Quote of the Day

We’ve gotten ourselves to the point where we’re behaviorally and neurochemically dependent upon food.

-MeMe Roth, during Nightline’s big fat debate

That’s right, you lazy gluttons! This is what your lack of respect for your bodies, the healthcare system, your fellow taxpayers and MeMe’s certificate from a degree mill have wrought.

We are now dependent on food.

It has gotten that bad, people.

I haven’t watched much of the debate, but kudos to The Rotund for getting in there! I don’t think I could have listened to MeMe say that (or anything else) in person without my eyes actually popping out of my head.

327 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. My mother and I watched that. It was terrible. The “well *I* am starving myself, so YOU should, pair basically shouted over anything the other two said. And the “fact checking” ::shudder:: They were directly comparing exceptionally limited mouse calorie restriction studies to longitudinal human metabolism studies (Which I only know because I’m familiar with the research) with no mention of sources, frequently blatantly ignoring newer studies.

    Oh yes, and society discriminates against thin people.

    ::sigh::

  2. I tried – I really did – to watch that debate. But I was looking through all the previews on abc.com and I didn’t make it past the point where Roth asked Marianne if she’d be willing to give up health care coverage for “obesity-correlated illnesses.” Because every time someone mistakes correlation for causation, I feel a little piece of me die.

    Also, because obesity doesn’t really cost society anything and because Roth and the rest of normal-BMI-having America (an endangered minority, duh) are free to opt out fatty-inflated health care premiums entirely. If they’re okay with not having health care.

    Even so, if we’re going down this road, may I be the first to suggest that Roth give up coverage of all exercise-related conditions and injuries? I’m tired of funding her over-indulgent lifestyle.

  3. You know, I was going to watch the debate. Now I’m not so sure.

    We’ve gotten ourselves to the point where we’re behaviorally and neurochemically dependent upon food.

    Um…duh? ‘Cause it’s kind of needed for this little thing we call being alive.

  4. I loved when Mememe says “its wrong to be sick”

    Thanks for that enlightening tidbit Meme. You’re so smart and helpful.

  5. I watched the whole thing, mainly because of my huge girl crush on both Renn and Kirby….

    I have to say, I had a very hard time with the “it’s not about the individual” BULL when they were asking Kirby even few minutes about her personal eating and health habits. I thought she and Renn did an admirable job of not tearing into Roth like they could have.

    Anyone else wish someone had screamed eugenics 101 at Roth about the smaller brains crap???

    And in honor of the gigundo SP thread on it, may I say MANSPLAININ LIKE WHOA. The white male CDC doc will put you ladies in your PLACE! With SCIENCE!

  6. We’ve only JUST gotten to the point where we’re behaviorally and neurochemically dependent on food? How on earth did we function before- change our batteries?

    It’s like an essay someone wrote last semester in my developmental psych class- “Men and women are quite different from one another. This has been true for at least the past hundred years.”

  7. My husband and his best friend paused their video game to ask what I was laughing at. Friend suggested that the next step would be weaning people off their debilitating oxygen addiction. Husband thought about it for a moment, then said, “Wait, this is that crazy woman again, isn’t it?”

    Ah, the joys of MeMe.

  8. I… just can’t watch this debate. I cannot subject myself to MeMe Roth, because that’s like self-flagellation. She is a cruel, judgmental, and probably very frightened person, and I do pity her fear, but I can’t listen to her talk, especially the hateful way she talks about her family. I’m sorry Crystal and Marianne, as much as I admire you both, but paying attention to MeMe is just encouraging her. It’s as if they Nadya Suleman to be on the View. Wait… what?

    OMG fuds. OMG I ate white rice today. WHITE rice, refined, like COCAINE.

  9. MeMe Roth is a genius. She should be awarded an honorary doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard Medical School. At the very least, the Haverford Dog Academy could award her an honorary degree to hang on her wall.

  10. Well, yeah, she is right, and also, once we get around the food problem, we are gonna deal with OXYGEN! It affects EVERYONE!.

    Jeez Louise.

  11. Well, Sweet Machine, I guess it’s better that White Rice kills me softly with its song than dragging me into the grave kicking and screaming. (Kickin’ article that one, btw. Don’t suffer broth.)

  12. White rice? Lightweight. I made risotto. With real butter and parmesan cheese. And a roasted chicken, with a lovely dijon balsamic sauce and fresh sweet red peppers and onions. And I’d do it again. Yes, I would. I eat food at least twice a day and I’m not ashamed of it. :)

  13. So in the wake of that stupid debate—

    I felt guilty about putting sugar in my coffee today. Oh, and about the grapefruit I ate. Annnnnd I felt so guilty about the (challah) white bread I am making that I added a cup of wheat flour to it. And I decided we shouldn’t buy soymilk anymore because it has added sugar.

    WHY DO I STILL THINK LIKE THIS?????

    Oh, how daily the battle with orthorexia is. Thank goodness I’m so bad at it.

  14. Oh gosh. Kudos to Renn, Kirby for their appearance.

    And I have tears in my eyes that MeMe is finally, FINALLY talking about our culture’s food addiction. I’ve been addicted to food for thirty three years, and can’t even go more than a few hours without a fix.

  15. I was reading that article and that quote was the part where I had to stop. I just…couldn’t. anymore. My brain stopped, and then spluttered, and then I realized I didn’t have the sanity watchers points to deal with thinking about it.

    I’m sure Marianne and Crystal Renn were kickass in the debate (which I couldn’t bring myself to watch), and I know Marianne said she was pleased with the article overall, but I think I’m neurochemically dependent on *not* exposing myself to the words of MeMe Roth.

    I almost can’t blame her for not making sense though, since if I don’t eat every three hours or so during the day I very quickly lose the capacity for rational thought and the ability to relate to other human beings in a sympathetic way. I can only imagine what it would be like to spend years of my life unable to think clearly because of hunger.

  16. Thanks gods I’m neurochemically dependent on food or else I’d be FUCKING DEAD. Also, I like a functioning brain and organs. Just me. Apparently not MeMe. Fucking zombie skinjob.

  17. @ chava – I’m still like that once in a while, it’s a very hard cycle to break. But, luckily, I am always persuaded by logic, so popsci facts don’t bother me as much anymore. And a cup of tea without 6 lumps of sugar? Desi + bereaved = needs sugar in tea.

    @ buttercup – You know, leftover risotto is just as good as when it’s first made, but it does take up space in the frige, those tupperwares…

  18. I just shared that QotD with my totally-not-on-the-FA-bandwagon BFF, and we sat here and laughed until we cried.

    Thanks for that.

  19. But how does she get her nutrients? You know, the nutrients us hideously “dependent” folks get from food. Does she measure it out by the teaspoon in order to avoid whatever she thinks constitutes overeating? Or does she take stacks of supplements?

    I’d usually say that someone else’s eating habits are not my concern, but Ms Roth’s statement has piqued my curiosity.

  20. Yeah, Crystal and Marianne were pretty awesome in that debate, but that could not entirely cancel out the fail that was MeMeMeMeMe. Her closing remarks included the statement (and I’m paraphrasing) “If we’re going to end the obesity problem we have to start by focusing on children in the pre-pregnancy to five years old bracket.”

    Um, setting aside the issues with putting a five year old on a diet… PRE-PREGNANCY? Has the epidemic gotten so bad that people are fat BEFORE THEY EXIST? Too much fat accumulating in women’s egg cells or something?!

    I knew MeMe was nuts and all but she honestly terrifies me.

  21. It’s hard, because obviously, that woman is nuts about TEH EVAL FATTZ and all, but what about those of us who are dealing with food addiction? How do we, as FA advocates, deal with the fact that some of us are using food in a dangerous way, hurting ourselves with it? I’ve struggled with compulsive eating and bulimia my whole life, and while finding FA has helped me to let go of the fantasy of being thin, it’s not done a thing for my eating disorder. It’s a struggle, to expose the insanity of a comment like that while also remembering not to ridicule or erase those of us who are suffering from food addiction and other disordered eating.

  22. Chris, that closing quote scares the bejesus out of me. Is she hoping that people start to reconsider their babymaking plans if they don’t have “desirable” genes, or are not at their “ideal”* weight? Yikes. Please no-one give her a government consultation role. Please.

    *The Rothian “ideal”. I think we all have a fair idea of what that is. *shudder*

  23. MeMe Roth pretty much advocates eating disorders; she just won’t say it (like she won’t actually say she doesn’t eat, but she won’t admit to allowing any food past her lips, either). I’d ignore her if it weren’t for the fact that bafflingly, some people actually seem to listen to her.

    Personally, I am also physically and neurochemically dependent on “air” and “sleep”, as well as “water”. Should I try to cut those out, too? I’m pretty sure cutting back on “air” would kill me the fastest.

  24. Kristin, I do not have an eating disorder and have a healthy relationship with food (as far as I can tell), so I’m both interested in your point, and double-ignorant as to how to approach this kind of thing.

    One thing I currently believe: putting MORE pressure on people – as Roth advocates and does herself – to obsess about calories / exercise / intake / “ideal” weight (with no respect to individual factors, shapes, genetics, proclivities!) absolutely CANNOT be a good way to help those with eating disorders.

  25. I dunno.. she may be right. I had an 11 am meeting run two and a half hours today, and by the end, all I could think about was lunch. I was having actual physical reactions, almost as if I was in withdrawal! As soon as the meeting was done, I practically ran out the door to go get food! I think I may be addicted.

  26. Perla, that’s the only possible interpretation I can imagine for “pre-pregnancy”, unless she just misspoke (word choice isn’t important in the closing statements of a debate anyway, amirite?) in which case she’s still advocating shaming toddlers based on their weight. There isn’t any chance she could ever have any influence in the government… right…?

  27. Marianne and Crystal rock. I will watch the whole thing later but I love those two ladies. I wish I could share my yummy chocolate covered raisins and almonds with them.

  28. I think the pre-pregnancy comment was directed at some of the new “advice” telling women to diet before and WHILE pregnant. Scary stuff.

  29. My guess for the pre-pregnancy thing is that she thinks women should never be fat, lest their babies also be fat. Because weight obviously has nothing to with genetics, nothing at all. Of course this is doubly gross because it ties into the medical establishment’s notion that all women are to be treated as pre-pregnant. I can’t wait for Utah to classify being female and pre-menopausal as homicide.

  30. You know what, in an unintentional way, MeMe makes a point. In the HOW DO WE CURE THE DEATHFATZ?!?!?! debate, it is sometimes forgotten that actually yeah, like all human beings, fat people are in fact dependent on food FOR SURVIVAL.

    Thanks, MeMe, for reminding everyone that people need food.

  31. Reminds me of the old Ralley’s commercials. “You gotta eat. Who do you think you are? Ypou won’t get far unless you eat.”

  32. According to Meme, I’m in serious trouble. Not only did I eat food today, I ate multiple meals! Even worse, the meals contained carbohydrates! I’m clearly an addict, relying on food to assuage my neurochemical dependence!

    That was a lot of exclamation points.

    The pre-pregnancy thing scares the crap out of me. As Perla pointed out, does that mean that women who don’t fit the “acceptable mold” are being told not get pregnant until they do? Hoping it was just a mis-speak, but still…

  33. I didn’t attend in person because I seriously doubt my ability to keep form heckling Meme. But I did watch the whole thing online and cheered Marianne and yelled at the computer screen. Marianne is a rock star for handling all that as calmly as she did.

    Sometimes it’s just so embarrassing to be a human being–we just had a televised debate over whether or not it’s OK that Marianne’s body (and by extension the rest of our bodies) is the way it is.

  34. @SansNoblesse: The extent to which food is treated in some quarters as simply something that ruins your chance of canonisation is terrifying. Ms Roth just boiled it down rather nicely.

  35. Could we get MeMe to revise Naked Lunch to be about this much more widespread addiction?

    “But how does she get her nutrients?”

    Spoken like a true junkie, Perla – she isn’t addicted to nutrients!

  36. This past weekend I was having tea with two older ladies, and one of them commented that she “shouldn’t” have a blueberry scone because of “the calories.” I said rather plainly, “Without calories, you would die.” They both looked at me, kind of astonished, then they started laughing. She ordered the scone, and ate the whole thing, and said, “That was a good idea to order the scone.”

  37. OK: I can’t believe I clicked on this, but for your edification:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/05/prweb525442.htm

    Top 10 Ways to Cut Obesity By 50% and Avert the Next French Fry Generation:
    (from the forthcoming “NAAO Obesity Action Plan to Cut Obesity By 50%”)

    1-Do Not Become a Parent Until or Unless Your Own Body is Healthy;
    2-Breastfeed Your Child Exclusively for 6 Months;
    3-Introduce Your Child to Fresh Veggies Early and Over and Over;
    4-Make “Treat” Mean Fresh Fruit or Something “To Do” Not “To Eat;”
    5-Never Give Your Child Soda. Not Once. Not Ever. Never;
    6-Teach Your Child to Drink Only Water or Skim Milk;
    7-Don’t Use Food as a Bribe, Reward or the Focus of Any Event;
    8-Hook Your Child on Whole Food Not Junk Food: No Chemicals, No Trans Fat, No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Artificial Flavors or Colors, No MSG, No Antibiotics, No Synthetic Hormones, No Nitrates/Nitrites, No Acrylamides. Yes Whole Grains. Yes Lean Protein. Yes Fresh Fruit. Yes Fresh Veggies;
    9-Don’t Order Off the Kiddie Menu–It’s All Fried w/ a Fried Side of Fried; and
    10-Don’t Eat Like Your Friends. Instead, Make Nutrition Your Family’s New Normal.

    Bonus: Ensure Your Child Plays/Exercises/Moves Vigorously 1-Hour Everyday.

    ——————-
    So that’s the “pre-pregnancy” Q cleared up.

  38. @chava – that list is pretty awful. Just say no to orange juice and never have a family BBQ? Riiiiight, that’s healthy living.

    Though for some reason this part, “Breastfeed Your Child Exclusively for 6 Months”, made me wonder what she has against wet nurses. Then I realized it was of course mommy-shaming.

  39. I watched this while eating an entire pint of B&J New York Super Fudge Chunk. I’m so ashamed of my addiction.

    P.S., I love Marianne and Crystal even more now.

  40. It’s true. I am totally dependent on food. Sometimes I think I’d just DIE without it. *sniffle*

    Get the most horrible withdrawal symptoms every time I try to give it up, too. :(

  41. 6-Teach Your Child to Drink Only Water or Skim Milk;

    Wait, what the hell? Everything else I have ever heard ever about children’s nutrition requirements has specifically said NOT to give children skimmed milk as a main drink, because it doesn’t contain enough vitamin A or enough calories. Don’t under-5s need calories and fat and nutrients for, you know, growing and stuff?

    I’m a bit weirded out by the rest of that list too – no fruit juice? Fresh fruit only as a “treat”? Wtf? – but the ‘OMG FEED BABIES ONLY SKIMMED MILK’ thing really jumped out at me as, well, wrong. I could be remembering wrong, but I was pretty sure that giving kids only water and skimmed milk to drink is not the greatest idea ever.

  42. Is she hoping that people start to reconsider their babymaking plans if they don’t have “desirable” genes, or are not at their “ideal”* weight?

    Sadly, on that particular wish, she’s not even remotely extreme.

  43. I couldn’t watch. There aren’t enough Sanity Watchers Points in the world for me to do it.

    Reading the article, and watching the snippets I could stand, did make me think about truth, and paradigm. Hanging out here at SP, and in other FA places, I’ve started to think that OF COURSE it’s obvious that Death Fatz is horseshit, and that it’s normal to eat what you want when you want, and that obviously the studies that show that thin =/= healthy are true. It’s easy to forget that for a whole lot of folks all those things that seem pretty self-apparent to me now are completely absurd, because OF COURSE fat is evil and unhealthy. After all, people on tv say so, loudly and often.

    On a related note, today at work my boss and a customer were comparing their respective diets and workouts. It’s a normal topic of conversation. I realized that while I’m doing just fine with the eating what I want parts of FA, I’m really struggling with the social aspects. The weight loss talk is normalized, especially as part of female culture. Trying to tell a different conversational story makes me feel like I’m trying to play a waltz with a salsa band.

  44. @Leucrocuta what I’ve read is that kids need the fat in whole milk to properly grow the linings of their neurons or some other brain thing.

    So training your kid to drink only skim milk and water harms their brain development so that they never think for themselves and eat however MeMe says they should. Or something.

  45. I would never give my kid skim milk. She doesn’t drink cow’s milk anyway, but putting her on skim milk doesn’t serve any purpose. Little kids need the fat.

    But I don’t give fruit juice except very occasionally. That’s not for fear of her getting fat, but because it’s so sweet, it messes with blood sugar. Also, if you give kids juice all the time, they won’t drink water, and I think it’s important to learn to drink water.

    I just really hate how healthy behaviors are twisted into HOW NOT TO GET FAT behaviors, and body and self shaming behaviors. As if not being fat should be your primary concern in life. Give me a break.

  46. Everytime I see MeMe Roth’s name, my head goes straight to internet memes. Today, I think the most applicable is “OMGWTFBBQ.” Because A) a simple head desk is not enough and B) the BBQ adds an extra twist.
    Foolish, foolish woman.

  47. @hsofia who said “I just really hate how healthy behaviors are twisted into HOW NOT TO GET FAT behaviors, and body and self shaming behaviors. As if not being fat should be your primary concern in life. Give me a break.”

    Yes. I hate that too. I love exercise for so many reasons; mental health, well being, joy… but not for weight loss and I love salad (especially beetroot, oh *sigh* beetroot… you wonderful vegetable…) and it’s always so sad to me when I’ve just finished an hour of swimming and I’m tucking into some kind of giant salad at the pool cafe (I have them trained so they understand my special relationship to beetroot) and one of the group of ladies who go on the Pool Bus with me will invariably make some kind of comment about me being “good” with my exercise and my salad, you know, and decide that I must need a comment about how I’m obviously losing weight. Because losing weight = GOOD, and obviously what with the exercise and salad business… I must be trying to lose weight.
    It takes all the joy out of it for me, for just a moment, you know? I just want to weep because of this hideous confusion and conflation and because it leads to me having yet another one of those conversations… and probably hurting someone’s feelings when they were only trying to be nice.
    I don’t know why it has become acceptable to comment on physical appearance like this.
    It wasn’t always okay, I don’t think. I think that’s pretty new. For my little subculture anyway.

