Commentariat, Fluff, Sweet Machine

Friday Meta-Fluff: All roads lead to SP

So what with our FAQ-building and our blogwars and all, I’ve been thinking about how this blog turned from an awesome blog to an awesome community. To that end, here’s your fluff question for today: How did you first find your way to Shapely Prose?

Personally, I knew Kate from Fatshionista and also knew that there was this really well written blog called Shapely Prose, but it took me months to put two and two together and realize they were the same person. Once I realized that we lived in the same city, my fate was sealed: I was a (proto-) Shapeling for life.

How did you make your way here? And while you’re at it, are there any new blogs you’d like to recommend to other Shapelings?

Also: Happy Friday! And if you’re in North America today, bundle the hell up!

195 thoughts on “Friday Meta-Fluff: All roads lead to SP”

  1. A friend of mine (Starkeymonster) handed me Fat!So? one day after we had a discussion about fat bodies and fat politics. After that, when I was basically, “more! more!” she pointed me here.

    Reading Fat!So? was the first time I ever heard/saw/read anyone challenge the idea that being fat was a bad thing. I had certainly thought that dieting was a bad thing, and I knew that I got so frustrated under the pressure to keep doing more than I was doing (more exercise, more restrictive eating) that I had basically given up, but I thought I was horrible for doing so.

    Shapely Prose is my daily dose of fat acceptance, and while it hasn’t helped me completely, it has helped me a surprising amount. I no longer refer to myself as a “hutt” (as in Jabba the) on a regular basis. I spend a lot less time depressed about how I look. I can go to the gym and actually feel good about it, instead of feeling like I should be doing more. And I’m learning less disordered eating.

    So, Thank you.


  2. Feministing–>Shakesville–>Shapely Prose

    Whereupon I fell to reading the entire site in one day. And I’ve been back nearly every day since. I consider this site food for my soul.

  3. I think my story’s about the same as yours, SM, since we probably discovered SP at the same time and sent each other links a lot. I definitely remember the “shut the fuck up, YOU’RE Kate Harding??” moment when I finally put things together.

  4. I got here through a link m.leblanc posted on the bitch phd blog. I think it was about BMI nonsense. I lurked, not sure I should be here as I’m thin, but kept finding such good, insightful, thoughtful commentary on self-image, body politics, and how fucked up our culture can be on all of them. My weight, no matter how high or low it is, should not be a matter for public comment. Ever. And it’s really really nice to find a place where people see some things the way I do, and make me think about many others. It’s a happy place for me.

  5. I was right in the middle of my millionth diet wondering why I wasn’t really losing weight when I found this site.

    I had been using a calorie counting website and one day in the forums there this woman wrote a post about how she thought she was getting to obsessed with dieting, and that she just wanted to live her life; someone responded and gave her a link to Good With Cheese. I clicked it and I was hooked; I read the whole site in one day and I wanted more. I started clicking on the links she had on her site, one of which is this blog, and I’ve been a Shapeling ever since.

  6. It started in late summer when I was struggling with trying to analyze my reluctance to diet. I’d always been about loving your body but I wasn’t eating healthy or exercising and I just wasn’t loving my body. But neither did I buy into the media’s obesity crisis BS or any of the diet industry’s ideas on how to ‘be healthy.’ I was trying to figure out the difference between dieting and eating healthier.

    Turns out, I was more afraid of the healthy effects of yo-yo dieting than I was of being fat. I was just letting society tell me I should be dieting anyway.

    Anyway, I blogged about my confusions and my friend at Middle Raged Punk sent me here. A bunch of light bulbs went off, a few neurons fired, train tracks connected and BOOM! Femmeknitzi was born!

  7. Found SP one of the recent times it was featured on the “front page” of WordPress.

    31, learning to accept my body as it is – and the truths of the years when I was nearly starving myself as well as the years of binge eating. I nearly destroyed myself physically and emotionally during my teens and twenties. Being handed a type 2 diabetes diagnosis wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but there’s a whole other aspect of disordered eating (meticulous carb counting) that goes along with it.

    It doesn’t matter how much I weigh, it doesn’t matter how much I eat, it’s what I eat (and how much I exercise) that affects my body now. Seeking out blood sugar control (and thyroid control) is much different than seeking out weight loss, though. My mind becomes as balanced as my body when it works properly. And that’s more important than anything.

  8. I met fillyjonk almost a year ago, and we immediately hit it off. Over the summer, I started having problems with an ED relapse, and that’s when she introduced me to Joy Nash’s “Fat Rant” video, which was the beginning of a new perspective for me. From there, I followed her breadcrumbs to Shapely Prose and have been reading and learning here ever since.

  9. I also came to shapely prose through bitchphd, but it wasn’t through my own link, but my co-blogger’s. I think she originally linked to the BMI project, but I didn’t actually come to shapely prose proper until a bunch of our commenters acted like assholes to a member of the shapely prose community and my co-blogger bitch linked to a guest post of hers here, talking about why she wouldn’t be blogging for a while.

    Then I started linking to shapely prose, like, every other day, and stalking Kate Harding.

  10. Also, I’d fleetingly read some FA blogs before, but never very regularly, and I think it is the characteristic very-long-and-well-written-snarky-posts-with-hella-profanity that is de rigeur from KH, FJ, and SM that has kept me coming back. Y’all are rad.

  11. It was a link in that sent me over here originally, can’t even remember what it was to, pre-dates the BMI project. Have been reading (via LJ syndication) ever since.

  12. I’ve been reading Heidi for almost five years now, though not because of weight or fat issues, just because I liked her writing. When she wrote her piece on hating WLS but having it anyway, she linked to this blog, which published it (and started a huge war in FA-land, which I still think is completely absurd).
    I’ve been here ever since, and my life is better for it. :)

  13. I found it through a link Cecily posted on her blog, (used to be wastedbirthcontrol). She wrote about the Fantasy of Being Thin post, and after reading that I was hooked!

  14. I think I got linked here via feministing or feministe, sorry i don’t remember which. I remember I spent the rest of the day looking up HAES and intuitive eating. Yaaay Shapely Prose!

    Booo for freezing Chicago.

  15. I got here from Body Impolitic. I’ve known Laurie and Debbie for many years. When Laurie told me about their blog, I started following its posts and that led me to Shapely Prose.

    I’ve really appreciated your insights and focus on healthy behavior regardless of size. I regularly pass on that information to the people I know , especially a couple of them who are thinking about WLS.

    As a former bulimic, I still have issues with seeing ‘the number’ on the scale and I try to avoid knowing how much I weigh. Rather, I rely on the fit of my clothes. I’m ‘normal’ sized now and have maintained that size for years. I did go down a pants size when I started exercising regularly, but my weight stayed the same. Proof-positive for me that BMI is so much BS.

    Anyway, thanks for being a voice for reason in an unreasonable world.

  16. I ended up here when Feministing linked to another blog (I can’t remember which one), which linked to the BMI project. Twas a good day of random blog-browsing and quite the kick in the head, as I had been toying with the idea that maybe I was perfectly happy with my body and just dieting because I thought I was supposed to, but thought I was rather odd for it. But turns out, I’m not!

  17. I’ve only been here a few weeks and only lurking, but … a friend linked me here because I used to spend too much time being miserable about being fat. Now I don’t. It’s nice.

    I guess now is as good a time as any to say thanks :Db

  18. Definitely the BMI project. I am in recovery from a 19 year addiction to an eating disorder and I was doing some surfing on a day that recovery seemed particularly far-fetched. I love y’all.

  19. Yan: well I know below 32 is below freezing, and 70 is around room temp, but I don’t have any feeling for how cold -19 is.

    In C I’d think 0 was a frosty night, -5 was pretty cold and anything below -10 is “fuck that’s cold” (for the UK almost unheard of).

    Ok I just looked -19 F up, that’s -28C. Jeeez

  20. Yan: well I know below 32 is below freezing, and 70 is around room temp, but I don’t have any feeling for how cold -19 is.

    Actually, 32 is exactly freezing, equivalent to 0 C. So you can imagine -19 from that.

    Having grown up here, I always had to translate C to F when I lived in Canada — even though I lived there for 10 years. So the rule of thumb I used was, double it and add 32 (e.g. 15 C = 62 F). It’s not exact, but it gets you to the ballpark. So I assume subtracting 32 and halving a Fahrenheit number would work just as well.

    EXCEPT… that gets fucked up when you’re talking about anything below 0 (and not just ’cause I suck at math). So, yeah. For positive numbers, that formula works. And if it’s below 0 C or 32 F, let alone 0 F? Let’s just say you’re gonna need a jacket.

