Blogs Feb 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Comments

803
The midpoint between two opposing views is not the correct answer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to…
804
You speak the truth, Lindy! And I hope this gets picked up by a larger audience, as this is a TRULY important conversation!

There is so much shame surrounding the body for both men and women, smaller and larger people. And all studies both in the U.S. and in Asia-will get back with links if you are really a dumbass enough to think otherwise- show that shaming people into some sort of change, proves to be costly. It's the opportunity cost model: You are shamed into loosing weight, yet you will have to feel guilty about your body.
I have been large and super thin. And neither has ever made me feel "good." When I was larger, I wanted to slimmer and happier, and I fixated on it. When I was slimmer, I wondered why it didn't just all come together, or, was I thin enoug? Or, how will I stay thin?
What did I realize? It's about what's going on with me, emotionally, that leads me to project onto the body. Not until I worked through those feelings that have been deep-seeded was able to accept my body as this entity that carries me from one place to another, that houses some important thoughts and feelings, that can finally do a pull up or two... Despite what size I am.
THANK YOU, LINDY, for becoming vulnerable. You have clearly opened up a conversation in such a way that people feel safe sharing. I am inspired.
805
@767 - Your last several posts have shown that you have a nearly Ron Paul-gold standard obsession with the conspiracy that is BMI. I'm not a nutritionist, but I'll give it a shot.

BMI is not used as a tool to diagnose individuals, generally speaking. It's more of a statistical measurement. Ultimately it's just a height-weight ratio, which is useful for examining population trends. Yes, your doctor may tell you that your BMI puts you in unhealthy territory, but by no means is that the end of the diagnosis. Any doctor will then run further tests to determine the condition of your health (blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, body fat, etc.). BMI is an inexact tool, but it's not worthless--especially when used to measure changes in a population over time.

I understand that you believe that BMI is a crock, and that's fine. But surely you recognize that Americans have gained a significant amount of weight relative to height over the last few decades. Does that mean that Americans are less healthy? Well, that fact alone doesn't. But science tells us that increased weight contributes to the likelihood that an individual will develop diabetes, heart disease, various cancers, and we can see that the prevalence of these diseases have tracked proportionally with the increase in our population's weight. Does being "fat" mean that you are unhealthy? Not always, but sometimes. Each person is different. But on average, it does mean an increase in the likelihood that you will develop these problems later in life.

Not everyone in this thread who is arguing that being over weight or obese is unhealthy is doing so because we "hate" fat people or we don't like to look at fat rolls. Many of us have a genuine concern that our population is becoming more and more unhealthy. As I've mentioned in a previous comment, this certainly appears to be correlated with a number of factors: fewer manual labor jobs, less active lifestyles (TV's, computers, video games), processed and refined foods, bombardment by junk food advertisers, etc, not that I think fat people are inherently more lazy than fit people. I don't care if any individual is fat, so long as they're fine with it. But I do care that the health of our country is rapidly worsening. If we can find a way to stop the increase in these diseases without people losing weight, well, fine. But it doesn't seem to be a likely solution.

806
Note to the new posters, the Slog can be a little slow and buggy but trust that is working and avoid the urge to click twice on the post button.
807
@681: I understand the idea of the basis for comparison. I have a body that is currently about 25 pounds heavier than my BMI would call ideal (though that means more like 15 more than I would call ideal) and yes, it bothers me, and yes, I make decisions to try and combat it.

However, when someone is eating healthy and exercising and making good choices about their health, and still not losing weight, they are doing what they need to do, and a certain amount of compromise is necessary from one's partner if you are not to turn from a long-term partner into a long-term asshole.

I also reject the idea of weight loss at any cost being healthy. Eating 600 calories a day in order to lose those pounds and under 1000 to keep them off cannot possibly be less unhealthy than carrying the weight on a body that is otherwise well-maintained. That's the behavior of an anorexic. Likewise, if you have to exercise four hours a day in order to keep your body in trim condition lest your partner stop finding you attractive, what's unhealthy is the relationship, not the body. An hour of exercise is more than enough for health. If that amount of effort is not enough to stay trim enough so your current partner wants you, then your partner wants the ideal body, and the actual you has become irrelevant to the relationship. That is not a state that any partner should be proud to admit.
808
You guys realize that for Lindy to maintain the weight that she is with ZERO exercise she has to consume around 4,000 calories A DAY? That is a HUGE amount of junk food. If that doesn't put it in perspective; what will?
810
This honestly sounds like a justification for being unhealthy, similar to posts by individuals who support "pro ana" (pro-anorexia) lifestyles. For every height and weight, there's a minimum healthy weight and maximum healthy weight. Anything below or above that specified range is not healthy. Period. It taxes the body and the mind. Undereating and overeating signify psychological issues that need to be dealt with before balance can be restored to the body.

It's a gorgeous fact of life that individuals come in all shapes and sizes. That's the truth. But being too thin or too fat is a sign of unbalance. To me, it's the unbalance that is unattractive.

I am 30 years old, 5'6, and maintain a weight of around 125. I have been lower - around 115 - and higher - around 140, and I can tell you that both the periods of weight loss and weight gain in my life were associated with times of pain, stress, and general emotional unrest. These were not good times for me.

I have friends who are overweight. They acknowledge that they overeat because of emotional/psychological issues that have not yet been resolved. Some of them have unresolved issues from far back in their childhoods. This is a huge concern to me. So I could never support obesity in any form. Just as I cannot support anorexia or any other eating disorder.
811
Bully for you. I would like to know what exactly you mean by "trying to lose weight." But if you want to be fat, be fat.

But if you take your clothes off, I will find you unsightly. It's one thing for you to tell me to respect your preferred appearance, but entirely another for you to insist that I find it attractive.
812
Hi, Lindy.

Thanks so much for writing this awesome piece. I really appreciate how you didn't, in the piece, talk a ton about how nutritionally/morally sound your health habits are in the way that does the whole good fat person/bad fat person bifurcation deal, and instead kept it about overcoming haters with some fierce-effing self love and feminist wit (cause do we really think that fat people should have to get an 'excuse' pass by reciting their health habits to anyone that feels entitled to know?)

Also, I do want to address the haters here by saying that people who respond to awesome social commentary by fat people about fat phobia with this kind of derision: "you are infringing on my inalienable right to not find fat attractive by criticizing this/putting my interiority on trial in some moral court of truth" 1) totally miss the point of social commentary--you don't have to like it or agree. get over yourself. 2) it's not about you. people are allowed to write things you don't agree with and that somehow implicate you as oppressive without you having a comment section cry-in about it. 3) these very smart people don't want to date you anyway, so we don't care what you think and 4) this kind of derision and dismissiveness really does point out an intense scrutiny/dislike directed at fat girls/women that you feel entitled to upholding and 5) how can you be so self-centered to think that other people's bodies need to conform to your narrow ideas of attractiveness so the collective space of the worldly visual landscape meets your needs, and then be so thick-headed to not even recognize a good opportunity to rethink this when someone really smart offers you one?

Lastly, I did want to say, Lindy, that I don't think that all fat people on earth feel this way. I think it is something that is produced by specfic histories and kinds of gazes/surveillance/policing and held in place by raced and gendered oppressions. In other words, I think this stuff is very racialized, around which women's bodies are supposed to be what kind of size, and the kazillion different directions that moves thru the world. i think that fat activism/analysis has abilities to blow open raced-gendered strictures of ideas about bodies that hold all kinds of other ugly oppression in place, but that that analysis has to get down seriously to thinking about how racialized ideas about body size are, and then how racialized ideas about body size play into larger systems that decided which bodies matter and how. hope this make sense. Take care, keep writing!

