Four Types Of People Who Break The “No Weight Loss Talk” Rule in Fat-Positive Spaces

WEDONO~1In response to my post about how we can and should have spaces that don’t allow diet or weight-loss talk -a question I got a lot is “Who are these people who blatantly break the rules?

I think they fall into four basic groups:

Trolls

These are people who are trying to do harm. Sometimes it’s because they personally hate fat people for whatever twisted reason, sometimes it’s because they are desperate for approval and they are trying get it from other trolls. There are options to deal with them – I wrote an entire guide about it.

Fully Bought-In and Over-Entitled

These are people whose buy-in to the weightloss paradigm is so complete that they believe they should be entitled to talk about weight-loss wherever and whenever they want. They like to start their post with phrases like “It’s ok to love your body but…” and “Except, I mean, you can’t deny that…” etc. They’ll defend Weight Watchers like you bad- mouthed their mother and often weaponize their internalized fatphobia, saying things like “Well, I’m fat but I still think [insert anti-fat belief here]”

The Specialist Special Who Ever Specialed

These are people who think that their weight loss talk is such a special case that they deserve to break all the rules. Their posts often talk about health issues or disabilities or age. This is a double issue because not only are they breaking the rules, but they are adding healthism, ableism and/or ageism to their fatphobia. Weight loss doesn’t get any more likely to succeed because someone has a health issue, disability, or is aging, but people in those categories can face even more pressure to give up on their Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size practice, which makes this rule-breaking even more harmful. People are allowed to attempt weight loss for whatever their reasons might be, but there is no reason that justifies breaking a group’s rules of no weightloss or diet talk.

But The Group Had Fat In The Name

These are people who saw fat in the name of the group, assumed that the group would be anti-fat, didn’t bother to read the rules, and then charged into the posts and comments with their bullshit. It’s not even that they were trying to harm fat people, as much as that they’ve literally never considered that there might be a space where fat isn’t vilified. When called out they are likely to morph into a member of the Troll or Fully Bought In Group.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we have a right to safe spaces – to create them, to maintain them, to participate in them. We do not owe anyone a debate on our right to exist. We deserve spaces safe from the people and beliefs that oppress us, and we have every right to create and protect them.

Like to laugh? I used this post as the base for some comedy.

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.

Love Song To IRL Fat Community and The Plus Bus

Shopping In A Plus Size WonderlandOnline fat community is absolutely amazing, and I have met incredible friends and fellow activists online. There can also be something really special about being in physical space with other fat people.

In Los Angeles, The Plus Bus is a blend of both – they are a fat-positive clothing store and community space and in addition to the brick and mortar store, they have onsite community events and even online shopping events. I have tremendous appreciation for folks like Jen and the staff at The Plus Bus who create this kind of community because it is not easy to do.

So, you may remember that Jeanette DePatie and I created a series of songs –revamping holiday classics into body love anthems. Now there’s one more. The lyrics to this came to me as I was driving home from what was supposed to be Jeanette and my final recording session. The song came on the radio and the first lyrics of the chorus popped into my head.

I wrote the rest on the drive home, called Jeanette who was immediately in (Jeanette and I are the kind of friends where one of us says “I have an idea” and the other says “What time?”)  So I e-mailed Jen Wilder (the owner) and she agreed to let us record there.

This is the result, with special thanks to Allyson for all of her help with the video filming!
(Full disclosure: Jeanette and I aren’t affiliated with The Plus Bus, other than the fact that we love what they do and they gave us permission to film there!)

 

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.

The High Cost of Fatphobia

Any calculation about the “cost” of fat people is actually a calculation of the cost of stigmatizing and oppressing fat people in every aspect of our lives.It has become quite a popular practice to calculate the “costs” of fat people. (As if it’s ok to decide that a group of people with shared physical characteristics should be eradicated to make things cheaper for everyone else.) There are many, many problems with the calculations, but I think it’s important to realize that in our society fat people live under intense, constant, stigma and oppression.  That means that any calculation about the “cost” of fat people is actually a calculation about the cost of that stigma and oppression. This came up in several conversations today so I thought I would repost this.

Let’s start with healthcare costs since that’s one of the most popular things for people to calculate.  Studies from Yale showed that over 50% of doctors find fat patients “awkward, ugly, weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment” and 28% of nurses said that they were “repulsed” by their obese patients.   Mary Huizinga of Johns Hopkins found that “The higher a patient’s body mass, the less respect doctors express for that patient.  And the less respect a doctor has for a patient the less time they spend with that patient and the less information he or she offers.”

