169 thoughts on “Sample article on fat to be used for the rest of time

  1. The article is to be accompanied by the same four photos of headless fat people as usual: the man sitting on a too-small stool, the three women walking down the street in what look like uncomfortably tight clothes, the woman standing in side profile in the unflattering red top, and the older woman in an electric scooter chair.

  2. And if it’s around New Years, the headless fatty in unflattering workout clothes with a sweaty towel around his/her neck. Because fatties try for New Years!

  3. I was watching small town local news while visiting family last weekend and they had a segment on CHILDHOOD OBESITY OMG RUN that they accompanied with video footage of headless and SHIRTLESS fat KIDS. a;lksjf;alksf

    Also? Their breaking news item was that there was a house on fire in a neighboring town. Just one house, surrounded by acres of farmland that served as fire break. They had a helicopter on scene and everything.

  4. Research supporting the article must also include references to data pulled from visits to local Chili’s restaurants. And some “humorous” segue must be included along the lines of “Should fat people exist? Does fat have a smell?” you know something “funny” like that.

    Man, this stuff just writes itself! Photos must also include copious headless muffin-top shots.

  5. Sadly while one article concludes that dieting *alone* is no use and the other concludes that exercise *alone* is not the answer neither has ruled out the usual advice to diet *and* exercise, so I guess that’s what we’ll continue to be advised to do. And if it doesn’t work we’re doing it wrong.

  6. It also needs some sort of passive aggressive suggestion to treat fatties badly: “Researchers say that this does not mean that anyone who is thin should avoid all fat people for the rest of their lives or else the FAT PEOPLE WILL RISE UP AND EAT YOU AND YOUR BABIES AND ALL OF YOUR DONUTS! On the contrary…”

  7. Also lots of synonyms for “fat” — “obese,” “overweight,” “pudgy,” “gargantuan,” “round,” “tubby,” etc. It’s best if you never actually just say “fat.”

  8. There should be also be a photo of a headless fatty carrying a fast food bag, and on the side of the article, “I lost 45 lbs in one week doing this one simple rule!” with a link to Rachael Ray or Oprah.

    In the article itself, a sample of 70 people, were studied, which represents all fat people all over the world. Factors including age, gender, family history, ethnicity, and current medical conditions were not a part of this study, just BMI.

  9. Eleanor, but the point is that one says “well dieting won’t make you thin, better exercise” and the other says “exercise won’t make you thin, better diet.” It’s like how to keep an idiot busy.

  10. Ooh! I’ve got one. If it includes anything about childhood obesity, make sure to portray moms as both incredibly stupid, and destined by nature and the Almighty to be 100 percent responsible for their kids at all times.

    (Don’t ask me how that fits; I mean, if mothers as a whole are so intractably stupid, and if Raising Children Properly is so dadgummed important to society, then surely everyone else should be HAPPY to shoulder part of the burden of raising children, right? By, like, having affordable childcare, and/or not making it a condition of earning a living wage that you must be willing to follow a job across the country and leave your support systems behind? Seems logical to me… but then, I’m a mom, so I’m obviously stupid and benighted.)

    Like, for example, make sure to whinge and gritch about children being fed fast food by their HORRIBLE SELFISH MOTHERS… in a way that makes it clear you think that the mothers in question simply aren’t AWARE that steamed broccoli has nutrients that chicken nuggets lack. It can’t be that fast food restaurants are among the few child-friendly spaces; or that a lot of families are feeling squeezed for both time and money so the promise of a quick cheap meal with no cleanup is appealing; or that if you’re home with the kids you sometimes just NEED TO GET OUT OF THE MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE.

    No, really, it’s that mothers are stupid, especially fat mothers of or mothers of fat kids. Or non-white mothers, or mothers of non-white kids. Or poor mothers; God, POOR mothers are TOTALLY stupid. If they weren’t stupid they’d understand how IMPORTANT it is for GOOD CHILD DEVELOPMENT to earn $400K a year; but clearly they must not understand that fact, or else they’d make it work.

    In fact, you can tell how much of a failure a mother is by scrutinizing her child intently. Just watch the child long enough and you’ll be able to discern the mother’s failure. And honestly, that’s really a great use of everyone’s time.

    Sorry, I’m having a day.

    /rant

  11. *applauds for A Sarah*

    Amen. And you left out the kid who won’t eat anything but the nuggets or hot dogs or cheese sandwiches etc. There’s only so much fighting any parent has in them with a picky eating child. (I should know, I was one.)

    When I was teaching film we had a class discussion one day about ratings and “protect the children!” came up and this one guy who was maybe 20 was ranting at length about parents letting their kids watch too much tv. This non-trad student who was probably a mom fired back at him “When you’re awake at 5am with a toddler screaming and tugging at your sweatpants after your baby just threw up all over your shirt, then we’ll see how fast you reach for the Elmo DVD ok?” It was awesome.

    DRST

  12. Bald Soprano, it will absolutely resemble a pie. In fact, each portion of the chart will resemble a different kind of pie because we all know fatties can’t eat just one.

  13. I think you bring up a good point here about fat women (cuz women are mom’s you know). Fat women are stupid and lazy and prone to our our uncontrollable urges. If not prodded by society and (of course) the man in our life we will spend our days laying on the couch, stuffing our faces with baby flavored donuts and watching our “stories”. You probably shouldn’t trust us with the credit card either because you know how women like to shop. So if this fat stupid lazy indulgent woman is also a mom it is society’s job to teach her the proper way to take care of her children. She probably doesn’t know about home cooked food. She may not be able to operate a stove. And if you see her at the fast food restaurant with her children once you can automatically assume she is there with them every day.

  14. “This non-trad student who was probably a mom fired back at him “When you’re awake at 5am with a toddler screaming and tugging at your sweatpants after your baby just threw up all over your shirt, then we’ll see how fast you reach for the Elmo DVD ok?””

    *applause*

  15. *crying*

    Omg y’all, I was about three seconds away from putting my fist through a window when I vented at you guys, and SERIOUSLY needed some empathy. And y’all came through for me. Thanks.

  16. Oh, I should say, the reason I was about to punch a window was that I had yet ANOTHER interaction this morning with someone who apparently felt that a mom looking frustrated and harried, with kid in tow, in public, was a) her business, and b) a problem to fix. Did you know that ALL of the hard things about parenting can be magically fixed if you adhere with perfect rigidity to the tenets of Adlerian Psychology? Except I’m confused because just a few days ago I heard that all your problems could be fixed if you do everything Alfie Kohn said. And before that I heard that your family life would be blissful if you just clean your house with vinegar; toxins, you know. And I suppose that’s not logically inconsistent with what I heard before THAT: whole foods, yoga for kids, and natural wood Montessori-based toys. Imagine, ALL these paths to bliss and yet STILL I don’t enjoy every precious minute with my babes. I’m horrid.

  17. Yes! For variety’s sake, we could always switch some pics out with the gauzy stethoscope (to demonstrate that Vast Medical Knowledge was used) or the scale, registering a just out-of-sight number, so that we can all worry about whether we’re heavier than teh fatties.

  18. So if this fat stupid lazy indulgent woman is also a mom it is society’s job to teach her the proper way to take care of her children. She probably doesn’t know about home cooked food.

    Right? But of course she SHOULD know about home cooked food. She’s the mom. Which is why, as you note, if you see a mom with kids at McD’s you know she brings them there every day and didn’t learn to cook as a woman should. But if you see a Dad with kids at McD you know he’s attentive because he’s spending quality time with his kids. Whadda guy.