  21. i’d just finished my MA, put on a lot of stress weight (writing for hours on end and only leaving the house to buy diet coke and junk food, a.k.a. “study juice”). i was depressed as hell because i’d had to give away some nice clothes that were too small for me and had zero cash to buy new ones. i felt ugly and horrible and guilty for being fat, and i had completely bought into the idea that it was my fault for being so “unhealthy.”

    i bought a “women’s health magazine” in a sad-sack attempt to motivate myself to diet. one of the articles listed a bunch of blogs and online communities that acted as support groups for people trying to get skinny. one of them was big fat deal. not sure if women’s health did their research properly, because big fat deal gave me the first glimmerings of a thought that maybe the guilt and hate associated with fat were a problem with society, not with any kind of scientific fact. big fat blog connected to the illustrated bmi project. my mind was blown.

    i come back to sp because i’m so impressed with kate, and fj, and sm, and the rest of the shapelings, and how y’all verbalize (very cleverly) ideas that don’t come to fruition anywhere else. also because you are awesome.

    i bought a pair of jeans that fit me. and i feel great.

  22. I found KH through Dan Savage. Funny how that works?

    HA! I was just saying the other day that I knew there had to be at least one! (I’ve actually heard from 2 people who found us via VA in the last week and decided to stick around.) Awesome.

  23. As I recall, I googled “fat acceptance” after I started gaining weight while on… a problem that may or may not have the initials WW. The idea had been percolating in my brain for a while.

  24. I found SP through a link on Big Fat Blog sometime in March/April 2007, I think…right around the time Alli was souping up to (s)hit the shelves.

    This blog, among other things, has helped me be louder and prouder about being a part of fat acceptance. I knew when I saw the cavalcade of obscenities being thrown around here that I’d found the right place for me.

    As for the weather…you know it’s cold when the nosehairs freeze upon contact with the air. And I’m the asshole with plans requiring me to leave the house Saturday *and* Sunday. I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking.

  25. I found Shapely Prose through Kate’s posts on Shakesville (which I’ve been following for a couple years) last fall sometime – around the time of the BMI project. I was still half-heartedly trying to diet, spending my time on dieting messageboards, but slowly coming to the realization that it wasn’t doing any good and only making me feel worse. This was my first brush with the FA movement, and it was like one of those cliched lightbulb moments, where I discovered people eloquently (and with attitude!) saying what I’d been thinking/wondering for a while but wouldn’t/couldn’t put into words.

  26. not sure if women’s health did their research properly, because big fat deal gave me the first glimmerings of a thought that maybe the guilt and hate associated with fat were a problem with society, not with any kind of scientific fact.

    Oh, that is almost as awesome as someone getting here via Dan Savage! I remember when Mo wrote about her mixed feelings about BFD being included on that list — obviously, the WH folks didn’t do their research very well (unless whoever did the research was being a little subversive, in which case, cool), but if it meant that one woman in a self-loathing dieting cycle would come there and get a shot of body positivity, it was probably a good thing, right?

    Apparently, it was.

  27. I heard about the BMI project first and looked at it but that didn’t bring me here. A link to the ‘Fantasy of Being Thin’ article did. It was fabulous so I looked at the archive, loved that work, and subscribed to the RSS. I love it here and I immediately felt better about myself. For the first time, I did not have “diet” on my new year’s resolution list. That was so nice!

    Thanks for the great site guys!

  28. So who is the chick that you are having the blog wars with? I deleted the link but I actually found you through her site. I think her site won some kind of blog award so I checked it out right about when she was posting all about the evil kateharding who evidently has the NERVE to accept herself!

    I kept reading in some sort of morbid fascination as she described large breasts in the most unflattering terminology I have ever heard which offended my bf more than me. Flesh bags?? Really?

    I read archives to find that she really DID know what it was like to be fat because once (gasp) she struggled with her weight! She was almost up to a double digits size once. Phew that size 10 sure does suck dont it?

    Anyway, I started learning about fat accepting myself a couple of years ago and have been on a fascinating journey of self discovery – and yes – self acceptance – ever since. I had no idea it was a MOVEMENT but now that I know – Im on board sisters!

    Thank you kate!

  29. Every time I hear about someone who came in through Savage or VA, my little heart grows three sizes.

  30. I found my way here via a rather circuitous route, initially having nothing to do with fat acceptance at all, oddly enough. I was on my favorite movie review/entertainment blog(Pajiba), they linked to another blog(Jezebel, I think), which linked to a feminist blog(I forget which one) which linked to an SH entry regarding that infamous and insidious Halloween costume, Anna Rexia. Wow, what a winding road of links, eh? I didn’t even realize such a thing as FA existed on these here internets. I’m still mostly a lurker, but I check out SH and other FA blogs almost everyday, and it has definitely changed my perspective. Guess it was an example of the right click at the right time.

  31. I’ve slept a few times since I first found SP, but I think I got here through Big Fat Blog. I know that’s the blog I first started reading last summer that made thoughts I’d been having go “click” and when I found SP, almost every post I read had me saying “Damn, you gals rule!” or “Fuck, you gals really know how to say it!” or other and various ways of saying you got it going on.
    One blog I recently found, through another blog I read, is by a teenager, and I wish I had had her confidence when I was her age. Diary of a Fat Teenager is pretty awesome, to my mind.

  32. I had a really horrible experience with a friend of my boyfriend’s who is a total fat hater misogynist fuck. He was constantly putting down fat women (thus his friend and his friend’s girlfirend, but he’s too ignorant to realize that) so I googled what men think of fat women to see if the majority of males really did feel that way. I was also feeling really bad about myself (like, if they do feel this way, is my bf secretly wishing I were thin?). That’s how I got here (someone had posted about how he really, truly, actually likes fat women). That was back in the summer, and I haven’t gone many days without coming here at some point.

    I feel so DIFFERENT after all of these months. Thanks SP!

  33. “if it meant that one woman in a self-loathing dieting cycle would come there and get a shot of body positivity, it was probably a good thing, right?”

    heh heh. well i certainly think so :)

  34. Hmmmm I wanna say I found my way here from something Joy Nash had written, maybe from her Myspace? I don’t really remember. But I do know that I now read here everyday.
    In fact this blog actually broke something inside me one day. Reading a post about self esteem. Some very detrimental thoughts I had about my lack of self esteem and why I didnt deserve any. Those thoughts had to be examined and then destroyed, for I do deserve to like myself.
    I ended up blogging about it, at my blog,

    I don’t know if I ever came back and posted a thank you so if not
    THANK YOU Kate, Fillyjonk, and Sweet Machine.

  35. I definitely remember the “shut the fuck up, YOU’RE Kate Harding??” moment when I finally put things together.

    FJ, I remember that, too. (Everyone else, I posted something at Fatshionista about my blog and The Rotund’s, which were both pretty new at the time, and asked people to recommend other fat blogs. My screen name there is Lucysol, after the dogs, so unless you clicked through to my profile, you wouldn’t have known who I was before that.)

    And on my end, I was stunned that one of my favorite Fatshionistas, which FJ totally was, was already reading my blog and liked it! FJ and SM were really active at Fats when I started going there, and I loved pretty much every fucking word they said — which is why I eventually asked them to join me here. So there was this hilarious mutual dork insecurity thing going on when we all started talking to each other. They were like, “You’re KATE HARDING! You don’t want to talk to us!” and I was like, “You’re THE COOLEST KIDS ON FATS! You don’t want to talk to me!”

    Seriously, Sweet Machine and I live like 15 minutes away from each other, and it took us FOREVER to actually meet in person, because neither one of us wanted to e-mail the other and say, “OMG, I think you’re really cool, will you please hang out with me?”

    And, proving that you never grow out of it even if you have ample evidence that you shouldn’t think that way, I just had almost the same conversation with M. LeBlanc the other day. :)

  36. Hey Shapelings: I live in Indiana, and you all rock. If you live in Indiana, will you please hang out with me? :)

  37. Seriously, Sweet Machine and I live like 15 minutes away from each other, and it took us FOREVER to actually meet in person, because neither one of us wanted to e-mail the other and say, “OMG, I think you’re really cool, will you please hang out with me?”

    Before you met, SM was all like “but what if she doesn’t like me? And what do I WEAR?” And I kept being like “oh come on of course she’ll like you.” Which is sort of a turnaround, in terms of who’s usually the neurotic one and who’s usually the sensible one.

  38. I came in through Kate’s stint posting at Feministing. She had the talent of writing what I was thinking! Needless to say, I check F’nisting once a day, but I’m checking back here all day long. :)

    Also, it’s -27 C with windchill here in Alberta today. A touch chilly.

