Jillian Michaels Continues To Be A Horrible Human Being, This Time Dragging Lizzo Into It

Lizzo is a HeroLizzo is an incredibly talented person  – a singer/songwriter who, at her concerts, sings, dances, and plays the flute. She killed it on Saturday Night Live. She writes and performs songs that inspire, and holds the line for body love at any size in the media including social media. And she does all of this at great personal expense as she is the victim of incessant racist and fatphobic bullying. Lizzo is a fucking hero.

Jillian Michaels is a professional bully who became rich and famous by mentally and physically abusing fat people for money on an abomination of a show on which she once starred. And I say “once starred” because she got booted off (and sued repeatedly for selling dangerous diet supplements) and since then she has been clawing to get back up in the public eye. And today, she decided to do that by trying to step on Lizzo.

Jillian was on a digital talk show called “AM to DM” and the host mentioned that she was excited about stars like Lizzo who are showing bodies that we don’t often get to celebrate. Jillian jumped in, saying “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”

Ok, Type 2 diabetes (which is the type that Jillian is talking about, even though she is not informed enough to be clear about that) is an illness that people of all sizes get, it’s not anybody’s fault if they get it, and there’s no shame in it. There is, at most, a complicated and not-at-all direct relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and weight. There is a major genetic component, many health conditions that can cause diabetes can also cause weight gain, some diabetes medications can cause weight gain, and certain diets – recommended for weight loss – can increase the risks of diabetes, just to name a few.

None of that really matters in this situation though, because adding healthism to your fatphobia does not improve the situation. And if Jillian is so fucking worried about diabetes why isn’t she using her platform to push the pharmaceutical industry to stop letting diabetics die because they’ve decided that making even more profits on medications for diabetes is far more important than the lives of people with diabetes.

Spoiler alert – it’s because Jillian doesn’t give a shit about diabetes, or fat people’s health. And her actions prove that. But don’t take my word for it, here’s Kai Hibbard, one of the people harmed by the abomination of a show on which Jillian once starred.

Kai Hibbard Tweet
Kai Hibbard (She/Her) @Kai Hibbard Hey, remember that fatphobic shit TV show you we were on that taught me how to dehydrate to manipulate a scale, workout in excess of 8 hours a day, believe coffee counted as a meal and starve myself? You don’t seem too worried about my health.

But Jillian wasn’t satisfied with blending fatphobia, healthism, and concern trolling. She actually tried to make herself the victim in the situation bemoaning “Why is it my job to care about her weight?”

Newflash Jillian: IT FUCKING ISN’T YOUR JOB. LITERALLY NOBODY ASKED YOU!

So we have Jillian jumping on her first opportunity to fat-shame Lizzo, then trying to make herself into the victim for doing it, but of course she wasn’t done.

Lizzo’s fans were not having this bullshit and they began giving Jillian exactly what she deserved.  And of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that a white woman criticizing the body of a Black woman is part of a long and horrible history of racism. Black women’s bodies should never be within the purview of white women.

But Jillian, overjoyed for the attention she desperately craves and doesn’t deserve because she has no real talent other than being a bully and an abuser, couldn’t help going back for a second serving. So she proudly said:

“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy and equally deserving. I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity – heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”

This is chock full o’ bullshit. We are allowed to love ourselves and our bodies in any way that we decide. Health, by any definition, is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control. It’s ok to be fat, period. But this is Jillian’s new thing as she tries to glamorize bullying – it’s also classic gaslighting and part of the cycle of an abuser.

In truth you either think everyone is beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a decent person, congrats,) or you think that only people who you don’t believe might have or get health problems are beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a healthist asshole, no congrats.) In Jillian’s case, she seems fine with the health problems that may develop from, for example, extreme dieting, so all this healthism is really just a smokescreen for the fatphobia that has been her source of income and fame for so long. The truth is that if fat people stop hating themselves and believing that they deserve abuse, then Jillian is completely out of a job (which would, obviously, be fantastic on all counts.) 

This makes me want to punch Jillian Michaels in the face repeatedly while saying “I’ve always said that violence is wrong for all of us. But we can’t overlook the fact that punching Jillian in the face might help her be a better person and less of a smug fat-hating piece of shit, and while I wouldn’t wish repeated face punching on ANYONE, we have to love her enough to prioritize her personal growth.”

Of course, I’m not going to do that, because Jillian Michaels isn’t worth crossing the street for, let alone going to jail for, but it’s a nice dream.

In conclusion, fuck Jillian Michaels and her bullying, abusing tactics. Lizzo forever!

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 bonus content, 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, and special deals on fat-positive stuff!)

UPCOMING APPEARANCE!

