Blogs Feb 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Comments

201
I'm a vegetarian. I have been for 9 years. No meat, no seafood, a few eggs and a tiny bit of dairy (no ice cream). I grow most of my fruits and veggies in my own garden. I do not eat any processed foods. I walk every day (the dog demands 3 miles or else).

I'm also fat. 5'5" and 160lbs,

It's not fair. IT IS NOT FAIR that a skinny woman can eat a burger, a shake and fries and no one thinks anything of it. But, if I were to eat the same thing, they would look at me with disgust and tell me to put the burger down and get on a treadmill.
202
Well done, Lindy. Thank you.
203
Lindy, you are phenomenal.
204
I am commenting simply so this post can be more commented upon in the "Most Commented Posts" list, above Dan's.

Lindy, you are a delight. Once I had just enough time to stop at the Bottleneck Lounge to watch a bit of a World Cup game and you were there. You were sweet to me. Dan is a jerk.
205
Lindy, I love you and you are amazing. Thanks for writing this.
206
Two points of hypocrisy Ms. West:

1) You also find "rolls of exposed flesh unsightly". In the only photo of yourself that you decided to include with you story you are wearing as much clothing to cover up as much of your flesh as is possible without wearing a burka. Your picture is taken from an angle to hide as much of your rear and belly fat as possible and you are wearing a long curve destroying blouse. The only parts of your flesh you are showing are the parts that don't seem to be the areas where your fat accumulates. If you were proud of the fat parts of your body it would seem that you wouldn't spend so much time and effort covering them from my eyes.

2)A much smaller point. I think this was meant as a bit of a flourish when you wrote "But you're not helping. Shame doesn't work. Diets don't work. Shame is a tool of oppression, not change." Diets as a point of fact do work. Calorie restriction works as a way to both live longer and healthier. I don't think you meant this as a point of fact, but it's still a ridiculous thing to say.

A larger point is also to make sure you realize that having a body issue is an aspect of being human and not just being fat. Fitness models have obvious body issues, body builders have body issues because they don't believe they are big enough. People who are average have body issues because they are not big nor small enough. It's not that we are all equal in our body issues but reading your post I know I have thought everything you mentioned went through your mind and I've never been over 188lbs. (5'10")

I'm also curious if you think shame is a negative emotion to ever have. That in a good world we would never make either ourselves or those with whom we have influence ever feel shame. This seems absolutely horrifying to me. Shame is a powerful and absolutely necessary emotion. There are times when holding your head in your hands and mumbling "what the hell have I done" is the right emotion. Whether shame is an emotion that should be linked to being overweight will probably require more information and research into both how our brains and bodies work, but the emotion itself is necessary and worthwhile.

207
This is a fabulous, brave post, and it's clearly struck a nerve. Bravo.
208
I wouldn't call you fat, you're more "pleasently plump" or "chunky".

But Lindy dear, if you are haopy, I am happy.
209
I hated Dan before it was cool.

Just sayin'
210
Shut Slog down. Post of the year. Print it!
211
This was excellent.
212
Good for you Lindy... as long as you are healthy, happy and not harming anyone else then live how you want...
213
Dan: I am thoroughly annoyed at having my tame statements of fact—being heavy is a health risk; rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly—characterized as "hate speech."

I certainly don't see the "rolls of flesh" comment as "hate speech" but it's definitely in poor taste. A person doesn't have to find an obese person in revealing clothing (or no clothing at all) to be attractive, but they also don't need to state their personal feeling as if it's some objective fact.

139/Reverse Polarity, very well said. I think we live in a culture where few people are willing to own up to their choices. No one ever said that losing weight (or keeping from gaining weight) is easy. But that's an entirely different matter from saying, or implying, that it's impossible.

163/Amanda: We live in a society where we're made to feel like thinness is synonymous with hotness and hotness determines a woman's value. Even though I know it's bullshit, I often feel like if I weighed 125 instead of 135, I'd be that much hotter (better).

Do men like hot women? Sure. But women aren't any different. They like hot men. And for many women, how tall a man is determines how hot he is. I get so tired of the female double standard that thinks it's wrong for men to prefer woman who are slender but sees it as perfectly acceptable for women to prefer men who are tall.
214
Nothing against any one person, but why the Hell is America one of the fattest nations then? It doesn't have anything to do with choice? It's all just "how God made us" and we should just accept it and not try to better ourselves? Come on. We are better than that.

We all need the ability to critically analyze and address our flaws. I applaud Lindy for realizing that she is, in fact, not flawed, but entirely healthy, and happy. I just wish more obese people would be so critical about their own health.

215
You have quite the Velma thing going on. Me likee.
216
Lindy West you are some kind of wonderful. Sing it girl.
217
@184: i think you are onto something there, inasmuch as it can be equally applied to anorexia as well...

yesh, i know this song and video may be somewhat (very) dated (but, check out the awesome sax solo ya'all),
INXS - Beautiful Girl --

still though, it does jerk a tear.... even upon my jaded soul.
218
YES! Thank you Lindy.
219
I think that both Lindy and Dan have valid points -- Lindy is right in saying that talking in an off the cuff way that implies "fat = gross" is hurtful and inconsiderate, and Dan is undeniably correct in his observation of the scientific fact that the US is the fattest country in the world and there are many health problems that often pair with being fat. There's not one right person here. Some people are fat because they eat too much crappy food, some people are fat because they don't exercise, and some people are fat for neither of those reasons, but just because that's their body type. I'm skinny and always have been and I certainly don't do anything to earn it -- anyone that says the shape of your body is 100% up to you is making a broad generalization. I've known a couple of fat vegans that ride bikes everywhere -- losing weight just didn't happen for them. But fuck it, they were happy -- and healthy. And I've known people who lost a bunch of weight and kept it off. There's more than one kind of person and more than one experience and meaning of fatness.

