Hello, I Am Fat

Comments

702
Long time reader of yours Lindy. You write so well, I want to add my support.
703
Excellent!! Plus, I say to hell with free speech. Remove the negative comments to this article. Who needs to see more proof that assholes can write.
704
In a nutshell, I've been chubby, and average. Never skinny. Even when thin, my body proportions are not balanced well, and clothes never really hang on me right. So that's me and my shape.
The best thing about being a thinner weight, let's say average, is that you no longer think about food all the time. Like what you want to have but shouldn't, or what you had and regret, etc. You just think about other things instead. It's really a load lifted. To get an obsession off your mind is great.
The same thing happened when I got a nose job after high school. I just no longer thought about my nose ever. When I was younger I had my ears fixed because they were real stick out crazies. I never thought about them after that either.
Can you tell I looked a bit like a chimp, but with a large nose? You're close. I feel average now, which suits me fine. Right now I could lose about 20+ pounds to feel better. I think about food too much. But I remember how much better it feels to not think about food all the time. I heard bulimics, and anorexics think about food all the time too. It's sad to take up so much of your waking time, worrying about something that is (should be) a small part of your life.
705
700+!
706
READ MY LIPS: NO FAT CHICKS!!!!
707
Look, it isn't difficult to understand - obesity is going to bankrupt America thanks to medical costs. Obesity puts one at risk for a shortened and expensively maintained life. This isn't a "theory", people. This is a fact. Get over it and help the rest of us figure out how to save our country.
708
Hey rob! Glad to see you in the dog pile...and I hear what you're saying. I think there's a very real denial of just how much we eat, on average. I bet most people, if they had some magic calorie fairy measuring everything they ate, would be shocked. I'm sure I would.

(...and gus, the brisket was delicious! Cut it with a fork...who knew things other than tofu and twigs could taste good??)
709
Dan Savage's comments on health are often un educated rubbish and vastly out dated accusations,... bordering on dangerous. It's well known by educated Diabetes physicians and nutritionists, that for some people, being "thin" or in line with the BMI is absolutely, 100% DANGEROUS to your health and well being. How do I know this? I'm a board certified nutritionist.

For example, last year, I had a 265 lb, 6 ft 3 male patient who had, before seeing me, gotten down to 170 lbs in a year via a low calorie diet and exercise he followed in a popular "heath" zine. He was so mal nourished due to caloric restriction, he had borderline heart failure, and a vitamin level so LOW it had started to shut down his kidney function (he had an elevated creatinine and his pancreatic amylase and lipase function was at about 60%). I've seen this before. I forced him to IMMEDIATELY UP his caloric intake to 4000 calories a day and back OFF excessive exercise. Within 6 months, he was 230, and as healthy as a horse. That's 50 lbs over your precious BMI. Secondly, you don't always get diabetes, (specifically type 1) from being a "fatty" and over eating. Diabetes is OFTEN contracted via an auto immune response, and they're NOW finding is related to a possible rejection of the pancreatic insulin producing systems by the body, much like the appendix or in some cases, gallbladder and spleen.

YES, obesity is a factor if the body is under STRAIN (but there are medical tests to detect this OUTSIDE just looking at someone's "fat rolls). The increase in diabetes (particularly type 1 and 2) in healthy adolescents and teens, as well as healthy, THIN men in their 20s has shot up 600% in the last decade.

Why?

Well according to Dan's out dated research...which he felt compelled to publish repeatedly as some sort of half assed attack on overweight people, diabetes is simply, 100% related to obesity. Thanks for that Oprah observation Dan. Unfortunately, it's 1000% NOT true.

Recent research of the last decade points to the possibility that the modern body, JUST may be evolving and rejecting the insulin producing systems, much like the tonsils, spleen, gallbladder and appendix of our ancestors. Here's how it works: The liver releases a constant hormone known as glucagon into the body which the pancreas must counter with insulin. They're now finding that the body needs neither of these systems to survive.

LAST week, the Diabetes Clinical Master program published a study that showed when glucagon is suppressed in the liver by people who have an over abundant release of this chemical, NO insulin is needed in the body at ALL, AND the muscles and metabolic systems are able to process and use ALL foods ingested into the body without the use of insulin. This could be a revelation and potential CURE for diabetics and hypoglycemics (who are often overweight) the world over. It also blows the lid off conventional accusatory thinking that type 2 and the newer classified type 3 diabetes are a "fat persons" disease.

So again, we have two bodily systems which may be on their way out, much like the dodo, and all the while, slightly overweight individuals everywhere are reading people like Dan Savage's repeated pseudo health talks, getting ready to "diet" themselves into death. Again, this is just dangerous journalism and suggestive reasoning. It's best left to medical professionals, NOT a "Savage Love" columnist.

Looking at the photo of Lindsay, and her reported weight, she does not appear to be "obese", and, as a doctorate level nutritionist, making a judgment on someone's health based on the way they simply look is just laughable. I've seen people 50lbs over the BMI FAR out live healthy LOOKING people too many times to take the BMI with any seriousness.

"Fat rolls" Mr. Savage? Really? Did it ever occur to you for one second, that a body type described as such, may be the natural result of familial origins (say cold climate, Norwegian descent, etc?) and that forcing a body, who's natural equilibrium is comfortable at that weight, may in fact INDUCE all kinds of horrific secondary complications? The list of diseases a body is immediately susceptible to once mal nutrition sets in via forced caloric restriction is infinite and FAR more dangerous than being over the BMI.

Hospitalizations due to "crash dieting" or slightly overweight individuals trying to get down to the "magazine" standard weight are increasing exponentially yearly.

I'm a thin person, but I sometimes wonder if "thin" people say and post cruel things about the health and well being of seemingly overweight individuals (who, again, may simply be of a non standard body type) because they are in fact, so insecure, being thin is ALL they have left to cling to.

Sorry Dan, but as healthy as you are now, your chances of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver disease, kidney failure and alzheimer's by the last 5 year study are still 1200% higher statistically than Lindsay. Time to get off the high horse of your pseudo health conscious "imaginarium" and face the fact that we are NOT all created the same. That's kinda where unique beauty comes from in this world, which looking at this photo, Lindsay has in spades.
710
@#37

I am fat. I'm am fatter than the op. I'm the same hight but I weigh in at 280lbs, I eat super health, I exercise daily and I am still fat. This is not my choice. Ive tried numerous diet plans, lifestyle changes, prescription pills, I even cut down to 1100 calories a day while exercising and still I didn't lose anything. Trust me it sometimes is not a choice. I have hypothyroid disease which fucks with you metabolism. This is why I am fat. Despite people saying "Oh I have that too and I'm thin", or the fact the I take a pill everyday for the rest of my life to try and balance my thyroid levels. I'm still fat. Again not my choice. But people think that just because you're bigger your an unhealthy slob who doesn't take care of herself and eats nothing but greasy garbage all day long and sits in front of the tv all day. I'm very active, always have been and I eat very good so MY POINT is that I do not have complete control.
711
Get a glucose meter. Check your fasting glucose level and then check your glucose level about 45 minutes after drinking a big glass of orange juice or Coke or something similar. If fasting is over 100 or the impulse goes over 140, you are probably pre-diabetic or diabetic. That's why you're fat.

The solution, for me, was to stop eating anything that made the meter go over 140. For a couple of weeks that was very hard, but then it became very easy. It basically meant no more potatoes, pasta, or bread, even in small portions. On the other hand I can eat as much meat, cheese, and oddly alcohol as I like.

