Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Lies Beneath The Biggest Loser

I know, I know it will come as a surprise to many but unsafe behaviors have occurred on The Biggest Loser. Gasp! Really?

Of course they have! I'm glad some this hidden, dark side is finally bubbling up to the surface. The show's shaming of fat people, totally unrealistic expectations, and fear mongering has to stop. If it was reality show focused on health as it claims to be it would be honest about it's "failures" and wouldn't perpetuate a system to encourage contestants to put their health at risk for the sake of numbers on a scale. No matter what anybody involved claims this show isn't about health, it's about ratings and money at the expense of health. It's sick.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Article on Doctors' Fatness

Like most articles on the subject of weight and health much of this one in the L.A. Times is mostly a bunch of unsubstantiated drivel even if it does mention the fatosphere. Ms. Deardorff, just throwing a sentence or two in there about fat activism doesn't make your piece well-balanced. Also the idea that seeing an "overweight" doctor is analogous to taking advice from a CPA who just file bankruptcy is way off-base. It's one of those things people say to make themselves sound clever and thoughtful but is just meaningless. Really, my biggest gripe with this piece is just what a lame note it ends on, "I am fat because I eat too much," she admitted. "I exercise plenty but I just eat too much. In fact, burp, I just did." Groan, really? Once again it lays all the "blame" on fat people being unrestrained gluttons.

I do have concerns with the overall premise of the article. Just like many pursuits, doctors and otherwise; fat people no matter how exceptional our accomplishments, experiences, education, qualifications, and gifts they can be all discredited just because of some extra fat. It's wrong, it's discrimination and it amazes me that so many people fail to recognize it as such.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Health Care Money Waste

The last paragraph of this article got me all hot and bothered. "Other areas of waste identified in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report included up to $493 billion related to risky behavior such as smoking, obesity and alcohol abuse." Hey, Mr. Kavilanz and PricewaterhouseCoopers maybe, just maybe, it's not that our behavior of being obese (I think I'm going to behave obesely today) is wasting money; it's the MASSIVE amount of money spent trying to cure obesity. Study after study has shown being fat alone is not the almighty evil risk it has been made out to be, far too much money (medical and otherwise) has spent in the pursuit of trying to make us thin. Especially when it has an over 95% failure rate. Aaargghhh my head is going to explode with the stupidity.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Funny, Correct Way to Weigh Yourself

I got this in a forward from a friend, it amuses me.

The correct way to weigh yourself:

I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Honesty at the DOL

Yesterday I had my driver's license renewed after living for five years with what I swear has to be one of the worst driver's license pictures of all time, no kidding it was death row inmate quality. I think for the first time my license will not have a vanity weight. I actually stated as honestly as I could my weight given I'm not sure of it exactly. There it is laminated glory: death fat, available for every cashier who is so inclined to check. For once what is stated is what it is: not a goal weight, not what I was a my thinnest, not 15 or 25 shaved off, not what I last managed to diet and starve myself to. I was going to do it anyway but I admit it helped that my clerk was also death fat and didn't even blink an eye. It was liberating in a way and milestone in this whole fat acceptance. Like if I can't accept where I am how can I expect everyone else to?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fat Clothing and Simple Living

So the subject of my plentiful wardrobe came up yet again with my husband. I would like to put this on-going discussion into the context that both of us strive toward the idea of real simple living (not the somewhat commercialized, marketed magazine version). We find being real practitioners somewhat impossible with four children but we dream of it regardless. Our big plan for when all of our kids leave the nest is to get rid of almost everything and move into a parked RV and travel around together in a conversion van.

