Even Though It Doesn’t Make Any Sense

The New York Times ran an article by Tara Parker Pope called The Fat Trap.  In it she had some very interesting information that you don’t always hear in the mainstream about how unlikely permanent weight loss is, including new research   It’s an eight page article, but here are some of the highlights:

While researchers have known for decades that the body undergoes various metabolic and hormonal changes while it’s losing weight, the Australian team detected something new. A full year after significant weight loss, these men and women remained in what could be described as a biologically altered state.

For years, the advice to the overweight and obese has been that we simply need to eat less and exercise more. While there is truth to this guidance, it fails to take into account that the human body continues to fight against weight loss long after dieting has stopped. This translates into a sobering reality: once we become fat, most of us, despite our best efforts, will probably stay fat.

Amen sister, you hit the hammer on the nail with that one.  Then she shares her own struggles with weight cycling and discusses several studies which have suggested that the tendency to gain weight is hereditary.  She talks about how fat loss appears to change muscle fibers, causing them to burn less calories, about how after people lose 10% of their body weight they are metabolically different than those who started at that size, how weight loss changes the way that the brain responds to food.   She discusses how difficult it is to maintain weight loss:

Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, says that while the 10,000 people tracked in the [Weight Loss] registry are a useful resource, they also represent a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of people who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight. “All it means is that there are rare individuals who do manage to keep it off,” Brownell says. “You find these people are incredibly vigilant about maintaining their weight. Years later they are paying attention to every calorie, spending an hour a day on exercise. They never don’t think about their weight.”

While I was excited about the article, each time I turned the page I braced myself for it.  The “even though it doesn’t make any sense” section.  This is the section at the end of almost any article that shows fat people in a positive light, or dieting in a negative light, where they basically negate everything they’ve just said.  It’s why a news interview with Darryl Roberts and I talking about healthy habits ends with a picture of someone stuffing their face with cake and a voice over that says “of course, common sense should tell you that this is a bad idea.”  In this article, the transition to this section is stark:

Nobody wants to be fat. In most modern cultures, even if you are healthy — in my case, my cholesterol and blood pressure are low and I have an extraordinarily healthy heart — to be fat is to be perceived as weak-willed and lazy. It’s also just embarrassing. Once, at a party, I met a well-respected writer who knew my work as a health writer. “You’re not at all what I expected,” she said, eyes widening. The man I was dating, perhaps trying to help, finished the thought. “You thought she’d be thinner, right?” he said. I wanted to disappear, but the woman was gracious. “No,” she said, casting a glare at the man and reaching to warmly shake my hand. “I thought you’d be older.”

I wish fat people would stop being embarrassed by other people’s poor behavior.  If it were me I would be embarrassed FOR my date, not by him. If this kind of thing happens to you, I suggest a phrase like:  “I’m sure you’re embarrassed to have said something so stupid, don’t worry about it for now  we’ll talk about it later.” Or you can say (in your head if necessary) “That’s not mine, you can keep it”, but you don’t need to be embarrassed because other people behave like idiots. The cure for social stigma is not weight loss – it’s curing social stigma.  Next she says:

If anything, the emerging science of weight loss teaches us that perhaps we should rethink our biases about people who are overweight. It is true that people who are overweight, including myself, get that way because they eat too many calories relative to what their bodies need. But a number of biological and genetic factors can play a role in determining exactly how much food is too much for any given individual. Clearly, weight loss is an intense struggle, one in which we are not fighting simply hunger or cravings for sweets, but our own bodies.

This paragraph is a little from column A, a little from column shit. Hell yes we should rethink our biases about fat people. but not because of the science.  It doesn’t matter why people are fat, or whether or not they could be thin.  Every body of every size deserves respect.  If you’re wondering why someone is fat you can feel free to file that away in the None of your Damn Business folder while treating them with basic human respect.  And here’s the paragraph that made me swear at my computer:

But with a third of the U.S. adult population classified as obese, nobody is saying people who already are very overweight should give up on weight loss.

Oh what in fat hell?!  You just spent 7 damn pages talking about how unlikely weight loss is – citing a variety of experts, how the weight loss registry shows that 10,000 out of tens of millions keep weight off and they do it by obsessing about their weight (and it stands to reason that there are some people who obsess about their weight and STILL can’t keep it off).  And even if you’re not, lots of people are saying that we should give up on weight loss, they include medical doctors, Ph.d’s, and people who can do math. There are lots of reasons to choose Health at Every Size – here are 10 of them and  here are 11 more.