I’ll be doing a stand-up comedy set as a guest performer at the Fatch – the Fat Sketch Comedy Group’s New Year, Same You show on January 10th at 9pm at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on Sunset in Los Angeles. Tickets and info can be found here (Accessibility info: there is a fat-friendly bench in the front, the rest of the seating is stadium theater seats with arms up at least one step. The venue is wheelchair accessible, but there is limited space for wheelchairs.)

In case you missed it, 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.

 

 

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.

Your Weight Regain Is Not Your Fault

If you lost weight and then gained it back, you're not to blame. In fact, you're part of the vast majority of dieters.I hear a lot of stories, sometimes from people actually trying to defend the diet industry,  where the person lost weight in the short term, but then gained it back.  Their story is that they  “lost will power” or they “started to feel like it was ok to stop counting every bite of food” etc. They blame themselves for “falling off the wagon.”

I’m here to tell you – if you lost weight for a while and then gained it back, you’re not to blame. In fact, you’re part of the vast majority of dieters. Research shows us that the vast majority of people of lose weight gain it all back within 5 years (with many gaining back more than they lost.)

Here’s what happened. For a little while you succeeded in feeding your body less fuel than it needed, leading to it consuming part of itself and becoming temporarily smaller. But because your body is hard-wired for survival, and starvation is a contraindication to survival, your body took over and engaged it’s defenses which include everything from lowering your metabolism, and losing muscle to lower your fuel needs, to changing your hormones to make you hungry all the time, and stop you from feeling satiated.

Only a tiny percentage of people succeed at long-term significant weight loss, and many of those people lead lives based around food and exercise behaviors that are indistinguishable from the behaviors that are considered red flags for eating disorders.

Weight regain isn’t your fault, it’s what was always going to happen (and what will likely continue to happen if you keep dieting, though the initial weight loss may become less and the weight regain might start faster.) Selling diets has become a 60 B…B..B…Billion dollar industry, built on a model that understands the biology of weight loss attempts, and depends on the repeat business that the realities of that biology create.

The diet industry lies to us and they have no shame about it. So we can have no shame in walking away from 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 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.

Dealing with Diet Commercials

The diet industry perpetuates fatphobiA, then creates ads to prey on their victims. the decision to walk away diets forever is solid and sound.In response to a request that I put about for fatphobic things for which  people would like some comebacks (a blog post I’m currently working on) I received the following request:

“Suggestions for how to respond to the ENDLESS diet commercials from 12/26 – end of Feb. I used to be able to avoid them by just keeping off the TV and listening to my local public radio station. Since that company that starts with n became an underwriter it’s impossible.”

Diet commercials are THE WORST. Their product doesn’t work, so commercials do one of three things:

Show Short-Term Success

Almost everyone loses weight short-term, and almost everyone gains it back long-term with many gaining back more than they lost. So what you’ll see in most commercials is people who are still in the weight loss “honeymoon” period, before they start the almost inevitable weight regain.

Rebranding Outliers

There are a few people who manage to maintain long-term weight loss, so diet companies sometimes cherry-pick them for their commercials, and try to make us believe that we are likely to have the same results. Think of it this way, there are people who survive skydiving accidents when their parachute doesn’t open. Based on diet ads logic, I could use them to advertise Ragen’s School of Parachute-less Skydiving – but I’ll bet you wouldn’t (and you definitely shouldn’t!) sign up to jump with me.

Cheating Death

In the case of the super dangerous things, like stomach amputation surgery, they not only cherry-pick the successes, they completely gloss over the very serious failures. There are many people who experience such horrible lifelong side-effects that they would give anything to take back the surgery. You won’t hear from them in the commercials made by the people who profit from butchering the digestive systems of fat people. And of course the people who are killed by the surgery will never get to tell their stories.

You’ll notice that every single ad for diets has a disclaimer that basically explains that the diet doesn’t really work/ Those aren’t there by accident, or by the grace of the companies shilling this snake oil. They are there because they are legally required. It’s the only way they can get away with what is essentially false advertising.

So what do you do about them? Here are some strategies that I’ve found helpful:

Mantra

Find a phrase to say to yourself (or out loud!) whenever you see one. I use “Hey, That’s Bullshit!” Other people have told me that they use “Nope, Nope, Nope’ or “LIES IT’S ALL LIES!” I’ve found that after a little time, it became such a reflex that my brain would say it before I had even fully processed the diet ad.

Gratitude

When you see these ads, you can think to yourself “I’m so grateful that I know better now!” Consider using it as an impetus to message an activist whose work has helped you to tell them thanks!

Report

If the ad is on a forum where you can report it, that can be helpful. For example, every time Facebook feeds me a diet ad, I report as misleading. I’ve successfully gotten a few taken down, but regardless I find it quite cathartic.

Regardless, remember that the diet industry perpetuates fatphobia and then preys on the people who are its victims – that’s all diet ads are. The industry is without morals, ethics, or even common decency and the decision to walk away from it forever is solid and sound.

If you have other suggestions for dealing with diet ads, please leave them 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 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.