Eating to the meter is really easy. If you have any doubt about a food you eat it and test. 220 on the display is a really positive indication that you shouldn't do that again.
712
I figured this would be a good place to post that I lost 30 pounds in the last couple months. Excellent piece, Lindy.
713
Get a glucose meter. Check your fasting glucose level and then check your glucose level about 45 minutes after drinking a big glass of orange juice or Coke or something similar. If fasting is over 100 or the impulse goes over 140, you are probably pre-diabetic or diabetic. That's why you're fat.

The solution, for me, was to stop eating anything that made the meter go over 140. For a couple of weeks that was very hard, but then it became very easy. It basically meant no more potatoes, pasta, or bread, even in small portions. On the other hand I can eat as much meat, cheese, and oddly alcohol as I like.

Eating to the meter is really easy. If you have any doubt about a food you eat it and test. 220 on the display is a really positive indication that you shouldn't do that again.
714
The most important question in the history of human thought: who is and isn't fat.

Before the internet people published on topics like: why is society organized the way it is?; what the basic laws governing the physical universe?; what kinds of things can we derive from a few deceptively simple axioms?; etc.

Now, thanks to the internet, we can discuss what's really important: what upper-middle-class white intellectuals think about fat people and who is and isn't fat. I suspect the IAS will soon establish a school of "Who is and isn't fat" to go along with the other recent addition of Computer Science.
715
Thank you! I just retweeted this. @FatboyRoberts @portlandmercury @suzisteffen Lindy West has written "Hello, I am Fat" and it is GREAT. Read it. http://strn.gr/6716603
716
To the quitters who claim to not lose weight when they exercise: what's going on is a lot like the food you're sneaking day to day...ignorance/excusing/rationalizing.

Studies have shown (sorry, can't find link) that when new or temporary dieters work out, they justify eating things that they really shouldn't while dieting. "Well, I burned so and so calories, so this piece of cake is OK!" instead of taking the calorie deficit, which is necessary to lose the weight.

In addition, if individuals actually kept track of their calorie intake*, they would find, overwhelmingly, that they are underestimating the total caloric intake on a day to day basis. Then everyone gives up after a couple of weeks before positive reinforcement is demonstrated on the scale.

*nobody is saying you have to count calories and ~torture~ yourself for the rest of your life! After a while of doing it, your bahavior changes, your tastes change, and you don't have to think about as much as you did before.
717
All I can say is "you go, girl."
718
"I am a 23-year-old female. I am 5'4", weigh 115lbs, have a six-pack for abs, and have been complimented on my figure more than once. "

Call us back in 20 years after you've squeezed out a couple of puppies and let us know how the 3 cheese burger a week meal plan is working out for you.
719
In after shitstorm.
720
Here is another reason it hurts so much to be "hated" for being fat - because the haters judge SIZE above EVERYTHING ELSE that person is.

No matter what else that person has accomplished, no matter how much they give to others, no matter how smart, caring, creative, responsible, charming, entertaining, driven, productive or talented they are - in the eyes of the judgmental, they are WORTH NOTHING because they are FAT.

Yes, fat's visible and it's an easy target. But it's not necessarily evidence of laziness nor gluttony. Overeating and/or being fat can be the lesser of many evils...self-medication/protection to go on living after abuse - affordable, available "rewards" for a single parent who has chosen to be there for her kids/aging parents/two jobs/household responsibilities, etc., etc.

The bottom line, THERE IS MORE TO A PERSON THAN THE FAT ON HIS/HER BODY AND THE PERSON COUNTS MORE- regardless of how anyone else feels about that fatness.

This is the realization and basic human right that Lindy is declaring.

721
LINDY RULES!

Just gonna add/reiterate: if all fat people needed was ridicule (or shame), I'd be skinnier than Kate Moss. Ridicule, judgment and condemnation is ALL I've heard my whole effing life.

Once again: GO LINDY!
722
I am obese. I do not have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholersterol. The only thing I'm being treated for is DEPRESSION. I'm depressed because skinny assholes, including ones that eat nothing but crap and are somehow still beautiful, are telling me that I'm a disgusting, unlovable failure. If you want to save money on healthcare, start by minding your own business. Maybe if you people shut the fuck up I can have a healthy life.

By the way, skinny plus orange does not equal HOT. LAY OFF THE FAKE TANS, BITCHES.
723
So brave. Congrats, and thanks. <3
724
The title of this should read: "Hello, I'm morbidly obse."

I worry about you now and encourage you to visit the Pacific Science Center when they have up their exhibit on how heart disease is the #1 killer for women. You are beautiful, you are magnificent, but it has nothin to do with you looks honey! Your poor heart cannot handle that size for very long. Please please please seek medical attention before you have heard disease, diabetes, or any number of problems associate with being obese.

I also question why you would review food (or the stranger would let you, must be one helluva health care plan). If you are uninsured from The Stranger I would also lawyer up now for the lawsuit when you have the enivetable heart attack.
725
Be fat. Be happy. That's cool.

But don't tell me I'm part of some paternalistic conspiracy to batter, abuse, and marginalize just because I don't find this woman, or those like her, attractive. Men find her attractive? I'm sure a very few do, but most do not. I'm one of the many who don't.

Also, this woman's Sarah Palinesque victim schtick is false. She condemns those who try to shame her, but her entire piece is one long, profane and abusive shame dump against anyone who has the temerity to find her unappealing. Whatever crime Dan Savage is guilty of, this woman has topped him by a factor of twenty. She loves shame and finds it useful. But only when it suits her.

I find fat people physically unappealing. And I feel absolutely no shame whatsoever.
726
Just like it's somebody's "right" to be a fat-ass, it's also somebody's right to talk shit about that fat-ass. The fact is, in this society, in this world that we are living in, being fat IS gross. Maybe not for the few perverted chubby-chasers out there, but for the majority of the world's citizens, being fat is bad. And it's bad for many good reasons. You can snicker and whine and call people who talk shit about fat-asses assholes, but the reality is is that being fat is pure, unadulterated evidence that you are lazy and lazy is, or shouldn't ever be, never a good thing. I know, I know. "How do you know if I'm lazy? I am very active but can't shed the pounds." Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. If you were stranded on an island with little food and had to work everyday building shelter and hunting, you wouldn't be fat. It's UNNATURAL to be fat. Some animals gain weight for very specific reasons, i.e. a bear getting ready for hibernation, but are you a bear on the cusp of hibernation? No. You're a self-loathing, lazy, disgusting fat-ass. Shame on you for talking shit about people talking shit about you. And whether you like it or not, fat will always be viewed as bad, at least in your lifetime. So get with this program, you societal drop-out, or catch the next rocket to Mars. Adapt or die.
727
@709, Bravo! it's about time someone who, you know, ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT chimed in.

As a nutritionist, any other myths you'd care to debunk in this thread?

728
@709 Congratulations, you found a unicorn. BMI doesn't work for outliers, but outliers aren't common. By definition. It's easy to say that "BMI doesn't work for me", but how is that different from any other self-serving claim? It's not hard to identify people that are in sufficiently good (or bad) shape that they make BMI irrelevant.

@720 Is there any term more vapid than "fat haters"? Nobody thinks that you're worthless because you're (or I'm) fat. It's a particularly nasty social handicap, but it's not the only social handicap out there, and like everyone else you notice people who are unattractive, short, poor, ethnic, etc, etc, etc, and apply your own nasty prejudices accordingly.

@681, @729 Hallelujah. Bullying, ridicule, judgement, and condemnation are useless. Not to mention crass. That said, when someone writes Savage Love asking about their overweight partner whom they no longer find attractive, or are overweight themselves, or have unrealistic expectations as to whom they can or can't date, etc etc, that's something entirely different.

