Irresponsible Me

I got a bunch of hate mail today calling me “irresponsible” for writing what I do.  I was going to blog about it and realized that I had already.  Here’s an oldie but goodie about how my readers are not idiots:

When people disagree with my blog, there are three main points that they tend to make:

1.  I am a liar.  It is impossible to be healthy and obese.  I covered that here.

2.  I’m must hate thin people and encourage thin bashing.  I find this incredibly offensive.  I covered it in detail here.  And Here.   And Here. And about a hundred other places.

3.  It’s fine for me to think what I want (even thought it’s obviously wrong and stupid), but I’m incredibly irresponsible for putting it in a blog because people will read it and choose Health at Every Size like I did and then they’ll die of fatness and it will all be my fault. Oh, where to begin with this one.

The diet industry in this country makes nearly 60 billion dollars a year convincing people they should want to be thin.  They are assisted by almost every major news and media outlet buying into the conflation of weight and health and giving us 386,170 negative messages about our bodies every year, along with extraordinarily irresponsible reporting. Then there is the multi-billion dollar beauty industry.  Self Magazine put 34 weight loss stories on their cover in 2010 alone.  That’s an average of almost 3 cover stories every month for just ONE magazine, and that doesn’t take into account the fact that they choose nearly every model in every picture based on a single standard of beauty . Billions of dollars and billions of work hours going into convincing people that they should want to be thin and that thin and healthy are the same thing.

I am one woman blogging.

What I’m getting at here is that if my message is that much of a threat to the mainstream then I think they should consider how weak their message really is, and whether or not they want to keep pushing that message.

Even more to the point, my readers (with the possible exception of the people who stumble onto this blog and make this kind of comment) are not idiots.  They are capable of weighing evidence and making their own decisions.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said on this blog that I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live, simply demonstrating an option. People are allowed to make choices that are different than your choices or my choices, and that in no way invalidates your choices or my choices. We are all the boss of our own underpants, and we are not the boss of anyone else’s underpants.  Why everyone except these commenters is able to grasp that I will never know.

The E-Book is “Name Your Own Price”!

I wanted everyone to be able to afford Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Surviving a Thin-Obsessed World with your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact  so it  is now available in soft cover and e-book which is “name your own price”

Become a Member, Support The Work!

This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda Poretsky, Jeanette DePatie and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

The Fattest Woman in the World

Picture by the amazing and talented Substantia Jones for http://www.adipositivity.com

Reader Kristin sent me the link to a website where one can enter height and weight and  it will calculate your BMI, and show you how you compare to people in your country and in the world, and how much more (or less) the world’s population would weigh if everyone was your size.  Obviously I’m not linking to this – I’ll not be giving them traffic.

Before we look at the deeply flawed premise, let’s look at the deeply flawed math – I promise it will be fun.

I looked up Dkembe Mutombo’s stats.  Mr. Mutombo is 7’2 and 245 pounds.

So I entered that I was 5’4 and weight 245 pounds.  According to the site, if everyone was my BMI it would add 221,841,307 tonnes to the earth.

It says that if everyone was Mr. Mutombo’s BMI it would remove 5,204,897 tonnes from the total weight of the world’s population.

Let’s review:

If everyone in the world weighed 245 pounds and was 5’4 that would add 221,841,307 pounds to the total weight of the Earth’s population.

If everyone in the world weighed 245 pounds and was 7’2, that would subtract 5,204,897 pounds to the total weight of the Earth’s population.

Right, that absolutely makes sense…

EDIT:  There has been some confusion so let me clarify.  Yes, I understand that they are assuming that everyone has the same BMI (not the same weight) but that we fall on a regular distribution of heights.  What I was trying to point was how ridiculous that is – both because of the math and because to acknowledge that we have very different heights due to human diversity while simultaneously calculating what would happen if we were all the same BMI is a waste of time at best and that using it to try to shame people about their body size is despicable. It should also be noted that at 5’4 245 it said that I had a higher BMI than 98% of the US, and a higher BMI than 100% of the world – did they kick us out and nobody told me?  Also, people at various weights and heights end up having the same BMI so calculating exactly how many more pounds the world’s population would weigh if everyone was my BMI is impossible (since someone could be shorter than me and weight less than I and have the same BMI or taller than me and weigh more with the same BMI.) END EDIT

Let’s look at my actual results as a 35 year old woman who is 5’4, 284 pounds:

You have a higher BMI than 100% of females aged 30-44 in your country

You have a higher BMI than 100% of females aged 30-44 in the world

If everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would add 302,843,305 tonnes to the total weight of the world’s population

While I would be fine being the fattest women age 30-44 in the world, I think it’s demonstrably not the case. Perhaps the fuzzy math is because these numbers are based on a study that is absolutely ridiculous in its research methods. But the premise (decide if your body is ok based on what would happen if everyone in the world was the same weight as you) is completely flawed from the beginning.

