Hello, I Am Fat

Comments

101
Even though Dan Savage and the rest of the confirmed fatphobes will no doubt maintain their "My mind is made up, so don't confuse me with the facts!" position, I applaud you for saying what you've said here. Somebody needs to speak truth to ignorant, rock-headed power, even if it's covering its ears and chanting "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-L-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU!!!!!"
102
Halle-fuckin-lujah. Thank you, Lindy!!!
103
All I can say about the photo of Lindy, in my sexist non fat acceptance way, you are attractive, and would be much more so if you lost about 100lbs..

Do women have a more difficult time in losing weight than men? yes they do. However sticking to a program and not looking at crash diets and intense exercise are the answers as much as eating better, exercising regularly and looking not “dieting” but eating better, while keeping one’s caloric intake under 2000 calories will help.

I try to be fat acceptance, and I have battle my own weight problems in the past, but I found eat better, and daily exercise will shed the kilos. When the next post is about the hamburgers you are eating, there is a problem.

I think Lindy can lose the weight, and it should start now.

I am not trying to be mean. If I wanted to be mean, I would say to Lindy to continue with your status quo.
104
If anyone wants to listen to a radio documentary about this kind of thing, you gotta check out, Thinness and Salvation:

http://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/librar…

It’s pretty clear that Americans are fixated on fat. But conversations about weight are often about much more than health; they’re about deeper personal, social, and political questions. In Thinness and Salvation independent producer Sarah Yahm interviews everyone from Christian dieters to California foodies to fat activists and tries to untangle what we talk about when we talk about fat.
105
@93, you idiot: "It's a free country" means that the rest of us are also free to point out what a douchebag you are, and talk shit about YOU. "It's nobody's business what comes out of anyone elses [sic] mouth?!?!!?" It's a BLOG, and these are COMMENTS.Your ass is a hat, and you wear it proudly.
106
Being excessively skinny or excessively overweight is bad for your health. No reasonable person should disagree with this (and so far as I can tell, Lindy isn't).

Dan stating that rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly isn't a fact. If he had instead said "many people find exposed rolls of flesh unsightly," it wouldn't be polite, but I would agree. That's neither here nor there really.

Losing weight is possible for any of us. It is far more difficult for some than others, but it is possible for anyone. I used to be overweight and managed to get thin. It was my choice and I'm glad that I made it, and I'm glad that I continue to make it. It requires sacrifice, working out 20 hours/week on top of a full time job eliminates the opportunity to do a lot of other things that I would enjoy. That probably sounds miserable to a lot of you and that is OK, it is my choice, and I enjoy it.

My point is that it is a choice, and it is a choice that each of us is free to make. If someone makes choices that lead to being overweight I fully endorse and support their right to do so, I simply ask that it be acknowledged as a choice. Take ownership of who you choose to be. Lindy, you choose to be the fantastic beautiful funny person that you are. I'm happy for you.
107
Great, you feel better. Can I have my civil rights and get married now?
108
Only in America.
109
And another perspective to add to the mix:

Why I'm Fat-Positive
https://yrwelcome.wordpress.com/2011/02/…
110
THANK YOU for saying what so many of us have said to our computer screen, but not to Dan (and others who think like him) directly. I love Dan--I truly do--but his sizest comments have upset me for quite some time. As a Seattlite and regular SLOG reader, I have often been tempted to drop by one of the Slog Happy Hours or partake in the various activities that Dan hosts around town. In almost every instance, however, I picture Dan greeting me with a smile and internally telling himself how disgusted he is to see "my rolls of fat." That alone, leads me to scratch Stranger outings off my list. Yes, I could just suck it up and go--but I respect Dan and applaud the work he's doing in terms of gay rights/sex education--and there is nothing worse than being judged by someone you look up to. So thanks Lindy, for speaking out and for clearly articulating what a number of us non-skinny SLOG readers have been thinking/feeling for years.
111
I am going to print this shit out and tape it right next to my mirror, is what I am going to do. Lindy, how did you get so awesome? Are you going to be teaching courses in this anytime soon? Because if so, I would like to get a leg up on studying for the entrance exam, which I'm assuming involves some kind of flaming-javelin target competition.
112
lindy - you are hot. in a number of ways...
113
Lindy, this is awesome.

I'm one of those people with a thyroid condition (and one that isn't 100% helped by medication because my body as trouble absorbing the medication) who, despite eating well and exercising regularly (1-1.5 hours in the gym five days a week), will always be fat. At one point in time, I was so desperate that I was hardly eating anything but a tiny salad twice a day (I found out later that I was clinically undernourished), and not losing a pound.

