Worth Your Weight

May 9, 2008

RadFA

Filed under: fat acceptance — worthyourweight @ 3:48 pm

In response to Whiny, Shrill and Hysterical Oh My! — and if my comment(s) ever show up there, please forgive the redundancy.

IMO, dieters by definition aren’t fat acceptors. If they were, they wouldn’t be dieting. I think to bend over backwards to somehow include them in a movement they don’t even subscribe to is pointless. It negates pretty much everything we’re fighting for. I happen to believe what I quoted on my blog yesterday — one’s wanting to lose weight leads to our oppression. And for a commenter on another blog to insinuate anti-diet-ers (as in against diets) are closet pro-lifers is just SO GROSS.

So I’m “radical,” I guess. But I choose to view that in its pure form meaning “root” rather than “extreme.”

Size acceptance is a different movement, IMO. That’s to help individuals in their own brains, with their views of themselves. Fat people need that, too.

BUT fat people also need accepted by others. Thin people already are. Fat acceptance is for individuals *and* society at large. Personally I see fat rights and fat acceptance as intertwined. Sure, society will never be divested of all prejudice(s), but it could be a lot more tolerant climate, IYKWIM. It could be even better than tolerant, I think. When fat is not accepted — when it’s viewed as less than — it’s easy to dismiss the need for rights. Have we learned nothing from other oppressed groups who were initially kept down because they were viewed as less than?

If dieters truly care about fat rights, fine. Start an offshoot group Dieters for Fat Rights. I’m not sure I could take you seriously (not putting your money where your mouth is), but if that’s what you believe and want to fight for, have at it.

Having pro-diet ANYthing within a so-called fat acceptance space is a destructive message to fledgling fat acceptors. They don’t need to hear it in the fatosphere when they hear it everydamnwhere else.

IMO (third time).

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46 Comments

  1. IMO, dieters by definition aren’t fat acceptors. If they were, they wouldn’t be dieting. I think to bend over backwards to somehow include them in a movement they don’t even subscribe to is pointless. It negates pretty much everything we’re fighting for.

    This is wonderfully put. But, my worry is that for many people believing in fat acceptance as a theory for other people, but not for you til you lose this next x pounds, is a gateway in to FA proper. (It certainly was for me, and I’ve read similar comments from many others in the fatosphere.) So to (try to) exclude dieters from the ‘sphere clearly isn’t the answer, but this belief that promoting weight loss as a worthy goal is not somehow detrimental to HAES and FA as movements…of course it is. By definition it is. What is with this sense of entitlement that ignores societal forces, power dynamics and every other damn thing to boil down to “Shaming me for wanting to be thin is the same as shaming someone for being fat!” NO IT ISN’T. It never will be. And to complain about it in the fatosphere of all places? I do not understand.

    Anyway, it’s so nice to see I’m not alone. When I first read the interview and saw no one else had responded negatively it was very much a case of “…am I reading a different interview to everyone else?” When I saw that others had the same concerns it was like, “Ah, good, I’m not crazy.” Which may or may not be true, but I’ll take the sense of temporary relief. ;)

    Comment by Caitlin — May 9, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  2. And for a commenter on another blog to insinuate anti-diet-ers (as in against diets) are closet pro-lifers is just SO GROSS.

    Fucking seriously.

    As for radical fat acceptance, insisting that fat acceptance has to involve ACCEPTING FAT is not radical. It’s the fucking definition. I think Brian is right, trying to redefine fat acceptance lite as the centre of the debate only serves to marginalize the rest of us and make it seem like we’re just crazy radicals who don’t need to be taken seriously. And that’s dangerous to the movement.

    Comment by Becky — May 9, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  3. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to formulate something in my head all day but you’ve said it much better.

    However, I think we should politely say eff the radical label. It’s a way to shame and other, just like it’s been used in feminism. It’s not radical to say dieters aren’t fat acceptors. They’re just not. If someone believe that a weight loss diet is a good step for their own personal growth, bully for them. But they don’t believe in fat acceptance. They just don’t. I refuse to be marginalized out of this movement in an attempt to bring dieters in.

    Comment by Robotitron — May 9, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  4. These comments are great to hear. Thank you! Like Caitlin said, it’s nice not to feel crazy for thinking this stuff.

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 9, 2008 @ 5:28 pm

  5. I refuse to be marginalized out of this movement in an attempt to bring dieters in.

    Exactly, Robotitron.

    As for radical fat acceptance, insisting that fat acceptance has to involve ACCEPTING FAT is not radical. It’s the fucking definition.

    And this, Becky. What is confusing about the concept of the fat acceptance movement involving the acceptance of fat? I do not. understand.

    I’m also reading the most recent comments in the interview thread and…::blink:: WE’RE the ones who have an agenda screaming so loudly in our head we can’t hear what’s being said to us?

    Man. I’m in it for the lurkers, but the whole thing is remarkably similar to the head/brick wall phenomenon.