Human diversity exists for a reason.  Some people are 7’2.  If everyone was 7’2 it would have a major impact on the way the world works.  Some people are 4’8.  If everyone was 4’8 we would have to seriously change things, or at least crank up ladder production.  That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with very tall or very short bodies or that there is any point in speculating about what would happen if everyone was a certain height.  Just like there is no point in speculating about what would happen if everyone was a certain weight, especially since the studies that exist say that your chance of losing weight is only about 5% higher than your chance of changing your height.

It’s become very popular to focus on body size, trying to convince everyone that they should look at fat people, stereotype us, and blame us for all of the world’s problems (including the eventual end of humanity).  I see plenty of this happening, what I don’t see is any good coming of it.

On an individual level, people don’t typically take care of things that they hate and that includes their bodies; so telling people that they should dislike and feel guilty about the body that they live in 100% of the time is not likely to end well. From a societal perspective, history tells us that attempting to scapegoat a group of people because they share physical characteristics is an absolutely horrible idea.  It’s time to stop.  We may not be able to make it stop immediately (that will take some work)  but we can damn well stand up for our amazing bodies instead of being ashamed or apologizing for them.

Like the Blog?  Check out my new book!

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Surviving a Thin-Obsessed World with your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact is now available in soft cover and e-book at a price anyone can afford!

Become a Member, Support The Work!

This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda Poretsky, Jeanette DePatie and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

What if You Hate Your Fat Body?

I hear a lot from people that they are “unable” to like themselves – that they can’t look in the mirror and be happy with the reflection, that they can’t be ok with their bodies, that they can’t accept being fat or be happy in a fat body etc.

I remember really struggling with this in my life and I know that it was a long hard process. And the first thing that I had to realize was that I’m literally the only person in the world who can decide how I feel about myself.  Nobody can crawl into my brain and force me feel any way about my body. The way that I feel about myself is an amalgamation of the opinions and thoughts that I’ve allowed myself to believe either consciously or unconsciously.

I spent a lot of time trying to blame other people for how much I hated myself and, at least for me, it never made anything better. Yes, I have a major issue with the way that women are portrayed in the media, and with industries like the diet and beauty industries that do everything in their power to make us hate ourselves so that we will buy their products in an attempt to stop hating ourselves.  Yes, I think it’s bullshit that they try to take our self-esteem, cheapen it and sell it back at a profit.  But that doesn’t change the fact that whether or not I buy into that and how I feel about myself is my decision – it has to be, there is simply no one else who could make it.

Now, was realizing this a magic spell that changed everything instantaneously?  No.  Not even close.  I had a ton of hard work ahead of me.  Still, the most important thing that I ever did for myself was take responsibility for how I feel about myself and my body. Because that allowed me to make the decision, the declaration (if only to myself in my living room) that I was going to learn to love myself no matter what it took.  At that point I didn’t like myself any more than I had the minute before I made the declaration but, for the first time in a long time, I had a glimmer of hope.

One day soon after that I was spending some time thinking about how I felt about myself and how I could feel better and why I felt so bad and I realized that I had spent so many years hating my body for how it looked I hadn’t taken any time to thank my body for what it does. So I got out some paper and made a list of everything that I could think of that my body does.  I think it was more than 60 pages long and I know that it included breathing and blinking (as well as smiling, talking, walking, hugging, waste elimination…it was extensive, is what I’m saying here.)

Then I decided to really put some energy into noticing my thoughts, interrupting negative thoughts about my body and replacing them with gratitude for things from my list.  Any things.  I might walk by a window and start to think something negative about my stomach but I would stop myself and think “hey body, thanks for blinking so our eyes don’t shrivel up!” Whatever it took to get to a place of gratitude.  Doing this exercise for a few weeks was the single most life changing thing that I’ve ever done.

At the end of those weeks I was no kind of poster girl for fat pride, I still didn’t love the shape of my body – that would come later – but I appreciated my body for what it did and for me that changed everything. It’s what paved the way for me to ask myself why I hated the shape of my body – was it really about what I thought or was it external messages that I had internalized and, since I had internalized them how could I kick them the hell out?  But it all started with the realization that I was in charge of this.  As painful as it was to realize that there was nobody else to blame for my seeming inability to be happy with my body, it also meant that my ability to love my body didn’t depend on anyone else and that was good news.

