Fining the Parents of Fat Kids

Think of the childrenIn yet another stunningly horrific example of what can happen when the government involves itself in the weight of children, Gilberto Rodriguez, a member of the Puerto Rico Senate, is one of the sponsors of a bill that he claims will “improve children’s wellbeing and help parents make healthier choices” by fining parents for their kid’s body size.

“If, after six months, education officials determine that the child’s condition has not improved, a staffer can refer the case to child-family services authorities as one involving abuse or mistreatment.

“If after another six months the situation persists, the parents can be assessed up to $500 in fines.

“Six months after that, if the problem continues, the parents can be fined an additional $800.”

Even with all of the anti-fat BS that I’ve covered in this blog, there are still some things that I can’t believe I have to type, but here goes:

Fining parents for their kid’s body size is a terrible idea.

Let me count the ways:

1.  Even if being an “education official” qualified people to be involved in this mess, body size does not constitute abuse and it’s incredibly dangerous to suggest that it does. We end up with cases like that of Anamarie Regino who was torn from her home at 3 years old but failed to lose weight in foster care  She was returned to her family and it was determined that a genetic disorder that caused the weight gain.  Oddly, parents seem to find “We’re sorry, our bad” to be cold comfort for the pain and loss caused by having their kids ripped out of their home because of the way they look.

2.  As we discussed a couple of days ago, the research doesn’t support a focus on the weight of children and, in fact, the research shows that it is dangerous.

3.  What constitutes a fat kid?  Are we using BMI?  Percentile-based charts (in which case no matter what kids weight 5% of them will be in the top 5% by definition). Are “education officials” just eye-balling it? What about muscular kids? What about kids who are genetically bigger? What about kids who are getting ready for a growth spurt? Kids come in lots of different sizes for lots of different reasons and fining parents for that does not have the ring of responsible governing.

4.  It’s massively regressive – the less money a family has the more this will hurt their ability to take good care of their family.  In what world does having $1,300 less in the budget “improve children’s wellbeing and help parents make healthier choices”? Also, if parents have more than 1 fat kids are they fined for each one?

5.  While this is unlikely to make kids healthier, it is pretty much guaranteed to fuck up the relationship between parents and kids.  I remember getting yelled at for losing a $2 pair of tongs imagine if a kid is costing their parents $1,300 just for existing.  What kind of horror will be foisted upon kids by well meaning parents misled by the government? What would  desperate parents who can’t spare $1,300 put their kids through so that they can “make weight”?  What kind of unhealthy things will a kid who feels responsible for costing their parents $1,300 turn to?  How many relationships between parents and kids will be damaged by this?  How many will be irreparably damaged?  How will this affect families with a thin kid and a fat kid?  This bill is seems to be custom- designed to create dissonance in families and there is no “increased wellbeing” in that.

6.  What happens if stealing $1,300 from a family doesn’t magically make their kid thin? I think this is especially important since it’s the most likely outcome. Do we just keep fining them?  Are they going to put kids into foster care based on a ratio of weight and height?

This proposal is completely indefensible and I can only hope that it helps people see exactly how ridiculous the obesity hysteria OMGDEATFATZ epi-panic has become, and how much we need to change the way that we look at body size, health, and the government’s involvement in either, including and especially when it comes to kids.

Random Request:

1.  I’m trying to meet Beth Ditto for a possible collaboration – if you know her, I would love an introduction!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Join the The Brave Body Love Summit: 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body.  Week one is over and the recordings are now available.  Week 2 is getting ready to start.  Check it out here!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

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A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

 

Show Up and Refuse to Leave

Malia is not going anywhereI think that a lot of fat activism, or at least my particular style of fat activism, is about simply showing up and refusing to leave, even if people are confused about what we’re doing there.

When fat people do things that challenge people’s preconceived notions of what we are supposed to do, or how we are supposed to act – like being happy with our bodies, wearing certain clothes, participating in fitness etc, we’re not asking people for their approval.  We are living the lives we want to live and also giving people an opportunity to examine their own prejudices and bigotry and make better choices moving forward. We’re doing them a courtesy.