    Comment by Caitlin — May 9, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  6. If a dieter wants to support what fat acceptance is doing, that’s fine, but they have to do so on fat acceptance’s terms. Some do. The problems come when they insist that fat acceptance be limited on the dieter’s terms and that’s just not tenable. If a dieter doesn’t feel comfortable in fat acceptance, its because on some level they shouldn’t. Fat acceptance should be challenging them. If it isn’t, then it isn’t doing anyone any good. If dieters really want to ally on fat rights, then frankly the onus is on them to manage their participation in the discussion. They are welcome to do it and that participation would be a non-issue for nearly everyone in FA. What I’ve seen more often, though, is that for all their talk about finding what we agree with, dieters occupy more time disagreeing with FA than they do finding common cause and that’s really the problem here. That’s why they feel uncomfortable. But its a role FA needs to play. This isn’t a place for dieters to feel comfortable or accepted. That’s not anti-dieter, its just the nature of the movement. It is challenging dieting and anyone who affirms dieting should feel that challenge. They should be confronted by it. Its a message that won’t exist if FA isn’t saying it and that message cannot be tailored to the boundaries of what dieters will feel comfortable with. That’s not about purging dieters from the movement, but FA needs to have a distinct voice and it needs to be one that the dominance of fat hatred in our culture shouldn’t be comfortable with. We’re trying to shake that up, and you can’t do that while making sure that dominant culture opinions about fatness aren’t challenged.

    And as I ranted about the other day, this view has NEVER been “radical” fat acceptance and if we let it be now, the movement will be profoundly imbalanced in the wrong way for a civil rights group to be imbalanced. Dieting isn’t fat acceptance. It just isn’t. That’s not anti-dieter. Its just the reality that what FA representes is an alternative point of view. And if tries to be all things to all people, it just ensures that it won’t be what it needs to be.

    Comment by BStu — May 9, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  7. BStu,
    It really can’t be said much better. Thank you.

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 9, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  8. Both with the interview and many of the comments (and the responses to FA people’s comments) I’m banging my head saying “ARE we reading the same language here? Huh??” How could someone say something that clearly means one thing and be taken to mean pretty much the complete opposite?

    Not to mention that everything else said here makes me also feel sane again, so even if that’s not true, thank goodness I’m not alone anyway lol. At first I thought well, then I guess I’m a radical. And perhaps I am. But fat acceptance isn’t radical within fat acceptance or within fat rights, surely? And no, size acceptance isn’t exactly the same thing, because no one is trying to take away genuine legal rights from thin people on the basis of their thinness. Within fat discrimination there are other discriminations (like the NIH plan I wrote about, where they want to particularly target “minorities” and children who are also fat) but there’s no actual thin discrimination. Gah, how is any of this radical?? Or shrill, or whiny, or hateful or anything like it?

    WYW I don’t see your comment yet :( But naturally I’ll approve it the minute I do!

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 9, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  9. WYW,

    BStu basically said what I was trying to say in that comment on Annie’s blog. Just more eloquently. ;)

    My point was: it’s theoretically possible, *though incredibly unlikely*, that a dieter could be pro-fat acceptance, because what they’re doing to themselves is, in short, not accepting their fat. If they don’t accept their fat, well, why accept mine? It would require a sort of inherent cognitive dissonance and self-delusion, or extreme ignorance. I think it’s possible there are ignorant dieters out there who feel like fat rights make sense but they, personally, should lose X lbs. However, I think if they spend any real time in the FA movement they eventually lose that viewpoint. Or should, since we do our best to educate, educate, educate. ;)

    Great post.

    Comment by BigLiberty — May 9, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  10. How did I miss Brian’s post? Thanks for linking to it; I got a little snitty seeing him referred to as a “limit” as well, admittedly. But then although he’s never responded to my emails he’s one of my favorite reads. But I’m radical that way :P

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 9, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

  11. I also feel I should mention, because I don’t know if I’ve communicated this adequately: anywhere else I would have looked at that interview and gone, “Oh, another piece of weight-loss propoganda,” and rocked on with my life. It was just that it was on Notes from the FATOSPHERE, and FA and dietcraziness collided and I was reeling from the whiplash of, “What the fuck is this doing here?”

    Promoting that kind of message within the fatosphere — where people have their metaphorical guards down, and are therefore more likely to take some of it on board than if they saw it somewhere else — is just…I don’t even have the word. But that message cannot be let stand unchallenged in “our” collective space — it is, as you said, against pretty much everything we’re fighting for.

    I think my problem is mostly: theoretically, you can be in favour of FA in general but just unable to accept your own body as it is. I’ve been there until very recently; it’s a mental cognitive-dissonance land, but it’s doable, and I (obviously) don’t think people should be excluded from the fatosphere for it, because it’s often a necessary stepping stone on the way to FA. Essentially, as long as you aren’t spewing the dietcrazy all over the fatosphere, what you’re doing to your own body is your own damn business.

    But this isn’t about that, it’s about putting someone on a pedestal for having decided to lose half her body weight, and giving her exposure and a platform on which to tell us all how she feels about it, as if it is something worth achieving. That is not fat acceptance. It is isn’t. You cannot be pro-FA or pro-HAES and actively promoting weight loss as a laudable goal at the same time. It just is not possible. Why is anyone pretending it is?

    Comment by Caitlin — May 9, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  12. You’re welcome! I thought it was very relevant.

    But I’m radical that way

    Haha! Maybe we need a radical fat acceptance bloggers feed. Of course, that would require me to get a blog…

    Comment by Becky — May 9, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  13. That should, obv, be: “That is not fat acceptance. It isn’t.”

    (Though to be fair, the original still made about as much sense as some comments I’ve seen this evening.)

    Comment by Caitlin — May 9, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

  14. BStu, thanks. You’ve said, very eloquently, exactly what I mean.

    Comment by Robotitron — May 9, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  15. For what it’s worth I left a comment that incorporated what I think Caitlin said, that it was the fact that it appeared on the *fatosphere feed* that aroused people, not the fact that someone lost weight and made a hahafatpants book about it, because we can see that anywhere and this one isn’t especially remarkable. We go to the fat feed to read about fat discrimination, fat rights, eating disorders, positive news about fat people, to lampoon the barrage of negative and hateful things the media throws at us. But not for glowing reports about hahafatpants books. Ok; this has been fascinating and mobilizing. Thanks to all of you for validating that this is not radical, or extreme, or insane, but strikes at the core of what FA actually IS.