  19. Well, I mean, A Sarah, if Dad is there at McD’s, it’s because Mom is such a health nut and will only feed the kids boring healthy food, so he’s indulging them. What a fun dad!

  20. *smacks forehead* Volcanista, YES! You are so right! Stupid killjoy mothers with their healthy eating fixations. Why can’t they just be reasonable about food?

  21. Shut up shut up shut up!

    I just said “Oh wow, Rob, listen, when you see a woman with her kids at McDonalds, you know it’s because she’s lazy and rubbish, but -”

    “- if a man’s there, he’s taking his kids out for a nice treat!”

    He GETS it. BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD STILL MAKES ME CRY.

    (Aside to A Sarah: what if someone offers help? Like, says “Can I help you?” or “Is there something I can do to help?”)

  22. Watching the parenting back and forth I can’t help but baffle, as I often do, about how parents manage to retain any semblance of sanity while raising children today. Between the multitudinous and contradictory paths to “Parenting Bliss” mothers are supposed to follow and the pure workload of trying to be Model Woman, Model Wife, Model Mother, always happy and giving and yet stern and responsible; always available at the drop of a whisper for her darling babies and yet still follow a gym schedule, cook home-grown foods and be a career woman (cause stay-at home moms are lazy, don’tcha know, what with all that kid-chasing and cleaning)….I think I would have already PUT a fist through a window A Sarah!

    At least if someone is telling me how to Better my Life/Health by purging fat; they are judging me. If someone were to judge my hypothetical CHILD (and thereby the methods used to raise her) I’d just boggle and who knows what would happen!

    Oh and this article on Fat needs to have an overall tone of scathing mock-sympathy/pity throughout. You know the “These obesitors just don’t REALIZE what ill they are dooming themselves/children/small animals/the ozone to and it is our job to show them the light!” *eyeroll*

  23. A Sarah, what those people all forget about parenting is that the most important thing is to love your kids which you are clearly doing. Thus, you rock.

  24. A Sarah,

    This reminds me of the time I was making baked chicken nuggets for the kids, and my visiting aunt went on this anti-McDonald’s tirade that was meant to ‘support’ me in my endeavors to spare my children from what I’m experiencing as a “Large Woman'” (I am quoting directly) by not feeding them all that salty, fried, BAD food.

    Until she looked up and saw me dunking the chicken pieces into olive oil and rolling them in crushed Ritz crackers and parmesan cheese. Because they rock that way and I had no time to fool with flour and egg washes.

    The look of horror on her face remains a bright, shining, snortful memory. She is no longer optimistic about my redemption, poor woman—but at least she didn’t call DCS.

  25. Lots of love to A Sarah, you’re so awesome. God forbid you be a young mother with kids at a McD’s, even if you’re really the older sister. I got so much “slut” crap when I was in high school and I took my baby sister everywhere (10 yrs younger). One of my friends was married and pregnant at 23 but couldn’t fit her ring on her poor swollen finger, and a woman pulled up next to her when she was walking (exercising) to the grocery store (for preggo-friendly foods) and told her that if she’d “just kept her legs shut” she’d still be in school. Yup, and if she hadn’t just finished her degree she’d be there too…duh?! Myob, that’s all I have to say.

  26. The judgey-judgey-parenting-judges also don’t remember that their mothers drank when they were pregnant, and let their kids ride in the car without a seatbelt, and gave them lead-painted dry cleaner bags to play with. And yet most kids still turned out mostly ok.

    Parenting as “moral panic” … a whole other conversational thread we could take and run with. And, apparently, have. :-)

  27. Lots of love to A Sarah, you’re so awesome. God forbid you be a young mother with kids at a McD’s, even if you’re really the older sister. I got so much “slut” crap when I was in high school and I took my baby sister everywhere (10 yrs younger). </I.

    A family friend experienced this a lot too, including one man who held open the door for her at the grocery store and then told her condescendingly "Raising babies is hard, isn’t it?”

    Seriously, what is WRONG with people?

  28. spoonfork, those sound delicious! I am totally making them that way the next time!

    RoseRedLotus, I’m gobsmacked at your accounts. I’ve mostly gotten shit from people who think they’re being helpful, but those things you describe are intentionally hateful. Why would people be so cruel? Seriously, wtf does it even get them? (I guess whatever it gets people to yell “fat cow” at someone… I just find it so hard to imagine taking such glee in hurting someone. Baffling.)

  29. Er… RoseRedLotus, I hasten to add that totally *believe* you, I’m just aghast that people would be so cruel with such apparent glee.

  30. Yeah, it’s mostly kids (in most of my experience) that yell the “fat cow” stuff. I was on my bike the other day and some 14yo yells “Fat ass on a bike!” I didn’t know what to say, I just kinda laughed. Yup, fat ass getting more exercise than you! And with less cheap black hair dye…lol.

    My friend looks really young, and she’s 5’2″, so she even got a lecture from a nurse before the lady looked at her chart. I’ve never seen a woman blush so hard :)

  31. Hey, I’m the mother of a picky eater who will only consume milk, french fries, chicken nuggets, ham, roma (yes, they must be roma) apples, cheerios, OJ and vanilla ice cream. He also has texture issues and will sometimes reject even these few things.

    In my desperation to get some calories in him, I GIVE HIM THESE UNBALANCED FOODS. Also, on particularly bad eating days I SOMETIMES LET HIM EAT MILKSHAKES FOR DINNER because I can sneak in some fruit with the chocolate syrup.

    Obviously I am a stupid unfit mother who just isn’t trying hard enough to get my child to love salad and fish. Call CPS! Call Ann Coulter! Call the police!

    Now, please pass me the pie. I mean pie chart!

    Oh, and A Sarah, I think you rock, too.

  32. The judgey-judgey-parenting-judges also don’t remember that their mothers drank when they were pregnant

    My mom smoked pot while she was pregnant with me and I turned out just….oooh look, something shiny!

    She also grew a lot of her own veggies, picked her own berries, and made her own jam. She didn’t do it because she was trying to be a good mom, she did it because we were dirt poor. She stopped all that noise when we moved up a couple of economic rungs, and I don’t blame her!

  33. “If they weren’t stupid they’d understand how IMPORTANT it is for GOOD CHILD DEVELOPMENT to earn $400K a year”

    But A Sarah, that would require the stupid mothers, especially those of non-white kids, to stay home at all times.

  34. To combine the topics, this piece of stellar medical reporting was on the front page of the paper this morning. I think I’ve snorted all today’s sanity points out my nose while reading it. All I kept thinking is that if there was a bingo card for generic scare story on how teh fatz iz so horriblez, this would be a contender.

  35. I think the idea is that they’re supposed to earn $400K a year AND stay at home making a scrapbook page for every poo their child produces. And also become white somehow. Look, how can you worry about logical consistency when we’re talking about The Good of the Children, littlem? ;)

    Okay, I’m taking my older kid to the train store, y’all. Thanks for talking me down from the ledge this morning. Seriously, I appreciate it.

  36. April D: how parents manage to retain any semblance of sanity while raising children today – we don’t. It’s simpler that way.

    spoonfork: dunking the chicken pieces into olive oil and rolling them in crushed Ritz crackers and parmesan cheese sounds DELICIOUS.

    RosyRedLotus: One of my friends was married and pregnant at 23 but couldn’t fit her ring on her poor swollen finger, and a woman pulled up next to her [...] and told her that if she’d “just kept her legs shut” she’d still be in school. This is why I never wear my wedding ring while pregnant.