Now, people don't see all that just looking at me. People see fat, and assume they have the right to judge my moral character, my intelligence, and my worthiness to breathe the same rarified air that they do.

Dan, I love you, but you have a blind spot in this one area. We all have them - mine is people who are motivated primarily by money. I judge them, their moral character, and their right to breathe the same rarified air as me. I admit it.

Admit your blind spot. I for one won't think any less of you as a person.
114
I know lots of people who feel the same way not about being overweight, but about being obnoxious pricks. That's fine, but just as you have the right to eat or act the way you like, everybody else has the right to have whatever opinion of you they want.

Not that it should matter to you but you don't look near that heavy.
115
Thank you.
116
I was fat. I was unhappy. A lot of this was prescribed to me by society, sure; I felt I was invisible to a lot of people. I was a thin child, a chubby adolescent, & at 19 was 200+ pounds. I, too, spent many nights wishing away my excess body weight. I tried silly diets or bogus workout regimens, without luck. I was sick. I moved to Seattle four years ago with romantic notions of starting over. So I did. I stopped drinking soda, eating whatever the hell I wanted (I love sugar & carbs, it's true.) I started taking the stairs. I didn't have a television or a car, so I walked everywhere--I had a whole new city to explore. I worked out five times a week, merely an hour out of a time. I pushed myself but I never killed myself at the gym. My workouts also included dancing poorly, hiking, playing in the park, swimming. I never starved myself. I learned the value of home-cooked, well-thought out meals. A year later, I had lost 60 pounds. I was fit, which is different than being just thin. I had more energy, felt better about myself, & saw my health improve dramatically. Since then, I've also been too thin. Going to school fulltime & working fulltime, I depleted my energy & didn't fit enough meals or workouts into my day, & I dwindled. This felt terrible. This is when I got the most compliments, of course. Let it be known: "You are so skinny" should not equate to "You are so pretty." My weight has fluctuated a little since I lost the bulk of the weight, depending on how well I treat my body. Weight shouldn't be an absolute indicator of health. But health & well-being is important. I'm glad I didn't accept my weight as was four years ago. I was filling my body with junk for no reason. Weight should never enslave anybody. Being too skinny or too heavy isn't healthy either way. There are a lot of terrible messages out there that confuse this message. You should never measure yourself solely by the number on the scale, but how it truly feels to be inside of that body.
117
@110: Yes! Same here! Slog Happy is one of those things that sounds like fun, but wouldn't dare do while packing extra pounds, for exactly the same reason.
118
I do have to love how people think their own experiences are universal. I'm not obese or anything, but I do have to watch what I eat or I will blow up like a balloon. I have skinny friends who eat MUCH more than I do (of the same type of foods I eat), who are convinced that I must eat at lot more than they do.

@103 (and all the others with similar comments) - it's possible that Lindy does not care what you think.
119
Fabulous! Thank you Lindy!

I have a big ol' girl crush on Dan Savage but one thing I've never been able to get past his is fat-bashing, which he claims is not fat-bashing. I have never understood how such a smart, insightful man could not see how his writing about this harms people.

Congrats on being BRAVE and UNSTOPPABLE and writing the truth. You're my hero!
120
Oh Lindy. we all know you're too good for the Stranger, but I'm gonna miss you when you go. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
121
Right. Fucking. On.
122
I've been "overweight" since I was 10 years old. When I was in the 5th grade my mother, who we later came to conclusion was projecting her own insecurities, began commenting on my inability to fit into the same size clothes as everyone else. By the time 6th grade rolled around, I was on a 1000 calorie diet. I want you to imagine that. A growing young girl, an obvious early developer (I was 4'' taller than any other girl), and a shy thing living in Southern California, denied proper nutrition out of guilt and shame over my body. For all the "health" b.s. you'd like to throw at me, I was on a swim team, played sports, and only had a sweet tooth (BECAUSE I WAS A CHILD).

After that I was crippled. My emotions, insecurities, health, and self image were a vile wreck. I could not walk into a shopping mall without breaking down into tears. Sobbing in the dressing room was a normal occurrence. I assumed all boys found me revolting, never finding out until later that 80% of it was self-projected. If I showed you a picture of myself at this time, you would wonder why. I was 13, but I looked like a curvaceous 16 year old. I was 5' 11'', size 8, and 38DD. Sure. I was abnormal for my age group, but I was normal for a fully developed human being. Which it turned out later, after I binged in secret from my mother out of rage and shame, after I learned the art of lying and deceit to steal money for extra food, that if my mother (who was at a very healthy weight and simply had insecurities) had simply removed a bit of chocolate to keep me balanced, I would have been absolutely normal by the time the rest of the girls caught up.

