The Target Women We’ve All Been Waiting for

Sarah Haskins does diets! Not sure if the embedding’s gonna work here, Embedding did not work (don’t ask), so go watch here. I promise, it’s worth it. (“Don’t drink that much soda? Go fuck yourself!”)

Posted in Fat

98 thoughts on “The Target Women We’ve All Been Waiting for

  1. That was awesome. Stick it in your ear!

    It made me go searching, and I had somehow missed a couple, so I got to watch a few new ones! The jewelry one almost made me pee!

  2. ahh… i remember when i did that in college. i cut out sodas completely, and yup! i lost weight. but wouldn’t ya know it, those pounds came back and brought friends too, even though i wasn’t drinking soda anymore.

    shocking!

    i should have tried the “stick it in your ear” diet. that’s where i went wrong!

  3. Volcanista , thank you! I missed that one too and OMG I love that she made fun of the Secret Flawless commercial. Every time that came on I cringed. I was embarrassed FOR that woman.

    So much funny right there.

  4. Why oh why don’t any of the ‘talk show hosts” ask, “But what if you don’ t drink any soda or eat any pie?”

    I want to hear size 0′s answer. Other than just “try harder.”

  5. Sarah Haskins is the best! The contradiction of skipping one soda / day equals 15 pounds, but 3 liters / week = 10 pounds made me snort.

    BTW, what’s the replacement for baby donuts? I can’t seem to find anything that compares.

  6. Laurie: I wonder the same thing. Also, one of these days I’m going to stand up in one of those audiences and say, “So I hear that by cutting out one soda a day, I can lose fifteen pounds in a year. Well, I stopped drinking soda in 1999, but I still can’t seem to get down to -35 pounds. What’s going on?”

    I’m sure it’s just that the negative pounds are hardest. ;)

  7. Eeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

    I just saw the Target Women 2008 roundup on Feministe today (yeah, it’s still in my feed, I only read it for the articles, I swear), so I’m having a Haskinsy day!!!

  8. I hate soda— I don’t drink the shit…I do watch my diet but not my weight…some foods really aren’t particularly good for you….I just don’t like eating shit. I don’t care if anyone else wants too…but soda in my mind in my body is shit…it makes me feel bad….like a lot of other foods…

    But I’m still FAT and have no issues with that…it’s not why I choose to eat good food!! I watch my diet for my mental well-being…sometimes I don’t get the anti-diet stuff around here…I have never done calorie restriction or portion control but I do like to eat wholesome food…it’s my choice and it makes me feel good…I’m not depriving myself…

    anyway I hope I don’t get attacked…I love this site, read it daily and am in keeping with just about everything…but my diet WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRYING TO LOSE WIEGHT…is very important to me…

  9. Why oh why don’t any of the ‘talk show hosts” ask, “But what if you don’ t drink any soda or eat any pie?”

    Oh don’t be silly! The only things fat people drink are soda and beer! That’s why they’re teh FAT!

  10. I watched that earlier and was discussing with SM whether I should post it because it wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be. But then “don’t drink that much soda? Fuck you!” kept echoing in my mind, and I realized what a perfect takedown of morning-show diet plans it really is. Brava, Haskins, you snuck up on me this time!

  11. Oh, no, not that I know of. I just got a bit disillusioned with it awhile back – I can’t really put my finger on it, it just got a little more mean in the comments, felt a little less friendly.

  12. Whoa, giannakali, that sounded super defensive. I think people just prefer not to subscribe to the good food/bad food dichotomy around here. If soda makes you feel bad, and you don’t drink it and feel better, then that’s great. If soda does not make me feel bad, and I keep drinking it, then that’s also great. Everyone’s body is different and all that.

  13. If I stick it in both my ears then I won’t have to listen to all those BS diet commercials anymore, hey it might work! Nancy

  14. See, now, I drink Soda, at least two cans a day. I now know that by cutting them out I can loose 15 pounds in a year…but just imagine how much I can loose if I pour them in my ear instead! Magic XD

    Or, you know, maybe I’ll just carry on drinking them because they make me happy? XD

  15. The comments at Feministe are generally a big step up from the comments at Feministing, IMHO, but it really does depend on the topic at hand. Everyone should be as bitchy as us!