    O.C.: The judgey-judgey-parenting-judges also don’t remember that their mothers drank when they were pregnant, and let their kids ride in the car without a seatbelt, and gave them lead-painted dry cleaner bags to play with. And yet most kids still turned out mostly ok. Moderate drinking has been shown to be safe, as it happens, but in spite of this the UK has recently revised the NHS guidelines to say no alcohol at all while pregnant, although there’s no evidence to back this up. And I’ve never met anyone who died in a car-crash as a child, but there might be a reason for that, I dunno.

  37. Not to take away from A Sarah’s awesomeness and the always-fascinating (seriously) discussion of fat and parenting, but I want to rewind a little…

    Eleanor, but the point is that one says “well dieting won’t make you thin, better exercise” and the other says “exercise won’t make you thin, better diet.” It’s like how to keep an idiot busy.

    My take was that Eleanor got that — and was lamenting that the idiots reporting on fat, even if they saw those studies, would still find a way to say that dieting and exercise might not work independently, but we all know that TOGETHER THEY WILL MAKE YOU THIN. It’s the combo of diet and exercise that does the trick, like some sort of chemical reaction takes place and turns two things that don’t work into one thing that does.

  38. Speaking of drive-by parenting, my first son – who was awake and yelling for most of his first six months unless he was strapped to my chest, we were moving, and he had a soother – had his soother pulled out of his mouth by an elderly woman who then shook it in my face and told me I was creating a nasty nasty habit.
    I was proud of my response – I told her he was too young to smoke, but we’d switch him when he was old enough to work a lighter.

  39. Arwen, that was freaking priceless.

    I just snarfed all over myself. I should know better than to read Shapelings while at work!

  40. RoseyRedLotus:

    Homemade chicken nuggets dipped in olive oil and rolled in crushed Ritz and parmesan?

    I’m totally making that for dinner.

    How long do you put them in the oven, and at what temperature?

  41. Coming late to the party…

    I especially love the quote, “We’ve already had some complaints that this will dissuade people from even going on a diet and stop people from trying.”

    Yeah, god forbid the fatties don’t torture themselves for no good reason. NO LICENSE!

    A Sarah – word++.

  42. dieting and exercise might not work independently, but we all know that TOGETHER THEY WILL MAKE YOU THIN. It’s the combo of diet and exercise that does the trick

    OMG! I got it! If you find the RIGHT mix of diet, and exercise, you get the most perfect Fruit Salad of Health possible: Skinny-dom! Whee! I mean, the fact the no one has ever really FOUND this correct combo certainly shouldn’t deter all us fatties from incessant attempts to crack the code eh?

    And yeah, how long and temp on the delicious home-nuggets RoseyRedLotus?

  43. Love to all you mamas of picky eaters out there — I can so relate. The kids seem to be happy and thriving despite all our Tyson’s Transgressions. My 6yo tried a bell pepper last night; I was so excited! He didn’t like it, but at least he tried it.

  44. I was going to reply to JR by saying “mmm…pie chart” *gurgles like Homer Simpson* or asking if said chart would be made of real pie, but I see others beat me to it.

  45. I have no words left for the love I have for Shapelings after I snorted my way through those comments. I mean srsly. This posts totally wins my ‘best comments thread evah’ award.

    On the fat parenting thing- I feel somewhat vindicated that this week at my son’s ASD assessment the woman tunred round and said – “It seems patently obvious to me, that there is some excellent parenting going on in this family”. Which was doubly awesome because ya know we’re fat, I’m a working/studying mother, my partner isn’t the kids bio-dad, and both nsprogs have steadfastredly refused to learn to read or write till they want too. It beats the normal ‘OMG’S your poor kids’ comments.

    I think all Shapelings should come have my Doctor- I asked him last week if I needed to lose weight and he looked over at me and said ‘No, of course not. Not unless you want too lose weight!’

  46. Hugs A Sarah

    My school is going through a phase where all kids will become avid, self-policing learners who never do so much as drop a gum wrapper as long as you religiously follow Robert Marzano. Fucking hell.

    Shorter entire world: There is nothing that women (or mostly women) do that is difficult, but they screw it up anyway and must be constantly policed and harassed for their own good.

    And here I am wishing the whole world had one throat.

  47. Shorter entire world: There is nothing that women (or mostly women) do that is difficult, but they screw it up anyway and must be constantly policed and harassed for their own good.

    I’m going to tattoo this on something.

  48. Did we already specify that the article would also include many gratuitous (and HI-larious, obvy) fat-related puns, like…”weighty decisions” and “experts weighed in” and “the problem is, ahem, bigger than expected,” etc.?? ‘Cause, you know, no article on fat is complete without plenty of those gems.

    Also: y’all make me even more glad I don’t have kids. Like the world needs another reason to tell me what I’m doing wrong.

  49. I don’t even talk about what I feed my child anymore, after being berated for admitting that I sometimes let him eat Spaghetti-Os for dinner. The response I got was insane. “Why would you do that?” “What kind of a person would give their child Spaghetti-Os when the store has lots of natural, unprocessed foods?” “You shouldn’t have even introduced your child to something like that!” You would have thought I’d introduced my child to crack.

    I tried to explain that my husband and I really enjoy a lot of different foods that are not particularly child-friendly, and that I don’t think it’s fair to say to my son, “Eat this or don’t eat” when the food I’m putting in front of him is something that I know he won’t like. But, we’re also not going to eat child-friendly foods every single night, so I usually make things the whole family likes 3 or 4 nights a week, then the other nights I make things that are more “exotic” and that my husband and I enjoy, and my son eats something easy, like mac and cheese, or Spaghetti-Os, or (gasp) a bowl of cereal. The idea that I don’t force my child to eat lemon-baked tofu or curried pork or spinach coconut soup was interpreted as practically child abuse.

    You see, as it was explained to me, if you don’t force your child to eat exactly what you want them to eat and refuse to feed them anything else, they will grow up only wanting to eat cereal, Spaghetti-Os, and mac and cheese. If you don’t put the lemon-garlic fish in front of them and say, “Either you eat this or you don’t eat anything,” they’re going to grow up to not eat anything but the 5 or 6 foods they enjoyed at 4.

    It’s such a load of crap. I think everybody knows that many if not most kids are picky, that kids have different tastes than adults, and that a can of Spaghetti-Os for dinner is not only not going to kill your child, but is actually a pretty nutritionally-sound thing for a kid to eat. They just don’t want their kids to be fat, and they associate “processed” foods with fat kids and lazy moms.

  50. Okay, so I’ve been thinking about this more as I was out with my older kid. And some stuff is rattling around in my obviously-vacant mommy-brain…

    Seems to me that both kids-in-public and female-bodies-in-public:

    a)…are supposed to be PERFECT, lest passersby become boo-hoo-so-sad about what the world is coming to that they’re forced to share a world with people that don’t remind them of the world they see on the teevee; and yet

    b) …can NEVER perfect enough, because that would spoil the game of being better than this stranger who is being observed in public; and meanwhile

    c) …are believed with religious faith to, somehow, be the visible embodiment of the selfish excess and irrational emotion of a woman who is morally obligated to erase herself; and

    d) …reveal that the woman is not just selfish, but uninformed; because, hell, it’s not as though there aren’t EIGHTEEN BAZILLION books/plans/methods/support groups that dictate to the woman how to be good enough if she just adheres to a rigid set of rules that are, hilariously, often given the honorific of “natural.”