@708 Scales are your friend. Big shock for me. Do you know how small 50g of yogurt is? Or 150g of meat? It just blew my mind.

729
The comments on Lindsey's piece on Metafilter are worth a look.
http://www.metafilter.com/100491/Hello-I…
730
I meant Lindy, oops...
731
@ 725 - No, Lindy's piece is not against people who find her unattractive. You're allowed, of course, to find whoever the hell you want attractive. Freedom of choice! That's not the point. *re-reads* Nope! That doesn't sound like someone home on a Saturday night 'cause boo hoo, nobody finds her attractive (indeed, there's some fairly lusty comments about Ms. Lindy above).

What I got out of it is that Lindy is tired of the mean-spiritedness that folks will dole out on fat strangers, let alone people they know & care about. Dan & Lindy have a F2F relationship, & again, all the Stranger staff voices chiming in above says to me that other folks who know her & Dan IRL agree that his intentions may be good, but his disgust outweighs the good he is trying to do.

Look at some of the hurtful shit that has been said thus far, just above. Cunt, lazy, slob, etc. Name me another group of people it's "accepted" or "okay" to speak that way about or to - gays? Blacks? Short people? Folks with bad acne? No.

It's not like America doesn't have an obesity problem - we do. Jobs used to be much more physical. Now most of us sit at desks &/or stand straight up all day. Not as much w/ the harvesting, lifting, moving, etc. Also, we also have an incredibly fucked-up & complicated relationship w/ food. And not lots of time..none of which excuses personal responsibility. I agree with the basic GIGO idea - garbage in, garbage out, & giving my body close to the right amount of fuel for its needs. But that's my philosophy. If someone asked me for ADVICE, I'd discuss that further w/ them.

What Lindy is saying is, her body is her issue; not yours, & she's fucking tired of hearing everyone else's unasked-for opinion about it, even or maybe even especially when that shit-flavored disgust comes wrapped in a coating of seeming concern.

So amused at all the really brave swingers of keyboard balls in this message thread. There's the "I lost all this weight! so anyone who doesn't is a lesser being!" people. There's folks who've never been fat - easy to judge the shoes you haven't walked in. Then there's just folks who felt like harassing someone, & fatties usually shut up & take it, right? I bet 99% of you schmucks wouldn't dare put your legal name to most of what you've said here. Cowards. Keyboards balls.

There are some here whose language isn't belittling or bullying, though they disagree w/ Ms. West. Thank you for that.
732
For the record, also, Dan is spot on when he says that partners have every right to expect that their mates remain roughly the same people they started out with, barring medical issues, etc. Someone shouldn't bail at a moderate weight gain without trying to help, but once you have hooked up with someone you enjoy, you should maintain at least the personhood that attracted your partner. & Dan has shown evolving compassion for guys who like big girls & vice versa.

Again, careful reading shows Dan isn't mindlessly hating. Just, his choice of language does not succeed in covering up the contempt with which he holds fat people. & as Kim in Portland pointed out, his family has wrestled w/ obesity.
733
From the meta filter comments, by a poster named Cali:

"I think you could easily take what she's saying and generalize it to "shaming is hurtful and ineffective."
734
So, you guys want to take a little break, right? Just for a minute? I posted this in the summer, but it has over 6 million views by now, and it is 9 shades of awesome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iANRO3I30…

Then, you know, carry on...we've got work to do. 1000 comments don't just generate themselves.
735
So glad for this sockin' it to him. For all Dan does & says that rocks, "santorum" and all, this fatphobic thing is like some huge blind spot for him. THANK you, Lindy West.
736
I can see both sides. At 23 yrs old, I was 6'1" and 325 pounds. I can not remember a day that would go by that I didn't envy those around me. The guys that could walk around confidently at the beach or pool with beautiful girls, those that I would watch ride a bike in spandex nonetheless, or go for a run in shorts and no shirt. I realized that if I wanted to find a beautiful confident person for a mate, then I would have to be that person to them. Then one day, after consuming a large pizza for dinner followed by an entire carton of Ben & Jerry's and snacked on half a package of oreo's; I finally saw where I was going wrong. I researched everything about a healthy diet. After I got that under-control, I dedicated my time to learning exercise. I have weighed 180 for the past 12 years. No surgery or diet. Just a complete lifestyle change. I am happier and healthier than I ever have been. I am the guy who runs miles a day, rides a bike 80 miles in spandex. Only I am Irish, so my tans not so great. My only regret is I waited until I was 23. I spent my High School and college years being fat and lazy, and I only thought I was happy.

My one impetus: I love to run and play with my kids and I want to be in their life for as long as possible, and give them the gift of a long healthy life of their own.

I have dedicated my life to learning and teaching weight loss. I believe there are some disorders that cause weight to be an issue. Those account (by some studies) for about 2% of obesity cases. The rest is just typical Americans. Most anyone can change. They just have to want to, and want to more than anything in the world. If only for my kids.

737
I've been on both sides of the tracks and let's not forget that even if you are THIN that doesn't mean you are healthy. Look at most of the shit that's in food today...more of it is sprayed, chemical packed shit that shouldn't even be called food. Those chemicals build up in a fat person or a thin person, who maybe has a faster metabolism than a fat person, and what do you know, that person has diabetes, cancer, etc, etc...when their older, or sometimes even when they're 30! I knew 2 girls ages 35 & 37 that both died of the exact same cancer within a year of each other. And the Cancer Research centers are STILL trying to figure out how to cure cancer. Go figure. Please make your donations to them...they GREATLY appreciate it.:P

The point is, it doesn't matter if you are skinny or fat, I've been both and I was unhealthy at both weights. My diet is actually 'healthier' now at a heavier weight because i actually eat more veggies NOW than i did as a kid! However, I am still VERY addicted to the same sugars and garbage that I ate as a kid.

The reason it is so difficult for people to lose weight is because most of America is lacking BIG time the nutrients and vitamins they NEED. Our immune systems are shit. If we had the nutrients and vitamins we needed we wouldn't crave certain 'junk' food. Also, let's not forget that the food companies have made SURE that Americans have become addicted to food. Look at films like 'Supersize Me', 'Food, Inc', etc, etc...

And let's not forget the pharmaceutical companies. They love people sick and LOTS of those chemicals they prescribe make people gain weight.

So do i find it hard to believe that fat people have tried to lose weight and not lost a damn pound...not really.

Between the shit in our food, the fact that it's addictive (yes, it's addictive), the fact that we are lacking vitamins which makes us crave that already addictive food, and the fact that these chemicals we consume and work with daily fuck up our body, and make our bodies lose weight at a slower rate and hang on to fat, do i find it hard to believe people have a difficult time losing weight...(please refer above).
738
I've been on both sides of the tracks and let's not forget that even if you are THIN that doesn't mean you are healthy. Look at most of the shit that's in food today...more of it is sprayed, chemical packed shit that shouldn't even be called food. Those chemicals build up in a fat person or a thin person, who maybe has a faster metabolism than a fat person, and what do you know, that person has diabetes, cancer, etc, etc...when their older, or sometimes even when they're 30! I knew 2 girls ages 35 & 37 that both died of the exact same cancer within a year of each other. And the Cancer Research centers are STILL trying to figure out how to cure cancer. Go figure. Please make your donations to them...they GREATLY appreciate it.:P

The point is, it doesn't matter if you are skinny or fat, I've been both and I was unhealthy at both weights. My diet is actually 'healthier' now at a heavier weight because i actually eat more veggies NOW than i did as a kid! However, I am still VERY addicted to the same sugars and garbage that I ate as a kid.