  16. I love this site, read it daily

    I don’t believe that, given the rest of this comment. You may look at it daily, but you haven’t been reading.

  17. Sarah Haskins <3

    I am overwhelmed with dieting ads right now. I’m past the point where I want to diet, but I’m not past the point of RAGE. Every. Single. Magazine. at the grocery store either had DIET TIPS or HALF HER SIZE: HERE’S HOW or HOW X CELEBRITY STAYS SKINNY. I opened one of them just to see their enlightening information on how I can be half my size (ie half dead), and the advice was eat 1200 calories a day and exercise for 2 hours a day 5 times per week. I mean, at least it’s more generous than 3-4 hours a day, but christ on a cracker.

    What I’m trying to say is: Thank you SP for holding it down for the rest of us.

  18. *snicker* Sometimes, when my weight gets loose, it tries to eat shit. But I saw this dog trainer program on tv (while ingesting my eighth pound of delectable baby organ meats) and taught it not to eat shit anymore. Sometimes you just have to explain that coprophagia is wrong!

  19. I love Sarah Haskins, but I would have liked to see a bit more snark in this one. But I think my expectations are pretty high because I’m used to fatosphere bloggers, who are awesomely and abundantly snarky about the diet industry. I used to read this blogs for self-acceptance, but now I read it for the hilariousness, and I was sort of expecting the same from Haskins. I still very much enjoyed the video, though.

  20. Stick it in your ear, yes. I’m tempted to make pretty leafy earplugs from celery tops, and wear them when I go to the grocer’s.

  21. I do read it daily. Unfortunately I’ve had very serious health problems due in part to a diet that hurt me without knowing it. I do like good wholesome food…and I really know others don’t need to eat like me…but I often get harassed for having dietary needs and restrictions…so if I sounded defensive it’s because my issues are just different than some of people’s issues here…and I also work with people like me who need to eat foods that won’t make them sick…anyway..I’ll shut up now…I’m from a different world fighting a different battle…what some people eat can change some people’s lives, but not everyone’s no. It’s not the same for everyone…

    It’s possible a button was pushed for me…but I am an avid fan…I’m not a liar. And I read every single post.

  22. My housemate wants to marry Sarah Haskins. I just really, really wish I was cool enough to hang out with her.

  23. Lis, I feel sorry for the elephants, too.

    I would like to think zookeepers are all wise and kindly, but I have seen too many people obsess about how fat their animals are to doubt there can be transference.

    My best friend’s cousin can’t stand to look at cows (in her dairy intensive state) because they are so fat they make her feel “grossed out.”

  24. gianna, nobody here wants you to drink soda. Everyone here thinks that people should eat and drink the stuff that feels right for them.

    Which was the point of that part of the video: the whole idea of “cut out soda and you’ll lose eleventy million pounds” is ridiculous, because not all fat people drink soda.

  25. *sigh* At the risk of being ostracized for poor taste, I just don’t find Sarah Haskins all that & a bag of chips. Somewhere buried in her segments are good satires and sometimes she gets closer to the mark, but I don’t think she gets there. *shrugs*

    giannakali I have a complicated set of dietary restrictions myself that cause me difficulties at work, so your problems are not different than the problems of “everyone” here. You are not alone, nor are you some special snowflake with more problems than the rest of us.

    The message of this site is to accept yourself and do what’s healthy for you and say fuck you to anyone who gives you grief about taking care of yourself, even if what you do flies in the face of conventional wisdom and cultural pressure about what people should eat and how they should look.

    When you say things like I just don’t like eating shit. I don’t care if anyone else wants too…but soda in my mind in my body is shit it’s offensive to the people here, like me, who do drink soda. Acceptance has to work both ways. Nobody is going to judge you for what you choose or need to eat but you need to show the same amount of respect to the rest of us. That’s also part of the message of this site.

    You talk about liking to eat “wholesome” food but that word implies that what you eat is “right” because of some standard you hold, which is also against the message of this place, where we don’t put value judgments on food.

    In short, you’re coming in here violating several of the ideals of this community by projecting your value systems onto everyone else, even if you’re not judging about being fat. It’s more complicated than that.