    Oh dear, I have rambled.

  48. Okay, let’s pretend I did want to jettison some poundage (I don’t) do I have to hide in my house with garbage bags on my windows until I’m suitable in MeMe’s eyes? These chowderheads never seem to tell me what I’m supposed to be doing while I’m waiting to be deemed acceptable.

  49. I don’t even know exactly how Sanity Watchers works, but I already know I don’t have enough points to watch the Meme trainwreck.

    And hsofia, I’m with you. I prefer brown rice because I like the taste, and because I feel sluggish after eating pasta or white rice. I prefer whole wheat for the taste as well. And I eat fruit because, damn, fruit tastes good! Oh, and I love to ride my bike, which is exercise, but it’s also really fun. I am so tired of people commenting about how ‘good’ I am for my food and exercise choices. It makes me stabby.

    Can’t people understand the idea of a self-directed life – food eaten out of personal preference, activity undertaken for personal enjoyment? Or is self-direction not for the wimminz?

  50. Lovely Lentilla – jinx. And I love beetroot too – aka beets. Have you tried them sliced thin and roasted in the oven with olive oil and seasalt?

  51. Beets. They are one of those foods I didn’t understand the goodness of until adulthood. Like yams. and squash. Hated them as a kid, and now they are delicious.

    Take slice of beetroot and a ‘medallion’ of lamb, and wrap that up in a beet leaf with a big smear of pesto. Pin it shut with a toothpick and grill it. Also very nice with potato, squash, tomato slices, whatever, and a kale or a collard leaf, or any green leaf that’s pretty touch and won’t wither away to nothing on grill.

  52. I think the only thing I hate more than unsolicited calorie-cutting advice shoved onto fat people is unsolicited calorie-cutting advice shoved onto ALL people. If someone is 100 pounds and is “dependent on food” and drinks orange juice… are they still a sinner? Does someone who hasn’t gained weight since they finished growing still need to cut back on calories every chance they get? Do skinny kids need to be denied pleasurable foods?

    Even if you believe that some people need to lose weight, you’re way far out into crazyland when you start implying that EVERYONE needs to lose weight.

  53. I got so much fat hate while pregnant it made me sick. Not from my ob. (he never weighed me) but from randoms and friends and coworkers and family. Even now I get ‘congratulations’ and ‘you must be so happy’ because I weight a shitload less than before I got pregnant (thanks morning sickness/shitty gallbladder/breastfeeding) – never mind anything else. I must be SO HAPPY that pregnancy made me sick enough that I only gained weight the last three weeks and all of that (plus more, oddly enough since I only gained what my daughter weighted) was lost once I gave birth.

    Even though research isn’t supporting the constant weighing of pregnant women and the absurd focus on weight. Even though you need the extra fat.

    (and the first person who suggests I feed my fat baby skim milk is going to get such a bollocking)

  54. I… wow. Talk about a bizarro world relationship towards food. Turn that statement on its head – We’ve gotten to the point where we treat one entire class of substances we need to live as poison or drugs, only to be administered with the strictest controls – and you’ve really got something applicable to this world.

    8-Hook Your Child on Whole Food Not Junk Food: No Chemicals

    The entire list is loopy but this – ARGH. EVERYTHING IS MADE OF CHEMICALS. Good Dog but does this kind of crap make me want to throw science books at people’s heads.

  55. @jenniferal who said;

    Lovely Lentilla – jinx. And I love beetroot too – aka beets. Have you tried them sliced thin and roasted in the oven with olive oil and seasalt?

    You know those slivers of potato that come out very crispy in nice little packets handy for munching on? (Don’t tell MeMe.)

    Here (my house, Australia) we call them ‘chips'; even though that’s the same word we use for what Shapelings call “fries”; but some Shapelings might know them as “crisps”.

    They are a crunchy snack food, not generally made of beetroot…however… as you are obviously aware … they CAN be made of beetroot. I have made them at home with olive oil and served them with a dish of yogurt sprinkled with fresh cracked black pepper. Mmmmm…

    I like your name Jenniferal… it reminds me of a very silly song called something like “Since Cheryl went Feral” and there’s a Barbie (sorry, I mean an Anti-Barbie) as well…

    http://www.feralcheryl.com.au/#who

    Note: All Lovely Lentilla comments come with Maximum Tangent Warning.

  56. @ Grafton

    YUMMMmmmm. And maybe a vegetarian version of that with mushroom instead of lamb… now I’m getting pretty hungry. I might have to go and feed my addiction. (Don’t tell MeMe…)

  57. Take that beetroot and mushroom and/or lamb and add some goat’s cheese, or as I did recently, fetta marinated in olive oil and sumac. OMNOMNOMNOM.

    Oh, sorry, I’m enabling, aren’t I? I am an addict; I ate food five times today. And I’m about to eat some more – these seedless black grapes are just divine. It’s just exactly like crack.

  58. Mmm. Now that’s a thought. Yeah. I totally want a portobello one. Or one with lamb and two with mushroom. They’re little, to cook the meat through before the leaf burns, because that would leak the pesto out and be tragic, tragic, tragic.

    And yes, don’t tell MeMe, because I might hurt anybody who tries to stage an intervention between me and pesto.

  59. MeMe Roth’s pre-pregnancy crazy talk reminded me of what she said about her children in the infamous Guardian piece in which she compares eating to rape:

    [Roth] wonders who Mason, 10, and Julia, seven, “will partner with. It scares me. And it’s Darwinian. This isn’t just my opinion: males with obesity have lower sperm counts and sperm motility; females have higher rates of infertility, higher rates of pregnancy complication and a higher rate of birth defects. So don’t listen to me, listen to Darwin!

    That rings some eugenics alarm bells like woah, doesn’t it?

  60. I have two points to make, one true, and one a scientific fact. First the true bit.

    1. I have already eaten food today, and may even do it again later – the inhumanity! Just to make matters worse, the food I ate was WHITE food – and I added sugar to my tea. I am clearly hellbent on self destruction and should be removed from society before I undermine it further… Which leads me on to point two.

    2. My second point is an actual scientific fact – I made it up myself, so I know it has a solid factual foundation. MeMe Roth should be listened to and observed carefully, because she is not of our world. She exists in apparent human form, but underneath the smooth veneer is part of an alien force designed to weaken us until we can be overtaken. She and her alien forces may one day be our Galactic Overlords, so I ask you to please defy her by eating as many donuts as you see fit. This is no laughing matter – she is part of a Hivoid race that are currently largely dormant, although mostly employed in fashion. They wish for us to starve and be unable to breed, so they may swoop in and undermine our humanity. I ask you to raise your fork and fight – your world needs you. Each time you are made to feel guilty about food, remember the alien superower truth behind it – if you don’t eat chocolate, you may well one day be forced to be a Galactic Overlord’s pet bitch, and trust me, you don’t even want to know what that involves.

  61. We’ve gotten ourselves to the point where we’re behaviorally and neurochemically dependent upon food.

    Has anyone explained to Ms Roth about the main differences between animals and plants? Or does the woman photosynthesise to obtain her nutrition?

    Actually, MeMe Roth would seem a lot more reasonable (in the sense of appearing to be reasonable at all) if it turned out she was some kind of mobile mushroom, or a virulent orchid or something like that.

  62. I forgot to add – and here is the killer clue to my alien theory:
    MeMe Roth’s name is an anagram of “My Forces will Destroy your World.”
    Well, it is if you just take away a few letters and add a couple. How devious.

  63. I am quite sure I saw a Kate’s-Friend-Joy video about this. But I can’t remember her surname, so I can’t look it up.

    I give my kids rice milk, breast milk, water and juice to drink. There’s not much out there sweeter than breastmilk. And it’s fairly high fat too. Can’t imagine why they’re in favour of it, they’re being very inconsistent.

  64. That quote alone makes me glad I decided to not watch last night. I’m fairly certain that I would’ve gone right over that edge I’ve been dangling from for the last few months.

    On the pregnancy thing: When I got pregnant with my first child I was seriously underweight, as I had been in the depths of a serious eating disorder for a long, long time and when I started to gain weight rapidly instead of celebrating that my body was getting healthy, my doctors were all freaking out and constantly reminding me that I was certainly going to have an unhealthy baby if I continued to gain like that. My baby showed up in the world perfectly healthy and my pregnancy was completely uncomplicated. That was my first lesson in doctors don’t have a clue.

  65. Ailbhe: do you mean Joy Nash of Fat Rant fame?

    Definitely all the advice for small children is that they should be given full fat versions of dairy produce (yogurts and cheese as well as milk) because they need the fat. Also there’ve been some concerns about nurseries giving toddlers a diet which is bad for them in a mistaken attempt to apply the same “rules” that apply to adults: far more fruit and veg than they can digest and not enough total calories or fat. It’s scary.

  66. Oh god, oh god. I just ate food. Chocolate, actually. And I LIKED it!! And crap! I’m drinking coffee too. ARE WE NEUROCHEMICALLY DEPENDENT ON LIQUIDS TOO??? Panic!

    In other news, I can’t believe someone actually said that! Uhhhh, live much? Of course we’re dependent on food, dumbass. I can’t wait to tell my RD about this.

  67. How do we, as FA advocates, deal with the fact that some of us are using food in a dangerous way, hurting ourselves with it? I’ve struggled with compulsive eating and bulimia my whole life, and while finding FA has helped me to let go of the fantasy of being thin, it’s not done a thing for my eating disorder.

    Realistically, fat acceptance is not meant to fix eating disorders.

    Fat acceptance is focused on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. I’m not aware of any research showing that CBT works well on anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Really, we don’t have anything in the way of treatment that works “well”, where there are no relapses for 7 years in a majority of the patients.

    I’m not saying you’re not worth helping. I’m not saying “OMG, you are DOOMED”. But we don’t have a scientific or social basis for treatment… which means that your best bet for saving yourself is… you. You’re the one who lives in your body, and you have the best understanding of it. It’s giving you really confusing signals, which isn’t helping. But there is no telepathy, and beyond the basics of “you need to eat”, the rest of us will be pretty helpless here. Like a lot of problems, strangers on the internet are not much help.

    Eating disorders are a very tough problem medically. They’re all about the mind/body link, and the American medical profession hates dealing with that. There are a few researchers in eating disorders who seem to have a better treatment rate. Seeking one of them out might give you a better toolbox for fighting.

  68. Is this the part where I tearfully confess to being dependent upon air and water as well? WHERE DID MY PARENTS GO WRONG?!?!

  69. I didn’t watch the show, but I watched the less-edited footage of the debate on Nightline’s website and in addition to Crystal Renn and Marianne Kirby making some great points, the audience seemed really on board with FA. They asked some awesome questions, such as a man who asked what people should do to lose weight given that 95% of diets fail. The pro-diet’s side answer was basically “try harder” and it came off as a quite ridiculous statement. But it was astounding to me how the anti-fat side really seemed to believe that saying it’s okay to be fat is the same as saying eating nothing but fast food and lazing around are healthy, and that got totally rebutted. Oh and one of the FA panelists called out the complete ridiculousness of MeMe Roth’s “dependence on food” statement! I hope that made it to air as well.

  70. Eleanor Blair: YES! And definitely not Joy Green, who has no relationship with Joy Nash at all as far as I know. Thank you!

    As we are dairy-intolerant, getting enough fat into my children has long been my biggest nutritional issue. They have pretty much unrestricted access to food, so when I see them eating butter-substitute spread from the tub, or mayonnaise from the jar, I know it’s time to check that we’re remembering to add olive oil to everything. Actually, getting enough fat myself, when pregnant and breastfeeding, isn’t always as easy as I had assumed it was. I can well believe “health conscious” nurseries are not getting that bit right.

  71. Every time I’ve talked about the foods kids need and/or seek out naturally, I’ve been told I’m advocating feeding them unlimited chocolate bars and ice cream. It gets really discouraging after a while :( Oh, who am I kidding, after the first time you’re told to feed toddlers brown rice they can’t digest and deny them the calories they need to, you know, grow :(

    My first step on the FA journey was nannying for a toddler who had suffered from a seizure disorder since birth and was four months into recovering from brain surgery. The illness and surgery left her very behind not only in self-feeding but in just eating or drinking at all. Over time her parents and I were trying to introduce her to food and liquids; all this while she was going to a feeding program at a local university (programs devoted to getting ENOUGH food, not less!). For many months the only foods she would accept were chocolate milk (made with whole milk; she refused skim), avocadoes (the fat, oh dear!), and strawberries (the sugar, oh god no!), and we all gave her as much of these things as we could get hold of and she had patience for. It was like–revolutionary idea ahead, hold on to your butts–she knew what her body needed! :O It was a privilege and a wake-up call to see that. To watch as she figured out the whole what-goes-in-mouths thing and discovered what she liked and tolerated and hated and really, really fucking needed.

    And, hey, whaddaya know, despite her parents pushing all that evil sugar and fat in the beginning, she now eats a balanced diet and is growing at “normal” (lol loaded concept, I know) rates! In fact she has hit the same milestones her parents and older siblings were attaining at that age, and will probably end up just as thin-to-average as they are! It’s almost like genetics are involved, or something!

  72. Re: Meme’s rules of parenting. The funny thing is that these rules describe the hippie vegetarian health-conscious family I grew up in perfectly. And I’m STILL FAT. It’s almost like my body was meant to be this weight, isn’t it?

    Top 10 Ways to Cut Obesity By 50% and Avert the Next French Fry Generation:
    (from the forthcoming “NAAO Obesity Action Plan to Cut Obesity By 50%”)

    1-Do Not Become a Parent Until or Unless Your Own Body is Healthy;
    2-Breastfeed Your Child Exclusively for 6 Months;
    3-Introduce Your Child to Fresh Veggies Early and Over and Over;
    4-Make “Treat” Mean Fresh Fruit or Something “To Do” Not “To Eat;”
    5-Never Give Your Child Soda. Not Once. Not Ever. Never;
    6-Teach Your Child to Drink Only Water or Skim Milk;
    7-Don’t Use Food as a Bribe, Reward or the Focus of Any Event;
    8-Hook Your Child on Whole Food Not Junk Food: No Chemicals, No Trans Fat, No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Artificial Flavors or Colors, No MSG, No Antibiotics, No Synthetic Hormones, No Nitrates/Nitrites, No Acrylamides. Yes Whole Grains. Yes Lean Protein. Yes Fresh Fruit. Yes Fresh Veggies;
    9-Don’t Order Off the Kiddie Menu–It’s All Fried w/ a Fried Side of Fried; and
    10-Don’t Eat Like Your Friends. Instead, Make Nutrition Your Family’s New Normal.

    Bonus: Ensure Your Child Plays/Exercises/Moves Vigorously 1-Hour Everyday.

  73. Wow. I have sunk to the deepest depths. I eat food daily. I eat it at work. I eat it at home, in front of my children, and I let them eat it too.

    In fact, just yesterday, my preschooler was describing his plan to bend his classmates to his will (it involved a special snack just for the people who listened to him), and I said, “Well, honey, we don’t give snacks to people because they do what we want. We give them snacks because they’re hungry.” Luckily, he rejected the food-for-the-hungry theory, but what if a couple of decades of living with Mommy’s crazy notions eventually warps him?

    Maybe if I called MeMe Roth she could take him away from me.

  74. I found this painful to watch–and it was largely because MeMe and company were so often allowed to set the terms. When this madwoman asked if Kirby was willing to forego insurance payouts for “diseases correlated with obesity”, why didn’t she respond, “Absolutely not, for three reasons: one, because I have no disesases caused by my obesity, two, because correlation is not causality–that is, you can’t prove that obesity invariably causes disesases, even though it’s correlated with some–and three, my obesity has not proven to be within my personal control, and you would be denying me health care for something I have not been able to change despite very diligent dieting. But I know you don’t agree about that, so let me ask you something in return: would you be willing to forego insurance payments for diseases correlated to your thinness or your disordered eating? Would you want to refuse payouts to care for people with anorexia?”

    But instead there was this awkward pause, this allowing MeMe’s assertions to stand, this elision around the question. We can’t win this debate without refusing–explicitly refusing–to accept the crappy assumptions. When evil, crazy MeMe starts in about not believing that fat’s not totally within individual control, Kirby and Renn could’ve had index cards with the names of studies indicating just that, and point out that her beliefs are not proof of anything. MeMe, dang her, came prepared–crazy-prepared, of course, but prepared. Why can’t we?

    Also, there’s presentation. Even though I like Kirby’s sense of fashion overall, there’s MeMe looking all professional and pseudo-scientific in her suit and glasses; and anyone could’ve seen that coming. This would’ve been a good time for our advocates to play that same game. Yes, suits are boring…but they also convince people that the wearers are serious, reliable witnesses who know their stuff. And why did Kirby begin so many statements with a rising-inflected “well…” plus a giggle? She might as well have said, “Don’t take me seriously”…and based on her very strong blog, I know that was not what she wanted. Kudos to Renn and Kirby for going there and doing this, which must’ve been harrowing as hell….but I was really hoping for a few more right hooks, of all kinds. I feel very regretful that I didn’t see them.

  75. 2-Breastfeed Your Child Exclusively for 6 Months;

    I don’t know if this is supposed to make kids thinner or the mother, but it’s a myth that breastfeeding makes new moms lose weight faster.

    8-Hook Your Child on Whole Food Not Junk Food: No Chemicals

    “No chemicals” literally excludes every substance in the universe. That means no water and no air. I hate it when people have such a basic lack of science knowledge that they assume you can judge the health of a substance based on a long or complicated name for it.

  76. *stands up and coughs*
    Hi I’m Kay I’ve been dependent on food all my life…. Its made me strong and fit, but i want to reject that now because i don’t want to be dependent on something so vital and delicious and… is that a donut???”

