Quick Self-Promotion/Good Article

My sister-in-law just sent me this article that she first saw in the print version of The Toronto Star. She sent it because it mentions the blog, the book, and my Dear Oprah post (woo!), but I’m actually posting it because, holy cow, it’s really good.

Well, mostly. I think the “vanity sizing” detour is crap, since the underlying belief there is once again that fat people don’t know they’re fat. The numbers on the tags stay the same, so they’ll never realize their asses are getting bigger! Which totally makes sense, if you think about it. I mean, I know that once petite clothes became more widely available, and I could just put on a new pair of pants without having to hem them, I started looking in the mirror and thinking I must be about 5’8″. 

That aside, check this out:

A U.S. survey tracking substantial weight loss found that individuals had to do the equivalent of 40 kilometres of walking every week just to maintain any weight loss.

“That’s a pretty big commitment,” says [University of Guelph obesity researcher Paula] Brauer. “We really underestimated how much it takes to lose substantial weight and keep it off.

“The big thing, really, is not the food,” she says.

“It’s the degree of physical activity that people have to do to keep the weight off. Most obese people are not overeating,” Brauer stresses.

And then the article ends with quotes from the Dear Oprah post — instead of with the usual quote from an obesity researcher saying, “Well, that’s all well and good, but fat people still need to lose weight for their health.” Awesome. Thank you, Diana Zlomislic!

ETA: Do I really still need to tell you people not to read comments on newspaper articles about fat? Sanity Watchers warnings always apply!

46 thoughts on “Quick Self-Promotion/Good Article

  1. Pretty cool article — I’d skip the comments over there though, unless you have more Sanity Watchers points left than I do.

  2. Seconded! Sad to say, Oprah never got Kate’s memo. I was channel surfing last night, and saw a promo for Oprah’s “Live your Best Life” 2009, starting next week, and she’s climbing right back on the dieting treadmill. Literally – there were shots of her working out on a treadmill, too.

    P.S. Is it wrong that I find it incredibly cute how quickly and easily Kate has adopted the language of marriage, i.e., “my husband”, “my sister-in-law”, etc.?

  3. P.S. Is it wrong that I find it incredibly cute how quickly and easily Kate has adopted the language of marriage, i.e., “my husband”, “my sister-in-law”, etc.?

    Oh, that’s actually my brother’s wife, who’s been my sister-in-law for almost 17 years. :) But I freely admit to throwing around “MY HUSBAND” on Facebook several times over the weekend, just to see how it sounded.

  4. ETA: Do I really still need to tell you people not to read comments on newspaper articles about fat? Sanity Watchers warnings always apply!</i.

    Argh! I read them. And I’d like you to know, Kate Harding, that people are hateful to thin women too! Because they’re jealous! And lazy, and stupid, and self-deluded.

    ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Good article, though.

  5. The “my husband” thing took me about a year to get the hang of.

    But he had the “my wife” thing down by the end of the honeymoon ;)

    Yay on the article! Not 100% great, but yes, very cool.

  6. Hey Kate – I was just in the process of sending you an email with a link to the article. I saw it this morning too in the Star. Oh well, maybe I just need to get up earlier in the morning :)

    Nancy

  7. Argh. I hate the metric system. Anything with measurements should come with a conversion for Americans, like me for example, who refuse to mess with all that multiplying and decimal nonsense. And don’t give me any of that ‘the metric system makes so much sense. Americans are dumb for not using it’ because I’ll hate you too. You’re the same people who say the British The Office is better than the American. No its not. :P

    For those of you who also hate the metric system: 40 km=walking almost 25 miles a week. So my question is whether this includes daily activity or does it have to be the ‘I’m-carving-out -one-hour-daily’ just to walk/run/wrestle’ type of exercise?

  8. But I freely admit to throwing around “MY HUSBAND” on Facebook several times over the weekend, just to see how it sounded.

    I helped out SM’s friend at a craft show in October, and the first time I said “my husband” she was like “so how long, like a month?” I am so transparent.

    I’m a Sanity Watchers failure…

    No no, no failures in Sanity Watchers… just pick yourself up and resolve to click away next time. (And remember that only a small, mostly blockheaded proportion of the population feels the need to mouth off at newspaper articles.)