    DRST

  26. My best friend’s cousin can’t stand to look at cows (in her dairy intensive state) because they are so fat they make her feel “grossed out.”

    WHUT? That is a mindbogglingly sad case of projection and weird anthropomorphism. Also, she should spend some time in a place where people can’t afford to feed their cows well and you can see the ribs poking through the skin – happy, healthy cows they do not appear to be. *

    * Disclaimer: I’m not a veterinarian. Maybe that’s the way cows are supposed to look. Whatever.

  27. I’m sorry…
    I am struggling with accepting my limitations which are very profound — I’m for the most part bedridden at the moment and sometimes I get angry at the world because I don’t know if I will ever function normally again or be able to wander free out in the world whenever I want to.

    And you’re right I did project my values here today. I hope you’ll forgive me.

    I also would like to say that I share these ideals and simply lapsed in behaving in accordance with them.

  28. A fifth of whiskey instead of beer? I can do that. Heck, I might have done that at tonight’s happy hour (that lasted 3)

  29. This is exactly the video I was hoping she’d make some day but I didn’t want to dream too big, only to be disappointed when it never happened. Alas, there’s a lesson here – dream big!

    That said, I think she could do a whole series of vids just about the ridiculousness of diets, the diet industry, diet commercials, diet ads, diet spokespeople, diet…. well, everything.

  30. Could someone please clarify sommet for me? Are baby donuts little mini donuts, or donuts made out of babies? Or little mini donuts made out of babies? I’m confused.

    Sadly, my vegan arse misses out no matter what they are!

  31. Perla – didn’t you hear? All the fat people are fat because they, (ahem) “SIT ON THE COUCH ALL DAY EATING DONUTS!” (ahem) — you can’t deny it!

    And also, since obesity is Teh sign of Moral Evil, they’re probably made of babies arhm nahrm. (‘Course, I imagine as a vegan you’re probably more fond of kitten donuts….)

  32. You know why I should not watch Sarah Haskins at 3:30 in the morning?
    Because I cannot control my laughter and one of these days I’m going to wake up the neighbors :-p

    Sarah Haskins is full of win! :-D

  33. “Now I feel kind of sad for the elephants at the San Diego zoo.”

    I know. What the hell is with the animal weight loss obsession? Leave the animals alone! :(

  34. oh, and speaking of animal weight- I’ve been accused of promoting cat obesity, because I’ve always thought fat cats are much cuter ^_^
    (of course I would still never try to make a skinny cat fat, in case anyone here is still concerned)

  35. It suddenly hit me watching Sarah that all the recent budget tips are exactly the same. If I stop spending all my money at Starbucks, take a list to the grocery store, read the circulars, use coupons, I’ll be able to weather losing my husband’s income. Well, what if we were doing all those things when we had two incomes? It’s the exact same assumption: there’s nothing wrong with the world as we know it, we’re all just not very bright!

    And EVERYTHING is under our personal control and that’s why we all deserve everything that happens to us. I realize that this is again off-topic but I’d never really noticed the similarity before.

  36. Gianna, I’ve had to make some changes in my eating due to health issues too. So I get it. At the same time I’m not on a “diet’ or starving either. I’ve just changed the foods I’m eating, and having what I want here and there.

    On that note, I need to mention that I’ve drank diet soda for many years……and it never made me lose anything. I drink it because I can’t handle the sugary taste of regular.

  37. Thanks for posting this. I love Sarah Haskins but have trouble keeping up with her new stuff. T

    This is timely for me–over Christmas I read my mom’s “Good Housekeeping” magazine (I was bored), and their weight-loss tips included: switching from soda to water and calorie-free beverages; switching to whole grains; switching to low-fat dairy; eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. I thought, “Huh, I’ve been doing all this for years–shouldn’t I be a size 4 by now?” Honestly, what would women’s magazines do if they had to face the fact that these ideas don’t really work? It’s like the financial experts who say, “You can save $20 a week just by cutting out one Starbucks latte a day!” Yes, and for those of us who DON’T buy Starbucks everyday?