One of the areas I really cannot seem to commit to minimalism is my clothing. At first my husband attributed it to me being female. However, during the course of the discussion it finally occured to me I also despise the feeling of being unprepared and vulnerable. And I really, really hate paying full price for anything. Being a size 34 pant and a basic size Large shirt my husband can walk into pretty much any store, anywhere that offers men's clothing a just buy something, anything to fit him. At any time. At a size 24/26, 3/4X I cannot. Finding clothes that I like that fit and flatter me takes effort, usually mail-order, and lots of trial and error. Right now I just can't seem to get comfortable with the idea of having less than a stockpile of clothing any more than I can not full pantry bargains with four hungry kids. I have back-ups, for back-ups of swimsuits bought on clearance at Junonia. I guess I will need to sort this out in the coming years as I do not want stuff, even clothing, keeping us back from our dreams and plans.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Light Bulb Moment at Church Today

I'm a Christian. Today at church my pastor taught on this verse: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16). Even though I’ve likely read that dozens of times it was finally an illuminating moment for me. What I eat or drink isn’t anyone else’s concern and I should not put up with letting anyone else judging me on it, in or out of the church.

Since there isn’t a BMI chart in the Bible I’m also taking it as my size isn’t anyone else’s beeswax either.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just for Fun, Dancing

I loved this number on So You Think You Can Dance.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fat Goggles

I've slowly come to the realization that my view of attractiveness has evolved over the last couple of years. Fat acceptance, both of my own and others, has also altered my base opinion of beauty. By cutting off and countering all the garbage we're constantly fed about what is attractive I've actually changed my instant, knee-jerk opinions. It seems Maddie at Mirrors in the House came to a similar revelation.

It really hit me this week when I happened to catch Kelly Clarkson on The Ellen Degeneres Show. My first thought was, "She's gained some weight, she looks HOT!"

It's too bad Ms. Clarkson has to deal with so much crap about her weight. Stay strong girl.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Old Diet Ad

This was sent to me from a good friend. Really, not much has changed. Hydroxycut anyone?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ms. Greene Tells United How It Is!

For those of you that haven't seen it there's a great article on the whole United Airlines anti-fatties policy by Susan Greene at Ms. Greene even quotes Kate Harding, which is always a good thing.

I don't want to spoil the last line so I won't quote it here but it's sweeeet! (Warning: spare yourself and don't bother feeding the morons in the comments section though.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

School Weigh-Ins

Sometimes as a long time homeschooling parent I'm clueless as to what happens at school. My friend was telling me how her fourth grade son had been weighed at school and had felt bad about himself since he was the second heaviest boy in his class at 100 lbs. The school had weighed everyone in the school, in front of everyone in their classes. At the time her son was doing the typical kid out and then up thing and has since grown a couple of inches and lost eight pounds so he's now at least personally feeling better about himself. It sounds like his parents handled the damage control about as well as can be expected. This whole thing makes me livid, I have no doubt whatsoever this asinine act on the part of the school has created no less than two cases of eating disorders per classroom. What an absolutely grossly irresponsible thing to do to children just entering the precarious adolescent stage. Do these school officials have no clue? In my opinion they will likely be responsible for at least a couple of eventual deaths, as well as many years of misery.

Unless my child is on the wrestling team there is absolutely no reason they even need to know my child's weight much less actually weigh them at the school. My child's weight is NONE of their freaking business! Why the heck didn't one of the multitude of adults in on this raise any concerns? If this is how incompetent they are with this issue how what else is going on?

Of course there are also labeling concerns with school weigh-ins.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Smell Something Fishy

This isn't coming across as remotely genuine to me. Hmmm...what can Kathy Ireland do to boost her non-existent career? Let's see. How about gaining 25lbs, losing it, and writing a book about it? Sounds like a plan! Hey, maybe we'll even get a deal selling exercise equipment on an infomercial or a home shopping channel!

Kathy, if you were really serious about this you would have at least packed on 50 pounds. Come on, where is the dedication to your craft?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1095 Days Plus One

Normally I'm not much of a shopper, my general philosophy is I'll never be on my death bed wishing I had shopped more. I gravitate towards online shopping and seriously haven't been in the mall in something like four or five years. However it seems about every year to year and a half I have an almost overwhelming urge to do a massive overall of my wardrobe. I have no doubt it might be construed as shocking to some, especially someone such as my husband who has no problem getting by on three pairs of jeans, a drawer of t-shirts, and two sweatshirts (one is his "dressy" one); AND has remained about the same size for about 15+ years. Also, I'm sure part of his alarm is his personal finances are tied to such episodes (even though, I swear, I'm a major bargain hunter).