It seems (not surprisingly) that the people who are most emotionally charged over this can't see that it's an issue which is not black and white, but has gray areas. Dan/Lindy, stop shouting and admit that this is not a simple issue that can be summed up into a soundbite, yeah?
220
163 Holy shit, have you seen the Old Spice ads? You cant tell me men aren't conditioned just as much as women these days.

And it's not just about being thin, it;s about being fit. and beautiful. with great hair. and teeth....You have to get over it. We ALL do.
221
Lindy, I thank you from the bottom of my big fat heart!!!!!! I am a clothing designer and would like to dress you for free. Take a look at my stuff, let me know!! www.cupcakeandcuddlebunny.com/rachelkace…;.

222
Thanks, Lindy. Much appreciated.
223
Being fat sucks, for a million reasons. It was easier for me to lose 100+ pounds than it was for me to expect society to change it's opinions, or for me to change mine.

I applaud your self-acceptance and rejection of society's cruelty.
224
I am sick of the 'I am just fat. That is just the way I am!' argument. That is crap and everyone knows it. You can try and try and fail but you are not failing because your fat is different from every other person's on the planet. You are failing because you are failing. Failing to eat properly or work out with the intensity or way your body needs. Cardio does shit for me (and I hate it but I still do it) but focusing on weights helps fat slide off.

I am not a small girl in height (5'9") pants size (10) or stature (broad shoulders, big tits and hips) but I will never, ever lie to myself or the public about why I am voluptuous. I am voluptuous because I choose to be voluptuous. I was skinny for a while but it was SO BORING (and cold) and I craved all those amazing things I used to eat. So I let go of any kind of will I had and gained 25lbs and that was my choice.

If I had decided to stick with ignoring my sugar addiction (which it is) and stick with salads, veggie proteins and fruits I would have stayed thin. I didn't so I failed but since I had 'made' it to being skinny I realized I had not failed but had made the choice to eat the way I wanted/craved (and in a way that will toooootally give me diabetes). Now I work out, try to eat more veggies, cut out white breads (aside from the Dick's I eat like every other day) and whatever. Fuck it. I was thin and I failed at it. My body is inclined to sweets because of genetics and upbringing but I am not forced or 'made' to be fat by some magical bullshit. Instead of being a victim to outside influences I would be a victim of self-abuse and lack of preservation. That is bullshit.



225
Lindy, you rock.
226
Jeezis you are only 28? !!!??!
I'm 45 and I look younger than you. Of course, I've been a vegetarian since I was 15 and I have an active lifestyle.
227
This was great. You're awesome, Lindy.
228
I LOVE YOU LINDY WEST
229
Lili-p has spoken:

"She's really pretty."
230
Dan and everyone else can talk about how unsightly it is to look at fat people's fat - but the FACT is that there are many homophobes, homophobes Dan rails against that think having to look at gay people showing each other affection (or "acting gay") is unsightly and his opinion on that is for people to get over it. Well, Dan, get over your issues with fat people. Stop bashing fat people. I've said it before and I'll say it again SHAME IS NOT GOING TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE WITH REGARD TO THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC. And for everyone who says a fat person can just lose weight they are lazy, well what about all those crazy fucks who say that gay people can overcome their biological perversion and become straight? And what about all the gay people who turn around and get married in heterosexual relationships and have children? What about those people? Were they never gay because they obviously weren't "born that way"? Are former fat people more valuable people than current fat people? This conversation is so tired and so old and honestly it is just making me so sick of Dan Savage and anyone who is gay. Go fuck your fat hating selves. I don't care about you or the fact that you don't have the same rights as other people in this country (or world). Fat people don't either and you obviously don't give a shit about them!
231
Go Lindy! You are a total babe!
232
Lindy, I'm in awe. I wish I had created something, anything this week as awesome as your post..or this year truthfully. You're an inspiration. That is exactly the rant I have been trying to compose in mind for the last 20 years.

Ever since my "good" friend Stanzi sprung a weight loss intervention on me. She had a whole prepared speech about how being fat made my personal weakness visible to everyone and they thought I was a loser. Sat me down in her seedy apt that smelled like cat pee, inches away from her bong, chain-smoking cigs, and lectured me on self improvement.

Gonna find her dumb ass on the web and send her this post. Oh and Stanzi..all our friends that thought I was a fat loser also thought you were a crazy bitch.
233
I love this post. I especially love how it calls Dan out on his "I don't really shame fat people" bullshit.

While he has a point about how being fat can be detrimental to health, he writes his shit in such an "Ugh Fat People" way. Which, to me, would be fine if he fucking copped to it and owned that shit.

Own your self. It makes you much more attractive.
234
You are beautiful inside and out.
235
Also, being thin has its downsides too.
I have never been picked on for being fat, I had a couple of remarks about it flung at me in middle school but never had anyone say anything to me. This was all while my face was riddled with horrible acne.