  51. Also, just want to add a thanks to our Shapelings for making me see the light… I’m NEVER. Having. Kids.

    See, I’ve gone the opposite way. I’m looking forward even more to having them so I can Be a Bad Mother At People, much as Being a Feminist or Being Fat At People brings joy to my current life. The first time someone tries to tell me how to be a better mother and I get to LAUGH in their FACE…ah, it will be a little bit beautiful.

    Then around the 3000th time I imagine it will exceed the Jellied Eels threshhold and I’ll reset to automatically greeting unsolicited advice with aggressive profanity instead. From which my children will learn that you do not get to tell other grown adults how to live their lives. Everybody wins!

  52. My school is going through a phase where all kids will become avid, self-policing learners who never do so much as drop a gum wrapper as long as you religiously follow Robert Marzano. Fucking hell.

    IF WE JUST OBEY THE RIGHT DUDE WITH THE BESTSELLING BOOK THEN OUR FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS WILL HAVE NO PROBLEMS. Fucking hell is right. Anyway, how am I supposed to know whether to become a Kohnsian, a Searsite, a Marzanist or an Adlerian? By whatever approach my kid’s school follows? By whoever is admonishing me at any given moment? Because surely it can’t be that I must be trusted to figure out what approach makes the most sense for MY family in our unique situation.

    Shorter entire world: There is nothing that women (or mostly women) do that is difficult, but they screw it up anyway and must be constantly policed and harassed for their own good.

    THIS. Brilliant.

  53. She also grew a lot of her own veggies, picked her own berries, and made her own jam. She didn’t do it because she was trying to be a good mom, she did it because we were dirt poor. She stopped all that noise when we moved up a couple of economic rungs, and I don’t blame her!

    My mother bought chicken feed and ground her own flour because we were so freaking poor (in addition to all of this other stuff). It was only for a couple of years while Dad was in graduate school, but still.

    Nowadays, moms would probably do that to ensure that their kids were getting real whole-grain baked products. But they’d pay twenty times as much for the chicken feed, which would be sold in a lovely cardboard box marked “200% post-consumer recycled”.

  54. A Sarah, please write a post about that!

    Okay! :) I’ll look forward to that. I leave tomorrow for South Carolina for my last campus visit, and then when I return on Saturday I’ll get a handle on my email again and be in touch with you and SM and FJ about it.

  55. If I ate less and exercised more, would I be able to put together my retention file? Because I have no idea how to do it.

  56. Shouldn’t the news article also include something about how we fat people are driving up everyone’s health insurance rates and causing global warming?

    I’m surprised the current economic downturn hasn’t been blamed on fat people. Not yet anyway.

  57. *weeps with gratitude and joy*

    I swear, sometimes, this is the only space in the world that understands. Can I just cling to all of you, laughing and crying at the same time because I’m so happy you exist?

    Sorry, crazy day… things are still shaky with the bf… I just spent two days over there trying to make up my mind what to do about falling out of love with him and how and when and why. I feel exhausted.

  58. I’m surprised the current economic downturn hasn’t been blamed on fat people. Not yet anyway.

    OMG FAT PEOPLE ATE ALL THE MORTGAGES!! They thought Freddie Mac was a new kind of Bic Mac!

  59. I think the expectation that kids will grow up eating exactly what was fed to them as children implies that child is stupid. Seriously….do you know an adult who only eats corndogs and spaghetti-0s?

    My mother was the worst cook in the world. Period. Burned on one side, undercooked on the other. She cooked for a family of nine at its largest and most of it was stuff like bacon grease gravy, ground beef with a couple tablespoons of flour, Wonder Bread and butter on the table at all times, burnt pork chops, or spaghetti served with 1 can of tomato sauce and 2 cans of water!! Most things scorched or burnt because she had very little help and too much to do.

    Occasionally my father would bring home a gallon of generic ice cream in a flavor we would only touch because it was ice cream!

    My point is, no one’s tastes last forever. Whether economic circumstances change, taste buds mature, or you move to a different part of the world, your tastes are gonna change. We all try different things as our life changes and those monsters who believe we have to weigh, measure, and have a scientist identify all ingredients in a food we feed our children are delusional. Your body will take the nutrients it needs from it and expel the rest or store it. That chicken nugget your kid ate provided some sustenance for their body and probably tasted mighty good to boot!

    Many have become so hypervigilant about “natural, healthy, wholesome” foods that we forget there is joy in eating, purpose for hunger, and a variety of tastes out there for the taking. My 8 yr old child may be picky, but she’s certainly not stupid, nor do I expect her to eat the same things I feed her the rest of her life. Her tastes will change, her eating habits will change, her likes and dislikes ALREADY have changed, and will continue to do so the rest of her life.

  60. OMG A Sarah, I would totally take you up on that. I need to get more serious about organizing a Shapeling meetup (I know there’s at least a handful of us in the Michigan-Indiana area) but I’m thinking it should wait until spring when conditions are safer and generally more pleasant. And I hopefully have funds for a drive, heh.

    I would totally bake an awesome pie too. And we could put the scotch in coffee (I wonder what that tastes like? I’ve never had scotch).

    and THANK YOU REGINA. Children are not little robots with no brains in their heads!

    Children and Women and Mothers are NOT actually morons, people!

    I just love the way these people conveniently forget that they were once children, raised, most likely, by mothers.

    HEADDESK.

  61. Her tastes will change, her eating habits will change, her likes and dislikes ALREADY have changed, and will continue to do so the rest of her life.

    Well exactly. What is with this shit that parents (primarily mothers, of course) can and should have Perfect Control over their kids? Yes, children are malleable, but from the moment they’re born they are people, with their own thoughts and feelings and genetic makeup and journeys to take and they are not your chance to make a perfect mini-me, or to fix what went “wrong” in your upbringing. There’s a beautiful line in The Virgin Suicides where the father realises that “children are just strangers you agree to live with” (paraphrased), and it stuck with me because it was literally the first time I had ever come across that crazy concept that there is more to children than what you plug in there. And sure, you can shape them (and, unfortunately, damage them) in a million different ways, but you can’t control every little thing about them, just like you can’t control every little thing about ANYONE. And trying is just going to hurt everyone, and blind you to the good things that they are, because you’re so focussed on what they are not.

    E.g. my parents’ firstborn came out of the womb (ten days late) willful, stubborn, intelligent and gay, rejected almost everything they tried to teach me and insisted on finding my own truths instead of believing everything I’d told and becoming someone I could never be. Oops? They still haven’t forgiven me for not being the fictional daughter they’d imagined for themselves. If you could change who your kids are by sheer force of will I (and, I suspect, many of us) wouldn’t be here today, because god knows they tried.

    So yeah. I don’t get what’s with this parental god complex. Your child’s going to be the person they are going to be. All you can do is try your best to pass on your values and morals and equip them to live well in this world, and then let them go. You aren’t in charge of, or responsible for, every aspect of them as human beings, and you don’t have to be. Ugh.

  62. Keeks,
    I did not, but I did once have a friend tell me about how much better my sex would be since I’d lost 30 pounds from mono.

    The same friend, it so happens, who was 23 and had never had an orgasm. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, but y’know, I don’t want to hear about how my already orgasmic fatty sex is going to get better from non orgasmic thin people.)

  63. A note on meetups: Do check the Shapely Prose community site for ongoing plans for meetups! We’re having one in Houston on February 13th at a place that serves divine fish tacos.