This leads to increased healthcare costs in a number of ways:

Fat people are treated so poorly by health care professionals – given no respect, called liars, told that all of our problems are due to our fat, lectured extensively about our weight regardless of the reason for our visit – that some of us start avoiding the doctor.  This leads to us not getting early intervention and, for some, only going to the doctor when the situation is more advanced and therefore more expensive.

When we do brave the poor treatment, discrimination and bigotry and go to the doctor our actual complaints are often ignored and whether we have tendonitis, strep throat, or a broken toe we are told that the cure is to eat less and exercise more.  Thin people get all the same health issues as fat people but they get interventions that have been shown to effectively address their health problems. Fat people are given an intervention intended to change our body size, which not only hasn’t been proven to effectively address health issues, but hasn’t been shown to effectively change our body size.

Because of fat stigma we are denied evidence-based care which means that instead of taking part in interventions that address health issues, those issues continue unabated while we try to change our body size because our health care provider tells us that is miraculously curative.  So sometimes we don’t get evidence-based healthcare until our health issues are in the advanced stage (and therefore much more expensive) and sometimes we never get evidence based healthcare and we die trying to lose weight.  Then all of those costs are chalked up to our fatness rather than the fact that we aren’t able to access good, evidence-based medical care.

Because our society enjoys blaming people for their health, there is shame and stigma attached to health issues that can often be effectively treated – like Type 2 Diabetes.  That shame and stigma are especially bad for fat people since despite the fact that thin people get these diseases, and despite the fact that a thin person and a fat person can have the same eating and exercise habits but very different weights, we are told that these are brought on by being fat, and that our fat is our fault.  Because of this stigma and blame, fat people are often too ashamed to seek medical care and so we don’t get good early treatment, and delayed treatment means higher costs and worse health.

Nobody is obligated to prioritize health, it’s not a barometer of worthiness, nor is it completely in our control – there are many factors (including oppression and access) that can have a profound affect on health. Still, a mountain of evidence has shown that when it comes to personal choices, habits are a much better predictor of health than body size, and there’s not a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people are able to maintain significant weight loss long-term. Yet medical professionals ignore this evidence and instead tell us that if our healthy habits don’t make us thin then they aren’t making us healthy.  So fat people give up on healthy habits because they almost never make us thin.  So because stigma leads to misinformation, our health hazard ratios go up along with our purported “costs”.

Although eating disorders are dangerous and in some cases deadly, fat people who present with disordered eating are often encouraged to continue and even escalate the behaviors. The fat stigma that these professionals hold means that they mistakenly believe that becoming thin by any means necessary is better than being fat.  Then all the costs that ensue from the disordered eating are chalked up to body size.

The costs of weight loss attempts, especially those that are “medically supervised”  are often folded into people’s calculations of how much fat people “cost society”.  The problem is that these interventions should never have been recommended in the first place since they do not meet the requirements of evidence-based medicine.  The people supervising these programs do not have a shred of evidence that would lead them to believe that the intervention will succeed, but they keep prescribing it and taking money for it, and in the end the fat people who are victims of a scam also get blamed for the cost of the scam.

Even when we lose weight and gain it back, which studies show us is the most likely outcome, we are encouraged to diet again. This leads to weight cycling (also known as yo-yo dieting) which has been correlated to many of the same issues to which being fat has been correlated.  So again, bad medical advice can lead to health issues but they get charged to the accounts of the fat people who were poorly advised.

Now let’s look at the cost of societal discrimination, bigotry, oppression and stigma:

Movement is beneficial for everyone’s health, and though nobody is obligated to exercise, when fat people who are interested in it attempt to engage in physical activity we often find ourselves the subject of ridicule.  Being “moo’d” at in the gym, having people throw thing at us from cars, and being humiliated for wearing a swimsuit are all things that are reported by fat people as regular occurrences.  A lot of my “normal weight” friends complain about having trouble finding the time to exercise, imagine how much harder that is when carving out time to exercise also means carving out time to be ridiculed and humiliated.

The media giving fat people tons of negative messages about our bodies, and having those messages reinforced by everyone from our parents to our doctors to strangers at the gym is an effective way of convincing fat people to hate our bodies.  It also turns out that people don’t take good care of things that they hate, and health issues and costs ensue.

To be crystal clear, it doesn’t matter how much fat people coast – it is not ok to find a group of people you can identify by sight, calculate their cost on society, and then have a national campaign to eradicate them because you’ve decided things would be cheaper if they didn’t exist.

But since that’s what’s happening let’s understand that until we end stigma, oppression and bigotry against fat people it is impossible to calculate the costs (if any) of our body size separate from the cost of our stigmatization.