  9. First of all, yay for getting quoted.

    Secondly, I went ahead and read some of the comments because I just like to laugh at the stupidity. This sentence is my favorite so far: “If you eat nothing but processed foods and refined cards, you’re sure to put on those pounds” — yea, all that cardboard really can’t be good for your digestive track. Thanks for letting me know. heh.

  10. What I don’t get about all those crazy people who post about how being not fat is just a matter of hard work or a matter of not consuming eleventy-jillion calories and yadda yadda is why they feel compelled to outline their workout routine for us. Because I’m going to take advice from a semi-anonymous poster to a newspaper article? Because it never struck me to eat nothing but a fistfull of lettuce and quit my job so I have time to work out 5 hours a day?
    Also – Why does every comment I make about how people’s bodies are different and not the same thing works for everyone instantly get responded to with an ad hominem attack assuming I’m the fattest laziest thing on the planet (which, I may or may not be)?

    Are these just internet-ego compulsions? I know that any of these comment jerk-faces (no offense to anyone with tourette’s) are probably decent people face to face.

  11. “…are probably decent people face to face.”

    This is what scares me. They could be your ‘decent’ healthcare provider, your ‘decent’ teacher, your ‘decent’ boss, the ‘decent’ members of the hiring committee…

    Btw, In my younger days, I tried the not-eating, hours-every-day workout program. It made me a little less fat, but still ‘morbidly obese’. Then it almost killed me. I don’t recommend it.

  12. “Refined cards” – is that like, a calling card, with one corner turned down? Or a Christmas greeting hand-written on heavy cardstock? Perhaps an airmail greeting on rice paper from a gentleman taking the Grand Tour?

    Now I’m craving refined cards.

  13. After starting to get REALLY fed-up with all the media items on healthy holidays/New Year’s weight plans/etc., I had a dispiriting shopping experience today – to wit: not only am I at “hiberation weight,” but (or typically, or accordingly) I had to size up in pants – so I come here for just a little support and reassurance. A little and self-centred thing, really, but for someone who’s struggled her whole life with this, I thank God I discovered Shapely Prose and you all.

  14. Oh, god, the refined carbs and processed food hooey, AGAIN.

    Can someone please stage a 19th Century exhibit of nude photography, please. Because there was cellulite and “unsightly fat” BEFORE food refining and processing was the norm.

    Sanity Watchers indeed. To the nimrod who said he/she eats well and runs and keeps his/her weight down explain why I’m still fat when i do the same damn thing?

  15. @Keeks –

    Why does every comment I make about how people’s bodies are different and not the same thing works for everyone instantly get responded to with an ad hominem attack assuming I’m the fattest laziest thing on the planet (which, I may or may not be)?

    I think some of it is internet-ego compulsions, yes, but a lot of it is sheer ignorance. If someone works out a lot and never eats dessert or whole milk and STILL thinks they’re overweight, then it’s easy to assume “teh fatties” eat huge amounts of everything and never get out of bed.

    This is part of why I do blog about activity levels and some of the food I eat. Not because I HAVE to prove I’m a “good fatty”, but to try to dispel some of the ignorance.

  16. Great article, and congratulations are in order, Kate. But what the hell does “vanity sizing” have to do with anything other than it being even more of a pain in the ass to find clothes? Yeah, some straight size shoppers can shop in plus sizes as well…because they overlap. DUH. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to put on a pair of size 14s, have them improbably fit, and then go, “Well, I was going to be good and just have lettuce for dessert, but now I’m gonna celebrate with a whole cheesecake!” And if I did, it would NOT make a 50-pound difference to me. The rest of the article seems cognizant of that, I don’t know why someone had to lose their crayons there.

  17. Great article indeed! Someone must have alerted sanity watchers on your behalf because your BMI project is now referenced in a comment.

    Congrats on your wedding – better late than never, right?

  18. Haaa, I love how the first comment is all “Just substitute applesauce for oil!” There ya go, fatties! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT OMG

  19. But he had the “my wife” thing down by the end of the honeymoon ;)

    Haha! When we were traveling home from the honeymoon, Ben made some reference to “my . . . wife,” and it was inherently obvious that we’d been married for about three days. So the baggage people called me “Wife” for the rest of the exchange.