N E WAY: When I was a size four my tits and hips and ass stuck around which apparently meant I was fair game to any guy with working eyeballs or any guy that sensed a thin chick with tits was near by. I have never in my life experienced the kind of bullying and harassment I was subjected to when I was "hot".
Female co-workers and my boyfriends 'friends' made remarks about my appearance (from my hair to the way I dressed to my acne to the way I walked) and every time I got something wrong or misspoke they jumped all over me. Male co-workers would stare at my tits, guys at bars would grab my ass or aggressively pursue me, guys walking down the street would shout lewd things at me or follow me for blocks.

I have never in my life felt as insecure, objectified and picked upon as when I was thin. Now that I am curvy again I am back to being basically a funny ghost that strangers enjoy when I make it known I am around. Which is nice.
236
I want to be like Lindy when I grow up.
237
The post immediately above this on SLOG is about a hamburger you ate. With bacon and cheese.

lulz.
238
Show 'em, sister! Fat is beautiful!
239
the fact that so many people are calling that picture "beautiful" and "hot" validates everything I've ever said about the local talent pool
240
Lindy,

You look good, lady.
241
I am blessed with an easy metabolism. I'm 41 yo, 5'4" and 125 lbs. I eat chocolate every day and pretty much whatever else I want. I love food and wine. I *know* that I am lucky, because I have friends who have shitty metabolisms and therefore struggle with weight, count every calorie and work out constantly. I could never summon the discipline that they have about food and exercise. Having a metabolism that allows one to stay thin with relative ease is like being born white in America. If you don't realize that you've hit the genetic jackpot, you're blind. So, yeah, people who say it's all as simple as "calories in/calories out" sound like assholes to me.

Oh, and you're 10,000 kinds of awesome, Lindy.
242
Hi, this is Marilyn Wann. I've been a rad fatty since the mid-90s. I say: Wonderful, awesome rant, Lindy! I am so grateful to you because I have gone around and around and around the Dan Savage fat-hate mulberry bush—in person and by email and in print—more than enough times for one life and I am thoroughly delighted to see someone else enjoy a few righteous reels. And in such fabulous style. (Not that I expect any of us freedom-thinking free-range fatties will inspire Dan to diminish his deeply held prejudice.)

Here's one argument that works for me, even if I weren't a rad fatty who has a heartfelt stake in liberating ALL of our asses, fat and thin, from this stupid and needless and seriously unhealthy and unsexy worry about weight:

Even if weight-loss goals work for a very few, rare people for a while (or even for a long time)...there will still ALWAYS be fat people. Even before HFCS, there were fat people! Ever seen those prehistoric carvings? They're all of fat people. (Not pregnant, fat!) In the future...wait for it...there will still be fat people!!!

If you, Dan, or anyone else here, argues that people are not worthy of respect, health, love or lives until we lose weight and become thin, then you are by definition denying the satisfaction of necessary human desires to a significant portion of the people you meet.

What does that make YOU? As I've heard a fjillion times. It's all about choices.
243
Did the people making comments like "Sorry, but 260 pounds IS unhealthy" miss the "You're not my doctor, it's non of your goddamn business" portion of the article?

Also, can we please call out the "But women only like tall men, that's the same thing!" false equivalency bullshit? Short men don't walk around inundated with messages about how disgusting it is that they're short. Maybe because short people have longer lifespans than tall people. Because this whole debate is all about HEALTH, AMIRITE?!
244
Hi, this is Marilyn Wann. I've been a rad fatty since the mid-90s. I say: Wonderful, awesome rant, Lindy! I am so grateful to you because I have gone around and around and around the Dan Savage fat-hate mulberry bush—in person and by email and in print—more than enough times for one life and I am thoroughly delighted to see someone else enjoy a few righteous reels. And in such fabulous style. (Not that I expect any of us freedom-thinking free-range fatties will inspire Dan to diminish his deeply held prejudice.)

Here's one argument that works for me, even if I weren't a rad fatty who has a heartfelt stake in liberating ALL of our asses, fat and thin, from this stupid and needless and seriously unhealthy and unsexy worry about weight:

Even if weight-loss goals work for a very few, rare people for a while (or even for a long time)...there will still ALWAYS be fat people. Even before HFCS, there were fat people! Ever seen those prehistoric carvings? They're all of fat people. (Not pregnant, fat!) In the future...wait for it...there will still be fat people!!!

If you, Dan, or anyone else here, argues that people are not worthy of respect, health, love or lives until we lose weight and become thin, then you are by definition denying the satisfaction of necessary human desires to a significant portion of the people you meet.

What does that make YOU? As I've heard a fjillion times. It's all about choices.
245
Judging my all the Stranger writers who have left comments on this thing, I'm starting to think that Dan's fat shaming may be a bigger problem than we might realize.

I'll be looking forward to hearing his apology, if he can put his ego away enough to do it. Though, as much as I'm a fan of Dan's work, I feel as though he's just going to use this weekend as a chance to think of a seemingly well thought-out response that basically says "I'm right, you're wrong, AND YOU'RE STILL FAT."

Sigh.

But good on you, Lindy. Left lots of Facebook love to show my gratitude.
246
I'm a bit late so most everything I wanted to say has already been said, but I will add that Lindy's not kidding when she says men are attracted to that body. I'd fuck her like crazy. And then I would read her review of my dick, and laugh my ass off.
247
This is the first time in years that I've checked out anything on this site. Lindy, your words make it well worth coming to visit a place I consider the epitome of shit. You are beautiful and brilliant. Good for you.
248
I stopped reading comments about 3/4 of the way down but up to that point no one had mentioned metabolic disorders which literally do not allow for weight loss without expensive medicinal control or the fact that being extremely thin is just as health risky as being extremely obese. No matter what side of the fence we each stand, I think the point should be 1.) good physical health and 2.) good mental health. Neither is guaranteed to ANYone.
249
Lindy this is fucking amazing, thanks for writing it.
250
Dan Savage starts an anti-bullying project, gets called out for bullying.

Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
251
oh, @46, you read this post and thought it was about you and how you feel? Maybe you should read it again.
252
That blog makes your ass look FIERCE!
253
Dearest Lindy,
I don't know you, but I know that you are awesome. As a born-Seattleite (although living in San Diego now), I've always hated how anti-fat Dan Savage has been... and since I used to LOVE reading all of his stuff, it felt like an extra special slap in the face every time he said something fat-phobic. Anyway, glad to see you'll be doing some fat-pos blogging around these parts! And super stoked to see you link to Frances' tumblr! I *love* that girl.
Lots of internet love!
<3
Margitte
254
@ 213/Roma -- You're delusional if you think men are judged as harshly as women when it comes to physical appearances. I don't know what to say other than, "Look at the world around you". The pressure to be thin among women is unparalleled by anything expected of men in the looks department, including measuring up to some ideal height. Post the last headline you saw involving some male celebrity and his height.
255
Lindy West, I have always read your writing and thought you were one smart lady. Now I am head over heels in smiley joy - you rock. Rock Rock Rock. Thank you.
256
Not once did Lindy say being overweight is good; not once did she say losing weight is pointless -- the last line implies the opposite! -- and not once did she claim that people need to withhold their judgments about what is or is not good eating or good health.

But most naysayers acted like Lindy said or assumed just that. I have to believe it's because they didn't like what she actually said: being fat really isn't any of anyone else's business, because it's not a moral failure.

And if you're offended by the sight of fat people and feel free to say it them in person or on the internet, that actually IS a moral failure. All else being equal, the fattie you're shaming is a better person than you. Which, God willing, makes them a happier person than you.

(Lindy, I'm pretty thin -- so let's meet for drinks & drugs & sex someday before Dan makes inter-weight marriage illegal.) *GRATUITOUS*
257
Very well said, Lindy! I'm glad to see it here.
258
There's something fucked up about the fact that I felt the need to log out of my regular commenter account to comment anonymously, because we can't have the men of Slog knowing I'm a... can I form the word?... yes, I'm a *fattie*. It would invalidate everything else I've ever written here, now wouldn't it? Anyway, Lindy, your post made me cry. Just a couple of hours ago a guy in the gym (where I was stretching after a run on the treadmill) was staring at me with blatant disgust, just staring and staring like I was a zoo animal or something. I thought, shit, when will I ever get to be a person? But I'm sure Dan Savage has never felt that way, because he was born out, skinny, proud, and accepted. Thank you for speaking the fuck up. If we were gay, and it were legal, I'd want nothing more than to marry you and have your fat, beautiful, brilliant baby.
259
Wow Lindy, I admire the courage it took to post this. I only wish I had your guts. Thank you and all my best to you.
260
You're not fat, you just have big tits.....
261
Thank you Lindy. This is amazing.
262
I know everybody loves you already, but I'm part of everybody too, and I'd like to just register my little reflection of the great light you shine onto the Earth.
263
Ix-nay on the "I wish I had your guts". What I really meant to say was "Guuurrrrrrlllll, you got BALLS!"
264
Ok, so we get the inevitable "You CAN be skinny, you just need to eat less, exercise more" comments we always see in these debates. It is essentially the same argument Conservatives and Libertarians use about poverty "You could be rich, you just need to work harder and save more".

Such an argument is great for people who need to reinforce their sense of superiority over those they berate, but you hardly need a degree in psychology to understand that it's certainly not going to make the intended target of the remark suddenly go "Oh wow, I totally didn't know all I needed to was , I'll totally do that now and everything will be fine". So please, let's stop the "I'm only trying to help" bullshit.

As for Dan. here's my take on it.

Dan belongs to group A.
Lots of people are squicked out by group A, in fact many people outright hate group a and go out of their way to make the lives of members of group A difficult through hurtful words, violence, legal oppression etc. Some people who persecute group A claim to do it out of a desire to help group A members because they can't possibly be healthy or happy and their lives would instantly be better if they stopped belonging to group A.

Dan finds this behavior reprehensible and calls out these bullies, oppressors andf haters every chance he gets while starting a project to help young members of group A deal with the negative emotions and self image. I thoroughly applaud his actions in this regard.

Dan is not a member of group B. Dan finds members of group B disgusting and feels they would be happier and healthier if they were no longer members of group B and will happily tell them so, in a manner that increases shame and damages self image.

See the disconnect?
265
Fuck Yeah, Lindy! You fucking ROCK! Thank you for writing this. I'm going to print it out and tape it to my mirror.

PS- I kinda want to be your intern. Next year, when I move to Seattle, I'm going to camp outside The Stranger office and build myself a fucking willow cabin if that is what it takes.
266
Andrew- wow, you've gone a whole 6 weeks of losing weight. Try maintaining that loss. Come back in a year (when most people have regained) and see what statement you can make.
267
thank you for writing this! fuck all ignorant fatphobic jerks forever.

love,
alithea who is ALSO FAT (remember? http://lineout.thestranger.com/lineout/a… )
268
LINDY WEST! It's none of my business what you look like. Or it wasn't until you posted a picture of yourself and gave me like 100 lady boners. But don't worry! They are respectful lady boners!