To this day, despite the extra poundage, I am in good shape. My blood work comes back fine, I got a breast reduction to ease lower back pains, I can climb any mountain or stairs without dying, and I'm much stronger than most people I know. I am 250 pounds. I am proud that I managed to pull myself back from years of depression and loathing to a point where I can at least function. (Malls can still be daunting)

I don't expect anyone to find me attractive, and am always surprised when someone does. My body image is still screwed up, but I'm working on it. Like Lindy said, it's mine and it's not fair to make me feel like scum because it's somehow revolting you. Look away and leave me alone. But if you're wondering why someone who is overweight gets really emotional when you trot them out as some kind of whipping stick, this is why. Sure, obesity is something many people can change, and sure, there are many health risks attributed to it, but pulling up one hated/feared/oppressed group of people to defend your own group is a shit tactic. "Well if they hate US, they should hate THEM". In a community of acceptance and understanding, the ideal is realizing every case is different. Every person's reasons, excuses, or genetics are subject to their physical makeup, experiences, and point of view. Many things affect us that are completely out of our control.

Let gays marry, be accepted and be free. Please leave the overweight folks out of it. It is a completely different and incredibly hurtful issue (I'm sure all my LGBT buddies can sympathize with that feeling).
123
@37:

I think you're only partially right. Genetics has a lot to do with how much fat a person stores. For a person with that genetic predisposition to lose and maintain a thin person's weight is very hard to do. I did it once, and it took 6 hours of exercise a day along with a very strict diet.
124
At least you're not one of those fatties with small tits.
125
Lindy, you are awesome! Thanks for this!
126
That was lovely and refreshing. Thank you.

127
Fuckin hell! I think I gained weight looking at that shit. I suppose you can be comforted in knowing that you'd survive a fire...even if you didn't escape for like five hours. And you must save a bunch of money on winter clothes.
128
Considering that weight is the number 1 killer of Americans,as it has been linked to cancers, diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers and the list goes on! So yes, while carrying around that extra weight is YOUR choice, it impacts MY wallet as a result of the rising cost of health care. People that are overweight cause ENORMOUS amounts of local, state and federal tax dollars to go to them directly! You talk about only the Social Acceptance issues, how about the societal issues? How about contributing to the massive rise in healthcare costs? How about the BILLIONS of dollars that go to treat issues related to overweight people, that could go to Children's healthcare, fighting poverty, education, or transportation? Drop 25 pounds over the course of 1 year, by small steps and small lifestyle changes and you could help others!
129
you seriously rock! i am so glad to meet another woman who is not ashamed of her body. let's take over the world!
130
Being fat is perfectly acceptable. That said, celebrating your big fat body as a defining character trait is boring. People should be more interesting than that.
131
Lindy,

Thanks so much for writing this!
132
the very best.
133
As a long-time youth fat (through age 18ish) that got athletic lean (through 25ish) and then got extra-fat (through 35) and is still rather fat (as some of you that have met me can attest, Dom, Fnarf) who is working on getting back to lean and buff state and has seen how people look at you differently from both sides--even your friends--cheers, Lindy. I will say though, in slightly contrary tones to yours, that we should applaud who we are, but it's more important to applaud what we can be.

I'm circa 260-270ish I think now myself at functionally 6-foot tall. My goal is and remains at least what I was in my early 20s, wearing 34-36 pants versus 40s and wearing a L-XL t-shirt instead of a XXL. Cheer who really are all day, but we can't ever, never, ever let is be a crutch or excuse for what we can be. The minute we stop needing and wanting to grow we belong in the dirt.

Also: eat a goddamn burger whenever you need to. I still do, and am still losing weight along the way. In fact, I'm going to have a goddamn burger tonight at the Pike Bar & Grill.
134
Anxiously awaiting Dan's "links or it didn't happen" post.
135
@ 119, it's not that Dan writes about obesity. Obesity IS a national health crisis in this country. It's HOW he says what he says. The "eewww" factor. I presume he wouldn't say "ewwww" about how unfortunate bad acne is, or short people, or..pick one.

There are good messages in a lot of Dan's writing about obesity. I speed-read, & I must read like 20-some blog entries last night (gah). & he's gotten way better about, for example, guys who like bigger women, & how they deal with that, in his column. But generally that tone - ewwww - kills what nuggets of concern there may be.