    I’ll watch the debate in a bit… just gotta reheat that pizza and be lazy…

  77. Joy Nash’s FatRant 2: Confessions of the Compulsive deals in a sensitive, sympathetic way with the devestating problems of food and oxygen dependency. There might just be a little sledgehammer sarcasm in there, too . . .

    It’s on Youtube, as are all of Joy’s other FatRants. I love Joy!

  78. Even so, if we’re going down this road, may I be the first to suggest that Roth give up coverage of all exercise-related conditions and injuries? I’m tired of funding her over-indulgent lifestyle.

    You don’t even have to go that far. Even dieting in a “healthy” way is risky. Before I became interested in FA, I went on a weight-loss diet. I was “obese”, but the health problems I had were unrelated to my weight. I felt good about my appearance, but I still bought into the fat-is-unhealthy myth. So I lost 50 pounds, and then I developed several health problems. I developed gallstones and needed surgery to remove my gallbladder. Surgery is pretty darn expensive for insurance companies. On top of that, none of the doctors were even surprised by this side-effect. Apparently, it’s a well-known fact in the medical industry that weight loss causes problems, but no one ever told me about these risks. The news reports constantly about the supposed risks of being fat, but they never ever warn about the dangers of losing weight. I never cost the health care industry anything by being fat, but I cost them a ton of money by losing weight, even in a “healthy” way.

  79. @Aurora Erratic

    Withdrawal from dihydrogen monoxide is invariably fatal! Better never to get addicted in the first place, right?

    I must confess: last night, I sauteed some broccoli rabe with shallots and butter… and then I ate it. I even wished there were more! Oh, the shame!

  80. if she’d be willing to give up health care coverage for “obesity-correlated illnesses.”

    Is she willing to deny insurance coverage for homosexual activity-correlated illnesses. For alcohol-related illnesses. For drug-addiction related illnesses. For sharing needles and razors-related illnesses.

    You know – other lifestyle choices.

  81. Yeah, the whole ‘the calories, oh noes!’ thing is a bit weird. I once spent more than an hour explaining to my best friend that calories are just units of energy and not a ‘thing’ as such, like say, proteins. It’s not that the concept of a standard measurement for energy was particularly hard to understand for her, it’s more that our media, including the self-proclaimed experts and dietists,self-help style books etc. all talk about calories as something nasty and potentially hurtful that shouldn’t be allowed into our bodies without it being absolutely neccesary.

    I’m recalling an example from a post here on SP – something about a “Weight Watcher’s diet tip” that you need to drink a lot of water to flush out the calories. Or something. Because…yeah.

  82. “No Acrylamides”

    So… no potatoes at all, ever? They do naturally have acrylamides in them you know, MeMe.

    And your organic no pesticide fruits? ::whispers:: They have *sugar* in them… and they’re made out of… CHEMICALS!

    Did anyone else gag when she said she runs 4 miles a day and eats 1200 calories? Now, I’m all for eating what your body needs (I have friends who can’t maintain muscle mass on less than 4k a day) but that’s a lot of exercise and an awful little amount of fuel.

    Finally, I kept yelling at the screen, “Do you realize you could be more at risk for fat related illness than those fatty mcfattersons you’re mocking? Visceral fat is what kills you, Meme, and your exercising may not have any effect on it. You could die tomorrow of a ‘fat related illness’ because of fat around your heart or liver, while those ‘fat people’ could live to a hundred because their fat is subcutaneous.”

  83. With regards to pre-pregnancy – I am so glad someone is looking out for the next generation. I ate food all through my pregnancy and my beautiful little girl was born already addicted to food. She would cry and cry until I fed her – even in the middle of the night! I’m even nursing her right now while I type this! Because of the food I chose to eat she will live her whole life needing food as well. Thank goodness someone is bringing this to light.

  84. Cat — as someone who’s been asked to do similar things and has been on TV waving the fat flag, here’s what I think: Sure, in an ideal world, no one would ever freeze or giggle or stumble when put on the spot. In the real world, people do. None of the people representing FA to the media are perfect, because we’re fucking human. And we never know exactly what they’re going to throw at us — especially someone as out-there as MeMe — and if we had to shuffle through index cards every time she spoke, we’d be criticized for THAT.

    I’ve been asked to debate MeMe several times and have always refused, btw — I’m personally not interested in perpetuating the fiction that she’s someone to be taken seriously, and I don’t want to risk my eyes popping out of my head, as I mentioned. But since the media loooooves her, and holding a “debate” between her and an FA advocate is often the only way our perspective can get on TV, I am fucking grateful to all the people — Marianne, Crystal, Rachel, Mo, Joy — who have taken that bullet. And I am certainly not going to sit here and slam them for what they didn’t say in the moment, or what they wore while they were out there making themselves incredibly vulnerable in an effort to make things better for fat people. I’d really appreciate it if no one else did that here, either.

  85. Kristin,
    have you read any of the literature out there on intuitive eating? You probably have, but if you haven’t there are a couple of books on Amazon that specificly target intuitive eating towards individuals with binge eating disorders and other issues. Those might be more helpful to you than just general fat acceptance stuff. (Or not, I don’t know, just thought I’d mention them.)

    Cat,
    If you think you can do better, then write your own book and do it yourself. I mean I get your frustration, I share it, she handled things very differently from how I (or apparently you) would have, and I have only watched some clips because I end up yelling at my TV which is a risk factor for breaking things. But TheRotund is not us and she made some good points in her own style (“I have legs and hips, it’s very exciting!” LOLS). And ultimately I think the difference in style may even be good for FA. Who wants to be a hungry bitch in an ugly suit?

  86. I know damn well if I had to go face-to-face with Meme Roth, I’d last about 30 seconds before using the word “fuck” and “off” repeatedly in her direction. I give anyone who has dealt with her major points simply for being able to remain civil because I know I wouldn’t be able to do it.

  87. First kudos to the brave folks who went out there and jousted with MeMe. There aren’t enough sanity watchers points on earth to put me in a room with her without popping a vein in my head.

    Secondly, can I just 3rd (4th??) the stabby feeling when people assume that when they see me doing things I like to do or eating things I like to eat it must be because I’m on some sort of weight loss program? It’s at the point where I absolutely despise ordering a salad in public, even if it’s what I really really want, because I hate hate hate the reactions. Look, I don’t like salad dressing, OK? It makes the lettuce all slimy and gross. I like it plain. Spinach, broccoli, mustard greens… The bitterer the betterer (definitely NOT one of those super-tasters). Maybe even some lemon or balsamic, but no Italian, Russian or Honey Mustard goo, thankyouverymuch. No need to congratulate me on my fortitude or self control, unless you’re referring to me not dumping my beer over your stupid head.

    Why why why do people insist on sucking all the fun out of everything good in life by deciding it’s virtuous and therefore only done under duress. (And why do I suddenly feel the need to write all the words in my post three times??? Must be my food addiction finally messing with my brain. I need a fix. Lucky for me my supplier (aka hubby) left me with a stash of potato cakes. Leftover mashed potatoes (with full fat milk and butter) mixed with kidney beans, formed into patties and dredged in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese then pan fried in butter. They’re like crispy little patties of pure crack. Dear god, someone stop me before I cook again!)

  88. I cling defiantly to my food habit! It’s not a problem! I can TOTALLY stop anytime I want! For… an hour or two. Then I start having problems with this, um, LIVING thing…

    Calories are not inherently bad, people! Food powers us and lets us DO THINGS. And sweet bippy, it makes me get all punchy and mad when people start putting down ORANGE JUICE, of all things. It’s orange juice! It’s made of oranges! It’s got vitamins in it! And sugars that give you energy and things! IT IS NOT POISON. It is OKAY to DRINK SOME ORANGE JUICE, OMGWTF.

    And I still feel a twinge of shame when I want to get a glass of fruit juice to go with my meal, because they (they being the big amalgamated mass of diet-obsessed vaguely orthorexic experts both credentialed and self-taught) have ground it into my head that “drinking your calories” is some horrible sin that makes me a bad fat person. Still! UGH!

  89. Cassi!!!

    This has been driving me crazy lately, I started taking Belly Dancing classes and many people in my life are all “Oh that’s great, it’s great that you’re doing that” in that obnoxious “I’m so glad your finally going to stop being so fat at me” voice. Uhm, maybe I’m doing it because I want to learn to dance? HUlloooOoooOOO (I actually prefer the very mean spirited derisive laughter I got from some other quarters to the “oh losing weight is so great and I’m so happy that you’ve finally decided to fit our social ideal” voice.)

  90. Okay, so I have a question for the peanut gallery:

    I am currently taking a public health class, and so even though I believe that Health is Personal and is achievable at every size, and that there’s no medical evidence that “healthy lifestyle changes” lead to long-term weight loss regardless of whether they are actually good or bad for you, we do often talk about things like diet and activity related health problems. Which I so far am managing not to die from the cognitive dissonance of, but does anyone have any advice over what to do when I run into people who use “donuts” as shorthand for “not knowing how to eat properly, poor irresponsible creatures” and then proceed with their assumptions from there?

    I was talking to a doctor yesterday – a solid researcher who among other things is leading the charge locally against this ridiculous trend of telling fat pregnant ladies not to gain any weight – and she wouldn’t stop bringing up eating donuts when talking about how fat women were having some various postpartum troubles. I tried gently raising the point that a lot of fat people have very fraught histories of interactions with medical professionals, and these were the kinds of troubles where you need to talk to a medical professional if things are going badly (a lot of the issues involved trouble establishing breastfeeding) and maybe people were hesitant to ask for help because they’re expecting discrimination . It kind of didn’t click but at least I said something. Does anyone have any further advice? Honestly, I would just be happy to get someone to stop saying the actual word “donuts” when talking about negative health trends.

  91. Who wants to be a hungry bitch in an ugly suit?

    Eggh! I know we don’t like MeMe Roth around here, but SP is also a place where we’re not inclined towards calling other women “bitches”, right? Right? That’s not very cool. There are plenty of ways to critique her that don’t involve that.

  92. Here’s what I think is weird about MeMe’s list. The one about “don’t use food as a bribe or a reward” is actually okay. The way I see it, food addiction and disordered eating comes from putting moral value on food (this food is good, this food is bad), and also from associating those feelings about food with “deserving.” (“You got an A on your report card, so now you can have pizza.” “You broke up with your boyfriend? I know what will make you feel better, let’s go for some ice cream.”) When you start to think that you’re doing wrong by having a treat, or the traet comes to symbolize something bigger and larger than just a food, that is when you’ll have problems. Food doesn’t have any inherent morality. It’s just food to be eaten, to give you energy and sustenance. Some of it tastes good. Some of it tastes bad. Some of it has nutritive value, and some of it doesn’t at all. So what.

    So with that in mind, I don’t understand what that is doing on a list of food ultimatums that are strongly polarizing good and bad foods. It’s very counter-intuitive.

    Even if food is just food to be eaten without inherent value, the thought of a world where people never get ANY pleasure out of food sounds extremely dystopian to me.

  93. So with that in mind, I don’t understand what that is doing on a list of food ultimatums that are strongly polarizing good and bad foods. It’s very counter-intuitive.

    I think it’ s because when we agree with that statement it’s because we think we deserve to eat those foods all the time (if we want them). When MeMe agrees with that statement, it’s because she thinks you don’t deserve to eat those foods ever no matter what.

  94. Cat, what Kate said. Marianne’s bodily presentation — what she wore or how she carried herself — is not up for discussion here. You also might want to consider the gendered implications of what appears “serious” to you.

  95. Re: People thinking we are being “good” when we just want to work out or have a salad. Word! I was having lunch with my mom and stepdad the other day, and she asked my stepdad if he wanted salad, and he didn’t want any (apparently she’s always struggling to get him to eat veg). I did want salad, and she said “Good for you!” in this very chirpy voice, but what she meant was, “[Stepdad], you could be getting this approval too if you would only eat some salad.” It made my salad not as enticing.

    Re: donuts. I don’t like donuts that much. I’ll only eat them if they are from a place where they are really good. I like other kinds of “bad” food, but I don’t love donuts, or cake for that matter. Meh. Thus I get cranky when people use donuts as bad food shorthand. Though I would probably feel that way if I was a big fan of donuts and ate them a lot, too. Also, there is no such thing as bad food.

    This is a great discussion!

  96. I’m not aware of any research showing that CBT works well on anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

    Torrilin, one of my therapists has said that there is an established CBT for bulimia method that she uses with most of her bulimic clients that works very, very well when the bulimic client is able to stick to her end of it.

    I also disagree, generally, that CBT isn’t helpful for eating disorders. I don’t know if CBT alone would be helpful, but my treatment center used a combination of talk therapy, process groups, CBT, DBT (including mindfulness), and probably some other stuff too. CBT was by far my favorite group, and I really learned a lot from it. I think CBT, mindfulness, and individual therapy have been the most helpful. I know relapse rates are high and I’m not out of the woods or anything, but I got out of the hospital in December, had a 2-3 small slips
    in Dec/Jan, and now I haven’t restricted or binged or purged for well over a month which feels like a miracle.

    And to bring this back on topic, since November 13th, I have eaten 5 times each and every single day and I feel the best I have in years. I guess it turns out I DO need food after all and that whole “I can survive without food” theory I had was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off base. If this is an addiction, I’m allll for it.

  97. Purpleshoes, could you perhaps use the uber-quizzical approach? When someone mentions doughnuts start asking what doughnuts they mean, where it said the person in question ate a lot of doughnuts, what constitutes a “lot” of doughnuts, what evidence they’re using to suggest the person eats that amount of doughnuts, etc, etc. I’m picturing a scenario sort of like this…

    “so if this woman would just lay off the doughnuts…”

    “uh, excuse me, I’m looking at the chart (book, case study, whatev) and I don’t see a mention of doughnuts, where are you getting that?” (it’s helpful here to start flipping pages as if you perhaps didn’t get the memo that everyone else got that tells you she has a Krispy Kreme truck back up to her house every morning)

    “oh well, I just mean, she’s fat”

    “yes, she’s fat, but where are you getting the information that it’s caused by doughnuts specifically?”

    “well, not specifically, just as a general thing, you know?”

    “Uh, no, I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking why you think this problem involves doughnuts. Are you suggesting that if she simply stopped eating doughnuts and made no other changes her weight would change significantly enough to effect her general health? Because I’ve read a lot of studies and never seen ANY that imply that’s at all a likely scenario”

    Etc, etc… to do this sort of thing successfully you must keep a completely straight face and just keep innocently asking for data as the person gets more and more frustrated. It’s not easy and certainly not guaranteed to work, but it can be pretty fun while to see if you can make the person start spitting.

    Note to Lampdevil: Sorry, I did it too. I didn’t use the word directed at MeMe, but I did use it and I apologize. It’s one I’m working on getting out of my head but so far it’s still pretty firmly planted to the point I don’t even notice I used it until it’s pointed out.

  98. I think “NO CHEMICALS” is actually very consistent with MeMe’s message.

    Sad but true, Volcanista. Sad but true.

    (I totally heart you for that OMG CHEMICALS post of yours. It is full of win and awesome. I want to bake you delicious things, and I also want to be like you when I grow up.)

    @Cassi & Shinobi – I get where you’re both coming from. Some words are ones that we just resort to IMMEDIATELY. And it’s hard to untrain yourself from that. I’m still trying to remove ‘lame’ from my vernacular. It’s crazy-annoying at times, because I’ll find myself going “WHY YOU… (no wait can’t use that… or that… not that either…) BLLAHGGH!!!” which does not make me come across as particularly clever.

  99. I know we’ve raised the possibility that MeMe Roth is a brilliant performance artist doing a cartoonish sendup of the absurdity that is the obesity epipanic… laughing as the dominant culture proves her point for her by, e.g., labeling her an expert and acting as though the consume-calories-equaling-ten-times-your-body-weight-in-pounds rule makes any sense.

    But have we yet considered the possibility that MeMe Roth is a humanoid cylon?

  100. Thanks, Lampdevil! The blog has pretty much fallen by the wayside, but I am still proud of a handful of the things I wrote there, and that post is at the top of the list. It was my blogging peak, if you will. :)

  101. Is she willing to deny insurance coverage for homosexual activity-correlated illnesses. For alcohol-related illnesses. For drug-addiction related illnesses. For sharing needles and razors-related illnesses.

    You know – other lifestyle choices.

    Yeah, I guess I should have been denied treatment for mono that I got from sharing someone else’s drink in high school. And of course nearly all infectious diseases could be avoided if I stayed isolated and never had human contact.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to feed my dependency and eat lunch.

  102. My problem with donuts is that the baby-flavoring is so… so… chemically-tasting.

    If I can’t have real babies providing baby-nutrients to my donuts, I don’t want them. And those babies need to be skim-milk fed babies, so the donuts are low-fat.

  103. Breastfeed Your Child Exclusively for 6 Months

    Because every woman is capable of breastfeeding- right? What about the fact the WHO recommends breastfeeding for two YEARS. Sorry I forgot!… women who breastfeed past 6 months in our culture are considered perverts.

    Teach Your Child to Drink Only Water or Skim Milk.

    …uhm ethnocentric much? Besides the lack of calories and necessary fats in skim milk, the majority of humans do not drink cows milk. Although I can see how the obesity quacks might find chronic diarrhea a WIN for weight loss.

  104. Oh, I’m eating food RIGHT NOW. There are sliced roasted beets in my salad. I’m going to eat them all. I can’t control myself. My brain won’t work right without food. I ate a whole avocado with breakfast (ZOMG teh evil fatz). I’m a horrible, horrible person. Clearly if I were more evolved i could subsist on the stale air in my building.

  105. I had a donut just last night. A fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donut. Right after eating a whole pile of Ethiopian food. The donut shop shop was right across the street, and we just couldn’t resist it. And, and…. right now I’m eating honey. With a spoon!

    Of, MeMe, so funny, and she doesn’t even know it.