Thus, any attempt to calculate of the cost of being fat will, in fact, be a calculation of the cost of being stigmatized and oppressed for being fat. Therefore, if the current cost calculations about being fat indicate that it’s the “greatest threat to public health”, then the actual greatest threat to public health is fat stigma and oppression. This is actually good news since we have no idea how to make people thinner but we do know how to stop stigmatizing fat people and we could do it right now.

Of course when you point this out you are told that the cure for social stigma, oppression and bigotry against fat people is…wait for it…weight loss!  Yes, people actually suggest that the problem isn’t that we’re being bullied, the problem is that we aren’t giving the bully our lunch money.  In other words, if we do what our oppressors want us to do and lose weight, they promise they’ll stop oppressing us.  The cure for social stigma is not weight loss, it’s ending social stigma, and I, for one, will not have the cost of the bigotry, hate, stigma, and bullying that I deal with charged to my account.

For a list of the research used in this post, go here and scroll to the bottom.

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.

 

Doctor’s E-mails Expose Their Fatphobia

Dear Fatphobic DoctorsToday in an online group that is supposed to be about maternity care, two doctors decided that they would rather show why they are incapable of providing ethical treatment to fat patients.

It started with a notice that group members could participate in an upcoming “ob*sity” conference.  So already they are endorsing a conference that is predicated on ideas that routinely harm and kill fat patients.

Firat, J came in with this hot take:

What I want to know is what kind of goodies will be served during the breaks at an ob*sity conference.  Cookies and brownies downed with coffee & half-n-half or Coca-Cola?
Best,

— J, family doc in Upstate NY

LOLOMGLMFAO Get it? Because fat people eat cookies, brownies, soda and *gasp* half- n-half in their coffee. Good thing that thin people don’t eat or drink those things or J would be looking like a stereotyping bigot right about now.

Also, I wouldn’t be too sure dude, an “ob*sity” conference once made it more difficult for disabled people to navigate their conference space just to prove their allegiance to ableism and stereotypes. I imagine it will be nothing but diet coke and celery sticks (no ranch!) as far as the eye can see.

Then, a hero steps in:

I’m wondering why you made these comments about the food being served at an ob*sity conference. Is it because you think that’s what ob*se people are eating? The impact of reading this is hurtful and offensive and doesn’t seem professionally inclusive or supportive. Perhaps I am missing something though…thus, I am asking why you wrote these comments.

Best,
N

J is right there with the expected response

Sorry.  I wrote this comment to be humorous.  I apologize.  I’ll aim to be humorous only when I have a better chance of being clearly funny and less chance of causing offense.

— J

Maybe aim to be humorous…never. I don’t think it’s your thing man.

Another hero, into the fray

I found your comment entirely unfunny and offensive, J.  Will also bring to your attention list etiquette rule #9

9. Jokes and frivolous postings are not appropriate.

-H

Here comes the mod:

Hello everyone,

As others have pointed out, this comment was inappropriate and now J has apologized. As moderator, I now consider this matter closed. I would like to remind us all that one of the things that keeps this listserv functioning is respect for each other, keeping the posts informative not frivolous and maintenance of decorum. We should all re-read our posts before posting to ensure that each post brings new information to the topic at hand.

Thank you,

Dr. K

I could have used a stronger statement about how weight-based stigma is utterly inappropriate, but it could be worse. A solid B- to Dr. K and the matter is closed.

JUST KIDDING! Almost 8 hours later, Dr. L jumps in:

sorry you got piled on—

remember, this group has a lot of non-physicians in it, more easily offended.

Cheers

-L

Let me translate from Fatphobic Doctor into English:

Sorry you got called out on your terrible behavior.
Remember that other doctors will support you in your bigotry, but non-doctors might not put up with fatphobia. I’ve got your back though by trying to make them wrong, and make you the victim.

Your partner in fatphobic crime,

L

Also, it was two people and the second one gave different information, so calm down.

Oh, but it didn’t stop there. Turns out, Dr. L didn’t mean to expose her fatphobia to the entire group, so she sent another message to double down (I’ll give you the entire message and then I’ll break it down.

follow up–

didn’t actually mean to send that to the whole group so I’ll clarify my comment before I get piled on myself–

There’s a sort of “gallows humor” that physicians tend to have, and I think this comment was mildly within that category. The reality is that as physicians we do see people, day in and day out, who make unhealthy choices and then suffer the consequences. I think J and I are both well aware that there’s more to obesity than just unhealthy choices, but it is a large part of it often. It can get frustrating treating patients over and over who seem to be sabotaging themselves, but we try–and then sometimes when in what we think is a safe space, will vent in a way that maybe wouldn’t be understood outside.

