Category Archives: quick thoughts

#ihavecellulite!

I ran across a brief post on Jezebel today about how Lauren Conrad feels that the paparazzi ruined going to the beach for her, because they took pictures of her in a bikini and OMZG you could see her cellulite (for the uninitiated, Ms. Conrad was a regular on a reality show about Laguna Beach, a wealthy town south of Los Angeles, and all of the, you know, rich people problems and hilarity that ensues as a result of said money. I’m not sure what else she was famous for, except she then got her own spin off and now makes clothes or something? anyway.) She says:

On [a recent] vacation to Cabo, I wore a bathing suit on the beach for the first time in years. Usually I’m just petrified. A couple of years ago someone zoomed in on my cellulite and it was so mean. I took it really personally. I haven’t worn a bathing suit in L.A. in years because of that.

So, yes, that is some sadness right there. She didn’t wear a bathing suit for YEARS because of a pic of some cellulite? Yes, sure, we could all wax sarcastic about “ohhh, it must be so hard to be a rich white blond girl who enjoys thin privilege!” but honestly? I’m mostly just sad. What in the fresh-hell kind of fucked up culture do we live in that people refuse to go to the beach when it’s warm out because they are so ashamed of something that nearly EVERY woman has? To be very clear, I don’t want to lambast folks who feel the same way as Lauren Conrad does. This is not your fault (cue Good Will Hunting clip). It isn’t. This is a god-damn sad illustration of just how good we are at shaming people about their bodies. It’s mind-boggling how good we are at it. Yay us!

So, as soon as I got home from work today, I snapped this pic.

It’s not the best shot of cellulite that ever existed, but you get the point. It’s certainly about as risque as I’ve ever gotten in terms of posting things to the interwebs (I know, I lead a very dangerous and salacious life, watch out). If I had more followers and was more savvy regarding social media, I’d try to make this “a thing,” but instead I’m just putting it out here in this little corner of the internet world. I will also be Tweeting it under #ihavecellulite! and I encourage any and all of you to do the same! Show us your cellulite! Because fuck this noise, people. It’s important that those of us who feel comfortable doing so help spread the word that cellulite isn’t something to be ashamed of. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It isn’t inherently evil. It’s part of us. So hug it or something!

waking up skinny

possible trigger re weight loss talk

Remember when you were younger and would go to bed and think, “what if I woke up skinny? Like, what if magic actually exists and I wake up tomorrow morning looking exactly how I wanted to look??” Anyone? No? Was that just me? I remember thinking just how amazing that would be. Well, that question has started to pop back into my head lately and my answer increasingly is, “holy shit that would be amazing.”

As in, sometimes I wish I could magically wake up tomorrow and look like a different person. It just seems like things would be easier.

I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.

What I wouldn’t give to not think that. I feel such shame for thinking that. I HATE that I think that. I don’t even like typing it here. It makes me feel ashamed, feel like a failure, feel like I’ll never get to where I want to be regarding my body image. And shouldn’t I be much further along in this journey, as I started writing publicly about it over two years ago? I know, I know. I answered my own question…this is a journey and some days are better than others.

I have no deep thoughts here, only a renewed promise to post here more often, and that means posting some dark shit sometimes. Folks who know me would likely agree with me when I say that I don’t like it to appear as though I don’t have my life together. I’m much better at being a public mess than I used to be (yay public messes!), but my default is certainly to clam up and be all “lalala, no no, everything is delightful! puppies and rainbows!”

So yes, I’m owning it. Owning the fact that I want to live in a magical world where you could just shut your eyes, open them, and see a thinner person staring back at you. Intellectually I get where this is coming from. I do. I think that if I was skinnier, I would have loads of dates, I would have awesomer clothes, I would I would I would. And clearly there is no use wishing for THAT world, when I live in, you know, the ACTUAL world. But if there’s one thing I learned through this process of fat acceptance (I’m actually starting to not use that phrase as much anymore, but that’s for another post), it’s that trying to suppress the thoughts you wish you weren’t having doesn’t do any good. In fact, it often does more harm than good, so go on, let that shit out! *aaand scene

Update: fabulous reminder from commenter G about the amazing “Fantasy of Being Thin” by Kate Harding. It was one of the first FA blog posts I read, back in 2007. I’m gonna go read it again right now.

sometimes they get it right

I’ve been working for several days on a post about noticing when i’m being my authentic, true self and when I feel the need to metaphorically (or literally) “suck it in” around people I don’t feel fully comfortable with. I keep writing a few words and then moving away from it, I think because it feels really whiny to me right now and I don’t like being whiny, even though I know that’s coming from all of my own shit and sometimes it’s just helpful and cathartic to get it all out, even it feels like a colossal woe-is-me-fest.

However, I just saw a series of ads from the South African Marie Claire and one of the pics really made me smile, so I thought I’d throw it up here quickly. I should say that this doesn’t really give Marie Claire extra points or a free pass in my book (remember the whole “ew, fatties kissing is gross!” piece by one of their bloggers?). I also am skeptical ANY time an advertisement asks us to love our bodies, as they’re usually telling us that the best way to love our body is to use their product. Having said that, I just love one of the pictures they’ve used. She’s gorgeous, she looks defiant (“I dare you to pass judgment, because I am fabulous.”), she has fat rolls, she’s just stunning. It’s amazing how powerful pics like this can be. it’s kind of small, but basically the text indicates that everyone wants some body part of someone else. “You wish you had Stephanie’s skin, and Stephanie wishes she had Tasj’s boobs, and Tasj wishes she had Kassie’s legs…” and so on. But really, it’s not even about the text for me.

right?

wisdom for the ages

Every so often, i check out the ways people find me here using various search engines (yay site stats!). some of them crack me up. some of them make me sad. some of them i just don’t understand. so i thought i’d respond to a few of them and if ya’ll have any additional advice, throw ’em in the comments!

common searches that lead folks to my blog:

1. “I was set up with a fat girl” or “why do my friends fix me up with fat women” or “why do I always get set up with fat girls” or some variation on that theme.

I’m assuming this person isn’t comfortable with the fact that s/he has been set up with fat women. Perhaps not, perhaps s/he’s looking for intel on how to date the species…”what do fat people talk about?” “do fat people kiss like regular people?” “will i be able to eat any of the food we get at dinner, or will she hog it all?” You know, the important questions. To the person who gets set up with fat women, I say this…fat women, on the whole, are very much like non-fat women! it’s amazing how that works! there are nice fat women, and mean fat women. fat women who are great kissers and fat women who suck at kissing. fat people talk about all sorts of things! trains, the weather, politics, clothes, religion, food, movies, and more. trust me, if you date this fat woman like you would date any other woman, i think you’ll be ok.

And to the people asking these questions because they’re pissed that their friends set them up with fat women? piss off. get over yourself, your ego, and your desire to make sure you date “appropriate” women. you may even, gasp, have a delightful date with a fatty!

2. “met online i’m fat” or “dating while fat” or “how to make friends while fat” or “best friend isn’t attracted to me overweight.”

Yeah, I feel you. I’ve been there. shit, sometimes i AM there. sometimes it just sucks to be fat. there really isn’t any other more direct way to say it. Here’s the thing: dating is just generally awful for a lot of people, regardless of your weight. It can be awkward, it can be forced. And even if you put a legit picture of yourself (read: full body or one where it’s very clear that you’re fat) on your online dating profile, there are heart palpitations and sweaty palms when you think about him/her seeing you in person and running from the table screaming. Because even with online dating, a lot of us want to say the “right” thing. “Absolutely, I would date someone ‘overweight.’ Look at me, I’m so open-minded.” But then, when an actual fat person is right in front of them, they think “oh, wait. i thought you meant ‘fat’ like jennifer lopez. like, curvy, big ass. nevermind.” Sometimes the thought of meeting new potential partners freaks me the fuck out, I’ll just say it. But you know? It wasn’t until i finally said to myself, “um, this just isn’t worth it. who CARES if someone doesn’t like me because I’m fat? I may not like them because they’re mean! or dumb! or conservative!” that I began to really relax. The beauty of it is…when you take your power and agency BACK from other people, they can’t hurt you. You don’t LET others make you feel badly because you are perfectly happy with who you are. jesus, that is SUCH a self-help book thing to say, isn’t it? but it’s true!

As to the “how to make friends while fat” piece, I can only say that much of my advice is the same. focus on yourself, find things you love about YOU. also? there is this totally awesome FA community just waiting for you, so start poking around the interwebs!

3. “i have really fat friends, will i get fat.”

yes, probably. watch out, that shit is contagious.

This was fun! I’ve saved some for next time, stay tuned!

reason # 323496349872 I don’t watch The Biggest Loser

I’m watching Top Chef Masters right now (pirated, I don’t have tv so I gots ta get it via the interwebs) and the challenge for this episode is to re-work the favorite meals of contestants from The Biggest Loser into three meals (plus dessert) that don’t go over 1,500 calories total. Of course the favorite meals that they trot out are calorie-laden monster plates of deep dish pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, and the like. NOW, I am not judging the fact that those are someone’s favorite meal. Shit, a bacon cheeseburger? Essentially perfection on a plate. And even if I didn’t like the food someone chooses as her favorite, who the hell am I to say anything about it? Rock on with your food choices! My beef has more to do with the producers. Of course they only choose the foods that most folks would label as “bad.” Listen, I’m fat. Like, super fat. And my favorite meal is probably a caprese salad and some sort of California-style phroofy thin-crust pizza. I know other fat people who would kill someone over the perfect roast chicken. Did I see a plate of roast chicken with asparagus and fingerling potatoes in the show? I’ll give you seven guesses. Again, I’m not interested in getting into a good fatty/bad fatty discussion – of course people should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of what they choose to eat – I’m interested in the narrative that the producers wish to share with us. There is ONE fat person in this world, and she is lazy and eats everything in sight and that’s the reason she’s fat. One chef even says something like “jesus, I could feed my family for an entire week with what’s just on that one plate.” You, sir, should shut up.

On to the challenge itself. “1500 calories?” i thought. that doesn’t seem like much. Apparently the suggested caloric intake for women, according to the FDA, is 1500-2000. Ok, cool. So it’s not like The Biggest Loser is in the habit of starving people, right? But then I get to thinking about someone who weighs what I do trying to get by on 1500 calories. Wouldn’t my body think it’s starving and go into survival mode? And how is that sustainable? when I plug in my height and weight and indicate that I am active for 30 minutes about three times a week, i’m told that I need to take in about 2550 calories a day. This comes from the Mayo Clinic, it’s not some super random website. The difference between 1500 and 2550 is a lot. What about folks who weigh more than I do?

I don’t have any amazing epiphanies or anything, it just frustrates me to no end that there isn’t any further discussion. CUT and DRIED, people. Fat folks eat gross food, they should severely restrict their diet (and exercise 3+ hours a day like they do during taping of the show), and voila! they will be happy, healthy (read: less fat), and ready to be introduced to the world with confetti and bells and whistles in front of a live studio audience!

Wow, I’m feeling snark-tastic tonight. Love it.

Update: So now (sidebar: I feel like I’m live-blogging this damn thing), the chefs are talking to each Biggest Loser contestant about the food that will get a makeover, and one of the chefs is trying to convince the college student who loves her a bacon cheeseburger that a veggie patty is the way to go because meat is so bad for you. I’ve had some positively amazing veggie burgers in my life, so that doesn’t concern me. what concerns me is his statement later to the camera in which he says, “I do this for a living. I work in this industry with nutritionists and I have great respect for [the contestant], so shame on me if I present anything but a veggie burger.” Ummm, what dude? SHAME on you if you DARE to serve her anything but a veggie burger? What a hero, coming to rescue the fat maiden from her life of beef and hideousness. My hat’s off to you.

Update II: Now some of the chefs are crowing about how all three of their meals were under 1000 calories. See, this is where the shit hits the fan for me. This hasn’t become an exercise in mindful eating anymore, it’s a game to see how low you can go (calories, weight watchers).

Update III: Ok, there is some justice in the world! The preachy chef got sent home because, as one critic put it, he served them a “lecture on a plate.” Awesomesauce.

things that make me tired

I’m tired of spilling my heart out and explaining FA to friends to then have them say, “Did you hear about the HCG diet? My sister is on it and she’s lost tons of weight!” *blink blink. Or “i don’t understand why seriously obese people don’t just start eating right instead of complaining all the time.”

I’m tired of booths and seats in restaurants that make it extremely uncomfortable to sit and enjoy dinner. I’m tired of having to scan the room before I sit down to figure out where I CAN actually sit.

I’m tired of having only two actual, physical stores to shop in (neither of which are in my city) and instead am relegated to online shopping, wherein sizes are never consistent and I spend tons of money and time getting clothes shipped to me, then shipping them back because they don’t fit or don’t look like they did on the website, then getting NEW sizes shipped back to me, and holding my breath that those will fit, then finally getting an outfit together 3 weeks later.

I’m tired of people snarking on other peoples’ clothing choices, eating habits, and lifestyle decisions.

I’m tired of a lack of people in my real (not virtual) life who get what it’s like to be fat.

I’m tired of the serious dearth of good, performance-style sports bras. Seriously, I have one.

I realize most (all?) of these are #firstworldprobs, as the kids say these days, but they are my reality right now. And sometimes i’m just fucking tired.

come be tired with me! what are you tired of?

quick hit: self-compassion in the NYT

Tara Parker-Pope posted an article on the New York Times website yesterday called “Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges.” I don’t read her stuff that often, but a co-worker alerted me to this post and I gotta say, I like it! It’s not new information to those of us in the FA movement, but it’s always awesome when mainstream media and press get it right. Or, mostly right.

Essentially, research shows that when we are nicer to ourselves, we enjoy less stress in our lives and pay more attention to what our bodies actually want in terms of food. What I don’t like is that the researchers Ms. Parker-Pope speaks with frame the narrative using weight-loss as the ultimate goal.

“Self-compassion is the missing ingredient in every diet and weight-loss plan,” said Jean Fain, a psychotherapist and teaching associate at Harvard Medical School who wrote the new book “The Self-Compassion Diet” (Sounds True publishing). “Most plans revolve around self-discipline, deprivation and neglect.”

The problem with this line of thinking is that it seems to ignore the fact that self-compassion is important regardless of dieting, weight loss goals, etc. (though of course one has to frame it that way if one is hoping to sell a diet book). The ultimate goal need not be weight-loss, the ultimate goal should simply be loving yourself more. Of course, Ms. Fain is right in part. Self-compassion doesn’t currently exist in any diet plan that I’m aware of, but to me that’s not the point. Still, though, good to know folks recognize that diets fail for a variety of reasons, most notably (to me, anyway) because they are rooted in self-criticism and a call to “just have more willpower.”