813
Hi, Lindy.

Thanks so much for writing this awesome piece. I really appreciate how you didn't, in the piece, talk a ton about how nutritionally/morally sound your health habits are in the way that does the whole good fat person/bad fat person bifurcation deal, and instead kept it about overcoming haters with some fierce-effing self love and feminist wit (cause do we really think that fat people should have to get an 'excuse' pass by reciting their health habits to anyone that feels entitled to know?)

Also, I do want to address the haters here by saying that people who respond to awesome social commentary by fat people about fat phobia with this kind of derision: "you are infringing on my inalienable right to not find fat attractive by criticizing this/putting my interiority on trial in some moral court of truth" 1) totally miss the point of social commentary--you don't have to like it or agree. get over yourself. 2) it's not about you. people are allowed to write things you don't agree with and that somehow implicate you as oppressive without you having a comment section cry-in about it. 3) these very smart people don't want to date you anyway, so we don't care what you think and 4) this kind of derision and dismissiveness really does point out an intense scrutiny/dislike directed at fat girls/women that you feel entitled to upholding and 5) how can you be so self-centered to think that other people's bodies need to conform to your narrow ideas of attractiveness so the collective space of the worldly visual landscape meets your needs, and then be so thick-headed to not even recognize a good opportunity to rethink this when someone really smart offers you one?

Lastly, I did want to say, Lindy, that I don't think that all fat people on earth feel this way. I think it is something that is produced by specfic histories and kinds of gazes/surveillance/policing and held in place by raced and gendered oppressions. In other words, I think this stuff is very racialized, around which women's bodies are supposed to be what kind of size, and the kazillion different directions that moves thru the world. i think that fat activism/analysis has abilities to blow open raced-gendered strictures of ideas about bodies that hold all kinds of other ugly oppression in place, but that that analysis has to get down seriously to thinking about how racialized ideas about body size are, and then how racialized ideas about body size play into larger systems that decided which bodies matter and how. hope this make sense. Take care, keep writing!
814
I am so happy you wrote this and I love you with all my heart. xoxox
815
@794 I hear you. I just don't see how any of the vitriol against fat and fat people will change the obesity epidemic. I ABSOLUTELY believe that being obese affects your health, I know it to be fact because I am obese and it is affecting my health. However, never has anyone's comments about my weight, what I am eating, why I need a walker (and I need a walker because I have progressive, degenerative neuromuscular disease that is stealing my ability to walk, not because I am obese), or how all I need to do is _______________ and I will lose weight, it's so easy, have ever, in any way, been of any help to me, nor do I think they are helpful to anyone who is obese.

My problem is that everyone seems to think they KNOW the exact reason why someone is obese and they know the exact way that person can lose weight. They don't and all the haters on this board who say it's so easy because they did it are simpletons. And they are also liars - because if it were so simple and so easy then no one would be obese!

When I weighed 180 (at 5'5") and saw a doctor annually and had low blood sugar, low cholesterol, and no health problems no one ever said anything to me about being overweight. No doctor ever said to me you need to lose weight and you need to do it because the extra weight you are carrying now will negatively affect your health when you are older, so here is a detailed plan on how we can work together to get you to a healthy weight - it won't be easy but it can be done. When I was being treated for depression with one antidepressant after another and none of them worked and I gained 60 pounds the only thing my doctors said was that it couldn't possibly be the medication causing that weight gain. (Years later it turns out I had depression caused by sleep apnea, which is not treatable with anything but a CPAP - so all of those medications they gave me that made me gain weight - they were never going to work no matter what). Then I was diagnosed with my neuromuscular disease and while I had lost 40 pounds during the stress of medical testing and not knowing was going on - at 200 pounds she said to me DO NOT GAIN WEIGHT as it will affect your mobility even more, especially as your disease progresses. well guess what, I gained weight. despite the fact that even when i am dedicating 4-6 hours of my week exercising (which is a lot for me given the limitation i have) i still have to contend with the fact that i have so much more sedentary time and that combined with the medications i am on makes managing my weight very difficult. when was diagnosed (finally!) with sleep apnea in 2009 no doctor took the time to tell me that having sleep apnea affects not only your weight, but also your ability to lose weight - and that it puts tremendous stress on your entire body internally. when i was diagnosed by my primary care physician as pre-diabetic (also in 2009) the only thing my doctor had to say to me was "eat healthy and lose weight." i've worked with nutritionists and nurses through my health insurance provider and i have participated in a pre-diabetes weight loss class funded by NYS and facilitated by the YMCA. i work hard to eat healthy and as i am disabled and live with my mom i cook all of our meals and we eat quite well - tons of fruits and veggies and lean meats and whole grains and beans, etc. i lost 30 pounds and gained it all back. i am struggling to lose weight but currently am completely unable to exercise at all because i can't go in the pool because of a rash/allergy problem they have yet to identify. here i am again going through more medical testing and the prednisone they put me on to get rid of the rash made me gain 10 pounds. as someone who is disabled, unable to work, socially isolated (except for the internet), and who struggles daily with how my life has radically changed since i became disabled and i look down the barrel of how my disease could progress, do i use food for comfort? yes i do. i work really hard not to and i know i need to work harder not to, but i fully acknowledge that i do. could i starve myself thin? should i become an anorexic? those are options i suppose. living on a severely restricted caloric intake for the rest of my life is the only option i have if i no longer want to be obese (and i'm talking 1000 calories or less a day).

my situation is one situation and it is a unique and complex situation. do i think everyone who is obese has such a unique and complex situation - no, but the truth is i don't know and it's none of my business and it's not my job to police them and force them to lose weight anymore than it is anyone else's job to do that to myself or others. and those who feel so freely to police fat people would likely be completely up in arms should anyone attempt to police their lives in some way.

we as a society seem to think it's just fine to hate on one group when we wouldn't allow or accept such hating on certain other groups. i will also repeat that none of these people who hate fat people or even the people who may not hate fat people but firmly believe it is very easy for them to lose weight so why don't they and if they don't they deserve to be treated the way they will be treated if they remain fat isn't about caring about the health and well being of other people. if we really cared about the health and well being of other people in this society MONEY wouldn't be the one thing that fuels everything. it certainly fuels the food industry which is poisoning everyone on a daily basis (EVERYONE - not just fat people!). if we truly cared about the health and well being of other people in our society we wouldn't allow so many children in america, land of obesity, to go to bed starving every night. if we truly cared about the health and well being of other people in our society we would not allow people to be homeless nor would we completely ignore the plight of the mentally ill. if we truly cared about the health and well being of people in this society we would not be just fine with inequality that exists and keeps getting worse between the haves and have nots in terms of access to health care, healthy food, education, safe places to live, etc. etc. etc.

all of this argument about caring about fat people's health and well being and being concerned about how much it costs the health industry is total bullshit. people who want fat people to lose weight want them to do so because they believe fat people are __________________ and they don't want to look at them or interact with them or sit next to them or see them eat or see them kiss or even see them walk down the street. it's all about aesthetics.

again, i'm not saying obesity isn't a problem. i am saying that there are a lot of overweight people in this society (you stated a statistic of 63%) and shaming them, berating them, bullying them, being nasty to them, talking about them, ostracizing them, refusing to treat them decently, etc. etc. etc. isn't going to change them. fat people exist and they are human beings with feelings, talents, flaws, hopes, dreams, etc. just like everyone else. just because someone is fat doesn't mean they are in any way less than anyone else. it just means they are fat. there are a lot of fabulous people in the world and some of them are fat! so what! let them be who they are and move through the world as they choose - JUST LIKE YOU DO.
816
May I just say how much I would love to be able to publish an essay calling my boss an asshole and then publish it online? Where I know he would read it? Ballsy.
817
1K before midnight!
818
Wow!!! The amount of comments on this crap article are as big as Lindy!!!!!
819
ok, a few points (which may have been covered somewhere, i didn't read all 8** comments. sorry!):

1. the double standard. no one tells thin lazy people they need to get up and exercise. because it's implied they are already acceptable so no extra effort needed. it isn't health, it's aesthetic. or possibly seeing a fat person taps into some unconscious fear of societal rejection and their own personal failures.