  106. @A Sarah –
    “But have we yet considered the possibility that MeMe Roth is a humanoid cylon?”

    Cylon possibly. Humanoid, maybe not so much.

    I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Marianne and Crystal called her on that one.
    I was worried it was going to go by.

    It’s sometimes schadenfreudelovely to catch someone up in their most vaunted, arguably verifiable area of expertise (the “lady” is a former Edelman VP).

  107. Is she willing to deny insurance coverage for homosexual activity-correlated illnesses. For alcohol-related illnesses. For drug-addiction related illnesses. For sharing needles and razors-related illnesses.

    You know – other lifestyle choices.

    I wrote that, then realized that she probably would be OK with denying insurance coverage for that stuff. Because it can all be avoided. All illness can be avoided if you just live right and eat properly!

    Which leaves us coverage for what – genetic conditions only? But then you should have pre-natal genetic testing and abort any baby with the possibility of a congenital disease.

    But this is OT. So I will stop. (And as I mentioned, the cat was yowling the basement, which was exactly counter to why I had put her in there, so she was waking my husband up anyhow, and I was late to the gym, where I go because I see my friends there and it’s not that I like exercising so much but I like having exercised. So yeah – I wasn’t exactly following the logic on that one but dammit, I had a point somewhere in there.)

  108. Ha! The only nonfatties can get pregnant lest they have fattie babies makes me roll my eyes. I’m a “certified” (hee) fattie, was when I got pregnant with my daughter, who at age 2.5 is a skinny skinny “underweight” off the charts skinniphile. Oh, and she loves cookies. (And kale.)

    And last night for dinner we had corn cooked with bacon and miso butter and shrimp and more butter and it was damn delicious.

  109. “Is she willing to deny insurance coverage for homosexual activity-correlated illnesses. For alcohol-related illnesses. For drug-addiction related illnesses. For sharing needles and razors-related illnesses. You know – other lifestyle choices.”

    I tried to find who said this above but was unsuccessful. I’m really hoping this was meant sarcastically (especially the lifestyle choice part). But just in case the person was serious- I’m a little skeeved about homosexuality being compared to alcoholism or drug addiction. And I’m curious as to what diseases a member of the LGB community might have that the straight person doesn’t.

  110. What’s with Roth’s use of the word “we” as in “we’ve gotten ourselves…” and “…we’re…dependent upon food”?

    I can’t figure out if she’s using the *royal we* or if she is completely devoid of ego boundaries. Apparently, in her worldview, what is *true* for her is of course true for everyone. Perhaps she really does experience eating as a form of chemical dependency.

    That’s sad. Sad for her and sad for anyone who carries such intense shame in connection with one of life’s most pleasurable offerings.

  111. Food doesn’t have any inherent morality. It’s just food to be eaten, to give you energy and sustenance. Some of it tastes good. Some of it tastes bad. Some of it has nutritive value, and some of it doesn’t at all. So what.

    Actually, food does have a moral component to me, but it’s not choice among foods. It’s lack of food and people starving to death that is a moral issue – as in, nobody on this earth should be dying of lack of food, but we can’t be arsed to do anything about it, instead we complain about having to look at fat chicks. *eyeroll*

    The stuff that really makes me flip my shit these days is the policing of children and pregnant women. Pregnancy used to be the one refuge women had where the fat-shaming didn’t kick in, because it was rather obvious that to build a whole human being inside your body required a lot of nutrients and energy, so OF COURSE it’s perfectly okay for the pregnant woman to eat whatever she needed. To say “No, women must still be thin even when pregnant” is so blindingly counterintuitive it makes me nuts (not to mention it’s yet another attempt at controlling the female body in all stages of life, requiring that even a woman who is not available to reproduce with other men still appeal to them physically. Rar).

    Then there’s the “don’t feed your kids whole milk” and the other arguments. They’re KIDS. They need nutrition to grow. All over the rest of the fucking world (not to mention in the US), there are government programs and aid workers desperately trying to get a minimal amount of calories into children to give them a chance of surviving to adulthood. But MeMe Roth is shrieking about the horrible dangers of giving a kid whole milk?

    I just want to force her to confront the unconscionable privilege she exhudes with every breath on this subject. If she spent half her energy working on food security for everyone rather than her crusade to force every fat person to hide from her sight…

    BAH.
    DRST

  112. O. M. G. I am a total addict! No wonder I can’t stop.

    I have been eating 3-5 times a day since 1977 and NO MATTER WHAT I DO I CAN’T STOP!!! Every single time I try to stop, I just get this uncontrollable urge to EAT again. It’s like my body NEEDS food or something.

    But it doesn’t stop there. single day, SEVERAL TIME PER MINUTE I feel the need to BREATHE. Like, I just can’t stop my NEED TO CONSUME CHEMICALS in every possible way. If taking them in through my lungs and my food isn’t enough, I also take VITAMINS everyday. Because, you know, I’m totally a chemical addict.

    I’ve thought about giving it all up, but I just feel like I MIGHT DIE if I never get to eat again.

  113. OMG!!!! I HAVE to do something about my food addiction! Yes, I’ve admitted it, now I can get help. FEA (Food Eaters Anonymous), here I come!

    Soon I, too, will live on air alone! But it has to be inside, ’cause if I go outside I’ll get skin cancer and be a drain on the healthcare system. But wait, if I don’t go outside, I’ll have a vitamin D deficiency, get sick, go to the doctor, and be a drain on the healthcare system! So maybe I should just CURL UP AND DIE!!!!! After all, that’s one less fatty in the world, right?!?!

  114. I just sat at my desk at work and gave in to my addiction — I had a delicious handmade rustic french roll slathered in cream cheese and topped with paper-thin slices of pastrami. I’m such a failure! I’ll have to start my rehab all over again — right after I finish my gyoza and char siu bao at lunch, that is. ;)

    All joking aside, whenever Meme reappears on my mental radar I end up feeling incredibly sorry for her. She spends her whole life consumed by worry about food, beating herself up with every bite she does eat for having the temerity to actually need fuel to continue the basic metabolic processes of life. I’ve been there – it’s a particularly joyless and un-fun way to live, and I’ve never stopped being grateful that I’ve managed to escape it.

  115. Every time I read about anything involvng MeMe Roth I get this uncontrollable urge to strip naked, cover myself in butter and rub myself aggressively against every weight-loss advocate I come across. While jiggling and bouncing as much as possible.

    On another note, I shockingly have eaten today. Not once, but twice so far! And I had a snack when I came home from work. A SNACK WITH BREAD. Quick, stop me before I give in to my addiction to food again!

  116. SEVERAL TIME PER MINUTE I feel the need to BREATHE. Like, I just can’t stop my NEED TO CONSUME CHEMICALS in every possible way.

    @Livia_Augusta — I’m worse. I inhale … I inhale asthma medications! I eat them too! Argggh!

  117. something quite like: My toddlers liked brown rice! As, you know, part of a varied diet. I allowed them to eat other things sometimes. (I cannot get over our discovery of avocados. I didn’t eat one until I was about 25. Where were they all my life?!)

    Lucy: My mother explained to me that very sugary stuff makes you feel a little bit better for a short time, so let’s break open the Mars Bars. She was right, and it worked, and it got us through a difficult time. I’ve been a comfort eater ever since, much like a newborn baby who has sweet milk when uncomfortable, and because it has nothing to do with my value as a person but only with how eating food makes me feel.

    A Sarah: Occam’s Razor is on your side, I believe. Cylons ahoy.

  118. Well, it is particularly amusing to note that, in fact, kids who drink whole milk are thinner than kids who drink skim milk:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102347.htm

    It’s a correlation of course; but interesting. And amusing, as it shows that we still have no clue about what, if anything, diet has to do with weight.

    Anyway, I couldn’t bear to watch MeMe; but kudos to Kirby and Renn for being brave enough to tackle her.

    @ Slim, I adore your pre-schooler; bribes for listening to him. Non-violent, yet effective. The kid has brains.

  119. Thanks for clearing that up Gold Digger. Usually my sense of sarcasm is a little sharper than it is today :)

  120. Technically, even the humanoid Cylons were dependent on food — it was part of their cover, sure, but if they hadn’t done a 100% convincing job of mimicking the human addiction to food, the final 5 would never have remained undetected for so long!

  121. Just when I think I can’t be surprised by anything Meme Roth says, she goes ahead and says something like this, and I am floored. We’re dependent on food? What kind of craziness is that? It’s almost like we need it to live or something.

    I did watch the debate, and I thought Marianne and Crystal were wonderful. I felt kind of bad for the woman who had lost a lot of weight and wrote a book about it. At one point her attitude seemed to say “I worked really hard to become thin, and all this fat acceptance is invalidating all my hard work!”.

  122. Oh, and…I’m totally eating right now. And will do so again several hours from now. I’ve been like this for almost 25 years; clearly this is a PROBLEM! /sarcasm.

    And shout out to the killer white foods meme I saw upthread; it’s one of my favorite FA memes. :)

  123. @Bunny Mazonas “Every time I read about anything involvng MeMe Roth I get this uncontrollable urge to strip naked, cover myself in butter and rub myself aggressively against every weight-loss advocate I come across. While jiggling and bouncing as much as possible.”

    If you were to do this live and under the name Bunny Mazonas, I swear to god you would get a sell-out show in Las Vegas in a heartbeat. I would pay to see it, and I’d buy from the Bunny Mazonas merchandise range.

  124. Cassie, thanks, that’s brilliant advice. I will work on my wide-eyed innocent face. (I am also not a big donut fan – they’re in the category of apples and pasta, i.e. the “I don’t know why I suddenly hate everything but I do” group of foods. Give me cupcakes with buttercream any day.)

    mh, that’s the killer thing here – I mean, I’m in a class where we have guest speakers who are the people who just revised WIC so that mothers can get fresh produce and whole-grain bread in addition to Government Cheese. If it should be apparent to anyone that dysnutrition, regardless of the shape of someone’s body, is an issue of economics it’s the people in the course. Thanks for the links.

  125. Regarding bitch: my sweet little bitch died last week. She was loyal, intelligent and loving. She lived a long healthy life and enjoyed it until the end at age eighteen despite being blind and deaf the last year. Personally, I like bitches, I don’t need one, like I need my cats; but I am baffled why their name is used to mean bad people. It really should be a compliment. When my family is done grieving, I’d like another bitch.

  126. Yeah, well, not only am I dependent on food, but I love food. That’s right. You heard me. I LOVE to eat food. Especially the really good stuff. Hell, I keep a whole stash of food, just in case the urge to eat strikes unexpectedly. My cabinets are filled with food…and not just one kind. I’ve got dozens of varieties to choose from, depending on my mood. If you want the truth, I wake up ready to eat food. Sometimes I eat food in bed. And I’ve been known to bring food with me in the car–I’ve actually eaten behind the wheel! My food of choice? Pie. I have even offered pie to children. BWWAHAHAHA!

    I’m Meme’s worst nightmare.

  127. DRST, your comment reminded me of some lines from “Hunger” by Adrienne Rich:

    The decision to feed the world
    is the real decision. No revolution
    has chosen it. For that choice requires
    that women shall be free.

  128. Piffle, my condolences.

    In this case at least, I wasn’t using it to refer to a bad person per say, quite so much as a good, kind, probably loving, and no doubt well meaning waitress that just pissed on my leg. Nonetheless, in honor of your beloved bitch I will redouble my efforts to not misuse the word.

  129. Perhaps this covered upthread, but the most distressing part of this to me was the headline: Is it OK to be fat?

    What they really meant to debate was: can you be fat, and also healthy (or did they)?

    I am quite sure that a panel discussing disability-related issues would not have the tag line “Is it OK to be disabled?”

    Yes, it is OK to be fat. It’s OK to be short, it’s OK to be tall, it’s OK to exist in the body you have, no matter what it might look like, how others react to it, or what limitations (or talents) it might have.

    I know that is 101 for this blog but it still boggles my mind when I see still see this rather flagrant disregard for human dignity in the media. I really wish the authour would have considered this before stating that an entire group of people with the same characteristic are just not… okay.

  130. “If you were to do this live and under the name Bunny Mazonas, I swear to god you would get a sell-out show in Las Vegas in a heartbeat. I would pay to see it, and I’d buy from the Bunny Mazonas merchandise range.”

    Hmmm… but how would I get the weight-loss advocates to agree to appear on stage?

    The only problem with the Bunny Mazonas range would be that, performing naked, I would limit the amount of costume-related tat I could hawk. Although I suppose a range of hats might be possible…

  131. … does the woman photosynthesise to obtain her nutrition?

    Well, now I know – MeMe Roth’s a triffid. It explains so much.

    On a more serious note, my family also had similar rules about food when I was child, and it really didn’t do anything special for any of us. Well, no, I take that back. I learned how to cook at an early age, with my father, because my mum had gone ape for Adelle Davis and neither of us could stand it. There’s just only so often you can take broiled liver in a week, is the thing, and both of us thought ‘never’ was about right. Come to think of it, Adelle Davis was another who thought she could stave off time and disease by strict attention to diet, and it didn’t come out at all well.

    @Piffle, I’m so sorry. My condolences.

  132. I would totally buy a Bunny Mazonas t-shirt as well as the souvenir DVD and a tub of Bunny Mazonas Body Butter (if it comes in flavours, I’d buy the variety pack).

  133. @Bunny Mazonas, I suggest making a fan-dance, with lovely shoes and hair ornaments. Plenty of sparkly tat to market then!

  134. I am quite sure that a panel discussing disability-related issues would not have the tag line “Is it OK to be disabled?”

    Probably not, but there are certainly plenty of discussions/articles/etc out there where that is the implied theme.

    You’re right that the headline is appalling, but let’s not do the comparison thing.

  135. @Bunny Mazonas – good point, performing naked does cut down the merchandise hawking options. Hats could work, and maybe chocolate figurines of you which people could eat while enjoying the show and then throw the wrappers at the weight-loss advocates. The hats could have “Bunny Mazonas” picked out in diamante possibly.
    Maybe we should all have a chocolate figurine done, then trap MeMe Roth in a room with them to see if her alien iron will would snap.

  136. @ Bunny Mazonas

    How would you get the weight–loss experts to come on your stage show? Just invite them to come and help you with your diet and exercise plan to lose weight. And then when they react with horror to your butter application, tell them that this IS your diet and exercise plan, thank you very much for helping.

  137. What’s most frustrating to me is that the media seems incapable of seeing that MeMe Roth is (and I feel OK saying this even though I am “diagnosing” a stranger based on her past hateful words about her fat family members and… well, her hateful words about just about any other topic related to fat or nutrition) seriously screwed up where food is concerned. If she has any real interest in nutrition, she should understand that 1200 calories and a 4 mile run every day are not optimal for most people, even if they are for her (which I frankly doubt) and are therefore numbers that she shouldn’t be throwing around. Of course I suppose most of us (by which I don’t mean “us” here, but us in society) are secretly trying to get to that gold standard at all times, and usually failing, so it doesn’t seem screwed up at all. Which scares the crap out of me. What has become of us?

    Also, the whole idea of having your kids “exercise” for an hour a day makes me want to cry. Apart from assuming everyone is able-bodied, it is just so rigid and sad. Send them outside to play, sure. PE class done right can also be a good thing. If they love sports or dance, encourage that. But these things should be done for fun, for the joy and health of moving their bodies or getting some fresh air, and/or to offer a mental and physical challenge that they personally are interested in accomplishing (e.g. getting the steps to a routine down, mastering a skateboard trick, learning a new sport, or whatever), not to keep their weight down.

  138. I watched this debate on the Nightline website last night, and I wish I had not.
    I thought Marianne Kirby did such an excellent job, and I liked that there were plenty of her supporters in the audience. I think she has major guts, and I think her personality is winning. Crystall Renn is beautiful, and whenever she spoke she did well, I just wish she had more airtime. As an ED survivor from the modelling industry, I think her story is pretty important to the debate.
    The diet lady (I can’t remember her name) seemed sort of lost. She was obviously scared of Ms. Kirby, because I think she felt, as hsofia mentioned, that FA invalidated her, but I also got the feeling she wasn’t too happy being on the same side as crazy MeMe, either.
    My great objection is that MeMe was even invited to the debate. Why couldn’t they put someone with credentials on, like Dr. Oz, who I don’t agree with, but is at least a doctor? By letting her in on these discussions, these shows validate her, and it’s dangerous. I’ll tell you how dangerous it is with a personal, perhaps boring, anecdote:
    MeMe shared with the audience her daily caloric intake & exercise regime, which, while maybe not clinically anorexic, is borderline – & Crystal Renn called her out on it. I’m in the early stages of recovery from AN, & even though I “know” better, right after that show I went straight to a calorie calculator website to find out how many calories I can basically survive on, trying to justify going back to restricted eating. This morning, before coming here, I was on a pro-ana board I used to go on every day. Fortunately, I remembered that I need to recover, I needed to get off that thing, and I came here – and ate breakfast, around noon.
    Long story, but in short: MeMe Roth is triggering and dangerous.
    Thank God for Marianne Kirby & Kate & everyone else in FA. As to FA as a useful tool for people with EDs, for me, at least, realizing it is okay to be fat helps with the fear of gaining. It can’t be used alone, but with nutritional guidance & therapy, I think it can help. FA is body acceptance, self acceptance, and a refusal to hate oneself because of societal “ideals.” It’s valid for all of us.

  139. P.S. Speaking of kids, my mother-in-law just informed us that my 17-year-old nephew has “slimmed down quite a bit” by means of walking a mile each way to school. I have no idea if this is actually what happened or not (though I tend to doubt it), but I had a little LOLsob moment of being reminded that many people really do think that thinness is a simple matter of walking a few steps and putting down the donut occasionally…. and of recalling the stringent dieting and obsessive exercising that many of us have gone through in unsuccessful attempts to lose weight.

