About an hour ago I received, out of the blue, an e-mail from someone who I met at a business networking lunch that I attend. She is a debt settlement consultant and I think that we may have spent a grand total of 5 minutes talking to each other ever.
She asked me to share her information with my readers. Well readers, here you go. Let me preface this by saying that I’m aware that getting angry can backfire because I subject myself to the “See, she’s just an angry fat girl” supposition. Well today I am an angry fat girl who has been disrespected one too many times, and this is my blog so people may suppose away!
(Warning, the excerpts from her e-mail may be a big triggering and/or rage-inducing, feel free to skip the italic parts if you don’t want to deal with it):
The subject line was “Your Blog”. I think that one of most radical things that you can be is an optimist so I choose to assume, when reading subject lines like this, that the e-mail is going to be an interesting question, comment or suggestion from a reader, or a request for an interview or something. Happily I’m right more than I am wrong but not today.
It started with her telling me about her weight loss over the last 60 days and how her clothes don’t fit anymore. It should also be noted that she currently has cancer.
Do you want to know what the secret to losing weight is
Had the e-mail stopped there, we wouldn’t have had a problem. No I don’t, thanks for asking. But of course it didn’t…
not necessarily for you but for your readers who have resigned themselves to the weight they currently are?
Are you kidding me? First of all, that’s just no kind of dichotomy. Also… what????
She goes on as if she never said “not necessarily for you” making assumptions about what I eat, ending with:
Even for me, doing without something canned, boxed or bagged, when serving dinner to my boys, it’s hard…
“Even for me”? Upon what pedestal do you presume to be perched? I don’t know a thing about you lady, and so far I gotta tell you, I’m underwhelmed.
What’s interesting about weight loss at my age (54) is it doesn’t come off in the right places. I’m still in size 8/10 because my waist isn’t trim – I still look fat naked! I have a membership to Golds Gym, but I only go once every two weeks, but I walk my dog regularly for 2 miles.
What could you possibly be trying to accomplish by saying this? Do you just feel that a good disrespectful e-mail should include a little internalized oppression and body shaming? Do you think I’ll think “Oh, she’s fat like me – now we’ve bonded”? What?
And then this little gem:
I share this with you because no matter how much you exercise, your body will remain toxic and eventually cause disease.
Fuck off. How dare you – who do you think you are trying to instill fatphobia-based fear into my life? Fuck right the hell off.
Someone is going to leave a comment that I’m being a bitch, over-reacting, and that this person is well meaning and just trying to help me and I should take it in the spirit that it was given. (That’s probably what my mom would tell me, if she could figure out how to comment – Hi Mom, I love you!).
To that person (even if it’s my mom) I say: Not respecting my very well researched and thought out choices is NOT trying to help me, it’s just disrespecting me. Threatening me with future ill health and disease if I don’t believe what you believe is not trying to help me, it’s just threatening me. It’s being paternalistic and patronizing and it’s not ok with me, go bother someone who will put up with this shit. I covered this in I’m Ok, You’re Ok the Fat version.
My full response to her is below but, in summary, I will never understand people who do this. I don’t go out to weight loss blogs and tell people to stop doing what they’re doing and try health at every size, I never try to tell anyone how to live. I’ve built a little corner of the web from which I do my best to present an option that has been amazing and effective for me and is backed up by the science that I’ve seen. People can choose to read the blog or not and people can choose to take my option or not and that’s fine. Why are some people incapable of respecting that? Geez.
At any rate, here is my full response:
I think that your e-mail is completely inappropriate and disrespectful. I find it to be paternalistic in the worst possible connotation and I find that it makes inaccurate and baseless assumptions and claims about my health, my diet, the mental state of my readers, and the likely benefits of eating a diet free from processed foods. My health choices are very well researched and thought out and I did not ask for your advice on health or weight loss. Indeed, since your subject line is “your blog” I have to assume that you either haven’t read the blog, lack the reading comprehension to understand it (especially the sections about realizing that your experience is not everyone’s experience), or lack the basic ability to respect my choices. Regardless, I find you to be completely out of line.
I find it inappropriate to assume what I, or any of my readers, eat based on our weight – what is shiny and new to you I have been practicing for years which, along with genetics, access, and an uncanny ability to not buy into our society’s bullshit about weight and health, may explain why I enjoy perfect health.
I have no earthly idea what could have made you think that I would consider you qualified to inform me about foods or health or really anything with the possible exception of debt settlement as that is your chosen profession.
To answer the question that you answered for me by continuing with your unsolicited diatribe: No, I do not want to know your secret to weight loss. Especially considering that you have an n=1, uncontrolled experiment that has lasted 60 days. 95% of people gain their weight back within 5 years; so when you have an experiment with properly controlled variables, a statistically significant sample size, and an impressive finding of causal success after five years, then I will be willing to review it. Until then, I’ll be happy to maintain a pleasant professional relationship but I respectfully request that you refrain from entering into discussions with me regarding weight or health.
Please feel free to read this post for additional clarity:
I will be sharing this with my readers.