Friday, October 23, 2009

Wouldn't it be nice to be thin?

Wouldn't it be nice to be rich, to win the lotto. I'd finally get my dream car, the Mercedes Maybach. I'd make a you tube video taking my $400,000 car through the McDonnell's drive through. I'd travel to all sorts of fancy places, I'd do lots a great charity work.

Wouldn't it be nice to meet my soulmate?

Wouldn't it be nice to be famous. I would have a brilliant movie career and the paparazzi would follow me around. I'd go to all the cool LA night clubs and rub elbows with other famous people.

Wouldn't it be nice to find the dream job, doing what I love to do. Helping people, kids, animals. Getting paid well and enjoying going to work everyday.

Wouldn't it be nice to be taller? Would't it be nice to have a fuller head of hair?

Wouldn't it be nice to be a popular hollywood heartthrob and be dating beautiful hollywood starlets?

Wouldn't it be nice to be thin..….. (sound of record scratching and the background music stops) "Did he actually just type that?" "Uh Oh, he just went taboo on us." "Nice guy, but how dare he talk about losing weight on the Fat-o-Sphere." "I'm gonna comment his wanting to be skinny ass off the internet"

Don't worry, this is just an intellectual exercise. I may not even post this, well if you are reading this then I did post this.

Before finding the Fat Acceptance Community, I had spent my life pursuing being thin, or even just less fat. While I have lost major amounts of weight a few times in my life, a few of those times due to very serious illness, I have always gained it back. I can remember buckling my seatbelt on an airplane as a thin man thinking I will never go back to being fat again. I remember on summer days on the new york city subway system with my bicycle, getting off the train and trotting up the stairs with my bike on my shoulder thinking I was King of the World. I also remember everyone in my life applauding me for my accomplishment. I remember loving being able to buy clothes at old navy. Crossing my legs. Having to slow down because the person I was hanging with wasn't as fit as I was.

There are, in fact, some positive qualities to being thin (or thinner I am 390 right now). Is it a sin to acknowledge that there are some aspects of not being fat that are appealing? More importantly, is it harmful to me and my new found peace with myself to think about those things?

If I lost a little weight wouldn't that make walking easier? Wouldn't losing weight help me with my recovery from being paralyzed and immobile for 7 months where most of the muscle mass I did have de-conditioned to the point where I can't walk more than a few blocks without needing to take a break?

Am I hurting myself by even considering these thoughts.

I am hoping that the folks on the sphere whom I appreciate can share some of their thoughts here with me.

My only goal with food and exercise right now is to increase my mobility and enhance my health by increasing the level of nutrition in what I do eat. I would like to get into a pool and do some movement there to increase my lung capacity which has also suffered from the medical trauma of two and a half years ago.

I am not going to go into the issues of the horrific, chronic, awful, pain I have from the surgery or all the trials and obstacles that managing that pain daily with meds adds to my struggle. It is part of my struggle and I am grateful that I can ambulate (although with major limitations). It does make exercising and movement more challenging. I will not let it keep me from doing it. Maybe I can cut myself some slack here, but that is probably another post… maybe even another blog.

While I am a card carrying member of the Fat Acceptance Community, and I understand that there is a no-diet talk policy amongst most of us, I am musing here because these thoughts about being thin are in my head and I want to chew on them with fellow fatties who may have some insight to share with me about how they processed through them.

I don't think about them in the " maybe someday I will lose weight " kind of way. I just wonder if by completely giving myself to Fat Acceptance, am I keeping myself from, perhaps, loosing some of my 400 pounds, which would make building up my strength and stamina easier?

My hunch is that since I have never been able to maintain any kind of weight loss before, that any attempts and limiting my food in or deliberating burning more calories out for the purpose of losing weight is a waste of my time.

Still, in all honesty, and this is not to stir up any drama on the sphere, which seems like an easy thing to do… this is just to acknowledge that there is still a small part of me that thinks… Wouldn't it be nice if I could lose the weight? or "Why not give it another try?"