When fat people refuse to be judged based on our bodies, our health, or how other people think we should look or act, we aren’t begging for acceptance.  We are saying “I set the terms and boundaries by which we interact and in the unlikely event that I want your opinion on my body or choices you’ll be among the very first people to know.”

When fat people refuse to bow to the pressure of the war on obesity to attempt weight loss (even if anyone could show that it is possible) we aren’t begging for mercy.  We are saying that we have the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as everyone else and that includes the right to live in our fat bodies without the government waging war on us for how we look, so how about you back the hell off.

When fat people refuse to be hidden or dismissed by society we aren’t begging for recognition, we are demanding respect.

When it comes to respecting size diversity the world is seriously fucked up. It’s not our fault but it becomes our problem and I think it’s important to remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with us, and that the way fat people are treated is completely, utterly, unjustifiably wrong. It’s not us, it’s for damn sure them.  We each get to choose how we deal with that and all of those choices are valid. I plan to keep showing up and refusing to leave.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Join the The Brave Body Love Summit: 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body Check it out here!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

How Not to Market Your Weight Loss Webinar

facepalmI get plenty of ridiculous hate mail, but sometimes I get something even more ridiculous. A company that so completely misunderstands my blog that they sincerely ask me to help them market their weight loss bullshit.  Here’s part of a recent example:

Our first webinar addresses a sensitive topic: weight loss. We know what you are thinking (and feeling). But, we urge you to keep reading. Don’t close this email!

[Our Ridiculous Company] does not promote getting skinny; we promote being well. And, weight loss is part of many woman’s journey to wellness.

Weight loss needs to be talked about in terms of wellness not skinniness. It is a touchy, yet important topic that we are brave enough to discuss.

Please urge your audience to attend our webinar: “Eat More and Lose Weight.”

The link featured the headline in huge font red letters: “Are You FRUSTRATED with
Trying to Lose Weight and Have a Body You LOVE?
” There was nothing about loving the body you have, just ridiculous claims that this doctor could not just help you lose weight but also “End sick days.” Right, this definitely has the ring of good science. Turns out it’s just another doctor (this one trained in “emergency medicine”) who has written another book claiming that she can help people lose weight with absolutely no proof that it will work, and a mountain of evidence to suggest that it won’t, trying to co-opt Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size for her own profit.

Some days I have it for the teachable moment, and some days I don’t.  These came to me just in time for Say Something Sunday, and so one of my Say Something Sunday suggestions was to e-mail these people and tell them to stop spamming me with their BS.  Many of you did, thank you so much! From what I’ve been told, everyone got back a form e-mail claiming that sending me an unsolicited request to promote something that I am emphatically against is not spam, and that they wanted to (I’m not even kidding here) “team up with Ragen to empower women.”  The e-mails ended with “p.s Please rethink blindly sending hate mail.”

First of all, not to go all Crocodile Dundee or anything, but saying “Your weight loss promotion is not appreciated.  In a blog like Ragen Chastain’s Dances with Fat  it is especially not appreciated.  Please just stop!” is not hate mail.  This is hate mail.

Also, when you go to a blog that is very specifically Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size, and waste the writer’s time asking her to help you promote that which she spends every single day fighting against, you might expect a little push back. Today I received yet another comment from them explaining that they don’t believe in dieting, just in losing weight for health reasons (right, and I’m not a brunette, I just happen to have brown hair.)  There is no magical phrase or reason for promoting or selling weight loss that makes it any less impossible, or less harmful, for the vast majority of people.

So these people struggle with the concepts of Health at Every Size, Spam, hatemail, bravery, and dieting.  But why am I telling you about this? First, because it’s funny and I don’t know about you but some days I can use a good laugh. Second, because I really appreciate everyone who sent them an e-mail and, hopefully, taught them a very valuable lesson about reading comprehension.  And finally, to say that you don’t have to put up with weight loss propaganda, or with people trying to co-opt Size Acceptance to sell dieting.