  39. Before you met, SM was all like “but what if she doesn’t like me? And what do I WEAR?”

    Well, lucky for her, her outfit the first time we met was really good.

  40. Numerous friends of mine who are in various stages of accepting their own bodies have mentioned this place in their personal blogs; I think the first time I looked was when one of them linked to the BMI project. I didn’t start reading regularly until a few weeks ago, with the first flap with Dan Savage providing something of a push.

  41. I came here initially from a post on the Salon Table Talk forum which said, ‘Prepare to have your conciousness raised…”

    I had no interest in FA. But I was intrigued by the writing and I read the entire blog in two days.

    The level of discourse here is so far above what you find elsewhere on the web, it’s ridiculous.

  42. Via Good with Cheese. I rarely can keep up with all the comments (which sucks because they are always a good read) but I do like a daily dose of SP.

  43. On my last diet kick, I was on Glamour’s website looking at some diet plan they had set up. From there, I made my way to Elastic Waist, ’cause Glamour said they had awesome workout playlists (they do!). And from there, on the linkies on the sidebar, I found Kate. I just clicked at random.

    And now, if I don’t check at least once a day and get a dose of sanity, I feel empty inside. :-)

  44. Via Kate’s posts on Shakesville. w00t.

    In a crass bit of self-promotion, I’d like to recommend my new blog, Faces of Fibro. Given the recent news media backlash against people with fibromyalgia (ie: it might not be a disease! people are just making shit up!!11), I thought it would be a good idea to have a blog where people with this very real condition can tell their stories and write about their experiences. I have the condition myself, so it was partially borne out of a rather self-centered desire to do something about all the backlash. It was also very much inspired by First Do No Harm. So I have Kate to thank for inspiring this project, in large part.

    (I’m also taking submissions for the blog now, and I figured that some of you might know people who would be interested in this project.)

  45. Um . . . one of my friends on LJ posted the pics of the ladies from the Brazilian yogurt commercial, with a link to Shakesville, and that got me here. I then proceeded to read ALL of the archives (because I do that — I treat blogs like backwards books) and check, oh, a few times a day. Or something. :) This is partially because I am SURROUNDED by dieting people and eating-disordered people who are in the evangelistic phase (“Come on! If you just lost 30 lbs you’d be as skinny as me and we could be hot together!”) and I’d rather not succumb, please. I don’t need to lose 30 lbs to be hot, and it’s not my moral obligation to BE hot.

    I’m gonna put a link to my book-review blog here, because I need hits, plz. At the moment I’m sort of stuck on a kids’ f/sf kick, and I doubt that will change too much, but, you know, there might be people here who enjoy that sort of thing.

    (It’s always under my name.)

  46. Well, back in December, shortly after my GP told me that I needed to lose at least 10 pounds because I was “a few pounds away from overweight” according to the dreaded BMI…and after a lifetime of struggling with weight and self-image and self-acceptance…I dutifully decided to do the South Beach diet because I’d had luck with it before (though not enough to keep the weight off permanently). I found a South Beach forum and started lurking there, where all the members post what they eat every day religiously and agonize over each pound and carb and so on, and I tried to get into it but found it pretty boring. But, the doc said I had to lose 10 pounds so I told myself I was gearing up to begin the diet after the holidays.

    Around the same time I read a little article in Bust magazine about the “fearless” fat activists such as Joy Nash (I watched her Fat Rant and fell immediately in love) and Shapely Prose. So…for awhile I was in the bizarre space of being totally down with the FA message and drinking in everything I could read about it, but also planning to do South Beach and continuing to lurk on that forum (even though it was so. deadly. dull.). And I eventually realized that, at 36, I could (and must) decide which side I was on. And I picked FA.

    That wasn’t very long ago, but I feel like I’ve changed a lot. I no longer think that size 12 is unacceptable for me. I actually think my curves are pretty hot! I figured out I’ve been trying to stuff a D-size rack into C-size bras. And of course, that’s the least of it. Tuning in to a community full of amazingly brilliant, fierce, and hilarious feminists has got me pretty damn inspired to be myself, and fight the good fight. Thank you!

  47. I have been lurking here since I followed a link from Pandagon. I’d like to echo everything that the other posters have said. Thanks for the laughs and the insights. You people all rock and I’m glad to know that you’re out there.

  48. I used to do Weight Watchers and was on their “100+ lbs to lose” board. One day I was on there and Kate’s sister had put up a post linking to Kate’s “Yogaversary” post on this blog.. and saying how proud she was of her sister. So I came here, read that post, and kept on reading. And that was the end of my relationship with Weight Watchers :)

  49. I got here via a link from Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog to a post by Kate in response to evil comments Melissa had been getting at Shakesville.

  50. I found SP through Kate’s posts at Shakesville. It was definitely a case of the right click at the right time, because, IIRC, it was right around the time of my wedding, and I was getting totally fed up with my mother’s constant ranting about how my arms were fat and OMG didn’t I want my wedding pictures to be beautiful? As if having thin arms was more important than having a loving, hilarious, adorable husband. *eyeroll*

    Anyway, thanks for giving me so much food for thought as well as ammo against all the haters. Kate, FJ, SM — you all rock so hardcore.

  51. I only started reading this blog a couple of weeks ago, but now I’m here every day. I don’t even remember how I got here, maybe through Big Fat Blog, or some other FA blog?

    I love that people are sharing their blogs, too!! Stand up and be proud. That’s so awesome guys! Women have a tendency not to take credit for the work they are doing.

  52. I can’t remember for sure… I think it was when I was reading my <a href=”” friend’s blog, and he was writing about some anti-fat trolling going on at a thread on Feministing about Beth Ditto. I clicked over to that thread, and somehow from there I ended up at Big Fat Blog. At that point, my was blown. A whole website dedicated to the idea that it’s okay to be fat? I didn’t even know there were people in the world who felt that way. I started checking there daily, and from there a comment of Kate’s caught my eye, and I clicked over to her blog to check it out. I was so hooked by her writing that I read the entire blog archive in like 3 days (this was several months ago, before FJ and SM joined as co-bloggers, so the archives were considerably smaller). Now I check compuslively for updates.

    It came at a good time in my life too – I was and still am in the process of gaining back all the weight and more from my previous weight loss, and was pretty depressed about it. I’m still struggling, but this website – the bloggers as well as the community – helps a lot.

  53. I was bored at work one day last March (like most days) and started following links from Feministing that had to do with fat as well as feminism. I started with Fat Feminism and then followed a link here.

    I dieted like crazy at the beginning of 2007… by March I was finally beginning to draw the connection between my need to *control* things and the OCD I exhibited when I tried to decide what to eat every day, and didn’t make anything until I’d added up all the calories to make sure it was allowed, and then obsessively weighed everything…

    Sadly, I really suck at controlling just about everything else in my life, and I’m still dealing with a lot of depression issues and the feeling that I generally suck, but thanks in large part to this site and the community that’s come together, I don’t try to blame those issues on my fat anymore or hide in the world of counting calories and measuring meat. It’s really sad, but it really never occurred to me that I could like myself the way I am until I started reading Kate’s posts…

    So thanks. :o)

  54. Well, back in December, shortly after my GP told me that I needed to lose at least 10 pounds because I was “a few pounds away from overweight” according to the dreaded BMI…

    God, this infuriates me, and you’re not the first person I’ve heard it from. Even when you are still in the “normal” category — and well below what was the “overweight” category 10 years ago — you’re supposed to lose weight because you could end up in a higher category (which, btw, would be the one with the lowest mortality risks)?!? AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    I used to do Weight Watchers and was on their “100+ lbs to lose” board. One day I was on there and Kate’s sister had put up a post linking to Kate’s “Yogaversary” post on this blog.. and saying how proud she was of her sister. So I came here, read that post, and kept on reading. And that was the end of my relationship with Weight Watchers :)

    Oh, yay! I remember her telling me she put up that link — and I believe my sister’s relationship with WW ended around the same time. :)

  55. Around Christmas of 2006, I stepped onto a scale for the first time in over a year and realized that I topped my psychological cut-off limit for “okay, if I ever reach this weight, I’ll do something”. Went on a diet/exercise-like-insanity routine for the first time in my life at the ripe old age of 29, and learned all sorts of lovely disordered eating views of food that I’m still trying to de-program from. (The explination of how I missed jumping onto the whole diet cycle earlier is another story).

    Being how I am, I started researching the hell out of the weight loss industry at the same time, and about 3 to 6 months in, found out about the health at any size movement and started researching that for a balanced point of view, which is when I found this, among many other fabulous sites.

    Guess which set of arguements convinced me?