  64. But she’s THIN, SHINOBI. So clearly she is DOING LIFE RIGHT.

    God. You’re like those women who won’t listen when men try to tell them How To Do Feminism. EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR A YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY.

  65. Arwen, but you are being a good mother! Pacifiers reduce the risk of SIDS! (Yes, I know that’s not the point, but still a good bit of knowledge to get out anyhow!) Besides, wouldn’t it be funny to see all the college kids wandering around campus with pacifiers…

    Gah, how can people possibly be so rude so much of the time? Children misbehave, they aren’t robots; and children are mostly healthy too. And the comments the young mothers face are completely out of line, can you imagine the pain a teen rape victim who chose to keep a child might feel at being called a slut? I shudder at the thought. Grr. I’ve also avoided the comments on the articles about the recent octuplets in California; because I just know they’ll be full of criticism about how could the mother justify having *eight* babies, and how much it costs to take care of premies and the environmental impact of Too Many Kids and so forth. Folks, it’s none of our business to criticize someone else’s reproductive choices, whether to abort or carry children; even if it’s not a choice we’d make.

  66. My favorite part of the first article is the lead-in line, “Dieters, despair.”

    Like so many of them weren’t already doing that…hence the dieting.

  67. My daughter came home from school one day and told me that her friend Maggie, upon spying Maia’s chocolate-chip granola bar, said smugly, “My mother says that store-bought is BAD for you!”

    Without thinking, I said, “You should tell Maggie that her mother’s unsweetened zucchini-whole-wheat muffins are POISONOUS!”

    Then I had to spend the rest of the day following my daughter around, begging her not to tell her friend that the green muffins were going to kill her.

  68. OMG FAT PEOPLE ATE ALL THE MORTGAGES
    A Sarah, this one actually got me to delurk to say, officially getting in line of those asking you to marry me. Those darn baby-flavored morgages!

  69. do you know an adult who only eats corndogs and spaghetti-0s?

    I know two. Out of all the adults I’ve ever known well enough to have an idea what they eat, I know two who have persistently refused to venture beyond the kids’s menu. Neither of them is fat.

    EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR A YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY.

    …and I almost choked on my cherry coke.

  70. OMG FAT PEOPLE ATE ALL THE MORTGAGES!! They thought Freddie Mac was a new kind of Bic Mac!

    Yes!!! And that Fannie Mae was an alternative to Sarah Lee and Little Debbies!

    Seriously, fat people are to blame for the housing crisis. If we wouldn’t need bigger houses to accomodate our huge mounds of flab, not to mention pantries as large as basements to hold all that food we’re hoarding, we wouldn’t have taken out those huge loans and defaulted on our mortgages.

  71. ” EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR A YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY.”

    I’m glad I’m not at work because that visual almost made me snort my lips through my nose and cry at the same time! Ahhh what would I do without SP comments?

    And Kimberly O I love your come-back about the poisoned zuchinni muffins…did your daughter aquiesce to your begging and refrain from spilling that verbal gem to her friend’s mom though? :)

  72. Mmm Mortgages. They are so good. Especially with a nice bechamel sauce and a side of sauteed Credit Default Swaps.

  73. EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR A YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY

    Well there went my ravioli all over the table.

    I shudder to think what those venomous jumping centipedes do at the same time.

    Not to mention the manticores and the ground sloths.

    DRST

  74. I just saw a re-run of ER, an episode where Dr. Abby Lockhart takes her baby to a mother-baby activity class.

    All the mums look in horror at her BECAUSE SHE IS NOT CARRYING THE WEE ONE IN THE PROPER ORGANIC HEMP SLING. The baby will thus grow up to be the hunchback of Chicago and frighten decent people everywhere.

    Dr. Lockhart offers her medical training as an ER doc, and tries to comfort the trendy-lefty mums. Mums continue to shame her for not CONFORMING LIKE A GOOD FEMALE SEMI-DRONE. Or being a good mother. Which, oddly enough, sounds like the flip side of the moral majority’s dogma on motherhood. Submission, constant self-sacrifice and all that.

    Dr. Lockhart says: “Well, I’m sure you’re right. But at least I’ll be in the ER to treat YOUR children when they overdose on drugs or get pregnant.”

    *slamdunk, smart TV mom!*

  75. Wow, what a freaktastic thread.

    I think the expectation that kids will grow up eating exactly what was fed to them as children implies that child is stupid. Seriously….do you know an adult who only eats corndogs and spaghetti-0s?

    Well, I did once have a (thin) boyfriend who ate almost nothing but homemade chimichangas and Oreos. But I’m pretty sure his mom forced him to eat veggies when he was little. That’s the thing. I cannot tell you how many adults I have met who have said, “My parents made me greens when I was a kid, and I’m never touching them again.”

    I was just thinking the other day about the stuff I loved to eat and drink when I was a kid that has no appeal to me now. Chocolate milk, anyone? I thought milk had a weird aftertaste and I refused to drink it unless there was chocolate in it. Lots of kids did, back in the supposed Golden Age of Moms Making Their Kids Eat Healthy (hah!). That’s why Quik (I guess it’s called Nesquik now?) was invented, you know, to get kids to drink more milk. Somehow they didn’t think sugar canceled out calcium back then, go fig. But would I drink chocolate milk now? Not unless you froze it into a milkshake. (Damn Burgerville for having their BEST SHAKE EVER, chocolate hazelnut, during the months when it’s too damn cold for milkshakes.) And plain milk doesn’t taste weird to me at all now.

    I also liked to put matzoh farfel (matzoh chopped into small bits) or chow mein noodles in tomato soup. Don’t ask me why. When I was a kid, soup wasn’t soup without one of those things in it, and yet, as an adult, I’ve never bought farfel (I hardly even see it in the stores anymore, do they even still sell it?) and only rarely have I bought chow mein noodles. I guess I had my fill of them.

    My mother was the worst cook in the world. Period. Burned on one side, undercooked on the other.

    That sounds like my grandmother! She kept insisting that she do the cooking instead of my grandfather (who was actually a pretty decent cook), and she never got any better at it. Even as a kid with no taste, I somehow knew matzoh balls shouldn’t be something you needed a pickaxe to break. And yet my dad, who had to eat her slop and never had fresh vegetables as a kid EVER, once he hit adulthood he ate them all, and liked most of them.

  76. Oopsie, editing mistake — should have been “my parents made me EAT greens when I was a kid, and I’m never touching them again.” Of course.

  77. A Sarah: IF WE JUST OBEY THE RIGHT DUDE WITH THE BESTSELLING BOOK THEN OUR FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS WILL HAVE NO PROBLEMS. Yers. I got asked “Is that a good parenting book then?” once and answered “Well, it mostly agrees with me, if that’s what you mean.”

    But then, if someone asks me “Is she a good baby, then?” I either answer “babies are amoral” or “she’s very convenient, if that’s what you mean.”

    Which reminds me of The Day I Knew I Had Arrived As A Mother. My baby and I were in a shop, somewhere, and she was in the stroller, and someone walked up and said “Did you know that child [srsly, that child] has no socks on?” and I said “Oh, she ate them.”

    Which was true.

    SugarLeigh: I just love the way these people conveniently forget that they were once children, raised, most likely, by mothers. No, they remember every mistake their own stupid, harmful mother made, and resent her for it. That’s how they know mothers can’t be trusted. Just like they can’t trust themselves to choose healthy foods without external coercion.

    And I think Bill Clinton got into trouble for hating broccoli.