    I can’t put my finger on what irritated me so much about her comment–I guess it’s the general idea that 2 miles is a long way and the oh-so-easy yet revolutionary key to slimness. I hate to put it that way because it sounds like I am pooh-poohing a 2-mile walk, and I am totally not. I’m just saying, I know people who walk 2 miles a day (or run 5 miles a day, or what have you) who are thin and others who are fat. It is not some self-evident fact that you start walking a couple of miles to school and you get thin. Trust me, I also walked roughly that distance throughout middle school and part of high school, and I don’t remember it stopping people from making fun of me for my weight… you know, AS I was walking to or from school.

    I suppose at least MeMe gives it to people straight–you have to eat like a monk, exercise relentlessly, and generally live a life of tortured deprivation, or you are not good enough for her.

  140. I’m kind of jealous of all of you who have been enjoying food all day. The last few days I don’t have any desire to eat because everything makes me feel yucky. And yet, my body still wants food, so I’ve been spending inordinate amounts of time pacing my kitchen trying to figure out what I can eat.

    I guess that’s the life of a junkie, although I suppose it’s possible that the fact that I’m 37 weeks pregnant right now and so have an ~7 lb. baby inside of me looking for nutrients might be part of why my body won’t leave me alone to just subsist on air. I even just sent my husband a desperate list of foods I think I can eat (grapes, sherbet, yogurt–for some reason cold and sweet are the only things I can imagine putting into my body without feeling awful) so I can get a fix tonight. He’s such an enabler.

  141. Returning to the original quote – OMFG!XINFINITYFOREVA!

    My name is momotheotter and I am a foodaholic. Sometimes I eat three times a day and not just one kind of food will satiate my craving. No, I must have a variety of flavors and textures in order to satisfy these unholy desires. It’s gotten so I must have food to function. It’s like fuel for my body or something.

    Thanks so much for the laugh – that is the best thing I have read in ages.

    It also reminded me of a college “friend” who used to go on and on about the dangers of “wheat addiction” like a broken record. Now I know that gluten intolerance and celiac disease are real and serious things – but for the record – she had neither. It was more of a carb-fearing Atkins thing. Anyway, some of my other friends and I decided to show up to class one day with big crusty loaves of french bread under our arms and then to tear them up and eat them as loudly as possible – moaning and talking about how we were jonesing and about how it hit the sweet spot and so on. Needless to say she was not amused. But we were amused. Very amused.

  142. Ugh, I still sounded like a jerk with the “2 miles is a long way?” thing. I really didn’t mean it that way. Sorry. I should have proofread better. What I really meant was it just set off in me that whole “eat less, move more” thing where they start out telling you to get 20-30 minutes of exercise most days (e.g. a 2-mile walk) and eat more fruits and vegetables, and if you are still fat, they don’t care whether you are feeling healthy and good, but instead start to bust out requirements like the hour a day of vigorous exercise and 1,200 calorie diet or no carbs or whatever, and if you are still fat THEN, they call you a liar.

  143. @Kallista – please step away from the pro-ana websites forever and stay on this one. I completely relate to you and really do get it ,so stay the hell on this one and read back through the past articles, especially those in the Self Image category, I’ve found them wonderful.

  144. Kallista: Not boring.

    Lori: Your husband may be an enabler, but you are the one creating food-dependence in your symbiant. For shame! (Also, sorry you’re at the stage where nothing sounds good. I remember wondering if I could get along on just fruit salad and Tums.)

  145. @spacedcowgirl:

    “they start out telling you to get 20-30 minutes of exercise most days (e.g. a 2-mile walk) and eat more fruits and vegetables, and if you are still fat, they don’t care whether you are feeling healthy and good, but instead start to bust out requirements like the hour a day of vigorous exercise and 1,200 calorie diet or no carbs or whatever, and if you are still fat THEN, they call you a liar.”

    WORD.

    I do wonder why you say you doubted your mom’s story about your nephew? Is it that you mistrust the messenger or find the story generally implausible? I think some people’s weights genuinely do fluctuate more with smaller environmental/behavioral changes, within the general range of their set point. (The key being *some* people. Person X losing weight when they pick up walking =! everyone losing weight when they pick up walking.)

  146. @Bunny Mazonas – if you got the audience involved in the butter application you could sell them bedazzled pastry brushes for said purpose! (Bonus – ticklish!) And if you were to have audience members strip you down on stage, make them wear hand-puppets with comically large mouths (I’m thinking Animal from the Muppets here) so the puppets look like they’re eating your clothes off! Cha-ching!

    @Piffle – I’m so sorry about your doggy

  147. @Cassi, mashed potato and kidney bean cakes?! OMG. I think I’ve found something I need to feed my addiction with. You enabler, you!

    @spacedcowgirl, I hear you on how crazymaking that statement your MIL made is. I wonder how much of your nephew’s ‘slimming down’ has to do with the fact that he’s 17 and it’s not at all unusual for kids that age to still be growing like mad. I mean, I walked three miles a day every school day when I was 17 and I was slender–but I’d been doing that for three years already and it sure hadn’t made a difference to the size of my chunky butt when I was 14 and 15. The three miles a day made my legs really strong, but it was the final big growth spurts that used up the puppy fat (and of course it eventually came back as grownup fat, helped along by depression and really pointless dieting).

    Although, fwiw, I think 2 miles is generally more of a 40 min proposition for most, unless one is race walking. Either that, or I was nowhere near as fast a walker as I thought I was. *grin*

  148. @lucizoe – any excuse for Animal from the Muppets references is so fine by me. He could also drum a crazy shitstorm up in the background while Bunny got her freak on.

  149. Also, I am currently feeding my addiction to living with acorn squash baked with butter and brown sugar. Just putting it out there. Also, tea.

  150. My current theory is that MeMe is a real life Borg and gets plugged into an alcove every night to regenerate and obtain nutrients.

    Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Voyager.

  151. She could also be a Goa’uld…. maybe she thinks that if we all think fat is bad we will finally accept her as our goddess or something. Where is SG1 when you need them?

  152. @shinobi42…you made me have to Google it, and yes we could!

    Shit this site is so bad for me as a self employed Paintmonkey. Please stop being so hilarious.

  153. paintmonkey, SJL, lucizoe and shinobi42

    I am starting to regret this… I may have created a monster.

    A butter-coated, SHINEE monster, but a monster nonetheless.

  154. A report on my neurochemical addiction to food:

    This morning I had a Voodoo Donut and I haven’t been hungry for about 5 hours. I think I discovered the key to ending your addiction to food, EAT DONUTS ITS SO SIMPLE.

    I’ll let you know how that works out for me in an hour or so :)

  155. I for one look forward to appearing in an amateur production of “Bunny Mazonas: A Life in Butter” in my hometown. It’s got catchy showtunes, a chorus of naked fat ladies and a happy ending where the weight loss gurus get on board with fat acceptance! I hope many Shapelings will be producing and starring it their own productions of this smash-hit biography musical.

  156. I don’t know Shinobi, I’d go for Cylon over Goa’uld. Although the Cylons were all pretty intelligent, so perhaps she’s simply been brainwashed by our lord Apophis into starving the population into submission prior to his invasion.

    To switch fandoms, where’s the Doctor with a good bag of chips when you need him!!! He’d sonic Meme’s galactic overlords into submission, that’s for sure.

  157. This reminds me of that aha moment in Bridget Jones’ Diary where she brags to Tom that she’s only consumed 500 calories in three days, and he says, “But, hon, don’t you need, like 1,500 calories just to survive?” Bridget them realizes – with horror – that she’d completely forgotten that people eat to fuel their bodies, and not just because they’re horrible gluttons.

    One of the MANY reasons the book is infinitely better than the movie.

    Aha, found it! “The idea that you might actually need calories to survive has been completely wiped out of my consciousness.” “

  158. The white male CDC doc will put you ladies in your PLACE! With SCIENCE!

    The gender dynamics of it kind of rubbed me the wrong way too; all women involved in the main discussion and then the doctor, who is a man, gets up to give the “objective” information. At least Kirby specifically addressed things he said, which somewhat lessened the effect of his input as being the Final Word.

    Regarding good ol’ Meme – she’s talking about how we’re a food culture, or something like that, and how we like to celebrate with food. Um . . . isn’t that every culture? Because eating food isn’t just about giving us energy, like putting gas into a car, we’re supposed to, like, enjoy it too, right?

    I’ve been asked to debate MeMe several times and have always refused, btw — I’m personally not interested in perpetuating the fiction that she’s someone to be taken seriously

    All I can say to that, is THANK YOU. But yes, others have taken that metaphorical bullet and I can appreciate that as well.

    As far as donuts go, I recently had “bombolone” in Italy, and it was pretty fucking awesome. It’s a donut used to sandwich Nutella or creme, depending on your preference, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. But I already like donuts and Nutella to begin with, so it won me over pretty fast.

    The only crime I associate with the consuming of donuts is not having them with coffee or milk. Totally unacceptable.

  159. The other week I dined with a good friend of mine at a restaurant famous for its corned beef sandwiches. My intention was to order a large double-decker reuben, just a little more expensive than its regular-sized counterpart but it would be large enough that I could easily save half the sandwich for a satisfying leftover meal. I placed my order, and the waitress paused and looked at me. Confused, I placed the order again, thinking that she had misheard me. The waitress continued to stare, then asked “Have you eaten here before?” I replied that I’d previously eaten at another one of their locations. “That’s a really big sandwich,” she warned me. “Most women can’t eat all of it.” Now, I’m the type of person who, when told that I can’t do something, will stop just short of breaking my neck in order to prove them wrong. In the end, I wound up eating the entire sandwich plus the huge potato pancake served on the side as well as a heaping helping of dill pickle slices. It was delicious. I enjoyed every greasy bite, and the look on her face when she came to collect our plates was priceless.

    To tell me I can’t eat something because I’m a woman is silly. To tell me that I can’t eat something because I don’t actually need food to survive is effing scary. I enjoy food, and I’m grateful for every bite because I’m fortunate enough to have the resources to provide that sustenance for myself and my husband. I will happily fuel my dependence on food for as long as I’m able, and continue to breathe air and drink water like every other mortal.

  160. This thread has made me soooo hungry…I do not know how to reconcile this hunger with the Glittering Sparkly Truth of MeMe Roth!
    OH NO!!!!

    (…well hello, desk snack of grapes and Dr. Pepper! I wish you were *slightly* more french-bread-and-buttery, but you’ll do for now!)

  161. I need to see this video. Hats off to Kirby and Renn for taking on Roth — good gracious, I would be loath to willingly put myself in that situation.

    Kallista, I want to thank you for describing your experience. That sounds harrowing. I can have hunches about how things like Roth’s stance might be destructive, but I do not have a personal understanding. I find your anecdote compelling and helpful to my understanding, not boring.

  162. meme roth reminds me of anne coulter, and listening to her thinly veiled fat vitriol is painful. still, i’m going to watch this entire debate if it kills me.

  163. ps. is anyone else getting the norton antivirus commericials between debate clips? they’re better than the debate clips!

  164. The other week I dined with a good friend of mine at a restaurant famous for its corned beef sandwiches.

    Was it the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan? That place is awesome, and they have gigantic portions like you described.

  165. @catgirl, Nope, it’s a chain in the Southwest OH area. Though I will definitely try Carnegie Deli if I ever find myself in NY. I’ll happily go out of my way to sample reubens. :-)

  166. @spacedcowgirl Re: your 17-year-old nephew, LOL, like he might have just grown a bit taller? (Kids naturally chunk up a bit before a growth spurt. ) Or he might be sleeping better and happier and have more energy? Gad!

  167. I watched the debate last night and had to pause it repeatedly to ask, “Wtf?” I think MeMe must perform memorization exercises every night before bed, because she’s always ready to bust out yet another statistic (not accurate ones, mind you – smaller brains? are you effing kidding me?)

    One thing that struck me throughout the debate was the proposed concept that we as a culture are way too preoccupied with food, yet MeMe is leading her own one-woman crusade against it and Kim Bensen feels it necessary to obsess over every last calorie that enters her mouth, for the rest of her life. What we really have is an unhealthy preoccupation with numbers, whether it be calories, fat and carbohydrate grams, waist-to-hip ratios, or the number on a scale. Have any of these women ever been to France? or Italy? I have not, but literature, film, and hearsay all give me the impression that cultures can revolve around food and be happy and healthy. Food is partnered with celebration all over the world, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to eat cake on my birthday or festive cookies during the holidays.

  168. Just in case it hasn’t been said, and I believe it NEEDS to be said, over and over – it is DANGEROUS FOR AN INFANT TO DRINK WATER AND SKIM MILK. THEY CAN DIE. She is advocating people starve their babies to death.

  169. What you folks have to understand is that overcoming food dependence is a lifelong journey. Take me, for instance: back in the 70’s, I ate as often as once every 2 or 3 hours, *day and night*. These days (although I admit I moved on to harder stuff), I eat maybe 3 or 4 times a day, and, most nights, nothing at all. It’s a long, hard road, but I’m hopeful that, if I keep working at it, in 50 or 60 years I should be able to kick the habit altogether.

  170. I watched it. Watched the whole thing. Even went to the ABC News site to watch everything again..and then some. Mariann held her own very well. And Crystal even tried to get Meme to own up to this quote from the Guardian UK: : “The defence has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we’re doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it’s incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer’s point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who’s fighting back?” When asked about it by Crystal at the end of the show, Meme feigned horror at the thought anyone would think she felt eating food was like enjoying rape. So then…what would YOU call it Meme????

    I suspect that Meme is “fighting” her own GENETICS by eating the way she does. She is the genetic offspring of two obese people, as well as a grandmother (whom she shows great disgust for when speaking of her difficulty in getting to the bathroom and soiling herself). Meme speaks of KNOWING that if she didn’t eat and exercise the way she does now, she would be as fat as the rest of her family, yet believes that genetics has no bearing on the size of our bodies. Logic=FAIL.

    I think she is pissed off that she CAN’T eat the Recommended Daily Caloric Intake for a human being. Every single time I have seen her speak, she seems defensive and bitchy. She speaks in hyperbole and generalizations….and that shows how truly clueless she really is. She is self-serving, attention seeking, and ANGRY….and I don’t value a single word out of her mouth.

    Also, that ‘mansplainin’ doctor refused to even address the very valid and scientifically supported argument made by Mariann that she “dieted her way to the size she is today”. I would have liked to have heard his “expertise” explain that from a medical standpoint. Study after study has shown that the body’s NATURAL response to dieting is to reduce metabolic rate, increase hunger signals, and preserve the body’s resources….which is the real reason diets fail. Mariann stated she went on her first diet A SEVEN YEARS OF AGE…while her body was still growing and developing. Don’t you think THAT had an impact on her body’s weight setpoint???

    The absolute WORST statement, in my view, that came out of Meme’s mouth was this quote directed to Mariann: “Would you be willing to forfeit any payout from an insurance company, or Medicare or Medicaid, for any medical costs associated with your obesity?”. WHAT! THE! FUUUUCK! As if fat people are the ONLY! ONES! using our healthcare system!

    And if we follow that logic….why not have forfeitures for people who ruin their knees over-exercising, anorexics who starve themselves so that they require the insertion of feeding tubes, careless people who didn’t look both ways crossing the street, workers who get carpal tunnel syndrome in jobs involving repetitive motion, construction workers who fall off rooftops, people who contract a sexually transmitted disease, non-flossers who develop tooth decay, or children who jump out of swings and break their arms? Why not everybody else? It just goes too far. If you have health insurance through a group plan, YOU’RE ALREADY PAYING OUT OF POCKET FOR MEDICAL CARE! The premiums are put into one big pot for medical treatment to be paid out from. Sometimes you will use it, sometimes you won’t..AND THAT’S ITS PURPOSE! We all agree with that method and accept that doing so will ensure everyone gets access to treatment when they need it. The same is true with Medicare and Medicaid. The money to pay for those plans comes out of our paychecks over the course of our working lives because private health insurance companies whined about how much the elderly and disabled costs them in profit…hence the introduction of Medicare.

    Sorry for the rant….it’s….just….*headdesk*

  171. If she is really only eating 1300 calories a day, she’s probably so illogical and moody because those are normal characteristics of a starving person. It hurts the brain.

  172. ooh! ooh! All this just reminded of 2 things I wanted to tell someone about!

    My dear mother gave me a load of crap because I ate almost the same amount of breakfast as my father (who’s a tall, fat man) and ZOMGTEHFATZ!!! So I checked with my trainer (since I don’t bother with counting my own calories) and it turns out my breakfast was 400-450 calories, and it included whole grains, protien, fruit and a good source of calcium. AND it was roughly what my trainer thought was a reasonable breakfast. It was really satisfying to be able to tell her that my breakfast was ok’d by a professional. Point is, even when you’re eating in a way that is ok’d by someone who knows physiology and nutrition, there are people likely to think that you’re gonna catch teh deathfatz by eating.

    Then just the other day I overheard three women talking about the Arbonne diet plan (I know nothing of it except what I over heard) which involved fizzy tabs for your water if you’re hungry, some kind of pills and blah blah blah and the whole thing was totally offensive and loud. I had half a mind to tell them that they could very be triggering to someone with an ED who overheard them but didn’t. After this kallista’s comments, I will totally speak up next time hear that kind of diet talk.

    My realization in all of this is that people will judge others by what they eat. Too much, too little, the wrong stuff, too many CHEMICALS, blah blah blah. I found myself thinking “eat a cheeseburger” at a tiny thin woman I saw on campus today. That’s no better. I did, in fact, correct myself for thinking it moments after I thought it. I’m working on not doing that again. See? Come to Shapley Prose and you can learn about your own self too!

  173. I’ve been lurking here for quite awhile but this is my first comment So…hello everyone. :)

    It is very hard to listen/watch Meme say anything and I commend Marianne and Crystal’s patience taking her on. I can hardly stand listening to hearing her fat hatred thinly disguised as caring about people’s “health.”

    Kirstin – I too am recovering from an ED and it helps me to think of FA as a separate issue from my ED. People of ED’s come in all shapes and sizes, and ED’s are mental disorders, so I don’t think FA is responsible for explaining food addiction/etc, since most fat people do not have an ED or compulsively overeat. I do think that in addition to therapy and other ED treatment FA can be helpful for maintaining self esteem.