There’s a beautiful quote by Og Mandino that is one of my favorites, a portion of which I used to repeat to myself all the time while I was in this process:

 I will act now. I will act now.  I will act now. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.

Like the Blog?  Check out my new book!

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Surviving a Thin-Obsessed World with your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact is now available in soft cover and e-book at a price anyone can afford!

Become a Member, Support The Work!

This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda Poretsky, Jeanette DePatie and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

The Problem with Fat Civil Rights

Or your narrow chair…

I received an e-mail from a reader today that I think sums up a situation that a lot of fat people face [trigger warning for weight loss talk – you can skip the quote if you don’t want to be triggered]:

 I want to be smaller. I want to be able to sit in any damn chair I want and to not worry that a seatbelt won’t fit. I want to fly economy class, dammit! …But I know that diets do not work the vast majority of the time…What I do not know is how to reconcile my desire to be smaller with my very strong view that there is nothing wrong with being fat … I am absolutely fine with being me I would just like to be a bit smaller. And I do mean a bit – I don’t want to be thin, just comfortable in more situations.

This is a difficult situation and one faced by many oppressed populations – it’s not uncommon to wish that you could change yourself to be in the non-oppressed group, even just a little bit.  This desire can be especially strong in oppressed groups who are told that they can move into the non-oppressed group if they just try hard enough.  Personally,  as a queer woman I’ve been told that if I would just try harder to be straight my life would be easier.  As a fat woman I’ve been told that if I would just try harder to lose weight my life would be easier.  In both situations I am told that I should support the system of social stigma by working to change myself rather than working to change system of social stigma. In both cases I refuse to do that.

I think  the reason we ponder this at all is the illusion that weight loss is possible even though studies show that the vast majority of those who diet will gain back their weight and many will gain back more than they lost. If we were having trouble trouble fitting into the world because we were very tall or very  short, we might curse our fate but we would not be trying to change our bodies. As fat people we are encouraged to believe that the solution to all of our problems is just a diet away.

Even if weight loss was possible this would be an invalid argument. I do not believe that the cure for social stigma and oppression (including not being accommodated at our size) is for us to be required to change our bodies. I think the cure for social stigma is ending social stigma.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t attempt weight loss or that I’ll judge you if you do (and of course you are under absolutely no obligation to care what I think anyway) you are the boss of your underpants and you have the right to try for smaller panties.  All I care about is that everyone has access to all the information, what choices they make for their bodies are up to them and I respect those choices as I want my choices to be respected (and I will never understand people who can’t get that).

I do think the reality is that this attitude impedes the fight for fat civil rights – including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the bodies we have now without having our government waging war on us for how we look.  If you believe the media, fat people make up almost 70% of the US population.  We control the vote, you’d think we could get some freaking comfortable chairs.

But every time we say “I just want to lose enough weight to fit into a chair/fit into economy class/not be stigmatized anymore” what we are NOT saying is “There is nothing wrong with my body and I demand that you stop stigmatizing me and start accommodating me and I’m willing to fight for that”.

I think  the biggest challenge faced by the Fat Civil Rights Movement at the moment is that so many fat people don’t believe they deserve civil rights and a world that accommodates their bodies.  Of course nobody is obligated to believe that or to become a fat activist, but the truth is that civil rights are historically the result of a critical mass of the oppressed population deciding that they deserve to be treated better, and then demanding that despite the fact that it’s a long, difficult, uncomfortable fight.

The good news is that once we decide that we’ve had about enough of being treated like crap, we have the resources to fight back if we will just re-purpose them.  Imagine if we put as much time, energy and money into fighting for a world without weight stigma, oppression and that accommodates people of all sizes as we have put into dieting.  That, my friends, would be a game changer. That would give us the ability fight back against the government-sponsored  war on fat people, stop saying “I just want to lose enough weight to be treated better” cut out the middle man and simply demand to be treated better.

Like the Blog?  Check out the Book!

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Surviving a Thin-Obsessed World with your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact is now available in soft cover and e-book at a price anyone can afford!

Become a Member, Support The Work!

This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda Poretsky, Jeanette DePatie and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

11 Reasons to Stop Focusing on Weight

Before we get to our list, let me just tell you that my book – Fat:  The Owner’s Manual –  is now officially available for order in soft copy and e-book.  Get all the details and order here!