When people come into our spaces and try to promote something harmful, we don’t have to smile politely and say “no thank you” (though of course that’s an option)  I imagine someone will comment on this blog to say that I should have worked to build a bridge instead of reacting the way I did. I say fuck that.  I spend a lot of time politely asking people if they wouldn’t mind not oppressing me so much, and I don’t apologize for that, but I’m also not obligated to do it and it takes all kinds of activism to create change in the world.  Anger is a tool in the activism toolbox just as much as bridge-building is and each of us gets to choose how we respond to the bullshit that we face on any given day.

You can push back in any way that you feel comfortable: Mark every diet ad you see online as “deceptive” or “I don’t want to see this” or whatever, unsubscribe from magazines that advertise dieting and tell them why, return postcards from diet companies return to sender, declare your Facebook page/home/book club/game night etc. a Body Positive space – no diet talk allowed.  You can also go ahead and flip a table. You aren’t obligated to push back against diet propaganda, but you are allowed.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Join the The Brave Body Love Summit: 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body Check it out here!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

Failed at Dieting? Welcome to the Almost Everyone Club!

The Almost Everyone Club
Biscuit the Pug models our demo jacket, maybe we shouldn’t create it in MS Paint.

A question that I get asked pretty often is “If dieting doesn’t work, how is it possible that it’s such a popular recommendation even by doctors?”  I’m glad that you asked!

For the last 50 years the research that has been conducted regarding long term weight loss has shown that weight loss almost never works long term.  Yet we are constantly told by the media, the government, our doctors etc. that anybody who tries hard enough can lose weight and keep it off. Plenty of studies have shown that the body has a number of physiological reactions to weight loss that are designed to regain weight and then retain that weight.  Yet we are told that those who regain their weight have just “gone back to their old habits.” But what really happens?

So a person begins one of a thousand intentional weight loss  (also known as a “lifestyle change”) programs.  They lose weight at first, then between 2 and 5 years after the loss they gain back all of the weight plus more, despite diligently maintaining their diet behaviors (aka “lifestyle changes”). They report these happenings to their doctor only to be told that they must not have been properly counting calories, they must have overestimated their movement. Their experience, they will be told, could not possibly have happened, it is impossible because…physics!  Or they tell their doctor that they couldn’t mentally and physically continue their dieting behaviors (aka “lifestyle change”) and are told again that they just weren’t trying hard enough.

All this despite the fact that their experience is exactly what the research tells us to expect. When millions of credible first person accounts match up with what research has found, typically that’s a good time to jump out of your bathtub and run around naked yelling “Eureka, I’ve found it.”

So why is dieting such a popular recommendation?  Those who are perpetuating this “weight loss works’ culture are doing a couple of things frighteningly well.

First, they are doing a great job of obfuscating the evidence.  Remember when a study found that Weight Watchers participants lost around about 10 pounds in six months and kept off half of that for two years (giving them a 3 year efficacy buffer but who’s counting) and Karren Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer of Weight Watchers International at the time won the “I Said It With a Straight Face Award” when she told the media: “It’s nice to see this validation of what we’ve been doing.” Five pounds in two years.  Five pounds in two years.  Five freaking pounds in two freaking years?!?!?!?!?!.  But every time I say something about Weight Watchers people tell me how well it works (often, defying all logic, telling me that they’ve “done Weight Watchers 6 times and it worked every time“.)

Or the National Weight Control registry claiming to prove that weight loss works when the truth is that they would need 32,990,000 more success stories just to show a 5% success rate for dieting over the time they’ve been collecting data.  They’ve only managed to gather about 10,000 success stories since 1994, so they just moved the goal post and claimed victory at the fact that their numbers indicate that dieting works .009% of the time which means that if you walk to your Weight Watchers meeting in the rain you are three times more likely to die from a lightning strike than lose weight long term.

The second thing that they do alarmingly well is to discredit what are actually completely credible first person accounts of dieting failure.  Hundreds of thousands of people have diet failures every year.  Some of them have been convinced that they suddenly lost the ability to accurately maintain their diet behaviors, like people are saying “that’s weird, last week I could totally measure a cup of pasta but this week I forgot what a measuring cup is or how it works, so I just ate the whole package of spaghetti.”  They are told that they must be doing something wrong if they are regaining weight.  They are excoriated and discredited as “trying to justify their fatness”  (as if we need justification to exist in our bodies.)