Thank you for being awesome! You don't have to be but you are anyway and I feel like I owe you for it.
269
Dear Lindy, it's good to hear you love yourself and care more about your health and happiness than social approval. My hesitance to fully agree with you (and I say this as a short, heavy woman) is that being overweight is unhealthy, physically and mentally, and that encouraging "fat acceptance" could all too easily give people carrying unhealthy weight an easy out for laziness and surrender.

Extra weight is as bad for mental as for physical health (I know it has been for me). People SEE first and always will and all the encouragement in the world is not going to stop cruel comments. Overweight kids and teens are ridiculed and shamed and that's not going away.

Everyone should love their bodies...enough to see a doctor, get healthy and fun exercise, and care for those bodies so they can reach their best potential. (Much as I dislike running, I've shaved off 25 pounds and no longer wheeze when climbing stairs.) Love, just don't enable.
270
214/Christy: So, yeah, people who say it's all as simple as "calories in/calories out" sound like assholes to me.

Simple doesn't mean easy. The way to get to the top of a mountain in the Cascades, for example, is pretty simple: you hike up a trail. But that doesn't mean it's easy. It takes a lot of effort.

For the most part, it really is as simple as calories taken in vs. calories burned. But it's also simplistic to say that losing weight is easy.
271
This could easily end up being the most commented on Slog post ever. And if it hadn't gone up late on Friday, it'd be way higher than it is now.

I too am struck by the numbers of Stranger staffers chiming in with their support. Great that they have Lindy's back on this and are not leaving her out on a limb by herself.

Am really saddened by the folks who say they've never attended a Slog Happy because they're worried that Dan and/or others will see them as fatties (I've never attended either, thankfully not due to weight perception issues).
272
Greatest post ever!!!

I grew up on Dan's advice and his fat hatred has always seemed like a slap in the face. Especially in the gay world I live in and he projects.
273
1. Sexuality is not a choice.

2. Height is not a choice.

3. Metabolic disorders that cause EXTREME weight gain are VERY rare, and are not a choice.

4. Mental health issues, big tits, small dicks, are not a choice.

5. I am not mean to fat people. Indeed, I have several beloved friends who are grossly obese. The odds are I will lose them too soon, and their end-game will not be pretty.

6. So now that Lindy has fallen in love with her body and is losing weight, anyone want to start a pool on either of these possibilities?
A. She starts eating like crazy because she HATES herself when she isn't obese, then falls in love with herself again, GAINS weight, ad nauseum.
B. She finds herself on a cross country flight, middle seat, sandwiched between two passengers with oozing rolls of flab encroaching on her precious space, and finds herself thinking, "Eeeeewwww!"

I am shocked that so many people think fat pride rocks, that being REALLY fat is just dandy, and that there are so many fat-fetishists out there. Wow...
274
@ #2, #29, et cetera: My wife eats like a fucking ascetic, exercises regularly, and she doesn't lose weight. Her sister eats all manner of crap, drinks beer, doesn't exercise, and is skinny.

The 2000-calorie-a-day RDA is a myth. (More like a hopeless overgeneralization.) The range in which bodies maintain a basic stasis in weight is incredibly wide. Some people don't gain weight until they are eating 10,000 calories a day. Some people don't lose weight until their intake is restricted to 600. Yes, six hundred. That's less than they were feeding people in fucking Buchenwald. You want to tell somebody they need to be on the Buchenwald diet in order to satisfy your sense of aesthetics?

Fuck you. No, actually, don't fuck you. Fucking is for people who deserve something awesome.
275
Love, love, love this post! If anyone can make Dan see the light, it's you! It's because of other fat bloggers like you that I know longer hate the way I look or give a shit about how other people see me. I'm fat. I exercise every day and eat healthy, so I am living proof that fat is not an indicator of health. Not that it even matters, like you say. No one has the right to decide how other people should look.

<3
276
IF YOUR BRAIN IS NOT MADE OUT OF PEBBLES FROM THE BOTTOM OF A FISH TANK PLEASE READ THIS.

Since there's already 271 comments in this and counting I'm sure this comment will never be read. But as someone who was fat my entire adult life I want to post a response from a different point of view than Lindy's.

As I said I was fat my entire adult life until 2009. In 2008 I weighed over 300 lbs (I'm 6'1.) So keep that in mind as you read my response. These numbers have nothing to do with Lindy's by the way.

1) Fat is gross. People who are fat and lose weight end up looking better after they lose weight. This is a fact for most people. Maybe it's not a fact for you, that's fine. There's some people who think Kyra Sedgwick is hot too. People are free to be wrong. But rolls of flab are disgusting, and I would much rather sit next to a thin dude than a fat dude on a plane or a bus or anywhere that space is an issue.

2) Being fat comes from over-indulgence and laziness, which are not good qualities. It's not like being fat comes from giving too much to charity or from being too smart. It comes from eating too much bad food and sitting on your ass too much. It's a bad side effect of bad behavior, just like rotting teeth and bad breath from smoking.

3) Not all skinny people are healthy and not all fat people are about to keel over dead any second, but in general if you are currently fat, and you lose weight via exercise and better eating habits, you will be healthier in the end. Especially if you really change your life and keep up those good habits and don't just do some stupid ass fad diet.

4) Being fat is not at all comparable to being LGBT for all but a tiny, tiny minority of people who are overweight due to a rare medical condition. Almost everyone who is fat it's because they eat too much bad food and sit on their ass too much. It's not that it's who they are, it's what they choose to do. There's a big difference.