She concludes by saying:

Even though all the evidence suggests that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to reduce my weight permanently, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I may not be ready to fight this battle this month or even this year. But at least I know what I’m up against.

Let’s look at quotes from some of the people in Tara’s own article who “successfully” maintain weight loss:

  • “It’s something that has to be focused on every minute. I’m not always thinking about food, but I am always aware of food.”
  • Since October 2006 she has weighed herself every morning and recorded the result in a weight diary. She even carries a scale with her when she travels.  She also weighs everything in the kitchen.  If she goes out to dinner, she conducts a Web search first to look at the menu and calculate calories to help her decide what to order. She avoids anything with sugar or white flour, which she calls her “gateway drugs” for cravings and overeating. She has also found that drinking copious amounts of water seems to help; she carries a 20-ounce water bottle and fills it five times a day. She writes down everything she eats. At night, she transfers all the information to an electronic record.
  • Because she knows errors can creep in, either because a rainy day cuts exercise short or a mismeasured snack portion adds hidden calories, she allows herself only 1,800 daily calories of food. (The average estimate for a similarly active woman of her age and size is about 2,300 calories.)
  • Today, she’s a member of the National Weight Control Registry and maintains about 140 pounds by devoting her life to weight maintenance. She became a vegetarian, writes down what she eats every day, exercises at least five days a week and blogs about the challenges of weight maintenance. She has also come to accept that she can never stop being “hypervigilant” about what she eats.

Tara is allowed to choose weight loss and be optimistic about it – just like I’m allowed to choose to focus on health and be optimistic.  I’m just wondering how, as a society, we got to a place where living with a food obsession that shares many characteristics with an eating disorder seems like the best idea.  Especially when we know that exercise mitigates the risks associated with being fat, without “dedicating your life” to maintaining a weight.

Also, it is too much to ask for more balanced reporting? If we have to have the “even though it doesn’t make any sense…” paragraph section at the end of any article that talks about the mountain of scientific evidence against weight loss, I would like to see a similar section at the end of any article that talks about weight loss in a positive light, maybe something like:  “Even though we’ve talked around it here, the science overwhelmingly agrees that weight loss is impossible for most people, and that 95% of people end up as heavy or heavier than when they started, and subject to the health risks of weight cycling.”

Oh, I totally spaced it yesterday, but the winner of the Marilyn Wann Fat!So? Dayplanner from Ask Me Anything Day was Ealasaid!  Thanks for your question and congratulations, you’re going to love the dayplanner – it is super awesome! If you didn’t win, you can still buy one of your very own, the proceeds to go Marilyn Wann to support her Weight Action Diversity Lounge which is going to be amazing!

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider a paid subscription or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

41 thoughts on “Even Though It Doesn’t Make Any Sense

  1. I just finished reading the NY Times article, so I was delighted to see that you’ve written about it. I actually think it was a great article, the ending notwithstanding. Those of us who have been immersed in all of this can recite the Leibel research to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen, but to most people, what TPP has written is a total paradigm shift. It’s clear from reading the comments that many of the newspaper’s well-educated audience were gobsmacked by what she was saying, because it was too far out of their comfort zone. It’s great that someone as well-respected as a NY Times health writer can introduce these basic ideas at all and get people thinking.

    Also, I am willing to bet that the reason she’s writing this article is because she’s grappling with the issues herself. She, personally, is clearly not ready to let go of the idea that she can lose weight, despite everything she’s just learned. That’s where she’s at. She’s human and the article reflects that, yet she’s still managed to present the research.

    What I also found telling is how many people in the comments section identified the constant weighing, calorie counting and obsessive exercise as disordered behaviour. That’s a refreshing change from the usual fat stigma/fat hating trolling that usually emerge in the comments section. When the reality was laid out in front of them, people quickly grasped how out-of-whack the whole situation is.

    I’m also willing to bet that this is an article that will go viral and TPP will probably get a book offer out of it. If you look at the enormous impact that Gary Taubes had when he wrote an article on fat etc nearly 10 years ago, and the impact that his subsequent books have had, it’s possible that if TPP writes a book that details all of this research, her prominence as a NY Times writer could give this information a very wide audience.

    It’s not perfect, but I was so pleased to see this article. Considering how fucked up things are, there’s a lot of work to be done, and this kind of article can only help – despite how annoying it is to everyone who has been shouting the same stuff from the roof tops for years.

    (PS – I think Marilyn Wann should sue over the scale!)

    1. Book deal? Dobutfull. Gary Taub’s writing was buying into the myth of good and bad calories making us fat. It’s just another way of saying that people get fat by eating too much of the wrong foods. It’s the same old paradigm causing people to hate and fear food and blame fat on poor food choices.

      Nothing new there.

      This article says no matter what, some people are just going to be fat. And aside from the fact that she just had to go there with the “fat people eat too much” bullshit, this goes against the prevailing “good” foods, “bad” foods reasoning or any other blame throwing for why people are fat.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the NY Times made her put in the “fat people eat too much” comments and her delusional claims that despite all evidence to the contrary she would continue to diet and try to lose, in order to get the article published.

      A lot of health editors don’t know shit about health or science or even how the body works. I could totally see some editor telling her that while she does have quite a lot of research that says the contrary, she should be a “good fattie” and talk about attempting to lose weight anyway.

      1. Just to be clear – I wasn’t saying this article was LIKE Gary Taubes’, or in any way making the same arguments as him. I am suggesting it may have a similar wide reach, and that’s what gets writers book contracts. This article has already shot to number one on the most emailed list.

        Her saying she will still diet, despite her own evidence, reminds me too much of people I know. They know x, but they still hope against hope they will be the exception. Cognitive dissonance. (Though of course I don’t know her or what’s in her mind. It’s just my thoughts on why she might have contradicted herself.)

      2. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the NY Times made her put in the “fat people eat too much” comments and her delusional claims that despite all evidence to the contrary she would continue to diet and try to lose, in order to get the article published.”

        I thought the very same thing.

        She wouldn’t get a book deal because this wouldn’t sell. I couldn’t find Linda Bacon’s book anywhere. I had to order it from Amazon. The only thing available at the major book retailers were weight loss books.

        Reality doesn’t sell.

  2. >I’m just wondering how, as a society, we got to a place where living with a food obsession that shares many characteristics with an eating disorder seems like the best idea.<


    Until very recently, I was that person. Like Tara, I obsessed beyond the telling of it. Did this repeatedly while sliding ever closer to eating disorder land.

    I got the HAES epiphany eventually, after being hit over the head with it (metaphorically) at least half a dozen times.

    FINALLY, I'm in the place of not dieting. Not wanting to, and even being strong enough to talk to my new doc about it yesterday. She offered a diet/nutrition counseling service, I politely told her that I wasn't interested and why. She was totally on board with my explanation. Heck, I wasn't even shaking or nervous about it.

    Ragen, I totally credit your blog for this. Following your posts over the past six months or so has truly helped me to come to a zen place about myself and my body. And even though I've recently been diagnosed with a systemic auto-immune disease that prevents me from exercising right now, I know that this is a process and I can work on health other ways without succumbing to the lure of "this time, the dieting will work". Heck, it only took 53 years! ::g::

    So thanks again and I hope that as the HAES principles continue forward and people become educated, articles like the one mentioned will change their ridiculous and unsupported conclusions.

    1. I read what the poor lady in the article was going through to keep the weight off and I was like “that was my life when I had anorexia! How can it be a good thing for her to live like that when I had to spend nine months in treatment learning to STOP living like that?”

      1. She was fat before and therefore, was condemned to a life of having to do this in order to be considered acceptable by society for not doing so will just bring her back to an unacceptable status. Pure and utter BS but that’s how it is in our society at this time. It’s why the show The Biggest Loser concerns me after hearing about the one contestant’s story about how she ended up with an eating disorder but having gone through that and coming out about it, people have done nothing but to totally blast her because she couldn’t have possibly had an eating disorder since she was fat to begin with and needed to lose the weight. I’ve told my husband at least once I could lose weight on crack and doctors wouldn’t care because hey, losing the weight is more important than HOW I lost it and that was more or less proven when I had an OB tell me that if I didn’t lose weight dieting and exercising, then I needed to look into surgery which to me is just a way to force your body to starve itself for the rest of its life. But reading articles like this is one reason I know I will never get to what doctors consider to be a healthy weight, I do not have that kind of drive nor do I want that kind of drive to have to obsess over every little thing I put into my mouth for the rest of my life. Couldn’t do it.

  3. When I read the quote “of course, common sense should tell you that [cake-eating imagery] is a bad idea”, it made me think of a quote from Einstein: “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

  4. I am tired of people looking for positives in what is so obviously mostly the same old, same old shit. I especially love where she says that we KNOW that fat people are fat because we eat ‘too many calories’, even though it has been demonstrated repeatedly that fat people on average eat no more than thin people & often less, even though we know that body size & shape are at least 80% genetic (not just a ‘tendency’ to gain weight easily, but a genetic size & shape our bodies are supposed to be), even though many of us who exercise regularly do not lose weight, even though it is known that we get no diseases thin people do not also get & that we can be & often are as healthy as or healthier than thin people. Why are we so grateful for crumbs? She gives with one hand, then takes away with the other. Is this better than many articles written about fat? Well, she is not screaming, “I hate you, you lazy, ugly fat slobs, die, die die!”, but she is still, even while giving us information to the contrary, telling us that all fat people should live our lives on a constant diet, that being thin is more important than almost anything else in life, & that being fat is terrible, so we MUST keep fighting it.

    Count me as one veteran of fat acceptance of well over 30 years who is not even a little impressed. I won’t be as long as the diet industry keeps growing & our culture keeps oppressing people for the size of the bodies & as long as anyone who tells even a little of the truth has to make obeisances to the god of thinness & be sure to remind us that, whatever the science is, whatever the truth of our lives might be, we can never be good enough, we can never rest & feel at home in our bodies, unless we are constantly fighting the fat.

  5. I might have some more thoughts that are better processed after a few cups of coffee, but for now I will simply bang my head against something hard.

    I’m at an odd point in my journey. I don’t own a scale, I eat fairly healthy most days and follow my body’s cues as to what it needs at the moment, I’ve worked on upping my physical activity, I am finally working on a few health issues that are not weight related in any shape or form but need to be attended to, and I am finding myself disillusioned by the diet industry. All of this is great, but I still find myself having to work very hard to replace negative thoughts about my physical appearance with thoughts that are at least neutral. When something comes out in the mainstream about what I logically understand I start to do a happy dance only to lose heart when the “even though it doesn’t make sense” section slaps me in the face. It’s almost as if I somehow forget that it will be there, glaring at me in a judgmental manner. Then again, perhaps I forget that it will be there because I am blessed to be able to read the work of people, like yourself, that won’t slap me.

  6. “Even though all the evidence suggests that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to reduce my weight permanently, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I may not be ready to fight this battle this month or even this year. But at least I know what I’m up against.”

    Even though all evidence suggests that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to jump into the bottom of an empty diving pool without injuring myself, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I may not be ready to jump this month or even this year. But at least i know what I’m up against.

  7. Nobody wants to be fat.

    You know, it’s really difficult for me to take the rest of that paragraph seriously when I can’t get past the first sentence. Not only is it an overgeneralization, but it’s one with which I disagree. If this is the body that results when I focus on my true overall health, then yes, I do want to be fat.

    I mean, it would rock my world if society got over its fat prejudices, but I don’t see that as the same thing as not wanting to be fat.

    1. And let’s analyze that sentence too. WHY does nobody want to be fat? Well, because we’re told over and over and over again that being fat is BAD. Being fat is WRONG. We’re told by clothes designers that being fat means you won’t find clothes that fit you. If you do, you’ll have to spend more money on them. Fat people are told all the time that they have to whittle themselves down because society won’t size things up for them. So yeah, I’m not surprised that nobody wants to be fat. But if those things didn’t exist? If the stigma wasn’t there? It might be a different story.

    2. Oh, yes.

      I am losing weight unintentionally because of an illness. I would do anything to be my usual fat and healthy self.

  8. Ok I’m not done reading but I had to come comment that this line made me almost choke laughing so hard:

    “This paragraph is a little from column A, a little from column shit.”

  9. And the fact is that, as hated & discriminated against as fat people are in this society, as demonized as fat, there ARE actually some people who ‘want’ to be fat, who enjoy living large, who do not want ‘the magic pill of thinness’ even if it existed. Of course, they are labeled as weird, wrong, self-destructive, &/or delusional, but they do exist.

  10. “Nobody wants to be fat”. One of these days she’ll realize that the true statement is “Nobody wants to be treated like shit for being fat”.
    Reading that list of behaviours given for the ‘successful body registry’ people I felt a very familiar panic rising in me. I did a lot of those things at one time, including carrying around a notebook to obsessively document everything that went into my face. The entire enterprise had an element of righteousness or failure to it and I obsessed about food all the damn time. I will never go back to there again. Never.

    1. Agreed. Having been on WW, it’s one reason I could never go back to dieting. I don’t know how people do it because I just end up going off the deep end eventually. Counting and obsessing and daily weighing and taking pictures of the before and trying to “bribe” myself with little rewards and simply hating the whole process. It didn’t help that I lived with someone who was (and still is) who could eat anything and as much as he wanted and not gain much weight at all and any weight he did gain came right off. So to me, it just never seemed fair to put all of this work in and MAYBE lose some weight when others didn’t have to do anything at all.

      1. I agree as well! I did my time with Weight Watchers when I was 13 (I’m 44 now), and did my own calorie countng and obsessing about food. I did lose a good deal of weight, but between having the dieting interrupted by my first case of pneumonia (connected? Who knows) and starting college, i predictably gained more than the “freshman 15.” 😉

        I had to find a doctor who would believe me when I said “I think something is wrong with my thyroid.” Too many doctors think that thyroid patients are looking for diet pills; if someone is using thyroid medication for that purpose it’s not a good purpose! Finally I found a doctor who ran the tests that identified a thyroid problem; now I treat with Armour Thyroid and it seems to keep my levels in balance.

        I’m sad to angry that it took so many years to figure out there was something up with my thyroid, and that my biology was set off-balance by dieting at a young age! Now I’m doing better; I only weigh myself to keep an eye on the Armour and if my seizure medications seem to be affecting my weight strangely (yes, a seizure disorder and autoimmune disorder were also discovered).

        My most recent amusing ephiphany was from my doctor at Johns Hopkins hospital – they treat me for seizures and my autoimmune issues. My doctor just tracks my weight without comment; it’s just a maintenance thing and he’s never mentioned dieting! I was amused when one of his reports said “mildly obese” and another report a few years later said “mildly overweight.” My reaction? “Huh, I lost weight?” 😉 It’s not like a was trying and I don’t think I had; I just found it amusing.

        Basically i identify as “short, chubby and cute.” I like myself that way and have no wanting to lose weight. I guess that makes me a bit atypical, but I enjoy being atypical – and cute. 🙂

  11. Looking at the photo slide show of the Bridges’ day, don’t they look grim? I mean, I don’t want to judge anyone’s inner truth by their outward appearance, but compared to the first picture of the couple when they were fat, the rest of the pictures just look tight lipped and miserable.

    1. Yeah, they do. Not to mention, it does seem that the weight loss added age to their faces. There have been a number of articles that I have read that have suggested that extra weight in your face makes you look younger, especially after the age of 40 (I’m waiting for that! lol). I know my mother, while she looked old for her age in some ways, her face really did not show much in the way of wrinkles. I can’t say now because I haven’t seen any recent pictures of her. Growing up, I always thought she was very beautiful because she knew how to carry and present herself, especially when she dressed up.

      1. I was just thinking about this. I think the weight plumps the face and stretches the wrinkles, so no sagging or wrinkles will make a face appear younger or less haggard.

        I have noticed while browsing facebook and comparing the faces of family members taken recently vs years ago, ad many of them look younger with the extra weight.

  12. It sees to me that another reason the weight starts creeping back is that they go from a diet where they eat fewer calories per day than the average five year-old — and most of that in liquids, meal bars and fake foods — to trying to eat normally.

    I’m not saying that if they actually ate a sustainable number of calories in REAL food and lost weight that they would keep it off, but it seems like the severe calorie restriction is a big factor.

    Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason that 95% of people regain precisely because of the WAY they lost it — by starving themselves and/or overexercising to lose weight quickly and probably lose more weight than was sustainable for their body type.

    1. I think that the more the body thinks that severe famine has set in (e.g. it starts getting 1/4 or 1/2 the fuel it needs to do its work), the more extremely it’s going to go into fat-adding mode as soon as access to calories comes back. However, I have done several cycles of “sensible” weight loss of 1-2 lbs week, eating mostly whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and the occasional “treat” and the weight regain is just as inexorable. One major difference is that the plateauing – the metabolism just firmly refusing to shed another ounce of precious fat store – is so much longer when you take it nice and slow…

      So liberating to know, really, no more. Never again, ever.