  38. Just realized OlderThanDirt made the same point . . . you’re right, the assumption is that we’re just not very bright. So not bright, in fact, that they can repeat the same useless advice over and over and we won’t even notice!

  39. It’s the exact same assumption: there’s nothing wrong with the world as we know it, we’re all just not very bright!

    This is exactly what bugs me about these tips. Money tips, diet tips, even most fashion tips. Like, omg, I never read that blueberries are a superfood before! Who knew that soda was sugary, and starbucks takes your money?

    I have the short term memory of a flea, and I still know that I’ve heard this shit before. And it didn’t make any sense then, either!

  40. That clip is great. :D

    On the topic of adjusting your diet for your health, but not specifically to lose weight: I’m there.
    In November I started having debilitating stomachaches whenever I ate salty food high in saturated fats (like eggs, fried/baked potatoes, chips, beer nuts, pretzels). I stopped eating them. Some other tests with the doctor, some talk about losing weight – but I let that slide. All I knew was that my body felt bad, and I needed to listen to it, and make the changes necessary.

    The result: I haven’t lost any weight whatsoever, but my body feels a lot better and digests food noticeably better and faster. That’s what matters to me the most.

    Food can’t be seperated into ‘bad’ and ‘good’ that easily. Listen to your body – it’s a complex, but very advanced thing, that is constantly sending you signals about how it feels. The trick is to tune into those signals (instead of using the number on the scale as the sole indicator of your health) and act on them.

  41. I cut down my soda intake not for weight loss, but just to see if I could get by without constantly drinking soda, especially Mountain Dew, which can give me terrible stomach problems. The result? I don’t depend on soda like I used to, some days I can go completely without it. But I’m still the dreaded Death Fat.

    Those that say just cutting out a can of soda per day helps to lose weight really aren’t taking into consideration how bodies work. Some may end up shedding some pounds. I bet you most won’t see any change at all, which may lead to exercising until limbs fall off and calories are drastically cut to achieve TFOBT.

    Oh, and Sarah Haskins rocks! I think the “Stick It In Your Ear Diet” is great! I’d love to stick something into the ear of the “Eat This Not That” guy, he is ultra annoying!!!

  42. It suddenly hit me watching Sarah that all the recent budget tips are exactly the same. If I stop spending all my money at Starbucks, take a list to the grocery store, read the circulars, use coupons, I’ll be able to weather losing my husband’s income.

    I know; those articles always make me want to stop smoking so I can quit and apparently save millions of dollars per year.

  43. I watched that earlier and was discussing with SM whether I should post it because it wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be.

    I’m with you, I think she could have been a lot more biting and still have been very funny. I did love “stick it in your ear” though, and I’m going to tell people that’s what I’m doing when they make “helpful” suggestions.

  44. When I tried using Word Press it told me embedding would never work “for security purposes.” Whatever those purposes are, it didn’t make sense to me. My intent with blogging was to include playlists and videos, so I went back to Blogger.

    Anyhoo…I’m going to swap out a 6-pack of beer for a fifth of whiskey now. lol…thud *passes out*

    Interestingly enough, I only drink diet pop and have never liked regular (I’m not a fan of having sugar coat my teeth, kthanx), and miraculously I’m still teh fatz.

  45. I watched that earlier and was discussing with SM whether I should post it because it wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be.

    Oh, I missed this until Godless Heathen just quoted it above. And even though you eventually concluded you liked it, I’ll admit that some TWs are definitely better than others, and this isn’t necessarily my favorite. But the fact that A) she chose this subject, and B) she never even hinted that there’s a difference between evil “fad diets” and good “permanent lifestyle changes” was enough for me. Add in, “Don’t drink that much soda? Fuck you!” and I’m hooked.

    Also, I feel kind of guilty about wanting her to be funnier sometimes, because I know that’s only because she IS so fucking funny as a general rule, I have ridiculously high expectations. I want her to say everything perfectly, when sometimes, just saying it at all — especially with one or two fabulously quotable lines — is plenty.

    Besides, she will never top “It’s that, ‘I have a master’s, but then I got married’ look.” It’s really not fair to keep hoping she will. :)

  46. giannakali, I understand how you feel. I’ve lost weight – on purpose – and I believe that FA can coincide with all lifestyles, including weight loss. It’s not the most popular opinion.