2. "open sores" and "rolls of flesh" being equally and intrinsically disgusting. what about examples of cultures across geography and history who have praised this body shape? no culture has ever been into open sore worship.

3. people are gonna eat too much, drink too much, do it too much, watch too much tv, collect too much shit, talk too much, work too much, blah blah blah. there's imbalance everywhere. if YOUR life starts going to shit and it's because of some imbalance, YOU can change it. no one gets it exactly right, ever. there's bigger problems in the world than how much someone weighs. look at your parents, or your grandparents, or anyone who's made a difference in your life. was it because they were fit and ate the right foods and exercised all the time? probably not.
820
Awesome! I have never been happier than when I threw aside my think is better brainwash and accepted my God-given curves!
821
My brother did amateur bodybuilding for a while. He regularly saw guys do half the workout routine that he himself did at the gym, and then go across the street to a fast food joint (a dairy queen, I think) and throw down a couple burgers and milkshakes. And they were in perfect physical condition. Meanwhile, he'd see others work their asses off, eat perfect diets, and lose in competitions because they had imperfect genetics.

Weight and body size are not 100% calories in/calories out. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has said this about his bodybuilding career. It makes no difference how much you excercise and what your diet is, if your genetics want your body to be a certain size, it will always move in that direction. You can fight it, but it will always default to what your genetics want your body to be.
822
you said this, and I confirm (now n = 2, that I know of) "Do you know what happened as soon as I rejected all this shit and fell in unconditional luuuuurve with my entire body? I started losing weight. Immediately. WELL LA DEE FUCKING DA."

i must add, nobody is gonna do it for you; do it yourself (too).
823
you said this, and I confirm (now n = 2, that I know of) "Do you know what happened as soon as I rejected all this shit and fell in unconditional luuuuurve with my entire body? I started losing weight. Immediately. WELL LA DEE FUCKING DA."

i must add, nobody is gonna do it for you; do it yourself (too).
824
@807 - I agree that weight loss at any cost is unhealthy, and nobody should adopt a diet of 600, or even 1000 calories. I think that a major contributor to the obesity epidemic is the vast amount of disinformation out there. Hucksters and snake-oil salesmen have a financial interest in selling their magical cure-all programs, and their prescriptions are often even more unhealthy than doing nothing at all.

I know that many people are offended by weight loss/fitness advice, so stop reading if you're not interested. I'm not posting this to show how great I am, I'm only putting it up because so many people have expressed frustration that nothing has worked for them in the past. My guess is that they're just not adopting a reasonable program. This is from personal experience, so it will not be applicable for everyone. In fact, I've found that what works for me changes frequently. An important factor is paying attention to what my body is telling me, and adjusting my diet and exercise plan accordingly. If you feel tired or hungry, adjust your routine. Here are my (hopefully) non-controversial tips:

1. Put far less emphasis on calories and focus on nutrition. Eat nutrient-dense foods (spinach or kale instead of lettuce, for example) and avoid processed and refined foods when possible. One large spinach salad per day with lots of other vegetables and olive oil will get you a ton of nutrients that you're probably not getting now. Maybe add a multivitamin as well.

2. Dietary fiber. Eat lots. Yes, you'll spend more time in the bathroom, but you might be surprised at how much weight you lose from this step alone. I won't go into the gory details, but we carry quite a bit of weight that's not in the form of fat, if you know what I mean. For me, this step was a huge revelation. I felt so much better after I started it.

3. Do NOT cut out all fats. I mentioned the olive oil before, but make sure you're getting plenty of good fats. In my experience, I've found that I feel hungry and tired when I've cut out all fats. Avocados, nuts, fish, certain types of vegetable and nut oils, should all be used liberally. I don't have data to back it up, but I believe that the lack of fats is a big reason why many diets fail.

4. Lift weights. People trying to lose weight generally seem to be focused on cardio. You don't have to go for a buff look, but muscle burns calories at rest, so you're not just burning calories while you exercise. Plus, you tend to see results after a relatively short time. You can't do situps and think that you'll lose weight in your gut, but it will tone the muscles and will improve posture. Seeing results has a psychological impact that encourages me to keep going.

That's it. People are pretty touchy in this thread, so I'll just restate that these are just a few ideas for people who are having trouble and might not have tried these before.
825
Lindy,
Thank you so very much for your story! This should be inspiring for all of us-fat.skinny,crooked legged,people with zits,bold ones,"ugly" by Hollywood standards and the list can go on....
I am a thin 39 year old woman that can fit in a small clothes easily and people advised me to go into modeling.I tried...Fuck it! There is much more to life than just being a model.And I love your comment on how deceiving the idea of changing appearance-changing life could be.I AM THIN AND PRETTY AND MY LIFE IS NOT EASIER--NO BETTER JOBS,NO BETTER CHOICES IN LOVE ,NO MORE MONEY .....THAT IS A MYTH !!! I am happily married with my second spouse and my first marriage failed because my ex husband loved me as an exotic beautiful bird to have and proudly parade around.If people want to improve their appearance that is good--they feel better and they have more confidence in themselves,but that will not automatically change their life and make it easier! And finally --what inside is more important than outside!BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE COME IN ALL SHAPES,SIZES AND AGES!!!!!
826
I remember my parents telling me to "finish everything on my plate" Now twenty years later, the theme is the exact opposite. I feel for Lindy and hope she gets the attention she wants from this article (and the one posted on Meta-Filter...??)

But, she should have worn the yellow dress to get the part for the live-action SpongeBob movie.

You ripped other women apart in your infamous review of SITC2 and now you gonna "pay what you owe" as the great Riley Freeman would say.
827
Absolutely awesome post. Anyone who wants the science behind fat and health - and a strong academic argument for why fat acceptance is supported by solid science, should check out this article called Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/9. I've also written a popular press book on the topic called Health at Every Size (www.haesbook.com) and there are plenty of free resources on the book's website. Rock on...
828
Just, xoxoxoxoxo. That's all.
829
LMAO! I LOVE the way you write. I have felt the same way.. My background real quick - I lost 100 pounds and now I do fitness modeling and figure competitions.... Its a whole new world to me but deep down nothing can change who you are. One of the most impactful things that my coach Sean Calder told me after I cheated on my diet swan diving into some massive feast was simply "no guilt, it is a waisted emotion.".. I got a free pass, it felt like forgiveness not only from him but from myself. That day was huge in my journey... Knowing that we screw up, it happens and to just keep living kept me from feeling the guilt and shame that had so many times foiled my dieting plans in the past.

So you, my new online blogger favorite... Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world. If there is anything I can do to help you stop the shame and guilt I will.

Fat girl turned Fitness Nerd - Tiffany Forni
830
LMAO! I LOVE the way you write. I have felt the same way.. My background real quick - I lost 100 pounds and now I do fitness modeling and figure competitions.... Its a whole new world to me but deep down nothing can change who you are. One of the most impactful things that my coach Sean Calder told me after I cheated on my diet swan diving into some massive feast was simply "no guilt, it is a waisted emotion.".. I got a free pass, it felt like forgiveness not only from him but from myself. That day was huge in my journey... Knowing that we screw up, it happens and to just keep living kept me from feeling the guilt and shame that had so many times foiled my dieting plans in the past.