But the diet industry and its cronies do it with shocking success.  Millions of people saying “I had the exact experience that research said was most likely” and somehow the diet industry, the government, and the medical establishment are able to discredit all of us in the eyes of the greater culture, often while continuing to profit.

This is all by way of saying that if you’ve tried dieting and ended up regaining all of your weight, or all of your weight plus more, then welcome to The Almost Everyone Club, we aren’t exclusive and we don’t have jackets (yet!) but we do have evidence and experience.  You have the right to claim and own the fact that you are indeed a credible witness to your experience, and you can refuse to allow someone else to substitute their completely  fabricated (and highly lucrative) experiences for your actual ones, and you can insist that they stop the diet roller coaster because you want to get the hell off.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Join the The Brave Body Love Summit: 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body Check it out here!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Say Something Sunday – Seventh Edition

Say Something SundayIt’s “Say Something Sunday,” a day dedicated, at least on this blog, to personal Size Diversity activism. I’ve got some suggestions below and/or of course you can do your own thing and feel free to leave a comment about it. If you have ideas of things to do for Say Something Sunday I’d also love for you to share those.

I did the math and if everyone who views the blog each week did one piece of Size Diversity Activism a week, it would add up to over 1.5 million body positive messages put out into the world this year.  Multiply that times the number of people who might see each of those messages and things start to increase exponentially. To be very clear, nobody is obligated to do activism so if this doesn’t appeal to you that’s totally cool, I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blog post!

The theme this week is “Take this junk and shove it”  –  telling people to stop sending you weight loss propaganda (as always these are just suggestions, feel free to change them to make them work for you, and if they don’t appeal to you feel free to do your own thing!)

  • Every time you see a diet ad on social media or online etc, click “I don’t want to see this” or “This ad is misleading” or whatever means stop with the dieting crap already.
  • If you get random diet ads e-mailed to you reply and let people know that you aren’t interested/that you believe they are doing people a disservice etc.
  • If you want to do me a favor, e-mail SexyDeliciousHealthy@gmail.com and tell them that you don’t appreciate them spamming the comments on my blog advertising webinars promoting weight loss with ridiculous language saying things like: weight loss is “a touchy, yet important topic that we are brave enough to discuss.” (You keep using that word, “brave.” I do not think it means what you think it means…)
  • If you get diet postcards in the mail return them to sender, or call the company and insist that you be removed from their mailing list.

If you want to do more of this kind of thing, consider joining the Rolls Not Trolls group on Facebook, it’s a group created for the specific purpose of putting body positive things in body negative spaces on the internet and supporting each other while we do that.  It’s a secret group so if you want to join just message me on facebook (I’m Ragen Chastain)

Have a great Say Something Sunday!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Join the The Brave Body Love Summit  – 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body Check it out here!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

The Tricky World of Weight Loss Compliments

What Will you DefendThis topic has come up a lot this week, so I thought I’d talk about it. It is definitely tricky! Let’s examine two scenarios: 1.  You are interacting with someone who has lost weight, and 2.  someone is talking to you about your weight loss (either real or perceived.) As always, these are just suggestions and your mileage may vary.

You are interacting with someone who has lost weight

I suggest that you resist, with conviction, the urge to tell them how good they look now – it sounds like you are saying that they looked bad before.  If we want to opt out of a world where some bodies are seen as better than others, then not suggesting that somebody’s body is better because it’s a different size is probably a decent place to start.

Often when this happens people are really excited and expecting a compliment. I know that there is an extremely high chance that they are going to gain the weight back.  For that reason I try to comment in a way that will lessen the self-esteem hit if they end up in the vast majority.

If they don’t bring up the weight loss I don’t bring it up. Weight loss isn’t always welcome – it can be from medical issues, medication, stress, grieving etc. and I don’t want to bring up something painful. Plus this conversation is awkward enough, I’m not going to go through it if I don’t have to.