  78. A whole PUPPY? Haven’t they ever heard of portion control?

    Dude, they’re COCONUT crabs — do you have any idea how much fat coconuts have?!?! Portion control is the least of their probs…

    /kidding!!

  79. Which reminds me of The Day I Knew I Had Arrived As A Mother. My baby and I were in a shop, somewhere, and she was in the stroller, and someone walked up and said “Did you know that child [srsly, that child] has no socks on?” and I said “Oh, she ate them.”

    Which was true.

    Marry me?

  80. Kudos to the mom I saw two days ago. She was hauling a screaming, obviously overwrought child out of Family Court (no telling what had gone on) of about 8 years old when a young woman (around 25 and carrying some kind of official badge) approached mom and started to lecture mom on proper discipline and raising of children. The young woman went on and on about schedules, exercise, healthy eating with no preservatives, exercise, schedules, exercise, focused playtime and more exercise. All the while Mom, who had single handedly corralled said screaming child into a sniffling, but quiet and obedient paragon, stood quietly, and listened. Her face was absolutely expressionless, and I suppose it helped that she had very clear grey eyes. She stood like that for at least 3-4 minutes while Missy Thing babbled on. Mom continued to simply say nothing, and we all watched as Missy Thing started to apologise for interfering, as her apologies became less coherent and more babbling, Mom chose to speak up “It’s OK, you were probably raised by a Mother who didn’t understand discipline”. I do beleive the news reported a sunny red glow in the neigborhood of Family Court from the young woman’s face.

  81. Ailbhe: It was Bush Sr. who hated broccoli.

    And now I have Mark Russell’s song stuck in my head, darnit!

    “I won’t eat my broccoli!
    I won’t eat my broccoli!
    When I’m grown up, you can’t make me,
    When I’m president someday!”

    (yes, I was in fact watching Mark Russell and listening to the Capitol Steps at a very young age… but I’m still dating myself a bit here…)

  82. Sillies, when eating puppies you control portion size by varying puppy size. You know, newborn to nearly-grown.

  83. And I think Bill Clinton got into trouble for hating broccoli.

    Not Clinton. Bush 41. He was the one who loved pork rinds and hated broccoli. And he’ll be 85 this year.

  84. I seriously have to learn to stop reading comments at work. My workmates will think I have some weird disease which makes my face scrunch up and my shoulders shake!

    EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY

    ^^ That was awesomeness. I want it on a shirt!

  85. Caitlin: Full disclosure: she spat them out again.

    Well, this proves that kids that kids will eventually figure out what’s good with them if given reasonable guidance. How many adults do you know who go around eating socks?

  86. Now link this all over the Internet, and start charging royalties for each newspaper and magazine who copies your work.

    instant win!

  87. April D,

    I think Maia was a good daughter and didn’t repeat my remark about the unsweetened zucchini muffins- but the other mother has been a little … cool towards me lately. That’s probably because HER daughter told her that I was buying the store-bought snacks with the shiny, shiny labels.

    This is one of those mothers who stresses about everything surrounding child-rearing. She’s read every book, taken all the courses, filled her house with only the most nutritious of foods – and her kid, rather than being a paragon of enlightened childhood, is one of those kids who slaps you and then goes and cries under her desk because it’s all your fault. Actually, kind of like dieting AND exercising and still being fat – all that expert advice works out perfectly on imaginary planet, not so much here on Earth.

  88. If I ever have kids, they’ll be easy to identify. They’ll be the ones wearing old pillowcases with holes cut out for the arms and head, playing in traffic.

    To tie in with earlier comments on youthful pregnancy: when I was a freshman in college, I had to get braces on (again) and my mouth was like raw hamburger for about a month, so the only thing I could eat was baby food. (Now that’s some good stuff–I’d probably half live on it if I did spawn.) I was standing in line at the checkout with about 15 pounds of it in my basket, and an old man in front of me turned around, looked at me, looked in the basket, looked at me again, and slowly shook his head, as if disgusted and disappointed and sad all at once.

    But ya know what? After barely subsisting on about three jars of baby food a day for a month, I didn’t lose any weight. Curious, no?

  89. In the sample fat article, don’t forget that the phrases “couch potatoes” and “pack on the pounds” must be included. Also, “balloon” must be included, used as a verb.

    Bonus points if they can all be used in one sentence (which I am too lazy to think up…must be all the baby donuts, or the fat virus, clogging my brain).

  90. “Reputable studies have found that too many Americans balloon to an unhealthy weight and instead of exercising for 5 hours a day to lose that weight, they become virtual couch potatoes, and pack on the pounds while doing nothing more strenuous than lifting the remote control to the television.”

  91. I can’t believe what people will say to perfect strangers in public. I’ve had people come up and tell me that if I exercised more and ate less that I’d lose weight. (This was pre-FA, so I just stared at him in shock. By the way, I ran into this guy while hiking.)

    But the worst one for me: I am about as white as white can be. When I was about 16, I took my then 3-year-old cousin, who was adopted from India, to Wal-Mart with me. I got lots of stares, but the kicker was the lady who came up to me and stage whispered in a horrified voice, “Who did you have to sleep with to get a baby that looked like that?” Thankfully my cousin piped up with, “Hi! My name is [name] and I was adopted from India!” I told the lady that her dad looked an awful lot like me seeing as how he was my uncle, and then I stormed off. To this day I can’t imagine how anyone could think that was an appropriate question.

  92. Kimberley O, Little Miss Muffin sounds like the Weimaraner from Best in Show. Does she have a Busy Bee? Or even a bear dressed in a bee costume?

  93. Yes!!! And that Fannie Mae was an alternative to Sarah Lee and Little Debbies!

    Or Fannie May, even. (Growing up in Chicagoland, I was aware of Fannie May long before Fannie Mae, and I was deeply confused about the connection between delicious chocolates and housing for a long time.)

  94. This thread is, at the same time, full of UGH (interfering busybody questions/judgy judgy parent judgers) and WIN (do I even have to mention coconut crabs? That sounds nommy, by the way). I am by turns disgusted and laughing my head off.

    In short: I needed this.

    Short announcement: Philly area Shapelings are planning a meetup this Saturday (1-31) — see the Meetup forum for details!

  95. Caitlin, I’m with you – part of the appeal of having kids is that I can (attempt to) raise them to be good people while horrifying all the other mommies by dressing my kids in weird secondhand clothes, not taking them to church, and using the latest child-raising expert’s best-seller as a doorstop.

    I love and hate the comments on SP. Love because they’re awesome; hate because they’re SO AWESOME I can’t stop reading to go do the dishes. Damn my easily amused, lazy female brain!!

  96. Damn my easily amused, lazy female brain!!

    See, and I blame it on the reading being so stimulating for my active human brain, and dishes being, well, boring.

  97. In the sample fat article, don’t forget that the phrases “couch potatoes” and “pack on the pounds” must be included. Also, “balloon” must be included, used as a verb.

    YES. Also, it must include the word “whopping”.

  98. What about specious advice to stop eating soda and lose ____ lbs. in a year? (And add small amounts of exercise randomly throughout your day? I often have the urge to get up and do jumping jacks at my desk! It keeps me healthy, and my coworkers bewildered!)

  99. You know, I used to be 130 pounds, about 15 years ago. Not skinny skinny, but certainly thinnish, for me, ‘healthy’ BMI, etc.

    During that period of time, I was taking a nutrition class. One project we did for the class required us to write down what we ate over a period of three days, I think, and add up the different nutrients and compare them to what is ‘required’ according to the books.