However suffice it to say I think physicians in this group need to understand that many professionals in this group would take this the wrong way, (ie, we really do care–but sometimes get a little fed up and deal with it via humor, sometimes not in the best taste) especially if they are not dealing with this problem over and over on the front lines. I note that many commenters in the past are not actually even involved in direct patient care.

I just feel badly that J’s attempt at humor had this effect–I think many of us can understand where he was coming from even if we might not have dared say it ourselves.

I’ve probably not helped myself but anyway…maybe i’ve helped J.

And before you pile on me that i’ve insulted non-doctors, I’ve sat on this list for 20 years and watched physicians get insulted by everyone else left right and centre.

I’m going to take this piece by piece:

didn’t actually mean to send that to the whole group so I’ll clarify my comment before I get piled on myself–

Translation: OhShitOhShitOhShitOhShitOhShitOhShit I totally got caught, must pre-empt totally reasonable backlash by taking a victim stance, and then stating a bunch of gibberish.

Also “held accountable” and “piled on” are not the same thing, just so you know.

There’s a sort of “gallows humor” that physicians tend to have, and I think this comment was mildly within that category. The reality is that as physicians we do see people, day in and day out, who make unhealthy choices and then suffer the consequences. I think J and I are both well aware that there’s more to obesity than just unhealthy choices, but it is a large part of it often. It can get frustrating treating patients over and over who seem to be sabotaging themselves, but we try–and then sometimes when in what we think is a safe space, will vent in a way that maybe wouldn’t be understood outside.

Nope. The gallows is where you go to die (and has a history mired in oppression but that’s a subject for another time.) “Gallows humor” is appropriate for, say, hospice nurses who are dealing with death, and helping their clients face death, every day. It is not for doctors who are asked to give fat patients competent, ethical medical care. If that causes you to feel like you need “gallows humor” then it’s time to pack it in and change careers.

There is not a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people succeed at significant long-term weight loss, and yet doctors continue to prescribe weight loss to fat people – generally regardless of what we came in for, always to our detriment, sometimes to our death.

We aren’t sabotaging ourselves, they are sabotaging us.

Also, the unmitigated gall to defend a clearly fatphobic comment by doubling down on stereotyping fat people, then lament that it’s not a “safe space?” We don’t need a safe space FOR you Dr. L, we need a safe space FROM you.

However suffice it to say I think physicians in this group need to understand that many professionals in this group would take this the wrong way, (ie, we really do care–but sometimes get a little fed up and deal with it via humor, sometimes not in the best taste) especially if they are not dealing with this problem over and over on the front lines. I note that many commenters in the past are not actually even involved in direct patient care.

Just splashing around in her bath of bigotry now. FAT PEOPLE ARE NOT A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED. Her use of “on the front lines” is a pretty good indicator that she sees fat bodies as an enemy – which all too often translates to “it’s worth killing them to try to make them thin.”

If that’s how you see fat patients, you need to get all the way out of doctoring.  The problem isn’t that fat people react to your attempts to make us thin PRECISELY as all the research says we will (by losing weight temporarily and then gaining it all back, often plus more…) The problem is that you keep putting us through an intervention that has been shown to have the opposite of the intended effect the majority of the time.

The problem here isn’t that there is a diversity of body sizes and that, as a doctor, you are expected to treat all of them. The problem is that you are a bigot. The problem is that you think that being a doctor gives you some kind of “Get out of bigotry free” card. You are a danger to your fat patients.

I just feel badly that J’s attempt at humor had this effect–I think many of us can understand where he was coming from even if we might not have dared say it ourselves.

Let’s be clear – she is sad that J’s blatant fatphobia had the consequence of people politely pointing out his fatphobia, and how it specifically broke the rules of the community that he had agreed to. I am overcome with sadness at the plight of J – #Won’tSomebodyThinkOfTheFatphobes

“might not have dared say it” – Ah, yes. The tremendous bravery of being openly bigoted. I’m sure J and L are heroes to fatphobic doctors everywhere who wish they could be more open about how they treat their patients from a place of stereotyping, bigotry, and gross negligence.

I’ve probably not helped myself but anyway…maybe i’ve helped J.
And before you pile on me that i’ve insulted non-doctors, I’ve sat on this list for 20 years and watched physicians get insulted by everyone else left right and centre

That’s a no on both counts there L. The people who helped J were the ones who pointed out that his comment was inappropriate and offensive so that he can, hopefully, learn and grow and dismantle his own bigotry. What you’ve done is reinforced that his bigotry is fine, in the service of defending your own bigotry (which everyone found out about because despite being on the list for 20 years, you don’t know how replies work.)  You are the flame to J’s pile of garbage, well done you.