Here's the thing, fat people will generally continue to be fat until they sit down and really accept that their condition is a result of their own bad choices. Realize that it's something that they continue to do themselves day in and day out, in the absence of choosing to do something else. It takes a long time to fix, but it is "easily" (i.e. it's not brain surgery, it still takes a long time and a lot of effort) fixed if you sit down and recognize what you need to do differently every day for the rest of your life. Skip the ice cream sundae most days. Don't go for the second enchilada. Go for a walk instead of watching that Jersey Shore marathon. Etc.

In January 2009 I realized that I was sick of being miserable and out of shape and decided to change it. It took me a long time, a lot of work, and it wasn't smooth sailing all the way, but by October of 2010 I went from over 300 lbs down to 178 lbs and ran the Detroit Marathon. I'm not superman. I'm no smarter or stronger than anyone else. I just made a choice that I wasn't going to be that person anymore.

Do I still have compulsive eating problems? Yep, that's not going away. It's something I'm gonna have to be aware of the rest of my life and keep in check. It's not as bad as it used to be and I know things to do or not do.

But I also don't eat a salad or rice cakes for every meal. In fact while I was losing weight I ate an awful lot of fast food. I was just careful about my portions and what I ordered.

It's not rocket science. Weight loss is just eating fewer calories than you burn. The problem is we have a huge industry of fad diets and placebo pills that do nothing built up around the issue of weight. What people really need to be told is that there's no way to lose weight without feeling hungry. You're going to be hungry. You have to be hungry in order for your body to start burning the fat. That's the whole point of the fat, it's there for when you're hungry and don't eat food. Duh.

But being fat is a result of bad choices that are made every day. It's not something that happened to you when you were a child and now you are coping with it. You are doing it to yourself daily with the continued bad choices, and you can fix it by simply making different choices.

Now if somebody is happy being fat, that's great, they should continue living their lives and be happy. But I know I was one of those people who went around saying I didn't care, and I was fine and accepted myself. But in reality, I was miserable a lot of the time and I've been infinitely happier since I got healthy. I would encourage anyone who honestly feels the same to take that first step; go for a walk tomorrow, eat less tomorrow than you did today. Start thinking about eating better and getting rid of the snacks. You can do it.

I honestly don't think Lindy's message of "It's fine, who cares? Shut up." is helpful in any way. To me it's like the people who encourage bareback anal sex among anonymous partners. It's reckless and irresponsible. I'm not going to say people can't do it if that's what they want to do, but I don't think it's healthy or smart.
277
But she's not fat, she just has humongous tits that haven't been defeated by gravity yet.
278
I would kill to be able to write that this girl
279
Personally, I think you're f'ing gorgeous.
280
Lindy, I'm bookmarking this and coming back to re-read it everytime the weight of the world's anti-fat douchebaggery gets too heavy.

Also, not that you need my validation, but you're gorgeous.
281
Right on!
282
To all the people saying, "I used to be fat, but I (exercised, dieted, etc.)" -- congratulations.
To all the people who are already thin and just KNOW that "it's a simple matter of calories" -- congratulations.
To all the people who tried to make this about healthcare premiums, America-bashing, etc. -- congratulations.

All of you missed the point. What is the point? To keep your generalizations, anecdotes, and suggestions to yourself.

By sharing "advice" when it's unsolicited, you're just being a jerk.
By claiming that you know how someone else's body works, you're just being a jerk.
By asserting that your "East coast mentality" gives you the right to tell others that they're ugly, you're just being a jerk.

Try being polite, instead. We are people, too.

(Bravo, Lindy.)
283
Lindy, the most important point you made here -- and the one I'd help you defend to the death -- is about the needlessness, the hatefulness, of employing cruelty to addressing the issue of obesity. I've certainly been guilty of it, more or less as a way of acting out against it being inflicted against me. I wish you peace of mind and happiness.

And for all you hot gay guys giving the high five to the sassy, zaftig chick: I bet you'll all go out and bang a guy whose abs don't show tonight, won't you. I'm sitting here at the bar right now, waiting for you all to come up and hit on me...
284
You're a fucking rockstar, Lindy West. I'm ashamed that it took somebody like you, somebody Seattle knows is a fucking rockstar, saying so to really drive it home that it isn't anybody's business what you weigh or what some random jerk on the street weighs or what I weigh, or why. I'm grateful you said it. It's so self-evidently obvious, though, that I'm kicking myself for not properly realizing it until somebody ELSE said it. Somebody like you, who is a fucking rockstar.How goddamn brainwashed ARE we, as women, to think that everybody we see has the right to judge us?

Sigh. Thank you lots, Ms. West. Time to start down the long hard road to Deprogrammedville.
285
I hate everything Lindy West has ever written, ever . . . except this article, which I love.

But seriously she should do us all a favor and stop writing film reviews.
286
254/Amanda, I said that women are no different in that they like hot men just like men like hot women. By "no different", I didn't mean that men are judged 100% as harshly by women as women are by men on their physical appearance. I would agree that men care about women's looks more than vice-versa. But women do care about men's looks. A lot. A lot more than they let on. And a physical characteristic that matters a great deal to many women is how tall a man is. Furthermore, women judge men more harshly on other factors, such as the type of job a man has or how much money he makes or has, than men do with women so the particular things being judged by each sex differ but the amount of judging is probably about the same.