    Kate, you rock so incredibly in so many areas. Thank you for this site. :)

  56. Ooops, messed up the link.

    EXCEPT… that gets fucked up when you’re talking about anything below 0

    No it doesn’t :) The actual formula is:
    °C = (°F-32)*5/9 or
    °F = (°C*9/5) +32
    and it works for both above 0 and below 0. Subsituting the 5/9 for 1/2 like you indicated also gives a decent approximation for both above and below 0.

    Penguinlady, where in Alberta are you? I’m in Calgary and it’s only -15°C here!

  57. if you’re in North America today, bundle the hell up!

    Lol at that. I’m sitting here in Ohio with the windows open and the fans running. Combination of the excellent insulation of being a fat girl and the fact that my downstairs neighbor insists on setting his heat to 90 and I get most of it. It’s like spring in here.

  58. Where do you Canadian Shapelings live? Anyone up for a Vancouver meetup? :D

    Kate/FJ/SM, you could include some sort of Find Your Local Shapeling Friends in the updated FAQs … totally voluntary, of course, for anyone willing to list their city of residence.

  59. For the last few days, my radio has been waking me to a radio station in Hamilton, Ontario. I find this odd since I live in Hamilton, NJ — about 600 miles or so from there. The announcers’ accents made me think something was off with the radio settings, but when the weatherman said the temperature was -1, I knew something was definitely screwy.

    I’m pretty sure I got here from Big Fat Blog, too. And I keep coming back because it’s nice to have my fat activism mixed in with discussions of clothes and hot men. Balance is the stuff of life!

  60. I’m part of a board called altdotlife, where women discuss lots of issues, frivolous and not. (There’s a big parenting section, but I’m not part of it.) In the “health and fitness” section, someone posted a thread about HAES and mentioned Shapely Prose, and I followed the link. And it was like falling down the rabbit hole. :) Seriously, I’ve visited probably half the links on the blogroll since then, have asked a lot of questions, gotten a lot of answers, and have really opened my eyes to so many things I never knew before since that day.

  61. Found you through vesta44 at Big Fat Delicious.

    Didn’t realize right away that Kate Harding & Shapely Prose were the same thing until I saw Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose on a blog roll. Many have it as simply Shapely Prose. I’m a little slow sometimes.

  62. I regularly read Shakesville, and managed to wiggle my way here through your posts there on a day when I should have been writing a paper.

    Because how can you ever write papers when the whole internet is right there.

  63. I came here via a link on Manolo for the Big Girl blog in October, I think. I have SP in my Google Reader and when I’m scrolling through all the new posts in a morning, Shapely Prose updates are the first things I read.

  64. I probably have a fairly unique story here, as my introduction had nothing to do with fat or feminism: I found you while Googling something having to do with zombies and eating (I think it was a comment by zombie z that put SP in my results).

    I forwarded the link “Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy” to a couple of my friends I thought would appreciate it, and then popped back to skim the recent articles every once in a while. I didn’t become hooked until Fillyjonk linked to me in the “BYOF” post.

  65. I came here via Shakesville back when Kate started posting there. I now visit daily. I can’t get enough of the clever, unapologetic, and hugely inspiring posts, as well as the amazing community. Every one of you makes me think and laugh so much. Thank you!

    And, btw, I live in Northwest Indiana (about 45 mins. from Chicago) and am totally down for meeting other Shapelings!

  66. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs within the FA community (big fat blog, fig fat deal, etc) for quite some time, as well as some of the more thoughtful “diet” blogs (like Pound). Somewhere along the line I stumbled over here…maybe in September? But I’ve discovered a lot more great sites like The Rotund, Exceptionally Fat, etc, through here.

    The BMI project was definitely what drew me in and caused me to check in regularly, as I found it even more interesting than Cockeyed’s prior similar attempt, his “height and weight photo chart” (which you can find here.

    As for blogs go, mine is linked to my name above, I blog more about pop culture than anything but I am going to start posting more directly about the issue of fatness. All the fat sites I read are on my blogroll, with a list growing by the day.

    I’d just like to add this: Kate, you’re one hell of a woman. Thanks.

  67. Women have a tendency not to take credit for the work they are doing.

    You know, that’s one of the main reasons I kept calling the blog “Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose” even after FJ and SM came on board. (The other is that the url is my name, and as was mentioned above, we’re on blogrolls as both KH and SP.) There are tons of men who have blogs called “John Doe’s Doeworld” or whatev, but I can’t think of any other women who do. It’s not Jessica Valenti’s Feministing or Melissa McEwan’s Shakesville, for instance, even though either easily could be.

    And I understand that with those two examples in particular, it’s very important to Liss and Jessica to acknowledge the other contributors and the community spirit of their blogs. I not only get that, I agonize about whether I’m selling SM and FJ short (seriously, I worried about the fact that the bacon is bigger than the cupcake or burger in the current header, even though that was totally a matter of fitting everything in), and I sometimes feel like it’s monstrously arrogant to keep my name at the top of every header.

    But then, that’s what I’m supposed to think, as a woman. And the fact is, even though this has become an amazing community with fabulous contributors other than me, it’s still my baby. I started it; I posted every day to an audience of no one for a long time; I treat it as a full-time job and, accordingly, post more than FJ or SM. (Furthermore, quite frankly, I’m a writer looking to build a “brand” here — I want people who like my writing to bloody well remember my name if I ever get around to publishing anything they might buy.) It’s not really arrogant to call the blog mine, even if all the other people participating here have made it a wonderfully different thing from what it used to be — any more than it would be arrogant to still call my apartment mine while hosting a kickass party with lots of fun people.

    But I still struggle with feeling like it’s arrogance, precisely because I’m a woman, and we’re not supposed to take credit for the things we build. So I leave my name up there as a reminder for ME, as well as the rest of the world, that a woman can take credit for her own work and be community-minded at the same time.

  68. I think my name explains how I arrived here :)

    And I’m so excited that I converted someone from the WW “100+ Lbs to Lose” message board to come here. [ Hi Telle! What was your screen name at WW? ]

  69. I’m freezing my ass off in Winterpeg(Winnipeg) at a balmy -37C with the windchill. But that doesn’t stop me from having warm fuzzies when I read the smart writing of you ladies!

    The way I found you: I volunteer, and speak to girls and women of all ages about body image, weight preoccupation, self-esteem We speak to them from a HAES perspective, and my trainer/coordinator passed your blog along to all of us volunteers.

  70. Kate, accordingly, I get the guilt-trips every time someone thanks all of us for what we do here, instead of just you. Because you post the bulk of the content and it’s all so fucking genius.

    Let’s ALL be insecure!

  71. I’ve known Mo Pie for a long time, from back when we used to call blogs “online journals” and when she started Big Fat Deal I was all over it. She linked to SP one day and I was all “Hmmm…fascinating!” but I didn’t become a regular reader until Kate’s post about the dumb luck of meeting Al.

    Interestingly, I started learning more about fat acceptance right around the time that I a) decided I wasn’t going to diet anymore and b) dropped a little weight for reasons I still don’t understand. I also noticed that even when I was a little thinner I was STILL worrying about food–thereby underlining the idea that it doesn’t actually matter what I weigh or what I look like: there’s always more anxiety and self-punishment to be had. HAES and FA have really helped me calm down about that and to start to learn to accept my body a bit more–and I have to say that being able to read the words of this community of writers and posters has been more helpful than I could have ever dreamed.

  72. Hey Becky – I’m up in Edmonton. Weather office is now saying it’s only -15 C. :) I’m spoiled though; my hubby and I moved up here from Southern California. I’m honestly surprised he survives the winters.

    We should totally have an Alberta Shapelings get-together. But maybe when the weather’s a bit better.

  73. Hi Kate’sSisterJ! I’m glad you converted me too!! I was Alianna2018 there I think.. I tended to be more of a lurker than a poster. I really enjoyed my cognitive dissonance when I got here and saw things like “It’s still a diet even if you call it a Lifestyle Change” and thinking “But.. WW isn’t a diet.. it’s a lifestyle change.. really!.. or.. is it??” :)

  74. I think I found Kate in May or June. I had already seen Joy’s fat rant, which started opening my eyes. I also am a regular reader/seldom commenter at Shakesville. What a difference finding FA has made, not only in me, but for my children.

  75. My road here was rather a circuitous one…

    I participate in an active blog about the show Project Runway (I’m addicted, what can I say?). There are many people who post hilarious recaps of each episode, one of whom is Manolo the Shoeblogger.

    While reading his recaps, I noticed there was another blog entitled “Manolo for the Big Girl”, which, while he doesn’t write it, is written in the same style, and is all about fashion for those who aren’t fashion model sized.