About a month ago I came up for breath from one of my sprees. My husband been gone on a military exercise for three weeks and has only been home for three days. He seemed agitated since he came home, after some snarky comments we managed to get to the root of his concerns: that I wasn't done yet and I would just do it again in six months. I said I only tend to do it every year and a half, he said, "Can you make it three years then?" Hmmm... Can I? We worked out some terms: thrift stores don't count and it only applies if I remain the same size (which hasn't really happened over a three year period before but I had always been in the cycle of losing and regaining weight before, or having another baby). I haven't decided if I'm going to take the challenge yet but I'm thinking about it. I'm also thinking he may need to add an incentive to the pot.

Could you take on a similar challenge? Are clothes important part of your personal expression or just functional? Or is it the shopping you love?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

50 Million Pounds

Dr. Ian Smith, from Celebrity Fit Club, is challenging us all to lose 50 million pounds and is still dragging out the tired and erroneous 300,000 deaths per year (along with a whole load of other uncredited, unproven diet psycho babble). Dr. Ian, hey maybe you could do something really novel, you know, perhaps even revolutionary and challenge everyone to throw out their scales and just focus on living the healthiest life they can regardless of weight.

At this point this just makes me all so weary. If this so called experts really cared about America's health and not just selling their diet books and TV shows they would really change their focus.

I could never say it better than Paul Campos did in The Obesity Myth so I won't try: Never before in American history has so much junk science been exploited to whip up hysteria about a supposed public health “epidemic.” The health establishment’s constant barrage of scientifically baseless propaganda regarding the relationship between weight and health constitutes nothing less than egregious abuse of the public trust. This propaganda has played a key role in creating a culture that makes tens of millions of people miserable about their bodies: Worse yet, it has done so for crass economic motives. The war on fat, which is supposedly about making all of us healthy, is really about making some of us rich.

The war on fat is an outrage to values—of equality, of tolerance, of fairness, and indeed of fundamental decency toward those who are different—that American culture celebrates (often with good reason) as essential features of our nation’s character. And in the end nothing could be easier than to win this war: All we need to do is stop fighting it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Top Obesity Doc Fesses Up

Bri at Fat Lot of Good already had an excellent commentary on this somewhat surprising story (not surprising in it's information most of us fat activists already know, surprising in that a top obesity doctor finally fessed up to it).

To answer that question, Ernsberger took genetically obese and genetically thin rodents and made the thin ones fat by feeding them a high-sugar, high-fat diet. "They both had obesity related problems, but the one that has a poor diet is much less healthy — they have worse blood sugar, worse blood pressure and worse cholesterol.

"So all risk factors are worse off, even though they may not nearly be as heavy as the genetically obese." He says some people are naturally obese and other people are naturally thin but that they force their bodies to become obese by over-eating and under-exercising. "And that's probably the unhealthy obese."

Yes, yes, yes! So like in the "study" I talked about yesterday lumping all fat people and their variety of lifestyle habits is very misleading. Being fat alone is not the major risk factor. Correlation is not causation.

I know I have to be one of the genetically obese under his definitions. I exercise regularly, about an hour of lap swimming three times a week; I eat a much healthier than average diet, most days it's likely even on the low calorie side; and I have very good blood pressure and blood glucose but I'm still very fat. If I try to lose weight it wouldn't be for health reasons as I'm not sick. In fact I would likely be putting my body under risk again because of the stress of starving myself and the inevitable regain would in itself cause metabolic problems.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Never Too Early to Get That Baby on a Diet

Aauugghh! Got to make sure we get those fat babies as early as possible. Next up: mandatory sterilization of fat women.

Obesity Study, I'm Dying.

Gasp, shock, horror; a new, I'm sure badly flawed, non real study (complete with picture of the obligatory, headless fat woman in stripes) has concluded teh fatz is going to kill me, and soon. Of the 57 studies this "study" looked at I'm sure few, or most likely none, controlled for diet, exercise, or perhaps even smoking. Did they even control for dangerous diet drugs or gastric bypass surgery? Hey geniuses, maybe your "cures" for obesity actually contributed to the higher death rates. Even if they didn't there is no reliable, proven, safe way to get fat people thin for the long term.

I'm betting I could look at this same data in a different way and conclude that an increase in dieting behavior increases a premature death rate.

This is more crap science that just feeds the fat panic but doesn't actually offer anything useful. At least they came to the undeniable conclusion that being a little fat actually has the lowest risk. How much more evidence do they need to up the recommended BMI ranges?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dawn French on Fat Women Part 2

Fair warning the photographer is an arse but that is likely much of the point.

Dawn French on Fat Women Part 1

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dawn French

I have such a girl crush on Dawn French. Being the clueless American I am I didn't know who she was until my husband and I were watching the episode of The F Word with her in it. She's beautiful and funny. I'm in love.

Now I need to read her book!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joyful Reunion

This report of a joyful reunion made me cry, and I'm not a crier. With everything going on right now it's nice see these types of reports.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Red Boots

...are apparently my f-you boots. So today I'm getting dressed in the locker room after swimming laps. I actually started getting dressed in the changing rooms the last few months because I've decided I would rather not have another unfortunate discussion about my size with a stranger while I'm naked. Obviously I'm not hiding anything as people see me in a suit and see me naked in the showers (I refuse not to have a proper shower). However I put my shoes and socks on out in the benches where there is more room.

So a woman I see there frequently (also fat I might add) looks at my boots and says, "Yikes." To which I say, "Yes, they're out there but I LOVE them." Then she says, "Those are like something on What Not to Wear." I smile, "I couldn't care less." (My friends and family have all been warned to even entertain the notion of calling What Not to Wear on me as they would be met with bitter disappointment.) Then we actually have a pleasant chat about finding plus size clothing and stores, although I got the feeling she was trying to advise me more than anything. I did express several times that I'm fortunate enough to be in a position, i.e. no boss, etc., that I can dress any way I please.

I'm not going to disguise myself and try to fade into the woodwork just because I'm fat. In fact I think in some instances fat people, because of their substance, can carry off certain bold looks with better success than thin people. Just last week I asked my kids (2, 7, 12, and 15) what they thought about how I dress and they all said it was cool, I looked creative, and it was me. My only conern was really not overly embrassing the teens, other than that everyone else can buggar off.

I truly love my Dr. Martens red velvet boots with the satin ribbon laces. I also have them in black velvet. I wanted my red ones so bad I stalked ebay until I found them in my size. In fact I love them so much we made babies:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ebay Sellers

...lay off the Fabreze. Seriously dudes, put it down and step away. Take a deep breath, it will be okay. Really. Some of you hard cases may need to start a support group.

I've been revamping my wardrobe (again), partly out of boredom and partly out inspiration from the beautiful women on Flickr Fatshionista. Oh, and I've trying to finally come to terms with my plantar fasciitis being here to stay so I have to part ways with most of my cute shoes that don't allow for my orthotics (not being able to wear slides and clogs when the only thing skinny on you is your heel sucks btw). So I've been thrifting, scouring online clearances (because I generally despise physical retail shopping with a passion), and ebaying. Over 50% of the items from ebay have arrive REEKING of Fabreze. Like give me instant headache, make me nauseous, get it in the laundry immediately reeking (which is a bummer when it's new stuff). What the heck? I do not understand this product, to me there is nothing fresh smelling about it. However, obviously much of their target market is ebay sellers.

Also list your 1X and higher stuff in the plus sizes section or we'll never find it. Oh, and a size L or a 14 is not a plus size (gasp!), list it in the misses section because they won't find it either (even if you happen to think that's a fat size).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bulging Brides

As usual I'm behind the times with the coming rant. I had the misfortune of catching my first (and I'm sure only) episode of Bulging Brides. It was an accident as I was finally packing away the last of the Christmas decorations (as I said, behind) and the TV happened to be on. I was mid project and therefore unable to change the channel immediately. It's fairly rare I watch much on accident as we have DVR service with memory that is perpetually full, risking losing the shows I actually do want to watch.

Of course much of Bulging Brides is typical shame the fat people reality show tripe: bride buying a way too tight dress to use as "motivation", screaming trainer, condescending and judgemental nutritionist, blah, blah. To me the worst bit is when the trainer called the bride's workout an "infidelity inhibitor". Yeah, like unless she kept it up she deserved to be cheated on. Which by the way, didn't these grooms propose to these women just the way they are? Aren't they good enough to wed as is? Shouldn't we make sure these men get a mental evaluation because quite obviously they must be abnormal for desiring these woman as is.

Like planning a wedding can't be stressful enough, like make sure crank it up about 100 notches and go on a weight loss show six weeks before. Lets make sure we turn into a crazed, starving bridezilla that no way on earth most people would find attractive. Trust me, few if any people are going to be admiring the fact you starved yourself into a size four rather than your normal size six while you're walking down the aisle; they'll just have fond memories about what a royal B.I.T.C.H. you've been to them lately and try to stuff their true feelings down since it's you're "big day".

I'll also be glad when January is over and all the diet commercials resume to their normal, obnoxious levels.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?

Two weeks ago one of our older sons was at home alone babysitting our two year old. Well at some point our older son fell asleep on the sofa, leaving the two year to his own devices. I came home to eight very full picture boxes, covering about twenty-five years,spread all over the floor. Nightmarish and it took me ten hours to sort them out (yes, the older has been duly dealt with).

The upside was to time to really go through and look at our years past (it helped me soften my mood toward my older son looking a his sweet baby face). Typically all those pictures of me that I had thought I had looked fat, ugly, etc. had miraculously changed. I kept thinking and saying, "I was so cute, why didn't anyone tell me?" To be fair my husband tried but I didn't hear him through my critical inner dialogue. This was also the first time I had really been through these pictures since my fat acceptance. Now what I thought was the most unfortunate was my clothes, especially after the birth of my first son when I first became truly "plus-sized". I had all this baggy, lumpy, generally unflattering clothing. Granted I think the selection has improved in fifteen years but I also think I better idea of how to dress my body, as well as a better idea of my own funky style (which truly came to light a few years ago when I realized with horror during one of my son's soccer practices I was dressed just like all the moms--ala What Not to Wear, only bigger). Now looking back at those pictures I'm no longer critical of myself I just wish I had the confidence to dress better.

It's renewed my resolve to dress in flattering clothes, or at least my fun and funky ones. No more hiding behind dumpy, lumpy sweats or patterned tents. I'm going to represent, not just for myself for all fat people. Does that mean I'm going to have it all together all the time? No way, but going wear what I want without shame or fear.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I don't believe you Biggest Loser

Sue at suethsayings discussion and the follow up with Pete from The Biggest Loser show has gotten me thinking. I simply don't believe in the premise of the show (or him for that matter, gasp). I don't believe the contestants lose that much weight, that quickly, the "healthy" way. As most fat people I personally have experience with being on a diet (a.k.a "lifestyle" change) for a total of years and years in total. Like most fat people I've done it all kinds of ways: commercial diets, counting calories, starvation, pills, massive exercise, etc. At my thinnest I averaged about 500 calories a day and was running at least five miles a day, of course I did loose 50 lbs but then lost absolutely nothing for over one whole year while still keeping it up (hey, fat people have willpower!). I gained weight back even eating only about 1500 calories a day while still running.

On my last diet I was determined to do it the "right" way. I ate about 1200-1500 calories a day while doing about 2-3 hours of varied exercise a day (swimming, running, gazelle walker, weight lifting). I did lose about 80 lbs but then completely stalled for over six months despite still being about 90 lbs "overweight". I did an experiment of eating 2200-2400 calories a day for two weeks, while still keeping up the exercise. In those two weeks I gained 8 lbs. So I went back to the 1200-1500 calories and still lost nothing in over six months. Then I got pregnant with my fourth. In my previous three pregnancies when I had not been on a diet before I had gained less than 15 lbs in total. With fourth pregnancy I gained 35 lbs despite eating even better than I had with the other three (which was good to begin with).

So, like a lot of fat people I have real experience losing and like 95% of us gaining it (and more back). I know my body. I DON'T BELIEVE YOU Pete. What I find interesting is how threatened Pete seems to be confronted by unbelief.

I'm done being at war with my body and food. I'm not a thin person trapped inside a fat body. I'm a fat person. This in no way diminishes my worth as a person. I'm not a failure, diets are.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year's Resolution People

My husband and I noticed a lot more people clogging up the lap lanes while swimming this week, as well as twice many people in the aqua aerobics class. Lots of New Year's resolution people we're guessing. I will be curious to see how many remain at the end of the month. Since I really like to swim I'm always surprised when chatting with someone who is just enduring it as a means to get to a goal of losing weight. Personally I've never stuck with exercise I've viewed that way for the long term and I have yet to see any one of these people develop into regulars. One thing I seem to have in common with the other people I see week in, week out is we all really like swimming and generally relish our time in the pool.

I've never been a New Year's resolution person, I don't think in my 40 years on the earth I've ever made one. No, not even one of my multitude of previous diets. If I'm going to do something I either do it then or I don't, even if it's Wednesday, May 14th at 3:47. I think I may lack the patience to wait and plan as well. I do wish the New Year's resolution people well, even if I don't get it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Hate for a New Year

Oh, let me count the ways I hate Ann Coulter but this little gem is just the top of my list.

Apparently no problem with Cindy McCain wearing a $300,000 outfit at the Republican convention but in the eye's of Ann Coulter it's a sin to wear fake pearls.

Why does anyone even still publish Coulter's drivel, is this really all this woman can come up with to write about?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kiss my big, fat butt Hollywood!

I watched the movie Hairspray for the first time last week. It was refreshing, especially since I watched it with my 80 year old mother who has always focused on exteriors and losing weight, as well as having some disturbing prejudices (that she would deny). She was never content in her body and would forgo going to events like my father's company Christmas party for being "too fat", this at a size 14 in the 70s and 80s. If I lost weight is was never quite good enough,"You'll look really good if you just lose five or ten more," etc. She was also disturbed by the many non-Caucasian boys I dated before just by dumb "luck" marrying the whitiest man in America (British ancestry seems to afforded him almost no melatonin). I'm not sure how much the message took hold with my mother but at least it's something.

Then last night I was channel surfing and came upon the Queen Sized made for TV movie, also starring Nikki Blonsky. I only caught the last half of it but it also seemed mostly decently pro size acceptance. However what I found really disturbing (outside of the absurdly high concentration of diet and gym commercials) was at the end of the movie when the character of Maggie walks around her room, holding a trash can, throwing out about a dozen junk food stashes to indicate her new found "wellness". This sort of thing just makes me so flipping angry. Why is it assumed fat people must always have some sick relationship with food? UGGGHHHH! Don't we get enough of this crap the shows like the Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club? Do we really need this in a movie that is supposed to be about size acceptance aimed at teenage girls? UGH! UGGHH! UGGGHHH!

Big news flash skinny people of the world not all fat people binge eat on comfort food and if we do your stupid messages about it ARE NOT HELPFUL, or informative. Geez, I come from a family of mostly fat people and not a one of us binge eats or has secretive junk food stashes. We actually eat much more healthful than most skinny people I know.

Can't we just have our precious few fat movies in peace without the little message there still must be something wrong with us? Are we so threatening to skinny people? Hey, maybe we are! We make up more than half the population and if we stopped getting distracted by all these messages that try to keep us in shame, spending money on diets that don't work, equipment that ends up in a garage sale, or risking our lives in surgery that has no long term proof it works we could take over and squash them like little bugs!