    Because to me it’s about understanding that what people need to do with their own bodies and dietary lifestyles is their own business. My need to not be out of shape, in poor health and feeling like crap on multiple levels is my own business, just as your decisions about soda etc are yours.

  47. Wha..? I don’t hear anyone in Fat Acceptance saying that you have to do things that make you feel like crap so as to score points for the movement. (Maybe I misunderstand you, Liza?)

    I mean, it seems to me that the whole point is that “it makes me feel like crap” is a good enough reason not to eat something, just like “it make me feel great!” is a good enough reason to eat something. That’s it. Period. You don’t need any other reasons. You don’t need to say, “soda makes me feel like crap… and this feeling is CORRECT, and therefore I’m ENTITLED to feel it, because we all know sodas are objectively BAD AND UNWHOLESOME at all times and in all places.” There’s just no need to go there. You really can just not like soda because you just don’t like soda. If people find that answer unsatisfying, it’s their problem.

  48. Oh, and I also love the latest Sarah Haskins brilliance. I did love the hoodie-masters remark of yore, even though it hit a little too close for comfort. :)

  49. Kate, I agree with you on the high standards thing. She’s the only woman doing videos like this right now — well, at least the only one I know of, which means the only high-profile, fairly-high-budget one. Maybe we all need an “I am Sarah Haskins” moment! I’d love her to do a follow-up one on all those late-night exercise machine ads, for instance. The gender issues alone would be enough for a video, and if she stuck to her guns on making fun of weight loss we’d be GOLDEN.

  50. Name Changed and RedSonja: I think the healthy alternative for baby donuts is some kind of donut hole? Puppy donut holes? Or just celery donut holes?

  51. Ahahaha, this was great. I too found myself wanting it to be more snarky, but hey, at least she’s saying it. And she is almost always right on. It’s also worth noting that Target Women is probably the most popular segment on that Infomania show.

    Oh, and um, I drink a lot of soda and it has had no impact on my weight. If I were to stop drinking soda I suspect I would not get any thinner. I would get caffeine headaches tho. :P

  52. @LilahMorgan-
    “I know; those articles always make me want to stop smoking so I can quit and apparently save millions of dollars per year.”

    Hey, I quit smoking three years ago tomorrow and I now spend all the money on yarn and spinning fiber! Just think, I could have three million by now. :(

  53. WAIT.

    Now I don’t understand why I’m fat when I’ve never drank soda! D:

    Clearly, I’ve been putting the food in the wrong hole all this time.

    Is anybody else reminded of the second episode of Charlie the Unicorn, with the song about putting a banana in your ear? Or did I just reveal myself as the biggest Shapeling nerd?

    Put a banana in your ear!
    Yes, put a ripe banana right into your favorite ear…

    OH GODS NO NOW IT’S STUCK IN MY HEAD.

  54. Stick it in your ear! I’m recommending this to my coworker who tells everyone about her weight loss, pointedly forgoes food at meetings and offers unsolicited diet advice to people who eat in front of her. “Have you heard about this new plan? It’s awesome – just eat through your ear!” She’s almost dumb enough to try it….

    BTW for whoever mentioned that they can’t get down to -35lbs, I feel you! Before I installed the ad blocker, Facebook ads kept telling to lose those 200 extra lbs with gastric bypass…but I’ve decided to try for that elusive negative weight on my own without surgical intervention! ;-)

  55. Totally OT, but I just saw that Sarah did a Target Women on those damned jewelry Christmas commercials. Which is funny, since I suggested at The F-Word blog that she should do a segment on them.

  56. Everybody sing… “hot pockets”. Jim Gaffigan does it best.

    I think this year I’ll resolve to put on 10 pounds. I’m off to the store to buy three liters of full-sugar soda.

  57. Oh, now she’s my favourite person. :D

    Btw, I gave up soda about a year ago and have not, to my knowledge, lost any weight. What I have lost is that awful feeling in my belly that I got whenever I drank too much of the stuff.