    After reading that for awhile, I noticed there were a number of other fat blogs listed in the side bar, so I started reading some of those. And one of those, I’m sorry I forgot which one, linked to the post here on “The Fantasy of Being Thin”.

    I clicked the link, devoured the article…well, slowly, because I kept crying. It’s the first time I’d EVER run across anyone anywhere who got it – who understood this whole “if you’re thin, life will magically become this problem-free whirl of ecstacy” is a friggin’ pack of LIES. (I’d started writing about this on my blog, but stopped, but you guys have inspired me to try it again, so I’m trying.)

    So I started reading other Shapely Prose articles…and cried some more. Someone somewhere understood. Had been there.

    And then I read Kate’s comment above on meeting people, and cried some more because again, I thought I was the only one who felt that way when meeting new people. You guys are NOT good for my mascara :).

  76. the short version: i think i was searching for fat acceptance blogs after discovering there was such a thing as fat acceptance. fell in love. lurk a lot now, as it refills my magic bag of sanity watchers points.

    the long version: i watched a documentary on the Minutemen, a favorite band of mine. the review said it was a ‘love note’ to the group. i watched it again. and again.

    about the fourth time through, i noticed that the vast majority of the interviewees are shown remarking on how fat singer/guitarist/songwriter d. boon was. and how it was amazing how much he moved and bounced around on stage.

    this was the most repeated information about the man, despite the fact that he was obviously (from the varied other comments) an intelligent, funny, kind, and brilliant man. so, why did the filmmakers feel it was important to talk about boon’s fatness in their ‘love note’?

    so, i starting digging into scholarly research on portrayals of fat people in the media, then body image research, and then into the scientific take on fat and its causes. and my little brain just went *pop*.

    now i’m fully into the cognitive dissonance phase, but feeling much, much, much better about myself and my fat.

    and y’all have a lot to do with that. thanks bunches of baby-flavored donuts!

  77. Someone started a thread about one of Kate’s articles on one of the forums I used to frequent. I was immediately hooked, and feel like a whole world has been opened up to me. Awesome.

  78. Yay, this thread makes me so happy! Keep your stories coming, everyone!

    seriously, I worried about the fact that the bacon is bigger than the cupcake or burger in the current header

    Kate, this is hilarious. You are definitely the resident guru, and also you post like five times as often as I do. The bacon should be bigger!

  79. the Gawker media site Jezebel linked to Shakesville when the Illustrated BMI Project first hit. I read it and was like, a) that’s awesome and b) is this the same Kate Harding I went to grad school with? The same Kate Harding I helped edit an excellent fiction anthology? So I asked and yep, it was! Because i already knew Kate was an excellent writer, it was a no-brainer to read her blog and thus my Shapelingitude was decided.

    Small web.

  80. I think I must have come here through feministing but probably more likely just from one of my random link following binges. I’m a 20 yr old college student. Not fat, but like any woman, body image was something I would think about daily. I always think its funny that only 4 years ago when I was a size 2 (from all the high school sports-playing), I still felt “big.” Now I’m a relaxed size 8 and feel so much more comfortable in my skin. Funny how its not really size that affects that, but your mindset.

    Thank you Kate and the gang for often putting words to my thoughts and also making me consider things in a way I’ve never thought of before!

  81. One of my myspace friends sent me to the “But Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?” post back in June, and I’ve been here ever since.

    Kate/FJ/SM, you could include some sort of Find Your Local Shapeling Friends in the updated FAQs … totally voluntary, of course, for anyone willing to list their city of residence.
    I think this is an awesome awesome idea. Hanging out with Kate and Sweetmachine (and wearing fillyjonk’s skirt) in Chicago was so so much fun for me. I would love to meet people I could do that with closer to home.

  82. My awesome and amazing ex-coworker, Laurie, regularly updates her livejournal and had a post titled “On health at any size” with nestled right in there. Intrigued, I devoured the post, loving each and every word, primarily because it was exactly what I needed to read.

    I’ve had an eating disorder for the past five years and just sought professional help a few months ago. The blog could not have arrived at a better time in my life.

    To the contributors of this blog, please take this as deeply and as sincerely as I intend for it to be: Thank you. You have done so much for me in the past few days and weeks I’ve been addicted to your facts, support, wit, and strength. It’s funny how we never really know what we need until we have it.

  83. Oh, that’s bacon? I thought it was a furious super-sirloin.

    I think I got here via Joy Nash, or maybe it was a link I followed when I looked for commentary on the billboard atrocity in Milan.

    Whatever. I’m home now.

  84. Kate/FJ/SM, you could include some sort of Find Your Local Shapeling Friends in the updated FAQs … totally voluntary, of course, for anyone willing to list their city of residence.

    I second Joy’s comment; that would be an incredible thing to have around!

  85. I honestly can’t remember how I got here! I either found you through The Rotund or I found The Rotund through you but I seem to recall it was quite near the beginning for both blogs. I’d done my stint of FA proselytizing and troll-bashing on Fatty McBlog in the days when it was Douchebag Central, and decided I really needed to be in a more positive space for a while. I’ve been here ever since and am proud to be a Shapeling.

  86. It was Shakesville and it was a yoga post. :-)

    I remember because I was so excited that someone else had found a yoga teacher who didn’t hate fat people.

  87. Oh, that’s bacon? I thought it was a furious super-sirloin.

    Now that you mention it, it certainly could be. I saw it as bacon, but that might say more about me than the artist’s intentions.

    Whether the pink and brown thing is a muffin or a cupcake also seems to be a matter of some debate.

  88. I found you from a fashion link someone linked over at another totally-having-nothing-to-do-with-FA board. Maybe in October? Another friend of mine’s blog had been linked from here (Teppy) though I didn’t know it till I found this place! Funny.

    I’d just come off losing some weight mostly through trying to work through my own disordered eating- some of it’s come back with the holidays and some tough times, but I am still hopeful some will stay off, because my knees were hurting like a mofo before. I don’t know if I drifted naturally down to the lower part of my set point or if it’s evening out now or whatever… we’ll see. I think that I’m getting to a place where I’m comfortable with whatever my body does, as long as I treat it the way that makes me feel good and happy.

    So I’m still working through my own FA identity dialogue… I’m reading Gina Kolata’s book right now which is awesome.

    I love this blog.

  89. I’m not sure that I know where I first clicked that brought me here. Some time back, I would come as a casual observer but I did not have you as part of my blogroll. Three or four months ago I became a regular reader.

    Maybe some odd combination of (back in the day) and and bitchphd and john & belle and shakes.


  90. This is probably going to sound really goofy, but I was getting really pissed that as an “in-betweeny” in NYC I was having a really hard time finding cool cute clothes to wear. Like if you’re over a size 10, go get a fucking muumuu already. WTF? I think I googled something like “cute plus-sized clothes” and found Kate’s “pointless incessant barking” blog and really loved her writing and “where to find cool clothes” posts. I kept checking back now and then to see what was up (she was talking about taking down the blog, making a “members only” version of it etc., which bummed me out because I felt like a creepy stalker asking to “join”, so I never did, but I knew I would miss reading her stuff) And now it’s come to this!

    So thanks Kate, for all turning me onto “made with love by hannah”, the “bacon of the month club”, and all of the amazing FA perspective that you fillyjonk and sweet machine bring to the table.

    A million thanks!

  91. I actually came here through a completely unrelated blog; Ballastexistenz linked to the “Fat hatred kills” series of posts, and once I read those, I moved on to the rest of the blog. I was thrilled to find this place, because it validated all the things I had wondered for years. Finally I knew there were other people out there who were fit and healthy despite being fat, and who were fat even though they didn’t binge or eat tons of junk food.

  92. I know I clicked from Too Fat For Fashion onto various FA sites, and for whatever reason this one stuck with me.

  93. I can’t remember how I ended up here, but I think it may have been through Big Fat Blog. I have been (mostly) a lurker here since last…oh, I dunno….June? I think?

    I love this blog so much. Whenever my faith in humanity is drained, I come here and it’s recharged. Also, it makes me feel like FA is actually MAKING A DENT. This blog is Noxema for my soul. You know, cause fat bigotry is like a sunburn? Get it? Yeah.

  94. I’m same as buffpuff – it was you and the Rotund nearabouts the same time, long enough ago that I don’t really remember. I think it was kind of random, when I was looking around for good fashion advice. I had finally gotten the bug for wanting to look good rather than settling for whatever happened to actually come in my size, and was searching the internets for tips for dressing while fat and possibly online stores that were affordable. One or the other of you came up with a post about some good clothes, and then I followed to the other, and then just kept hanging around.

