreciate it.

  57. 50% off at figleaves??? omg! *heads on over*

    Oh, and since someone requested more pet pictures, at the risk of REVEALING MY SECRET IDENTITY (yeah, not so secret):

    Pichincha
    and
    Dexter

  58. Simply Mac, in general, I would just read the comments here for anything A Sarah has ever said about pregnancy/motherhood. If I ever have kids I plan to have her on some kind of Awesome Mother speeddial. :D And congratulations!

    juliebean, just keep reading. Read here, read other sites on the fatosphere, read The Obesity Myth, read Rethinking Thin, just keep reading. It is so so so hard to start undoing everything you’ve been told about how important it is to hate your body, and it absolutely will not happen overnight, but when you start to get there…god, it’s so worth it. I’m happier with my body than I’ve ever been, including eight years younger and two stone lighter. FA is awesome.

    Liza, I took up knitting last month (age 23), and before that I did a lot of crossstitch. I taught myself to crossstitch and my roommate taught me to knit (she learned when she was younger). I love knitting in public because it confuses people. I’m gay and feminist and smart and I’m knitting, and people just can’t reconcile those things. I love when I force people to rethink things even a little bit.

    As for knitting itself, I love it because I can use it either to relax and stop thinking about academic craziness, or to give my hands something to do so my brain can concentrate better (much as I use tea to wake me up in the morning and put me to sleep at night). Plus, I get awesome clothes! I’m currently trying to figure out how to make legwarmers — SO HAPPY. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when something’s finished, and that I made it by myself.

    I’ve taught myself to bake as well. My mother didn’t pass any of the traditional “female” stuff on to me because — well, for very many reasons, but, she didn’t. So I suppose I also see it as part of figuring out a better way to live than what she taught me?

    It’s also awesome because older women get really excited about it and start asking what I’m knitting and ooh that’s nice wool and they get to connect and feel down with the kids for a bit and I love that.

    Knitting! It’s great.

  59. Crap! Hit submit before I was ready -

    Here’s my beautiful, brilliant, red-headed, bossy-britches mongrel, Siofra:

  60. Hey there. Two great things I can recommend:

    Regarding the pregnancy stuff – Have you seen the book The Miracle of Me? It’s written from the unborn baby’s perspective about how the baby grows and develops. Great child-friendly tool for explaining fetal development for families. Uses in-utero photography and rulers/scales so you can the baby’s progress. I got it to read to my daughter but have a soft spot in my heart for it myslf. A must have.

    Regarding the need to diet – I gave that up years ago! Have two wonderful shapewear lines I rely on though. Spanx for the bottom half and Slimpressions for the top half. Slimpressions. Love them! Slimpressions battles my jelly belly, back fat and ARM FLAB! I can’t believe I ever did without them! :)

  61. I checked out The Obesity Myth from the library today. Reading it is completely blowing my mind. I had no idea how much results of the studies are manipulated, and it makes me feel that I’ve been really naive.

  62. My midwife told me, five years ago, that they don’t weigh pregnant women over here in the UK because it leads to dieting, and dieting is even more unhealthy for pregnant women than for non-pregnant women. I was never weighed during pregnancy unless I did it myself (which I did, first time around, because I got SO HUGE that I started breaking my furniture, and I wanted to know what weight to have it repaired for).

    So I didn’t read the food parts of What To Expect until I heard about them online, and then I basically laughed at them. Because jesus wept, even the updated version /UK version I have is extreme, and the extracts I’ve read from the old/US version are terrifying.

  63. A question for all you currently/previously/thinking-about-getting married people out there: did you get the jitters, and how’d you deal with it? I’m posting here (tho on the surface it seems unrelated) is because the way my jitters are coming is to fall back into old habits of body insecurity, which I thought I was (at least mostly) over with. I’m thrilled about the wedding, love my fiancee, love his family, my family loves him, everything’s great….except I’m going to be wearing a white (well, off-white) dress and be the center of attention in front of 60 people in 2 weeks, and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks sitting at a computer for 15-hour days meeting a big deadline, so my old lizard brain is kicking around that dreaded ‘D’ word. Any advice/suggestions/funny stories/inspiring photos/etc? Thanks!! :-)

  64. Wellroundedtype2, I’m not subscribed to xanga; but check out either grape juice or grape extract supplements as substitutes for red wine.