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 9, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

  16. The “radical” label doesn’t bother me, but you all are right. Accepting fat in the fat acceptance movement is NOT radical, fercryingoutloud!

    AnnieMcPhee,
    No worries about the comment I tried leaving at your place. It’s just that Blogger.com hates me ;)

    I am so glad you pointed out *why* the interview was so vexing. I cannot believe the ignorance — “FAers hate anyone who loses weight just because he/she lost weight.” WTF? I really believe anyone who thinks that let alone posts it would have to be some kind of troll with zero knowledge of what FA actually stands for.

    It’s why I love Red No. 3’s tagline so much — “actual f***ing fat acceptance.”

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 9, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  17. Caitlin, BStu, Becky, Robotitron, worthyourweight, AnnieMcPhee, Big Liberty (hope I’m not forgetting anyone)…

    I feel a lot better, reading your comments here and on BFD.

    I read the PQ interview and I was really weirded out, and then, reading the threads, I started to seriously wonder if *this* is what people really mean when they talk about BFD’s blog (and those like it) as a gateway. Because, as gates go, it looks like what it’s let in (and what MoPie has allowed) is a lot of anti-fat, anti-HAES asshattery of the sort I’d classify as ranging from simply naive to actively trollish were it to appear on, say, Shapely Prose. And the fact that MoPie’s not coming down on it or in any way moderating it (aside from one “play nice” post) is really disappointing.

    So it’s heartening to see that I’m not alone (because I make a pretty pitiful “movement” all by my lonesome).

    Comment by Miriam Heddy — May 9, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  18. You are definitely not alone, Miriam. Big Fat Deal was the first FA blog I found when I searched for them. It became apparent very quickly that the site is much more diet-friendly than my FA taste runs. Mo Pie’s friend is an obesity researcher and comments often, the site links to WLS blogs, and many commenters are pro-weight loss. So I had to get the eff outta there.

    I actively avoid weight loss talk, and there are still days I feel perilously close to “giving in” and dieting. These people that think FA is about letting yourself go and hating on weight losers (heh) are ca-lueless. It’s a struggle for me not to start restricting food, tracking calories, and exercising for anything but the fun of it. So, yeah, seeing such pro-diet stuff in the fatosphere is incensing because some of us are trying to stay away from that poison — and even doing so, we’re still fighting and clawing not to give in to the dieting pressures.

    I won’t even get into the fact that weight loss diets can be very harmful to one’s health. I’ve always wondered how many of the diseases/conditions correlated with being fat aren’t in fact correlated with lifelong weight loss attempts. (Since being fat is a strong risk factor for dieting.) There are some whispers here and there that the dreaded big D (type 2 diabetes) may actually be caused by weight loss dieting — not “eating too much sugar” or whatever the current nonsense is.

    I had my gall bladder out at 19. My first gall bladder attack happened after I lost 48 pounds in 4 months. The gall bladder needs 10 grams of fat to function. I was on a low-/no-fat diet. Even then, my gall bladder problems were blamed on my being fat. (Not by a medical professional, thank heaven — at least not to my face.) It was a relative repeating what she’d been told, that gall bladder problems have the three F’s risk factor: forty, fat, and female.

    OK, I had two out of three. I believed I had ruined my gall bladder because I was fat. It wasn’t until finding the FA movement in the past year that I discovered no, I ruined my gall bladder by dieting. Dieting actually cost me an organ. So yeah, the case can be strongly made that promoting weight loss — especially in a space devoted to fat acceptance — is dangerous and kind of gauche.

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 9, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  19. Well Miriam, Mo seems to be pretty upset now, and I don’t think it’s because FA people were called all kinds of names and people were making fat jokes. (Like the one about the beach.) Rather than seeing why people might be shocked seeing something like that on the feed, it’s seen as an attack on the blog as a whole or something. Sigh. Maybe it is in a way. I feel exactly as you do about the “gateway” thing; it sounds good in theory; in practice not so much.

    I’m never going to fit in with the big girls in FA, but I knew that going in, really. I’ve never been popular; too opinionated. I don’t think there are going to be too many “radicals” showing up either. Or maybe I’m just tired. It’s been a rough week.

    WYW a lot of people have gallbladder problems on the heels of quick weight loss, that’s for sure. I’m sorry to hear you had that – it’s supposed to be quite painful!

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 9, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

  20. For whatever its worth, going back and really plowing through the episode that started this, I’m really in awe of the tenacity and frankly patience of, well, I think most of the people commenting now in this thread. My kudos to you all.

    Comment by BStu — May 9, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

  21. AnnieMcPhee,
    Gall bladder attacks are very, very painful. I shudder even to think of them now.

    Bstu,
    I second that. Really good work, everyone.

    I actually was going to add my two cents over there in the comments, but seeing as the blog owner is upset, maybe I’ll just do it here.

    ———-

    The gall bladder needs 10 grams of fat a day to function properly. Since many weight loss diets are low-fat ones, weight loss attempts can and do cause gall bladder problems. It has nothing to do with adipose tissue. It has to do with attempts to manipulate the amount of adipose tissue on one’s body by weight loss dieting.