  95. Eleanor: I’m rather than — someone else snagged the name before I got there. I think it was when I linked to the post about fatphobic medical professionals.

    As for where I found Shapely Prose so I could recommend it to people in the first place; I can’t remember!

    Top bacon tip that I was given in the pub last night: if you freeze it in individual slices (i.e. freeze the slices on a baking tray separated out, then when it’s frozen through stack the slices up and package them for the freezer as usual) you can take out as many slices as you like and cook them from frozen.

  96. Hey – for all you folks who live somewhat near Chicago. You should come to the Big Fat Blog Think Tank there Feb. 23. Go to Big Fat Blog for more information. It’s a great way to meet many of the FA bloggers in person.

    Before I started my own blog last January, I had absolutely no idea there even existed such a thing as fat acceptance. I’m so glad to see blogs like this one and increasingly others flourish. Even the NY Times has taken notice – look for a story next week about fat acceptance bloggers.

  97. I came via Bitch PhD, and I was SO READY for this. Your voices were so clear, funny, real to me – although I’d gone “Hmm,” intellectually, at Alas, a Blog before, I’d never been sucked in. That tab up there: “But don’t you know fat is unhealthy?” … Wow. That changed my life.

    I’d had a crisis of body after my first pregnancy – I had always struggled for, and maintained, a 12 – but pregnancy put me into plus size stores. Between my two kids, I’d dieted. Hard. But I never got to my pre-baby weight, and my weight was fluctuating with the tides. I was filled with self-hatred. I hated being invisible through weight-and-role Mom… I didn’t want to be the Mom Pants mom, the Letting Herself Go Mom. I’d ended up like all the women in my family – the women who’d discussed their weight for years, and that I’d promised I wouldn’t “slide into being”.

    It was affecting my libido, my self-confidence, my sense of being a human being. But some part of me was getting angry: I’m more than my goddamn thighs or a bullshit stereotype. My anger fluctuated between self-loathing and world-loathing, but it wasn’t going anywhere productive.

    One particularly bad night I closed my eyes and put-it-out-there/prayed/meditated/visualized – whatever – that I had to either get thinner and be thinner without self-violence (for the dieting had gotten violent), or I had to learn to love myself the way I was.

    The next day Dr. B linked the BMI post of our favorite tri-athlete Shapeling. It was perfect timing.

    I feel like I’ve come out of some 20 year fog. This is the heaviest I’ve been, but oddly, it’s also the FIRST TIME I’m truly feeling that hating my body is the error. It’s not my body that’s the error. I’m learning to see the beauty in fat, to accept the label, to love, look for, and embrace the beauty in my fat family and friends.

    The thing about ramming your head into a goddamn wall for 20 years is that it feels like heaven to stop.

  98. I came to SP through…Television Without Pity, actually. An affinity for Miss Alli on TWoP led to an addiction to her short-lived but very funny Losing The Cow blog, which was about her approach to having lost 100 pounds, and she linked to…Mo Pie, I think? As did Wendy of Pound, who of course had also been an early TWoP contributor. And so I started reading Pound and Mo’s blogs, and then there was some sort of Chicago blogger thing, and either Wendy or Mo or both was all excited about meeting Kate, and I followed that link to here, where I’ve been hanging out ever since. I had no idea that FA or HAES existed–I had never given a good goddamn about anyone else’s weight, but it had also literally never occurred to me that maybe I might stop caring so much about my own.
    And, what do you know — I stopped focusing on weight and started focusing on exercising/eating in ways that left me feeling good and full of energy, and…sure enough, same size I was under the old system, but without that pesky self-loathing issue.

  99. I think for me it was junkfood science -> big fat blog -> here. But junkfood science could just be another find from BFB. I lurked at BFB for a while, but once I found this blog I kept coming back :)

  100. Shakesville

    I happily stop by and enjoy Fillyjonk, Sweet Machine too. This HAES has impacted my thinking in a wonderful way. I cited one’s of Kate’s pieces at my place yesterday in a post called, Butt.

  101. Cecily (wasted birth control/uppercase woman) has linked to you a few times. I sent everyone I know the link to the BMI project. I finally added you to my favorites around the fantasy of being thin post time.

    While not 100% on the FA bandwagon yet, I have rethought my ‘diet’ i was going on and now just eat what I want for the most part, just less ( 10 mini-corndogs vs 24), try to eat less junk and more healthy foods, slow down and be conscious of what I’m eating while I’m eating it and getting exersize daily.

  102. I got hooked on reading infertility and adoption blogs, even though I haven’t experienced either, because sometimes the writing is very good. Two of them, around the same time, linked to The Fantasy of Being Thin: and

    I had read a few FA blogs and articles before and liked them (I’m an academic) but the Fantasy of Being Thin blew me away. It just really reached me personally. I read more posts and thought, “Wow! These women are SHARP!” I love how you engage both my mind AND my deepest feelings. I would love to be able to reach my students (future counselors/therapists) in a similar way with this whole ideology. I’d also like to send some info to colleagues, but I need articles, books, academic-ish references!! Have you contacted publishers? Mb the FAQs can turn into a book…or mb a movement…

    I would also LOVE to meet other Shapelings in my area!

  103. I found The Rotund on Fatshionista and that led to SP and all the other Fatosphere blogs. You have no idea how much my life has changed since discovering the Fatosphere and the Fat Acceptance movement. Or perhaps you do…

  104. Wait, there’s a TWOP linkage story too? Truly, the web is a series of connected tubes. I swear, there isn’t a single blog I read that has more than a couple of degrees of separation from the others.

  105. she was talking about taking down the blog, making a “members only” version of it etc., which bummed me out because I felt like a creepy stalker asking to “join”, so I never did, but I knew I would miss reading her stuff

    Oh, Suzanne, you could have asked!

    I never intended to stop public blogging entirely — I just switched the personal journal over to members-only when I decided to start writing Shapely Prose. FWIW, I haven’t updated the personal journal in months, and don’t know if I ever will — these days, it’s all happening right here. So you’re not missing anything. :)

  106. I found SP after bitchphd linked to the BMI project and then Sarah’s post about the aftermath of that incident.

    This blog was my introduction to the fact acceptance movement, but it put together a lot of separate pieces that I’d known but not connected, and introduced me to a great deal of new and infuriating information (I still get angry about how much of what I “knew” about health and weight and weight loss was outright lies)

  107. I was having a particularly rough patch of body hatred 6 months ago and I’d never been a woman who felt that. Somehow I made it to the ripe old age of 31 without much self-loathing. I was always a big girl but somehow I’d always managed to feel good about it. Then something switched. I’d gained back 50 lbs I’d lost and more importantly I’d stopped being active for the first time in years and was gaining weight fast . I’m working on a dissertation so I was spending lots of time in front of the computer and I just felt completely out of control so being the scientist that I am, I decided to do some research on what diet program would REALLY work. I started reading the journal articles out there and getting more and more discouraged. I realized that there wasn’t anything out there that really worked and I was soooo depressed. I figured there had to be other folks out there who had figured this out and hit Google and found Junk Food Science and then this place. I added it to my reader that day and have been back almost every day since to read and be inspired.

  108. and ps: any other reader in the Southern NH area who wants to meet up for baby-flavored donuts and plus-size shopping – I’ll be there!

  109. I stumbled upon the online fat acceptance movement last summer during some late night wanderings around the internet. From what I can remember, the night I first saw Joy Nash’s Fat Rant video was when I stumbled upon The Rotund and found my way here.

  110. I saw the infamous FAT RANT video and followed Joy Nash’s “bread crumbs” (As it was put earlier) straight to here. After lingering on the site and reading daily, I decided that it was time I added my 2 cents. Especially after my firend was poorly treated by a rubber food carrying “nutritionist” in the hospital last week. Accepting that people come in all kinds of different ways, shapes, and forms may not be a “new” idea, but it sure is an idea that needs to be spread a lot more. I am at last (In thanks to this blog and Joy Nash) realizing that being “FAT” is not the horrible thing I was brough up to think it to be. And that is one of the best feelings that I have ever had. Thanks!

  111. All right, realistically, how are we going to make the meet-ups thing work? I know Comics Curmudgeon has a forum in addition to the blog.

  112. I’m pretty sure I came to this forum through a link in the OO (Overcoming Overeating) Yahoo Group forum. It took those postings, this blog, and pretty much the entire FA community to help me realize that I’d never really been a compulsive overeater, but instead a recovering dieter. As soon as I stopped dieting (and getting my daily dose of FA), the overeating stopped. Imagine that.

    BTW, Kate, you’ve mentioned before that this forum doesn’t really address the issue of BED, and the OO
    and books (Overcoming Overeating and When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies) are excellent resources, IMHO.