287
#273 if sexuality isn't a choice (in some ways, not all, and i am someone who believes all people should just be able to be with and love whomever they please and everyone else should just mind their own business) please explain homosexuals who then get married in heterosexual relationships and some even have children. were they never gay? did they make a choice to deny their gayness? is sexuality not fluid and more complicated?

i also think that someone's weight is their personal business and should be something between themselves and if they choose, their health care providers. why people believe they have a right to constantly point out to fat people that being fat is unhealthy and shame them, taunt them, ostracize them, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum is beyond me!

gay people like dan savage believe they should have a right to live their lives as they are and without people dictating to them what's acceptable or right or even palatable. well guess what, fat people should have the same rights!

this ongoing BS with dan and his finding it OK to dictate to fat people how they should live just shines a big spotlight on what a hypocrite he is. there's plenty of people out there who hate him because he is gay and want him to live how THEY want him to live. he tells those people to go fuck themselves. well dan, some people would like you to go fuck yourself, too. you cant be an advocate for SOME people's rights while bashing other people. makes all of your so-called hard work worthless and meaningless because the message is tainted.

how about all the fat gay people in the world? what should we do to them? is it ok for bullies in school to bully those kids for being fat and shame them so that maybe they'll lose weight, but not to bully them because they are gay?
288
nope, sorry. if you really want to be radically empowering, you would not accept the premise that fat people 'can't do anything about it'. this simply isn't true.

i actually have no problem with your size. i have had very good friends who are very large, and i have also worked with people (drag queens) whose entire livelihood (and fierceness!) is centered around their 'fatness'.

however, that doesn't mean that being fat is not a choice. if you were arguing about being short, tall, having big feet, or wide shoulders, i would agree with you 100%. however, the amount of flesh on our bones is something that we have TOTAL control over, so it's disingenuous for you to put 'fat discrimination' in the same category as other forms of oppression.

i happen to be very thin and have a very narrow frame. it would be very hard for me to put on enough weight to be considered 'fat'. however, if i really wanted to achieve it, i could. i would dramatically increase the amount of food that i eat everyday. i would start drinking soda with every meal. i would start eating between meals. i would start consuming much more processed food and stop buying fresh produce. i would always take the elevator and start taking cabs. i could put on substantial amounts of weight if i wanted to, even though it would be a struggle.

similarly, the overwhelming majority of overweight people could lose lots of weight by doing the inverse of the things that i listed above. (i won't argue that some people due to medication side effects or hormonal imbalances would have a much much harder time of it than a person without those issues.)

you (and many other 'fat acceptance' advocates) take a false stance by saying 'i've done X Y and Z and i still haven't lost weight, so that means it's impossible for me to lose weight at all'. bullshit. if what you've done hasn't worked, that doesn't mean that nothing else will. for instance, obesity is strictly NOT A PROBLEM in countries plagued with food shortages. obviously, i'm not suggesting it's a good thing that many people in the developing world don't have access to a stable food supply, but i AM suggesting that it disproves a lot of the fat acceptance rhetoric.

finally, your dismissal of the 'health insurance premium issue' is really infuriating. being overweight leads to HEALTH PROBLEMS, both small and large. you might not necessarily get diabetes and have high blood pressure or die at a younger age, but just by being overweight, you are at a higher risk for all three. society needs to deal with this issue in a way that is good for our collective and individual health as a nation. to me, the most sensible way to do this is to end subsidies for processed food and commodity farming, to fund small scale produce-centered farming, to mandate urban planning that insures the walkability of communities, and to promote the common sense approach to healthy living (eating real food in moderation and moving your body around keep you in good health) as opposed to promoting lobbyist-crafted miracle cures (fat free everything! exercise while you're laying down! pills to make you stop eating!) as the answer.

Keep this in mind-- it's fine for you to accept your body as is, but the rhetoric of the 'there's no such thing as overweight' movement might condemn the next generation to a lifetime of health problems due to generational obesity. An 8 year old with diabetes doesn't get to choose to embrace his fatness. What he does get is a lifetime of health complications foisted upon him by a culture with its head in the sand.

289
@276: Read the article. I don't need to insert the word "again" in there because, quite frankly, you haven't read it. Period.

Suggesting that this is a "hooray BBW I'm fabulous where my gays at" post proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you didn't even get beyond the first one or two sentences. She hasn't suggested "it's fine, who cares? shut up", she's saying "I'm quite aware of my body, fuck off".

As far as the LGBT commentary goes, it's ultimately not about comparing a physiological state with a fundamental state of being, it's about the actual reactions to that state. There is no reasonable argument in "you can lose weight, so my ire is justified", there is no reasonable argument to use your own aesthetic desires and "types" to shame someone. If you aren't attracted to someone, if you're grossed out, keep it to yourself or be prepared to be told to shut the fuck up.