  58. This one was funny, but I loved the yogurt one. The master’s+married=gray hoodie line is friggin’ hilarious.

    On a note about eating habits and FA, I’m still trying to figure out how to combine the two. Breaking the habit of eating things I know make me feel like crap, and accepting the fact that getting rid of those things may or may not help me lose weight, but will most definitely not make me more (enter FoBT here). SP is certainly helping to change my thinking on a few things. I was already headed in that direction, but now I’m heading that way on purpose.

    Long comment short, I love this blog!

  59. i was disappointed with her “twilight.” she left out the sparkles, dammit, and the creepy stalker-pedo vibe. her thing on princesses was far too shallow for true hilarity as well. moments of amusement, sure, but it’s like she didn’t get the subjects personally and therefore missed the truly cutting observations she could have gone for. jewelry, cleaning products, wedding shows, yogurt? those were all absolutely fantastic.

  60. I don’t hear anyone in Fat Acceptance saying that you have to do things that make you feel like crap so as to score points for the movement. (Maybe I misunderstand you, Liza?)

    Yeah, what I meant was that my decision to change how I live (and subsequently lose weight) was because I was out of shape, in poor health and felt like crap on multiple levels. I was trying to point out that my reasons for my lifestyle are my business (which extends to everyone) and while no one has said anything directly in some time, I frequently feel sidelined because there’s a general motif of not being able to believe in FA if you’ve purposely lost weight. Which may be my own thing, but it’s my feeling and to me it’s a valid one.

    I feel that people overreacted to giannakali’s comment above. I can understand why she came off as defensive, all she had to do was explain why she doesn’t drink pop and people freaked.

    So I’ll reiterate that to me FA is about understanding that what people need to do with their own bodies and dietary lifestyles is their own business. Which includes my weight loss, giannakali’s restrictions and, you know, someone else’s desire to live exclusively on Big Macs or something.

  61. This might be a little OT, but it’s something that enraged me about the misconceptions about fat people: I had a conversation via phone the other day with a lady from the Healthy Start program here. It’s a program meant to give assistance/information to pregnant women who meet certain criteria. I was flagged for it because I’m not married, I’m a first time mom, and I’m overweight – which supposedly makes me a high risk mom. During our conversation, she was asking me about what I eat, and she asked me if I eat a lot of McDonald’s/Pizza Hut/Etc., and I said no. Then she said, somewhat as an aside, that “they can have a lot of hidden calories”. I cannot tell you how much I wish I could back to that moment and say something snarky to her. Um, why do you think I don’t know that those foods aren’t particularly good for me? Because I’m FAT?? And since when are those calories HIDDEN?

    Made me so aggravated. Up till that point, not one person had said anything to me about my health risks being an overweight pregnant woman, probably because I’m PERFECTLY HEALTHY.

  62. This one keeps coming back, and hey! I’ve got hip waders!

    I frequently feel sidelined because there’s a general motif of not being able to believe in FA if you’ve purposely lost weight.

    Some of us are FA because we have no other choice. I’ll be right clear right now: I am at best fat-tolerant about myself. I grew up a body-hater as an expression of self-loathing, and even as I get better I still struggle daily with body-hate.

    If I am able to actually like myself by the time I’m in my dotage it will be the great struggle of my life won. True acceptance, I just don’t know if it’ll be possible. ( I seem to be able to accept and even love fat shapes other than my family’s. You see how this goes. It’s rooted familial shit, and no, I’m not clear of it.)

    There has been no day on this planet after the age of six that I have not hoped to wake in some magic fairy land where I am “Normal”.

    So I think the “resistance” I have to FA and intentional weight loss is this: I can’t and I’ve spent my life wanting to. When some in the FA community talk about intentional weight loss as if it’s possible, the me that was on diets for 24 of 34 years perks up its ears and says “IT’S POSSIBLE? REALLY? TELL ME HOW I’LL PAY YOU ANYTHING!”

    I’ll eat food through my fucking ears. Hell, I was drinking OIL for a while there, after the lifestyle choices options failed so badly.

    FA teaches me a bunch of things, and is a struggle, and I am trying to learn. I am not as brave or strong as others, and I would happily be thin. Happily. Just to not think about it anymore. Maybe I’d hate on something else: my nose, my feet, my skin. It’d be a relief, however.