      1. What frustrates me is that my body seems SO sensitive to ANY changes I make that even pregnancy messes me up! I don’t gain much weight during pregnancy and didn’t this last pregnancy but gained 50 lbs in a year. SO frustrating! I’m heavier now than I have ever been (even when I was 9 months pregnant with my firstborn) and sometimes want to cry. I need to start focusing more on my health though and doing things for that (like more exercise and more fruits and veggies) and hope that in the end, my weight will FINALLY stabilize.

  13. It has been well documented, Jill, that 95% or more of people who follow ‘healthy, balanced, ‘sensible’ diets’ still regain all or most of the weight or sometimes more. It isn’t just those who go on starvation diets or fad diets. Attempts to make your body something it is not almost always fail, because our bodies know better than our conscious minds or the culture or any ‘expert’ what size they need to be.

    And I am from a family of women who look young for a long time, fat women. I inherited those genes. I do not, never have, never would, have any kind of cosmetic surgeries or injections, I do not color my hair or wear any makeup, just basic cleanliness & self-care, moisturizing, etc. At 62, I have no grey hair, no wrinkles aside from a few fine lines under my eyes, & have been several times mistaken for the wife of my 33-year-old & the mother of my 6-year-old granddaughter. My mother did not show any grey hair until she was at least 75 & did not look her age until a chronic condition called sarcocoidosis caused her to lose a large amount of weight. Weight loss is seriously aging for those of us who are older & it also increases our mortality risks by several hundred percent. That is not something about which you are likely to be reading in the mainstream media.

  14. My issue is, who is gauging the “healthy”, “balanced” and “sensible” diets? Slim Fast advocates drinking their shakes (and now eating their bars) all day then eating a “sensible” dinner. Slim Fast might even suggest what is sensible.

    I fully agree that trying to make your body something that it is not is the biggest factor and I was NOT trying to imply that everyone who eats sensibly should lose and keep it off (which is also implying that those who don’t keep it off don’t eat sensibly).

    What I WAS implying was that I believed that many people who diet to lose are feeding themselves fewer (sometimes FAR fewer) calories than they need to sustain their natural weight. You would HAVE to, especially if you don’t lose by eating actual normal, healthy, sensible and balanced meals.

    I say this because I have been there (and yes, I know that my experience is not everyone’s. As I said, this is what I THINK.)

    I also say this because many of the diet “success” stories we read involve people who have lost by cutting food groups, cutting calories, or eating and exercising in other ways that are not balanced, sensible or healthy. But, they might categorize these things as balanced, sensible and healthy because they are losing weight.

    My point I believe that success from restricting and overexercising it happens more often than the eating sensibly model. Because it makes sense to me that if someone is not losing as fast as they want, or at all, by eating sensibly that they would continue to restrict until they do lose. Because that’s the dieting for weight loss mindset.

    But I’m babbling.

    1. The thing is that lots of fat people eat “sensibly” by any mainstream definition of “sensibly” and remain fat. Most fat people eat like most thin people, as every survey shows. The magic of the weight cycling industry is its ability to ignore that cognitive dissonance entirely.

  15. “This paragraph is a little from column A, a little from column shit. Hell yes we should rethink our biases about fat people. but not because of the science. It doesn’t matter why people are fat, or whether or not they could be thin. Every body of every size deserves respect. If you’re wondering why someone is fat you can feel free to file that away in the None of your Damn Business folder while treating them with basic human respect.”

    I just hack wheezed with laughter and then clapped. Thank you. The last sentence needs to be put on a tee shirt and a million stickers and passed out like candy at school.

  16. Reading those excerpts from the “successful” maintainers really made me stop to think about the way the media treats unhealthy lifestyles. People freak out about eating disorders, but their solution isn’t banning things that seek to normalize them (i.e., pretty much every ad where a woman is thinking about food). Instead, they ban size 0 models. They launch campaigns about having “curves” and “real beauty.” They make disordered eating into something that is completely superficial, while the messages that are causing the real problem are still coming at us from every direction. It’s the same thing with refusing to show images of successful and healthy fat people (because they would “promote” obesity and unhealthy eating; you know, the same way skinny models are the root of anorexia), while still bombarding us with fast food and restaurant ads that encourage binging and unbalanced diets. The image censorship always bothered me, but now that I’m actually pairing it with the way the media seems to condone pro-e.d. messages, I’m starting to have a serious “What is this, I don’t even” moment, which I’m sure will soon turn into a very thorough “What the hell is this shit” moment.

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