    I don’t mind the “eat a cheeseburger” comment because guess what? Eating one cheeseburger is not going to affect one’s weight up or down. Neither would eating one chocolate truffle (I mention this specifically because Pasta Queen would not allow herself a truffle because she was unable to jog one day. Instead she had to do the elliptical. Yet she still would not allow herself the truffle. This may be getting too personal, but I just wanted to offer context.)

    Caitlin, thank heavens you’ve been here in this comments thread to lead the voices of reason.

    *A person’s choice to diet does affect other people in that it reinforces the indoctrination that fat is unacceptable and must be eradicated at all costs.*

    Now, having said that, I don’t go trawling diet sites to enlighten the plebes. If they want to conform, great for them. Do it over there, away from me. But they don’t live in a vacuum, their choices DO affect people other than themselves, and it doesn’t have to be accepted by the fat acceptors. Nope. Sorry.

    Andrea, you are ignorant on many points discussed here, but the one I want to address now is set points. No, a person’s original set point is probably not often 400 lbs., but you ignore the fact that set points can actually be raised by episodes of starvation AKA dieting. Next time you run across a 400-lb. person, go ahead and ask them how many diets they’ve been on. I bet you’ll run out of fingers to count them on.

    Those questioning the 95-98 percent failure rate of (long-term, significant weight loss) dieters would do well to engage in some research. The NIH doesn’t even dispute the statistic. It’s ALL over the place if you feel like looking. I’ve read it in numerous publications, but unfortunately didn’t feel it was something that was going to be questioned when the weight-loss industry itself as well as obesity researchers were in agreement that that is indeed the failure rate. Their conclusion? Diet anyway. (See Laura Fraser’s Losing It)

    And OMG, Christy? When they study weight-loss, it’s not, “Oh, these people can do the cabbage soup diet.” These are highly controlled studies involving doctors, psychiatrists, in-patient treatment, support groups, etc. But you made me laugh out loud when you pulled that 80 percent statistic out of thin air.

    Andrea said:
    “Obesity is a contemporary thing, coincidently linked with the more accesible and cheaper, unhealthier food around there.”

    Well, that’s one *theory*. Another theory is that fat hatred and obsession with weight loss is what’s caused the “obesity epidemic.” As in, dieting causes weight gain, and so pressure to diet by a fanatical weight loss culture is what’s caused many people to be much fatter than they naturally were.

    As to the rest of your comments, please, please, please read a book or three before unleashing your ignorance like that again.

    E.g., losing weight is not what helps diabetics lower their blood glucose levels. It is increased activity and healthier eating choices, which may or MAY NOT *also* result in weight loss. Diabetics who increased their activity and did not lose weight still improved their blood glucose levels. (See The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos)

    yoganut:
    “The bottom line is society is what it is.”

    This is what we’re up against, FAers. I suppose yoganut thought society was fine just the way it was when women couldn’t vote. Oh, well. Society is what it is.

    “And fatgirlonabike cannot be held up as an example of a ‘fit/fat’ person who can’t lose weight until she shares what she’s eating. Diet plays a huge role in size and fitness. Any serious athlete will tell you, you can’t out train poor nutrition. If she’s eating crap she can exercise til the cows come home and it won’t matter. So it’s dishonest to hold her up as this great example of someone who is ‘fit’ but can’t lose weight when one half ot the equation she claims is not up for debate or discussion.”

    ACK! It’s dishonest to pretend that there aren’t seriously disordered eating notions in the “serious athlete” culture, such as “eating clean.”

    Furthermore, diet does not play a “huge” role in fitness. Please see Junkfood Science’s analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative study.

    A thin triathlete who ate “crap” (wait a second, I thought food was food and not “good” or “bad” ) would NEVER be accused of not being “fit.” The proof is in the pudding :-P A person who can do triathlons *is* fit because…she can do triathlons.

    AnnieMcPhee,
    Excellent point about not having reached goal yet. Pasta Queen has not reached her goal yet. So she is not even in the maintenance phase. She is nowhere near the “success” of keeping weight off for at least five years. But, publishers have to get weight loss books out before any regain happens.

    And sadly, it’s not a question of willpower if that happens. The body has its own dictates to follow. Trust me, Oprah Winfrey has the means and wherewithal to keep the weight she lost off, yet she’s not doing it. Why? Because the survival instinct and its support mechanisms are too strong.

    Guess what, yoganut? The idea of “lifestyle changes” was practically invented by the FA movement and co-opted by the diet industry.

    “Please note also, the anger displayed on this blog has NOTHING to do with discrimination and everything to do with the fact that PQ lost weight. That’s it. One woman lost some weight and you guys are freaking out. That has nothing to do with discrimination so get off your moral high horse.”

    Talk about missing the point! Oh, my goodness. Where’s my clue-by-four?

    We don’t care if one woman loses weight or 100 or 1000. We DO care that this tired old weight-loss success story is being held up as some edgy new version of fat acceptance/HAES. DUH.

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 10, 2008 @ 1:37 am

  22. BStu, I’d appreciate an honest opinion on whether and where I was out of line, if you notice my comments when you go. I go off the top of my head and never wait to hit “send.” But I can take criticism if it’s valid.

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 10, 2008 @ 1:46 am

  23. Oh WYW, how did you pack so much into that post? Damn, some people can just nail shit like that so well. Wonderful to read. It’s great that you opened this blog entry – I think some of us really needed to blow off the steam. And I’m not sure why the blog owner is upset when so many of the comments (especially right after one of mine or Caitlin’s or whoever) are “Wow, you people suck. She is da bomb! She rules for putting this interview up, and PQ rules too!” The kudos are all there…why would a little dissent be so deadly? :/

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 10, 2008 @ 1:55 am

  24. It’s kinda funny because I had sooooooooooo much more to say! But I felt really overwhelmed. It reminded me of when Big Liberty posted about the scooter rant. I started reading the thread she linked to and was contemplating registering so I could reply, but I just got overwhelmed by the ignorance. I didn’t know where to start!

    I’m glad this entry has given us a place to work through some of the stuff brought up by the interview. Sometimes I feel a bit “talking behind backs”-ish, but anyone can read/comment here and at least discussing our POV further here rather than there hopefully prevents invitations to nastiness. (Hope I’m making sense.)

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 10, 2008 @ 2:04 am

  25. PS to AnnieMcPhee, I didn’t think you were out of line at all in the comments at BFD. Far more gracious than I felt like I could have been!

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 10, 2008 @ 2:09 am

  26. I must have had my head in a barrel or something, ’cause I’d missed the article you are all referring to and had to hunt back to find it. No, that’s not Fat Acceptance. That’s just plain ol’ dieting. And, while I understand that people need an entry point for Fat Acceptance, diet talk and promoting weight loss is not that entry point.

    Comment by Fatadelic — May 10, 2008 @ 6:54 am

  27. I had to step away from that thread late yesterday, as I like to keep sanity points in reserve, but I appreciate all of you continuing to fight the good fight. I’ve removed BFDblog from my feed and will just have to skip it when it comes up on the fatosphere feed. I don’t think it’s appropriate for things glorifying weight loss to be on the feed, for what it’s worth, but that is obviously not my decision to make.

    WYW, I am very sorry about your gall bladder. It’s only by the grace of something that I didn’t do the same with my history of crash diets. One more thing to keep in mind as I continue to try to develop a good relationship with food.

    Comment by Robotitron — May 10, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  28. I appreciate everyone’s comments in this thread, but *especially* in BFD’s thread. I was way, way too overwhelmed by the nonsense in there to post. Actually, since I researched La Wade and found out she had done obesity research funded by Eli Lilly (one of those mouse studies that people use to deduce something about human fatness), my comments have gone to the “moderation” queue there. LOL Guess I should start to diet and then I could post on that particular Fat Acceptance blog whenever I wanted, eh? Hey, if I write a book about How Simple It Is (So Why Aren’t YOU Doing it, Fatso? Oh, And Triatheletes Who Eat “JUNK” Will Stay FAAAT Because We Must Do EVERY Exercise With Weight Loss as a Goal), I could get interviewed! Skah-wee!

    Besides, mo pie herself is a dieter, didn’t you know? http://boards.tight-science.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?p=28145&highlight=pie#28145

    So take BFD with a grain of salt. A little bit of research goes a looong way (oh, and the “Jen” of that thread, the administrator/owner of that board, is Jen Wade, i.e., La Wade).

    Comment by BigLiberty — May 10, 2008 @ 7:42 am

  29. That whole thing just makes me sad.

    I’m relatively new to FA, and just as I was getting my head around HAES, I had an accident that landed me in the hospital, nursing home, and home continuing to recover, so I’m having major issues accepting THAT on top of accepting my size.

    After one of my major weight losses, I actually hung a pair of hahafatpants on my bedroom wall so I’d have to look at them every day. I think it was a year later I was wearing them again. And a few months after that, THEY didn’t fit any more. My heart aches for people who hold themselves to such impossible standards and goals, and my heart aches for myself, too, who I am trying to forgive for the wreck I’ve made out of my body after 40 years of dieting.

    I guess my point is twofold. One, seeing that on a fat acceptance feed was painful and dismaying and many of the commentors over there going “You just hate her because she WON and you LOST you fat fat fattyhead, you” are totally missing the point there. And two, a sadness that so many of these younger-than-I women are going to put themselves through the same pain and suffering and misery, physical and emotional and psychological, that I did because they haven’t learned to really really honestly accept and love and embrace themselves at the size they are. And that hurts.

    Thank you WYW, for posting these and for giving me the chance to try to express how the whole thing made me feel.

    Comment by Buttercup — May 10, 2008 @ 8:27 am

  30. Thank you all, so much. It is so validating to see that others refuse to be shoved out of our own goddamned movement to accommodate others who want no part of what we’re about. This could easily have gone a much more discouraging (and depressing) route. Instead, I feel kind of inspired. Hear us roar.

    I’m sorry that Mo Pie is upset. I was (all of us were) called rude, whiny, shrieky, jealous, ignorant, and god knows what else on her blog for several hours without any comment from her or ‘Bix (during which time a bunch of comments were released from moderation, so I know someone with moderating power was online) for stating the simple facts of FA and rejecting the advocacy of weight loss. So hey, maybe I’m a little upset too.

    I also NEVER attacked PQ personally, not once, and I’ve bitten my tongue so hard about the fact she hasn’t even reached goal — let alone maintained — that it’s amazing I haven’t gone right though. But no “civil discussion” points for me, because I! Am an angry fatty!

    WYW (and Annie and Shinobi), I want to second the thanks for giving us somewhere to talk about this. There’s no behind-the-back element — it’s right up there in the fatosphere feed with the article that kicked this off — but in the name of her-blog-her-rules there’s a limit to what I felt I could say over there. So it’s nice to have somewhere to continue the discussion.

    Because, as gates go, it looks like what it’s let in (and what MoPie has allowed) is a lot of anti-fat, anti-HAES asshattery of the sort I’d classify as ranging from simply naive to actively trollish were it to appear on, say, Shapely Prose.

    Exactly, Miriam! I was about to take on the sheer, unadulterated ignorance of Andrea’s post, and then I thought…wait, am I not in the fatosphere? Why is this being allowed to stand? We’ve fought this fight already; this shit is wrong and has no place here, and I don’t know if I have any place where it’s allowed to pass as part of a “civil” argument.

    Comment by Caitlin — May 10, 2008 @ 8:51 am

  31. I don’t think there’s anything behind-the-back-ish in posting something on a public blog, especially one that is featured in a couple of feeds. If we were all doing emails with nasty insults in them, that would be behind-the-back-ish and not nice. But if I’m not misunderstanding, the people posting are doing so because they’d like to be heard and read (not because they’re trying to hide anything), and because they rightly felt attacked, and wanted to discuss the entire thing with people who were also scratching their heads and wondering why that was happening, or why it was being tolerated.

    And to be honest, nothing any FA activist has said is like the flat-out insults and mockery that were hurled by the diet crowd. The only thing that I saw that even came close was the brief comment about how she didn’t understand why someone was getting a national platform for weight loss and thought someone must have cured cancer (which, to be honest made me laugh.) And I’m still really really sorry FatGirlOnaBike came up at all, after what that one guy said about her; that was just horrible. She’s not a commodity FFS. Talk about insensitive and mean and cruel. And now I’m getting mad that nothing was said about that, so I’m going to stop because I just said on my blog that I had finally gotten perspective about this.

    I am very sorry to see (going back and seeing that I had missed this the first time) that in the original entry the views we expressed were already called “obviously extreme” before they were even said. That was a pretty important thing to miss.

    If I haven’t said it already, thanks for the discussion on this WYW. Some people really needed it (cough, me.)

    And next time you want to make a comment on my blog, please please keep a copy and email it to me so nothing will be missed. I get really upset when the few people who comment get lost on me :(

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 10, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  32. Woot – new comments :) I made mine right after WYW’s concern about being behind-the-back, before seeing all these other new ones. See, I’m usually awake overnight instead of during the day, so I never get to talk when people are up lol. Ennnnyway, BL my last two comments didn’t get approved either, so there it is. I did put a cut and paste of my last comment on my own blog. But BL, what you just said – yeah. When Brian made that brief but incredibly poignant, cut-through-the-bullshit post, I heaved a sigh of relief. It was several things – like Caitlin said, haven’t we been over that fat-hating shit in the comments before? I don’t know why it’s allowed to stand, but clearly it is, and others are taken to task for not accepting it. That’s…not fat acceptance or even size acceptance. And it’s just wrong. And then it was like, I was all set to do this big blow-by-blow at my blog, ferreal!, and saw Brian’s post and said, fuck it. It’s just so obvious that it doesn’t need to be said. I was so disappointed at first that he doesn’t have comments on his blog, but figured he had his reasons. I still wish I could kiss him for that one. What a relief. Just as all this has been a relief. I was sort of thinking there were going to be like one or two people daring to say anything and then some big pronouncement on the main sites on Monday (like F-Word and SP) but even that’s put into perspective now. These must be part of the growing pains you were talking about BL. And they must be good, because apparently there haven’t been too many vocal radicals who actually are adamantly pro-fat-acceptance.

    You know, when preparing to write the blow-by-blow I actually felt a moment of, “Well maybe I could…” You know, diet and lose weight and run a marathon. Or half of one lol. Then I said self, you idiot, what the fuck are you thinking? Diets haven’t worked for you for 15 years, you eat normally (and in fact below my alleged calorie requirements for my weight) as it is, and you haven’t been able to run a lick since you wrecked your ankle 22 years ago. And you hate running. And you are still recovering from being immobile and in knots for 7 years – duh. It’s hard to do anything still, much less run, and it ain’t because I’m fat.

    It is kind of sad, though, I have wanted the release of just running, just for a couple minutes, for a long long time. And I may never do it again. So…time to look into some nice yoga and other gentle stretching type exercises to obtain the physical release and uh, fuck losing weight or dieting. My diet is fine.

    So I got over it. But I was sad that I would feel that way for even a second. I never thought I would. I guess I know what “triggering” means now. Le sigh.

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 10, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  33. Fatadelic,
    Sorry I didn’t specify what I was referring to.

    Robotitron,
    Thank you. I know we’re supposed to be able to do without ’em, but I really think my digestive system doesn’t work at 100 percent without a gall bladder. It’s so funny you mention keeping that in mind because learning that dieting, not fat, is what destroyed my gall bladder is the number-one reminder I use to fight any urges to diet.

    BigLiberty,
    I’ve had a comment disagreeing with La Wade unapproved for moderation, too. Huh. I always enjoyed your sparring with her back when I read BFD. Grain of salt — good advice.

    Buttercup,
    I’m so sorry about your accident and hope you are recovering well. It is heartbreaking to think of the younger ones who will hopefully come to FA eventually, but may never do so. I try to introduce it to my brother, but he’s definitely of the stripe “don’t you dare take my hope away from me!” I wish I could save all the young women and men from having to go through years of self-hatred. The idea that someone’s whole life could end up that way is too painful for words.

    Caitlin,
    “Thank you all, so much. It is so validating to see that others refuse to be shoved out of our own goddamned movement to accommodate others who want no part of what we’re about. This could easily have gone a much more discouraging (and depressing) route. Instead, I feel kind of inspired. Hear us roar.”

    I agree 100 percent.

    AnnieMcPhee,
    I did consider emailing you about the comments, but then thought eh, I’ll just link to your post and comment here. The original post is the comment I was leaving at your blog, verbatim. My computer and Blogger really do just hate each other — all the Blogger admin-type stuff is in Japanese on my PC! ROFL

    Do you mean Brian’s post about a diet blog interviewing a dieter on her diet book? That just floored me. In a good way. I’ve always viewed it as a diet-friendly FA blog, but that’s being way too forgiving, isn’t it?

    There used to be comments at Brian’s place, but if I have my timeline correct, they were turned off the last time the dieting in FA argument happened.

    Oh, how I know what you mean about the “maybe I could moment.” Me, too! And as a direct result of that PQ thread. Because it’s only been a year of my brain thinking diets don’t work. I had about 23 years of thinking they do — and especially that if you work hard enough at them. That it’s all a question of “preference” and “dedication.” Grrr.

    And like you, I’m especially miffed at the dismissal of FatGirlOnABike’s amazing success. Jeez Louise, how many thin triathletes do we praise? Why isn’t a fat one just as worthy of our awe and respect?

    Thank you all for this discussion!

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 10, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

  34. I’m actually very upset that FGOAB came up in that thread. Like someone says above, she is not a commodity. Whatever, though. It takes a sick person to look at her accomplishments and immediately jump to the conclusion that she eats badly. As if FGOAB could do what she does without quality fuel in her body.

    It’s situations like this that keep me from starting a blog of my own — I don’t have the energy to keep that fight going all of the time. I have much respect for those of you who do. I just couldn’t handle every action I blog about being picked apart. Maybe one day.

    Comment by Robotitron — May 10, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  35. Oh, and another thing! As if FGOAB owes anyone an explanation about what she eats.

    Comment by Robotitron — May 10, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  36. I hear what’s being said above. I’m sorry for even bringing Sarah up — I just didn’t anticipate the level of viciousness that would ensue. So on the off chance she’s reading this: Sarah, I apologise.

    And because I need to say it somewhere: I’ve said already that I think that my main concern in all this is people who are just new to FA or hovering on the border between FA as a theory and “I still need to lose some weight”, because coming across an “I lost weight and so can you!” in the fatosphere — and one which incorporates just enough of the language of SA and HAES to sound plausible — could well be enough to tip the balance and send you back to dietcrazy land. (“Look, even BFD acknowledge that dieting can make you happier and healthier. Maybe I should give it one more go.”) We are already working against everything society wants us to believe, so surely the FA message needs to be (insofar as is possible) a consistent, strong “Dieting for weight loss does not work for the vast majority of people, and it is harmful, and you can be happy (and healthy, if you want) in the body you have.” If the fatosphere are the ONLY PEOPLE IN THIS SOCIETY saying that, is it too much to ask that we actually say it?

    The siren call of the (pre-regain) “success story” is one of the strongest things the diet industry have going for them, and they know that — that’s why we see it EVERYWHERE WE GO. I just do not think it’s too much to ask that it be kept away from here.

    Essentially, if think you can find a “balance” between FA, HAES, SA and dieting, fair enough. But if you then post something that is blatantly against FA and HAES (complete with comments that FA people are mean! And extremists! And you can choose not to be fat! And those mean fat people, they hate when we eat salads!), in a place within the ‘sphere where people who genuinely do believe in FA/HAES are going to see it, you do not get to be surprised and crying foul when it all blows up on you.

    Are we all supposed to shrug our shoulders and go on our merry way as if promoting a hahafatpants story that says negative things about FA isn’t contrary to everything we’re meant to be about? I don’t think we can find a “balance” anyway without diluting FA beyond the point of usefulness, but we certainly can’t do it when that kind of message is being given that kind of voice here.

    Comment by Caitlin — May 11, 2008 @ 11:12 am

  37. Annie, you and others were completely not out of line in that thread. There was actually something else I said at my blog this week where I was being critical of radical fat activists habit of letting themselves get into personal attacks on dieters. I was noting that even not doing that, fat activists were prone to being accused of personal attacks. Frankly, that comment thread is the perfect example of it. What that serves is to shield one political view from criticism by constantly personalizing it and then aggressively defending that personalization. But FA needs to push back on that.

    The only thing I’d disagree with is finding any of that initial discussion a surprise at the site in question. It is and has always been a diet blog. This isn’t the first time its glorified dieting on the fatosphere feed, either. But I’m very glad people are really taking a critical eye to that and questioning it. Especially this time where to post was a full-on broadside against Fat Acceptance. That needs to be questioned, and I don’t think anyone who did so was out of line all though a lot of the people talking you do very much were out of line.

    Comment by BStu — May 11, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  38. “I hear what’s being said above. I’m sorry for even bringing Sarah up — I just didn’t anticipate the level of viciousness that would ensue. So on the off chance she’s reading this: Sarah, I apologise.”

    Neither did I, and so do I. I hadn’t seen that she’d been mentioned before I mentioned her, but that just…well, where the rest of it didn’t actually *hurt* me (just stunned and mad and shocked) the shit about her hurt. And I don’t ever want to lose her, because she is a TRUE inspiration to me – I’m not very mobile, but just *knowing* that mobility is possible, and that I can do *something*; well, that’s flat-out priceless. To lose someone who is an athlete to a degree I could never have been, but inspires me to want to be all I CAN be, would be tragic. The woman wasn’t even involved, yet gets invoked and then trashed. Absolutely disgusting. If there was anything at all unforgivable, it was that. Though I haven’t seen any pronouncements about that fact going on – like hey, she isn’t even commenting, can we not trash her? Gah.

