153 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: Roll your own fluff”

  1. OK, I’ve got one for you guys. I work with a young woman, who is smart, fabulous, funny, etc. and also fat. The other day she walked by me with a piece of pizza saying, “I’m bad, bad bad bad!”

    I responded with, “no, you are hungry and it is just a piece of pizza.”

    She then “confessed” it was her second piece and admitted she had not had breakfast.

    What would you say to her to get her little grey cells thinking a bit differently but that won’t scare her off?

  2. mmmm…pizza.

    I’ve been waiting for an open thread so I could ask if anyone else has seen the movie “Disfigured” and what they thought of it. I came across it on Netflix and thought I’d give it a watch. Any other movies like this that anyone would recommend?

  3. I want to know how you would deal with an annoying ass male coworker that is constantly treating you like a stupid girl. I’m so sick of this man and I find myself getting more and more defensive every time he and I discuss anything which does not help me look any better. I’m sitting here at my desk fighting back tears of rage because he just pissed me off again.

  4. Re: Fluff
    The new knitty just came out. Not sure ow many people here are knitters, but this issue’s patterns feature some gorgeous women of all shapes, showing of the fruits of their creative labour
    www dot knitty dot com

  5. April, I feel you. I’m getting similar treatment–from a female boss. There is no easy way to deal with this bullshit. I’m focusing my energies on networking, updating my resume, and gaining all the skills I can so that I can move on. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but it gives me the hope I need to keep going.

  6. Serious question: I came to this site over some links that I don’t remember. I had never heard of fat acceptance before, and I am ashamed to say that, while not believing in the fat= immoral nonsense, I did believe in a lot of the health “facts” that are always circulating. Comming here was an eye-opening experience that changed not only the way I look at others but also at my own body. Now, I would love to share the site with some of my loved ones, but have no idea how.

    I absolutely believe in fat-acceptance, but since I have never had to struggle with it myself (I am naturally tall and skinny, so much so that people often believe I am anorexic), I don’t think I am in a position to tell these loved ones that they should stop trying to loose weight. Because there is no way for me to know what they are struggling with on a daily basis. I have always had thin- priviledge, and I don’t now what it’s like to live without that.

    Is there any way you could think of for me to introduce them to the world of fat-acceptance, without comming of like a sanctimonious bitch?

    My cousin and his wife have been trying to loose weight for years.They both had surgery in Mexico several years ago, but are both still trying to loose weight. I know that my cousin was harrassed a lot as a kid because of his weight. I used to just think “it’s their buisness if they want to loose weight”, but after reading so many good posts here about the uselessness of dieting, the falseness of “common knowledge” and the bad after-effects that trying to loose weight can have, I really want them to know these things, too.

    There is also the issue of one of their little boys, who has a lot of baby-fat and is always hungry. They do not obsess about this, but unfortunately his grandma (my aunt) is very weight concious and tries to limit his eating every time he is staying with her. Are there any good studies on the effect of that kind of food-focus and weight-worrying on young children? Any good material I could possibly point my aunt towards? I hate listening to her always prefacing pictures of the little boy with “he needs to loose weight” or something like that.

    I hope it is ok to ask these things. I just feel like, as someone who does not know first hand what it is like to live in this world as a person who is considered obese, I have no leg to stand on, telling my cousin and his wife what to do. And that’s not even what I want to do, I just think that they should know these things for future decisions.

    I admire all the awesome women here and hope you can help me – or tell me to mind my own damn buisness and leave them all alone, if you think that would be better.

  7. Oooh, open thread!

    I wanted to ask if anyone else is horrified by the way Alton Brown looks in the ads for the new “Next Iron Chef” competition…he doesn’t look like himself at all! Has he starved himself down to a stick figure? I think in some of the ads they have cut out his bit at the end. I mean, of course, his body is his own to do whatever he likes with it, and if he wants to be thinner it’s his own business, I know, who am I to judge? But this death’s-head look is alarming to me…

  8. Amazing how attractive people look when you let them have heads in their pictures.

    Didn’t you hear? Heads are the hottest fall accessory!

  9. Gina, it’s an ongoing battle with us. He thinks he’s superior to me and I overcompensate trying to prove my worth around here. It’s a tiny, tiny office so HR is, well, me. And my supervisor is the owner and it’s really best for me if I just don’t involve him. It’s weird and complicated and anyway I’m mostly just overly sensitive today so when he pulled his usual brand of ignorance I took it too personally. Which occurred right as I was hovering over the comment box here and I just raged all over it. So, sorry, Shapelings. Carry on.

  10. Has he starved himself down to a stick figure?
    But this death’s-head look is alarming to me…

    Totally okay to talk about celebrity weight changes, but please, knock it off with the thin-shaming language. Thin bodies don’t deserve to be described as grotesque any more than fat ones do.

  11. Thanks SM. Just as we are fat for many reasons (genetics, disability, meds, just the way we are) people are thin for all those reasons. Alton may have dieted himself down. On the other hand, maybe he is on meds that cause anorexia as many of the meds my husband is on do.

    Bottom line. Don’t judge. It’s rude.

  12. April,
    Don’t blame yourself because someone else is being an asshole. You have a right to be upset, and it is okay that someone else’s negative behavior affects you. It sucks for you, but you shouldn’t be sorry for it!

  13. @Faith: Do you mean drugs that cause severe weight loss? I ask because medications can interfere with appetite and can cause weight loss or weight gain, but those side effects are not synonymous with anorexia.

  14. Sorry. I had thought I was clear that I did not intend to judge but was astonished at the startling change. Perhaps he’s ill. I beg your pardons.

  15. Welcome Lauren! :) Am thinking about your question, and wishing I could write more, but right now my older son is asking me to draw a dentist and my younger son just got up from his nap, so I’m a little distracted.

    Re: fluff… shoot, I just actually finally had an idea for Friday Fluff. It is sort of a marriage of Style Invitational and FA:

    1) Take a catch phrase of fat hate;
    2) Change, add, or subtract one letter;
    3) come up with a new definition for the result.

    Not-terribly-funny example to get you started:

    Obeyity epidemic — The alarming uptick in rates of weddings with patriarchal marriage vows.

    Anyone else want to play?

  16. (((((April)))))

    I’m so sorry. I don’t know exactly what kinds of things he’s doing. Some things that have worked both well and badly in the past, for me, include:

    -giving myself unqualified permission never to be in a conversation with this guy;
    – finding female allies;
    -crafting a few stock replies like “Now now, that’s now how we talk at the grownups’ table” and “See, you’re probably only saying that because you assume I’m a stupid girl” and “Do you ordinarily deal with these kinds of situations by doing X, or is this a privilege you save just for me?”
    -staring blankly and saying, “What? Oh, I’m sorry, I was just thinking of something really clever and interesting. What were you saying?”
    -Not reacting. At all. Ever.

    All of these have drawbacks and are pains in the ass. I’m sorry.

  17. Ugh, speaking of jerky coworkers, I’m having some major issues with my boss (who is also the co-owner of the restaurant where I work). Specifically, he thinks I’m terrible at my job (despite all evidence to the contrary, as anyone else would tell you) and he sexually harasses many of his female employees. I’m his current favorite target. I’m just about ready to leave this job anyways, but I would really like to make this a better workplace for others who come after me, and especially the younger hostesses. So what do I do? I haven’t been documenting it as well as I should have, but I remember a few recent incidents clearly, and there are lots of witnesses for most incidents. I haven’t stood up for myself much (other than the occasional “can it” or “fuck off”) but I think he’s aware that his behavior is crossing some lines. He gives all of the girls who have big tits long, lingering hugs, and he’s attempted to make out with several of us at work parties. Luckily, I’ve escaped that by avoiding work parties entirely.

    So I think I have a case (or do I?), but I don’t know how to proceed. Oh and I’m in Canada, if that changes anything.

  18. April,

    One of my resolutions for this year has been to self-differentiate. I have worked really hard to not get sucked into others’ dysfunction or “issues.” I am working hard to be what is called a “non-anxious presence.”

    This year has been really hard, but it’s been liberating to see that 1) It’s not my job to make everyone happy and 2) all I can control is my own responses.

    I’m not saying I never get irritated or angry. But this year has been groundbreaking for me: When a colleague is giving me a supersized portion of attitude, anger or straight-up crazy, I self-differentiate.

    I would not, however, ignore sexual harrasment, hostile work environment or unethical behavior.

  19. A Sarah:

    Fat Hate => Fat Hat

    A bonnet made of bacon, for emergencies when out camping. Fat hats are of course made by fat hatters.

    MeMe Roth => MoMo Roth

    (Am I allowed to swap two of the same letter?)
    A famed delicious Nepali dumpling evangelizer (as opposed to a famed malicious fat demonizer).

    Exercise more! => Exorcise more!

    ‘Nuff said, really.

    I could do this all afternoon, except I can’t cause I am supposed to be working.

  20. I’m pretty new to the FA movement and I have a question that I’m hoping someone can answer. I want to eat healthier and take better care of my body by moving more. By eating healthier, I mean listening to my body and also eating less junkfood, and in no way letting myself go hungry. I got into the habit of eating more junk food even when I didn’t really want to eat that stuff.

    Is this considered ‘dieting’ in a way that is anti-FA? And what if by doing this I lose some weight . . . which is not the goal, but perhaps a side effect?

  21. Mary Sue – I saw “open thread” and went GLEE GLEE GLEE I MUST TALK ABOUT GLEE. :D

    Seriously. Anyone who has ever spent a single semester in show choir needs to go to Hulu and watch the first two episodes RIGHT NOW. And everyone else, too. I am in absolute love with that show, and if it lets me down I will go personally kick them all in the ass.

  22. As for Alton Brown, I think it’s his hair. It’s longer and stringy in the commercial I saw him in, so it gives him some kind of overall unkempt not-taking-care-of-himself vibe.

  23. Did anyone see the Michael Pollan piece in the NYT about how health care reform is inexorably tied to reform of the food industry? I think I agree with Pollan on a macro level, but I want to throw things every time I read him. This was was “Our health care is so expensive because of all the fatties.” “All the fatties are fatties because they eat nothing but fast food” “It’s pointless to give health care to all those fatties unless we get them off the junk!”