Once again, try not to say “pile on” when you mean “hold me accountable for my wildly inappropriate behavior.” Mmmkay? Thanks in advance.

And by “get insulted” do you by any chance mean “held accountable for our bigotry and dangerous lack of ethics?” Asking for a friend – who is any fat person who might have to put their lives into your fatphobic hands.

Sadly, this attitude is all too familiar to fat patients who have to deal with it all the time – whether it is spoken or unspoken – diagnosed and treated by doctors who are operating out of stereotypes and bigotry, prescribing body size changes instead of treating our health issues. Seeing our bodies as a war, and themselves on the front lines of fighting them.  Well, if they want a war, we’ll give them one because fat people deserve much better than this.

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.

 

Fatphobia And The Frustration of Secret Accommodations

asking for accommodationKathy Deitch is one of the multi-talented (like, original Broadway casts of Wicked and Footloose talented) stars of the sketch comedy group Fatch. After their sold-out show last week (the one where I got to do stand-up!) she headed to a high-end spa for a group celebration of her friend’s birthday.  One of the things they were looking forward to was hanging out in their fancy spa robes while they had drinks, watched sunsets etc.

Except when Kathy went to get a robe, they didn’t have one that fit. She called housekeeping who brusquely told her that robes were not available in her size. Upset but determined not to let it ruin her time, she decided to lodge a complaint when she left, choosing to wear the clothes that she brought, so that she could just focus on having fun with her friends.

Near the end of her stay she made her complaint, only to learn that the spa did, in fact, have robes up to a 5X. Per Kathy the woman seemed genuinely upset about the misinformation, but by that point it was too late.

Of course there are plenty of places (and transportation options, doctor’s offices, and clothing lines etc.) that simply don’t bother to accommodate fat people, which is completely unacceptable. But this is an example of another difficulty of living in the world in a fat body – secret accommodations.

That theater has some armless chairs that could be set out, that restaurant has a half booth/half table where the table moves, that spa has plus-sized robes. But they won’t tell you about them unless you ask, and you have to ask the right person (or several people) to find one who knows what’s up.

There are easy fixes to this. But really, the first step is for them to decide they want to accommodate people of different sizes (rather than operating out of fatphobia.) Once the decision to be a company that is not mired in weight stigma is made and communicated down the chain, things can easily improve.

In Kathy’s case there are multiple options for solutions. First of all, they could just have robes in all sizes set out. Failing that, they could have a sign that says “Don’t see your size? We have robes from XS to 5X, please call the front desk and we’ll be happy to bring you a robe in your size.” At the very least, every employee should be made aware that the robes are available in those sizes (And while 5X is a good range, they could also get even bigger robes to make sure that those above a 5X can enjoy the same experience that everyone else gets.

It’s also important to note that, because of widespread fatphobia, making a fat person ask for an accommodation is not asking something simple or neutral. We never know when a reasonable request (for something that should already have been thought of) will result in our being the victims of fatphobia at the hands of the person to whom we are making our request. This situation becomes even worse for those who deal with certain kinds of anxiety, as well as those who are also members of other marginalized communities because it means they don’t just have to fear fatphobia, but also racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, et. al.

That said, if you feel up to it (and remembering that this is bullshit and you shouldn’t have to do it,) it can definitely be worth asking. You can ask directly, or call or e-mail ahead to see what can be made, or you can show up and ask to be accommodated. While the answer may be some fatphobic pile of hot garbage, that’s always wrong and never your fault.

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:

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.

Fixing Fatphobic Memes – Adorable Baby and Seal Edition

Is there anything worse than scrolling through social media just to find that somebody confused fatphobia with cleverness and then decided to visit it on the world as a meme? Yes, in my opinion, it could be worse – they could drag adorable animals and babies into it.

I’m on a bit of a mission to fix fatphobic memes and thanks to readers Nancy and Karin I’ve found and fixed these two:

I'M A FRICKIN' BABY FOR PETE'S SAKE, DON'T INVOLVE ME IN YOUR FAT-SHAMING NONSENSE
Top picture is an adorable baby in the bathtub with the caption “When U realize U overdid it on the holidays” On the bottom is the same picture with the new caption “I’m a frickin’ baby for Pete’s sake, leave me out of your fat-shaming nonsense.”  

 

Seal Meme Fix
Top picture is an adorable fat seal with the caption “When you’ve been saying “Fuck It It’s Christmas” since mid November and now it’s starting to catch up. The bottom is the same picture with the caption “When you’re just trying to hang out and be a seal, but somebody wants to make you part of their ridiculous fatphobic meme. 

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:

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.