    I myself was anorexic as a young teen, then binged compulsively gaining 100+ pounds, starved away 80 pounds my first year of college which then progressed into full blown bulimia, which I am in recovery for now. I have been ruch a huge spectrum of weights and have not eaten normally in so long (since I was basically a preteen) I have no idea what my “set point” is, but I do know that it’s probably a lot higher now than if I’d never dieted in the first place. If only when I was a “chubby” preteen, I’d been encouraged to follow HAES rather than applauded for my 1200 calorie diet (which eventually become much lower). I NEVER had problems binging until after I started dieting, and now 7 years later that is what I’ve had the most struggle with. Kind of ironic how my “healthy” diet when I was just a young, still growing preteen was what has ended up making me very sick. :/

    I just want to say how thankful I am for this site and to all of you who contribute. It is a breath of fresh air from the diet culture. It seems I can’t get away sometimes. The tv commercials for WW, Jenny Craig, nutrisystem, the biggest loser, all the TLC Fat People shows, the daily news reports on the ZOMG OBESITY EPIDEMIC, and my own family’s obsession with diet and weight are very triggering. And then I come here and feel like I’m not crazy for being frustrated, for wanting to say no to it all, and for thinking that JUST MAYBE I am healthier in the “overweight” bmi range than normal. I still have a long way to go in becoming a normal eater/giving up FoBT but this site has given me so much hope that it doesn’t have to be this way. I only wish more people believed in HAES and the philosophy of having self esteem no matter what your weight and eating is like. It’s pretty clear Roth thinks fat people should feel only guilt and self hatred about themslves and their weight, and I feel almost sorry she has such a narrow view on people.

    I apologize for the slightly off topic tangent. :P

  174. I suspect that Meme is “fighting” her own GENETICS by eating the way she does. She is the genetic offspring of two obese people, as well as a grandmother (whom she shows great disgust for when speaking of her difficulty in getting to the bathroom and soiling herself). Meme speaks of KNOWING that if she didn’t eat and exercise the way she does now, she would be as fat as the rest of her family, yet believes that genetics has no bearing on the size of our bodies

    You know I would give my eye teeth to see photographs of Meme’s family. I wouldn’t mind betting they’re not all that fat. (especially if she’s a cylon). Seriously though, I do rather wonder whether they’re fat by actual honest-to-gosh fat standards, or just less scrawny than she is. Every time she starts banging on about them, I wonder this. I also wonder if they ever talk to her, given that she never tires of citing them as the reason for her moral crusade – because I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  175. Hi, I’m AnotherKate and i’m also a food addict. During the 35 years of addiction I have progressed from a milk dependency to food addiction and in later years even used food in conjunction with alcohol AND used food with other addicts with whom I had SEX! Just goes to show you what happens when you let the floodgates open by taking that first sip of formula…the day u was born!

  176. *sobs* She’s right! I got up today and I just had to have a bowl of cereal. Then around the early afternoon I ATE LUNCH! Later on I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself from eating again! I feel like I have to eat or I’ll die! It’s a terrible addiction.

  177. Meme speaks of KNOWING that if she didn’t eat and exercise the way she does now, she would be as fat as the rest of her family, yet believes that genetics has no bearing on the size of our bodies. Logic=FAIL.

    Also statistics fail. The references I’ve seen state that weight is highly heritable, but not 100%. An adult child of 2 fat adults can be naturally thin.

  178. It was really hard, but I finally … *gulp* … decided to do something about my … addiction, so I picked up the phone and contacted my Employee Assistance Program. They’re sending someone right over to take me to detox. Pray for me.

  179. I must be super-addicted to food. Not only do I experience hunger, crankiness, and tiredness without it, I get migraines if I don’t eat at least 1200 calories in a day. At least I learned something from dieting in college, I guess. I skipped dinner last night (cleaning up after a sick dog destroyed my appetite. Happily, he’s feeling much better today) and I’ve had a mild migraine all freaking day today because of it.

  180. @Slim – I spent the latter part of my first pregnancy constantly repeating “Tums are not a snack. Tums are not a snack.”

    On being fat and pregnant: please, please believe me that there are fat-friendly OB/GYNs out there. (I’m sure there are fat-friendly midwives, too, but I have no personal experience there.) I was at the heavier end of obese for all three pregnancies, was weighed at every visit, and was treated respectfully and supportively throughout.

    First pregnancy: gained 40 pounds, no one batted an eyelash.

    Third pregnancy: was reassured that my very slow weight gain (damned “morning” sickness) was okay and I still reached the minimum gain they like to see, which was not different for me than for a thinner woman.

    Second pregnancy: “Morning” sickness was so bad that I was losing weight. Received multiple *gentle* lectures about eating anything calorie-dense that I could keep down – like ice cream. Each lecture was accompanied by the reassurance that the baby was getting everything she needed from me, so that wasn’t the issue. I needed to eat ice cream, etc., FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF MY OWN HEALTH.

    Ahem. Sorry for the continuation of an earlier tangent. Perhaps we need a specific place for fat pregnant emotional support?

    On the actual topic: I just returned from a very tasty buffet with the family. Not only did I partake, but I practically *begged* my middle child to eat, too. I am such an awful parent! :)

  181. Hey you guys, I’m eating food AGAIN. And I just know that after I finish it I won’t want more food for a while but the craving WILL come back and I WILL give in to it again!

  182. I had no idea who this person was, but I just googled her. She’s inspired me just now to eat several chocolates. Thanks!

  183. I hope Meme Roth isn’t related to Geneen Roth-I kinda like her although I haven’t reread her books since I became more size-accepting and I don’t remember if she’s cool or not. Oddly enough I did just find one of them on the sidewalk during a walk last night. I opened it to a passage wherein Geneen’s telling a woman obsessed by her daughter’s weight to buy the child pounds of M&Ms and let her carry them with her everywhere until she felt no scarcity or deprivation. And to lay off the shaming.

  184. Oh lord, I just ordered a Jungle Veggie gourmet pizza!!! Only 20 more minutes until 14 inches of creamy Alfredo Sauce, Onions, Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Black Olives, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes,Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Black Pepper. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

    I’m so PHAT!

  185. Oh noes. I may have just had french fries and oatmeal raisin cookies for dinner. WILL THE NEUROCHEMICAL DEPENDANCE NEVER END!

    I’d like to reiterate how uncomfortable I felt with the focus on Marianne’s body during the debate. Did anyone else notice that the two “thin” panelists treated her like a child or condescended to her?

    Not to mention Meme’s efforts to erase Crystal’s experiance as “just a model thing”

  186. Quoth Kallista: “realizing it is okay to be fat helps with the fear of gaining. It can’t be used alone, but with nutritional guidance & therapy, I think it can help. FA is body acceptance, self acceptance, and a refusal to hate oneself because of societal “ideals.” It’s valid for all of us.”

    Kallista, I’m a thinnish person with no ED history who just wanted to respond, “Word.” I have a gas-lighting dad who, when I see, him varies– within a single week– between telling me that I need to put some weight on and that I’d better be careful, eating as much as I do. It’s scary how contagious I find his obsession with my weight and eating habits.

    He’s my dad, and I can’t avoid him all the time. But FA has given me faith in my ability to listen to my body that makes being around him less anxiety-provoking. I don’t want to live in a world where one’s perceived worth as a human being is contingent on arbitrary numbers. I want to live in a world that’s safe for people with all sorts of bodies.

  187. Not to be bitter, but…yeah, I’m glad Jezebel called out MeMe on her “credentials.”

    I’ve had people up my ass about the fact that I’m three credits shy of graduating from an accredited 4-year dietetics program and have worked at, you know, actual hospitals, doing actual clinical-type things with actual nutrition and actual patients and actual dietitians and doctors and nurses for like five years and am actually a member of the ADA and DC — because I’m not a registered dietitian (and may choose never to become one, even when I finish my degree.)

    And then someone like M.R. can stand up and promote herself as a one-woman-band of ridiculous misinformation and hardly anyone seems to question what’s going on there. She’s as bad as Gillian McKeith, in my book, and worse in lots of ways because her entire goal seems to be promoting hatred against fat people couched in “health concerns.”

    The whole thing sickens me. It was hard for me to watch the debate, but I have to say, harveypenguin standing up in the audience and slipping the phrase “two whole cakes” into her question saved it for me. I laughed till I cried.

  188. What *are* Meme Roth’s credentials? I read an article about her in the NY Times and it sounds like she is just an outraged mom.

  189. And is she the same woman who got all up in arms about Jordan Sparks winning American Idol, and said she was a bad example because she was overweight? I thought that was slightly evil.

  190. She went to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition for a certificate to do nutrition counseling.

    And, you know, I’m not here to point fingers and call someone’s education inferior to mine. The fact is, I’m still just a student, and a lot of people would judge me to be no better qualified than M.R. But the fact that I’m questioned (it seems) more rigorously because I’m fat and because I tell people that it’s their right as adult human beings to eat what and how much they want, while someone with completely nontraditional and non-accredited training, who is in the public eye A LOT assuming “expert” status on obesity, seems to slide largely without notice — well, that bugs me.

  191. I had a piece of sea salt chocolate after dinner (yes. I ate dinner. After eating two other meals and two snacks. I have no shame). It was good. I didn’t stop myself from eating a second piece. MeMe! Come to my rescue! I might eat enough calories to maintain my weight!

  192. Emaloo: I must be super-addicted to food. Not only do I experience hunger, crankiness, and tiredness without it, I get migraines if I don’t eat at least 1200 calories in a day.

    Me too! We should start a support group.

  193. How does MeMe propose we release ourselves from our neurochemically dependency on food?

    Here’s how it appears she does it… she visualizes fat people, like her grandmother, in graphic detail, pouring over every inch of the body she finds so repulsive, and she masters he appetite that way, allowing herself only the smallest amount of food she can get by on.

    Who would you rather sit next to on an airplane?
    a. An obese person
    b. A not-obese person who spends the entire flight graphically describing the failing of her grandmother’s intimate bodily functions, and considers her grandmother’s ailments and disability a self-inflicted condition.

    Like Kate, I don’t think I could be in MeMe’s presence for more than 10 seconds without turning all ‘guest on Maury’ on her ass.

  194. lol, dependance on food. yep, we are. we die if we don’t eat.

    why does meme think we eat cake every day? she seems to think we’re constantly shovelling it into our mouths..
    cake cake and nothing but cake!

    her view of health is not….reality.

    there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance on the ‘fat is not okay!’ side. anyone else notice that?

    by the way, go crystal renn!

    and marianne’s hair? win!
    i think people are starting to realize meme roth is …..crazy.
    ‘fat people’s brains are smaller than thin people’s brains’????? you mean that fat people are stupid?

    meme also says that she ‘can have’ those indulgences because she runs 4 miles a day. so….i can’t? i can’t because i don’t like to exercise that much?

    shakes head*

  195. “Meme speaks of KNOWING that if she didn’t eat and exercise the way she does now, she would be as fat as the rest of her family, yet believes that genetics has no bearing on the size of our bodies. Logic=FAIL.”

    I just wanted to add a link I was sent today (it is a few weeks old, but still…) regarding Meme’s genetic logic.

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/aerobic-exercise-a-waste-of-time/story-e6frfku0-1225826943907

    Sorry for the clicky-pastey link. That would be my computer language fail. >.<

  196. @ Piffle – I’m sorry about losing your wonderful bitch. It’s heartbreaking to lose a pet, especially one with whom you’ve shared so many years.

    @ kallista – Blessings sent your way as you continue your recovery; you sound brave and intelligent – hang in there! MeMe IS triggering, I agree with you. I wonder if she’s ever considered that.

    @ Lindsay – It’s not a tangent, and blessings to you as well! It’s not a tangent, as I see it, because our media culture (which includes people like MeMe Roth saying very triggering things), makes life very difficult for people coping with disordered eating.

    @ Rachel B – I’m sorry your dad acts like that! He sounds like a celeb rag (two pound range of acceptability between ZOMGFATZ and ZOMGSKINNEH). But he’s just a person, even if he is also your dad. People make mistakes.

    @wellroundedtype2 – What you’re describing about MeMe Roth’s cruel language about her grandmother and other family members is why I don’t waste my sanity watchers points on her. I think that’s the cruelest thing. What did her grandmother ever do to her? If she actually did do something awful, then MeMe Roth should be addressing THAT anger, rather than to spout hateful, undeserved invective against her grandmother just for being a fat woman. And I like being seated next to friends of any size the best on an airplane.

  197. @Krisji — I like sitting next to my friends and family of all sizes on airplanes, too. I would much prefer being slightly squished “physically” by a friend or a stranger than being squished in a psychological manner by anyone.

  198. and i totally don’t mind sitting next to fat people on planes, to be honest. just…doesn’t…bother me. they’re people, it’s not all of my life, just a few hours………….? i think the next plane i go on i’m gonna by an entire row. :)

  199. Who would you rather sit next to on an airplane?
    a. An obese person
    b. A not-obese person who spends the entire flight graphically describing the failing of her grandmother’s intimate bodily functions, and considers her grandmother’s ailments and disability a self-inflicted condition.

    Or (c) a person of any weight with a contagious airborne illness who, for added goodness, just can’t help sneezing in your face? In either case, I’ll take the fatty without the H1N1, thanks.

    I have to wonder. Do they keep having M*M* on these teevee shows because they think she’s such a credible source of information or (what I think) because she demonstrates an almost Coulteresque imperviousness to earth logic? It’s hard for me to imagine that someone like her is changing anyone’s mind in her favor, but I could certainly imagine a few people coming over to our side after deciding she’s full of inedible styrobeans.

    That said, I can’t bring myself to watch yet, either. I’m going to need an entire day off, with the tranqs at the ready, before I can deal with her BS.

  200. @Kallista, @the fat nutritionist, @hsofia-

    MeMe was, undoubtedly, insufferable and made wild, sweeping comments. However, I have to take issue with the discussions of her credentials. No one on that stage had credentials. Also, a few people have taken issue with the male doctor who was patronizing to them. I guess what I’m getting at is, if Renn the model and Kirby the blogger and I Forget the Other Lady’s Name the successful dieter can be involved in the debate I see no reason why Roth’s credentials should be specifically questioned. As annoying as she is, she saw an issue she felt strongly about and started taking action on it, just as fat advocates saw an issue they felt strongly about and started taking action on it.

    It just makes me uncomfortable when we start saying this person has to have this credential this credential and that credential to be taken seriously, but then we’re ok with all the other people in that debate with no specific credentials related to the issue either. A lot of the criticism that I read of Kate’s book was that she wasn’t a doctor, not a nutritionist, etc., and I didn’t really think that was fair. It puts us in this situation where only people with the right education, credentials, etc. are reasonable and worthy of being listened to and expressing their opinions in a public forum.

    Overall, I think the debate moderator did a horrible job of moderating and that she seemed, to me, to be biased towards Roth’s side and I think is showed in her moderating, in her questioning, and in the way she reacted to both sides.

    On a totally superficial note, I also really liked Kirby’s tights.

  201. And no, it would not surprise me at all if “Is It Okay to Be Autistic?” — or even worse, as they’d no doubt phrase it, “Is It Okay to Have Autism?” — was on their docket somewhere. The number-one emailed article on the NYT today is Nicholas Kristof’s column talking about how plastics must have caused this “epidemic” of autistic people who are nothing but a “burden to society.” I wish I was making that up.

    Buffpuff, I too wonder if her parents and grandmother were technically “obese,” since she seems to think “obesity” starts at about 5 more pounds than she weighs.

  202. @living400lbs

    Also statistics fail. The references I’ve seen state that weight is highly heritable, but not 100%. An adult child of 2 fat adults can be naturally thin.

    There’s a lot of misuse of heritability estimates out there. It can result in some pretty outrageous claims (e.g., The Bell Curve). A trait (say fatness) can at once be 100% heritable and also strongly affected by environmental factors (perhaps SES, living in a food desert, or having yo-yo dieted).

    Roth’s major oversight on this point was

    /dork

    More importantly, Roth failed to rebut Renn’s point. Renn said that we each have a set point that is probably influenced by genetic makeup and past behavior (I’d be eager to hear from the fat nutritionist whether that’s accurate). Roth replied that her family members have large bodies, but she does not because she works hard at being so gosh darn virtuous.

  203. RE: people on planes and Meme’s idiocy on the subject–

    I am extremely, somewhat painfully cold natured. I was also very, very underweight and thus colder in my teens. The best flight I ever had was sandwiched in between two fat Alabama ladies on a 6 hour flight to LA when I was 15. I was so freaking warm, it was DIVINE. And they gave me fried chicken. And I think maybe some cookies, I don’t remember. Which, being an underweight ravenous teenager, I loved them for on sheer principal.

  204. @Piffle – I’m sorry about your doggie :(

    @Kortney, I think the complaint is not so much that MR is not adequately credentialed as that she implies that she IS and seems to have no problem with letting the media believe she’s some kind of expert. To the best of my knowledge none of the women in the FA movement have ever hinted that they have nutrition credentials – they’re upfront about the fact that they’re regular people who take an interest in the topic.

    If you look on Meme’s website, she touts herself as a child obesity expert and health counselor. Some may know that these are not real credentials, but they definitely smack of an effort to give the impressions of credentials. It would be like if Kate Harding were to call herself, I dunno, a … size-neutrality counselor.

  205. OMG…you guys….I have a confession….I totally ate a salad that had spinach, cucumbers, raisins, sunflower seeds, carrots, broccoli, olives, chicken and raspberry vinagrette and some breadsticks for lunch…..

    And for dinner…*sniff* I had…baked chicken…..and string beans….and long grain rice!!!!!

    I just can’t stop my addiction…….it’s so bad. Why can’t I stop myself!!!! /sarcasm.

    And as for the special on Nightline, I only watched the first 3 parts before shutting it off. Roth was hell bent on not allowing Kirby to speak at all, spewing out abelist and fat phobic comments left and right. As someone who actually HAS medical training, I refuse to take her seriously. Yes, MeMe, you CAN be fat and healthy. There are plenty of us who do it every day.