    Halfway through this process, I started making up foods to ‘pad’ my diet. Why? Because I was totally shocked and.. well, kind of embarrassed… by how little I was eating. I was barely clearing 500 calories, some days. Never more than 1000. I couldn’t believe it, because I had always thought of myself as a big eater.

    The fact that my life had sort of fallen apart a few months earlier might have had something to do with the way I was literally forgetting to eat. My husband was diagnosed with cancer a month after our baby was born, and died barely a year later.

    Oh, and, plus, exercise? I was exercising LOTS. One of the ways I dealt with the stress was to walk obsessively. I would strap the baby onto my chest, nursing as needed without stopping… oh yes, I was also nursing, on 500 or whatever calories a day!… and I would walk for three, four hours at a time.

    And my baby weight just melted off, like magic. I looked good!!

    Except I didn’t. I look at pictures of me now, from that period, and I think, “oh, you poor little waif!”

    Anyway, dying husband notwithstanding, I’m here to be devil’s advocate and to say that, actually, yes, extremely low calorie intake and obsessive exercise might actually make one lose weight. I lost weight, and there are some people in my life who still talk about how good I ‘used to look’.

    Is that something I want to recreate in my life now.. you know, instead of my current relatively low-stress life, full and yummy meals, the occasional ‘yoga gently’ class, and size 16 body?

    Um, okay… if I ever even THINK about starting to hanker after that semi-starved, walking obsessed lifestyle and the hot bod I had then, I sincerely hope some well meaning friend will lock me up somewhere nice and cushy and throw away the key till the madness passes.

    Also, I find it quite interesting that those (semi starved and walking-obsessed) circumstances are the ones under which my particular body morphs itself into a ‘healthy’ weight.

    I’d rather stick those sharp bamboo-y things under my fingernails than try and diet and exercise myself back to a ‘healthy’ weight. Honest to Goddess.

  100. All the comments I thought of have already been posted, but I just need to say that I love this website and all of the lovely lovely people posting. You make me smile and laugh in the face of an often cruel world. :)

  101. YES. Also, it must include the word “whopping”.

    How do we know what whopping looks like, I’ve never seen anyone whop before.

  102. Mara: minus the dying husband and the breastfeeding, those were pretty much the circumstances it took to get me down to a size 10. The lowest I ever weighed was 130, and that’s about what it took to get my there. And that’s still on the low end of the “healthy” part of the BMI scale! Never mind that my period stopped, my hair was falling out and my skin looked like death warmed over. Certainly *much* better than a BMI of 25 or higher, which is where I reside when I’m healthy (and not pregnant…)

  103. fuzzyoctopus, Mara: I can hit 115; all I have to do is eat 100-400 calories a day, overexercise, obsess about food every minute of my life, and barely have the emotional or physical energy to make it through the day. Wow, there must really be a lot wrong with me if I’m not prepared to make that commitment.

    ….and I have just this minute made the connection that the years I was most strenuously restricting my food intake were the same years I was an anxious, insecure, depressed, binge-drinking, self-destructive wreck. I needed that energy! I needed to not be adding to the mental and emotional craziness! Gah. But if you’d told 15-year-old me she could be happier by, you know, eating food, but as a payoff she’d be 4 stone heavier…I really think she’d rather have been thin.

    Sometimes I just want to slap society so hard it hurts.

    Caitlin: Full disclosure: she spat them out again.

    Intuitive eating!

  104. Caitlin: I just noticed, you were 10 days “late”? Average term is 40 weeks but average term for a white European woman’s FIRST baby is 41 weeks and 3 days, which is, hahahaha, 10 days late.

    Just so you know.

  105. Fuckin yeah! Way to be average.

    I like to view it as the first in a lifetime of refusing to leave bed/the sofa/any place I am cosy and happy and warm. THE WORLD IS COLD AND DIFFICULT. *twitch*

    I did also try very hard to die and they had to emergency C-section me out of there, so I shall maintain that I am a beautiful and unique snowflake. :P

  106. Anyway, dying husband notwithstanding, I’m here to be devil’s advocate and to say that, actually, yes, extremely low calorie intake and obsessive exercise might actually make one lose weight. I lost weight, and there are some people in my life who still talk about how good I ‘used to look’.

    OH WOW THAT MUST BE WHY THERE ARE NO FAT PEOPLE IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS

    Come on, Mara, you know the difference between permanent weight loss and temporary weight loss!

  107. Come on, Mara, you know the difference between permanent weight loss and temporary weight loss!

    Wait, is one temporary and one permanent?

    (Seriously, Mara, I don’t mean to pile on, b/c I like the rest of your comment, but it’s hardly playing devil’s advocate around here to say that weight loss is possible in the short term — since all three bloggers and a whole lot of commenters have written about losing weight via dieting and/or disordered eating. Permanent weight loss is what’s nigh impossible, because pretty much everyone gains it back.)

  108. Permanent weight loss is what’s nigh impossible, because pretty much everyone gains it back.

    Permanent weight loss == dying from starvation.

    It ain’t pretty, but it could happen! And just think how much happier we’d all be if we were thin for the rest of our lives! So what if our hair falls out, etc etc.

    I’m with you, Caitlin. What society in general (and the diet industry in particular) needs is a good swift kick.

  109. “From which my children will learn that you do not get to tell other grown adults how to live their lives. Everybody wins!”

    Can I just say that this is my new favorite anger? Unsolicitied advice. Really, if I didn’t ask for your thoughts, don’t offer them. Thank God I don’t have kids. I’d really flip out.

    OMG FAT PEOPLE ATE ALL THE MORTGAGES!! They thought Freddie Mac was a new kind of Bic Mac!

    For the first time, I laughed out loud when reading Shapely Prose. I rarely laugh out loud. Sarah A, maybe you’re the female version of Jon Stewart? Maybe we should get you a show.

  110. I think I’ve found a new snuggly home on the net. This is now one very happy fat chick. I’m quite pleased that I managed to stumble upon such a cool blog.

  111. I couldn’t even get down to 115 with weight loss surgery. Yes, I’m that demonically obese. I don’t vomit pea soup at priests. Are you kidding? That would mean getting rid of something I just ate and fatty ain’t giving up any food, nuh-nuh-nuh! (Seriously, the sight of pea soup gives me the creeps).

    So if I want cuter clothes, to do karate with my little warrior, to fly to Paris with my new husband, or visit my sister who lives in San Diego, I’m doing it fat. You need all the flab you have when you’ve got a six year-old pouncing on you (this comes from having a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles obsessed little brother kowabunging into you whenever the show came on).

  112. OMG you all, I am loving this thread. Seriously, you bring me joy. Parenting busy-body smackdowns, coconut crabs… I love you all.

    Backing WAAAAY up to the top of the thread, Kate said,
    “My take was that Eleanor got that — and was lamenting that the idiots reporting on fat, even if they saw those studies, would still find a way to say that dieting and exercise might not work independently, but we all know that TOGETHER THEY WILL MAKE YOU THIN. It’s the combo of diet and exercise that does the trick, like some sort of chemical reaction takes place and turns two things that don’t work into one thing that does.”

    True story- last night a friend of mine (a gorgeous, thin friend- not that beauty depends on thinness) drove me home from class, so I invited her in to have dinner with me and Mr. ksf. She replied, “Oh no, the only thing I eat from now on is salads. I have to get thinner.” I told her she shouldn’t limit herself like that, and reminded her that I was never more than a size smaller than I am now when i was starving myself and/or throwing up all my food. “Oh, but you have to exercise too!” said my friend. When I told her “Yeah, I was spending a couple hours a day doing that too,” she answered, I swear to God, “Well you just have to find the right combination.”