So you, my new online blogger favorite... Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world. If there is anything I can do to help you stop the shame and guilt I will.

Fat girl turned Fitness Nerd - Tiffany Forni
831
@ 770 - How kind of you to suggest that Lindy learn to channel all that shame directed at her from the general public (because her body is somehow outside accepted 'norms') into helpful "hate and anger" at that very body. The very one that her brain rides around in all day!!

So helpful. And So Very Indicative of your complete inability to comprehend The Point of Lindy's piece.

I know it's the internet and they'll let Just Anybody up in here, but DAYUMMM some of y'all are some pathetic little toads. Thanks for making that so obvious to the rest of us!!
832
LMAO! I LOVE the way you write. I have felt the same way.. My background real quick - I lost 100 pounds and now I do fitness modeling and figure competitions.... Its a whole new world to me but deep down nothing can change who you are. One of the most impactful things that my coach Sean Calder told me after I cheated on my diet swan diving into some massive feast was simply "no guilt, it is a waisted emotion.".. I got a free pass, it felt like forgiveness not only from him but from myself. That day was huge in my journey... Knowing that we screw up, it happens and to just keep living kept me from feeling the guilt and shame that had so many times foiled my dieting plans in the past.

So you, my new online blogger favorite... Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world. If there is anything I can do to help you stop the shame and guilt I will.

Fat girl turned Fitness Nerd - Tiffany Forni
833
LMAO! I LOVE the way you write. I have felt the same way.. My background real quick - I lost 100 pounds and now I do fitness modeling and figure competitions.... Its a whole new world to me but deep down nothing can change who you are. One of the most impactful things that my coach Sean Calder told me after I cheated on my diet swan diving into some massive feast was simply "no guilt, it is a waisted emotion.".. I got a free pass, it felt like forgiveness not only from him but from myself. That day was huge in my journey... Knowing that we screw up, it happens and to just keep living kept me from feeling the guilt and shame that had so many times foiled my dieting plans in the past.

So you, my new online blogger favorite... Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world. If there is anything I can do to help you stop the shame and guilt I will.

Fat girl turned Fitness Nerd - Tiffany Forni
834
For those folks commenting that anti-smoking laws or drunk driving laws are somehow comparable to efforts to promote healthy lifestyle... hold on a minute. Such laws are motivated by first and foremost by PUBLIC SAFETY, not public health. A drunk driver can KILL me if I happen to be near him/her on the road. A smoker in the same enclosed space with me can make me sick or potentially kill me (e.g if I'm asthmatic or have some severe respiratory condition) me by forcing me to breathe their carcinogens.

A fat person's extra weight has ZERO EFFECT on my safety or health. They might increase my overall insurance costs, society's health costs in general, etc. but Lindy correctly shoots down that argument in her #3.

Now, onward to 1000!!
835
I realize this is too late, but @635, you think someone who is 5'9 should only weigh 120 lbs?!
836
Srsly, these comments (and I have now read 7/8ths of them) seem mostly divided into The People Who Get It, and the People Who are Frothing Mad At Fatties.

And I've seen the question asked several times, and not yet answered -- what is the source of all this vicious hatred for strangers who carry extra fuel on their frames? You Hate Possessors aren't nearly as good as examining your prejudices, beliefs and motivations as you are at attempting to deconstruct what you perceive to be the failings of strangers. Why All The Amped-Up Hate?

The intensity of the anger expressed here leads me to think that the source is just simple fear and insecurity on the part of the H8rs. Is that really it, that y'all are so quakingly afraid of carrying extra weight yourselves that you lash out and project all your inner squicky fears onto others whom you perceive to be easy targets? Isn't that what they tell us about society's views of the homeless, for instance - that people become so freaked out about The Homeless because, secretly, they are afraid of ever becoming homeless themselves? That really, a lot of people know deep down that they themselves are only a paycheck or two away from being homeless... (that they are only a few weeks-of-lax-eating away from muffin-topping over their own jeans...) and that they just can't handle the proximity to what they perceive as utter lack of control and/or personal failure?

You (many!) folks who didn't understand Lindy's article: she's not talking about the extra fuel on her frame, she's in fact talking ABOUT YOU and What The Hell Is YOUR Problem Anyway? She assures you that she does not need your help with HER problem, but she'd really like for you to, perhaps for the first time, consider YOUR PROBLEM.

Not ---> her problem. No. Let's instead talk about YOUR FRICKIN PROBLEM. And what is at the root of the intensity. And why you can't shut up about it. And WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S BODIES ANYWAY??

Do you get it now?
837
Lindy, it's similar to what happened to me between marriages. At first desperate for a partner, went on many first dates-not often asked for a second. Gradually inner voice changed and told me I was just fine and didn't NEED a man, though they could be entertaining. Suddenly there were *9* guys ranging from 15 years older to 15 years younger than I vying for my attention! After several weeks of exhausting dating (NOT bedding) and then working during the day, decided to cut some loose, reached for phone, and it rang-first guy I'd been planning to call, the oldest, cutting ME loose for much the same reason. Shortly thereafter, met Tom, and we were best buds for 18 months before we fell in love. I was finally ready. Btw he's 9 years younger. Younger is better. Just sayin'.
838
I've always been heavy, and up until a few years ago shame and fear of jugement were exactly what was *keeping* me from the gym. Then I applied to study abroad, was told I was going to France, and the prospect of being fat in a truly skinny country got my ass moving. In the year before I left, I started exercising on the elliptical, tracked my food and got down do 225lbs from 275--at 5'10", I can carry it reasonably well, but I was definitely NOT skinny.

While I was there I lost another seven pounds, but this time without any specific diet or exercise. Sure, I was walking absolutely everywhere, but the French are famous for having tons of butter everywhere, and cheese and wine and bread (some of my greatest and most delicious downfalls). But for some reason, despite doing NOTHING purposeful to improve my cardio or strength, I continued to lose weight. But I also lost a lot of the strength and endurance I had gained in preparation for the trip...

So here's the real anecdote. As soon as I got back to the US, two things happened. I started working out again, and I gained weight. Now I'm training for a 10k and taking two ridiculous fitness classes (my roommate, who use to do cross country, calls me a masochist) and I weigh 235. I'm healthier than I've ever been in my life, healthier than most of my friends no matter their size, and am still a size 14/16/18 depending on the brand and cut.

The mental health thing is a HUGE deal for me. The fact that we focus SO MUCH on physical health, or perceived physical health, to the point of harming each others mental health, is the biggest problem I see with this whole mess. Obviously there is a certain point where you simply can't be heavy and healthy at the same time, but that doesn't mean those people deserve your judgement or that it's okay to treat them as second class citizens in any way. We have heard it ALL before, and obviously it hasn't changed what some of us are doing.

My physical health is all about my mental health--as soon as I focused on wanting to be healthy, not skinny or pretty, the motivation was there. I stopped stepping on the scale every day, and simply made it a priority to take time to treat myself well, whether that means a few more minutes in the shower, or going for a run, or sitting on the couch and catching up on House. Slowly, exercise and good food became motivated by the same reasons I floss and wash my face twice a day. This is the only body I have, and I want to take good care of it and revel in its power and beauty. Once you begin to perceive treating yourself well in EVERY way as a selfish and fun act, and that you DESERVE it, you're JUST as entitled to feeling good as anyone else, it isn't so painful--it can even be fun. Finding healthy AND delicious recipes is a game that I always win. Last night, I sauteed up a chicken breast with crimini mushrooms, garlic, artichoke, and a bunch of spices. Tell me that doesn't sound DELICIOUS! And super healthy and cheap, once you've invested in the spices.