Sometimes when I come up on some of the limitations at this size, I have a thought flash through my head about losing weight. for example, tying my shoe laces. This takes time, I have to be strategic with my breathing as I bend to reach the laces. Sometimes I have to come up for air and start over again. Most of the time I wear the crocs which do not require this. However, when I do put on my sneakers and tie them, I sometimes think, it would be nice to not have to deal with this.

I, for the most part, recognize that I am always going to be fat. I recognize that focusing all my efforts on improvement within the weight neutral, HAES framework is the right, and the sane, and the path to peace and self acceptance for me.

When I get into my "spiritual head" I can go to a place of gratitude for everything in my life, including my sturdy, strong, resilient body. Saying "Thank you for my fat" is not a thought I can easily connect to. I get glimpses of what it would be like to say that and it does seem within reach for me. I am just not there yet.

There is also the whole good fattie vs bad fattie issue which I will leave for another post.

I have blogged about how wonderful it has been for me and my sense of worthiness to connect with the fat acceptance movement. I am growing in new ways and I am enjoying all the great folks I have met along the way.

I just feel like my thinking is still tainted when it comes to thoughts about being thin. I feel like they are injurious to me.

Another big part of it is the virility and the sexual attractiveness stuff, again a topic in and of itself for another post.

I guess it might be about the difference between accepting my fat and embracing it?

I know I can not maintain weight loss. I know this. I accept this. I know it is about living a rich and full life within this framework of acceptance. An I a horrible person because I sometimes still think it would be nice to be thin even though I know that it is just not possible for me.

Somehow when I think it would be nice to be taller, I do not feel like I am betraying my 5'7 self. But when I think it would be nice to be thin, I feel like I am a traitor, a Fat Acceptance Fraud?

I get the wisdom of no weight loss talk. I have boundaries with several folks about it. But what about my own inner thoughts, sometimes they just pop in my head. What do I do then?

I am wondering if this is just part of the journey through Fat Acceptance.

What works for you? Do you love being fat? How did you get there? Do you have fleeting thoughts about being thin? How do you deal with them when they surface? Do you have your own set of rules around thoughts of being thin? What other thoughts do you have about these musings?



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Debating Society Inside my Head

I am trying to figure out how much of the judgement and fat hating is coming at me from the world at large and how much of it is coming from inside me.

For most of my life being fat was unacceptable. I was always in a state of wrongness. I was constantly assaulted with messages of why I was not enough and why I was not doing enough to correct my wrongness. I went to therapists, commercial weight loss programs, fat camp, 12 step programs all in pursuit of finding a way to be an acceptable person, which, by all accounts around me, I was not because I was fat.

Now I find myself as an adult navigating my way through the fat acceptance community. Taking on my own internalized beliefs about myself not being enough is revolutionary to me and everyone in my life.

Could I really be fat and acceptable?

The complexity of that question has been overwhelming. I have been examining my ass off looking at all sides of the argument for and against accepting myself fat.

I have been told by my nearest and dearest people in my life that I don't have the right to accept myself. I MUST do something about my weight. They plead with me to stop killing myself. The fact that there is a possibility that I am not going to die from my fatness is one that they refuse to acknowledge. In fact, because I am fat, some of the medical data, as best as I can decipher, indicates that I may actually live longer in the face of some of the possible health issues I may face as I age.

Medical data aside for a moment. When I consider my own personal history it is clear to me that maintaining any loss of weight is something that I am unable to do. Even with this fact, I still struggle with the thought that I should at least try. Some of the smart folks in the Fat Acceptance community say things to the effect of losing and gaining back the weight in and of itself has a negative impact on my health.

I have been making myself crazy trying to understand all the different positions, arguments, and issues related to fat acceptance.

The most challenging and emotionally charged interactions are with family and my best friend. My family is angry at me for choosing to accept my fatness. With my parents, I have set a boundary of no discussion about my health, weight, food, or exercise. This course of action with them allows for us to have a relationship as I have made it clear I will not be around them when they attempt to discuss these things with me. My sister recently told me to not come to her house if I am going to pig out like I did the last time she invited me over. That one is simple, I will just not be accepting any invitations to her house anymore. In no uncertain terms she has made it clear to me that she thinks my association with the FA community is toxic for me. I got a "concerned" email from my best friend last week explaining to me why being fat is okay but being super fat like me is not. WTF?