    I am also someone with dyscalcula. (Like dyslexia, with math. ) I can imagine a dyscalcula support group where there’s me – who has a math related degree and did collage level math – saying “It’s like people in this support group don’t believe in those of us here needing support who are able to do most advanced math but still having trouble multiplying 1*1 and coming up with the correct answer”, and then hearing the frustration of people who are at a very different place and have trouble figuring out how much they owe at a cash register.

    So what we need is different things, I imagine. My problem is is that I’m NOT INTUITIVELY fat accepting – I’ve swallowed society’s arguments against my body – and the very idea that I could short circuit all this hard uphill societal- and self- deconstruction work to bring my internal war to a hesitant peace with the far, far easier choice to bomb the offending fat off my body is tempting.

    Going on a diet, for me, is the easy, instinctive, and well-traveled path. It doesn’t STAY off. I get fatter.

    There are others in the FA community who seem to have different struggles. Maybe they truly heart their thicker thighs, and have a slightly wider range of possible stable weights, and they can come down 20 pounds and keep it off for 20 years. And they do accept themselves and they’re fine, and really just like being at the low end of their range for how it feels inside their skin.

    But intentional weight loss is not AVAILABLE to some of us, and we wants it.

    Yes we do, my precious.

  63. …. And that comment feels to me out of line, and I’m not sure why. Because the internalized self-loathing that is still so present for me feels really shameful? Because I’m afraid of triggering others in a similar headspace? I’m not sure. I want to apologize, but I don’t know what for.

  64. all she had to do was explain why she doesn’t drink pop and people freaked.

    But she DIDN’T have to explain why she doesn’t drink pop. As you stated, that’s totally her own business. This post is not about whether or not you should drink soda and what that means for you. We all know (around here at least) that people of all sizes eat and drink all kinds of different foods for all kinds of different reasons. So forgive us if we’re a little quick to jump on people who explain why THEIR diet is SO DIFFERENT and SERIOUSLY IT’S JUST A LIFESTYLE CHANGE. giannakali is a regular here and we totally understand the mixed feelings that come with medically induced food restrictions — in fact, we’ve talked about it a lot here and at the Ning site. I appreciate her clarification, and we’re all good as far as I’m concerned. But seriously, you have no idea how many comments we delete from people who just HAVE to tell us about their diets and just HAVE to justify the fact that they are not actually into accepting their fat at all but they still want us to give them space to talk all about how evil certain foods are.

  65. I love the “don’t drink that much soda? F*** you” line. Because that DOES totally sum up the “morning show” approach to dieting – that if you’re overweight, there’s all kinds of “excess” you can and should cut out of your diet, and you can do it OH SO SIMPLY. And if you don’t consume that food-targeted-for-elimination, you must be lying – because you’re FAT and of course ALL fat people eat the way the stereotype says they do.
    I don’t drink soda – I don’t care for it.

    I think the other thing that bugs me about the “give this up” bit is, what if that’s really the one pleasure people get out of life? I saw some spending-diet guru (that’s what I think of the people who are telling people how they “should” spend less money; as spending-diet gurus and their advice is about as generally useful as the average diet guru) talk about people giving up “expensive coffee drinks.” What if that’s the person’s sole weekly indulgence? What if it makes them really happy? What if they don’t spend money on other things, so they can have the money for their latte?

    One-size-fits-all isn’t just a bad idea for clothing.

  66. Arwen, I just wanted to thank you for your comment. It really resonated with me, and it was really nice to hear that someone else has issues like me. I’m not as far along as you are – I don’t even tolerate my body, and thinking about how I used to be normal five years ago before somehow I gained a hundred pounds makes me nearly suicidal. So it was nice to hear from someone a little closer to me. Not that hearing from people who love themselves the way they are is a bad thing!

  67. Arwen i just have to say thank you for posting what you did, it gave words to what I often feel. It isn’t that I don’t think that everyone has the right to how they treat their body or that anyone is allowed in the FA movement because I do and I will defend those positions like crazy.