  24. Thanks A Sarah, I love those suggestions. And I have found myself saying similar things to him. Mostly it’s harmless banter between us, he’s like an annoying older brother. Or something. Since I never had a brother I wouldn’t know but I assume. It’s just that he finds that line where it stops being harmless banter and becomes just being an asshole and jumps right over it far too often. Plus, as mentioned before, I’m having an overly sensitive kind of day so that didn’t help.

    Part of the issue in this place is that I don’t have female allies. I don’t mind it most of the time but sometimes it feels so damn isolating. I’m so different than everyone here. You know?

    Shinobi- thanks for that. I think it’s good to remind ourselves that we should not apologize for the behaviors of others. To be clear, though, I wasn’t apologizing for him being an asshole to me so much as I was apologizing for jumping on here and raging on the comments.

  25. I had no idea Glee was back on! I loved the pilot, so I just watched the next episode…and set up to DVR the others. Thanks for the reminder!

  26. I’m with you, Kate. I agree with Pollan that our food industry is absolutely screwed up, and we give subsidies to all the wrong industries, and when I go to the store and see “Packed by Cargill in Wichita” on the hambuger I curse and want to throw things, but all the fatty mcfaterson makes me want to hit him upside the head with a baby donut.

  27. Oh, April–I’m sorry–it sucks to be isolated without allies there, but thank goodness for the internet and SP, right?

    Detach if you can, and if you can’t, well, that’s okay. Some days your hormones and whatever aren’t helping, right? You said it.

    I wonder what would happen if you burst out in tears when he crosses over the line? Sometimes calling their bluff works, and sometimes they get off on it.

    It’s tough in this job market to feel trapped, if you do feel trapped. You really aren’t trapped. You are choosing to stay in this job because you have a right to be there. Good for you. You could go on unemployment and risk the consequences (not that I’m advising it), but you are strong and choosing to hold your ground. I find that recognizing that I have made and continue to make a choice lets me feel more in control of the situation.

    And, yes, if it really gets to be harassment, talk to a lawyer.

    We’re here rooting for you, girlfriend!

  28. I’m new to commenting, but I’ve been a reader for a while. I’m having a dilemma, which I would have posted at the Ning site, but it is down and this is an open thread, so I’m hoping it is ok to post this here. If not, I am sorry.

    I have a dilemma. I’m a college student with a family history of heart disease and diabetes. College student meaning “Yay, I’m not at home! I can choose what to eat without getting my choices ripped into!” This would be a good thing, until you consider that I binge eat. It is a left over behavior from my dieting days and emotional baggage.

    I have access to a kitchen, but instead of buying the leafy greens, vegatables, pasta, and meat that my body craves, I am binging on Doritos, Oreos, and Pepsi. Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these foods, but they are binge triggers, they are not what my body wants, and they make me feel sluggish and have heartburn. When I think about it, I hate the taste of these foods. Yet I come to them, when I want something else.

    My dilemma: I LOVE my body. I love my big belly, my large hips, and my large ass. So I am not on a weight loss mission.

    I do however, want to have habits that are good for my body, not habits that fill my body with more sugar and caffeine and give me heartburn! I want to feed myself and give my body the fuel it needs. I don’t want to be stuck on foods that make me feel ill, just for the novelty.

    I’ve also been pretty sluggish and inactive, which may be great for some people, but I think my poor muscles are screaming for attention!

    If my current way of living is healthy for someone, great! But I feel myself being run down and trapped.

    So, I want to learn about ways to make my body happier. Nevermind I’m scared because of my family history of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

    However, most health resources are awful. Not about making your body happy, but instead “Fit into those size 4 jeans!” Umm, I am delighted to fit into my size 18 jeans! I mean: DELIGHTED! I just want to learn what good stuff is out there to eat, or some cool exercises. I don’t care about jean size or what the scale says. Don’t give me that crap!

    Anyways, that’s my dilemma. Thoughts?

  29. This is possibly a very random question, and certainly not very deep, but I’m pleading open thread because I’m desperate.

    I just transferred to a massive state university from my podunk community college. How badly is my (fat, plain, butch) self going to be harassed by all the drunken frat bros at tomorrow night’s football game? Most people didn’t even know my old school had a team, so dealing with people was never a problem, but here there’s going to be tv cameras and everything, and I don’t even own anything orange to wear like the ticket says.

    I really want to go cheer and have fun, but I think I’m on the verge of stressing myself out of going entirely. Help?

    On a lighter note, AnthroK8, I totally want a Fat Hat!

  30. So, I want to learn about ways to make my body happier. Nevermind I’m scared because of my family history of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

    Yeah, I’ve found that when I don’t exercise and eat a lot of highly processed foods, I tend to start feeling like crap. I will say, however, that my thin, health conscious, active parents are both on meds for high cholesterol, so I’ve also accepted that no matter how well I eat, I am probably going to develop high cholesterol at some point in the future.

  31. Just to answer someones question about anorexia. Anorexia in medical terms is not eating. Anorexia nervosa is the eating disorder.

  32. Lauren,

    I am sure you could get a million different answers. When I first stumbled onto FA, my first reaction was to say to my family – hey check this out, you might find it interesting. Just like I would do if I read a good book or a good newspaper article or something. Just because you are thin doesn’t mean you can’t mention it – especially since you know about their struggles.

    I am a really straight forward person and call a spade a spade, so if my aunt was saying that about my neice or nephew, I would tell her she was being rude, or disrespectful. I actually recently did that to a friend who was making fun of a fat person.

    Good luck

  33. You know, it sounds like a lot of people on this thread – including myself – need a little encouragement from the Big Fat Gay Collab (which, yes, everyone’s probably seen but it’s an open thread AND I LOVE IT SO!!!!)

  34. Oh crap. Lest I give offense, let me clarify that I meant it sounds like a lot of people here are dealing with disagreeable folks who need a good “fuck you.” Not that it’s the Shapelings who need the “fuck you.”

  35. CuppyCake: I have similar binge triggers. I find that if I keep none of them in the house, it’s much harder to binge on them.

    I also make it as easy as possible to eat the healthy food I really want to be eating. Frozen food has helped a lot with this, especially frozen quick-cooking things like vegetables and shrimp, and frozen already-cooked things like chicken breasts, homemade soups, chili, and other freezable leftovers. I buy mostly very skinny pasta so it doesn’t take much time too cook. And I bought a very fancy rice cooker with a timer so I could prepare the rice before bed or before work and eat it for breakfast or dinner without having to wait for it to cook.

    And when I really do want chips or a soda or some oreos or some ice cream, I go out and buy a small amount and eat all of it at once.

    I also find that, for some reason, not-too-salty baby pretzels satisfy a crunchy-salty craving, but unlike Doritos, I don’t feel compelled to finish the entire bag (single-serving or food-service size) in one sitting, so I do usually have a bag of those or a bunch of single-serving bags of those on hand.

  36. Well, as long as it’s an open thread I guess I have the courage to post something… ;)
    I’m new to the FA movement, an in-between-ie (is that the correct term?) myself and have almost always felt self-conscious about my body except when I’ve been unusually thin because of illness (so… typical self-hatred, pretty much. I’m getting better.) Anyways, tonight I was out with a couple of relative strangers, people who are going to be in a master’s program with me starting in a couple of weeks, having a couple of drinks in a bar, when one of them started laughing. The other person and I looked up to see what she was laughing at — a cute, fat girl in a 60s style orange dress bopping along to the music. The people with me sniggered and remarked that some people shouldn’t wear short dresses and that at least she was providing entertainment. I felt terrible and wanted to say something but wasn’t sure how to word it politely in front of relative strangers. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was afraid to say anything — both of them are the kind of avid runner that makes me feel like a lazy bum, and I’m young (22), a little shy, and new to the idea that my body — and other bodies — are acceptable the way they are (though I like to think my mother brought me up to know that comments on other people’s bodies are not the subject for polite discourse). Thoughts? How do you introduce the topic politely without sounding like you’re giving a lecture? At least the girl was far away and facing the other direction so she didn’t see/hear the assholishness.

  37. This is just something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently with the whole “fat is genetic” thing. See, I’m maybe not fat (even with a borderline “obese” BMI), but definitely bigger than either of my parents. My mother, who is my height, had a 24 inch waist when she started college and her heaviest weight ever is right around my lightest. (Admittedly, at her heaviest, she wore around a size 12, which is what I currently wear at 30 lbs heavier than her heaviest.) My father’s BMI is barely over 20 is stays there naturally. My brother’s also hovers around 20 naturally as well. Three of my four grandparents were also naturally thin. One grandmother was moderately fat, but she also had type 2 diabetes.

    If fat is genetic and very few people in my family are fat, how come I am? Basically, I’ve been trying to figure out how I fit in to all of this.

    It also seems to me that it’s potentially easier to accept yourself as fat (or “overweight,” “obese,” etc.) when you have examples of people close to you who look similar and are confident in themselves. I’ve never had that, and I wonder if it’s part of the reason I’m so preoccupied with numbers, despite the fact that I really don’t hate how I look (loving how I look is coming, but I’m not quite there yet).

    Anyone else feel this way?

  38. “it sucks to be isolated without allies there, but thank goodness for the internet and SP, right?”

    That’s a big fat YES. I can’t even describe what happened there when I was *this* close to tears of rage and just venting to this community and the supportive (and humorous) comments that followed totally took all that pressure off my skull. I was like, hey, why am I letting this jerk get to me?

    Squishy hugs for all.

    CuppyCake – you have the most adorable little monster there. Besides that, I think a lot of us here can relate to what you’re saying. I have the same issue with Doritos and Oreos (and why? they are so disgusting, actually, but yum). There’s a lot of talk in this community about intuitive eating, which might be what you’re looking for? I don’t really know a lot about it but I think I’m accidentally practicing it anyway. It’s the most common sense approach I’ve ever had to food and I don’t suffer as much with the heartburn and other negative effects. Surely a more knowledgeable Shapeling can help you out there.

  39. I should have mentioned: The situation is complicated by the fact that we live on different continents. My cousin, my aunt and their family live in the States, I live in Germany. My cousin and I e-mail each other, we have been doing so semi-regularly since my last visit, but just bringing things up in a casual conversation is obviousely out.