On to the blog…I had four different e-mails today asking about this blog so I’m reposting:  If you are interested in being healthy/healthier and you start to do some research, you will find that there are currently two competing ideas when it comes to health. One judges health based on weight and believes that health problems can be solved through weight loss.  The other says health should be the focus (rather than weight), and that health problems should be solved through health interventions.

Here are 11 reasons why I think a focus on health makes way more sense if someone is interested in pursuing health:

1.  Simple Observation

We know that there are healthy fat people an unhealthy thin people so weight=health does not hold up to simple observation.

2.  Thin people get all the diseases that are correlated with fatness

And since thin people get all of these diseases, then being thin is neither a sure cure nor a certain preventative. Further, since we treat thin people for these diseases we have treatment protocols that do not involve weight loss.  Those same protocols could be used on fat people who have these diseases – so that we are treating the actual disease and not just trying to change someone’s body size and hoping that solves their health problems.

3.  Correlation does not equal causation

Just because a disease is correlated with obesity does not mean that it is caused by obesity.  In some cases, sleep apnea for example, a condition is thought to cause obesity leading to a chicken and the egg problem. By focusing on the health problem instead of the weight we avoid this issue altogether.

4. Confirmation Bias

We seek evidence that confirms our existing beliefs.  For example doctors test obese people earlier and more often for diseases thought to be correlated with obesity, thin people who have the symptoms of diseases that are correlated with obesity are often ignored because the doctors assume that thin people are “safe” from these diseases.  If you have two groups and you test one earlier and more often for a set of health problems, and subsequently ignore the symptoms of those health problems in the second group, of course the first group is likely to have a higher diagnosis rate.

5.  Third Factor

One of the reasons that correlation does not imply causation is because the two things could both be caused by a third factor.  It’s entirely possible that a third factor is responsible for both obesity and disease in which case weight loss attempts will do nothing to address the problem and may even exacerbate it.

6.  The Wrong Measurements

When people set weight loss as a goal, they are typically assuming that along with that weight loss they’ll get a host of metabolic health benefits: good cholesterol, blood pressure, triglyceride and blood glucose numbers etc.  So when, like 95% of people, they fail at weight loss they assume that they failed at all of the health outcomes as well.  But studies show that this isn’t the case.  Had they measured their metabolic health rather than their weight they are likely to have seen health increases, even without weight loss.

7.  Confusing the standard of beauty with health

As a culture we tend to have a single standard of beauty (which is a whole other problem).  Unfortunately it is all too easy to assume that this single standard of beauty is also the single standard of health. That is simply not true.

8. Human Diversity

We accept a huge amount of human diversity.  Large variations in skin color, shapes and sizes of feet, hands, and noses, heights, hair colors and textures etc. are all considered normal.  And yet we expect healthy bodies to conform to a narrow height weight ratio or we consider them “abnormal” or “unhealthy”

9.  The Dieting Effect

In studies dieting (particularly dieting young and/or repeatedly) predicts weight gain and obesity.  It makes sense then that as we have continued to diet younger and more often we see larger bodies. The solution is unlikely to be more dieting.

10. The Unlikelihood of Weight Loss

In studies since 1959 weight loss has shown a success rate of only 5%.  Doctors are prescribing a solution that only works 5% of the time to 60% of Americans. The diet industry makes 60 Billion dollars a year taking credit for their successes, and blaming their clients for their failures. Would you use birth control that worked for the first year but gave you a 95% chance of getting pregnant years 2-5?  Would you be okay with the company (and the world) blaming you if you were one of the 95% who got pregnant?

11.  The likelihood of increased health

We know that health is multi-dimensional and not entirely within our control.  That said, studies show that most people will get a health benefit from participating in healthy behaviors (healthy eating and movement).  Studies also show that most of these people will not experience significant long term weight loss.  But, again, they will be healthier.

So there you go, 11 reasons why I think that focusing on health and not  weight makes the most sense if someone is interested in pursuing health.

Become a Member, Support The Work!

This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda PoretskyJeanette DePatie, and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

Drink Like a Lady?

Today I saw a commercial for a line of diet alcohol that had the tag line “drink like a lady”.  That activated my eye-roll reflex so violently I was worried that I was going to damage my vision.  There are so many things wrong with this.

I am exhausted as it is by all of the products trying to increase their market share by promising not that their food or beverage is tasty or nutritious, but that it will help us manipulate our body size (despite a complete and utter lack of evidence). One of the things that I do as activism is to never buy a product with a weight loss message.  It’s ridiculous – “diet” versions of everything from cereal to soda, their packaging covered with empty promises – “Lose 20 pounds in 10 minutes by eating this chemical shitstorm version of real food!”  I sort of can’t believe that people are still pimping that speech.