Also, the idea of having one completely guilt free "cheat" day a week is magical. Just one day where I get to eat and drink whatever I want is enough to keep me positive and excited about healthy food the rest of the week, usually because I can instantly feel the difference in how bloated or just kinda "off" I feel, which is enough to curb the cravings until next week when I dive into the happy hour fries and ranch at our local dive bar with gusto.

This is just what has worked for me. Just know that no matter what your size or health level, you are completely worthy of treating yourself and your body with respect, whatever that means to you.
839
I love the Stranger, love a lot of Dan's advice, but his attitude here is sadly ignorant for a man of his obvious intelligence. (And no, I don't think most of this debate has to do with health - last time I looked, none of those picturesque descriptive terms for fat people were in any medical dictionary - it's about personal disgust. There are many 'facts' about this so-called obesity epidemic and its so-called health consequences that don't bear examining anyway - if you bother to look them up. Funny how many people are so worried about swallowing the crap the fast-food industry produces, when they swallow the more evil crap the body-hatred (aka 'weight loss') industry feeds them without a burp.

Lindy, you rock, and the next time this Brit is in your beautiful city, I owe you a coffee, or whatever you're having.

And, everyone else? Either you already know this or you need to know it: In the phrase 'fat people'. the most important word is 'people'.
840
Hello, you are gorgeous. I've never been into fat shaming, but I always had my worries about the health side of things. No longer. Thank you.
841
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS ARTICLE.

My favorite part:
"2. You are not concerned about my health. Because if you were concerned about my health, you would also be concerned about my mental health, which has spent the past 28 years being slowly eroded by statements like the above."

You're amazing.
842
This article was fucking *great.* Haters are always going to be haters. That's okay. I'd far rather be fat than them, because fuck them. If someone doesnt want to sit next to me because ZOMGFATTY they're doing ME a favour, because the last thing I ever want is to be exposed to that kind of bigoted, insensitive asshole anyway.

It might be hard for me to find pants that fit, but you know what? Being fat is the best idiot shield anyone could ever have, because it ensures that my friends are my friends because of who I am and not because of how I look. For that, I am immensely grateful.

Thank you, Lindy.
843
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS ARTICLE.

My favorite part:
"2. You are not concerned about my health. Because if you were concerned about my health, you would also be concerned about my mental health, which has spent the past 28 years being slowly eroded by statements like the above."

You're amazing.
844
@ 836, their hate is probably rooted in an ages-old taboo against overeating, which used to be necessary because it was as recent as 40 years ago that we could experience food shortages in the USA. And not long (in terms of human existence) that famines could happen almost anywhere.

I haven't read the book others have recommended upthread ("Why We're Fat"), but "The Omnivore's Dilemma" touches on this, talking about how the policy of crop subsidies (particularly for corn), coupled with advances in farming that allow for crop yields nature never intended, has flooded this country with excess food. The author mentions the theory that excess biomass (as all this food is) has to be consumed somehow, and it's led to our ever-increasing food portions, as has the "super size" phenomenon with also got started in the 70s.

So, basically we have more food than ever, and since our metabolisms haven't adjusted, we're eating more than ever because that's what we're biologically programmed to do. But the hatred you ask about comes from the old ingrained taboo, something which isn't easily dispensed with just because the situation which gave it birth is completely changed.
845
also @800 for the WIN!
846
@836..and thank you for taking the time and energy 'splainin it all over again.
847
Thank you for saying this, Lindy! You are fantastic and you are right.

Dan keeps disappointing me. I know that shock-jock sensationalism sells and I know that people have a tendency to cling to their prejudices and cry tears of denial when someone points it out to them because nobody wants to admit that they might be a bigot.

Do we hold Dan to too high of a standard? Should we just accept that he has as much right to be a small-minded, prejudiced bigot as anyone else?

Maybe so. But, then, if that were true, he probably wouldn't be much good as an advice columnist, would he? Dan should be held to a high standard. It's in his job description.

And the next time he tries to claim he fat-shaming because he cares and wants to encourage people to change, remind him that that is the same excuse that ex-gay ministries use. It's bull when they do it and it's bull when he does it too.
848
Seconding riz, that is some fine reiteration @836, merry!
849
Hmmm I wonder if the reason former fatties who are now skinny are such assholes is because they think they can exact revenge on humanity after all those years of torment with impunity or because they are HUNGRY?
Just look at Ricky Gervais...funny, but a total asshole now.
Stay fat Lindy, I bet you'd be an insufferable bitch if you were thin (and not in the good way you are now) ! <3<3<3
850
Jesus Mary and Joseph! We are going to see 900 if not 1000 comments on this post aren’t we? A nerve has certainly been struck.
At 48 years old I’m 5’4 and 135 pounds, and I too labor under the delusion that if only I weighed 125 or less my life would somehow be perfect. When I was Lindy’s age I ate whatever the hell I wanted and weighed 105. I couldn’t sit on a hard chair because it hurt my tail bone and the only bra that fit me was a training bra. I couldn’t wear bangles because they fell off my wrist, but could get them up over my elbow to my bicep. All my life I hated my ass, and now that I really have one, I, as a gal staring down the barrel of 50, am getting so much more play than I did at 28 and a buck five. But you know what? I still wish I weighed that little, and that’s fucked up. Even though every day my boyfriends tell me how hot that booty is, I’ll never believe it. Well you know what? Fuck it. Reading this thread yesterday triggered so much fear and self loathing, I skipped breakfast and ran on the tread mill for an hour and a half. Today me and Boyfreind #1 are going to go eat cupcakes. Rock on Lindy.
851
This is a beautiful piece of work, Lindy West, and so are you.

Cheers!
852
Wow. This is very important, it makes my misty. Btw that's a hot pic ;) Being born a bio female with one arm, I have issues with the normative beauty ideal too. I am 31 and am still working on loving my otherly abled body.
853
Impressive - not a whole lot of multiple comments here, and not too bogged down by just a few "slogging" at each other. A real community effort.

This is my third post, and again I've enjoyed the many long heart felt annecdotes and personal revelations (like #838 above). I'm seeing more that I agree with, and I'll add that I feel there is a societal tendency for the lowest common denominator to get way too much attention. In this case, we are blasted with technology that seems to emphasize a certain body weight and shape: "Here is the ideal we all must strive to attain". Bullshit, and bigotry.

You can be concerned and supportive of someone struggling with health issues without the moralizing shame regardless of what they are struggling to overcome (weight, acne, cancer, AIDS, nicotine, alcohol). AND you can be polite and truly helpful and not hurtful. If society were picking on another group, would many of these hurtful comments be the same? (Well, maybe nicotine and alcohol and drugs, but I really don't think so - too much emotion here with the fat and the food and the sex and so on.)

Let it go and let it be. Thanks Lindy for opening this can o' gummy worms - good therapy for lots of commenters.
854
you're clearing not healthy, and self justifying being lazy and not taking care of your body
855
closer!
856
You are. Awesome. Sauce.
857
lindy, we're friends. we hang out every now and then. not regularly, but enough that i would be embarrassed to actually tell you who i am. i want to confess something anonymously...

the other day, i said something similar to what dan said about worrying about my fat friends' health. i have a few fat friends, a fat mom, fat aunts, uncles, cousins, my partners a little overweight, and i worry about all them, for all kinds of reasons. but also because their fat and i don't want them to die early because of it. i even used you as an example when i was talking with my partner about people i love that i don't want to see go early. i thought it was the right thing to feel and say.

i see now that it's been culturally ingrained in me to think that way. and that way of thinking is terrible. after reading your article, i a) feel like a dick, b) understand why i am wrong for thinking that way, and c) am eternally grateful to you for opening my mind.

thanks, lindy. you are a good friend and a good person, and that's all that really matters. But it doesn't hurt that you're a great writer too.

p.s. i hope that one day someone will write something similar to this for people with small dicks like me...
858
@37
My point is: you don't get to say "Being fat is like being gay" when in reality you have complete control over being fat.

Amen.

@853

Most homeless people are disgusting drug addicts. I feel no sympathy. They should all be wiped out and welfare done away with... or at least reformed to not focus on the breeders, drug addicts, and crazies... give money to people that actually matter, like those who lost their jobs in the recession. It's easier for someone who chose to do drugs to get housing and recovery help than someone who doesn't and lost a job... and I think that is retarded.
859
PS Lindy--You have nice legs. I like how your outfit & shoes show them off. Nice shoes, too.
860
Just doing my bit to reach 1000 ...

You look good Lindy! My wife is same height and build as you. She feels the pressure, even tho' she knows that I don't care. I like her curves, I think she's beautiful, and I just want her to be happy.
861
I am pretty sure Lindy didn't write this to solicit a bunch of "you're so hot," "nice legs," "I'd hit it" etc etc comments. I know you're trying to be nice but you're really missing the point.
862
After re-reading this post and reading the links provided, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and help hit 1,000.

I don't understand why anyone would want to not think about their eating habits as it can directly effect your health.

I had a serious emotional addiction to food and only cured it by doing the Master Cleanse for 5 days. It was a decision I made after an older friend of mine looked at me very seriously and said "honey, you are way too young to be overweight". That is a true friend and it took some serious balls (she didn't say it harshly, it was sincere and shocking to me to hear that from someone point blank).

I didn't do it for the weight benefits (I did lose about 10 pounds and continued to lose weight), but for the ability to step back and really look at how I ate. I used food to socialize, attempt to expel negative emotions, and as a method of self destruction. Those 5 days completely changed my life. Don't get me wrong, I still think about my weight, I think about it everyday just not in the same context. They are positive thoughts, not self shaming acclimations or "I need to lose ____ pounds, then I'll be happy" kind of thoughts.

I eat much slower now and finally started listening to my body when it tells me I'm full. So I eat 1/3 of that delicious bacon cheeseburger, and box the rest for later. That's how you continue to live a full life while being a healthy size (and BONUS: I save myself time and money on that next meal if Mr. B0t doesn't get to my leftovers first!)

Everyone deserves to be happy, no matter what size, shape, whatever. It just seems people who are too thin/large are very unhappy and typically project it onto others. This piece seems to be that kind of projection.

That's just my experience. I hope Lindy continues to love herself and maybe sheds a few more pounds so I can stop worrying about her keeling over.
863
Comment #837 was only directed at Lindy's article, not knowing at the time it was from THE STRANGER. Having now read most of the preceding 836, here's my weight loss story, too, though I realize no one's reading anymore. Hefty after divorce, I started eating whatever I wanted when I was hungry and always stopped when I'd eaten a total mass the size of my fist, except at big deal family food celebrations, where I would overindulge that day ONLY-lost 37 pounds in 8 months that way. Stayed comfortably at 107 until allowing a now-nameless chefly boyfriend to overfeed me. Fell in love with Tom & lost the extra by the time of our wedding. We had a son. It took 25 years to shake 17 pounds of baby weight, but I'm 5'2" and 116 now for over a year.
864
Also, Dan Savage is a textbook case of someone who is keenly aware of every injustice that affects him personally while being equally oblivious to every injustice that does not.

AKA an asshole
865
firstly, the well-wishers who're assuring lindy that she's beautiful and sexy are very sweet but are missing the point. don't assume she needs your approval because she's fat. that's lending credence to the idea that fat and beautiful are mutually exclusive, and they're not, and one can assume she knows that.

as well, everyone who finds it appropriate to decree that lindy would be more attractive if she lost 100 pounds or whatever is also blitheringly, astonishingly, eye-punchingly missing the point, which is that it is not lindy west's, or anyone's, job to give you a boner. the only thing she need to do is stay norwegian and die. you're saying, excuse me, i don't know you, but i'm looking at you and i don't have a boner right now--you need to do something about that. it's the exact same thing as men in bars who tell me that i'm kinda pretty but i'd be much hotter if i grew my hair out long because they like girls with long hair. won't someone please think of the boners.

lindy's body, like mine and everyone's who dares to leave their houses with regularity, is none of your fucking business. if you have a problem with the way anyone's body looks, it is YOUR problem. understand that.

i say this as a woman who was obese as a kid, who starved away about 80 pounds in high school, then gained back about 60, then lost the 60, then gained and lost and gained 30, most recently over the last three years. i'm currently 5'11" and 190 pounds. i eat very carefully, i go to the gym religiously every other day, and i don't own a car and walk/bus everywhere. i weigh about 60 pounds less than my mother and my sister, who never walk anywhere and who eat whatever they please, like thin people and/or people who don't give a shit about what their bodies look like. they eat like everyone who isn't fat is allowed to.

more specifically, they eat what their husbands eat. which is the reason i keep gaining that 30 pounds back again and again--i enter into domestic relationships with people who aren't concerned about their weight. my boyfriend is 38, 5'10", 170 lbs., and he would eat nachos and jimmy john's for every single meal if he could. our metabolisms are different. he has no interest in eating lentils for dinner with me, because he can pretty much eat whatever the fuck he wants, and he will stay average-sized forever.

when he's sitting in front of the TV scarfing down chinese food and i am famished from living on leaves and birdseed, it is really fucking hard to resist the smell of food that tastes delicious. try doing this, if you haven't before. go on a 1500-calorie-a-day diet and live with a guy who puts cheese on everything he eats and sticks it in the microwave before he eats it. and who never gains a pound. take a whiff and then go hide in the bedroom and write angry comments on newspaper blogs instead of eating it. because you're fat and you don't deserve to eat delicious things.

why do i bother with this self-torture bullshit? 'cause unlike lindy, i don't love my body. i cannot fucking stand being heavy, and i am doing everything i can to lose this weight, yet again. there's tremendous social pressure upon me to be thin, especially because i'm a woman and it's my express purpose to be sexy to strangers. i know i'll be yo-yo-ing like a moron for the rest of my life.

like, i pride myself for being smart, talented, funny, stylish, kind, charming, for my dozens of other fine qualities, but the idea that my naked body could disgust total strangers trumps them all.

and christ jesus, i hate that i care. i'm doing this for jerks like you and dan, who might not want to look at me in shorts or sit next to me on an airplane. it's an appalling injustice to myself. you can't win.

when you're thin, it is really easy to look at a fat person and say, "well, that person is just lazy and greedy. look at me! i'm thin! tra la! how hard can it be!" (it's even easier to do it when you've never been fat.) i know this because, even when i'm thin, i sometimes find myself quietly fat-shaming others, because it's totally socially acceptable, and even encouraged, to do ridicule fat people.

if and when i do it, it's high treason. it's me saying, "i dislike things about myself, but at least i'm not fat anymore, which i really disliked."

the fact is that you--and i--don't know why people are fat. period. you don't know how much of it is genetic, or if they're on medication. you don't know if they've recently given birth. you don't know if they have a thyroid disorder, or an injury that prevents them from walking, or crippling depression that drive them to comfort themselves with food, or if they are survivors of psychological trauma and/or mental illness that makes them unequipped to follow a diet and exercise plan. you have no idea. it also doesn't matter. it's not your place to decide whether they're OK or not OK.

and if you don't know why a person is fat, and you tell that person that it's their job to lose weight because your sensibilities are offended by looking at him or her, then not only do you have no idea what you're talking about, but you're also a callous prizewinning asshole. this isn't a living room that you can redesign because you don't like the drapes. it's a human fucking being. who, as lindy pointed out, is already being crushed by shame all day long and doesn't need your help to feel shitty. everyone else in the world is already hard at work on this endeavor, thanks.

but more than anything, his or her body is NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. thin or fat, tall or short, long-haired or bald-headed. who are you. how dare you.
866
@865: Epic. Testify!
867
>>"Do you know what happened as soon as I rejected all this shit and fell in unconditional luuuuurve with my entire body? I started losing weight. Immediately. WELL LA DEE FUCKING DA."