  206. Man, she’s right this is out of control. Not only do I eat food EVERY DAY, but I’m passing this addiction on to my son. He’s only 8 months old and he’s already beginning to learn to FEED HIMSELF.

    *runs away in terror*

  207. My problem is that she M.R. claims expert status, frequently and vociferously, on national TV, and no one questions what her actual credentials are. I’m not saying that she MUST have X credential to talk about X topic, but I am saying that, until Jezebel’s article, I have seen a grand total of ONE blog post actually looking into how she is trained.

    Some people may find her training to be adequate and would choose to work with her. That’s not my complaint. My issue is that she is promoting herself as a public figure, and has proven herself to be at least adequate at getting media attention, and no one is critically analyzing how she is trained — whether they ultimately come up with a good or bad judgment on that training is sort of beside the point; the point is holding people accountable for what they say.

  208. (And this has nothing to do with the credentials of anyone else on the stage; this has to do with a double standard I perceive when a thin person gets up and starts talking about nutrition vs. when a fat person does.)

  209. Peepers, one predictor of fatness as an adult is if your mother was hungry while she was pregnant (one reason why telling fat ladies not to gain weight during pregnancy is silly – it produces a fetus that thinks it’s about to pop out in a famine, not a fetus with a finely-tuned taste for Slimfast.) Also, babies who don’t get enough cholesterol in the first year (breastmilk is like egg yolks fried in bacon fat cholesterol-wise) tend to have higher cholesterol later in life. Also, toddlers need fat for brain development so that they don’t listen to people like MeMe.

  210. It just makes me uncomfortable when we start saying this person has to have this credential this credential and that credential to be taken seriously, but then we’re ok with all the other people in that debate with no specific credentials related to the issue either.

    MeMe opened herself to legitimate examination of her credentials when she started self applying the label of “expert”. I don’t know about you, but where I come from, it takes a lot of cheek to self apply that label without the credentials to back it up.

    I agree with TFN. As an expert, one would believe Roth would be generating her OWN research, ideas and conclusions, not simply making a mixed tape of a bunch of other people’s work and then passing those things off as her own creation. But folks with privilege are afforded that opportunity all the time.

    That said, the inclusion of Renn and Kirby ( and this is nothing against either, because they are fabulous) on the panel sends a clear message of how the producers feel about Roth’s credentials. As in they don’t think she has any either, but is provocative and will garner ratings.

  211. @Bunny Mazonas – What? I’m not the only one that gets urges like that? Mine’s a bit different, though. I get urge to strip to my skivvies and jump up and down in front of MeMe Roth while shouting “BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA”. OMG! I have found a SOULMATE in you!

    If the stage act idea doesn’t pan out, for lack of willing weight-loss advocates to act as guest stars… you could always try more of a travelling show! One of those man-on-the-street things where it’s you, a camera crew, and exciting live action! Chasin’ people down, woo!

  212. “I’m so glad your finally going to stop being so fat at me”

    FTW. I LOVE this sentiment. Makes me laugh every time I hear a variation of it.

    Also, my very favorite moment of the show (web version) was when an audience member got up to talk about our buds, those good ol’ headless fatties, and she said, “[It's like there's a] faceless army of ‘the fatties’ coming to get you.” I laughed so hard.

    I thought Roth and Bensen typified very nicely the whole “thin is better” viewpoint we hold in our society. They may not be experts, and I may not like what they have to say, but holy cow, did they seem to cover every fat-shaming, fattie-hating, food-phobic ill we grapple with. I wonder how helpful Roth’s fat-hating comments are to her Poor Fat Relatives Whom She’s So Concerned About.

    Meanwhile, re: Marianne, KUDOS to her for getting up on that show and speaking for FA and calling out hatred of fat people. She was extremely eloquent when asking why MeMe frames her crusade as a “war on obesity” instead of a crusade for health. MeMe had no good answer.

  213. I read the Pitt study Meme cites in part 4 and I feel like she’s oversimplifying the results.

    It says: “Correlation between BMI and brain volume is unlikely to be direct in the sense of one causing the other..” It’s a short and easy read if you’re interested.

    Pretty incredulous to misrepresent the findings of actual scientific experts to further her agenda.

  214. Marianne, Crystal Renn, and the other author are up there as authors of books, people who have done research and articulated opinions (some based on their own life experiences to boot) about an issue. MeMe Roth has created a one-woman “institute” based on her diploma mill certificates to make herself sound fancy and credible. It’s like Dr. Laura — yes, you are a doctor, but not the kind you are implying you are. MeMe Roth has fancy letterhead paper and a photo of herself in a bikini, and somehow that makes her an expert on tv.

  215. Totally, SM. I feel like people who criticize Kirby and Renn are also folks who believe the lived experiences of marginalized folks aren’t enough proof to the existence of whatever -ism is being bashed that day.

  216. No one on that stage had credentials.

    I kinda think that’s the point.

    I keep thinking, if any of these television shows were genuinely interested in hosting in-depth debates about fat and health, they’d put together a panel of medical professionals with considerable experience in these areas, as well as interested and informed individuals. (If it were me, I’d probably throw in an historian and a medical anthropologist too.) So, what I suspect is that the issue is being deliberately framed as dueling lady opinions, with greater credence automatically given to those opinions – Roth’s – congruent with the obesity epidemic narrative.

  217. Please note, I’m not saying our experiences and voices are of lesser value – just, that mainstream media does.

  218. I am dripping wet but need to type this right now:

    I have decided to avoid all food with chemicals in it from now on.

    I call it the “anti-matter diet.”

    My goal BMI is -1.0.

    That would be an awesome premise for a comic book.

  219. I keep thinking, if any of these television shows were genuinely interested in hosting in-depth debates about fat and health, they’d put together a panel of medical professionals with considerable experience in these areas, as well as interested and informed individuals.

    The problem is they also want to be accessible. You get a bunch medical professionals, they’re throwing around researcher names and acronyms and suddenly it’s not mass-market.

  220. @living400lbs: a good panel moderator with thorough knowledge of the subject at hand and willingness to step in as often as necessary for clarification of jargon, etc., could solve that. The main problem is that not only would that discussion be way too long and involved to fit in a 1-hr newsmagazine format, it would require the network airing it to actually let go of the “obesity=bad” mentality in order to accurately judge whether a given moderator was up to the task.

  221. @Jenniferal, @the fat nutrionist, @Sweet Machine, @snarkysmachine-

    I can see how there is a difference, you all make a good point that she shouldn’t be touted as an “expert”. That definitely is problematic, because it imparts an authority to her that isn’t given to the other panel members.

  222. I am not in favor of giving money to diploma mills, but I have a tiny urge to buy a round of IIN certificates for any FA advocates who will be appearing with MeMeMeMe, just to level the playing field.

    When questioned, I could it explain it as a non-food treat.

  223. Well, I watched some of this online. What I could bear to, that is.
    Please do not take this the wrong way, but I am uncomfortable with the statement that yo yo dieting makes you fat. They correctly stated on the program the research is not conclusive either way. I think it would be better for someone to make a statement about yo yo dieting prefaced with “In my experience…”
    Why am I being nitpicky here? Well, for one thing, MeMe tosses around questionable facts all the time and it is probably best not to follow her lead. (not saying I think the yo you dieting statements are anywhere near as bad as just about anything out of MeMe’ s mouth)
    But ultimately, I think the fat acceptance movement does not even have to mention this to strengthen their case.

    Crystal Ren made a very simple, but very important points: That food is pleasurable and there are real costs to living a life of denial. And, I am glad the moderator did make a comment to MeMe that medical problems are not the only problems that matter. She wasn’t perfect, of course. I was not thrilled with her swallowing of the whole “obesity epidemic” thing, but it wasn’t unexpected.

    MeMe does not seem like a happy person.

  224. meant to add– in all the stuff I’ve read about MeMe, I haven’t seen anything that questioned her credentials. Why? I mean really, I cannot imagine anyone else making as many health claims as she does and actually purporting to be a leader of a health related cause undergoing such little scrutiny
    I searched for anything that mentioned her credentials and came up with… nothing, so I’m glad the link to Jezebel was posted.

  225. chaunceyb – what about “dieting makes you fat”? That meta study done by UCLA showed that something like 40% of the people who’d lost weight on a diet gained back more than they lost and ended up fatter than when they started? I don’t have a link handy to the study so that number may be off. There’s a growing body of evidence that dieting and caloric restriction can actually lead to some people gaining weight in the long term. When everyone and their brother is telling people to restrict calories and this supposed salvation of a behavior may be responsible for weight gain, I think it’s highly important to start sounding the alarm.

    Also this is one of my biggest pet peeves of people critiquing someone’s arguments. “Well if you would only express it the way I would be comfortable with, then I’d support you” is not support, it’s nitpicking on tone that distracts from the larger issue.

    DRST

  226. DRST,
    I’m sorry that that is way you took my statement, but it is certainly not what I intended. Did you read the rest of my post?

  227. @peepers – More importantly, Roth failed to rebut Renn’s point. Renn said that we each have a set point that is probably influenced by genetic makeup and past behavior (I’d be eager to hear from the fat nutritionist whether that’s accurate). Roth replied that her family members have large bodies, but she does not because she works hard at being so gosh darn virtuous.

    Whenever someone asks me about set-point now, I refer them to this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605663/?tool=pubmed

    And especially the graphs contained therein. It’s short and fairly readable, and basically makes the argument that, based on the definition of homeostasis, and the past research done on set-point, weight can be argued as being controlled by homeostatic mechanisms — just like body temperature and other systems.

    Even though there is some wiggle-room individually on how much one weighs — and yes, I believe environment and behavior plays a part in that — on the grand scale of weight diversity in a species, the actual range through which most individuals can cycle is pretty damn small.

    (All of this is, of course, excluding those who have underlying medical abnormalities or diseases that disrupt weight homeostasis.)

  228. @the fat nutritionist:

    Homeostasis is an amazing thing. I remember one time when I was going through a period of depression that made it pretty much impossible to eat for at least three weeks (and for even longer to eat in adequate amounts). I would go to work ,and, out of curiosity, check my blood sugar. Always stayed in the 80’s to 110’s.

  229. I haven’t commented here in ages, but I just have to say, WTF?? I didn’t watch the debate, but just that quote made me laugh so hard. Of course we’re dependent on food, you idiot!

  230. MeMe does not seem like a happy person.

    No big surprise there. I’m a total bitch on fewer than 1600 calories per day. I have trouble imagining that someone 6 inches taller than me who’s a lot more physically active than me would be all sunshine and rainbows on 1300.

  231. I dvr’d the debate, but as soon as I saw Meme, I hit delete as fast as my fat fingers could find it. I just could not take it.

    Kristin – I also have an eating disorder that absolutely revolves around hurting myself with food. It is so very painful. FA has been the Snuggie For My Soul while I have searched for a treatment that works for me.

    Regardless of what happens to my weight due to my current regimen (and I am certain it will move around the scale for a bit), I will always be a Fat Activist. It is where my heart is.

  232. TFN– I’ve long thought that evolution would be crazy to leave the metabolic mechanisms under the conscious control of the animal. I assume that, like breathing, it is under voluntary control up to a point and then goes into a state of emergency, where we just damned well have to breathe (or eat) and the body itself is compelled to focus on that need to the exclusion of all else.

  233. MeMe does not seem like a happy person.

    I do note I would not be calm and comfortable in a “debate” over something I take very personally. I don’t know if she does take it personally — she seems to, but it could be she simply thinks it will help her cause to appear to do so.

  234. On yo-yo dieting, from the Mann study (PDF)

    Among patients who were followed for under two years, 23% gained back more weight than they had lost. Among patients who were followed for two or more years, 83% gained back more weight than they lost (Swanson & Dinello, 1970). Even in the studies with the longest follow-up times (of four or five years postdiet), the weight regain trajectories did not typically appear to level off (e.g., Hensrud, Weinsier, Darnell, & Hunter, 1994; Kramer, Jeffery, Forster, & Snell, 1989), suggesting that if participants were followed for even longer, their weight would continue to increase. It is important for policymakers to remember that weight regain does not necessarily end when researchers stop following study participants.

    I note this does NOT mean everyone who diets will end up fatter than they started. But it IS very common.

  235. Chaunceyb, if dieting made people lastingly thin(ner) folks wouldn’t embark on a lifetime of yoyo-ing in the first place. The industry suspects this but it prefers to pretend that yoyo dieting is something stupid people do because they either don’t have enough willpower to stick to any diet for longer than five minutes; or that they keep trying excessively freaky crank or quick-fix diets rather than a Lifestyle Change (the definition of which is usually the diet they’re trying to sell). It’s mostly people who profit from yoyo dieting and the effects of it who fund surveys – of course they’re not going to fund something that tells the world what most of us here actually know from personal experience. The plural of science may not be anecdote (or whatever the hell that trollish little statement is) but I would suggest that a fuck of a lot of Shapelings have discovered for themselves that dieting makes you fatter and yoyo-ing is what happend when you keep bullshitting yourself “this time it will be different”

  236. So, I watched the Nightline debate, kind of by accident. It was on and I wanted to see what Renn and Kirby had to say to MeMe Roth. I think they were both very eloquent and poised in the face of lunacy. I find it hard to believe that anyone sensible could take MeMe Roths’ self-hate and aggressive poking into other people’s lifestyles seriously.

    However, the whole debate did upset me. Not so much because of what Roth said-I pity her, actually, because it seems she has major issues and trying to control everyone’s food habits is her outlet. It’s more that the media seems to accept her as an expert! Shame on Nightline for the lame fact checking!

    Also, it angers me that the burden of proof landed on fat acceptance. It drives me insane to hear things like “the WAR on obesity” when I’m still struggling to fully accept myself, as is.

    I am a teacher in the neighborhood where Roth currently lives and would die if her kids went to my school (poor kids!). It’s bad enough that in public schools, homemade baked goods are no longer permitted at bake sales (because they are considered the nutritional terrorists of the juvenile Obesity War). Thank goodness I work in an independent school!

    We recently had a bake sale to raise funds for Haiti. We made brownies and cookies from scratch, as well as traditional Haitian breads from scratch. The kids came and bought some stuff after lunch then went on to recess to run around. I don’t see anything wrong with this. As far as I know there are no MeMe Roth-types at the school that would object to this. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    Life is hard enough right now without bringing in such disordered thinking about one of the necessities and pleasures of life-food!

  237. I certainly don’t believe dieting makes people lastingly thinner. Is there something in my post that conveyed that message?
    What I meant to convey is that there is conflicting research about yo yo dieting making you fatter. But, I will concede that I have not read the research cited (or more likely for me, the abstract of the research !) It certainly is not like I am not open to the idea that yo yo dieting makes you fat.
    In my defense, I did admit to being nitpicky.

  238. Responding to Torrilin above:

    In regard to eating disorders and CBT, I can only speak from my own experience. I am a recovering sub-clinical (only by the weight criteria!) anorexic and I had a good experience with a psychologist specializing in treating people with eating disorders who used CBT.
    I don’t think, of course that this means it will work for everyone. Some factors that probably helped were that, due to a supportive and caring family who saw my “dieting” for what it really was, I entered treatment fairly quickly (less than a year after my eating became really disordered). It certainly also helped that I saw a therapist who specialized in eating disorders.
    Last caveat, I have only been out of therapy for about 5 years now, so we have yet to see if its a “permanent” fix. Shapely Prose has been helping a lot, and its a lot cheaper than therapy!

  239. @emeraldcat, FWIW, I think the public school prohibition on baked goods is about food safety, not OMG tehfatz. It still seems a bit much to me, but in all of the cases I know about, the prohibition is against *home*baked goods, not sweets in general. Prepackaged sweets are OK. I find this sad because the chances are that the homebaked goods will be of better quality and contain fewer mystery ingredients*, but there you have it.

    *I think it’s even possible to bake sweets at home without the use of any chemicals! These items are mysteriously invisible and weightless, but at least Meme would approve.

  240. @Lampdevil: When I was trying to eliminate ablist slurs from my vocabulary, I sat down and wrote out a list of insults, and tried to find out what I really meant instead of using that word. Did I mean that someone was pathetic, boring, useless, ridiculous, or a pustulant boil on the ass of humanity? That way, instead of stammering when I came to the new gap in my vocabulary, I had cool new insults.

    As far as food addiction goes, I’m totally addicted. Even if I didn’t need to eat in order to survive, I would want to. I take pleasure from eating. I entertain myself, comfort myself, revel in delicious tastes, celebrate my heritage, widen my horizons, and take pleasure in using my body. Eating food is not just for keeping you alive. People like MeMe Roth are losing so much of their lives by turning eating into a war with their bodies, and losing sight of the beauty of food.

  241. @Jenniferal: Actually: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/no-brownies-at-bake-sales-but-doritos-may-be-o-k/?scp=1&sq=bake%20sales%20in%20schools&st=cse. I don’t know how to hyperlink that, but it’s an article that was published a few days ago about regulating bake sales in NYC schools and how prepacked low fat doritos are OK but no to the evil, homemade brownies.

    I would understand if it were about food safety but it’s about the WAR ON OBESITY.

  242. chaunceyb – I read all of your comment. Multiple times, before I replied. I don’t think you had some sort of evil intent, but I wanted to point out that telling someone they should phrase their argument to suit your personal tastes or you won’t recognize it as valid, even if it was with the best of intentions, or without fully realizing what you were saying, is not cool and something you probably want to refrain from doing in the future.

    DRST

  243. @emeraldcat – wow …sorry, I stand corrected. I wish I didn’t because man, this is so sad. They have ruined bake sales. The only reason I would ever hit a bake sale is so I can get homemade goodies that I don’t have the time or inclination to make myself. I can go buy (blech) baked doritos anywhere, so why bother with the bake sale.

    Ugh, this is all so ridiculous. Is there no value in exposing children to all kinds of food choices so they can figure out for themselves what works for them? I can understand the rationale behind keeping pop machines out of school lunchrooms because I don’t think pop should be represented as actual food, but bake sales are supposed to be about making money by tempting people with delicious treats. Argh – we have gone insane in this country.