 

 

 

 

The Academy of Pediatrics Wants To Amputate Kids’ Stomachs – There Are Much Better Options

THEREI~1I saw the article in the LA Times Science Section, and then I saw red. The title was “More kids who are severely obese should have weight-loss surgery, pediatricians say” and the premise is that more children, including pre-teens, should be given stomach amputation (aka weight loss, aka bariatric surgery) procedures according to a new policy guideline by the Academy of Pediatrics.

(If you want to skip the possibly triggering discussion and just get some resources to help kids without amputating their stomachs, just scroll down to where it says resources.)

Let’s remember that by “preteen” they mean children 12 and younger. Children who have likely not even started puberty yet, are not remotely done growing. The American Academy of Pediatrics wants to surgically alter their digestive system to fundamentally and permanently interfere with their ability to absorb nutrients.

It’s not just the fact that these children are supposed to spend the rest of their lives participating caloric restriction that would be seen as a major eating disorder red flag worthy of immediate intervention in anyone else, it’s also the fact that this is a child who is going to be sentenced to a lifetime of eating that is complicated, risks long-term malnutrition, and sets them outside of the social norm. Every birthday party, every holiday meal, possibly every school lunch etc. they will have to eat differently than those around them. And their lives and the quality of those lives literally depend on their ability to follow restrictions and requirements around eating that adults (with fully developed prefrontal cortexes) often struggle with.

Just a few of the side effects of these barbaric procedures include low iron, calcium, vitamins D and B12, as well as a thiamine deficiency. This is extremely serious – adolescence is a time of development (for example, 50% of total adult bone mass is supposed to develop during this period, which is severely hampered by a lack of calcium and Vitamin D.)

Let’s remember that children don’t, typically, buy their own groceries. And many,  especially 12 and younger, don’t prepare their own food.  So their parents/guardians have to be diligent every single day for the rest of the time that child is in their care, with serious consequences to their children (but no likely consequences to the parents) if they should fail. So we are asking children to undergo a surgery that can have a serious negative lifelong impact and they aren’t even able to control the things they need.

Let’s also take a moment to realize that, even though a weight-neutral health practice (essentially focusing on supporting actual health rather than body size manipulation through forced starvation) has strong evidence of efficacy among adults with far fewer possible negative side effects, they didn’t even try to see if that would also work for children, preferring to literally butcher them instead. For profit. This was never about health,

Evan Nadler, MD is a good example of the issues here. He told Endocrine Today “A patient of any age — if they meet standard criteria for weight-loss surgery — should be referred to a surgeon so that they may, at a minimum, learn about the surgical options.” This on the strength of a study he undertook that only had 105 subjects and reviewed data for only 30 days post-surgery.  Three of the patients required a second surgery due to complications, one had major complications that didn’t require surgery, four experienced “minor” complications (where minor included one requiring  parenteral nutrition, and three others requiring hospital readmission for IV fluids and steroids.) And that’s just in the first 30 days after which, remember, they took to the media to recommend that more and younger children should have their stomachs amputated.

In fact, the “long-term” research that exists on childhood stomach amputations is only about 8 years, and most of the research is far shorter. Of course, if the surgery or post-surgical complications don’t kill them, the children will be alive much longer, potentially with a lifetime of malnutrition and complications the doctors who were so eager to profit from butchering their digestive systems haven’t even bothered to predict.

Not to mention that they use fatphobia as a reason to give these kids surgery, which means that they are teaching these kids that the solution to bullying is to risk your life in an attempt to give your bullies precisely what they want.

This is unethical in the extreme. I think it is difficult for an adult to ethically consent to these surgeries, but there is absolutely no way that ethical consent can be obtained from a child for this procedure – no. possible. way.  A child cannot possibly understand what this means for them, what the complications could be, or what the lifelong ramifications might be. And no parent or doctor should be able to sentence a child to that life.

Resources

Here are some resources to help kids of all sizes that do not involve amputating a perfectly healthy organ. Feel free to leave more in the comments.

https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=35&category=Children%2FTeens

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/for-healthy-kids-skip-the-kurbo-app

https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=226

https://christyharrison.com/foodpsych/4/building-body-positive-families-hilary-kinavey

https://healthateverysizeblog.org/2013/02/19/haes-matters-a-health-at-every-size-model-for-our-children/

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:

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.

 

 

 

 

Dentists’ Dangerous Diet Talk

Pediatric dentists (1)Reader Alissa was just trying to get her kids good dental care. Instead they got a mouthful of bad nutrition advice.

She says:

This was the second time we had seen this dentist. The first time, they went on for a long while about food, but this second time, my mother went with my kids, so I wasn’t there.

Over the dinner table, my daughter volunteered this thought: “When the other kids eat raisins at school for snack, I’m not going to, because the dentist said they were bad.”

I emailed the doctor giving her feedback that my daughter had taken away this horrifying idea from their food lectures, and that perhaps if they wanted to discuss nutrition so deeply, that they get trauma and eating disorder-informed training. Because diet doesn’t occur in a vacuum… there are already social messages being sent to children about food and body size.. and to ignore this just to talk about cavity reduction is naive.

This dentist called me the morning after I sent the feedback via their system, and she was incredibly defensive. She seemingly wanted to call to convince me that talking about food with young children was a totally great idea. She also wanted to convince me that no one has ever complained about it before so why did I complain? At some point I even had to say “Why did you call me?” Eating disorders are on the rise in children, and perhaps pediatric dentists aren’t really helping that, even if they feel like discussing food could help cavity reduction. “

The dentist, Alissa found, sends home a big chart about food, “they basically have a policy against like… all crackers… all dried fruits… all sweets… they are cool with veggies, meats and cheeses. They give a talk in the beginning of the appointment about it”. Her dentist was upset about her negative feedback and claimed that pediatric dentists are being told to talk more about food with the children (who are brought to them for dentistry services.

In truth, this whole thing is obnoxious and quite possibly dangerous. Nutrition (other than discussing things like brushing after eating) should not be the purview of dentists, and certainly not pediatric dentists who are seeing kids in what is often a high-stress situation, of which the kids have almost no control or way out, at a time when the likelihood of developing an eating disorder is raised. Unless they have advanced training in nutrition and preventing eating disorders, pediatric dentists need to stay all the way in their lane and stick to teeth.

If you have kids and you are taking them to a dentist, it might be worth a conversation with the dentist to make sure that there’s no diet talk in their dentistry or fatphobia in their fluoride treatment. A lot of the points from the experts in this article may be helpful for the discussion.

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:

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.

 

Funny Fat Girl

If you’ve been reading to the bottom of my blog posts recently, you’ve seen me announce that I would be doing a stand-up set as a guest performer at Fatch’s New Year, Same You show. Yesterday I did it and it cemented my decision that, in addition to my speaking and writing, comedy is something I’m going to pursue. I think I can be good at it and it’s a way to add some fun to my activism. If you want updates about that journey you can join click here to join my new mailing list, and if you really want, you can check out the little starter webpage I made for myself at funnyfatgirl.com (That’s right, I’m reclaiming the “funny fat girl” trope while I’m at it!) Here’s the video, and after that, all the juicy details!) Enjoy!

 

The show was… kind of magical. I was part of one of the sketches (a re-work of the song “Let’s Get Physical”) which is extra awesome because as I kid I thought the song was about exercise, which I liked, and so it was my go-to song everywhere we went that had a jukebox (which was a lot of places – I grew up in rural America!) I’m sure my mom must have been cringing at me singing and dancing along – but she let me do my thing.

As they sang and danced in fantastic neon 80’s workout gear, I came out in a lab coat with a Public Service Announcement that exercise isn’t an obligation, running a marathon and having a Netflix marathon are morally equivalent activities, and fat people have the right to live without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression whether we exercise or not.

Here is the fully dramatized version of my less than one minute on stage:

– Hide in the hall behind the backstage area, out of sight until Kathy enters through the door, practicing the line some more- check

– Quietly move across the backstage area and grab the mic from the stand – check

– Do not make distracting sounds into – or drop the – mic, it is hot – check

– Realize that the previous show has twisted the cord around the mic stand – fix that so you don’t go charging onto stage with the mic and accidentally drag the stand with you – check

– Wait at the door until the queue, go through the line one more time- check

– Open the door with purpose (thanks Rodney!) don’t fuck it up – check

– Say the line. Don’t fuck it up – check

– Get off the stage, don’t fuck it up – mostly check? Unlike in rehearsal, the door had swung all the way open (I, perhaps, opened it with a bit too much purpose) and so I had to walk across to get it, which made the mic cord become a slight mess but I got off the stage as fast as I could.

Immediately after that it was time for my set – see video above. I thought it went pretty well, there are some things I would change and tighten up, but I feel pretty good about it. Then came two more guest performers Cara Meyers and DJ Mausner, who were both fantastic, and then Fatch came on and just killed the whole thing!

Because I was part of the skits I got to come to a couple of rehearsals, and watching them work was so inspiring – I was trying not to be all gushy fangirl about it, but I’m not entirely sure I succeeded, sorry y’all. (Also, Joy Nash Joy Frickin Nash! – was in the audience, which I’m kind of glad I didn’t know until Julianne told me afterward because I’m pretty sure it would have made me even more nervous – bless the spotlight that blinded me!)