I can think of some very good reasons why this might happen, such as the way that depression leads to less activity and more sleeping in the first place.

Or the way many people turn to food and/or booze as a response to depression.

Or the way that being ashamed of your body leads to covering yourself in more layers of clothing, which keeps you warmer and thence discourages you from baseline physical activity which would warm you up further. (Tricky thermodynamic/psychological point, but AFAIK and IME true.)

There are so many ways in which our mood affects our behavior... and reinforces what Lindy said above about mental health.
868
I think the best sentence Lindy wrote was this one: "I am not making excuses [for my body], because I have nothing to excuse." If anything, the onus is on the anti-fat to explain why Lindy needs to be providing an excuse. And one minor critique: healthy people whining about fat people inducing a rise in insurance premiums can be analogized to a bunch of situations, not just childless taxpayers helping to fund schools. For example, people in safe neighborhoods paying for police officers in dangerous ones; non-defendant taxpayers helping to fund public defenders for the poor; helping to pay for the local library to buy some books in Spanish, even though you don't speak Spanish (or use the library, perhaps); . . . My point is just that however the anti-fat see fatness--i.e., a choice, genetically determined, determined in childhood, laziness---you can probably come up with a good analogy to rebut them.

Keep it up, Lindy! (love love LOVE your film reviews)
869
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Thank you for reminding people about their prejudice and warped standards of beauty. You make me proud of my gender!
870
@865: I hope you find peace. You deserve it.
871
Ok Lindy and fat people everywhere, among who I used to count myself. Here's my two cents. It's not ok to be fat because you suffer needlessly. You spent the first part of your article discussing the shame that you feel. You mentioned the health argument. This is MY experience. I'm a health care provider, an acupuncturist, to be clear. What I see every day, are people who are fat who can't get pregnant, or can't get out of a chair due to knee pain, people who are yoked to high blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, metphormin for diabetes, pain killers for their pain, CPCP machines for sleep apnea, AND the shame you speak of. They have a lot of excuses, why they can't quit drinking soda (which by the way, I honestly do believe has an addictive quality), why they can't walk their dogs, why they can't hit the gym, even though they pay for the membership. I see people who suffer from the side effects of said drugs, diarrhea, breathlessness, insomnia, constipation, depression. If they lost the weight, they could get off the drugs, a half hour walk per day has been shown to reduce depression, 30 grams of fiber a day could resolve their constipation. And THAT is the reason I don't think it's just ok to be fat. It's not ok. When you start to lose your vision from retinal neuropathy from years of high blood sugar, or start to see your friends die from heart attacks in their 50s, and when YOU get nerve pain in your in your feet and start looking for a cure, you'll be sorry you didn't address is sooner. And this isn't coming from a place of judgement or concern about my insurance premiums, it's honestly coming from a place of compassion. I tell all of my patients, every day, 'unless you WANT to pay for my summer home, stop drinking soda today". It's not ok Lindy, becuase you are the person that's going to suffer, not me.
872
It is okay, Lindy and if your article helps even one fat child accept them self as they are then it was well worth the effort. Hmmm I seem to recall saying the same thing when the It Gets Better project started. It seems that some people who rightfully find the bullying of gay and lesbian youth to be repugnant think that bullying and belittling fat kids is just fine. Maybe someone should start a Youtube channel to encourage self acceptance for fat kids. I know that when I told my fat nephew that his school mates were wrong to bully him and that he was okay as he is that just one person validating him gave him encouragement.
873
@ andrew - You do know it's a scientific fact that it is more difficult for women to lose weight than it is for men, don't you?
874
Another thing I wanted to mention was sustainability and consumption. I don't know the numbers for men, but for women of average weight (and this will vary depending on height), the daily calorie consumption is 1200-2000 or so. Those who are overweight tend to consume A LOT more than that. If we were to arrange, on a dinner table, the amount of food eaten in one week by an average size person alongside the amount of food eaten in one week by an overweight person, the difference between the piles would be significant.

Fattening foods tend to be processed foods. Processed foods tend to have a lot more packaging. They tend to require a lot more resources that go into their production, compared to the growing of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and the like. Eating healthy - and wisely - is better for the environment. It is simply more sustainable.

We cannot afford to merely think of ourselves and our feelings. We can't just say..."fuck it I'm going to eat whatever I want whenever I want to, and everyone else has to live with my decision". Well, you can say that if you want to...it's a free country...but it's not responsible or wise. We have to think about our actions, and the consequences of our actions on others and the rest of the world.
875
Lindy you ROCK! Yes! Thank you!!!!
876
And this just in....strokes are rising dramatically in young people, directly linked to being overweight: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110210/ap_o…
877
Well said, Lindy. From one fat girl to another: thanks.
879
Health risks of being overweight:

increased risk of premature death
increased risk of heart disease
increased risk of stroke
increased risk of diabetes
increased risk of developing cancer
increased risk of fatty liver disease
increased risk of gallbladder disease
increased risk of breathing problems
increased risk of arthritis
increased risks on expectant mother and baby
and more...

Source: http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/risks…

So @857, you were not wrong to fear for the lives of your overweight friends and relatives. It's scientifically proven that being overweight (just like being underweight) is unhealthy.
880
@878 your penis is so tiny that an ear canal would be too big for you.
881
874: Links or it didn't happen.

It isn't necessary to eat like a pig to gain weight. If you are eating one percent more calories than your body needs, your body can continuously squirrel away that one percent extra, resulting in constant weight gain which over time accumulates to unreasonable proportions.

Second, unless you are prepared to profile everybody to determine their absolute minimum daily intake, and wag an admonitory finger at the skinnies who eat more calories than they absolutely need (and get away with it, because their fat storage routines are lazy) as well as overweight people, your environmental concerns are crocodile tears. You don't get to just presume that if a skinny person isn't gaining weight he obviously needs every calorie. Either you carefully measure and ration everybody, or you admit it's a red herring slathered in bullshit sauce.
882
I should clarify: I'm not claiming that overconsumption isn't the root cause for a lot of obesity. In this land of 64-oz Big Gulps and SuperSized fast food that pack two days' worth of calories into one meal, of course overconsumption is entirely too easy to do, and a lot of people overconsume without thinking about it. It's just that it's not like skinny people are thin because all of them abstemiously count their calories. You see plenty of rails at the Burger King with fries and a shake, and nobody is accusing them of overconsuming. Some people are lucky enough to have metabolisms that don't hold onto excess food.
883
@874: Presumably you are thin, yet you are undeniably full of it.
884
Just my two cents...I don't think being "fat" is a choice, but I do think that we have constructed very narrow definitions of what "healthy" looks like. Also I guess basic reasonig skills are no longer nurtured because people automatically interpret an article on acceptance to mean "GO EAT ALL THE ICE CREAM AND CAKE POSSIBLE!" That's missing the point...the point here is about how media and consumerism has turned us against each other and turned us against ourselves. If you're not skinny enough then you're cerainly not rich enough and eeew poor people! Ew people wearing last season! Ew people driving practical cars! Our society has devolved into shaming restraints and the notion of community (An evolutionary trait that helped us not get eaten by lions) has been lost...especially in te US where our divisiveness keeps us docile to a government that is quietly taking away our rights. Go ahead and judge fat people...I'm judging you because I drive a nicer car...I mean, if you just worked hard enough you could drive one too. Aaand I also wanted to point out that while I do have that nice car I'm kinda into preserving the environment for us all to enjoy. So I commute 90% by bike..in LA...where everything is 10mi apart minimum..I eat very lightly (my fridge is sparsely populated)..I'm 4'10 and 140lbs...supposedly "fat"...but I'd like you to try to tell me I'm gonna get diabetes with a 20mi round trip daily bike commute. I'm never gonna be "skinny"...when I was skinny it was cause I was puking up every meal..because since I was a kid I had been shamed into hating and attempting to destroy my healthy body. Okay that was more than two cents...blame inflation.
885
Wow. Lindy writes an articulate, detailed, compassionate article about how and why it is not OK to hate on fat people. After which, a bunch of hateful bigots write in to tell her what they think of her body, health, diet, exercise plan, and lack of moral fiber!? Really?!