Ya know, I am not sure where I am going with all of this. I think what I am trying to get to is a place where I just stop letting what other's think of me affect me so much. For a guy like me, that seems like asking me to give up an arm. I can get by with one arm, but it will be very uncomfortable. I work very hard at creating situations and exposing myself to folks who think highly of me. Maybe because in my heart of hearts, I believe that living a fat life is in fact a tragedy. What could be more tragic than believing I am living a tragic life when in fact I can live a wonderful life?… a wonderful fat life. I guess the question to myself is, do I belive I can have a wonderful life, fat.

Today I met friends for lunch. The waiter asked if i wanted chips or carrots with my meal, I said out loud to my eating companions, I'll be good and have the carrots…. WTF Ivan?

Maybe being gentle with myself is called for here. I just want to be happy. Constantly trying to figure out how I can explain to others why the FA path is right for me doesn't feel good.

Do you think you are somehow living less of a life because your life is a fat life?

What does it say about my beliefs about myself if this is a question that is on my mind?

Not sure where the next step is for me, however, I do know that it is a step within the FA community.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Measure of a Man

I am between 5'7" and 5'8" depending on who is measuring. The last weigh in a few months ago was 380.

I am involved in the Fat Acceptance Community because I had lead a miserable, unhappy life which I believed stemmed from me being fat. In a pursuit of family, society and sadly my own approval I felt unworthy of romantic love because I bought into the norm that fat is bad and evil, hence by extension so was I.

My male privilege, which I didn't know about until pointed out for me at Shapely Prose made my fat life easier than my fat sisters. I allow that I may not fully understand the harder time that fat woman have in our culture. I can speak personally to the stigma I have felt primarily from the opposite sex. Maybe it was all just a confidence thing. But my lack of confidence and self esteem when it came to the opposite sex was all about my weight. I do now see that probably it was my lack of confidence, not my actual weight that was in my way with the ladies. That being said, there is a lot of anti fat bias out there in the dating world and women are not the only victims of it. check out the comments here

I was quite an unhappy puppy. When I came into the FA community the first thing that was apparent to me was that there are not a lot of fat guys around talking about the struggles of being a fat guy. In fact, I couldn't find any. I did get the message very early that fat women have it harder than men. Honestly, it seemed a little dismissive of my experience as a fat man. I respect women and I do not want to offend the feminist fat women, but I probably do and am grateful to those willing to point out when I trespass and perhaps offend. Honestly, am I allowed to plead ignorance? I always get a little nervous about being misunderstood when talking about this. But is seems that there are only women to talk to in FA (and males that admire fat women)

I think there are many fat guys around that have a lot in common and can add a lot to the community and I am not sure why they are so hard to find. I went to the Naffa convention and as far as I could tell I was one of three guys there that Identified as a fat man. Three ???? WTF?

Could it be that guys don't want to be vulnerable? Could it be that they have transcended the limiting beliefs that society has about fat and I am the only fat guy feeling the heat? Could I be one of the only guys that wonders about the stigma that fat boys face growing up? Having been the target of so much fat hate growing up (oh by the way, I wasn't that fat, not that the way I was treated by family and society would have me believe) But I was always "trying" to lose weight.

I am finally connecting with my own sense of worthiness. I am finally seeing that the only opinion that matters is mine.

This is the gift that the FA community has given me. I will always be grateful for that.

So any other FAT Guys out there that wanna stop lurking? Imagine what the combined voices of several Fat men speaking to fat acceptance and health at any size could do for each other and the new guys investigating what our community has to offer.

I am not looking to move any mountains. I would just like to have one or two guys that understand the nuances of reclaiming a sense of worthiness after leading a life apologetically for being what I am…. Fat.

No More Apologies!!!

Fat FAt fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat fat..

I am fat!!!!!!!!!!!! I am fat!!!!!!!