And now a woman owned company chooses to make their money by trying to convince women that if we want to be a “lady” we even have to drink diet booze.  It’s not new – I remember my Atkins friends loading up on Vodka and low carb Red Bull and my Weight Watchers friends calculating the points value of a rum and diet Coke.  Now we can get drunk supporting a company that tells us that a “lady” should never, ever not be thinking about her weight.  Getting a drink to relax, they want us to know, should not include relaxing the constant calorie counting and diet mentality that defines us as “ladies.”

Another of their tag lines is “cocktails without the guilt.” I think that “guilt free!” food is even worse that “diet!” food. One of the best things that I gave up in my journey from an eating disorder to a healthy relationship with food was the concept of guilt. If I decide to have some ice cream I choose ice cream made with ingredients that I can discern without pulling out my college chemistry book or my copy of the periodic table. I eat the ice cream, enjoy the ice cream and move on with my life, unlikely to think about the ice cream again.  If I choose a salad the same steps apply.  I spent a LOT of time feeling guilty about what I ate, what I didn’t eat, what I wanted to eat even if I didn’t, and no good came of it.  A guilt free cocktail is one that you drink and then don’t choose to feel guilt over. Guilt free does not have to be about spending more on some special product, and you don’t need a  special product or anyone else’s permission to eat and drink without guilt.

I’m not against people selling products (I’ll be pimping my new book and blog membership at the end of this post and I’m not guilty about that either).  I am against companies trying to take our self-esteem, cheapen it, and sell it back to us at a profit.  This guilt free lady is calling bullshit on that.

Pre-Order the Book!

You have until this Sunday to preorder the book and get free shipping and an autographed copy. 

On July 9th the hard copy will go up for sale including shipping and without the autograph, and the low cost e-book will also become available.

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann, is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.

Become a Member, Support The Work!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

 

The Deadly War on Obesity

The Collateral Damage Project seeks to collect stories of the casualties in the War on Obesity. There are many.  Sadly, like any war, the war on obesity has seen it’s share of casualties including fatalities.

Fiona Geraghty, who suffered from bulimia, told her doctor and her parents that girls at her private boarding school were teasing her for being fat before committing suicide.

After a year long inquiry the coroner blames the fashion industry, the media, and the internet. Her parents blame the treatment that she received for her eating disorder.

A school bus monitor is taunted to the point of tears for being fat. People say that kids are cruel and blame the parents.

In truth, the climate created by the war on obesity is a huge part of the problem.  The war is not just useless, pointless, and lacking evidence of efficacy – it’s harmful.  It’s deadly.

It’s also not the first time this has happened.  Think about times in history when a government has encouraged citizens to blame the country’s problems on a group of people who they can identify by sight or a particular characteristic. Oppressions cannot and should not be compared, my point here is that historically, that is not something that goes well. And if you think “well, this isn’t the same thing” maybe remind yourself that people in the past have justified their horrific behavior in exactly the same way.

The truth is inescapable:  fat people are being shamed, stigmatized, oppressed and scapegoated for profit and political cover.

For the record:

No, fat people are NOT the reason that healthcare costs have gone up.

No, there is no argument to be made about how fat people are costing you tax dollars.

Yes, it’s okay to be fat – no, other people’s bodies are not your business

Yes, the fashion industry, the media and the internet are part of the problem but all three of those are funded by our time, money and energy so ending this war starts with us and it’s not hard to participate.   There is one simple thing that you could do right now that I think will have a major impact:

Stop all negative body talk. Right now. Seriously, right this minute commit the mental energy to noticing your thoughts and intentionally changing your thought patterns to stop thinking negative things about bodies. Including and especially your own body.  Including thin people- size acceptance means all sizes.  If we stop all negative body talk, if we decide that we are simply no longer willing to put others down to make ourselves feel better, if we choose to stop trying to make people hate the body they live in 100% of the time, if we choose to start loving and appreciating the body that we live in 100% of the time, if we realize that other people’s bodies, health and habits are none of our damn business (just like our bodies, health and habits are not a matter for public comment), if we teach these values to our children, we will start to see a massive change for the better. And we can do it starting right freaking now.

Pre-Order the Book!

You have until this Sunday to preorder the book and get free shipping and an autographed copy.

On July 9th the hard copy will go up for sale including shipping and without the autograph, and the low cost e-book will also become available.

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann, is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.

Become a Member, Support The Work!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen