Comebacks To Shut Down Fatphobia – Part Two

I love you and I just want you to be healthyHere’s the next installment of my series of comebacks to the fatphobic nonsense we have to deal with. If you have a phrase you’d like me to create a comeback for, or if you have a comeback that you love, please leave them in the comments! (You can read Part One Here!)
Again, let me be clear that these are just some suggestions.  They may not work in every circumstance  – especially considering things like power imbalances and privilege. Finally, I’m sure I’m not the first (or last!) person to think of these, so all the credit to those who are doing this work, especially those who came before me!
a
If you just watch your portions, stop eating sugar, and walk, you would lose weight and be so pretty
a
Wow, congrats, that’s probably a record for number of wrong things in a sentence.  I’m not soliciting (bad) nutrition advice or (fatphobic) opinions about my looks.
a
Have you ever thought about losing weight?
a
Have you ever thought about how inappropriate that question is?
loo….losing …weight.? No I’ve never heard of that. <eyeroll and walk away>
a
 You’re in denial
a
No I’m not.
Nope, you have me confused with all the people who keep pushing dieting even though the research shows that it almost never works.
a
It’s only a matter of time until you get diabetes.
a
I had a feeling about this, but now you’ve proved it –  adding healthism to your fatphobia does not make it a better look.
a
Ugh. Why does she wear shorts in public? Why does she force me to look at that?
a
I don’t see your head in a vise…if you don’t like what you are looking at there are always at least 3 other cardinal directions in which to fix your gaze. Alternately, you could try not being a fatphobic asshole. Your call.
a
You look 34 going on 70
a
You look like a fatphobic, ageist person who I’m not going to talk to anymore
a
Are you a man or a woman
a
There are way more than two genders. My gender is no concern of yours (especially since I will neeeeeeever ever, ever date you.)
a
You’re living on borrowed time, that heart attack is coming
a
That’s…that’s just how being alive works. I’m just grateful to be alive now and, of course, that I’m not a fatphobic asshole.
a
No man is going to want to F you looking like that
a
This is probably the only time I’ll use #NotAllMen. Regardless, I would never want to F some fatphobe, so I’m all good here.
a
I’m just so worried about your heart!
a
I’m just worried about your lack of understanding, both of hearts, and of what is and is not your business.
a
Why are you showing off by ordering salad, everyone knows you don’t really eat like that
a
Why are you concerning yourself with my food? Mind your own plate.
a
You’re only fat because you have a disease/diseases. Don’t you want to be cured?
a
Bodies come in lots of sizes for lots of reasons. Sadly, so does bigotry and healthism.
a
Me saying I want to lose weight in front of you has nothing to do with you; stop taking it personally.
a
So, you don’t want to look like me and it’s important to you to say that in front of people. I guess I kind of get it, because I’m feeling compelled to tell everyone I know that I never want to be like you – someone who says hurtful things and then denies it.
a
If you could lose just 10% of your body weight…
a
I’d trigger another incidence of weight cycling, likely gaining back more than 10%  over the next few years. Hard pass.
a
Doctor: you must lose weight before (you can receive proper medical care/surgery/treatment/pills).
a
Do thin people get this health issue? (the answer is always yes) Let’s give me the same evidence-based care you would give a thin person.
a
You’re gonna die sooner.
a
If you’re so psychic how about you cough up some lottery numbers instead of fatphobia.
Keep it up and that will make two of us.
a
I love you and I just want you to be healthy
a
I love you and I want you to be quiet. Seriously – if I want your thoughts about my health, you’ll be the first to know.
a
I think you’re beautiful but being…..like /this/…is just objectively not healthy
a
This word, objectively, I do not think it means what you think it means. Also, I don’t care what you think of my looks or my health.
a
Do you really need to eat that?
a
No. But using my fork to eat it is stopping me from stabbing you with it.
a

Have you ever tried keto/paleo/whole 30/intermittent fasting

a

I have, but I care about my health, so I don’t do that anymore.

a

You’re fooling yourself

a

You can believe whatever you want, bless your heart, but there’s no need to say it out loud.

a

Don’t you want a man in your life? Men don’t like fat women.
a
It’s great, actually. My fat acts like a bigot filter and, since I don’t want anyone fatphobic in my life, it works out great!
a
What about the obesity epidemic?
a
It’s not a real thing. Fat people existing does not qualify as an epidemic. It’s state-sponsored, highly profitable fatphobia. Thanks for asking.
a
 I just started these pills to stop me from gaining weight with my anti- depressants. You should ask your doctor about them.
a
Oh heavens no! I’m done making that mistake.
 
a
Let’s [perform some feat of physical exertion] so we can EARN that [delicious food]!
a
Or, we could do the activity we want, and eat what we want and not create disordered relationships with food and exercise!

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

LAST DAY TO REGISTER!

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

 

 

Jennifer Kuk, PhD Kind Of Almost Gets It Right About Dieting

the best obesity treatmentAn article about an interview with Jennifer Kuk, PhD (kinesiology) is making the rounds (I’m not linking because it is chock full of fatphobic links and ads, so you’ll have to google if you want to read it all.) Dr. Kuk studies “metabolically healthy [fat] people” and she does a decent job of explaining why dieting almost never works, including:

I think the largest is that if you eat less and move more you can lose all the weight that you want. The people who are able to do that are equivalent to people who have won the lottery. I think that we all know that there are people that win the lottery but not everybody does. And the people who win the lottery and are able to lose weight through diet and exercise are screaming at everybody else saying, “Why can’t you do it? I did it.” But it would be the same as the lottery winner saying, “I won the lottery. Why didn’t you win the lottery?” We see the absurdity of that, but we don’t see it when it comes to weight loss.

as well as

I think that probably the best way is to pick the right parents. If you have the right genetic makeup, it defends against weight gain. There’s a study that had many people eat a thousand calories extra, which is about a third more than what they normally ate, and there are some individuals in that study who gained nothing, despite not exercising more.

and

I don’t know if weight loss should be the ultimate goal. I think that the question is wrong. So the right question is, “How do you get healthier?” You should not equate weight with health. They’re not the same thing.

This is a huge step, and I appreciate her being clear and honest about this. Of course, it should be made clear that this is the right question with the understanding that health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within their control, or anyone else’s business unless they are specifically asked to make it their business. It’s also important to notice that this concern trolling around fat people needing to “prioritize our health” (and the assumption that we’re not) is often massively hypocritical when we look at how other groups are treated. 

Still, there are serious problems with this interview that are rooted in the ways that Dr. Kuk is still stuck in a weight = health paradigm.

First, she gives credence to some seriously scientifically questionable ideas around weight (including that hanging around fat people can make you fat.) But that’s not the worst of it. To me her most dangerous errors are:

People First Language

Her advocacy for “People First Language,” which perpetuates weight stigma, and lets us know that she is coming from a place of weight stigma.

The notion of a small bit of weight loss causing health improvements

You can lose a very small amount of weight and get significant health benefits…in order for you to improve your health, the amount of weight that you need to lose is very small. Most [fat people,] if they lost five per cent, they would get healthier, they’d feel better they’d have more energy.

This doesn’t even pass the smell test – the idea that, regardless of your starting weight, losing 5% would mean every fat person would be “healthier,” feel “better,” and have “more energy” is utterly ridiculous.

Also, the notion of 5% weight loss causing health benefits was reached by attrition, not research – as Tomiyama, Mann et. al point out, 5% is “arbitrary and non-medical”  The number started out much higher but they kept being lowered because of the near-complete failure of weight-loss interventions to achieve weight loss. They started with the exacting height/weight tables of the Metropolitan Insurance Company, then were moved to 20%, then to 10%, and finally to 5%. Again, it’s not the result of good research.

It also ignores the fact that even those who lose 5% of their weight will likely gain it back (with many gaining back more) meaning that, even if one believes that body size is the problem, then they are prescribing a “solution” that has the opposite of the intended effect the majority of the time.

Finally, it assumes (in a manner that can only be characterized and non-scientific) that the very small amount of weight loss itself caused any health benefits, rather than asking if the behavioral changes that led to the (likely temporary) weight loss also caused the health benefits. This allows weight loss to be a credit thief which is an even bigger mistake you realize that

  • the weight loss and the health benefits are typically concurrent
  • Research like Matheson et. al. and Wei et. al. found the health benefits happen without the weight loss
  • People who lose small amounts of weight through other means (like liposuction for example) don’t typically experience these supposed “health benefits of weight loss”

Perhaps her most dangerous misstatement is:

Bariatric surgery is the best obesity treatment that we have…

She admits that even after surgery most people remain fat, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the issue here. The real problem is that these surgeries are not “the best” anything unless you are talking about very profitable ways to risk fat people’s lives and quality of life in a barbaric surgery that is a total crapshoot. You see, some people are happy with the results, some people have horrific lifelong side effects and would give anything to take the surgery back, and some people are killed – and there is absolutely no way to predict which group someone will be in until they are in it. And we rarely if ever hear from the victims.

In truth the best “obesity treatment” we have is to stop focusing on body size and give ethical, evidence-based healthcare to people of all sizes – including a focus on eliminating oppression and increasing access to the foods, movement, and healthcare that people choose. For a thoroughly cited review of the science around this I highly recommend this piece.

I appreciate Jennifer Kuk making these statements about the massive failure rate of dieting, especially considering the fact that she is likely to get a ton of pushback from a fatphobic society where people have been duped into believing that thinness is necessary for health, that dieting can lead to thinness for almost everybody, and that health is an obligation.  I just hope that she makes it the rest of the way out of the weight= health paradigm.

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

Diet Drug Belviq Might Give You Cancer, And That’s Not The Worst Of It

Belviq is going to kill fat people. People who could have lived full, happy lives in the bodies that they have now are literally going to die trying to be thin.Reader Harry sent me this article about the diet drug Belviq. Trials have shown that it may cause an increased risk of cancers. Nothing is for sure, the FDA explained “at this time, the cause of the cancer is uncertain, and we cannot conclude that lorcaserin [Belviq] contributes to the cancer risk.”

If Belviq sounds familiar, it may be because I’ve written about it, and its absolutely charming list of side-effects. before – if you enjoy the possibility of getting addicted to a drug that is almost entirely useless and can cause depression and suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, lowered heart rate, lowered red and white blood cell count, and spontaneous lactation, then Belviq may be for you!

Now that cancer may be part of that list, the FDA’s recommendation is:

Health care professionals should consider if the benefits of taking lorcaserin are likely to exceed the potential risks when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on lorcaserin.

And what are the “benefits? According to Belviq’s literature:

In a major clinical trial, people taking BELVIQ were able to lose weight and maintain weight loss up to 2 years. In the 2-year study, almost half of people who completed the first year continued on in year 2. All people regained weight but remained below their starting weight.

  • Almost half of people (47.1%) taking BELVIQ® lost 5% or more of their body weight after 1 year of treatment, compared with those using diet and exercise alone (22.6%)
  • Some (22.4%) lost as much as 10% of their body weight after 1 year of treatment, compared with those using diet and exercise alone (8.7%)

To review:

  • Almost half the people dropped out at year one. There is no follow up on why, or what happened to these people.
  • Less than half of those managed to lose 5% or more of their weight.
  • The most subjects lost was about 10% of their body weight…before they started regaining
  • Nobody maintained their weight loss –  every single participant started regaining weight, even though they were still on the drug.
  • We know that people typically start regaining after year 1, and regain all their weight (often including more) by year 5. Belviq has used an old trick of weight loss companies, ending their study at year two and claiming that, while everyone regained weight, they were still below their starting weight. Of course they forgot to mention that they were on a trajectory to continue gaining.

And for this, doctors may think it’s worth risking our lives.

As I said before, make no mistake, diet drugs kill people.  People who could have lived full, happy lives in fat bodies instead die young trying to be thin while these companies rakes in millions, even billions, in profits. And if, like the victims of Phen-Fen before it, their surviving family members are able to get a settlement because of this company’s complete negligence, it will be cold comfort for them, and just a drop in the bucket of profits for Eisai pharmaceuticals.  Right now some doctor somewhere is probably recommending this to an unsuspecting fat person who will take it because they trust their healthcare practitioner not to put their life in danger for no good reason.

The “War on Obesity” is being fought whether we like it or not and, to me, is seems clear that they don’t care if they shrink us or kill us, as long as they don’t have to look at fat people anymore (you know, for our own good.)  If they want a war on obesity I will fucking give them one and for me that includes never, ever supporting these companies because it’s truly life and death.

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting from Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

Lizzo, Jemel McWilliams, And The Myth Of The Dancer’s Body

Recently Jemel McWilliam, who is Lizzo’s choreographer and live-show artistic director gave a fabulous interview to Dance Magazine that they titled “Lizzo’s Choreographer on Why Plus-Size Dancers Shouldn’t Be a “Specialty” Act

First of all, just the fact that this article, with the accompanying pictures of fat, Black bodies, appeared in Dance Magazine is a big deal. To say that fat people don’t often see ourselves represented in its pages would be an understatement. To say that fat, Black, dancers don’t often see themselves represented, even more so.

Her performances, including her recent performance at the Grammys feature dancers who don’t often find themselves on those kinds of stages, which is a huge deal. Representation matters and Lizzo and her team are creating a world of greater representation.

It turns out I know someone who auditioned during the open call the Mr. McWilliams discusses in his interview.  Dellany Peace, is a plus-size dancer-actress, producer-creator, and fat activist who attended an open call audition and shared her experience in a Facebook post. She told me that “Lizzo allowed a safe space where we could really be ourselves and feel seen. She let us dance one at a time for as long as we wanted free-style in a half circle. We didn’t feel rushed or that we were just a number in a line. One woman wanted to share with Lizzo how her life has changed for the better since Lizzo has come up in the scene and then this started a free verbal flow where more women shared their stories. There were tears, laughter, singing and never once did any of us feel as if we didn’t belong or weren’t good enough.”

Lack of inclusivity and diversity are a plague on the dance world. And they are often justified by the myth of the “dancer’s body.” which is an idea that is firmly rooted in, and held in place by, racism, sizeism, ageism, ableism, and other marginalizations.

It’s total bullshit, not just in the sense that if you want to dance then you have a dancer’s body (although that’s true) but in all the ways that people use this myth to perpetuate racism, sizeism, ageism, and ableism at every level of the dance world.

When it comes to sizeism, there are specific cases that can be made for choosing a dancer who is less heavy (in the case of dances with many lifts for example) but there are plenty of dancers who don’t get lifted and plenty of strong people who can lift. There are actually very few cases where thinness is actually necessary.

As we see more amazing fat dancers, as well as dancers of color, disabled dancers, and other dancers from marginalized communities, on YouTube, Instagram, and in performances like Lizzo’s, it’s important to understand that, typically, a lifetime of exclusion, marginalization, and oppression had to be overcome in order for that dancer to get to where they are, because the myth of the “dancer’s body” is self-perpetuating.

Clothing isn’t made for larger dancers, sometimes even at the youngest ages. Often clothing isn’t made, or can be difficult to find, for darker skin tones. Young children who aren’t thin are encouraged to either do dangerous things to be thin, or quit dance altogether, young Black children, and other children of color are often told that it’s not worth training them since they won’t grow up to have a “dancer’s body.” Studios routinely discriminate against dancers who aren’t the stereotypical “dancer’s body” when it comes to selecting performance teams, soloists etc.

The “dancer’s body” myth allows these people to continue to exclude, oppress, and marginalize with impunity. We are missing out on so much amazing talent because the dance world is keeping it from us in order to perpetuate a stereotype rooted in fatphobia, racism, ableism, ageism and more. It has to stop, Lizzo and Jemel McWilliams are working to end it, and as a fat dancer (who still definitely benefits from lots of privilege including white privilege) I truly appreciate it.

I found this old video of me competing West Coast Swing and Two Step so I thought I’d include it as one example of what a dancer’s body can be. If you have a video of you killing it on the dance floor, please leave it in the comments!

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

People First Language Is A Problem, Not A Solution, For Fat People

People first languageThe notion of “People First Language” as a good idea for describing fat people is going around again. Let’s talk about this.

First, a bit of background, People (or Person) First Language (PFL) started as a tool for the disability community – the idea being that putting the “person” before their “illness or disability” helps to decrease stigma.  For example “A person with a disability” rather than “A disabled person.” There is a lot of controversy within that community about the use of PFL and as a person who currently has able-bodied privilege, I am not intending to comment on the use within disability community at all.

This became pertinent to fat people because of organizations like the Obesity Action Coalition which have lifted the concept (with no critical analysis of the arguments against it from that community.)

If you’re not familiar, the OAC is a nightmare of an organization that pretends to advocate for fat people when what they really do is act as a lobbying arm for the weight loss companies that donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to be on their “Chairman’s Council.”

You see, the organizations that fund the OAC need a fat body to be seen as a disease because it is the first step to convincing insurance companies to pay for their expensive and dangerous treatments. So, under the guise of “eliminating stigma,” they are trying to advocate for People First Language.  Using their own example (from a website I will NEVER link to)

“The woman was affected by obesity.” instead of “The woman was obese.”

“The man with obesity was on the bus.“ instead of “The man on the bus was very obese.”

As you can see here, as we did above, we’re no longer labeling an individual with their disease.

This is bullshit.  Body size is not a disease – though even if it was, adding healthism to fatphobia doesn’t make it better.  And language like this increases stigma because PFL is not being suggested for other adjectives that describe our bodies. Nobody is advocating that we say “The woman was affected by brunetteness” or “The man with shortness was on the bus.” Much like the suggestion that “we aren’t fat we have fat, like we aren’t fingernails, we have fingernails,” the use of PFL suggests that accurately describing a fat person’s body is so awful that we have to find a way to talk around it. This is not how we treat other descriptions of our bodies (tall, blonde, etc.) thus reinforcing stigma around being fat.

This also shifts the blame. When they say “the woman affected by [fatness]” – it suggests that the problem is the fat body, and not the weight-stigma and lack of accommodation that actually harm us.

There is no way to say “don’t call people fat” without stigmatizing fat people since we are, in fact, fat whether we call ourselves that or not. But remember that’s not what’s actually important to groups like the OAC – what’s important to them is the profits of the companies and organizations that allow them to exist through massive amounts of funding.

So what terms should we use? I use fat for a lot of reasons but it’s definitely not for everyone. (I’m also conscious of the fact that thin people don’t have to go through all of this because, for the most part, they get to understand their body size as a good thing so they aren’t triggered by the words that describe them.)

When I’m looking for a neutral term that isn’t “fat,” I look for a few criteria. First, it can’t pathologize body size (which means that “obese” and “overweight” are out.) Second, I typically try to avoid euphemisms (curvy, fluffy, etc.) because, while those are fine for individuals to use, I think that using euphemisms for an entire population of people can often suggest discomfort with that population’s shared characteristic. It also can’t be a term that is used to tease or shame people. So “people who live in larger bodies” would work for me, as do “people of size” and “larger-bodied.”

In some contexts I’ll use Plus Size but it’s not my favorite because it is gendered and, in fashion, often gets controlled by those who aren’t remotely fat (or who are blatantly anti-fat.) If you have other examples I welcome you to include them in the comments.

This is all complicated by the fact that fat people aren’t a monolith, and so what some of us prefer to be called, others will loathe. Each person gets to decide which word/s we prefer for ourselves which is why using neutral descriptors like “people of size” or “larger-bodied people” can help.

Most importantly, the real solution here is to end weight stigma and fat-shaming and celebrate the full diversity of body sizes, however we describe them.

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

 

 

KeyBank – Banking on Diet Culture

Diet culture is so ingrained in our current culture and daily lives that we run the risk of forgetting that it is very seriously messed up. So I think it’s important to point it out when we see it – like this:

This ad is pretty standard diet bullshit – it has your undressed salad surrounded by artfully placed food that is meant to appeal to the idea of food moralization, it has your measuring tape (though, being wound around the fork is, perhaps, a new low.) It even has the re-naming of stuff to make it seem less diet-y (see also “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!” meaning you change to a lifestyle where you diet all the time.”)

Keybank diet add

But there’s another layer of awful here. Because this isn’t a diet ad. It’s the sign-in screen for KeyBank.

Keybank Full

This is what reader Ziggy found when trying to login. And remember, it’s not just perpetuating dieting, it’s also possibly triggering an eating disorder. To login. To your bank account. WT Actual F Keybank?

Here’s my favorite part – if they are equating dieting to your financial goals, what they are saying is that they offer almost no chance of success. So, good job there, KeyBank marketing officials.

Now may be a good time to remind ourselves that diet culture is ubiquitous, and dangerous, and totally bullshit. And we should not be  Here are some options for dealing with it (besides, you know, screaming into the void, which is also completely valid.)

What are the worst places that you’ve seen diet used as a metaphor like this? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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

 

 

Comebacks To Shut Down Fatphobia – Part One

_You have such a pretty face_Recently I asked people on social media to give me fatphobic phrases for which they’d like comebacks. And you delivered! So much so, that I’ll be doing this in several parts. Please feel free to add your own responses (and phrases/situations that you’d like me to include in future posts.)

Before I start, let me be clear that these are just some suggestions.  They may not work in every circumstance  – especially considering things like power imbalances and privilege. Finally, I’m sure I’m not the first (or last!) person to think of these, so all the credit to those who are doing this work, especially those who came before me!

You look great. Have you lost weight?

Nope, just my usual fine fat self!

Nope, I’m the same weight. Maybe just you’ve overcome some of your fatphobia? Congratulations!

You have such a pretty face.

Well yeah, but have you seen my ass?

This feels like a backhanded compliment? Surely you’re not suggesting that the rest of me isn’t pretty?

Have you ever thought about dieting?

Yup, I got duped like so many of us have. So glad I finally did the research and left that BS behind.

Not for a long time, thankfully.

If you just lost weight you’d be so stunning.

If you lost your fatphobia, you’d know I already am stunning!

No, if I lost weight I’d just be thinner, I’m stunning either way.

You are killing yourself!

Nope! I’m caring for my body by loving and caring for it, instead of hating and starving it.

You’re killing this conversation. If I want your opinion, I promise you’ll be the first to know.

Wow, you’re fat!

Wow, you’re…observant?

Sure am! Thanks for noticing.

Medical professionals: “What are you doing about your weight.”

What are you doing about the severed limb I came in here for? Let’s focus on my health, please.

I actually have a whole post to help with this one! 

Doctors: “Every fat person who comes into this office is sick!”

Um, it’s a doctor’s office so…what were you expecting?

Dr. Oz taught us this lesson! 

Sorry but you can’t be fat and be healthy.
Health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, or anyone else’s businesss unless we ask it to make it their business. Which I’m not doing, by the way, so no need for further conversation about this.
I’m just worried about your health
Let me relieve you of that burden, I’m not interested in your thoughts about my health so you can feel free to focus on other things.
I’m just worried about your ability to understand what is and is not your business.
Don’t you care about your body?
I care for it so much that I no longer engage with bullshit body-shaming like this.
Don’t you care about our friendship? If you can’t respect me and my body, at any size, then it’s time for me to go.
But I lost weight and now I’m healthier/happier/life is better, so your anti-diet-and-intentional-weight-loss beliefs are wrong.
Believe whatever you want, do whatever you want, it’s your body. I expect you to give me, my beliefs, and my body the same respect. And if you’re among the 95% of people who gains all their weight back, know that I think your body is equally wonderful at any size.
That’s it for now, I’m looking forward to reading your comeback ideas in the comments!

Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are

Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :

  • Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
  • 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
  • Insights from guest coaches
  • A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
  • Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.

Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!) 

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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