    Let’s see how my first foray into html worked there…

    Anyways, thanks for saying so eloquently that which I can only incoherently sputter!

  113. I know Comics Curmudgeon has a forum in addition to the blog.

    Hah! I love that site. Maybe Josh would be willing to explain how the meetups work.

  114. I’m not exactly sure how I found my way here (which is sad, since it was only a few weeks ago) but I think it was through a LiveJournal community for large-breasted women that linked to your entry on bra shopping.

    All I can say, is that I found this site at the right time in my life. I had spent the last year sedentary and stress-eating, and then made a major move to a new job, new city, new country, culture, lifestyle, everything. I became much more active and was eating healthier, and I would wonder occasionally why I had only dropped a few pounds. Then I had the realization that I didn’t care. Yes, I’m still “overweight” (actually on the cusp of “obese”), and I’m surrounded by thin Asian women, which should make me feel more insecure, right? But with much less stress in my life, I find myself caring about my weight much less.

    Finding this site was an eye-opener for me. Thank you.

    (By the way, if there are any other Shapelings in Hong Kong, I’d love to meet you.)

  115. For me I acutally found a link from Lizzy (Diary of a Fat Teenager) on the Deviant Art site on one of her lovely art pieces of curvy beautiful woman and I’ve been addicted to this ever since! Its like an addiction…who ever know that feeling GOOD; that having a burst of SELF ESTEEM could be so delicious?

    What DO you people put in our baby flavoured donuts that just keeps us coming back? Is it the sanity riboflavin? Or the logic additives? Whatever it is; keep it coming! :D

  116. Another one from Big Fat Blog. I’ve been FA-aware for over a decade, and doing my work with Big Moves for 7+ years (?!), but somehow it was still really challenging to articulate all of my ferocity and passion about fat acceptance and body diversity in a way that non-believers could get. I mean, I had the proof in my own skin, the movement and the bursts of energy, in the way the other fattie dancers moved and grew as confident performers, and in the joyous sweat at the end of a show. And I am a smart woman, who writes coherently and speaks well. But the deconstruction of the oppression and the anti-logic of fat-haters always felt beyond me. I went straight to AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    But now, thanks to the incisive, thoughtful folks of SP, I have the resources and the arguments to support my rage, which paradoxically helps me turn more quickly to solutions. It’s inspiration, anger management, and a good fucking read, all in one.

    I’m in Boston, y’all. Cara from southern NH, you need to make a little trip to the next Big Moves Boston show (April 17-19 in Cambridge), and come out for post-show pancakes afterwards. But hey, I’ll travel, too!

  117. All right, realistically, how are we going to make the meet-ups thing work? I know Comics Curmudgeon has a forum in addition to the blog.

    I was thinking that would be the best solution, too. I’ll set up a meet-up forum as part of the FAQ work.

    And yes, “fact acceptance movement” is awesome. Hee!

  118. I was on a forum for a webcomic community that I’m a part of, and there was a thread featuring a video where a blonde woman(I don’t recall her name) was tearing into Jordin Sparks( I’m probably misspelling her name, too) for being too fat to be an American Idol. During the discussion, someone posted a link to the “Don’t You Know Fat is Unhealthy?” post as part of their argument, and I’ve been reading this blog since.

  119. *delurk*

    I came to Shapely Prose via a recommendation a few months ago from someone (can’t remember who, but I love her!) in the Yahoo Group (Intuitive Eating Support) that I am a member of. And I’ve been back every day since. I’ve posted to my group about some of my very favourite pieces (such as FOBT), so hopefully more and more of us will come to this little haven of sanity every day!

    Thanks Kate, FJ and SM! (and all the great commenters out there too).


  120. Oh man, we so need to have some kind of Shapeling mini-convention in Seattle, so the Portlanders and the Vancouverites and everyone along that corridor (hi, Peg!) can come join the fun.

  121. Time-Machine, I might hit you up to moderate, as that’s my one hesitation about setting up a forum.

    I would totally do that. I actually have experience moderating forums (no lie) and so that would be fun for me.

    (Meowser, I’m from Southeaster WA, and would totally go to a Portlander meet-up if you scheduled one! I’ve been meaning to head that way anyway to hook up with some old friends)

  122. Oh happy day on which I clicked a link posted by the fantastic Hoydens About Town, and arrived here! I think I found this community just when I needed it most – and the women here who are all so inspiring and caring and supportive.

    I’ve read both blogs every day ever since; they’ve never failed to make me think, smile and, often, lmao.

  123. With sufficient lead time I could make a Seattle or Portland meet-up (from Vancouver). That’d be fun!

  124. Well, I was having one of those days when I was getting spectacularly fed up of the hating on fat people in the British press and decided to look around in search of some people who were telling a different story. I googled ‘fat hatred’ (OK, I wasn’t thinking logically at the time, maybe I was subconsciously looking for more stuff to be angry at! Although, thinking about it, I suppose I had a good chance of finding anti-fat-hatred sites that way, because the people who perpetrate that shit don’t think of it as hating, do they?)…and this was one of the first sites that came up. And, it just so happened that this turned out to be an articulate, witty, point-making blog run by, and read by, a great bunch of folks. So I decided to stick around.

    Oh man, we so need to have some kind of Shapeling mini-convention in Seattle, so the Portlanders and the Vancouverites and everyone along that corridor (hi, Peg!) can come join the fun.

    Meowser, if it’s in June-ish, can I come? (Seattle is the one place on earth that’s ever felt like home to me, despite only visiting for the first time a couple of years ago. I’ve been trying to make it back there on vacation regularly, until we work out how to emigrate. We’re aiming for June this year so’s we can catch the Solstice Parade…)

  125. I first visited a month or two ago when (an australian feminist motherhood blog) linked here.

    I thought I’d been a fat accepting feminist for years, but I’d slipped. Must have been all those crazy diet ads on the telly. And the gym programe with weigh ins and empasis on weight loss. Reading here reminds me that what I have really thought and felt about being fat but active is OK. Better than OK.

  126. I am another one of those who found this blog through bitchphd. I remember the days when my husband used to waste time reading blogs, and I made fun of him, thinking blogs are boring (he was reading mainly technical blogs for geeks… and I am a technical geek myself but they are boring). Now I discovered all those good blogs, and spend so much time on them! Thank you though, you’re great!

  127. I’m in Boston, y’all. Cara from southern NH, you need to make a little trip to the next Big Moves Boston show (April 17-19 in Cambridge), and come out for post-show pancakes afterwards. But hey, I’ll travel, too!

    BigMoves looks amazing, and as for show + pancakes, Oh HELL yes.

    I think there are a few other Bostonites on here so maybe we can get a group going!

  128. Delurking…found this via another blog I read, can’t remember which one. Link was to the “Fantasy of Being Thin” post. Read as much of the site as I could get away with at work, and then decided to buy some clothes that actually fit me for the first time in 10 years, rather than ones with a number that I could accept! I haven’t looked back…not to mention I haven’t been this COMFORTABLE in years! Now I can’t go a day without a hit. You guys rock.

  129. I was whining in my journal about body image woes, and my friend (also a Kate) linked me here. I realised once I’d read a few of the posts that I had fallen back into yet another eating disorder and set about changing that.

    I’m really grateful for my friend. If I hadn’t found this place, I’d still be stuck in an awful cycle of starve/binge.

  130. I am all about the Shapely Prose group discount, Cara! Write me off-list (you can find my contact info at the big moves web site), and let’s talk!

    Kate, you know what I’d also like to see here? A map showing where readers are at (geographically). The Dykes To Watch Out For page has that (scroll down a little, it’s on the bottom right), and I’ve always felt very heartened to see how this one dyke comic strip brings together people from all over the world. I am sure that Shapely Prose has a wide draw, too, and it would be cool to have a visual of that…

  131. If I hadn’t found this place, I’d still be stuck in an awful cycle of starve/binge.

    Again: What she said!! I’m so grateful, always, for this site.

    Ms Babe, I’ll be mailing ya!

  132. Hi, new poster, here. Maybe somebody said something to this extent already, but one of the reasons we heavy people have to deal with the attitudes that we do is because of the “twiggy” standard of beauty promoted by movies and TV. For a thinking person, JM’s comment really shines the harsh light on truth on the suffering necessary to continue promoting such an unrealistic ideal. It’s just not natural, so people shouldn’t be shamed into conforming to it, right? :-)

  133. Whoops, sorry, that last comment was meant for the James Marsters thread. I got here throught Violent Acres’ blog. I read her because she tells interesting stories, but I still think she’s a crazy bitch who needs to get the fuck over herself.