  20. Haaa, I love how the first comment is all “Just substitute applesauce for oil!” There ya go, fatties! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT OMG

    Hah! I bet my endos have been keeping this from me because they want to keep me fat. I will eat applesauce and park at the end of the parking lot and I will be a size 2 in no time. Take that, fatosphere!

    That people actually believe this shit just… ugh. I mean, even when I was deep in the Fantasy of Being Thin, I knew that those “tiny lifestyle changes” (which I had incorporated years ago) did absolutely squat. Aren’t the fat haters afraid that if they get impatient and take the stairs instead of the elevator, they will wither away and die? After all, these tiny changes are supposed to be all-fucking-powerful.

  21. @E Twist:

    I’ll forgive your people for this. You make good beer, let gay people marry, and are actually quite nice.

  22. The most recent comment comes from a 5’7″ mail. I guess the stack only got that big with all the Christmas cards and fruitcake that get sent this time of year.

    Dear commenters,
    If you cannot learn to logic, please learn to grammar.

  23. “Dear commenters,
    If you cannot learn to logic, please learn to grammar.”

    Oh, fantastic, now I have a cyber crush on you.

    :-)

  24. I read the article and liked it. But the comments…sheesh…I stopped halfway through. It’s like they never actually read the article.

    And the one who seriously lectured Oprah about being able to hire a personal trainer so that’s what she should do. OMG…did the writer not see that Bob Green (or whatever his name is) dude on Oprah’s show? Did this person not see the countless diet and exercise gurus Oprah’s paraded across the screen and who’s services she’s engaged?

  25. Great article. I just skimmed, but I’m not so sure about the vanity sizing thing. I recently gained ten or fifteen pounds–not a lot, but enough to put me up a pants size–and I probably wouldn’t have noticed were it not for the fact that I can’t fit into my old size anymore. Of course, I’m also unusually oblivious to my body, so that might have something to do with it.

  26. I mean, I know that once petite clothes became more widely available, and I could just put on a new pair of pants without having to hem them, I started looking in the mirror and thinking I must be about 5′8″.

    dying laughing over here

  27. Awesome, Kate! Congrats on getting your book publicized, and on getting married! (Sorry I’m a little late on that one.)

    One thing I liked about the article is that they chose a really flattering picture of Oprah at 200 lbs. She looks gorgeous in that dress! When people see that pic they will have to adjust their perceptions of “ZOMG 200LBS!!” because Oprah bears no resemblance to the headless fatties that usually accompany articles about fat and fat people.

    I don’t understand why the article talked about sizing at all. The only way it made sense was if the point was supposed to be that we’re all bigger anyway; many women have crossed the threshold physically, just not psychologically. If that is the case, I wish the writer had spelled that out more clearly. Otherwise it seems like she’s saying that people don’t know they’re fat, like Kate said.

    Truth be told, a lot of people wouldn’t know they were fat if we had no scales and no insane media. Like that island in the south Pacific (don’t remember which one), where women began to care about being fat and developed eating disorders after getting American TV and media.

  28. @ Enomis

    I so agree with you about the Oprah pic. Then I read that she’s 5’6″ and weighs 200lbs and I thought “but that’s me!”. It made me think that if she can look that good then I can too.

  29. “That’s a pretty big commitment,” says [University of Guelph obesity researcher Paula] Brauer. “We really underestimated how much it takes to lose substantial weight and keep it off.

    Laughs till she almost cries at the level of “NO DUH” here.
    Happy New Year, y’all.

  30. New Year’s Resolutions: Quit reading comments on news stories (I *know*. You warned me. And yet I did it anyway.), and make a point of reading comments here.

  31. I just hit on that link and the first thing I thought of was: “Wow! Oprah looks hot in that red dress”. Then I realised that this is her “fat” look that she is supposedly so unhappy with.

    Oprah – you look gorgeous whatever size you are. I just wish that I too could afford a personal dressmaker that made clothes to measure and suit me, whatever my size.

  32. Oprah looks *so* stunning in that red dress.

    Much nicer than the other one (ok it was only jeans). I wish she could see how beautiful she is as herself, curves and all. I wish she could see that she doesn’t keep having to try and be something she’s not and never will be.

  33. Kate, this is actually what cued me to google you. I wasn’t sure if it actually was you but to my surpise, YES! Wow, you are doing VERY well! You can even add Oprah to your resume

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