It's someone's right to be repulsed by another person, sure. It's also that person's right to respond, as Lindy has here, fuck you.
136
Thanks Lindy, I fought this battle on Slog for many years before giving up. People claim to care about people's health or health insurance rate, but the bottom line is that they just want to feel superior. They say, "Just stop drinking cokes" and you say "I stopped drinking cokes two years ago." They say, "Get off your fat ass and go to the gym" and you say "I went to the gym 7 days a week for a year." You say, "I'm a vegetarian. I haven't eaten at McDonalds in 20 years." They say, "Put down the fucking nachos you fat fuck and use the fucking stairs every once in a while." I tried every kind of rational argument I could think of to point out that fat people try to lose weight, and most of the time fail, but still they try and for their efforts they get nothing but ridicule - even from this posse of nerds, queers, and freaks. In the end, I realized they would only be satisfied if you throw your hands in the air and say, "Fine. I'm fat. I'm disgusting. It's entirely my own fault. I could be thin, but I choose not to because I love being horrible and disgusting and then playing the victim. I'm so sorry I ever stood up for myself over what is clearly a huge flaw in my very being." That's what they want. So, that's why I stopped arguing.

I sent Dan an email once, quoting one of the awful, hateful things someone said to me on the comment threads from one of his posts. His reply via email, "I was fat as a teenager, so I know it sucks when people are mean. We're moving to registered commenting." He never popped back on the thread to say, "Hey people! Quit being shitty!" It would have made a world of difference. Oh well.

Thanks again Lindy. Hopefully I won't have to resist jumping into the fat fight again on slog. We'll see.
137
Lindy, you're amazing. I love you, lady.
138
This is beautifully put. It made my day.
139
Lindy, you are half right. Dan is also half right.

You are totally right about the whole shaming thing. It is useless, mean, and counterproductive.

But a serious discussion can be had about weight. The rate of obesity in this country has been steadily climbing for years. And obesity does increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and a host of cancers.

What I absolutely reject is the argument that heavy people "can't lose weight". That is bullshit rationalization. It is certainly true that some people have a much harder time losing weight and keeping it off than others, but anyone can lose weight.

It isn't complicated. It is third grade math. People don't become fat by magic.

If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. There are some other side factors, but the above two sentences are 95% of the battle. The only hard part is that most of us have no idea how many calories we consume on a daily basis, and most of us have little understanding of our own metabolisms and how many calories we burn on any given day. And we don't care to find out. But I guarantee you that if you burn more calories than you consume, every day, you will lose weight and keep it off.
140
Your desire to be a martyr is duly noted.
141
Thank you, Lindy. You're one of the funniest writers I've ever read, and the same intellect and insight that makes you funny serves you well in your more serious writing. It's an education to read your work. (Also, you're amazing on the FilmDrunk podcast.)
142
I was standing near you at the Bottleneck a couple of weeks ago. I was playing pinball and I didn't know who you were-only your bad-ass writing. I overheard you tell a story where you mentioned your name. First thought: she is fatter than I imagined in my own little "this is what the people on NPR and people who write for the Stranger look like" world. Second thought: she is hot. Third thought: it must really suck to have Dan Savage as a boss with his fat-hate. I even told a couple people this little vingette. That was before all this.

It takes true guts to stand up to a hater who happens to be your boss. It takes true guts to tell how much you weigh. It takes guts to write as good as you do. You are a hot lady with a hot mind and you write like I wish I could. Thanks for writing this.
143
Chiming in to say I used to be fat (and unhealthy) and now I'm thin (and unhealthy), and that the process of losing weight involved a lot of terrible eating decisions, self-obsession, depression, and being incredibly judgmental and dickish to people around me. It's a feminist success story!

Fat-shaming is a lot like libertarianism, actually--you act like the people who aren't doing well by the standards of your ideology are suffering because they're immoral rather than because of the consequences of what you're imposing on them.
144
Hey, I would totally hit that....

And, attitude is everything.
145
(D'oh, 135 was @ 73, where the hell did I get 119?)

So it'd be okay to say - gay people - ewwww? No, it's only "okay" to say fat people, ewwww.
146
Also: if you do decide to <-- thataway in the size wars, do what the sane people do and gun for the 1-3 pounds a month routine. It's safer, smarter, and long-term more viable. I've did the crash-loss crap once when I was 18. I ran till I literally puked, and in a couple months lost a ton. Then I got it all back, and did it right, and spent 1-2 years losing 40-50 pounds. It stayed off a long while (only coming back when I began smoking again) and I never once even felt starved or unhappy. Anyone who says we need to LOSE IT NOW or any Jillian Michaels-type Biggest Loser bullshit is a lunatic. I'm on like 3-4 year 80+ pound road at the moment. Unless our doctor tells us we need drastic measures or we're in "trouble", slow down, enjoy life, eat the good food, and let it sort itself gradually and in the healthiest ways possible.
147
@134 Anxiously awaiting links.
148
Lindy, you are a hot babe. I have always thought you were one funny, sexy bitch. I also have a particular fondness for Paul Constant, who has also written about his appearance in the pages of the Stranger. I call him my "Stranger Husband". I see you both on the street sometime and I feel....weird. Like seeing a celebrity but better. It makes me feel a little smarmy. Fuck smarmy, you're hot.
149
Lindy,

Loving yourself is the best part about being alive. You don't need to change a thing if you don't want to. I have struggled with accepting myself and still don't. I have lost weight and gained it back, but a healthy state of mind might be the hardest thing to accomplish. Go get 'em!

Also, I think this trumps your "Sex in the City 2" review... by, like, a million times or something.
150
"Dan stating that rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly isn't a fact. If he had instead said "many people find exposed rolls of flesh unsightly," it wouldn't be polite, but I would agree. That's neither here nor there really. "

Yeah, Dan (and you, I presume) would also find a person in a wheelchair, a Little Person, the elderly, etc UNSIGHTLY, but not dare write about it in a nationally syndicated column. . .but those things aren't a "choice" and therefore off-limits, amIright?
151
thank you for writing this. i've been trying to accept what i look like for a long time.
152
Spokane @118: "I do have to love how people think their own experiences are universal."

No shit. Except I do more than marvel at it. It drives me batshit crazy.

For fuck's sake people learn to realize that there is a huge difference between individual experience and population level data.

Just because you lost xx pounds means jack shit to the overall pool. Trotting out your personal story may make you feel righteous, but makes me think think you don't know the first thing about basic epidemiology and aren't worth paying any attention to.
153
Ah, Lindy I love you.
154
You are so awesome, Lindy! Well said.
155
Also, "fat size" isn't indicative of shit beyond the taste of the people looking at you. I had a pretty extensive health review done in January, including a full heart scan, and other things, and despite smoking on and off my whole life and non-stop from late 2000 until January 2010, while carrying as much as 300 pounds at my peak weight, my heart was perfect and my resting heart rate was good, as was my cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure--everything. Aside from the extra raw poundage, I was fine. The numbers in fact were nearly unchanged from and a bit better from the last time they were done up circa 2007, when I was really fat and smoked like a chimney.

That fat person you see on the street may be in better shape than you are.
156
Oh, Lindy, you had me right up until the end, and then you ruined it by saying that the result of your acceptance of your fat body is that you're finally losing weight. So I guess the lesson here is that if fat people really started loving their bodies then the weight would magically start to fall off. I know that wasn't at all your intent, but there it is, right at the end, undermining your entire thesis that weight doesn't and shouldn't matter.

And Lindy, and I mean this kindly, I urge you get your blood sugar tested on a regular basis. You have much the same body shape as I do: busty, slender calves and ankles, excess weight carried above the hips, and when I was your age I weighed 170 lbs (at 5'5"). Ten years later I'm 220 with diabetes. If diabetes isn't in your genes you're not likely to develop it until much later in life no matter how much you weigh, but if you have a family history, then you will develop diabetes (or gestational diabetes when pregnant) sooner or later no matter what you do, but delaying the onset is the best thing you can do for yourself and weight does play a huge part in that.
157
LINKS for @ 147: No problem. (sorry for the repost, folks who read this already in the "RE: Ban Fat Marriage comment thread.) -

Obesity is something Dan has discussed many times in a thoughtful way, such as this:

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/01/obes

That's a simple truth: better foods - veggies vs. fast food - & working out = weight loss. 100% agree! & obesity is a big problem in the U.S. Where our fast-food eateries go overseas, obesity follows in their wake.

There's a buncha times where Dan's sense of aesthetics seems to outweigh the concern -

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Savag

This addresses both health issues & "aesthetics" (fat rolls are unsightly, Dan says):

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Savag

Now, do I think men or women should be wearing fashion crimes against nature? Of course not. But there's plenty of people who find the sight of two men holding hands, kissing, etc, gross or unsightly to look at. You'd tell 'em to look somewhere else, wouldn't you?

This is an interesting piece about how folks in the fat-acceptance movement don't wanna acknowledge eating disorders:

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/10/big_

This one points out how f'd up it is that fat folks sometimes have problems getting good quality care from their doctor:

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/01/toda

The comment thread on this post (to flabby arms? Sooo 'funny'!): http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/01/to_a

- contains what I think is the root of most folks's problem w/ the bitchy tone Dan employs when discussing fat people. Dan asks his readers, frequently, to support gay rights & causes (most folks reading Slog already do, I'd bet). But -

"Why should I care about gay bashing/hating if gay people like Dan Savage don't care about bashing/hating on fat people like me? I'm speaking hypothetically of course.
Posted by Kristin Bell | January 27, 2008 12:25 PM"

Is the below thoughtful or pointmaking?

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive

Thankfully I couldn't find that vacation photo of the couple standing in front of Dawn, just the back of them/their asses, in some Midwestern state. (Missouri?) That was way more ha-ha, fatties, than helpful for sure.

Folks who have read all of Dan's books point out that obesity runs in his family & he was chubbier as a teenager. This would explain a lot. I feel dan's heart is in the right place, but the desire to be funny/snarky turns out mean, obscuring any helpfulness to be had.

If you run "savage" + either obese, fat, fat ass or obesity on the Stranger search engine, you come up w/ an awful lot of hits. I found the mentions to be more balanced than I expected, but there was a lot of 'em, & some were very mean-spirited.
158
Thanks LIndy - I am by no means a fat acceptance person. I would love to lose weight and have done so over the course of many years only to gain it back thanks to various factors (some of which I will admit have to do with being such an awesome goddamned cook). But I refuse to stop living my life because I'm a little overweight and someone else thinks I shoudl feel shame for that.

@29 - Lindy is not saying it's "OK to be morbidly obese." She spent the first paragraph talking about how she wants to lose weight. One of the points of this post (and a philosophy I've held onto dearly through my years of yoyos and various non-weight related sickness) is that we have to live in this moment NOW. So much of the female popular culture for fat women is based on some shit-ass "it Gets Better" philosophy that we need to sit on our asses at home, dress in muu-muus and subject ourselves to public shunning on the streets, just because we're fat. Fuck that. I want to live my life NOW. And if that means I want to get out have a run, go out and dance, sit down to eat a burger, well then I will. It's my right and my body. Public shaming does no good for anyone -neither the shame-ee or the shamed. it just keeps our minds trapped in a constant state of schadenfreude that somehow, someone is better than someone else. So don't think that just accepting where you are at this moment in your life, yet recognizing that you could lose some weight is thinking it "OK to be morbidly obese." are you that stupid that you can't understand nuance and have to break everything down as black and white?

Let's see the skinny people of the world have to justify to complete strangers what you eat every goddamn day, how much you exercise, blah, blah, blah and see how that feels? And why is it that people don't question whether skinny (or fat) people do recreational drugs, smoke, drink to excess or just had the bad luck of being born into a genetic history of Heart Disease/High Cholesterol/Diabetes/Arthritis, etc. when they make the health argument? It's a disconnect - just admit it, you don't like Fat. Big deal. That's your problem, not mine.

Oh, and @2, @9, @29 - you try taking large doses of Prednisone over the course of year and see how much YOU weigh. Sometimes, it really is NOT about eating Big Macs. What a tired, bullshit argument.

So ask yourself again, why do you have such vitriol for fat people? Oh, right - because you hate fat people! Can't stand 'em! Yuck! Just admit that and you'll be so much happier. Like me.

What Lindy said. FTW.
159
Your body's fine.

I think you'd be prettier as a blonde though.

160
Let me reiterate. This is not about obesity being "okay" or not. It's not about comparing the two. It's about realizing they shouldn't be compared. It's about realizing that many people look up to a progressive sexuality hero, and sometimes he needs to own up to the shit he says. It's about letting go of these rigidly held dogmas that are perpetuated by a broken society and remembering that on the other end of your biting and hateful criticisms, is another human being. Who doesn't deserve that. Who doesn't deserve to be dragged out to be stoned because they are gay, fat, irritating, different skin color, sexually promiscuous, hooked on crack, mentally unhinged, or just plain stupid.
162
Kaboom goes my brain at the wonderfulness. Thank you.
161
Gawd, Lindy, I love you. I would so ask you to marry me, if I were gay... and not already married.

I truly, truly adore and appreciate you.
163
I'm 5'5 and 135 pounds -- a healthy BMI -- but I often feel unhappy with my weight. 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). So, you're right Lindy. Getting skinnier won't necessarily make you feel better. I'm technically thin and I still have plenty of "fat days".

Thanks for this post though.
164
I have to disagree with one small point in your post, for which I suspect I will get flamed quite a bit... First off, I fully support people eating or exercising or weighing however they'd like, and although I may or may not find overweight or obese people more or less attractive than HWP people, I respect their right to live their lives the way they want. Open criticism by others is rarely helpful, and often quite hurtful. However, what I can't accept as OK is the airplane dilemma (which is also the bus/theater dilemma).

If I've paid to fly somewhere, I've paid a certain ticket price for a certain level of discomfort I'm willing to endure. I'm not rich, so I choose not to pay for the luxurious seats in First Class. Instead, I've paid for my little perch in Coach, which is just about big enough to not go insane. However, if an obese person is sitting next to me, I am suppose to politely let them annex as much of my paid space as they feel they need, or else I'm being an asshole. That's not okay. If you're on a plane and someone in the seat next to you asked you if they could lay their legs over yours, or lay their head in your lap, you might understandably have a problem with that. The same logic applies if you ask me to deal with your excess fat pushing me up against the fuselage of the plane, or out into the aisle.

I sympathize, I really do. I'm clinically in the "obese" category right now, and although I carry it well, I can barely fit comfortably into a Coach seat. I don't have a perfect solution for what is going to be a growing problem for the airlines in the U.S. But I can't accept that I have to give up half my already minimal personal space so the person next to me can use up 1.5-2 seats for the same cost as I'm paying for what is now 1/2 a seat. I just don't see how that's fair, and I just don't see how that's okay to expect from others.
165
I don't think number two is even a real comment. I run every day for half an hour and have for a year now and believe me, when you start, you can't just break out running every day! It doesn't work like that! Besides, you are the exact type of person she is talking to in this article!

LIndy,

I"m sure you've already heard this a bazillion times but Your points are solid, you covered all grounds, you convinced me and your hilarious.

I do personally think that being overweight is unhealthy but key words being "I" "I THINK" and "PERSONALLY." THe point is, your life is none of my business!!! As my life is none of your business.

And to all those crude people who think it is okay to talk to or about someone overweight like that, we are not just softie hippies telling everyone to get along, YOU ARE CRUDE!!! YOU ARE CAUSING PEOPLE DAMAGE!! STOP IT NOW.

So to end my rant, Lindy, thanks. Keep writing please.
166
I'm also kind of curious, looking back on shit like this:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Savag…

How is "obesity" being defined here, health-risk wise? I'm 5'3" and around 180 -- so I was "obese" around 10 pounds ago, but I'm not 5'2", 450. This is what skews obesity data so fucking hard. Not that the 5'2", 450 pound lady hasn't necessarily tried to not be 450 pounds, although I wish she'd stop using tired shit like "womyn."

And yes, @152! Totally!
167
I'm pretty sure Lindy isn't mad at people who don't find her attractive. I think it's about people that don't find her, and other "overweight" people, attractive, having a compulsive need to make the people they don't find attractive feel terrible about not being attractive to them. I don't find many so called attractive people attractive, should I attempt to make them feel bad for my objective view? .....and one more time, with feeling......ATTRACTIVE!

P.S. I'd hit that.
168
Woot!
169
Also @ 147. Another user posted this yesterday. Not all of it is Dan talking about fat people/obesity, but a bunch is. Some of it is folks's response to that.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=dan+savage+…

OK, I have logged entirely too much Slog time today. Off for sushi.
170
Well done LW.
171
Lindy, you are my hero. The wind beneath my fucking wings.
172
Fuck the fuck yeah, Lindy. This is amazing.
174
Lindy West, Seattle's Only Writer!

I love you.
175
@117 you've obviously never been to a SLOG Happy.
176
FUCK YES. I love you girl.
177
Love you Lindy!! You are cute, eloquent and awesome!
178
I'm clinically in the "obese" category right now, and although I carry it well, I can barely fit comfortably into a Coach seat.

I am at 46 percentile for weight for women, 99 percentile for height for women, 28 percentile for weight for women at my age, and I can barely fit comfortably into a US-based airline's domestic shorthaul economy seat either. Most men and women in North America who have seen me would say I am slim. People who use airline seat dimensions to determine who is fat and who is not are ignorant and/or bonkers.

179
HUZZAH FOR LINDY WEST!!!
180
@156 I do believe she meant the metaphorical weight being lifted off her mind and off her chest.
181
Lindy, I fucking love you. Keep on keepin' on.

love, a fellow awesome fat girl.
182
Lindy,, you started off kicking Dan's ass, I kept reading, you kept kicking. Good work.

Lost in the comments along the way a few folks missed the point about "shame" being communicated and how it simply does not help, and can simply hurt.

At a very basic communications level it appears that Dan simply does not know the audience he is messaging his "shame" toward.
183
This is amazing. You go lovely lady. May this be reprinted everywhere.
184
Most of this blog entry could be filed under "growing up female" as far as I'm concerned.
185
Never knew what you looked like and didn't care. You are gorgeous. Move to Chicago and marry me?

Oh, nevermind. I'm only 5'5"... nobody likes short guys.
186
YAY LINDY!!! MY CAPS LOCK CANNOT DENY YOUR AWESOMENESS.

And ps. as a med person, I can tell you that I am pretty much in total agreement with you. And it makes me sad that saying to another woman that I am content with my weight, and don't have strategies (such as drinking cups of hot water) to "reduce cravings" was taken as a radical statement. I'm not even fat! The shame, it infects us all.
187
Love you, Lindy!! You are cute, eloquent, cute, and accurate as hell about how it feels!!
188
I think I get your point. But just so we're clear, size is supposed to be everyone's own business right? As is food.

So if I, personally, want to lose weight, because I feel physically more comfortable and healthier smaller, I shouldn't be guilted for "buying into" the "framework". Fact: I feel happier and more comfortable 50 lbs lighter. I shouldn't have to justify that any more than you have to justify your weight.

And you may be tired of hearing about food, but food in this country is an major issue. We sell people cheap, crappy, unhealthy food in bulk. And I should be able to talk about that without anyone being catty about it. It is an actual health issue that we subsidize processed corn products in America.

Thinness CAN be a goal - it just shouldn't have to be. Basically what I'm saying here is that your own self-love has just a sprinkling of thin-girl hate in there (as does that link you provided at the beginning). Should probably work on that...because as you pointed out to Dan, no one wants to take your side when you've been hating on them.
189
@178: So would you argue that I should happily cede as much of my seat to the person next to me as they wish to take? No one's arguing that the airline seats are small, but that doesn't then automatically make it okay to just take the seat of the person next to you. Two wrongs seldom make a right.
190
Great job Lindy ! I hope this helps young girls reading this . Loved your statement that shame is oppression . You are a beautiful woman , inside and out :)
191
pps. YOU ARE TALL!
192
btw I think people are confusing thinness, fatness, and healthiness in here.

Thin is not healthy, fat is not healthy. And I'm sorry, but 260lbs is not healthy. Maybe you shouldn't feel ashamed, but you certainly shouldn't feel happy about it. Get yourself down to a healthy weight and have a long enjoyable life.2 years of hating yourself is worth living an extra 10 years due to a healthy heart, but that's just me.

Wouldn't you like to write for another 10 years?
193
Yeah.

You notice how good shaming fags works, right?

Ended HIV overnight.

#2 Actually, you're STILL a fat asshole.
194
Lindy, you hit him so hard you knocked ME out. I feel lucky to be here among the first batch of numbnuts who get to read your work these days. Thanks.
195
Thank you, Lindy. You are my new superhero.

As for Dan, you can fuck off.
196
I encourage people to try and lose weight if they ask, but there's a big difference between encouragement and shame, Lindy, you are very correct. Shame is what bullies use to get their kicks.
197
I don't understand the justification of being grossly overweight. When I buy a plane ticket, I do not want anyone's body encroaching on the seat for which I paid good money. I sort of care about your health, but I care more about the costs that are burying the health industry brought on by people who can avoid certain health issues, be it HIV (and I do think there is a HUGE difference between promiscuously fucking without condoms, than being infected by a supposedly monogamous partner, political correctness be damned), cigarette-related illnesses, or obesity. There is not a dichotomy between thin and fat, which is always the red herring fat pride people toss out. Find a healthy weight. Don't eat crap (the Dorito comment was really stupid if you want to look like someone with a glandular issue), dump the high fructose corn syrup and canola oil. Limit the bob bobs and booze. Fat people ALWAYS claim they don't eat much (I was married to one of those self-destructive assholes), but they do. They eat like pigs and often drink like sailors.

You clearly feel you have something to prove, and that is your right. But you come across as angry and bitter. Yes, you are fat. Yes, you CAN do something (other than bariatric surgery, the last resort of the lazy) about it, but you CHOOSE not to. Stop trying to justify your weakness by cussing out those of use who do not want to share our plane, train, or bus seat with you, and who do not want to subsidize your cardiac rehab when the inevitable occurs.
198
@164 Yes, thank you. Exactly my opinion and finally someone stated it politely.
199
Lindy, you rule the school! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for writing this!
200
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.