    Despite the distance, we are close to each other (closer than they are to any of the other cousins and family at least), and have a really great, honest relationship. I love his wife and his boys.

    Stumbling into fat acceptance has made me think of them a lot, because they are awesome people, just like the women (and men?) posting here.

  40. @Meems: If fat is genetic and very few people in my family are fat, how come I am?

    Because genetics are often more complex than that. :-) For one thing, not all traits are “on/off” type deals; some of them are the net effect of lots of signals that say “more” and lots that say “yes.” (For what it’s worth, I don’t think we – I’m an evolutionary geneticist – have an accurate picture of the genetic basis of fatness.)

    Complicating the issue is that the environment you experience can alter your genetic instructions. That could be simple, like, you ate different foods or had different infections as a child than your relatives. But it can also be complicated – I recently heard about this fabulously weird system in which famine experienced by young people influenced how their *grandkids* grew.

    I may not be able to fully relate (my family has a range of body types), but I understand the search for explanations, and I understand biology; hopefully my rambling is more useful than not!

  41. I have to oddly related thoughts.

    1) Yay, Glee! We didn’t have show choir, but I’m a musical theater nerd with heavy acappella leanings. I love this show to itty bitty pieces. There is one small sort-of-problem, though. The lead actor looks very much like the exact midpoint between Justin Timberlake and my husband. It’s…distracting.

    2) Speaking of my husband, he’s recently started working out again so he’s been talking about his weight in real numbers. Turns out he’s just over the line into “obese” according to the BMI scale. He thinks that’s *hilarious.* (See point 1 about looking like the guy on Glee. My husband is shorter and has the I-clean-my-kids’-plates tummy, but still.) Now we’re just waiting for my parents to bring up BMI again so we can point this out.

  42. Hi bee,

    I teach at a big state school (not yours, but I think a friend of mine teaches there, based on the color), and one of the really cool things about the insane school spirit at large universities is that it really makes all other social barriers irrelevant in the moment. My gay downstairs neighbor is as big a football fan as my fratboy students, and during the game, anyone who’s for your team is an ally. Make sure you’re not wearing the other team’s colors, of course, but so long as you cheer with the home fans, you’ll be all good.

  43. @S: Here’s what I would do for what it’s worth. I’m pretty non-confrontational, and I find that many people tend to get defensive when called out on their assholery. So rather than giving a lecture (which is what I’d really want to do), I’d probably stay upbeat and talk about how much I admired her and thought she looked great and how much better the world would be if we all went out and had fun rather than worrying about what other people thought. If they weren’t raised in a barn, they ought to feel guilty and shut up. There might be an awkward pause, but then you can change the subject by asking them a question that’s unrelated to appearances. If they were raised in a barn, and if they continue their bullshit, I’d just say, “Well, I think she looks great.” And then change the subject with an unrelated question (Did you see the latest episode of Mad Men?” Unless they have no social skills, they’ll get the hint.

  44. @Elysia, logically I know that my weight/size is due to more than genetics. It was probably affected a lot by nutrition and the fact that I grew up with my mom on late 80s/early 90s Weight Watchers, and that I developed fairly severe depression right around puberty. But even those things aside, I’m bigger boned and more muscular than either of my parents – or any relative they can think of – and I think I sometimes just feel like an outsider in my own family. My mom doesn’t understand that my body might just have a higher setpoint than hers, despite us being the same weight, and even at her heaviest, she was no more than 3 lbs into the “overweight” BMI category. My dad thinks it’s reasonable to tell me that I might just have to eat really low calorie to lose weight – and likes to cite those studies showing that rats on reduced caloric diets live the longest.

    *sigh* I think I just want to feel normal within the context of my family.

  45. Okay, so I have a bit of a conundrum. I visited my father this week, it’s the last time I’m going to see him for a long time, probably. He and I have had a rocky relationship for a while, stemming mainly from some icky things he did and said when my parents were divorcing (the divorce happened when I was 15-16, I’m 23 now). But over the past year, we’ve been slowly reconnecting a bit and it’s been really great. I’m actually having some hope that we might have a good relationship again, after many years of not talking to each other than often and only seeing each other on holidays.

    So anyway, while I was visiting him, I tried, very subtly, to gauge his reaction to FA, as I’ve really been trying to immerse myself in it and work on accepting myself as I am, rather than constantly shooting for being 100 lbs lighter. I was worried about both my parents, because both of them have made my weight An Issue for most of my life (from about 9 onward, I’d say), but when I told my mother she just said “honey, I know where you’re coming from, and if this is what you want to do to feel happy, then fuck everyone else.” My mom = awesome. Anyway, when I made a comment about having lost some weight recently (I was unable to eat much for about a month and a half because I had to wait for gall bladder surgery because I was uninsured, and I was nauseous basically the whole time), he said it was good, and I was kinda like “yeah, I guess. Except, I’m kinda thinking maybe I’m okay how I am” and he immediately launched into a diatribe against it.

    Did I mention he’s a doctor? x.x So not only is he coming from years of training from his family and our culture about Fat Being Bad, but also more than twenty years of medical experience saying fat is bad. I sorta tried to mention there being some recent studies about fat not being that bad, and he started in on “well the problem isn’t fat being bad, it’s fat putting strain on your joints and stuff” which I had no response to, so I just dropped it.

    The thing is, I really feel strongly about following the FA path, but I don’t want to screw up my newly regained relationship with my dad. Is there anything I can do to help him change his mind without alienating him? Does anyone have any suggestions for things I might do? Should I just leave it for now? I feel like I really want everyone close to me to know about my views on FA, and if our relationship keeps improving, it would be a step backward to not tell him about it (especially when a lot of the screwed-upness of our past relationship was how I never told him anything because I didn’t think he’d care).

    Maybe this is too personal for any of you guys to help with, but this is my Go To source for FA stuff, so I thought I’d ask. I was really hurt by his comments about it (although I have to chalk a healthy portion of it up to hormones, it being that time of the month when I was visiting), and I’d really like to include him in this portion of my life, but I just don’t know how. He’s one of those people who is vehement in his opinions, and one of the other aspects of our old bad relationship is that he easily cows me (I get my own forcefulness from him, which I can use to great affect on everyone BUT him). He’s been making an effort not to do so lately, but his reaction to my “being fat ain’t so bad” comment was definitely a throwback to that time. To be honest, I was a bit proud I even got the nerve to mention medical studies, let alone respond with anything but tears. n.n;;;

    I dunno. Maybe it’s just too complicated. I’m a bit scattered right now because I got up really early and drove 3 hours and then worked 8 hours, so my brain isn’t in the greatest shape (plus I should probably eat something, my “dinner” at work wasn’t that substantial). x.x But any advice you guys can give would be really appreciated. I’m over the emotional aspect of it (so you don’t need to build me up or anything), but the practical aspect of it remains snarly.

  46. If fat is genetic and very few people in my family are fat, how come I am? Basically, I’ve been trying to figure out how I fit in to all of this.

    On my dad’s side, all the men are wiry and very thin, without exception. All the women, with one exception, are very fat. Now, to complicate issues, all of them have starved themselves in a desperate attempt to get thin, and have gained weight every single time. I take after them to a tee.

    I have to wonder, were we all “meant” to be fat, or did we make ourselves fat by dieting? There’s also an indication than many of these women had PCOS. It isn’t a simple thing at all.

  47. I have to wonder, were we all “meant” to be fat, or did we make ourselves fat by dieting? There’s also an indication than many of these women had PCOS. It isn’t a simple thing at all.

    Also very true. Like I’ve said, I grew up with a mother pretty constantly on Weight Watchers and first went on it myself around age 12 (directly after a bout with depression during which I’d gained 50 lbs in 2 years), so I have no sense of where or when my weight might have leveled off had I not done all this to myself. Given a (second degree) family history of type 2 diabetes, it’s also a possibility that I’m mildly insulin resistant, which has been suggested by a nutritionist…

  48. @ Vesta44

    read your post at your blog, not a member so I’m plopping it here:

    I get neck pains when I’m at my computer too, unless I do some waving about of weights. I’ve never been to a gym and been trained about it, so please talk with a professional first (maybe a physical therapist?). What I do is take my five pound handbells and stick my arms out and wave them up and down ten times, then I turn my hands over and wave another ten times. Then I wave them horizonatally ten times, then up from the elbows ten times, so on and so forth with my arms in various positions. It makes a huge difference for me.

    Naturally, I don’t know what is right for you or your body; but I wouldn’t feel right not mentioning what helped me since it’s so simple and doable for most people.

  49. @S — I, too, am in grad school (much older than you, I worked for 10 years before deciding to get an additional degree), and I also have classmates that say really ignorant body-shaming things.

    Usually, these thin people say these things about themselves, which they probably think is harmless, but as we all know, is NOT.

    I second the KP, a good thing to do is to start by providing an alternative perspective that’s positive and cheerful.

    Also, while I don’t doubt that fat was a part of it, I’ve known people like that to snigger about all kinds of people who may be having a good time unselfconsciouly. Seriously, some people just do NOT understand FUN. In addition to being body-shaming, they might also be projecting their own self-consciousness … hard to explain, but it goes kinda like: “I’d feel self-conscious dancing and I’m not even fat or wearing an orange dress! Jeez! Ick!” No matter where they see it, unrestrained exhuberance (sp?) makes uptight people uncomfortable.

    So, I like things like following, because it gently defends the target, while also subtly suggesting that the problem might be the uptight onlookers, not orange-clad dancers. Like, “I think she looks awesome. I wish more people knew how to have fun!” Implying that it’s attitude that makes a look, not a certain body type. I might even add that, “It’s attitude that counts.” If you’re feeling bold, begin the first statement with, “I disagree, I think … ”

    Even if you happen to not like the dress itself, you could say, “Well, it may not be my style, but I still think she looks great!”

    Rarely will people who don’t know each other that well have the gonads to make fat-phobia explicit. That’s because a lot of times, they aren’t even conscious if it themselves. They won’t spell it out for you, “We mean she’s fat, duhs.” They’ll say, “Yeah, it’s great entertainment.” And I’ll reply, “Absolutely, but in the best possible, because I think she looks good and I love the fact that she’s not all caught up in being self-conscious.”

    IOW, if it doesn’t seem like the time to hand out a FA “New Testament,” (that can come later, ha ha, to the worthy acolytes) you can still very cheerfully put out a different opinion.

    These things DO add up. Remember, fat-phobia is hurting thin people, too, even if they don’t realize it. People find it a relief to be around others who don’t body-shame.

    What do the rest of you think?

  50. Sorry, I feel like I’m posting a lot, but after my last post, I wanted to get a bit more info on insulin resistance – especially since one nutritionist made that suggestion that I might have it.

    Except, the only “risk factor” I have is being overweight. Not the build, not the high fasting glucose levels, not the cholesterol problems…

    And I love their advice:

    Is Insulin Resistance Syndrome Preventable?

    Yes. If you live a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent insulin resistance syndrome and the associated diseases. Here are some tips to prevent insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome:

    * Exercise. Try walking 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week (exercise can be divided into 3 separate periods of 10 minutes each)
    * Stay at a healthy weight
    * Eat right. A healthy balanced and caloric restricted diet is recommended.

    I like the assumption that no one walks and that “caloric restricted” diets are healthy. And that they totally ignore the fact that insulin resistance can cause weight gain, so if one has it, “stay[ing] at a healthy weight” (i.e. maintaining) is probably not possible.

  51. @theKP Thank you! That is extremely reassuring to hear. I have to admit I’m still getting used to people being completely unfazed by nerdy fat chicks and also not getting harassed on the street here. And besides, if there’s one thing I’m really good at being loudly passionate about, it’s football. :)

    @S You and your mother are absolutely right: other people’s bodies aren’t a subject for polite discourse, but there are always bound to be a few who’ll go there anyway. Personally, I am fairly blunt and would probably say something like, “Dude, don’t be an asshole.” Sometimes it’s good to call people out—they might think twice next time if they can’t automatically assume whomever they’re with will laugh and agree.

    However, if you don’t think that’s entirely appropriate for you or your situation, theKP’s suggestion of sticking up for her in a polite, not-overly-confrontational way seems like the right way to go.

  52. @HiddenTohru

    Sorry talking to your dad was so frustrating. Please don’t let that shake your growing confidence. He sounds like a doctor, all right!

    You also sound like you love him very much and want his approval. You won’t get it. What you can maybe get, not short term but long term, is respect for your position once you fully approve of and respect yourself. IOW — once you don’t need his approval any more.

    You’re young; he doesn’t think you know much. As your father, as a much older person, and as a doctor, he thinks he Knows Stuff. It doesn’t seem like he understood that you were really talking about self-acceptance on a deeper level.

    If you didn’t frame the conversation as “I was so nauseous I couldn’t eat, it was miserable!”, then he probably was following the conventional script of weight loss = good.

    Furthermore, I’m afraid that if he’s been shitty about your weight since you were 9, he should NOT be your first line of support in your efforts toward self-acceptance. Your dad probably hasn’t changed much. He may even believe that your improved relationship is because YOU’VE decided come around and be reasonable.

    I wish it weren’t the case, but I think, for now, that you’ll be frustrating yourself if you try to get dad to really see it your way. As you say, he’s “vehement in his opinions” and — this is an important clue! — intimidates you, maybe even bullies you, when you disagree. In the long term, he may grudgingly respect your position not through words, but if you demonstrate through your actions, long-term, that *you* are happy with your life, body, philosophy.

    That’s just my take, FWIW, based on what you wrote.

    If however, he *actively* gives you crap by telling you you should lose weight, if he brings it up himself, etc., maybe have a neutral rebuttal in your holster to end the conversation, like, “That comment is hurtful. Besides, I am happy with my size, and it’s my own business.”

  53. @Lauren –

    What I would do, if your parents/grandparents/etc. are readers at all, is buy copies of “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere”, “Rethinking Thin” by Gina Colata, and Paul Campos “The Obesity Myth” and strew them around her there and everywhere.

    Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere has some great techniques for dealing with this sort of self-hate.

    Also, I find talking people up helps. “No, you’re not lazy and unmotivated! Look how you finished school/ raised those kids/ repainted your living room” etc. There’s a lot of cognitive bias related to being fat – if OPRAH thinks she’s lazy and overemotional, then it goes to show that against other data, we can accuse ourselves of stereotypes.

    The one two three punch:

    ” You are NOT lazy! (disgusting, ugly, whatever). You’re beautiful. Also, they’ve proven that weight is 75% heredity, just like height. If you’re curious, I have these fabulous books…”

    And four – like in Lessons:

    “I’m sorry, I find it really painful/difficult/whatever to hear you run yourself down and I’d ask you not to with me.”

  54. @S — you know, I just read Bee’s response, and I like it MUCH better! More concise. Good for people who are non-histrionic.

    Unfortunately, some people can’t handle the truth. And they would bring the drama … My long-winded “positivity” stuff was for those “girls” who delusionally think they are so “nice” — people who would be hyper-sensitive and say YOU were criticizing THEM, insane as that is.

  55. @S – I tend to say something like “I think she looks great – she’s having fun, she’s wearing a gorgeous dress!” with people I don’t know well. Makes ’em feel sheepish that there’s a grown up in the room.

  56. @everyone dealing with assholish behavior from coworkers, fellow students, parents, etc: Like Bee says, I’ve actually found the matter-of-fact comment the most powerful tool in the arsenal.

    Fellow grad student: “BWAH! Look at the fat chick in the orange dress!”
    Me: “Stop being an asshole. She looks great. So, did you see the new thesis requirement?”
    Coworker: [noxious comment about how gurlz r stoopid]
    Me: “C’mon, Greg, stop being an asshole. By the way, did you get the spreadsheet I e-mailed to you?”
    Dad: “You know that chocolate cake will go straight to your hips.”
    Me: “Dad, can the weight talk. It’s off limits. Hey, my grad school applications went out last week.”

    Actually using the word “asshole” is completely voluntary and depends on the company. What works is calling the other party on it in a completely matter-of-fact tone and then moving straight on without allowing for discussion or defensive responses. With some practice, you can actually do it without sounding judge-y; the trick is to keep the conversation going so that it’s clear you aren’t dismissing or devaluing the other person, you’re just reminding them of common boundaries. You sometimes hear people successfully using “TMI” for the same purpose (Coworker: “So I went in to get my Pap smear, and the gyno was this cute guy . . .” Second coworker: “Dude, Heather, TMI. Hey, did you ever end up seeing that guy from the gym again?”)

    Super important point–never do the girl-speak question at the end of the phrase. (I call it girl-speak, because I hear it most from preteen and teenage girls and least from older guys.) I.e., “That’s kind of out of line, don’t you think?” You really don’t want the other person chime in with a defense or an opinion. They made the statement, so you already know they don’t think it’s out of line. In these cases, you’re not looking for consensus, you’re drawing boundaries, and there’s no better way to do it than to state them as if there’s no question about their appropriateness–like saying that the weather’s beautiful or the Pope is Catholic. If you do get questioned on it (“I don’t see why I can’t say that” or “But I’m a doctor”), give the blank-faced look and say, “Moving on . . .” A second attempt, actually do move away from the conversation, but reengage soon on a different topic.

    Boundaries: the best thing ever. That advice cost me a fortune in therapy, so please appreciate that I share it for free.

    April–your guy with the harmless banter crossing into asshattery may actually not know precisely where the lines are. I’ve got an actual older brother who’s that way. He may really appreciate the, “Dude, shut up.” Not to defend him, but there’s a lot of socially inept going around.

  57. @Arwen: too true. I use that with my sisters when they self-criticize, with the humorous twist–“If any other person in this room/house/world said you were an ugly cow, I’d have to knock ’em down for being a jerk and a liar. So don’t make me get out the Fist of Doom, okay?”

  58. I am loving all of the suggestions for responding to ignorant/asshattish comments. My usual method is brick-to-the-face blunt, which is fine if I feel like being Ms. Confrontational-Pants, but doesn’t exactly foster good will! I’m going to tuck these suggestions away in my conversational arsenal.

    I have a health question I haven’t been able to find information about on my own. Over ther past two-three years, starting when I was 27-28 (I’m 30 now), I started having ovulation pain when I’d never had it before. I also started having much shorter and more painful periods, going from 5-6 days that began with a couple of days of crampiness and being more easily tired (and having been that way since my mid-teens), to 2-3 days where I’m pretty much wiped out from pain and tiredness, despite a light flow. I was still fairly regular, but every three months or so my period would be two weeks late. I also sprouted a few dark whiskers on my chin.

    This was all after my formerly inbetweenie self (~185lbs at 5’9″) gained around 40 lbs in short order, following an ankle injury that kept me mostly immobile for 3 months and subsequent bouts with influenza. This was in early-to-mid 2006; the 40 lbs haven’t budged since.

    It was all a little baffling, but I didn’t think too much of it until I noticed it’d gotten much worse.

    Now, I when my ovulation cramps start they don’t stop until after my period. They range from a constant low-level ache to intrusive, stabby pains. My menstrual cramps frequently leave me nauseated and wake me up from a dead sleep, and it takes upwards of 800mg of ibuprofen to even make a dent in them. My usual pre-period breakout has gone to being worse than what I got as a teen–now I get bunches of large, painful pimples along my jaw, the back of my neck, and back in addition to the usual. Those few whiskers have spread over my chin and jawline and around the sides of my mouth. Finally, my already copious belly, leg, and arm hair has thickened further and darkened.

    So I’m thinking, huh, PCOS maybe? I haven’t been able to get a good answer out of my mom about if any of this is common on her side of the family–I know having a bit of a moustache is common, but I also know that I was hairy enough as a teen my mom was aghast and thought I had a hormone problem. I don’t know anything about the women on my father’s side of my family, since we’re estranged, jsut that the guys tend to be pretty hairy.

    But here’s the kicker: I’ve brought this up with my doctor, but her response was to handwave it as ‘normal’, that the gynecologist (who has never seen me in person) who looked at my bloodwork last year didn’t think there was anything wrong with my hormones, and that unless I wanted to go on birth control there wasn’t anything to be done.

    So I guess my question (after going at it in a roundabout way) is–in your folks’s experience, is this really ‘normal’ for someone like me? Am I, as I fear, making a mountain out of a molehill and just need to suck up my body changing and find some better painkillers? Or do I need to give that doctor a piece of my mind? I’ve been trying to research this but my Google-fu has been failing me (probably because I’m more than a little freaked out).

    Ugh. I’m sorry, I wrote an essay. I’ve come to really value the voices here, so any reassurances you could offer would be a blessing.

  59. Renatus: My advice is, find a new doctor! And find a gynecologist to see in person.

    (horrible cramps lasting until after your period? Maybe see if you can get checked out for endometriosis as well as PCOS?)

  60. And four – like in Lessons:

    “I’m sorry, I find it really painful/difficult/whatever to hear you run yourself down and I’d ask you not to with me.”
    My version is, “Hey, you can’t talk that way about my friend/sister/husband.” Most people appreciate being stood up for, even if it’s to themselves.

  61. @Arwen: I can’t resist! “Fat people have no discretion in their coughs…they time them ill.” Heee. (I am now going to imagine all fat-shamers as talking like Mrs. Bennett. Their pooooor nerves!)

  62. Renatus, several Shapelings with PCOS have started a thread/section on the ning site, for which I am terrible at remembering the URL. They’d have better advice than I. Also both Randomquorum and Fat Heffalump have blogged about this in the past week and I remember one has the link.

    What I can tell you is that what you’re experiencing with those cramps and pain is in no way “normal” or to be dismissed; particularly as it’s a change for you.

  63. @ A Sarah:

    Headless Fratties – shorthand for the terrifying epidemic of people too lazy to move their lazy frat-boy brains off the couch of their preconceptions and stop shoveling over-processed pre-fab junk-thought into their minds.

    Eat, Lass! – self explanatory:).

    re: Glee: People, I feel you, so much. And yet, watch it again, this time with your feminist goggles on: Every singly adult woman on that show is crazy, embodying a stereotypically drawn caricature. The men – even that classically mocked and caricatured figure of fun, the principal – are depicted as complex, adult human beings with authentic feelings and needs, making adult compromises; the women are one-dimensional harpies from crazytown, flat and inexplicable. Lazy, male-centric writing. I believe in the main teacher dude, and in the principal. Even the friggin other teacher who was courting miss what’s-her name (sorry don’t remember any names) – a typical minor, one-dimensional caricature of a character – was given a moment of real humanity, making what was to him a valid point in a way that we could connect with for a moment. But I don’t believe for a second in the wife (or her sister) or the cheering squad coach – I’ve never met anyone like them. You can’t give the two main adult female characters a single moment of humanity, empathy, or as much complexity as you give a throw-away male character? They are just blank ciphers for our hero to bump up against, random forces of (destructive) nature – The cutthroat butch dyke, the lying, gold-digging wife. Even the love-interest has to have extreme OCD, which infantilizes her. I was bugged. what up?

    I hate that even stuff that I would love to watch – even writers and directors who clearly have so much of their hearts in the right places – is contaminated with this insidious, toxic crap. Aren’t there any writers out there who have met, you know, actual women?

  64. I just want to say, apropos of nothing, that I think I just finished my dissertation proposal, finally. Which means that (if all goes well) I will be ABD very soon. Huzzah!

  65. My husband downloaded this album for me (it’s free on their website), and it’s so fun, I wanted to share:

    Shapelings, behold, The Bastard Fairies.

    As a side note, I want pretty much all of Yellow Thunder Woman’s wardrobe.

  66. Renatus: It is not normal to have cramps that wake you up at night and require 800 mg of ibuprofen. Definitely go see a doctor who takes your problems seriously, and don’t let them brush you off with “it’s just cramps; go take ibuprofen”.

  67. Ooooh open thread. Okay, if shameless self promotion is okay, please consider viewing and rating this feminist-themed entry for this animation competition for the History channel, made by my friend and myself –


    In this proposed animation, Susan B. Anthony’s address to Judge Ward Hunt reaches across time to women and men today, calling them to unite and continue the fight for equal rights.

    (Ladies of the blog, I hope it’s ok I put that here! If not, just delete..)

  68. I spent midnight-2am last night in a bath with four other women in strappy tops and underwear, none of whom were under a size 16 UK (and none of whom were sober, hee). I was just looking at all our thighs next to each other and had a sudden moment of “man, we are all beautiful” body love and it made me very very happy. Yay women! Yay fat women!

    I recently heard about this fabulously weird system in which famine experienced by young people influenced how their *grandkids* grew

    Epigenetics! My favourite crazy phenomenon. This happens in mice too — you get the effects of a coat colour gene in the grandkids when their PARENTS didn’t even have it. Oh, genetics. It is so wonderfully insane.

    Boundaries: the best thing ever. That advice cost me a fortune in therapy, so please appreciate that I share it for free.

    I really fucking do! That technique is awesome. I’m going to practice. *studies*

  69. Also, I should pretend I have a genetics degree and say “you get the effects of a coat colour gene variant in the grandkids when their parents didn’t even have it”. And then I should stop serial posting.

  70. Congrats SM!

    Caitlin, you reminded me of something I meant to post about a while back (though it’s really only appropriate for an open thread): I spent a week last month at a yoga retreat center that has gender separated saunas and whirlpools – swimsuit optional. No one wore swimsuits, regardless of age, build, weight, etc, and it was wonderfully freeing and enlightening to realize that even those women who might look “perfect” in clothing have idiosyncrasies in their bodies. It’s what makes us human, but it’s not something we see very often.

  71. Ugh, Sniper, that piece makes me want to vomit!

    Obese people in America now outnumber the merely fat.

    Like he can tell the difference. How about those of us who are technically (medically) obese but wouldn’t be visually identified as fat? And then there’s the absolute reliance on BMI, calling all fat people “slovenly,” and generally being a total douche. The nauseating comments notwithstanding…

    Yeah, I think I’m off the Huffington Post, too.

  72. Like he can tell the difference.

    Like he knows his ass from a hole in the ground.

    But hey, if “progressives” don’t want my support, money, time, or readership, I’m not going to force it on them.

  73. The Bald Soprano, Piffle, Michelle, thank you so much. It’s been crushing to be pretty sure there’s something wrong with me but have the doctor wave it off, especially as I have a lot of past damage that makes it really hard for me to trust in my thoughts and feelings when someone else waves them away. I’m so relieved I’m almost in tears that I am *not* disconnected from reality.

    I’m especially glad I asked as the cramps have been very bad the past two days (dizziness and nausea!), but I have a bad habit of setting my jaw and suffering through. I’m originally from the US and not at all used to the idea that I can see a doctor whenever I need to and not go broke because of it.

    The doctor situation here in Finland is a little weird to me–I see a GP based on where I live and can’t normally change, and to see a specialist the GP has to make a reccomendation–but I’ll go to urgent care at the hospital if I need to. And bring my partner and a written list of symptoms to back me up, in either case.

    Again, thank you. I’ll toddle on over to the Ning group with this now.

  74. CuppyCake:

    In the category of good stuff to eat: This is the perfect time of year to shop at your local farmers’ market. Local produce just tastes better because it’s fresh and ripe, and you may find varieties you can’t get at the grocery store. I just went this morning and my fridge is full of yummies. :-) I don’t know if this is compatible with the college lifestyle, but you might consider buying a CSA share next spring. (Community-supported agriculture: you pay a local farm that has a CSA program, and every week they give you a bag or box of whatever’s in season. Some health insurance plans will pay for part of it.) I only did that once, but it certainly got me to try new things.

    I find that it helps to set aside time to prep my produce so it’s ready to eat when I want it. For me, it’s the difference between eating lots of fresh veggies vs. throwing away lots of rotten ones.

    For exercise, I would say just try a bunch of things and see what you like. You could find out what there is to do at your college.

  75. Renatus, I assume you have public health insurance, so you might want to try a private health centre depending on where in Finland you live — if there’s one within a convenient distance, I guess — as the costs aren’t that high after the state healthcare deductible . (Usually they deduct this automatically from the bill.) I think I paid somewhere in the region of 30 euros for a private GP’s appointment some four years ago. The cost is likely to vary by type of doctor and what type of tests, if any, you need done, but it’s nowhere near what you’d pay in the US.

    My first post here, and this is what I write about? Oi!

  76. @Gina: I hated ‘Disfigured’ so I can’t help you out with any other movies like it. Not sure if you watched it yet but it made me cringe throughout the whole thing, especially the implications that fat men can only sleep with prostitutes or women with low self esteem, that fat people can’t have casual sex, that fat women bring home a 15lb bag of chinese takeout after a bad day and eat it all themselves. The whole thing just made me really annoyed.

  77. Sniper, I too will no longer be reading Huffington Post. I was in shock when I read it. I thought they were better than that.

  78. Not to pick a fight about Glee, but I think it’s getting better already in the “broad stereotypes” department. Terri, in particular – she’s obviously conflicted about her news, and was going to tell Will but then didn’t want to let him down, and it looks like she’s upset at her sister in the previews – I think the complexity of the characters will grow as the show moves along. I thought the stereotypes in the first two were pretty evenly spread out between sexes – every one of them was a stereotype. But even by the end of the second episode, a little more was creeping in. Quinn’s facial expressions aren’t just jealousy about being knocked out of top slot, she actually looks hurt. With the Rachel storyline, I wonder if she’s going to realize she’s been pushed into this vision of herself that’s not entirely her. I’ll give it a few more episodes to see how they pan out.

  79. @ Lynn – Thank you. I think that’s what I needed to hear. Like I said, we have a long and complex history and a very rocky relationship from my teen years on, so I think it’s difficult for me to just take that step back and see what there is to see.

    FWIW, he did essentially the same thing when I tried to come out to him as bisexual when I was 16. He just said “you don’t know what you want yet” and I felt cowed and have never said anything to him about it since (and since I have yet to seriously date anyone of either sex, it hasn’t been necessary to confront him about it). I think there’s always going to be a part of me that wants his approval, but now I know that shouldn’t necessarily be my main goal.

    Now I just have to survive the next two days of visiting with his toxic mother. x.x She makes him look like the most fat accepting person in the world.

  80. I’m liking Glee, but I’m having a problem with the “good” women vs. the “bad” women and all the implications of that.

    Also, and maybe this is really a medical term or whatever, but does anyone else find it a little weird that it would be called a “hysterical” pregnancy? I mean, except for ectopic pregnancies, all pregnancies are hysterical.

  81. “and one of the really cool things about the insane school spirit at large universities is that it really makes all other social barriers irrelevant in the moment. ”

    I want to second this! I didn’t go to a football college, but my high school was practically a university and football and was very big and I can tell you that as long as you root for the right team, whatever that means, then you are absolutely fine! It’s funny, because I’m not a sports person, and with my mom being a physical therapist, I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about football injuries, with the result that I’m really sort of a downer when it comes to football cheer, but realizing that the football frenzy has a sort of positive FA side to it makes me a little happy! Yay for that, at least!

    But I almost forgot the most important thing-have a great time!!! My advice from high school football days for all its worth is to sit by the band and dance like a gidget when they play You Can Call Me Al and Louie, Louie! (That’s what my friends and I did, anyway, and it was a blast! lol)

  82. “Every singly adult woman on that show is crazy, embodying a stereotypically drawn caricature”

    I’m so glad that you’ve brought this up, because I thought I was the only one who had noticed, but I am really bothered by the fact that the main two glee stars are tall, white, thin, and blond (the female, at least-don’t remember the hair color of the male), but the African American singer seems to be stuck with the backup singer role, which pissed me off to the point that I have no interest in watching the show again, but then again, I’m more of The Office and SouthPark type of gal, with the exception that I really heart the woman who plays the cheerleader coach. (I just adore sarcasm! lol)

    Plus, I was a snobby “serious” chorus girl in high school and always hated the fact that our choir director was replaced with a show choir director who dumbed down our music and we stopped winning awards…

  83. Note – There’s nothing wrong with being “tall, white, thin, and blond” – I just wish the first episode had shared the singing power with all the glee members with deserving voices

  84. The Obesity Scare Booga Man (instead of Booga Booga) –
    The anonymous creepy driver who terrorizes you with his car horn when teh fatz is too scandalous

    (I’m imagining those old timey car horns that honked like Aooga! – I hope you get my phonetics…I needz teh sleepz….)

  85. I use the phrase, “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you when you talk with your mouth full,” with some success with the developmentally disabled people I work with.

    I sometimes get tempted to modify that for use with jerks – “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you when you talk like a douchenozzle.”

    If anyone works up the intestinal fortitude to use it, lemme know how it works.

  86. @WindSparrow – Love the statement… but *I* would have to practice for YEARS to get the word ‘douchenozzle’ out with a straight (and necessarily sarcastic) face. Thanks for the giggles!

  87. In various FA news, I for the first time in my life have A Belly. With a roll and everything. Woo.

    Putting those FA practices to work on ze belly is going to be interesting, I can tell. I’m working on trying to find it comforting and squishable.

    Of course, if I can’t get over the anxiety of this latest Academia! Crisis! enough to eat, I may not have to worry about the belly. Sadness.

  88. But hey, if “progressives” don’t want my support, money, time, or readership, I’m not going to force it on them.

    I always have to wonder how it’s supposed to be a good political strategy to potentially alienate a good half of your supporters. Surely they don’t think most fat people are reading that shit and going, “Yeah, weigh me every year in public and tax the hell out of me! I deserve it for being a greedy pig!” I don’t think the FOBT extends quite that far.

  89. I haven’t watched Glee, but I watched ‘He’s just not that into you’ last week, and I felt the same way. All the women characters were demanding, needy, and only walk around smelling stuff. While all the guys were easy to like. I watched it thinking that whoever wrote it must really hate women.

  90. I’m so glad that you’ve brought this up, because I thought I was the only one who had noticed, but I am really bothered by the fact that the main two glee stars are tall, white, thin, and blond (the female, at least-don’t remember the hair color of the male)

    Yeah, the first episode really bothered me in that respect. They put together this diverse choir and then the two conventionally pretty white kids get to be its stars/saviors. There’s a lot of things I liked about the show, but that and the eeeeeeevil wife are enough to give me serious pause.

  91. (Oh, and of course the two conventionally pretty white kids are also the only student age kids who have shown any sexual tension so far. We can have other people on screen, but putting them in relationships? Ick!)

  92. Renatus: I also think you may need another doctor’s opinion. Are you working / studying? Can you see a doctor through your work or school health care? I know the public health care situation is terrible in many Finnish cities. It may be better to see a private doctor, if you can afford one. I know it’s expensive, though, and it’s kinda sad that public health care sucks big time.

    Then a question of my own (a VERY long-winded one, sorry about that). I’m getting more and more into FA all the time, and am benefiting from it a lot. I know doctors tend to attribute various health problems to weight, even in case they’re not related, and offer weight loss as a magic cure. I understand this is wrong in most cases (or perhaps every case), because even if weight loss would solve a medical problem, it’s just not possible for most people to lose weight in the long run. I totally get this. Or am getting there, anyway. I hope.

    Now, my partner had a problem that was related to weight, and a doctor recommended weight loss. He did lose a substantial amount of weight, although not by very restrictive eating. He cut down on alcohol consumption, switched into a vegetarian diet (which we had been planning to do for ethical reasons anyway), started exercising more and practiced more intuitive eating (i.e. stopped eating some things he really didn’t like, but had been eating purely out of habit / courtesy). He still eats big portions and eats all the foods he likes to (rarely even meat, if he feels like it). And he became thinner.

    Please, don’t think that by this story I’m advocating a “diets don’t work, but this is not a diet” -attitude, because I’m not! These lifestyle changes did make my partner lose weight, but I’m sure that would not be the case with everyone, or even with most people. I did not lose weight when we switched into vegetarian food, for example, and I didn’t want to (I’m overweight by BMI). I know there are fat vegetarians, fat sober people, fat intuitive eaters and fat people who exercise a lot, and why shouldn’t there be?

    What’s more, my partner hasn’t kept the weight off for 5 years yet; this is the 4th year I think. So I can’t even say he’s going to make the 5 year limit. And even if he is, I know it’s not a typical result. So, I’m telling myself he may gain the weight back any time, and that would be pretty normal and OK. The problem is, I’d rather not have him gain the weight back, because then his health problem might come back as well. There is alternative treatment, but in case he can actually maintain the lower weight, he wouldn’t need any treatment (and he’d rather not have any).

    So, I’m struggling to fit these thoughts and feelings to my newly acquired FA awareness. If my partner turns out to be one of the 5% or so who can lose weight in the long run, is it somehow wrong for me to be happy about that? Not because I prefer him lighter – I don’t care about that – it’s just that he’s clearly healthier now and that makes him more energetic.

    Was his doctor absolutely wrong to suggest weight loss? It did have good results (at least up until now), but it may be a rare chance that the whole weight loss thing has worked out for him even this far. In your opinion, is it ever ethical for a doctor to suggest weight loss, knowing that dieting is more likely to lead into weight gain in the end? Is it ever worth the risk?

    Or, can I look at this purely from the HAES point of view, and think: “well, he wasn’t on a diet after all so it’s OK”? I mean, I’m sure all the lifestyle changes he made were beneficial for him in themselves: he feels better now that he drinks less, exercises more, eats more intuitively and eats less meat. (Again, I realize these changes might not make EVERYONE feel better, but for his metabolism they seemed to be spot on.) So I could always think that he just made sensible choices for himself, and if weight loss happened to result from these, so be it. But there’s no denying that his goal was to lose weight, too.

    I am adult and I should be able to figure out for myself what I think… but as FA practicing folks, do you find it somehow wrong or offensive for me to say that I’m happy my partner did lose weight and started feeling better because of that? At the same time I would never suggest:

    -that other people’s health problems must be weight related
    -that weight related problems necessarily affect someone else’s overall quality of life, even in case they exist
    -that even if someone has a weight related health problem, it makes sense for them to purposefully try and lose weight
    -that someone else will necessarily lose weight by making the same lifestyle choices my partner did
    -that it’s always better to solve a medical problem without medication / physical aids (some people might prefer the treatment even if weight loss was possible, and that’s fine)


    I so don’t believe these need be any kind of truths to anyone else. But they seem to be true for my partner, at least if he turns out to be able to keep off the weight. And I somehow feel like a FA traitor, hoping he will keep the weight off. I will love him at every shape and size, though, there’s no question about that! (Note that my partner is still overweight by BMI, so I’m not saying he became “normal” weight, just lighter than he was.)

    Any thoughts? Did anyone read this far? :-) Are these really naive thoughts I’m struggling with? I know how I feel, I’m just kind of trying to figure if my feelings somehow make me an “outsider” to FA, or if I can be totally “in” and feel like I do. If that makes sense…

  93. Pauline: I’m new to HAES as well, so I’m not an expert and am still at the early stages of self-acceptance. I still have my own issues to work out and questions.
    I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It’s a journey and everyone’s experiences are different. Your partner’s doctor did do the conventional thing and suggest he lose weight, and in his case it helped with the health issue and it sounds like he’s kept it off for a while, even if it’s not 5 years yet. Drinking less, practicing intuitive eating and exercising are generally healthy things to do. If he had done those things and not lost weight, or not kept the weight off, or if the health problem had continued, then it might be a different story.

  94. CuppyCake, I’m a little concerned that you describe experiencing real binging behavior, and that people are suggesting you could just buy more healthy food and eat more intuitively. It kind of sounds like you might need to talk to a doctor about it. Eating intuitively is great, but if you have easily triggered binges you might need to be careful with how you go about starting to do that.

    I agree with the commenters who suggested just telling judgy colleagues that you think the woman dancing looks great, and it’s a cute dress, and she’s having fun! That generally pulls people up short, and it doesn’t start an argument.

    As for arguing with your father… yeah, I agree that it probably isn’t doable right now, especially since you find him intimidating and he willingly intimidates you, even knowing how it affects you. If you can work up the nerve, though, a lot of people just draw a really firm boundary that the subject is off topic with certain family members or friends, and that might be necessary here. If the subject of weight loss comes up again, you can tell him that you respect his opinion, you have different ideas, and the topic is off limits and you will not discuss it with him. If he insists, you walk out of the room. He probably values re-establishing a relationship with you, too, and if you shut him out for a few minutes (or a day, or a week), and then talk again later he might not bring it up. It might take some reinforcement down the line, like a reminder every month or two that no, really, this is not a topic you will discuss with him, but people can learn.

    I also agree that boundary-drawing with the harrassy coworker is hugely necessary, whether he’s crossing lines because he’s an asshole or whether it’s because he’s socially inept. As soon as the line is crossed, you stop laughing, say that wasn’t cool, and disengage. If he knew it was inappropriate there’s a risk of escalation, in which case, for goodness sake, tell a supervisor and consider contacting a lawyer. Since you already called it harrassment I’m on the edge of suggesting you do that anyway, because people tend to downplay how bad a harrassment situation is until after the fact.

  95. @HiddenTohru — yikes, if your grandmother’s attitudes make your dad’s look accepting, you should definitely not bring up FA- or size-related issues with them, at least not now. Then it would be two against one! :)

    If they bring up your body size (hopefully unlikely), then a calm boundary clarification as Volcanista said (I think I called it a “neutral rebuttal,” maybe that’s an oxymoron) is in order. Then try to talk about something else, if possible.

    It’s better not to mix it up with people who will try to best you in an argument, unless you feel completely at ease with yourself and your philosophies, IMO. It sounds like your dad might be the type who, in addition to his strong opinions, likes to “win” arguments for the sake of winning. This could be especially upsetting for you when it comes to a topic — bodies! — that is so personal and intimate.

    I’d say, allow yourself to “grow into” and gain confidence in your developing ideas about size acceptance first, through contemplation, journaling, discussion with more like-minded or at least supportive people, and just *living* everyday life while holding your ideas.

    I’m glad what I said before was helpful … your situation reminded me of some fights with my own parents when I was your age, and I felt compelled to at least try to say something useful. :)

  96. Pauline, I don’t know what his condition was so I can’t really tell, but it is possible that your partner is healthier now because of his healthier choices which resulted in weight loss as well. I know he wanted to lose weight, but your body doesn’t know what your goal is when you start eating different, it just reacts to whatever is given to it. It goes on starving mode with fad diets but usually reacts well to proper nutrition and sensible exercise, it’s just that those things don’t always lead to weight loss, your partner got lucky at the metabolism lottery. My dad is currently on an insanely restrictive diet (no carbs at all), but I’m encouraging it because it’s helping keep his blood sugar levels and insulin production under control (he’s a diabetic and has always been fat). And yeah, it’s stupid and I wish he could have learned to love himself as he is, but he never could, and so I’m still happy for him when he walks in all smug and proud and smiling showing how he dropped another pant size.

    My point is, whatever works for you and your partner is fine. First, you’re under no moral obligation to be the poster child for the FA ideology. Truth is, very few people can pull that off, it’s hard with the constant “health” and social pressures, and you shouldn’t punish yourself for being a bad FA representative. I myself eat FAR FAR more chocolate than any balanced existence requires (and this is not hyperbole, seriously, get those bags of fun sized kit kats away from me before my liver starts to rot and I go bald from malnutrition) but I don’t consider my poor eating habits as a betrayal to the HAES ideology, in which I believe. And if he is healthy at the weight he’s at, and isn’t doing insane things to maintain it, then it shouldn’t be a problem. He’s probably not going to gain a bunch of weight out of the blue. Still, take it easy on yourself and stop thinking about “what if he gains it all back and the problems come back?”, as you said, at least there is a treatment, avoiding it would be ideal, but sometimes it’s just not possible. You’ll both cross that bridge when and if you get there. Hope I could be of help, and best of luck to you both!

  97. “do you find it somehow wrong or offensive for me to say that I’m happy my partner did lose weight and started feeling better because of that?”

    Bless your heart! NO! Of course, I am speaking for myself, but I would suspect that others may feel the same. 1. You recognize that everyone is different and what’s healthy for one person will not be healthy for another. 2. What’s more, you seem to care more about the way your partner feels mentally and physically, than in the weight loss image.

    Sometimes when people have learned how to intuitively eat, they lose weight and sometimes they do not. And sometimes they even GAIN weight! (I learned about HAES in treatment for an ED, with the flip expectations of perhaps many here-many people new to HAES expect to lose weight, but we expected to gain…) Of course, there are medical differences in that people with anerexia do usually need to gain weight, but I just find it funny the different expectations and struggles I read about when I flip back and forth between my two fave body image blogs – Shapely Prose and Burp and Slurp I think seeing the two extremes keeps me in reality pretty well. ;)

  98. {{Lynn}} I am so sorry!

    I live with my parents, and like you, my mom is Awesome!!! My dad is trying, but there has been a lot of tension between the two of us for many of the same reasons that you mentioned. (Not with the divorce kind of stuff, but with the type of comments.) I have talked to many therapists about how to talk to him and while what they all say is annoying, I suspect it’s true, that he’s not going to change any time soon and instead of saying things and expecting his answer to magically change and one day be more supportive, that I should instead focus my energy more on changing myself and learning how to accept the fact of who he is. I’ve been hearing this for years and it’s finally beginning to sink in and I am finding that the more confident I am in my own changes, the better I am becoming at drawing boundaries between the two of us. For instance, It is unrealistic to expect him to never negatively talk about food in front of me, but I can now say something like, “What I’m eating is my decision, not your’s, so don’t say anything negative to me about it!”

    Believe it or not, this is finally starting (sometimes) to work!

    I wish my advice was easier, but like others have said, this is expensive experience and it sometimes makes sense and sometimes helps…

  99. On a completely unrelated note.

    With advertising getting more and more intricate, sometimes I feel like the weight loss industry isn’t even trying anymore…

  100. Shoot, the pic did not appear…

    Well, I’m leaving the link because without it my prevoius post doesn’t make any sense!

  101. So, last week, I got concern trolled on my way to work.

    I walk to the Transit Center every day to catch the Express bus downtown, and right before I was about to cross the street, this woman cut in front of me before I could get into the crosswalk. She rolled down the window and said that she needed to talk to me about something important. I was completely confused, but by the time she moved out of my way, the light was green and I couldn’t cross.

    She’d pulled into the gas station behind me, got out of her car, and was standing by me before the light turned red again. This is what went down….

    Her: Oh, I’m so glad I caught you! I’d been seeing you walking this way for about a year now.

    Me: *look of confusion*

    Her: I’m a nurse and I wanted to tell you about this diet program that I think would help you.

    Me: I’m sorry, but I really have to….

    Her: It’ll just take a minute, I promise! I’m already on this program. We have meetings every Thursday, and I would love it if you can come. I’ve been on it a year now, and I lost 25 pounds.

    Me: *trying not to roll my eyes at her*

    Her: It’s not hard at all. No calorie counting, no points or anything like that. All I did was stop eating meat.

    Me: So, you’re a vegetarian?

    Her: Oh, no, not at all.

    Me: *headdesk* I’m sure you mean well, but I really have to go.

    Her: Don’t worry, I’m not going to let you miss your bus. (By this point, my bus had started approaching.) Anyway, I stopped eating meat and fish and started eating more vegetables and grains. I think it would help you out a lot. You’re diabetic, right? I can tell because your neck is darker than your face.

    Me: *incredulous* NO. (thinking: WTF?)

    Her: Then you must have some diabetics in your family.

    Me; No, I don’t. (Actually, I have 3, but that’s none of her fucking business.)

    Her: It’s just that you’re so young. You’re not even 30 yet, are you? (By this point, the bus was starting to pull away from the stop after a short layover.)I’m a social worker, and I see girls like you all the time. Don’t you want a long, healthy life? Do you have a pen and paper? Let me give you my name and number, and I can tell you more about it.

    Me: Okay. (We’re cutting it close now. If the bus misses the green light, I might make it.)

    She walks back to her car to write on the hood of it, and the bus is sitting on the corner. Unfortunately, I’m a dumbass and gave her the notebook I write my pr0n in, and I’ll be damned if I’m leaving it with her.

    I sigh dejectedly as the bus makes the right turn to get onto the freeway.

    Her: Here you go. I’m so glad I can do this for you. You know, the Lord led me to this program after my sister died, and I’m sure he led me to you. Blah, blah, blah, fishcakes. (At this point, the inner rage made me tune out everything she said after that.)

    Me: Okay, well, thanks, I have to go now. Bye!

    I wound up getting to work 20 minutes late that day.

  102. ChloeMireille, you are so much more polite than me! I started snarling at the IntrusiveCarLady from my seat, and I’m guessing I am not only thousands of miles away but also there may be an issue with the space time continuum. Many expletives came out! I’m sure she thought she meant well, or whatever, but what the fuck! Did she at least apologise that you actually did miss your bus? Grrrrr!!

  103. I just wanted to thank you all for being here. I recently left a forum where I’d posted over 2000 times over the years because the issue of fat acceptance came up… and I learned that all these people I’d thought were intelligent and caring were blindly accepting what the media told them. It was like FA Bingo in there, and I just couldn’t stand to stay.

    So, thanks.

  104. Connie Schultz’ column was in response to one by fellow PD columnist Regina Brett, who wrote a column about Toby Cosgrove and his desire to legally discriminate against OMG TEH FATTEES when hiring at the Cleveland Clinic. One choice line: “We need to make being obese socially unacceptable.” Like it isn’t already, Regina?

    Warning: Nasty, nasty stuff in the comments.


  105. ChloeMireille, I’m not particularly confrontational in real life, but I think that is one situation in which I would genuinely have told her to get the fuck away from me, and enjoyed it.

    In other troll news, today I saw a bus driver repeatedly refuse to put down the ramp for a wheelchair user, because he couldn’t be bothered. It took several other people advocating for her and making it clear this would not go away, and her calmly repeating that it wasn’t “broken” as he claimed, he just didn’t want to get out of his seat, til he eventually gave in and put the fucking ramp down (estimated time expenditure: 10 seconds). It was fucking despicable. At one point he tried to close the doors to drive off and leave her stranded, except that another customer got in the way of them. I actually couldn’t believe how callous he was.

    So I took the vehicle registration number and the time and number of the bus, I found the complaints department telephone number, and tomorrow I’m going to ring up and get him disciplined or fired for breaking disability access laws and just generally being an arrogant, horrible piece of shit. This and the involvement of the other people on the woman’s behalf make me feel slightly better about the world, but only slightly. Ugh.

  106. Caitlin- That is horrible! I take the bus every day and I would freak out if I ever witnessed anything like that. Heck, I get angry when they pull away from the scheduled stops too early. Hopefully, some of the other passengers will call and complain as well.

  107. The last time a total stranger told me about a diet program I laughed in her face. At the time I felt I was rude, but seriously? I couldn’t help it.

    ChloeMireille, did the woman even APOLOGIZE for making you late to work?

  108. Caitlin: In other troll news, today I saw a bus driver repeatedly refuse to put down the ramp for a wheelchair user, because he couldn’t be bothered. It took several other people advocating for her and making it clear this would not go away, and her calmly repeating that it wasn’t “broken” as he claimed, he just didn’t want to get out of his seat, til he eventually gave in and put the fucking ramp down (estimated time expenditure: 10 seconds). It was fucking despicable. At one point he tried to close the doors to drive off and leave her stranded, except that another customer got in the way of them. I actually couldn’t believe how callous he was.

    Yeesh. Caitlin, if memory serves you’re also in the UK, is that right? I don’t know if it applies to bus drivers all over the UK in general (although when I was a kid the bus drivers in the area I grew up in the SW were all lovely, though possibly because I was a kid) but here (County Durham) we frequently not only have the delights of the 15minute-ly bus service often not coming for 45 mins, and then being late when they do, we also had an incident a few years ago where a bus driver drove too close to an elderly lady as he pulled off from a stop and [SQUEAMISH ALERT]…

    he managed to somehow suck her up into the wheel arch by her clothing, and drag her along for SEVERAL ROADS’ DISTANCE until he paid attention to the screams from the passengers, and stopped after her body was flung out onto the pavement. I happened to be coming home from lectures as someone was covering up her body with their coat, waiting for the ambulance. Fucking horrible, and all because he wasn’t paying enough attention to a) the road, or b) his passengers (or indeed c) the feel of his vehicle, which surely must have been driving differently with a person stuck there)…

    I know they get paid crap (apparently the reason ours are often late is the local company doesn’t have ‘relief’ staff ready to go if someone’s ill, and the company is so shit to its employees that they have frequent walkouts, with no cover to keep to the timetable) and it can be dangerous (an ex-boss’s boyfriend left his driving job after he was stabbed and left for dead on the nightbus), but the way some drivers behave (obv not all) really makes you wonder whether some kind of consortium that wants to promote car buying has a hand in their training?!

  109. ChloeMireille, on September 14th, 2009 at 3:40 pm Said:
    So, last week, I got concern trolled on my way to work.

    Ho. Lee. Crap. So… stalking is okay if your victim is fat?

  110. This is very fluffy indeed, but — did anyone notice while watching the US Open this weekend that Kim Clijsters is Kate’s celebrity lookalike?

  111. @ChloeMireille: I have no words. Well, nothing that is polite enough to print anyways.

    I cannot believe someone would do that! Its just so… weird.

    Also, like Caitlin, I’m generally very nonconfrontational, but I would seriously not have been as nice about it as you were, and I definitely wouldn’t have given her paper to write her number on!

    Although, now that we have her number… perhaps we can FA concern troll her back! Just kidding of course, but in my head, it is teh awesome.

  112. @Lynn – Well, the dinner went a lot better than expected. There was the basic grilling of “well what are you doing with your life” that they always give me (and how I’m a disappointment because I took time off before graduate school and couldn’t find a job better than cashier because the job market is so awful here), but nothing was said about my weight. I got to give them a kind of “haha fuck you” at the end of the dinner, though, as the entree I chose was actually part of a meal (salad, entree and dessert for $20), and the waiter came back after everyone refused dessert and was like “um… do you want the dessert?” And I said “oh, can I take it to go? Thanks. n.n” My grandmother looked like someone had spit in her drink, and I just smiled and said “I’ll eat it tomorrow or something.” Naturally, since I had felt like a dessert but didn’t want to risk any of the probable comments that would have resulted, I took it right home and ate it. And it was the most delicious dessert ever. X3

    My grandparents are remarkably manipulative people, so getting a one up on them like that is a pretty rare thing for me, and makes me feel pretty good. I just wish I could stop talking to them at all. *Sigh* Most of my dad’s attitude and issues come from them, not surprisingly. But since they make his life a living hell if I try to ignore them (and yes, I have tried) and I don’t want him to be unhappy, it’s just a screwed up cycle. I think it’ll be another couple years yet before I can really feel confident enough to cut them out of my life altogether.

    If anyone wants a fairly accurate portrait of my grandmother, go look up the character of Emily Gilmore from the show The Gilmore Girls. She’s a bit more caring than my grandmother actually is, and doesn’t drink as much, but otherwise the resemblance is uncanny.

  113. Um, SERIOUS WARNING about the opening of the Daily Show tonight.

    Fuck those guys, seriously. Three weeks of vacation and the only opening they can come up with is rabid fat jokes. Dammit.


  114. @randomquorum, you are wonderfully evil. Could call her up and let her know you’re worried about her unrealistic expectations of body modification and maybe she should read Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere or Health At Every Size?

  115. @DRST, I almost felt that the Daily Show intro was intended to be satire based on the ending…but if it was, it was the most poorly executed satire I’ve ever seen Jon Stewart come up with. Embarrassingly bad either way.

  116. Zenoodle, I’ve had reasonably positive experiences with bus drivers overall (although I have never seen a single one of them do anything about the blaring music and/or drinking carried out by fellow passengers on almost every bus, probably because they aren’t paid enough to deal with that shit) so it was just one of those “Does this REALLY happen?!?!?” moments the privileged folk get when confronted with how privileged they are (I’m thinking of the “Does this REALLY happen?!?!?” attitude a lot of men get about women/sexual assault.) That aside, it was just horrible though, and your story is even worse.

    On a completely other note, Chiken, I can totally see what you’re saying, hee! I’ve been in love with Kim Clijsters since forever, I was so gutted when she stopped playing. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy that she was invited to play the exhibition match at Wimbledon (WELL DONE those people) and was like “hmm, I kind of miss this”, and then a month or so after her first competitive match back she WON THE US OPEN. Oh, Kim. Well played.

  117. Meems – I didn’t stick around to watch the ending. I was too pissed off. I went to bed and fumed a while before I fell asleep. :\


  118. Thanks, everybody.

    What gets me about the whole situation is that this was the first time I’ve ever been concern-trolled by a total fucking stranger. My family does it to me all the time because I’m the fattest person on both sides of my family(I’m 5’4″, 345lbs, for reference), but never by a total stranger. I think I was just so stunned by the sheer audacity of her approaching me in that manner that I just didn’t go off on her. Not to mention that:

    1. She attempted to diagnose me (and assume my family’s medical history) just by looking at me in early AM lighting, which means she totally missed the PCOS-related chin hair. Because we all know that all fat people are diabetic with high blood pressure, right?

    2. She clearly has no fucking clue what vegetarianism is, because that is exactly what her magical program is. Vegetarianism with meetings.

    3. She claimed to be both a nurse and a social worker. Entirely possible, but I feel like she would have made the two connect instead of mentioning them 5 minutes apart, which makes me call shenanigans on the social worker part.

    And for the record, she didn’t apologize for making me miss my bus. Also, I threw out her number, so I can’t have any fun with that.

  119. @Meems – Because I love Jon and TDS so much, I spent like an hour trying to rationalize the whole thing, based mainly on the ending–the glitter throwing and the flying off the stage with that line about diabetes could maybe, *maybe* be read as sending up the scaremongering tactics of fatphobic media and health professionals. But I’m not feeling that charitable because, even as sendup, it 1) sucked, as you said, 2) didn’t do an inadequate job of clarifying that it meant the opposite of what it said (if indeed it did) and 3) was tacked onto an incredibly distressing mishmash of cliches about fat people, health and diet, not to mention the sensationalistic picture of a nude, bed-bound morbidly obese person with Brian Williams’ head photoshopped on, which actually made me want to cry, it was so horribly dehumanizing. Talk about a headless fatty.

  120. Annalynn, just on a quick glance, I’d say its at least a little suss. First of all, they based this study on people age 45-64 who were taking part in a Diet and Cancer study, where people were self-reporting their diet history, which is bound to be inaccurate. People don’t self-report what they eat very well, and also, 45-64 is NOT representative of the whole population.

    Also, they’re saying calling a low fat diet one in which you get less than 41% of your calories from fat. That does not sound very low to me!!

  121. Annalynn, it’s also comparing diet with genetics only in regard to the known genes; it’s a safe bet that there are others which may be even more important.

    And I agree that 41% of calories from fat seems very high to me. I certainly don’t eat a diet consistently that high in fat (though individual items are of course) and neither does my husband and we’re both fat.

  122. @ Bee – I, too work at a massive State U where there’s a big football presence and I agree with the poster who said that when the fans get worked up about the game, you’re all allies. Any frat boy who ever gave you shit about being fat , or butch, or plain, deserves to have his ass kicked, but it’s no more fair to assume that every boy in every frat will do that, than to assume that every fat girl is lazy, or doesn’t understand football, or will steal your last piece of cake. I’ve had a few Greeksters in some of my classes, and once I unburdened myself of any preconceived notions of what they would be like, a number of them turned out to be nice kids. One boy stopped me on the street recently just to tell me how much he enjoyed my class, and I’m a fat feminist from the old school, let me assure you. (Dang, I never thought I’d be the one preaching Frat Acceptance, but to do otherwise – well, that’s how xenophobia gets started. ) – G’wan, go to the game; I’ll bet it’ll be more fun than you think.

  123. http://skepchick.org/blog/2009/09/ai-friends-and-your-health/

    I am uncomfortable with how credulous the supposedly skeptical are being of this article. It’s the fat is contaaaaaaaaagious thing again. (The authors of the paper seriously say that they think if one of your friends gains weight you become subconsciously more accepting of fat and other friends who don’t know the first friend will subconsciously realise this and take it as permission to get fatter. Yeeeeeeeah.)

    Anybody want to help me out in the comments there? I can’t find any of the studies I’m looking for to back up the % of diets fail, possibly because I’m not fully awake yet.

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