Let me also say how awesome it was that, since the theater has some fat-friendly seating and some that is not,  I personally got to see the members of Fatch make accommodation central to their work even as they were rushing to prepare for the show – including having pre-printed signs asking people to reserve fat-friendly seating for fat people.

Thank you so much to Nikki Bailey for a tremendous amount of help and advice about comedy, Kathy Deitch for plucking me from a little panel discussion to be on her show and all the support since, to the women of Fatch, Rodney their director, his husband James, and Cara and DJ who were all really kind and supportive, to Julianne who did a ton of work to coordinate our friends (and listened to my set, like, a lot of times,) and to everyone who came and laughed! This was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

If you appreciate my activism (of the funny and/or not funny varieties) 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:

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.

 

 

 

 

Fat People Avoid The Doctor Because Of Weigh-Ins, And That Matters

Weight-based shame, stigma, bullying, and oppressionI received an e-mail from a reader who is worried that she is having some health problems, but has been afraid to go to the doctor because of the fat-shaming that she received the last time she went.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this. Sadly, it’s not even the hundredth time. It’s mostly been from fat people, but also people who have dealt with eating disorders and just those who struggle with being weighed and then feeling judged.

All too often, this is shrugged off by healthcare professionals as a “they need to get over it” thing, but it matters and it needs to be taken seriously because anything that gets in the way of people getting healthcare matters and needs to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, it can also be profitable, as insurance companies have specific codes for “obesity counseling” (which, sadly, is not counseling to help doctors stop pathologizing bodies based on their height/weight ratio, or counseling about why we should give every fat person a pony.)

Let’s start here: In a fatphobic society, being weighed and/or negatively judged by a person of authority – including and especially a healthcare practitioner – can lead to trauma that interferes with the person’s future ability to engage with their own healthcare. That needs to be taken seriously, and solutions need to be offered (and let’s all be clear that “how about you just stop being traumatized” is NOT a solution.)

In good news, getting someone’s weight is almost never actually necessary – only in special cases (like medications that are dosed by weight) is this something that even needs to be done, and the need to tell patients their weight is even more rare.

Not to mention that focusing on a patient’s weight can cause healthcare practitioners to miss important diagnoses when, overcome by their weight stigma, HCPs fail to provide competent, evidence-based care.

Speaking of competent, evidence-based care, there is no point prescribing body size manipulation (aka weight loss) anyway since:

1. The same conditions happen in thin patients, meaning that thinness is neither a sure preventative nor a sure cure

2. Treatments besides “try to look different” are available for all of the conditions for which weight loss is often recommended (Pro-tip, they are the treatments that are prescribed to thin patients, so if a Healthcare Provider recommends weight loss, try asking “How do you treat this in thin patients?”)

3. There isn’t a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people succeed at significant long-term weight loss and the majority of weight loss attempts result in weight gain, which is to say that weight loss as a medical practice does not meet the basic criteria for an ethical, evidence-based intervention since the most common outcome is the exact opposite of the intended effect

Until they stop with this bullshit, we have the option to refuse weigh-ins, just like any other medical procedure (of course, getting weighed isn’t actually a medical procedure, but if they are going to act like it is, then we can treat it like one.) More-Love.org has created these cards to help!

I have found it effective to just say “no thanks” and keep on walking. If they push you can say something like “If we find that knowing my weight is actually necessary then I’ll be willing to discuss it, otherwise let’s move on.” You can explain that you have a history of disordered eating (dieting counts!) or eating disorders and that a weigh-in can be triggering, with no actual upside for you. If they ask to guess your weight (yes, it happens!) you can explain that this is not the County Fair and refuse that too. You can also agree to step on the scale facing away, but that won’t guarantee that they won’t bring it up, or print it on paperwork that you’ll eventually see.

It can also be extremely helpful to call ahead, let them know that for your psychological wellbeing you cannot be weighed in, and ask them to make a note of it, then remind them of it at check-in.

Taking someone with you can also be incredibly helpful. They can help advocate for you, and HCPs tend to behave more appropriately

This sucks, it should not happen, we should not have to strategize just to go to the damn doctor – and the difficulty is compounded by additional oppression due to things like racism, health issues like anxiety, depression, chronic illness and more. Our medical system is currently rife with fatphobia and that’s not our fault but it becomes our problem, so it can help to think about our options.

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!)

Poem for a Diet Free New Year
My adorable dog and I have a poem to help you resolve (for the first time, or again) to ditch diets. I’m having fun doing videos like this so there will definitely be more – if you want to make sure not to miss future videos, you can
subscribe to my YouTube channel!

 

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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.