    I love A Sarah’s card!

    I don’t see why traditional women’s art is any less valuable than traditional men’s arts. I’ve seen quilts as lovely as paintings or statues, and absolutely amazing embroidery and handmade lace. All I do myself is a tiny bit of crochet and cooking; but it’s very satisfying. If someone tells me they aren’t valuable arts, I have a little less respect for their judgement and intelligence, not less respect for those arts.

    I’m also annoyed that traditionally the cooking that is respected has been the province of male chefs.

  65. Thanks, Piffle, while there are benefits from the grapes themselves, there also seems to be some positive impact from the alcohol itself.

    But I’m told that dealcoholized wine provides some benefits, too.

    I probably need to switch to a blog host that has fewer barriers in place to posting. On the other hand, when I had a nasty troll who registered, it was handled very well by the team at xanga.

  66. A Sarah – I laughed SO hard at your business card idea. There were so many occasions when they would have come in handy. My kids are 10 and 7 now so I don’t get random unsolicited advice too much these days, even my mother has figured out that if she tries I will make sure to remind her that I’m their parent and I’ll do what I think is best and if she pushes me I remind her that she failed as a mother so I doubt I’ll be taking advice.

    Whew. BUT I will be saving that text to pass on to some new moms for their sanity. That is just awesome right there.

  67. Simply Mac, kmom here from http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org and http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com. I have lots of info on those 2 sites about pregnancy at larger sizes.

    I have several posts on my blog about the whole “don’t gain weight in pregnancy if you’re fat” hype (which we will be seeing much more of in the media, I can almost guarantee). Go to my blog and click on the category on weight gain in pregnancy. Start from the bottom entry and read to the top; it will make more sense to read them in the order they were written.

    As I say on my blog, you know the obesity hysteridemic is out of control when they are advocating *putting the baby on a diet before it’s even born.*

    I’m sorry to hear about your nausea; I can certainly relate! My first pregnancy was miserable for quite a while too. I have a FAQ on my plus-size pregnancy website about ideas to help minimize nausea; nothing will prevent it or cure it completely, and nothing works across the board for *everyone*, but there are a lot of hints you can try to find what works best for YOU. It needs updating but there’s lots of ideas there.

    What worked best for me was eating small amounts of protein and carbs very frequently to keep my blood sugar very even. Since my pregnancies, I’ve also seen very good research on acupuncture for morning sickness. YMMV, but things to consider…..

    Please do avoid the What To Expect books. They’re not 100% bad, but the fat phobia is pretty strong. If you want a book specifically about pregnancy at larger sizes, I’ve heard that the “Big Beautiful and Pregnant” book is the best of what’s available, but that’s faint praise.

    For general pregnancy stuff, I really like “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer, and “Birthing From Within” by Pam England. “Pushed” by Jennifer Block is also very interesting.

    Best wishes on your pregnancy, and do check out the BBW Birth Stories on my main website for lots of birth stories from Women of Size.

  68. BTW, as a general note to everyone, I’m taking suggestions now on my blog to find out what folks MOST want to read about on my blog. If you haven’t taken the time to comment yet, please do.

  69. Yep, alcohol has its own goodness too; you’ll have to judge if that’s worth its problems for your particular situation.

    Barley reduces cholesterol levels too:

    http://www.bglifebarley.com/research.html

    There’s silly stuff on there about weight loss too, but you can ignore that. It also does good stuff for glucose levels, so you may already know about it. I like to add barley flour to my bread recipes because I like the flavor.

  70. I get along pretty well with my mom (NOW!) but a standard joke is “you had your chance to screw up your kids, now it’s my turn.”.