    I do have to admit however to it tearing me apart in very painful ways when people act like this is my choice, that the only reason I am like this is that I have just chosen to be, and that it would be just that simple to be “normal” if I would just chose to do these simple things. when I realize that it is those things that in effect made me this way to begin with, that the yo-yo dieting and the subsequent gaining back the weight I lost plus more combined with the disordered eating I learned from all that has me trapped in something that is not what I would chose.. and so yes I do feel alot of hurt when someone acts as though it is.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t defend their right to be in the FA movement as long as they are on the side that no one should be treated as less of a person or discriminated against because of their size, etc. It just means that at times I am going to have a very hard time ignoring or accepting that kind of attitude and that I really hope that maybe they will understand why I get defensive about it.

    I am glad you said what you did, it was kind of a aha! moment for me and if you hadn’t said it i would still be in the dark about it lol

  68. What if that’s the person’s sole weekly indulgence? What if it makes them really happy? What if they don’t spend money on other things, so they can have the money for their latte?

    Don’t look now, but Ricki’s smelled the class prejudice inherent in most financial AND diet advice bubbling over on the stove!

    And what if there’s people who, if they don’t get their Starbucks latte, or their Pepsi, will fall off the wagon and become alcoholics again?

    I too wish this piece had been a little more pointedly anti-diet, but a little anti-diet is better than none, especially in January.

  69. “…and for dinner, I swapped a six-pack of beer for a fifth of whiskey!”

    WIN.

    So, like, if the soda I drink already doesn’t have sugar in it because I’m hypoglycemic, does that still mean I lose 52 pounds a year? OH NOES! In a little over 3 years, I won’t exist!

  70. My favorite bit is the “if you’re too weak to write, have a friend write for you!” line.

    THIS HAPPENED TO MY FRIEND. She decided to shell out $300 for some something or other and ended up getting so weak that she couldn’t walk from one end of her small house to the other end of her small house without having to stop and rest for half an hour. She’s better now and managed to avoid any serious, long-term health problems, so I got a good laugh out of that line.

    STICK IT IN YOUR EAR.

  71. Aw, Kate — you gave away the best line! : ( Consider taking down the soda line; it will preserve the funny for the rest of the people who didn’t read before viewing.

  72. I love the fifth of whiskey line.

    I also love Sarah H. I think the segment is purposely kept fairly light; IMO you can tell by the topics she/the show selects that they are quite sharp and have some really subversive ideas, but it’s a 3-minute segment and (I’m talking out of my ass, but this is my thought) I wonder if they want to get people thinking about these topics without getting too bogged down in the segment itself. She may not have explicitly questioned diets’ effectiveness in the same way that folks do in the fatosphere, but at the same time it would be hard to come away from that video without a strong impression that you need to question all of the glib crap you’re fed by morning shows and commercials this time of year and that this skepticism can be taken to other subjects other than the ones specifically addressed in the video.

    Like all the Target: Women segments, the point seems to be more to poke fun at the shallow, inconsistent, hypocritical, misogynistic crap that originates from the media. I think the glaring omission of any judgment as to which diets are “good” and which are “bad,” references to the obesity epidemic, and even the selection of the subject for the segment, speak loudly in terms of fat-positivity and recognition that fat is a feminist issue (even though most people these days appear to think that it is for women who are actually thin but have body issues, but magically not for fat women who have body issues). It’s sad I have to read so much into what isn’t said, but if the producers were at all fatphobic, you can bet all that crap would have been there in spades and most commenters wouldn’t have even blinked an eye. It’s par for the course on any segment about weight, health, body image, even eating disorders.

    I’m not criticizing anyone who doesn’t think she’s that great, just musing about my thoughts on the segment…

  73. So I’ll reiterate that to me FA is about understanding that what people need to do with their own bodies and dietary lifestyles is their own business. Which includes my weight loss, giannakali’s restrictions and, you know, someone else’s desire to live exclusively on Big Macs or something.

    And I’ll reiterate that FAT ACCEPTANCE (which is what that handy acronym stands for) is about ACCEPTING FAT, which you by definition cannot be doing while simultaneously deliberately trying to eradicate it through diet, exercise, eating through your ear or whatever the fuck else. Sing it with me if you know the words: you’re not accepting fat if you’re trying to get rid of it! They are two different things.

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