Haters: Are you punking us? Or are you just that stupid?
886
So far, all the links provided are generalized conclusions that excessive weight can increase the risk of. Well that tells me nothing. Is it a marked increase? Is it one of many factors? (hint: yes) Is it like how going outside without sunscreen can increase your risk of cancer? So far I haven't seen anything that isn't confusing correlation and causation or giving actual details. There's a HUGE difference between a potential risk factor and an actual direct cause and affect.

Also while *I* and apparently one commentor here knows more about BMI, that is *NOT* how it's used in a majority of cases. Also I think if a more detailed study was done into the increased insurance rates relating to obesity, it would be linked to doctors ignoring symptoms and problems because the patient is fat and assuming all illnesses come from there when a majority of the time fat is a symptom of a larger disease. In which case being fat is deeply connected to these health risks, just not necessarily as a CAUSE but an indicator of potential problems.
887
Male, 5'10, 270. Reporting in to say thank you, Lindy.
888
Stay off slog for one day and missed a shitstorm. Lindy <3 and thanks to Kim (in P), Ann (in M) and Canuck for particularly insightful comments.

Really interested in Dan's response. Hopefully he's posted somewhere above.
889
@881 and 882 -- It's true that some skinny people are naturally skinny without trying. (They should still be responsible for what they consume, and it doesn't give them an excuse to eat shit.) I'm one of the thin people who has to work hard to maintain my weight. I count my calories every day and rarely consume processed foods. My body likes to gain weight, so if I wasn't disciplined with this, I'd easily be about 20 pounds heavier than I am. And I have been 20 pounds heavier, following the death of my father...when I was eating to mask very difficult emotions.

I saw a nutritionist once who said that the correct weight is the weight at which we feel the most comfortable. Do you really feel comfortable walking around with 280 pounds on your skeletal frame? I'd imagine that it isn't very comfortable, and when I was just 20 pounds overweight, I remember feeling more pressure on my knees and generally uncomfortable in my skin. Anyway, this nutritionist said that she uses the idea of The Hunter Weight. What this means is...if you were a hunter and had to move quickly and efficiently around the terrain, what weight would you need to be? You cannot move quickly or efficiently with several pounds of excess weight. Neither can you move quickly and efficiently if you starve yourself and do not get the proper caloric intake. I like this idea. It has nothing to do with cultural standards, fed largely by Hollywood. Most of us here can agree that the Hollywood standards are bunk and need to be dismissed. This is about health and what's best for the individual and the planet.

Also, if you see a skinny person eating a burger or pizza or something like that, it may be the only thing they've eaten all day. If I overindulge, it gets added to my calorie count, along with everything else, and I compensate by not eating as much later in the day (or the next day). Nutritionists will often recommend that people on a restricted diet have a "cheat day", where they can indulge in fattening foods and/or go over their calorie limit. I do this as well, as do many others I know on a similar eating plan.

Here's a really helpful resource. It's how to find the right weight for your height: http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/pub…

This isn't rocket science.

Here's an article called "Carbon emissions fuelled by high rates of obesity": http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/20…
890
First, I congratulate you Lindy for overcoming stigma and insecurities and to come out 'fat an proud.' Second, thank you so much for the education - I especially like the "Thin Privilege Checklist." It will be an important component in something I hope to put together about privilege and racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, able-bodiedism and now physical appearance and size-ism.

But I have to say that what you cite as being Dan's fat-sins do (mostly) appear to be tepid. Maybe I should accept that you actually work for him and much more of Dan's fat-ism comes through in person.

Regardless, best of luck in this endeavor. Sadly, more voices on this topic are needed.
891
@ 888, not a peep from Mr. Savage as of yet. I expect him to do his own post (why respond in the comments when you can keep your name in the "most commented" section?) on Monday, and I expect it won't be anything that he couldn't have said earlier, weekend or no.
892
And instead of calling each other "haters" and "stupid" etc. etc...can we please just dialogue maturely? Is that so hard to ask? I'm talking to those on both sides of the argument.
893
@ 890, those of us who have read Savage a long time know that there are many, many more examples than what Lindy provided (as she said, she didn't have time to find them all, but I'll corroborate that they're out there - and in at least one of his books, too). Rest assured, I'll take a fat person's word about how she feels when she hears them over a fit person's take.
895
I have a query which hits upon something I've never understood about the fat "haters."

Why is it when fatties get so fed up with all the shaming that they proclaim "OK, I'm going to get SURGERY to get rid of all this fat!" The common response is outrage because "THAT'S CHEATING!"

That response is counter intuitive and on the surface seems hypocritical. Please enlighten me.
896
No fucking way am I going to read all of these comments! What I want to know is if Dan chimed in at all on this?
And I have to agree with all the other commenters who said you look good in that photo!
If you feel good, roll with it!
897
@896 No. Dan has been mum this entire time. I'm expecting (hoping) for some sort of screed tomorrow.
898
Thanks, Lindy! Like patriarchy, fat phobia hurts everyone. I've always been skinny but have been literally terrified of gaining weight since middle school due in large part to attitudes like Dan's--and I am not in any way a "silly, suggestible" person, whatever the fuck that means. I'm a lot healthier now than I have been in a while but still have a lot of internalized body hatred and anxiety that I'm continuing to work on, and reading pieces like yours is enormously helpful in my struggle to overcome my fat prejudice. Thank you for your courage in writing this. You're a fucking inspiration.
899
Shoulder to the wheel. Over the 900 hump.
900
Wow. 900 and rising (even if 450 of them have been "lose weight e-z here's how" knuckleheads).
901
How do you DO that, gus? You are like eBay sniper...you got 600, too, no?
902
@893: Matt, you wrote: "Rest assured, I'll take a fat person's word about how she feels when she hears them over a fit person's take. "

My problem with this is that there are many here in the US who sit in a 'ready-state' to be disrespected about whatever. I think it is part of our culture of victimhood. So while I will take it at face value that Dan was a jerk about this, I think it is important to attempt to objectively evaluate what is being said.

I could easily say that you are homophobic because of the way you responded to me on this thread, but it wouldn't be true.

Last year, I was riding with my husband on his motorbike in Barcelona. He was driving and at every red-light, he would stop and then turn to face me to chat. I told him to pay attention because the signal was going to change. His response was that I shouldn't worry - someone would honk and let him know that the signal had changed. And that is their approach because they don't live in the ready-state like we do.
903
Back for a bump +2, and to say that Lindy, your post has been a revelation to me. As a former fat person who struggles constantly with weight and food, I wish I had your gumption, sass and self-love.

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