  71. I remember crocheting at a bus stop once, and a guy came up and told me that originally crocheting was employed by men, to create fishermens’ nets. I’ve never found a reliable source for this information, although I’ve also seen some sites that have said that early fishermen’s nets were knitted by the men, and there have been many cultures in which men have knitted their own garments. Personally I like to make granny squares on the bus because it keeps me from getting too agitated by noisemakers (human and otherwise).

  72. I’m also annoyed that traditionally the cooking that is respected has been the province of male chefs.

    *mind is quietly blown*

    and if she pushes me I remind her that she failed as a mother so I doubt I’ll be taking advice.

    Ahahaha, if my mother ever tries to tell me how to better parenting my kid I…I do not even know what I will do, but keeping a straight face will not be a part of it.

  73. Juliebean,
    Everyone starts internalizing fat acceptance differently. I had to start working out for something I had planned and got a personal trainer for 3 months. I was lucky that she HATED dieting and knew they did not work.. The more I worked out the better I felt. I loved the idea that I did not have to diet. I was getting healthy from the inside out. That was the beginning for me. I then found this site and I have to say my life has been changed forever. THANK YOU EVERYONE. Juliebean, you will find your way. There are days I think about dieting…but they are getting few and far between. I find that if I don’t move (exercise), the diet talk creep back into my head.

  74. Meowser, not sure about the exact origins, but I’m pretty sure crochet was mostly a way to make cheap, “poor-man’s lace” in Victorian times. Way easier and faster than tatting or other lacemaking techniques. And having tried both tatting and crocheting lace, I am 100% in favor of fast and cheap! I think the only way I’d have patience for the other methods is if I was a bored lady-in-waiting. ;-)

    Knitting fishing nets sounds really time consuming! Men making their own sweaters I can get behind, though.

    When I was in college and started knitting, it was because my mom had always been a knitter and crocheter, and I never felt any conflict with feminism at all. It never really occurred to me that anyone would seriously question that, actually. And then I taught all my friends to knit, including FJ and SM, and we’d knit every weekend while we watched X-files. And then SM became a much better and more prolific knitter than me, so I stopped teaching her.

  75. There is an awesome article about Jewish identity and dieting on the Nextbook homepage right now. Any other Jewish shapelings care to share their thoughts? I’ll submit the link just under this comment.

  76. Thanks for the Figleaves tip — great prices! On the subject of bras: How the hell do I *actually* figure out my size?! Every online “tutorial” or “calculator” says something different. Is it just trial-and-error? I hate trying on bras…….

  77. sarah, it’s kind of trial and error. Your size also varies depending on the brand, cut, and style of the bra. This is why it’s good to go get a fitting, by a professional in a place where they don’t have a vested interest in making you fit into ‘mainstream’ sizes (like VS). They’ll help you figure out your size in particular bra styles that interest you, and then you’ll have a better idea of the range for ordering stuff from the internet.

  78. sarah, definitely get a pro fitting — those calculators are crap. When I went for my first fitting, Online calculators had told me anything from 36D to 40A. My actual size at the time? 34E. If you’re not sure what to expect from a pro fitting, here’s a post I wrote about that a while back.

  79. Krista,
    Here is the link:

    http://www.nextbook.org/cultural/feature.html?id=1665

    I actually sort of hate this article, because it’s presenting just one segment of Jewish folks as the whole Jewish experience, although for that segment, it’s pretty accurate.

    It will also be a great jumping-off place for me to write a post, which has been brewing for a while. So, uh, I guess, stay tuned?

    Abby Ellin missed doing her homework in the sense that Jewish women have historically done great work in breaking down the cultural and psychological underpinnings of fat hatered.

  80. Krista, I just read the Nextbook piece, and my first thought was that fat phobia and self-hate are so widely encouraged in Western culture in general I honestly don’t believe that Jews obsess about their weight more than any other dutifully self-hating portion of humanity. However, I do think it possible that a significant number of Jewish families have a genetic predisposition towards fatness with so many of us coming from poor peasant backgrounds. I’ve little doubt, looking at photographs of my family going back 3 generations, that my fat and the way my body stores it owes everything to my impoverished antecedents, despite the fact they were pogrommed out of the shtetl 100 years ago.

    I also found myself wondering whether there is something intrinsically different about being brought up Jewish in the UK as opposed to the US. While some British Jewish parents do pressurise their children to become high achievers that (mercifully) wasn’t my experience, though my folks believed in a good education and sacrificed quite a bit to ensure that I got one. I’m more inclined to believe that the reasons behind pushing children to excel academically again has more to do with coming from poor immigrant stock than being Jewish per se as we’re hardly alone in this respect. One thing I have observed in the older generations of my family is they have a tendency to cringe in reflected shame if somebody Jewish commits a crime or otherwise behaves in a heinous manner in the public eye. (It baffled me as a young person but then I’m fortunate enough never to have experienced anti-Semitism personally). So I’m wondering if the pressure to fight our genetically inherited fat with a vengeance, (if indeed we do), is part of that bigger picture – i.e. wanting to be wholly integrated in society, not wanting to be perceived as different, especially in a way that has negative connotations, plus putting some distance between us and our unsophisticated peasant roots.

    One thing I do agree with is the highly charged relationship Jews have with food. But, again it all goes back to the same thing. In poorer cultures, where food is scarce, food comes to symbolise love, friendship, comfort – and survival. The thought of a loved one leaving our table hungry appalls us, and, frankly, so it should; food is a wonderful thing! I love many of the recipes my great grandmothers brought over from the old country. I can’t speak for all UK Jews – far from it. My family was pretty secular and I am entirely non-practicing. However, I do identify culturally and food plays a big part in that.
    Nothing, but nothing, hits the spot like my Nana’s barley soup on a cold winters night.

  81. are there other books you might suggest?

    I can hightly recommend Kaz Cooke’s series on pregnancy and child-rearing. She’s an Australian feminist and comedian, and though her books don’t shy from explaining the squicky things, they do so in a hilarious and informative way. Seriously, it’s just a fun book to read.

    Since this an open thread and all, I was extremely disturbed to discover that I’m an American size 0 (not that clothing sizes are standardised). I just can’t process it at all. The words “I’m not that small” just circle around and around in my head. So, er, time for some body acceptance I suppose?

  82. Aw, Caitlin, you just made me get misty AND I AM WITH MY EMOTIONALLY-REPRESSED INLAWS NOW WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?!!!! *looks pointedly* :) Hee. No, that… I mean, that really means a lot. Thank you.

  83. Check out this article for some weird diet-talk contradictions:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/11/21/weightloss.karen.daniel/index.html

    At one point, the article notes that, “[Karen] Daniel said losing weight has been the hardest thing she’s ever done.”

    On the other hand, she’s quoted as saying, “It’s a lot harder to be fat than it is to work so hard at being fit.”

    WTF???

    Also, her website about her journey through weightloss is called “www.ihavebones.com.”

    augh.

  84. What I’ve read about crochet is that, like Volcanista said, it was used to make cheap faux-lace. Mostly by prostitutes to
    A) make themselves look higher class
    B) make some extra money selling the work

    According to the stitch’n’bitch people, this is the source of the word Hooker for prostitute – someone who used a crochet hook… :)

  85. I need to just….get this out somewhere, but where I don’t know. I feel at home here, so here I go. My mom and I are going through health scares concurrently.

    I’m unapologetically fat. I’m 295 lbs. I will admit to over eating, eating wayyy too much fast food, and being too sedentary. It’s all on me, and my eating choices and decisions to just….not bother exercising. I do not take good care of myself.

    And neither has my mom. She is 60 years young and beautiful, 178lbs, lives on a fast food diet, and never exercises. We both are really similar to food tastes and activity.

    In the same week, a week ago actually, I went to the doctor to find that my blood pressure was 185/100. Higher than my last reading, which was 160/98.
    I had been having some numbness and tingling in my arm, and a general sense of just….not feeling so good.

    My doctor told me, “Go on high blood pressure medicine, get on a low fat diet, and exercise….OR….I will not treat you as a patient anymore. You are a walking time bomb….and if you refuse to follow my treatment plan, then you’ll need to find another doctor”.