  244. Of course the high priestess of the Church of Media wants to keep real women in line, obsessing over every fucking calorie and running-( hey- does Meme run on the streets? No matter, she runs away from her own phobias)
    Keep running, running Meme, until you hit the Wall.
    That’s where you face your own mortality, and where Superwomen go to die.
    Then maybe, join the regular mortals who have been there, too, and found an AFTER LIFE, where people can “fail” and still be loved.

  245. @Jenniferal: I know, it’s so sad that it has come to banning baked goods from bake sales. I’m so thankful that I work in a progressive, independent school. I think the kids have a good, well rounded nutrition curriculum and although I’ve heard a few nutty, obsessive comments coming out of kids’ mouths regarding nutrition they are mostly exposed to varied food, including treats like brownies and cake at home and in school (they bring in cupcakes for birthdays, etc…) I dread the day I encounter a parent like MeMe Roth and hope it simply doesn’t happen.

  246. I just celebrated food at Shabbas dinner. Bad me, using food as a cultural proxy to create togetherness and celebration! Maybe we should have a Shabbat Spin-a-Thon instead. Instead of the motzi, we’ll have lo-carb “bread.”

    Ugh. You know, botha s a Jew and as someone who lived in the Middle East for awhile, the denial of bread as a deeply sacred thing just…..ugh. Bread is BREAD. The Egyptian word for bread is “aish,” meaning “life.” Moroccans will sometimes pick up a piece of bread off the street and move it to avoid stepping on it. You do not diss what built your fsking civilization.

  247. DRST– I don’t believe that I wrote anything like “you must phrase your argument as thus:”. (or I won’t find it valid)

    At any rate, my reaction was to the statement that YO YO dieting makes you fat. I guess I had a bad reaction to that because I hear this one stated by those on the other side of the issue too– in their case, their answer is you have to a) exercise religiously, and b) practice moderation (where moderation is defined as “allowing” yourself one cookie about once a week– that sort of thing) Usually the claim is that weight cycling “wrecks” your metabolism. This has never been proven, and is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but doesn’t have any real evidence to support it.

    But, I did look at the meta analysis. Being a meta analysis, it is probably the best thing we have, but it had its limitations too. There was a paucity of randomized studies available– those would be the gold standard.For those studies, the conclusions were that the dieting group only were a few pounds less than their original weights at the end of the study. The control group maintained their weights.
    I think a stronger claim, using that study is that diets don’t work. I don’t feel the case for “dieting makes you fatter” is nearly as strong from that study. I don’t think the authors would be prepared to say that either.

    I’m sensitive to people conflating correlation with causation because I think those on the other side of the debate do it all the time.
    I also get upset when people who have lost weight and have maintained that loss say things like “Anyone can lose weight if they’re willing to put forth the effort– I did it.” Yes, in those cases I say “It might be better to say ‘in my personal experience, I have lost weight with diet and exercise’.

  248. Oh my goodness Cortney. That article is offensive on so many levels – I cannot believe that headline in particular. Just…wow.

    I have to actually laugh at that last line though. Here I had been thinking that people actually needed body fat to LIVE, but this brilliant author has corrected me. Fat MURDERS. And if fat murders, you know what that means about actual FAT PEOPLE :O

  249. It’s like mystery titles! ‘Fat is Murder’ … ‘Fat Does the Hootchie Cootchie’ … ‘The Bride Was Fat’ … ‘Fat Plays Hide and Seek.’ Heck, there actually was a mystery radio series called ‘The Fat Man’ based on – or so I’ve heard – Dashiell Hammet’s Continental Op … ‘Fat Solves the Crime.’

  250. So, I read all of the comments. I told myself not to look, I warned myself not to watch….but it’s like a train wreck – I had to see. What a waste of sanity points. MeMe Roth really does say that fat people have smaller brains – did she not bother to read the study? Brilliant. This is also the woman that said that fat people shit themselves (really – here’s the link http://memeroth.blogspot.com/2009/12/hating-obesity-is-start.html ). I think that the audience wasn’t buying her story, but it is really scary that Nightline would give her the respect of calling her an expert.

  251. I’m eating repeatedly…I’m totally addicted. (Joi Nash did a video about addiction: water and air addiction, addiction to eating, etc.)

    I couldn’t finish the debate. Like some have said here, the “successful dieter” and MeMe (memememe!) roth shouted over anything Kirby and Renn said (I’m exag…but only a bit.) Kirby and Renn were respectful…the fat-o-phobes were frantic (Dieting Doesn’t Get You There “Success Story” sniped at Marianne (with perhaps an implied but silent “freak” for punctuation…like we’re in the high school cafeteria.) The moderator was useless. (What’s her name, Juju? it was a very strange name. But so is Cokie.)

    I’ve got to say, I took my first dive into getting more active in the fat-o-sphere with that debate. (Bought Harding and Kirby’s book on my Kindle Immediately after shutting the show down.) This is a hard ride. Bad feelings, angry feelings, soothing self-talk, pouting as I look into the middle distance. (Does one need to mourn his or her FoBT? Does one need to mourn the self-hater? Would that be a good thing to do?)

    Anyway, you women all rock. Thank you.

  252. DRST– Are you a moderator? Did I violate one of the guidelines? I did not see my original post as inflammatory, but I have been told to “refrain from” (making such statements) in the future.
    I have been frustrated because I feel that you have put words in my mouth. It seems like quite a jump to go from “I think it would be better….” (my words) to telling someone they should phrase their argument the way I would like it or I won’t recognize their point as valid (your words).
    I was probably not clear in my original post. I was specifically talking about a statement about yo yo dieting. And more importantly, the claim that it makes you fatter. I wish I had written “fatter” rather than “fat”. I can see how someone would think I’m dissing the whole idea that dieting doesn’t work. But, no I would never do that. There is just way too much evidence to support that idea.
    Dieting making you fatter– this theory would just be way too difficult to test. You’d probably need a lot of identical twins for research subjects.
    My larger point, however, is the anti obesity zealots play fast and loose with science all the time. It is probably the main reason that I became interested in this issue. So many ridiculous statements floating around! (I also became interested because I am oh so tired of fresh, organic produce and whole foods being celebrated as the answer to pretty much whatever ails society.) And, while I don’t think the writer on the panel played “fast and loose” with the facts I don’t think her claim could be entirely supported with research.

  253. Chaunceyb, I’ll readily admit that reading and analysing scientific studies, abstracts, statistics, etc is something my brain cannot do without severe hurtiness. (Fortunately I have other skills that help in the areas of fat activism that particularly interest me). So I can’t Talk the Talk at all. But I first read about set-point theory and metabolic damage through dieting in the mid-1980s and, when I did, I recognised not only my own lived experience but that of every dieter I knew. It also made total sense in the context of my forbears. I’m Russian Jewish; the very few skinny members to be seen in old family photos were those that married into the family. We were peasants and we were fat. Metabolisms slow down to store fat better in times of famine; we know that. We also know most dieters gain back more weight than they lost when they stop dieting, which ratchets up their set-points . Surely, if you keep artificially creating famine over and over again, you’re going to ratchet it up further every time you do?

  254. Metabolisms slow down to store fat better in times of famine; we know that. We also know most dieters gain back more weight than they lost when they stop dieting, which ratchets up their set-points . Surely, if you keep artificially creating famine over and over again, you’re going to ratchet it up further every time you do?

    Yeah, I don’t know the science here, but this makes total intuitive sense to me, the idea that our bodies might have a mechanism that gets activated in case of famine and says “Okay, clearly I’m living in a food insecure time/place; all the more important to store food then.” Kind of like a switch that gets pushed further and further to the “storage” side of the ledger every time it encounters more famine-like situations. I don’t know whether that’s the case, but it does seem to fit with observable evidence, at least for an awful lot of people . . .

  255. As hilarious as her comments are, I think her message may have started with concern. But now it’s turned into judgement shrouded by caring.

  256. LilahMorgan and buffpuff– I appreciate your thoughtful responses. And, I can see where you are coming from. It does seem to make sense, and there are theories abounding about set points. But, most of the research shows that metabolism does not respond to dieting that way.

    Like I said though, my main point is that the anti obesity zealots use a lot of “common sense” that just isn’t true. I think it is best to respond with arguments that have stronger evidence. I’m not saying that every argument has to have scientific research to back it up. Some things ideas the anti obesity experts raise are just ridiculous– I’m thinking of the idea that a person should make staying a weight deemed acceptable by them as the central work of their life. (maybe they don”t put it that way, but for some people that is what they would have to do to achieve and maintain this weight — if they could). Well, crap like that just deserves to be called out.

    i guess I am doing a poor job getting my idea across.

  257. If we forgot all about the problems with proving that fat has a causal link with diabetes and CVD, and we also forgot about the fact that, according to some analyses, if fat people die sooner then they cost less to insure in the long run (but will also be paying insurance for a shorter period of time because of their shorter lifespans, hence the higher premiums), and forgot about the fact that overweight-BMI and low-obese-BMI people live longer than normal-BMI people, AND forgot about the fact we don’t have a reliable way to make people permanently thinner…

    MeMe Roth would still have to explain why fat people should be responsible for paying any treatment resulting from their condition, but things that are more clearly under our control are still covered by health insurance, and it doesn’t upset her at all. Someone made the comparison a while back to drug addiction, and I know that exercise-related injuries have been brought up… But what about injuries sustained in accidents while snowmobiling, using off-road vehicles, hunting, boating? What about car accidents during unnecessary trips to the mall? What about people who choose to ride motorcycles instead of using cars? Those are more clearly voluntary than addiction, and there’s not even a fitness/health component to offset the risk of injury, as there would be in exercise/sports related injuries. Should those people have a rider on their health insurance where they have to pay for any health care costs resulting from such recreational activities? Are we going to say that if you take any risk purportedly under your control, your insurance should not pay for it? In other words, people choose to engage in behavior that risks causing health problems and increases costs to the health care system all the time, but no one has a problem with it most of the time. With fat, suddenly people object!

    If Roth thinks that her insurance premiums shouldn’t go towards diabetes treatment for fat people, she needs to explain how that’s different from our insurance premiums going to pay for an injury someone got in a snowmobile accident. The fact that she has a problem with one but not the other makes it clear that it is not just about paying for other people’s risks, it is about her issues with food and fat.

  258. Chaunceyb, FWIW, I had no trouble understanding what you were trying to say. I don’t think that saying, “let’s not claim something is a well-established fact if it’s not a well-established fact” should be controversial or read as a “tone” criticism. (Haven’t I made a similar argument before? Oh yes, right after linking to this after my coworker sent everyone a chain email…)

    I don’t know if we have enough evidence to say with certainty whether yo-yo dieting has an effect on your metabolism (although I’d be surprised if it DIDN’T slow down your metabolism). I don’t think the part of Kirby’s answer where she said “dieting got me here” was problematic, though (I realize you didn’t say it was), since it is established that after a diet one tends to end up slightly heavier than where one started–whether metabolism has anything to do with that doesn’t change that.

  259. I finally got around to watching it – watched it with my Sig O. We ended up having a 2.5 hour debate about it afterwards. Very interesting!

  260. Small nitpick: multiple people claimed that MeMe Roth ate 1200 calories and ran 4 miles a day. If Roth is to be believed, she eats 1800 calories and runs 4 miles a day; on days when she doesn’t run, she eats 1300 calories. What she actually does is bad enough…

  261. The fact that this woman is a mother scares the fuck out of me. I feel so sorry for those kids.

    And ah hell, I can’t even bring myself to hate someone as neurotic as her. I just pity someone who has an existence that miserable and feels the need to force it out on others.

  262. @CassandraSays- Yes. Yes he is. He’s dangerous, and we should boycott all of Christmas- ESPECIALLY milk and cookies- to send a message.

    Murdering gift giving jolly men in red suits will NOT be tolerated come the revolution!**

    **Which I’m sure MeMe will offer to televise. As long as she is the host.

  263. closetpuritan– you expressed what I wanted to say much better than I did (in multiple attempts, no less).

  264. I, too, am a food addict. (hangs head in shame)

    As far as fun and creative uses for donuts — when my dad was going to the University of Virginia, one of the foods served at the student snack bar was called “grills” — two glazed donuts grilled just long enough to crystallize (but not melt) the glazing. A variation on that was “grills with” — said donuts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream between them. Of course, my dad started college in ’67, so recreational pot smoking was pretty common…

  265. No stoner here– and I must say that combination sounds divine. Grilled doughnuts and ice cream: Sounds like a birthday treat for me since I have a summer birthday.
    But first I will have to find some doughnuts made without “chemicals”.

    Speaking of chemicals– made whoopee pies this weekend. What a delightful use of marshmallow fluff and shortening!

  266. Ok, so I’m coming into this conversation late. I just watched the video, and I’m not sure I can address everything that annoyed me. I will try, though.

    Airplane seats. This was addressed during the whole Kevin Smith is too fat to fly nonsense. Since when should an airline seat dictate what sizes are acceptable? We know that airlines want to cram as many people onto a plane as possible. That’s how they make money. So why should this be any judge of what’s acceptable and what isn’t? Also, I am one person. When I fly, I am transporting one person from here to there. Not two people. Why should I be required to pay for two people, even if it is at a discounted rate? Especially when I fit into one seat. Are they going to serve me two meals? Give me double ginger ale and peanuts? Can I take twice as many pieces of luggage?

    Also, I appreciated how Marianne and Crystal kept trying to recenter the debate on healthy living and not weight. First, most people don’t understand the first thing about nutrition. Most people who are a socially-acceptable size are probably that way by accident. Also, most overweight people I know DO work out, and they DO eat well. I understand this is a common point made, but it goes even further. A 300lb person walking down the street will be judged on sight. What if that person had previously weighed 400 lbs? The people who would judge them on sight would think this was admirable, but they will never know that. Or, if they did, they might argue that “well, you should never have let yourself go in the first place.”

    Fat people are ridiculed when they try to do the right thing. I can’t stand the idea of going to a gym because I know how people can be. Also, it’s humiliating to have to check to see the weight-limit of a piece of equipment before using. I’ve wanted an elliptical for a long time now, but I can’t afford to buy the models that can support my weight! How ridiculous is that? Fat people can’t even use exercise equipment.

    Also, when a fat person orders a water and a salad and a clear broth soup in a restaurant, you know there’s someone thinking “and when she gets home, I bet she’s breaking out the fried chicken”. I know people think these things because I’ve heard them said.

    Society insists that fat people strive for a “normal weight” and then it does everything it can to discourage them from doing just that. How can anyone be expected to accomplish something when they’re being hated on all the time?

    When MeMe speaks about her family, I am horrified. She’s obviously ashamed of them, but it also sounds like she hates them. She denied being fat-phobic, but her entire crusade points to her being so. She grew up ashamed of her family, afraid people would judge her because of them. So she decided to do everything in her power to avoid being fat, and her crusade is a manifestation of that. Maybe she thinks that if there is enough fat-hatred in the world, then all the fat people will feel as ashamed as she did and change their ways. That’s our problem. We haven’t experienced enough shame and hatred.

    Kim Benson annoyed me for a number of reasons. First of all, it seemed like she thought everything Marianne said was childish, naive, and the words of a spoiled kid who is being defiant. Also, she kept saying “I did it, anyone can do it”. But not everyone wants to do it. That point keeps being overlooked. Many people LIKE being fat. They do feel good. They love food. It brings them joy, and their life is joyful because of it. So she felt horrible when she was fat. That sucks, and she did what she needed to do to overcome that. But if Marianne says she’s finally at peace with herself and that she feels good, who’s Ms. Benson to yell and say she’s wrong? Ms. Benson experienced a lot of self-loathing, and that is something I can relate to, but this experience makes it absolutely impossible for her to understand or accept self-acceptance. I think she’s jealous and bitter that she had to lose 200 lbs to feel good about herself, when here’s this Marianne person feeling good about herself without having to do that.

    I think a lot of people have been writing that MeMe only eats 1200 calories a day. She actually said that because she runs 4 miles a day, she is able to eat as much as 1800 calories a day. Right away, if you to draw people into more healthy lifestyles, saying that you have to run 4 miles a day in order to eat 1800 calories is not going to do it. It would pretty much scare me away. That does not sound like a life I would enjoy. If it’s so hard to maintain, then there’s no way you’re going to convince me that size is natural. Also, I laughed when she said 2000 calories a day was fine if you were 6’5”. 2000 would definitely NOT be enough calories for someone that tall if they ever moved at all. Has she ever seen a tall, lanky person eat?

    I weigh around 310. Am I in the best shape? Not by a long shot. But my cholesterol is good. My blood pressure is good. I’m not diabetic. All of my blood work is fine. My mother is a third my weight, but she is crazy unhealthy. She may not be overweight, but she is remarkably over fat. To see us together is like seeing a normal person next to a giant. It’s really a crazy sight. Yet, I would be the one judged. She smokes and drinks as if these activities are her personal crusades, but she only eats once a day–right before she goes to bed. She hardly ever leaves the house. She’s only 51. I work full-time. I’m a vegetarian. I was a double major and had a minor during my undergrad, and I’m currently a graduate student who makes fabulous grades. Occasionally I go through phases where I exercise like crazy. Now is not one of those phases. So who has the healthier lifestyle? The “normal” weight person or the fat person?

    My father played football in high school and was in the Marine Corps for 20 years. He was also a scuba instructor. Since he retired we have had a restaurant; he’s been a commercial diver; and now he’s a truck driver. He’s gained some weight with age, but he’s not fat. However, he’s got horrible circulation issues that make it extremely difficult for him to walk now. Before he had surgery, he was in excruciating pain all the time. He’s just about to be 55, and the surgery was around 5 years ago. So despite living an active lifestyle, or perhaps because of it, his body has worn out. My parents are polar opposites, but in the end, they are both extremely unhealthy.

    Meme embodies everything this blog fights against. I am grateful to you all for creating this venue.

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