  134. Kate, you know what I’d also like to see here? A map showing where readers are at (geographically).

    Ooh, BMB, I love that idea. Does anyone know where I can get such a map-building tool online?

  135. Yay for meet-ups! Are there any other Southerners here? I’m in New Orleans and would love to meet anyone in the area.

    I’m originally from Portland, OR, and will be back there for a couple weeks in early August, and I’d love to meet any Northwesterner Shapelies (Meowser, Arwen, etc.)

  136. I got here through Big Fat Deal who linked to fatfu who linked to here. I landed on Big Fat Deal because I used to read Mopie’s diary years ago (the 90s?!) and was wondering what she was up to these days.

    The idea of FA wasn’t new to me because I used to read the FA newsgroups (also in the 90s!). I never quite believed any of it applied to me though, because I was a binge eater. When Kate mentioned “The Obesity Myth” I read it and was so relieved. I had really bought into the idea that my fat was going to kill me. I decided to focus on fitness and to hell with how fat I was, for whatever reason (bingeing, genetics, the fat fairy).

    Now I am fat, happy, and getting fitter by the day. Thank you Kate :-)

    (PS: I think I have fixed the bingeing — it was due to gluten intolerance which causes malabsorption which causes cravings.)

  137. I don’t remember exactly how I got here. I saw Joy Nash’s Fat Rant awhile back and it was eye opening.

    Anyway, this summer I saw the Fat Rant and it blew me away. So I started looking around and I wish I remember if someone linked me or what, but one of the first FA blogs I found was this one. That was August I think.

    For me I had to be ready for all this. If I had seen these blogs and this information in my teens or 20’s or heck, maybe even a few years ago, I would have dismissed it. Actually, I think I had seen Fat Rant earlier and liked it but sort of blew it off (can’t quite remember).

    But this past summer I was READY. 37 (at the time) years old, I was well on the way to figuring out on my own that dieting was just unhealthy bullshit. I was ready, the information came – the rest is history ;)

  138. (First I have to say I’m in a bit of shock to find that there is another Chiara here who’s probably been commenting a lot longer than I have! And has her own blog that I will have to read all of! Since the internet’s been around, I have known that there are others, but I’ve never been in the same “place” as another Chiara in my life – I hope there was no comment confusion.)

    I too followed the link from Wasted Birth Control/Uppercase Woman. I’m mostly new to all this (although I did read Camryn Manheim’s book many years ago) and have been voraciously consuming ever since.

  139. I got here via BFB — one day it occurred to me that with all the blogs out there, there might be one or two about fat acceptance (I’ve been in grad school and had a baby and a full time job for a few years, if that helpt to explain any of the cluelessness). When I next had a chance to go on the web after that thought, I googled fat acceptance blog, which took me to BFB, and after sorting through the big fat index there, I found this little corner of humanity.
    I recently uncovered a tape from my senior year in high school, 1986, when I recorded the thought that “maybe being fat doesn’t automatically mean being ugly.” 22 years later, here I am.

  140. Meowser, if it’s in June-ish, can I come? (Seattle is the one place on earth that’s ever felt like home to me, despite only visiting for the first time a couple of years ago. I’ve been trying to make it back there on vacation regularly, until we work out how to emigrate. We’re aiming for June this year so’s we can catch the Solstice Parade…)

    Works for me! thekiti at yahoo is my E for anyone who wants to talk more about an Upper Left meetup.

  141. I think I also got here following a link from Pandagon. I don’t comment often, but I check here everyday and read quite a bit of the blogs on the feed, too. I guess I was really in the mental space for it after learning from my last job that it seemed the women at the office bonded over their hatred of their bodies and constant dieting, which I found pretty alarming.

    You ladies are awesome and I recommend this blog to pretty much everyone.

  142. I got here via a link of a link, an article on Hathor Legacy about a subway advert (I think) that linked to someone’s lj/blog or something that linked here. And I came and read and saw the light (or something).

    I’ve had issues with my weight for as long as I can remember, and I occasionally had a big rant about how I felt the world was making me diet, and the media was disgusting, and the government was disgusting, and the way the male consultant on my firm(I’m a medical student) talked to female obese patients (basically condescending, patronising and with the intent to shame, because ‘they need a wake up call’ of humiliation) was disgusting. And many friends would agree, and many would roll their eyes, and many would say ‘but it’s SOOO unhealthy’…and then I’d go back to my old ways of desperately wanting to be thin and doing anything for it.
    It was so nice and refreshing to read all these opinions that agreed with what my common sense which I had be squashing. I spent about 6 hours reading it and have been back nearly everyday since.

  143. This is actually my first comment. I’ve been following since I saw Joy Nash’s link. Around that time I’d first fallen in to the “obsese” BMI classimiscation (having been disordered and yo-yoing since age 10) and I’d also started having my first hardcore, personal experience with fat hatred (between the janitor at work & the comments total strangers were writing about my band on the Internet). This blog saved me from heading down another ill-advised dieting path, and even better, has revolutionized the way I see the gym (from punishment to a source of health (mentally and physically)). I really have your blog to thank for a lot and hope someday I’ll have the confidence to spread the gospel myself. AND, as far as the commenter community goes, all I can say is — man! What consistent intelligence, thoughtfulness, and heart . . not to mention correct spelling and grammar :)

  144. I also came here via BitchPhD’s fantastic blog. I never even knew the term FA existed until I stumbled upon this lovely thing, but I’m glad I’ve found it.

  145. Ok,

    I was looking on youtube browsing “top videos” and came across Joy Nash’s “A Fat Rant”. I remeber being absolutely shocked the first time I watched it. I hate to sound like a jerk but I had never really known many confident fat women before that and it really slapped me in the face. (ZOMGZ SHE IS WEARING A SWIMSUIT, was my initial reaction) However, I was very intrigued by Joy Nash’s conficence and sincerity. I also was impressed by the logical commenter who goes by the name HolyBarnacles, or Jon. He is a pretty cool guy and I thank him for telling me about this site. Basically I messaged him after reading lots of his comments and he gave me a list of sites to go to to learn more about size acceptance. I looked at a few others first (don’t remeber the names), but they didn’t really seem very interesting, I couldn’t relate to what they were talking about. But one day I decided to go to this site. At first I found this site a little hard to read, it just seemed so wrong…this crazy Kate Harding lady is saying that all that self-shaming stuff is bad for you! But I kept coming back because I could relate to it and felt…it sounds so cheesy to say empowered by it.

    Now I am a fan =)

    The End

  146. I get the impression that most of the regular commentors here are women. I’m a gay man myself (sometimes I prefer the old clinical term “homosexual” because I can live without all the “missy mary” subcultural baggage that comes with the word “gay”), and if you’re an overweight homosexual man, you do very often have to deprogram yourself of the same self-defeating attitudes with which mainstream society brainwashes overweight women into shaming themselves so much. And a lot of that is because gay men are even worse about putting superficial physical attractiveness above all else than are heterosexual men!

  147. You were listed on wordpress for a recent post a few months back. I clicked and I’ve linked and been coming back to check in ever since!

  148. I believe I must have linked here from Big Fat Deal. (Off-topic–which I in turn linked to from some diet blog or another. So it really is a gateway drug.) I can’t really remember, though! SP immediately became my one go-to read. I am so thankful for it.

    As an aside, Loveandlight, that is a really good point (about the unique yet sort of depressingly-the-same pressures on gay men vs. women to be thin and look good). I need to remember that not everyone here is exactly like me in age, gender, or any other way, yet SP does all of us so much good in combating societal messages.

  149. Hi, other Chiara! I don’t know any other Chiaras either! Sei italiana (io sono mezza, e mezza americana), o hai anche solamente il nome piu bella della lingua piu bella nel mondo :)

    I hope y’all wait to have the Seattle meetup for when I’m back in the States. I also hope that there are other Shapelings reading this in NZ!

  150. Hey, I understood all of that, maybe I’ll get by okay in Italy.

    If I can get everyone to write down what they’re saying to me.

    Maybe I’ll pretend to be hearing-impaired.

  151. Uh-oh, if so many people came to Kate from Dan Savage, that may be evidence that neither one is a douchebag! Maybe there can be a world where two good people can fight for their own causes, and help the same people, even if they’re both totally ignorant of the other’s cause! And maybe, some day, they can interact on a higher level than that of two obliviously egocentric blowhards!

  152. Stunning logic, Richard! If someone who looks at words that Dan Savage writes isn’t a douchebag, maybe Dan Savage is also not a douchebag!

    I mean, it’s true that MAYBE Dan Savage is not a douchebag. It would be neat if he didn’t try to keep proving he was, though.

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