    I walked out with a script for bp medication in my hand, and a low fat diet plan. I cried all the way home, feeling ….Oh I don’t know how to describe this.

    But what I went through was nothing in comparsion to what I was about to find out once I got in the door.
    There was a message from my step dad that my mother was in emergency surgery. She had a heart attack on the way to the hospital in an ambulance, and they were having to perform a double bypass.

    I imagined the worst of everything. And as I sped to the hospital, in a panic. Once there, I was informed after almost 3 hours had passed that my mom may not even make it to the ICU. It was not looking good.

    I stood up, and passed out. When I woke up, they had me swallowing an aspirin, I was hooked to an EKG, and a doctor told me I had just suffered a minor heart attack. I told him….’I”m only 40 years old!! No way….”
    But yes way.

    After a series of tests, they found no blockage.

    So my mom and I were both in the damn hospital together for a brief amount of time. She’s still in, recovering….Thank God. I was in for 2 days and released.

    So here I am….still unapologetically fat, with the intent on getting healthier. My mom on the other hand, had a bigger scare and is intent on losing her weight and doing what she’s told. I will support her.

    I want to be a curvy woman. I do not identify with thin.
    The doctor I saw saturday morning told me, “You can’t be curvy, and be healthy”

    Well, I disagree here. Because, when I was 200 pounds, I had excellent health and perfect blood pressure. SO perfect, that health care workers ALWAYS expected it to be sky high, and acted surprised when it was low on a fat girl.

    I guess my question here is…. Can I still be curvy and healthy? Where did I go wrong? The sedentary life I led? Why do I feel like I’m suddenly being punished? lol Yes I mean that.

    Doctors , and I mean all of em’, act like it’s black and white. Either you get skinny or you won’t be healthy.

    At any rate, I just want to be healthy….

    Thanks for listening. I Just needed to vent…..it’s been a stressful month.

  86. I wanted to add something about Pregnancy and weight:

    I started a pregnancy at 230lbs. My midwife never told me that the baby eats the fat, and that I should diet. I did eat healthy though and had my share of not so healthy things, and I gained only 12 pounds.
    My blood pressure never went high, nor did my blood sugars.

    I had a very healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby at the age of 36.

  87. I can hightly recommend Kaz Cooke’s series on pregnancy and child-rearing.

    They’re a fun read and she’s a terrific writer, but unfortunately some of the actual information in Up The Duff is pretty questionable IMO. I would quote chapter and verse, but I got rid of my copy.

  88. Tabby, I’m sorry for what you’re going through right now. My two cents – yes, you can be fat and healthy. If you are, as you say, sedentary and aren’t eating a lot of healthy foods then yes, change that. But make that your focus, not weight. If you focus on the weight, like so many people do (like doctors do, like advertisements do) then that is not healthy. Focus on changing your habits to healthier ones instead. Find some exercise you enjoy and start doing it. Cut down on the fast food if it’s making you ill. Then, whether you lose weight or not, you’ll be healthier and *that* is what’s important.

    I like what you said about identifying as curvy and not identifying as skinny. It was only a few years ago I finally realized that about myself too. I know we’re not supposed to say that in this day and age but I don’t want to be thin (and that is not an insult towards thin women – I don’t want to be blond or blue eyed either – I want to be ME!).

    Hang in there. You’ve just been through a lot.

  89. Thanks everyone for all of the advice. I have “Rethinking Thin” in my cart at Amazon and will order it this week. I also joined the “everyonemoves” group at Livejournal. I guess I will just have to work with my therapist to make more positive choices and work on the process of accepting myself.

    About the pregnancy advice, I really liked the “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” but obviously it was prior to my awareness of fat acceptance. Even so, I can’t remember any outright sizest statements in that book – now in the First Year, I do remember she talks about making a vegatable soup (like the WW Zero point soup or cabbage soup or any of the other soups that people swear by) and drinking it from a mug all the time. So I guess there’s definitely weight loss advice in that book.

  90. (((Tabby))) You *have* been through a lot. I’m so sorry! How are you today?

    Simply Mac, I wonder… I have some things that I could send you that I found very helpful in avoiding or at least deconstructing the paranoia of pregnancy (I realize YMMV but hey, it’s free, right?) But I don’t want to put my e-mail here for all to see because I’m on the job market. Can you think of a way we can get in touch? (I really should just get an e-mail address that can’t be connected with my real life identity.)

  91. A Sarah ~ HAVE FEELINGS AT THEM. GO ON. DO IT. :D You’ve very welcome. You are my Shapely Prose of pregnancy/motherhood — continuously, quietly blowing my mind about all the crap society puts on mothers for never being good enough and how wrong it all is. And showing that is clearly possible to be both a mother and awesome human being, for which I am not exactly knee deep in role models. When I have happy, well-adjusted kids because I have refused to let society turn me into a self-hating maternal psychopath, I will get them all to send you Christmas cards.

    I also quote you places, so you ease the burdens of other mothers who don’t even know you. ;)

  92. A Sarah…That would be so awesome! Do you use facebook or myspace? I have profiles on both, if you do. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t mind sharing my email address since I’m NOT in the job market (yet).

    Let me know…

    And again, I thank all of you so much for your great advice. wellroundedmama – I had actually already checked out your site, as it was posted by someone else – very helpful and reassuring!

    @Tabby – I am so sorry for your and your mother’s medical issues. I sincerely hope you both recover/feel better quickly, both emotionally and physically.

  93. They’re a fun read and she’s a terrific writer, but unfortunately some of the actual information in Up The Duff is pretty questionable IMO. I would quote chapter and verse, but I got rid of my copy.

    Well, it has been a while since I read them, and that was before I got into HAES, so I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything objectionable anyway. I’ll have a look for them next time I visit the library.

  94. Tabby, I wish you and your mom a straightforward recovery and path ahead.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to convince doctors or others that it’s possible to be curvy and healthy, and cardiac rehab does tend to focus on weight loss, but it’s entirely possible to focus on making health changes that may result in some weight lost without making weight loss the goal.
    Does that make sense?

    If a person who was not overweight had high blood pressure and a minor heart attack at age 40, the advice would be, take the medication, follow the “DASH” diet, get regular physical activity, focus on stress reduction. All of those things you could do, and if they led to shedding some weight, well, so be it.

    High blood pressure happens to people of all sizes. When many health professionals look at a fat person with a health issue they believe is related to weight, they see the fat person’s weight as something that they believe is changeable — not necessarily a character flaw or any other source of judgement, but rather a risk factor to be controlled. It runs right into all of the other stuff floating around in our culture about weight, but in many cases, it’s coming from a very different place, and they may truly wish to help.

    I hope this perspective is helpful. Exercise, eating along the lines of the DASH diet, prioritizing your own needs higher if at all possible, are things that can help, and taking your meds, all are things you can do that will help, no matter if weight is lost or not. Fast food tends to be high in sodium and saturated fat, as opposed fresh produce and whole grains (which can also be fast) can make a surprising difference.

    Sorry, I couldn’t keep the health educator in me from coming out.

  95. Tabby,

    I’m so sorry that you and your mom are going through this. IF it helps I weigh 400lbs and my blood pressure was last measured at 132/88. I also exercise regularly. WellRoundedMama has excellent suggestions – if nothing else take a daily baby aspirin and exercise.

    **hugs**

  96. @ Tabby,

    I hope that you and your mother make a good recovery; and I echo that getting some exercise and eating less fast food and more vegetables is probably the best way to go. If you’re into supplements I’d also recommend some grapeseed extract with resveratrol and fish oils for omega three fats.

    @Everyone

    I just found a neat study about how to reduce allergies in just eight weeks by desensititization rather than three years of shots. They inject the allergen directly into the lymph nodes rather than into the blood vessels. It’s new, and so hasn’t been replicated yet; but if it works it’d be a great benefit to people with allergies. PDF file follows:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/46/17908.full.pdf+html

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