So, in summation: If you're going to make a comment as long as the original post, you better fucking read it first.
290
If she got tit reduction surgery she could get under 163lb probably.
291
nope, sorry. if you really want to be radically empowering, you would not accept the premise that fat people 'can't do anything about it'. this simply isn't true.

i actually have no problem with your size. i have had very good friends who are very large, and i have also worked with people (drag queens) whose entire livelihood (and fierceness!) is centered around their 'fatness'.

however, that doesn't mean that being fat is not a choice. if you were arguing about being short, tall, having big feet, or wide shoulders, i would agree with you 100%. however, the amount of flesh on our bones is something that we have TOTAL control over, so it's disingenuous for you to put 'fat discrimination' in the same category as other forms of oppression.

i happen to be very thin and have a very narrow frame. it would be very hard for me to put on enough weight to be considered 'fat'. however, if i really wanted to achieve it, i could. i would dramatically increase the amount of food that i eat everyday. i would start drinking soda with every meal. i would start eating between meals. i would start consuming much more processed food and stop buying fresh produce. i would always take the elevator and start taking cabs. i could put on substantial amounts of weight if i wanted to, even though it would be a struggle.

similarly, the overwhelming majority of overweight people could lose lots of weight by doing the inverse of the things that i listed above. (i won't argue that some people due to medication side effects or hormonal imbalances would have a much much harder time of it than a person without those issues.)

you (and many other 'fat acceptance' advocates) take a false stance by saying 'i've done X Y and Z and i still haven't lost weight, so that means it's impossible for me to lose weight at all'. bullshit. if what you've done hasn't worked, that doesn't mean that nothing else will. for instance, obesity is strictly NOT A PROBLEM in countries plagued with food shortages. obviously, i'm not suggesting it's a good thing that many people in the developing world don't have access to a stable food supply, but i AM suggesting that it disproves a lot of the fat acceptance rhetoric.

finally, your dismissal of the 'health insurance premium issue' is really infuriating. being overweight leads to HEALTH PROBLEMS, both small and large. you might not necessarily get diabetes and have high blood pressure or die at a younger age, but just by being overweight, you are at a higher risk for all three. society needs to deal with this issue in a way that is good for our collective and individual health as a nation. to me, the most sensible way to do this is to end subsidies for processed food and commodity farming, to fund small scale produce-centered farming, to mandate urban planning that insures the walkability of communities, and to promote the common sense approach to healthy living (eating real food in moderation and moving your body around keep you in good health) as opposed to promoting lobbyist-crafted miracle cures (fat free everything! exercise while you're laying down! pills to make you stop eating!) as the answer.

Keep this in mind-- it's fine for you to accept your body as is, but the rhetoric of the 'there's no such thing as overweight' movement might condemn the next generation to a lifetime of health problems due to generational obesity. An 8 year old with diabetes doesn't get to choose to embrace his fatness. What he does get is a lifetime of health complications foisted upon him by a culture with its head in the sand.

292
so so so good to hear it all said so well. thank you. this should be a public service announcement.
293
Lindy, I really want to have lunch - and a margarita - with you.
294
Thank you so much for posting this. I can't even eloquently describe in words what it means to me... Suffice to say when I was little I never thought anything was wrong with me- until people told me that I was fat and something to be ashamed about.

Thank you so much for the inspiration.

xxoo,
Cat
295
Thank you so much for posting this. I can't even eloquently describe in words what it means to me... Suffice to say when I was little I never thought anything was wrong with me- until people told me that I was fat and something to be ashamed about.

Thank you so much for the inspiration.

xxoo,
Cat
296
one more thought--

(i know... i've already gone on too long...)

i think the whole exercise cult is basically an enormous racket underwritten by gyms and the weightloss industry. you know what happens when you exercise really hard? you get HUNGRY... you know what happens when you get hungry? you WANT TO EAT... you know what happens when you eat? you GAIN WEIGHT.

so the best way to strictly lose weight (i'm no talking about getting big muscles, improving cardio health or anything like that...) is to EAT LESS. dramatically increasing your exercise makes that less likely to happen, not more likely, and therefore contributes to the enormous hamster wheel experience that so many people are stuck in while trying to lose weight.

reducing your calorie intake while maintaining the same level of physical activity will allow you to see the direct relationship between what goes in your mouth and how your body looks. once you reach an equilibrium that makes you happy, increase or decrease the amount of exercise as you see fit, remembering that intense exercise will always require eating more and will thus necessitate a change in diet.
297
More than your humor, is your candid ability to sum up years (a lifetime, if you will) of emotion into 3 minutes of reading. I love you, and am eternally grateful.

Love,
Anna.
298
Yeah, come on all you "eat less, exercise more" losers.

Me: 5'3", 118-130 my whole life. Curvy but definitely slim.

At 35, tried to get pregnant, did IVF, gained 30 pounds in 3 months. It won't come off. I'm on thyroid and otherwise addressing the hormonal changes. I eat like an anorexic - tea and a protein shake in the morning, another shake, a couple crackers, or nothing for lunch, soup or skinless chicken for dinner. Minimal carbs, 3 liters of water a day, yadda yadda. Average daily calorie intake hovers around 1100. Yes, every day. Sure, I eat out once in a while. Doesn't much change my weekly calorie intake.

I walk 8-10 miles a day, I do P90X, do strength training and go to boot camp and ride a bike and otherwise log a 1500 calorie deficit every damn day. I know because I wear a little dingus on my arm that logs calorie burn. 1500 calorie deficit. Or MORE. EVERY DAY. FOR YEARS.

GUESS WHAT??? I'm STILL 30 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT.

OMG.

Am I fat? No. I'm a solid size 8. But I'm not the weight/appearance/size 6 I used to be, and I'm working out WAY MORE and eating WAY LESS than I ever did when I weighed what some of y'all would think of as ideal.

Basically my point is...you don't know why someone is fat. And it's none of your fucking business. STFU. GTFO. AND MYOFB.
299
I believe it was Kate Harding who pointed out that you cannot hate someone for their own good.

http://kateharding.net/faq/but-dont-you-…
300
Well said, Lindy! I love you! Plus your other writing is fucking hilarious. Did I mention I LOVE YOU?

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