  113. “Come on, Mara, you know the difference between permanent weight loss and temporary weight loss!”

    Well, I think I’m having a bit of a brain freeze about it, actually, at least as it pertains to me.

    I mean, yes, of course, there is a difference. But is that, in part, because the measures some of us would need to take in order to maintain a lower weight are extreme and unacceptable and unsustainable, and seriously hinder quality of life?

    I think I’m a bit of a babe in the woods about that, because I’ve never been on a diet. At least, not since I was about 16. I never put any energy into an effort to lose weight (though, I did feel plenty bad for not doing so).

    The other part of the story is, though, that for as long as I lived in my mother’s house (up till age 20), I was on a sort of permanent diet. She restricted food, and exerted enough mind control so that I restricted it too. I was never on a diet, but I was sort of permanently one one. And I was consistently about 125- 130 pounds. Then I moved out, got pregnant, gained weight, lost all the weight during the dying husband era.

    THEN, I relaxed, started eating as much as felt right to me (approximately twice what I was given while I was growing up), gained approximately 50 pounds in about a year, and have been stable at that weight ever since, am very happy,and have lost virtually all my bingey food behaviours. Well, except the ones I’m really fond of and keep going for pleasure purposes :)

    But, up until about a year ago, I didn’t know which was my ‘real’ weight. I thought that the weight gain, once I started relaxing and eating, was the thing that was “wrong”. Mind you, I never really tried to do anything about it, but I thought it was wrong, and temporary, and not really me.

    Maybe my confusion about temporary/permanent as it applies to me is because part of me is still convinced that if I went back to the starvation mode, I’d be a size 8 or whatever the heck I used to be. I’m not going to actually do it. It just floats in the background of my consciousness.

    Do I think that, for me, personally, if I started semi-starving and exercising obsessively again and just never stopped, would I be thinner permanently? Yes, I think I probably would be, if I did all of those things permanently. But that’s not the point. The point is, I would hate it. It’s not a thing I’m interested in doing. But I do think that I would be thinner. And I can only speak for my own body, not anyone else’s. And of course, it could all be a fantasy, though it’s not something I fantasize about, anymore, in any recognizable way.

    I just find it most fascinating how we’re all so different. It took me a lonnnnng time to realize that 130 probably is too low a weight for me. I mean, it doesn’t sound that low, and I’m not that tall or big boned, but, still, when I eat enough.. enough for ME, enough to satisfy me.. it means I leave that little number far behind. So, okay. My biggest problem with that, I think , was not finding enough clothes that I liked that would fit me. Now I know where to find them, so I’m good! It’s all good!

  114. “When I told her “Yeah, I was spending a couple hours a day doing that too,” she answered, I swear to God, “Well you just have to find the right combination.”

    WOW.

    It’s like the holy fucking grail.

  115. “Or Fannie May, even. (Growing up in Chicagoland, I was aware of Fannie May long before Fannie Mae, and I was deeply confused about the connection between delicious chocolates and housing for a long time.)”

    Me too! My aunt sent them every xmas! I am ashamed to tell you how old I was before I realized they were two different companies. I thought they just had a candy division and a financial division, like the Sheinhardt Wig Company or something.

  116. But is that, in part, because the measures some of us would need to take in order to maintain a lower weight are extreme and unacceptable and unsustainable, and seriously hinder quality of life?

    Yes, but also because your body would rebel. Your metabolism would slow and you’d have to eat less and less to compensate.

    So yeah, if you went back into starvation mode, you could probably get back down to 130, but after a while you’d have to either go into extra-starvation mode or the weight would “creep back on,” as dieters put it because they think fat is a ninja.

  117. “So yeah, if you went back into starvation mode, you could probably get back down to 130, but after a while you’d have to either go into extra-starvation mode or the weight would “creep back on,” as dieters put it because they think fat is a ninja.”

    Oh, right. I forgot about the EXTRA-starvation requirement.

    All those war/combat metaphors about fat make me so sad! I mean, I think the ninja comment is funny, but the concept is still sad.

  118. All those war/combat metaphors about fat make me so sad! I mean, I think the ninja comment is funny, but the concept is still sad.

    Lesley from Fatshionista made a comment about “violent fat imagery” the other day that blew my mind — blast the fat! Burn the fat! Fight the fat! etc. I’m really hoping she does a post about it.

  119. Okay, I didn’t check this thread for a few days, and upon coming back to it I had to google “coconut crab.”

    And now I have to wedge my amplitude behind the couch with a blankie over my head and hold reeeeaaaalll still in the hopes that one never finds me.

    Yes, being sedentary is bad for your health. But is it worse than being eaten by one of those creeping, clacking nightmares?

    Oh, and my kids had pretzels and cheese for dinner tonight. I had driven through a local Mexican joint on the way home from fencing class and ordered them black bean burritos, but I forgot to specify ONLY beans and cheese. When we got home, the kids wouldn’t touch them because (as the 3yo protested) OMG THEY’VE GOT SALAD IN THEM!

    At least they got a wholesome meal prepared at home rather that drive-thru, right?

  120. All those war/combat metaphors about fat make me so sad!

    It’s not just fat. Military metaphors are common throughout the language we use to discuss health and disease. We speak of the immune system as if it were an army, for instance, when it could just as easily be seen as janitorial services.

  121. Oh my dear god, I was looking for an online seller of those fat replicas, thinking that dressing one up in ninja clothes, among other outfits, would be a great art project (don’t anyone steal that idea from me!) and found THIS:

    http://www.enasco.com/product/WA25970HR

    Oh, the horror. Because we all know that being fat is just like having an ugly lobe of yellow plastic strapped to your belly. Yeah. That’s it.

  122. WTH? People REQUESTED that?

    Besides, it’s ridiculous. People don’t tend to gain 5lbs overnight, so your body has time to adjust. I don’t find walking to be any more or less difficult now than I did 5lbs ago! What hogwash!

    But re your art project – are you going to put these ninja-fats up for sale?

  123. WTH? People REQUESTED that?

    The amount of self-loathing wrapped up in that product makes me very sad.

    We speak of the immune system as if it were an army, for instance, when it could just as easily be seen as janitorial services.

    *blinks* *thinks about it* *mind is quietly blown*

  124. EVERY TIME YOU THINK FOR YOURSELF A COCONUT CRAB EATS A PUPPY

    Caitlin, this is pure genius. May I use it as a quote on my blog? I will give you full credit of course!

  125. I’m thinkin’ that Little Blob o’ Fat could be dressed in all KINDS of outfits, not just ninjas. And I guess I’m stealing the idea a little bit from “Fat! So?” that shows pictures of a similar fat replica traveling the world. But all art is theft anyway, so screw it.

    But seriously, when I pulled up the website that sells the fat replicas, Nasco, a home economics supply catalog, I was shocked to see that they now have a category of gastric bypass educational supplies. Previously I’d just been riveted by their food replicas that are used for nutritional education. But the weight loss angle that they seem to have taken on is alarming and kind of unexpected. What, the home economists are now marching against us too?

  126. “We speak of the immune system as if it were an army, for instance, when it could just as easily be seen as janitorial services.”

    This is hilarious. I picture the janitor from Scrubs, whose name IS Janitor, fighting the germs all around me.

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