If they bring up weight loss what I tend to say is something like “I’m glad that you are happy” or “You were beautiful before and you still are” or something that is as neutral as possible.  While it’s important to me that people be allowed to make choices for themselves including the choice to attempt weight loss, it’s also important to me that I not perpetuate and praise diet culture or make it seem as if I think a body is more valuable or in some way better if it is currently smaller than it was before. Other people feel differently about this, choosing to celebrate other people’s weight loss and of course that’s their right.

If someone mentions your weight loss:

I don’t know about you but I’ve had people do this as a passive aggressive way of pointing out that I haven’t lost weight.  So I cheerfully answer “Nope!”  On my IRONMAN blog I recently talked about what I would do if I lose weight as part of the training.

If you have lost weight intentionally and you want to support Size Acceptance, from my perspective it would be awesome if you said something like “I’m smaller but I still love my body just as much as before.” or “It’s so weird, I had no idea how many people were keeping tabs on my body size” or “I wish we lived in a world where body size wasn’t a topic of conversation.”  It would also be fantastic if you would point out and negate any attempts to make it seem like you are better than fat people who are still fat, or that you deserve to be treated better now that you are thinner.

I look forward to living in a world where bodies of all sizes and shapes are completely respected and celebrated. But until that time I think it helps to be mindful how we talk about these things.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

The Brave Body Love Summit is starting tomorrow – 35+ speakers (including me) offering tools to support and improve your relationship with your body check it out!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Thin People Only Clubs

What a Load of CrapI got an e-mail that said “I don’t care how athletic you are, there is no such thing as a fat athlete.”  Why would someone use their limited time on Earth to send me this is anybody’s guess.

It is definitely some extra special hater logic and it got me thinking about the way that so many people try to maintain their sense of superiority/maintain their stereotypes/oppress fat people by creating “thin people only clubs.”  They tell us that being an athlete isn’t just about athletics – but you also have to be thin; being stylish isn’t just about style, you also have to be thin; you have to be thin to be beautiful; you have to be thin to be sexy; you have to be thin to like your body and on and on and on.

At its base, this is about creating definitions that exclude people based on how they look – whether the club is athletes, fashionistas, or just confident people who are happy with their bodies.  I think a lot of it stems from people who have built their self-esteem on a foundation of weight bullying and fat shame.  Their self-esteem is predicated upon the idea that they are automatically better than a fat person because they are thin.  Since they can only feel good about themselves by convincing themselves that they are better than someone else, they have to protect this at all costs. Their self-esteem requires that the fatties go along with the idea that we can’t be part of their clubs until we are thin. When this is threatened, whether it’s by fathletes, fatshionistas, or just a fat person rocking a bikini on the beach, they seek to restore the balance of power by insisting that thin is a prerequisite for the “club”.

I suggest that we just say no, and insist on our place in the club.  You don’t have to want to be an athlete, but if you want to. you can be an athlete an any size (and the Fit Fatties Forum has over 3,000 fathletes of all abilities proving that.)  You don’t have to care about fashion but if it interests you then you can be a fashionista at any size.

Those who think that they get to decide the identities we claim for ourselves are making a massive Underpants Rule violation. They are laboring under the misapprehension that they are the Underpants Overlord of fat people’s identities –  that we need their consent or acceptance to claim our status as athletes, fashionistas, sexy, beautiful, or confident. We can eliminate the middle man and just claim and own these identities for ourselves, rejecting the idea that it’s anyone else’s job to tell us what we can or can’t be. So if someone tells you that you can’t be what you are unless you are thin, you have some options in reply. Remember that these are just suggestions, if they don’t resonate with you then obviously you’re free to ignore them!  If you have some ideas of your own, feel free to throw them in the comments:

“What in the world…I mean…what in the WORLD, would make you think that you get to tell me what I can be?”

“Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, – you actually think you can tell me whether or not I’m a a fashionista? Dude, that’s hilarious.”

“I was not aware that you were made Underpants Overlord of the Athletes – I’m going to need to see the decree.”

(looking genuinely perplexed) “Sorry…I’m just having trouble imagining what would lead you to believe that I care what you think.”

“Oh, I see you’re looking for your beeswax. Sorry, but it’s definitely not here.”

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.