The reason it is so difficult for people to lose weight is because most of America is lacking BIG time the nutrients and vitamins they NEED. Our immune systems are shit. If we had the nutrients and vitamins we needed we wouldn't crave certain 'junk' food. Also, let's not forget that the food companies have made SURE that Americans have become addicted to food. Look at films like 'Supersize Me', 'Food, Inc', etc, etc...

And let's not forget the pharmaceutical companies. They love people sick and LOTS of those chemicals they prescribe make people gain weight.

So do i find it hard to believe that fat people have tried to lose weight and not lost a damn pound...not really.

Between the shit in our food, the fact that it's addictive (yes, it's addictive), the fact that we are lacking vitamins which makes us crave that already addictive food, and the fact that these chemicals we consume and work with daily fuck up our body, and make our bodies lose weight at a slower rate and hang on to fat, do i find it hard to believe people have a difficult time losing weight...(please refer above).
739
@732: If you expect your partner to stay the same, you're either looking only for short term relationships or you're in for a shocker. People change. Their body shape my change, they will get wrinkles, their interests may change, etc. If you expect them to stay the same over the decades, you'll be sorely disappointed. It's possible to retain a somewhat similar body & face with enough surgery, but to expect that seems rather ridiculous.

The folks commenting about the "but fat is baaaad and you all don't have willpower" clearly didn't bother comprehending the article. I don't care what your judgement is about fat. Keep it to yourself unless I ask you how to lose weight, or why you look every so svelte. I couldn't care less about your weight. I expect the same courtesy from you about mine.
740
"THERE IS MORE TO A PERSON THAN THE FAT ON HIS/HER BODY AND THE PERSON COUNTS MORE- regardless of how anyone else feels about that fatness. "

Not when it comes to who people want to fuck and who they don't. You're a good liberal, don't you believe in our evolutionary prerogative to find healthy, attractive mates to breed with?
741
But...look at what a fantastic conversation Dan has started. This is why we need him. This is why the Stranger and Slog are one of the best things we have going. Lindy, you are awesome and beautiful and thank you.
742
The whole "raising my premiums" bullshit is ridiculous. I am 300 pounds, 24 and 5'9. I do NOT have diabetes, hypertension, or any of the typical ailments of obese people. I pay my fuckin' insurance premiums every month, and RARELY go to the doctor. Normal checkups, and for the occasional sinus infection. And it's none of your fucking business anyway. You don't see me bitchin' about the cost of fixing your burned esophagus from all your bulimic episodes, or your hereditary heart condition. Live your life and focus on things you can change. Yourself.
743
My fat friends eat a ton more food than I do. Twice as much.

Cut out soda, candy, sugary breakfasts and you can trim a 1000 cals a day off of your diet.

744
How did the entire internet come to believe someone with a BA in Theatre is qualified to give advice about sex/life/weight/etc? Dan Savage is just some guy with an anus, just like the rest of us. Pay him no heed.
745
@739 - No no, I don't mean people never change. Let's not oversimplify.

People age; people change. Metabolisms slow down, & some weight gain is inevitable (IMO) as they do. Wrinkles, etc. Dan usually gets letters from people whose partners have put on an extreme amount of weight (or in a coupel of cases, lost too much). Many of them don't sound shallow, but distressed over how to deal w/ the health issues of their S.O. w/out hurting their feelings, & their faltering attraction to their mate.

People sometimes get together w/ a partner, move in w/ them or marry, & then figure they've got someone, so they stop trying: dressing up once in awhile. Or they put on a lot of weight (or lose a lot of weight). Or they stop being as attentive. Or they expose views that the other partner didn't know they had, that are dealbreakers. Nobody stays exactly the same, of course! To expect so would be ridiculous. If yer in it for the long haul, you accept some degree of flux.

I do think that if you get together w/ someone, & then when the relationship becomes more stable, they essentially totally let themselves go - not a temporary slip, not depression or some other medical cause that a compassionate partner damn well better help them work through - that's a problem for the attraction levels of the other partner. Yes, you should love someone for who they are inside. But for most of us, this earthly shell is what attracted us to begin with, right?

But YMMV.
746
You're awesome Lindy! I'm glad that you called Dan out, others have tried but hopefully your words will have an impact. It's not about whether people like fat people or not, it's about respecting others and allowing them to live their lives in peace.
747
I was fat once too. Then i started running three miles a day and rowing. i became thin and now I am so completely fine with my body and love it for all the things it can do, (climb mountains, cross country ski, run) dont let the fact that you are lazy dictate your body if your BMI is not healthy change your life.
748
Lindy, I already loved you for your awesome movie reviews, but now? Well, this fatass lady, who also happens to be passionate about the FA movement, just fell head over heals in love with you. Thank you Lindy, and *high five*!
749
So, eat less if you want to stop being fat so bad. It's a simple math equation, calories in vs. calories out. Eat less, exercise more, simple. Change your body if you want to or at least quit complaining.
750
Holy shit, there are SO many comments on here. I read about the first 5. Lindy, you are 100% correct. Everyone that deals with being fat doesn't need to be shamed anymore, we do that to ourselves enough. I am still dealing with my self-hate after losing 101 lbs. I didn't start losing weight to get skinny, I did it because I was 26 and confined to my home on many days because of my health. I've lost 2 jobs because of my health. None of my 6 doctors ever connected my health issues with my weight because my disease is not normally linked to being overweight.

I don't think there's any excuse to treat fat people differently than everyone else, but it happens all the time. I help people to get healthy now but I never look at someone overweight and think "they need MY help!" Since I don't know their issues, I don't assume I can help them.

I still have 49 lbs more to go and this is turning out to be the hardest weight I'm going to lose. Dealing with the emotional and psychological side of being heavy my ENTIRE life and finally getting to be where I may feel comfortable in my own skin is scary. People compliment me every day and it makes me uncomfortable. Isn't that the opposite of how I should feel?
751
As a larger lady myself, I'm not going to deny that I would love to be thin(ner), but I do believe that if I wanted it enough, I'd do more about it - I already eat quite healthy and walk lots but there's always more you can do. The thing is, that doesn't mean that I enjoy being the subject of ridicule. If I don't walk down the street feeling the need to yell abuse at the bloke with a big nose and a ginger receeding hairline, why the hell do other people feel the need to talk about me? As Lindy said, covering an insulting aesthetic comment in the facade of medical concern really is irrelevant. Love the blog and the debate that has ensued! xx
752
250 more comments to go!
753
I'm going to take maybe a different stance on this. If you look back to the ancient greeks "overweight" people were actually revered, mostly because they were the ones that had food. Look at statues by Michaelangelo and they did not have the "perfect" body everyone sees nowadays. We are socially conditioned to believe beauty is looking a certain way. Look at the 1920's pinup girls, they were skinny and tomboyish. Look at the current playboy models, huge breasts and definitely not tomboys. Everything we believe in is due to being socially conditioned. Boys don't cry. Girls wear pink. On and on and on...we are brainwashed people! Open your freakin' eyes!

Anyway, when it does come to being overweight, if you are happy in your body, that should be fine. There are some health concerns, but it's taking a risk just like smokers, drinkers, sky divers, shark divers, etc. I have fluctuated in weight some, but I do enjoy having a "nice" looking body and also physical strength. My current goal is to do 100 pushups in a row. If I was extremely overweight, I just could not do this feat, period. It's all about priorities and how bad you want something. I am sure if you starved yourself you would lose weight, period. Makes me think of Dodgeball when he used shock therapy to not eat a doughnut. How bad do you want it? To live up to society's current view of beauty that changes with each generation? These are tough choices that we need to make, but it should never be at the expense of your happiness. And people shouldn't ridicule others due to their physical appearances, but there goes the social conditioning again as well as humans having a hard time accepting things that are perceived as different and not of the norm. Anyway, my rant has gone on long enough...good luck everyone in all your life's endeavors and I hope each and everyone of you can find what makes you happy and not let other people or society dictate how you should live your life or make you feel.
754
There is no chance you will read this, Lindy, but whatevs. Both you and Dan are smart people with some good points here, but let me tell you why I loved this. Dan's putting himself out there by stoking the fires of prejudice. I'm sure he believes what he's saying, but he sure seems enthusiastic on the shaming part. Sorry, that's just not an aspect of humanity I'm up on tapping into. "Hitting bottom" can work but that's because it instills urgency, not self-loathing. Dan's shtick is more about self-loathing.

You, on the other hand, are putting yourself out there because you give a damn. You're not just saying how you feel, but you're saying why how you feel matters. It's rare someone can take such an intensely personal, emotional perspective and apply it so thoughtfully. Also, you're hilarious. I'm a heterosexual guy who fully admits to having slimmer body type preferences. But I don't give a damn: There is nothing in this post that is not absolutely gorgeous.

Oh, and even if you were completely wrong, you would totally have won this argument. You're an amazing read.
755
Most people would describe me as fit or athletic or thin. If I dropped 10 lbs, I'd be in model or pro-athlete range. In other words, I'm what most people are aiming for. I eat as much as I want at thanksgiving, christmas, and on my birthday. Every other day, I think about my diet, and exercise restraint. That is 362 days a year of not eating what I want to eat. That is called discipline, and it is why I'm not fat.

Lindy, et al, seem to think that what I have is trivial and effortless. The reality is that I work at it.
756
I have heard comments that were positive and negative. It's not the weight of a person that makes them good or bad, healthy or not healthy,but it has to do with high blood pressure, cholesterol, high blood sugars are just some. There are plenty of skinny people who have high blood pressure, cholesterol and high blood sugars. Heavy people can be healthy too, look at sumo wrestlers. They are big, fast, strong and can handle long workouts.
Anyone who has to put down someone because of their weight, are very insecure about themselves. Being fat as some call it, isn't a disease or you can't catch it by contact.
People be proud of who you are, but respect others for who they are. There will always be small people, big people, heavy people, light people, tall people, short people. People of different colors and languages, sizes and shapes, I'm just glad we are all different, because live would be boring if we all were the same.
757
Holy shit participating in EPIC thread!

Anyway your line about how much you're in love with everything got me thinking. Normally people who try to project their happiness, or down play their sadness, are really the opposite. Just because a few self-centered assholes can't keep to themselves how obsessed with everyone else they are doesn't mean you should care. It's beyond clear they'll never be anything other than ignorant, and they'd prefer to stay ignorant to that as well.

A bigger build used to be associated with wealth. You'd get to eat the best and greatest feasts with the best and greatest prostitutes and get special tubs made because the one's in the store were too CHEAP to fit your body. The 60's changed all that, we started trying to live better through chemistry in every area of production, we stopped caring about what goes in and out of anything and started to care more about the bottom line. Larger people are just considered larger targets by the mega-corps who use these feelings to exploit and keep large. For every person struggling with this is another struggling to struggle. Maybe if every aspect of society wasn't shitting down your neck it'd be easier to be.
758
@755 (geez), what you don't seem to realize is that you may be *quite wrong* that the reason you're within 10 pounds of model weight is your discipline - that it's possible that if you really let yourself go, you'd just get within 20-25 pounds of model weight. You're really assuming a lot to decide that you minus your amazing restraint equals some fat person you see out in the world. I don't get why that kind of attitude is so widespread! So presumptuous and, really, it just sounds so smug!
759
Holy fucking sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiit! So, so good.
760
@758: I think the reason it's not presumptuous to acknowledge that lack of restraint leads to obesity is because logic, history, and science are all against your supposed horrible magical new fat genes (a.k.a. EXCUSES) that appeared in the last generation.

People throughout history were not fat due to a naturally forced restraint: lack of available resources to lose control on.

It's simply a flat out lie that the majority of people* become obese without overdoing it-- that's impossible! THE CALORIES CAME FROM SOMEWHERE.

The dismissal of reality / cause and effect is really quite astonishing.

(ok, some medications and rare disorders make your body retain calories and gain weight)

761
u r awesum and rite, people r people and if u r a PERSON u deserved 2 b treated like evry other PERSON. and 4 the record, i m a skinny, short guy who simplee b leves in equallity among ALL people and PEACE among the earth.
762
760 comments in, and I have an observation: Among those on this thread in the anti-fat-person camp, many of you seem so damned angry. Some of the outrage borders on religious fervor.
Why is that?
763
Why don't we also embrace the fact that some people are just born poor? There's not a damn thing anyone can do about that either. Who are you people to tell people they have to live in a nice house or make enough money to feed themselves? As if people should have to live on YOUR standards.

Stop trying to force your straight, healthy, (and obviously Republican) affluence on us all.

ONE LOVE
764
762: personally, I'm not angry, I'm just annoyed that the fat often take this stance that they are victims of their genes, destined to be fat and fail at ever changing

It's kinda like when you've heard every excuse from an alcoholic and you're just like, yeah right OK whatever. And other alcoholics then pat that person on the back and say, yeah, me too! So you've got this group of people who are no longer accepting responsibility for their own self-imposed misery, and then making an enemy out of this other group (non addicts / non fats) for disliking the alcoholics-- not wanting to date them, trying to talk them out of being alcoholics, pointing out that it is extremely unhealthy, has a negative impact on society, has adverse effects on the ones who love you, etc.

I get it, it's mean, kids made fun of you in elementary school, and it caused you to drink even more / turn to food even more.

Try harder to quit. Try harder to get healthy.

If there was an intervention episode and the addict was like, "I don't need help. I've ~accepted~ myself and love myself like this..." that does not mean that the consequences are not going to catch up with them. That does not mean that family and friends are suddenly like OH OKAY GREAT!!!! So happy you've resigned yourself to never stop drinking because it is too hard. No, that would be a total joke. Why and how is the fat acceptance movement different?

I'm not mad, I'm annoyed. But I know where you were going with your question....the old "Wow, you're grumpy! I bet it's because your hungry." backhanded insult.
765
This column, and the overwhelmingly positive response, are proof that an (absolutely irrational) emotional argument trumps logic, science, and reason.

How can you even hold a discussion with a person who would say something like 754, "Oh, and even if you were completely wrong, you would totally have won this argument. You're an amazing read." ..... Doesn't that defy the whole premise of right and wrong? And defeat the purpose of finding out which is which in the first place? My head just exploded. I feel like I'm on another planet.

I'm amazed that there is hundreds upon hundreds of people who would go out of their way to yell for something completely nonsensical. Politics surely makes more sense now..
766
@ 760: 758 really didn't say obesity is never caused by lack of restraint. The idea is that there are many people for whom lack of restraint actually doesn't lead to obesity. I definitely don't have more restraint food-wise than my best friend, yet she's clinically obese and I fall within a healthy BMI. I'm perhaps a bit more active than she is, but we have another close friend who eats whatever she wants and never goes to the gym and fluctuates between being a healthy weight and being *underweight*. It's difficult for her to keep pounds on. Her mom and sister are the same way.

767
No one actually answered mt question, and since there seems to be an overwhelming majority of 'fate haters' that say fat = unhealthy, what exactly would you tell the millions of people defined as obese by BMI (which is a crock of shit) or your own professional observation if by every OTHER medical indicator they are extremely healthy? This is not a unicorn in the woods. Many 'fat' people have low blood pressure, good muscle mass, low cholesterol, walk plenty, don't eat those high fat, high sugar foods and drinks by the caseload as is so often *assumed*.

If the only indicator is weight, is the person actually unhealthy? Because unless someone shows me an actual study, not just an article with an opinion or a single doctor lecturing his fat patients about the long term health deficits weight MIGHT bring, I'm gonna go with weight alone being a shit indicator of health. And since you (the plural) are not psychic and cannot possibly know everything about a person by just looking at them, I think you can take your own hatred and phobia home and do a little introspection into why it matters so much to you.
768
Thank you so much for this. I am shorter and heavier than you, and actually am losing weight on purpose at the moment ( I refuse to use the D word), but the hate is always what makes it harder, and even if it all goes as planned I will always be seen as fat by the 'objective' standards trotted out by the haters. At 18 I was gorgeous and curvy and fit into regular high street clothes, and the hate is what killed my mental health and made me comfort eat, afraid to exercise in public and got me to the weight I am today.
769
I am a (relatively thin) lesbian who loves a fat woman. I don't care if she ever gets thinner - I do care that she eats well, feels good about herself, exercises, and generally stays healthy so she can live a long time with me. She's much stronger than I am, and she loves skiing, dancing about, and playing with a fitness ball.

She has an eating disorder that she's working to get treatment for through a psychiatrist and a dietitian (because the treatment will improve her physical and mental health, not because she needs to be skinny). I'm so proud of her for all she's accomplished - she's doing very well in medical school, loves working in free clinics to help the uninsured, and loves me more than life itself. Why would I care about the number on the scale?

And FYI: I find her fat rolls incredibly sexy.
770
I agree with you about shaming fat people to be skinny. I've been a big guy my whole life, and I've been pretty fat before. However I have to say that there is nothing healthy about being 5'9" and 263lbs. You don't get that heavy by eating healthy and exercising like we humans are supposed to do.

I haven't read all the comments considering there are a ton of them, however I did catch a guy named andrew at the top here. Men, for whatever reason, have a very easy time loosing un-needed weight as compared to women. He does make a good point on cutting out all of the 'bad' foods though.

You can't sit there and tell me that you have tried to loose weight whilst still being as heavy as you are, especially for how tall you are. In this case I feel safe saying that you have not tried nearly hard enough. You can exercise all you want, but unless you combine that with a better diet you will go nowhere.

I personally don't see a problem with people being relatively fat (by that I mean still fit enough to sprint to their car if they need to) but you never know when the lights are going to go out. You never know when you're going to need to be able to run for a few miles.

Thin isn't necessarily better. It's being fit that is better. Those who are fit tend to be thin. It's in our genes, darling. As a species we ingrained with the concept of "SURVIVE!" one way to survive is to pick an ideal fit mate. The idea is 'she is fit, beautiful and intelligent our kids will be the same. the species will last longer'

Now you can never change the fact that people will shame you in to loosing weight. A good method of handling this would be to channel that shame in to hate and anger at your body. Use that to get your ass up in the morning and take a jog around the block at least. Or perhaps not ordering extra cheese on your pepperoni pizza.

And also, I have to agree with the quote you posted in your blog as well. Exposed rolls of flesh are pretty gross. It's gross to me because you shouldn't have let it get that bad; it's gross and pathetic.
771
Lindy's point number 3) really resonates. There are roads I'll never use, government services that I'll never use, War-on-X that wastes hundreds of billions that I have to subsidize. All this shows is that Avenue Q true-ism: Everybody's a little bit [or more] bigoted about something. Even equality-crusaders like our beloved Dan.
772
Yes, at 28, you're not feeling too many of the effects of morbid obesity...yet.

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/causes/health…
http://health.nih.gov/topic/Obesity

Just give it a few years.

As for fat being equated to gay. Um no. There's not a choice I could make in the world that would make me straight, but I could choose to eat in a way that would make be fat.

773
Give me your number, Lindy. I'll take you out to dinner and a nice dance for this.
774
Dude, seriously 771 comments about a fat person pissed off by her own insecurities enough to write an article about it? (cue no body likes me/eat worms kiddie song)

Can't it just be cool to NOT have an opinion on the matter? Seriously everyone has 1 of about 4 different body types. Significantly deviating from that body type requires serious effort. However, it can be done. I Know an ectomorph that after 5 years can bench 270 and can run a 6 minute mile. I'm a mesomroph, I weigh the same, and accomplish the same in about 6 months....then I let it slide. The difference being is the effort applied. Effort. A key component to any endeavor.

Now as far genetics: the basic pool of a bazillion years human DNA can't have shifted that much since the 1970's so as to cause the obesity rates we see today, and have genetics as the only cause. Not every fat person can use genetics as an excuse truthfully. That being said, there are legitimate medical reasons for obesity.

For health concerns: She cites "Mental" Health? Seriously. I can only wonder what the underlying psychology is to choose to significantly deviate from the herd. Maybe she doesn't care. Maybe she feels entitled to revel in excesses. Maybe a life of luxury/entitlement. Maybe she feels marginalized, unoriginal or unremarkable, (read: NOT SPECIAL) Maybe she was yelled at by her mommy and she formed an attitude of rebellion towards whatever authority decrees. What-ever, the reason is not important. It doesn't matter, so theres no point in me writing this...Maybe food is her coping mechanism.

That may be fine, and well, and good, and all that. It is for the MENTAL HEALTH reason alone a morbidly obese, person may not be viewed as a viable mate. That is after-all the central motivation for human interaction--to make more tiny baby humans (or at least practice as such)

So there you have it. Someone that does not embody the taller/faster/smarter/more nimble/more capable qualities that define who makes a good mate is indignant that her choices not to conform to the ideals of the herd makes her less suitable.

Do not construe anything I've said in this post as "care." I do not have an opinion, I'm just throwing out a few possibilities. I simply just do not care. I used to, but then I grew up.

A 6-5' woman that weighs 250 lbs and is significantly active, motivated, engaging, and exciting to be around is much more attractive by almost any measure than say--Holly Madison.
775
An excerpt from "The Simpsons" episode when Homer went from 239lbs to 300.

Marge: Let's quietly and calmly discuss the pros and cons of your controversial plan, shall we?

Homer: I --

Marge: Con! You're endangering your health.

Homer: Pro: I'm drought-and famine-resistant.

Marge: Con! You're setting a bad example for the children.

Homer: Pro: I, er, don't have to go to work.

Marge: Con! You're running the air conditioner non-stop. It's freezing in here.

Homer: Pro. Uh...uh.. I love you?

Marge: Con: I'm finding myself less attracted to you physically.

Homer: Marge, this is everything I've ever dreamed of right here and nobody's gonna take it away from me. You never had faith in me before, but let me tell you, the slim lazy Homer you knew is dead. Now I'm a big fat dynamo! And where's that cake?

Marge: There's no cake.
776
I'm all for promoting healthy body image, I am. But it's articles like these that actually make me really mad. Why? Because people shouldn't want to be fat. And it's not like being homophobic, so don't think that. I'm not a bigot.

The fact is, you're basing this argument around an entirely cultural framework. We eat shit in western culture- we do!- our processed and packaged and msg filled garbage that the companies call "food" is not what human beings are meant to consume. We are also, biologically, hunter/gatherers which means that we are built to run around all day looking for the means to our subsistence, and it's only very recently that we've stopped doing those things. Fat people have only existed in the numbers they do within in the very recent past, and it's not something that we should be embracing at all. Our society needs to start questioning these cultural "norms" of eating and exercising and start realizing that we need to get skinnier. Period.
777
Lindy, do you know how many calories a 28 years old female of 5'9" should eat a day?

Do you know on average how many calories you actually take in on any given day?
778
You've said your piece, Rob in Baltimore. Now give it a rest. You've missed the point completely.
779
"I don't think there's any excuse to treat fat people differently than everyone else"

When it comes to who we want to fuck, we absolutely have te right to reject tubbies. It's our evolutionary perogative to find fit and attractive mates, not lard asses who huff and puff up a flight of stairs.

Nothing like fat liberals telling us to deny our Evolutionary instincts. Suddenly you all have become creationists?
780
as the comments continue to pile it up it is amazing how many people STILL feel they have a right to admonish people and inform them how to lose weight. why are there so many hall monitors in seattle? what a bunch of meddling, self-righteous babies!

i hope all of you insisting fat people are __________ and that they need to lose weight because you say so and they're _______ if they don't - i hope none of you have or have ever had or have unsafe sex, STDs, HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies; i hope none of you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol or do drugs; all of these things are extremely costly to society health and well being wise and cost to the health care costs in america. i hope all of you are living perfect, clean, healthy, green lives that don't affect other people in any other way - because while you are the hall monitors right now - if you accept the hall monitor mentality, well guess what there are hall monitors out there perfectly willing to pick you apart for whatever behavior you are engaged in that pisses them off and makes them feel they have a right to dictate how you should be living YOUR life because it's offensive to them.

none of the haters on this blog are interested in fat people's health - they just think fat people are _______________ and because they think that then they think they have some right to tell fat people who they are, how they should be, why the are offensive, why they need to lose weight, and why they are ________________ for believing they have any right to exist in the world. oh and if fat people do have the audacity to walk around in the world not hiding in their houses ashamed, well then they DESERVE all the vitriol tossed their way.

how is this acceptable? why as a society do we allow this to happen like it's no big deal?

gay people in this society don't want people homophobic people walking around saying how gross they are and how they wish they would stay in the closet or kill themselves or go through some sort of insane "restructuring" therapy to fix who they are. gay bashing, calling people FAGGOT! on the street, attacking people because they are homosexual is not acceptable and is considered a hate crime. it is also a hate crime to do the above to people who don't have white skin. it's not societally acceptable to call people NIGGER or KIKE or whatever other racial epithet applies. so why is it ok to call someone a FATTIE to their face or make comments about them so they can hear you (but not directly to their face), or write such hateful, nasty, horrible, wretched things on a blog post comments section because you get to hide behind your unregistered comment or made up name? why is acceptable to walk up to a woman and say you would be so pretty if you lost a ton of weight or i'd fuck you only if i were drunk out of my mind (or if none of my friends found out)? why is it acceptable for fat people to be discriminated against, ridiculed, treated like shit, ostracized, teased, bullied, hated, and hurt - but it's NOT acceptable for any of that to happen to you because you are _____________?

every single nasty comment in this thread is a tribute to how deeply flawed and stupid human beings are. you may not be fat and it may not be you but if you participate in behavior like this and think it's OK well one day you're going to be on the receiving end of the vitriol and then are you going to expect some sort of protection or outrage on your behalf that you refused to show? if so, when that happens, why should all the fatties of the world (or anyone else for that matter) care?

you can't be for the equal rights of one group or some people and not want it for everyone. you can't call yourself an activist against bullying for YOUR group when you turn around and are perfectly content to encourage and participate in the bullying of another group.
781
778, And now you've said your piece, so you can give it a rest. You missed the point entirely.
782
@ 781, Whoa, dude, mimicry really puts me in my place! How very middle school of you, and in keeping with your character.

I got your point completely, bub - you're possibly the biggest anti-fat bully on slog, far more deserving of the label than Dan, and you're widdle feelings were stung by this post, so you had to post three rapid-fire comments that said nothing that hadn't been said hundreds of time of this post already (except for the Simpsons quote). To assuage your self-righteous judgmentalism - not to contribute.
783
I think it would be funny if this monster thread on eating and body image stoped at ate-hundred and ate-y ate. I'm doing my part how about you.
784
Now let me give you the other side of the "fat" coin: I had weight loss surgery in 2005 - simply because I was led to believe that my life would change completely afterward. Well let me tell ya: it DEFINITELY changed. I haven't had a date since. I now weigh a svelte 160 (formerly 287 lbs.) and look & feel great.

The surgery was AWFUL. I had major complications and ended up septic, in a coma for 5 weeks and almost died. My family was called in to say goodbye. A full TWO years recovering. Am now a walking "miracle" according to the doctors.

If I had it to do over again, would I? HELL NO. I'd have stayed fat, gone into therapy, and learned to accept myself as I was.
785
782, Wow, you're really flying off the handle here. Maybe you should take a break from the internet. You're taking it way too seriously. Try not to worry so much about what I post. Ask yourself why it upsets you so much.
786
Lindy West for president. That is all.
787
I was never as heavy as Lindy, but I recently celebrated that my BMI went from the "Obesity" to the "Overweight" category.

I've always had a crap metabolism - when I was a teenager and my friends were eating pretty much anything they wanted and not exercising that much, I was eating salads and going to aerobics classes several days a week, on top of occasionally running cross country with my brother (whose legs were a full foot longer than mine at the time - and he insisted I keep up with him). I actually went through a year and a half in college where I didn't touch a slice of pizza or drink alcohol to keep my weight down. I picked Geology as a profession not just because it was challenging, but because it was physical. I picked apartments on upper levels not just for safety, but for the necessity of climbing stairs. My life was about trying to keep my weight down - not for vanity (I only flirted with "skinny" once, mostly I've been at a healthy, curvy weight), but for my health. With many overweight people on one side of the family, it was easy to see how it was important to maintain a healthy weight.

After an accident left me unable to perform field work and I switched to a desk job, even my modest intake couldn't keep the weight gain under control until I carved several hours out of my day for exercise. Moving to a new part of the world (with a new doctor and RD, a staple of my dieting strategy) didn't help either - instead of living in a walkable urban environment, I moved to suburban hell without sidewalks (my husband's aspiration, not mine). My daily walks to my errands were eliminated. My weight increased.

Did my doctor and RD listen when I said I cheated on my I-might-eat-as-much-as-1,500 calorie diet occasionally, not daily? Did they listen when I told them I was working out - very hard - 4 days a week? No.

Because despite me being completely candid in my diet and exercise logs and telling them I've always had a slow metabolism and had been tested for thyroid levels more than once, it was easier for them to say "She's just not trying," or "Are you really being honest?" Tired of being accused, I did start eating more and working out less so my weight ballooned. I was so tired of being accused of cheating on what was a lifelong routine that I figured I might as well get the "benefits" of doing what they claimed I was doing. (Stupid, I know.)

It took my doctor noticing my heavy mane had turned into thinner locks to finally run that thyroid test. Which this time, came back screamingly hypothyroid. Adjusted with meds and on a 1,200 calorie diet and heavy exercise routine, it's amazing how my weight is now coming back down steadily. But I can't help but think that I never would have gotten so heavy if someone had actually believed I didn't think of being fat as an irretrievable lifestyle. If they didn't notice I was complaining and was asking for help.

I don't like being fat. Lindy is right - fat people have enough shame. But it doesn't help when society refuses to believe when you're trying.
788
Great post Lindy! I'm pretty loyal to Dan in general, but I do get what you're saying. Ironically, I've found Dan's comments helpful in general, because he made me realize that there really are men who prefer a bit of cushion for the pushin. For me personally, he took away the shame factor of being an overweight woman who is also sexual.

However, I definitely get that two people can read the exact same comments and interpret them in entirely different ways and that's ok. I found his direct approach really liberating, because so many people will just tell you what you want to hear.

I've been thin and I've been chubby, but not obese- and you are absolutely right that being thin and buying size 8 or 10 pants at the gap doesn't magically fix any problems other than finding clothes a bit easier. Whatever insecurities I have were the same when I was thin. I was actually tougher on myself when I was thin, because I compared myself to other thin women. What I've found though, is that as long as you know who you are and what you're about, it matters so much less if anyone else knows it. When people make those kinds of hurtful comments it really is about their own fears.
789
We feel your anger yet your target "life" ain't lisnin'. Isn't is ironic that the banner ad above your column is for a cupcake shop?

We are all subject to the genetic roulette wheel of procreation. Body habitus has a strong genetic component as does one's psyche. That said, we fool ourselves believing that we can have our cupcake and eat it too. We write and read endlessly about unhealthy food all the while sitting on our ever expanding arses living the sedentary lifestyle that will bury us before our genes would predict. Obesity is quite rare in poor countries and they have the same genetic variation as we.

I agree you should proclaim yourself beautiful to yourself first and be realistic about what you can and are willing to accomplish to achieve your body shape/fitness/health goals. When dealing with others self confidence and respect enhance your attractiveness, So too does avoidance of the oh-so common group speak laced with f-bombs and partisan social issues statements( we don't care).

Learn from nature, Grasshopper...eat plants, avoid processed foods and animal fats, walk every day, throw out the TV, smile more, believe in yourself........then it will be time for you to leave...your self described fat self-image
790
We feel your anger yet your target "life" ain't lisnin'. Isn't is ironic that the banner ad above your column is for a cupcake shop?

We are all subject to the genetic roulette wheel of procreation. Body habitus has a strong genetic component as does one's psyche. That said, we fool ourselves believing that we can have our cupcake and eat it too. We write and read endlessly about unhealthy food all the while sitting on our ever expanding arses living the sedentary lifestyle that will bury us before our genes would predict. Obesity is quite rare in poor countries and they have the same genetic variation as we.

I agree you should proclaim yourself beautiful to yourself first and be realistic about what you can and are willing to accomplish to achieve your body shape/fitness/health goals. When dealing with others self confidence and respect enhance your attractiveness, So too does avoidance of the oh-so common group speak laced with f-bombs and partisan social issues statements( we don't care).

Learn from nature, Grasshopper...eat plants, avoid processed foods and animal fats, walk every day, throw out the TV, smile more, believe in yourself........then it will be time for you to leave...your self described fat self-image
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If you don't care what other people think about your body...why are you so up in arms? Why all this indignation when you keep saying you don't care and don't need to justify your shape, when throughout this entire thing, YOU DO.

I'm of the opinion that if you are so large you look like a melting Jabba candle, you shouldn't do anything but either lose the weight to be a more efficient, productive member of society, or take yourself out of it. Personally I'm tired of seeing 600 pounders moving slowly through the candy aisle of Wal-Mart on a damn scooter meant for cripples and old people. If you are 600 pounds, you have no fucking right to complain, it is your own damn fault for allowing yourself to become so enormous.

Please understand, I am NOT against large people, I was once very large myself and I know, personally, all about it (I was 5' and over 200 lbs in high school, not as bad as some, but I did experience some bad times....it was high school after all). I am against the people so large that they can't even move properly to get a job done. Logically speaking such enormous people are simply NOT CAPABLE of moving as fast and completing as much work as efficiently as other people.
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If you don't care what other people think about your body...why are you so up in arms? Why all this indignation when you keep saying you don't care and don't need to justify your shape, when throughout this entire thing, YOU DO.

I'm of the opinion that if you are so large you look like a melting Jabba candle, you shouldn't do anything but either lose the weight to be a more efficient, productive member of society, or take yourself out of it. Personally I'm tired of seeing 600 pounders moving slowly through the candy aisle of Wal-Mart on a damn scooter meant for cripples and old people. If you are 600 pounds, you have no fucking right to complain, it is your own damn fault for allowing yourself to become so enormous.

Please understand, I am NOT against large people, I was once very large myself and I know, personally, all about it (I was 5' and over 200 lbs in high school, not as bad as some, but I did experience some bad times....it was high school after all). I am against the people so large that they can't even move properly to get a job done. Logically speaking such enormous people are simply NOT CAPABLE of moving as fast and completing as much work as efficiently as other people.
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r u people real?! have you nothing better to do in your misbegotten lives than hurl insults at eachother about how you do/don'tlook or what you think or dont think about what someone looks like?
there's been an attempt at a democratic change in egypt, south & north somalia have split, missionaries are being murdered by islamists in pakistan, iraq & whathaveyou, the pope is trying to beatify a nazi collaborator, on one hand, and a man who was behind the coverup of raping priests on the other, forget palestinians, jews in sweden, BP buying an oil firm from the russian mafia, bankers living off of your tax dollars, and all you've got to worry about is calories?
get a life!!!!!!
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@780 xina: I think it's pretty universally true that people say things in an anonymous forum that they would never say to someone's face. You only have to think back to comments by Loveschild, period troll, or Seattleblues to know that's the case.

To use your "hall monitor" idea, to a degree, we as a society do that all the time, in a variety of areas. We penalize people who engage in risky behaviour by raising their car insurance after an accident, or in a preemptive way if they are male and between 17 and 25. We ostracize smokers by progressively limiting the areas where they can smoke, taxing their product, and publishing stories about the evils of smoking (when was the last time you read an editorial about how great smoking is?) We have check-stops to catch drunk drivers, and ad campaigns that target drug use. Rightly or wrongly so, I think any organized society throughout history has used public shaming to make its members fall into line with the ideal standard. I'm not taking a pro shaming stance, just pointing out that I think it's human nature, especially in cases where behaviour is seen as malleable (teens can be cautious drivers, people can stop smoking, people can have sex with condoms, etc.) And in the case of unprotected sex, I have yet to hear or read about someone who rails louder about the dangers of condomless sex than Dan Savage. The problem on this thread is that there seems to be a debate about whether it is possible (or not) for some people to lose weight, in short, is it a choice, or is it just how they are? As far as bulllying goes--which, of course, is always wrong--a quick look at Google suggests that overweight people (>63%) now outnumber non-overweight people, so if there is fat shaming going on, it is being done by the minority. (And I'm not saying people should ever bully one another, just pointing out that statistic.) As far as health concerns go, I'm not a doctor, but from what I've read, there does seem to be evidence that excess weight is unhealthy. If greater than 63% of people in the US smoked, or were alcoholics, or had unprotected sex, there would no doubt be ad campaigns, editorials, and other forms of societal pressure designed to change behaviour. And while I agree that it is terrible for people to think they can say cruel things to a person's face, I do want to know what the most current research is saying about weight. I do want to hear about it when a study suggests that waistlines over a certain number of inches predict certain health issues/shortened life span in the future. Much the same way that my mom's generation learned that smoking wasn't just "for fun," it was also cancer-causing, our generation has learned that certain weights predispose people to certain health concerns later in life.

I understand that the point of Lindy's post, and many of the comments on this thread, are saying "it's wrong to shame people, and my body is my business," but I think the other people who are commenting constructively are not saying "ew," but rather debating the "change is impossible" idea.

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Is there some reason the really obnoxious comments tend to post twice?
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mugwumpt:
we wanna make sure you read & understand them!!!
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titties!

sorry, just wanted to be part of this thread. i feel for ya lindy, i know another lindy and she's pretty large too. maybe it's your parents' fault.
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I loved this! You inspired me, in fact:

http://emmelinemay.livejournal.com/11446…

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799!
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ate hundred
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You speak the truth, Lindy! 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. THANK YOU.