    I’m glad hahafatpants has become a phrase lol. But it’s so true isn’t it? How many times have we seen that? Worthyourweight inspired that one totally. It just sums up a whole genre.

    BStu I’m still digesting what you just said about finding it a surprise, but you are probably right. Though I didn’t expect to hear FA be called “extreme” in an interview by someone who is presumably into acceptance and I doubt I’ll get used to that one. Dieting stuff, yeah – I mean one of the first (not the first) sites I went to when I discovered FA was elasticwaistband, but I’d been well inoculated by then by the “radicals” against pro-diet talk (and had abandoned diets myself so long ago) so I just dismissed it and moved on.

    It’s still disturbing to me that I could have been drawn in, in the course of *fighting* something like that, to think “Well…maybe I could too.” FFS! (It was like on the fifth time I read through it that that crossed my mind.) What that shit could do to someone on the verge…well I don’t know for sure. I guess I would hope people would keep reading like I did and move past it, because they have, like all of us, a functioning brain. But triggers apparently run deep, and I wouldn’t want to see anyone delayed in the process of self-acceptance and demanding their rights because of something like that.

    Well, as BL and I and others have pointed out, the movement is growing beyond its old bounds, and that’s a great thing. There are a lot of things we can move past to get there – including political differences. As people come in all shapes and sizes, fat people come in all kinds of political and religious stripes, and I believe that coexistence is not only possible or preferable, but should be seen as inevitable. Peeples is peeples (as the Muppet Movie taught me.) And we’re fat people. Different people.

    WYW you’ve created the hub of the discussion here – hehe, that’s totally awesome.

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 11, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  39. “WYW you’ve created the hub of the discussion here – hehe, that’s totally awesome.”

    And I give you and all the commenters here the credit :)

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 11, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  40. And for a commenter on another blog to insinuate anti-diet-ers (as in against diets) are closet pro-lifers is just SO GROSS.

    I just now saw what you’re talking about.

    I…cannot even post about that, because the comparison makes me so angry I can’t form coherent thoughts that aren’t in capslock. And that, for me, is a lot of angry.

    *seethe*

    Comment by Caitlin — May 12, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  41. Sorry for the vagueness, Caitlin. I honestly couldn’t remember where I saw it.

    Comment by worthyourweight — May 12, 2008 @ 7:06 pm

  42. I saw it too, but don’t remember where; I thought it was on that thread. So…where was it?

    Comment by AnnieMcPhee — May 12, 2008 @ 8:02 pm

  43. Oh no, WYW, I didn’t mean that. I just somehow missed it at the time and came across it yesterday.

    It’s in the comments here. (Or at least, I presume that’s what you’re talking about. Maybe it’s happened more than once.)

    I’m not going to get into it there, because in my experience abortion rights is the one argument where people get very very polarised very very quickly and no good can come of it. Which is one reason people could be a bit more CAREFUL about the accusations they’re thoughtlessly slinging around. But sure, if you just politely hint that perhaps people should stop talking now, or conduct an discussion among adults exactly the way you’d like them to (because otherwise they wouldn’t know how), or that maybe they sympathise with people who want to deny a woman her reproductive rights (when you clearly don’t believe they do) — well, you’re just politely hinting. What’s the harm in that?

    /no patience for that shit at all

    Comment by Caitlin — May 13, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  44. Ohhh. Yikes! For whatever it’s worth I do know it’s possible to be on different sides of that issue and be able to have a civilized conversation about it, and both come out examining new perspectives on it. I know because I have friends who I’ve been able to discuss it with exactly like that. That presumes that both people are going to be respectful, use the terms to refer to one another that they choose (pro-choice/pro-life, etc. rather than pro-death/anti-woman or whateve) and…well it’s involved. It can happen though.

    Comments like that are, IMO, supposed to conjure up the immediate image of full-quiver families standing outside clinics holding up jars full of bloody fetuses, lobbing baby dolls full of red corn syrup at the walls, holding up heinous signs and screaming terrible things after the women going in. Which certainly happens, but I think it’s a terrible blight on the pro-lifers to keep condoning such things.

    What a FA person who feels the fatosphere should not be pimping diet books and diets has in common with people who hold up bloody picket signs, I can’t say. Nothing, I would think.

    Comment by anniemcphee — May 13, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  45. Big Liberty, I also wrote about using FitDay right here on BFD. I don’t see how tracking my food is a diet, but I certainly wasn’t trying to keep it a secret! Since I have a history of disordered eatig, I try to eat as healthfully as I can—get my fruits and veggies in, eat a balanced diet and so forth. The goal has never been “weight loss” but I don’t expect you to believe me.

    Comment by mo pie — May 15, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  46. Look, there was no need for Big Liberty to do any “detective work”. That I’ll agree with. You’ve repeatedly and publicly identified yourself as someone who is trying to lose weight, including posting a “weight loss blog” with your starting and current weight regularly updated. Which you link to from your bio on your site, as well as linking to a book you contributed to which promotes itself as a weight loss blog anthology. I believe it said “Seven Women. One Goal. 350 pounds to go”. And I hear you just did a fawning interview with a diet blogger about how awesome weight loss is and how stupid fat acceptance is, so there’s that, too. Definitely no secret, you are absolutely right about that.

    Not sure I’d get “weight loss” never being the goal from the self-described “weight loss” blog, though. What with the constant talking about how much weight you wanted to lose and how much you had lost. I guess maybe that you were keeping a secret. Good job, though. One never would have guessed when reading about how much you were trying to lose that you weren’t trying to lose weight.

    Comment by BStu — May 16, 2008 @ 5:09 pm


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