I am a man!!!

and I need to say to any and all who think there is something wrong with me..….


that felt good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reality Check - My Sister and Me

I could use some supportive, loving words from the community. If you can find the time, please read my blog post and send me your thoughts and comments, your related stories, anything to help me feel the sense of community and support. I crave these feelings right now.

I could never understand when folks would tell me that they don't speak to a sibling. My brother and sister and I went through a very dysfunctional, emotionally challenging environment growing up together. We all dealt with this is different ways. We were always like soldiers in the same troop, we went through the war together. We had a love and a connection with each other that was the envy of many of my friends. I could never imagine, being in a set of circumstances where I would be able to say to someone, "I don't speak to my sister."

Until today…

My sister and I had an argument about a very personal issue. During the argument, she brought up my eating, which was unrelated to the argument. As far as the argument about the very personal issue, I came to a recognition that no good can come from discussing it, so I put up a boundary of no discussion about it and then I addressed her comments about my eating, and my "killing myself".

In an email, I asked her…. "Are you even the least bit curious about the Fat Acceptance Movement and the Health at any size movement? Have you looked into it at all?  You haven't asked me about it.  Why haven't you asked me about it?" I don't run away from everyone when they discuss my weight, just the hysterical folks, like you, who can't have a calm, respectful conversation about it.  I demand to be treated with respect, even if I or my decisions are not respected.   I have the right to live my life any way I want.  I have found a way that makes me happy.  I will not discuss it with you unless you stay calm. don't raise your voice, and express your thoughts with the understanding that I get to choose to do anything I want.

I'd be happy to talk to you if you can stay calm, not raise your voice and try to understand what I am thinking, even if you disagree with it.  Do not try to get me to think your right. I am clear that you think my decisions are wrong for me.   If you want to talk about it, then, we will.. if you don't raise your voice or yell.  You have to acknowledge my right to make my own decisions.

She wrote me….

I'll admit I am not particularly curious about the Fat Acceptance Movement or the Health at any size movement.  I haven't looked into either of them.  I haven't asked you about them because I honestly think they are toxic for you.  I don't say that to be cruel, I only say it because you asked.  I know that it is not fair to form an opinion about something I don't know much about.  It isn't even in my character to do that.  But I do know what you've told me about them and what you've sent to read.  I agree with their stand on acceptance and tolerance.  I also firmly believe that you do not have to be "skinny" to be healthy.  However, I honestly feel (and am only saying this because you asked) that you have taken it to the next level by using these "movements" as an excuse to continue unhealthy habits like over eating and avoiding exercise.  I know you may feel my choice of words by saying "killing yourself" might have been harsh, but it is truly how I see it.  When you bring up the scientific research argument, it makes sense to you, but you don't consider the research on both sides.  If you are going to feed into a belief and truly take it on as a tool to leading a lifestyle, you need to consider its opposition as well.  When you consider your vote for president, do you only research one candidate?  An analogy Dxxxx gave to me was, "Some people live long healthy lives into old age and are smokers, but does that make smoking any less risky?"  I feel like that analogy could be applied here and to really any risky decisions we make in our lives. 

Are you fellow Fat-o-sphere folks seeing the hypocrisy in her argument here…

I wrote her this…

"As far as the fat acceptance movement goes I need to point out to you the hypocrisy of your argument.  You tell me that I am not considering all sides of the health issues (which I am) in the same paragraph that you say you are not interested is learning about this because you have already judged it without investigation.

In fact, after I tell you I have found something that I am happy about, you write in an email that you are not interested in learning about it.

Would you want to have a relationship with someone that did those things to you?

I am truly shocked at your hypocrisy here.  I am saddened and hurt by your judgement.

Unless you can see, and amend your hypocrisy and judgement here, and you can express to me a commitment to have an open mind in order to get an understanding of Fat Acceptance, I guess that leaves us with cordial exchanges at family functions because under the current circumstances I have no interest in what you think or feel anymore.

I hope you decide to make a commitment to learn about FA and communicate it to me, because, for all intensive purposes, we are done if you don't.

My Love for you doesn't stop because my willingness to associate with you does.

Well folks, I am sitting here and I am surprisingly not extremely sad, although I am sad about this, not angry although I think connecting with some anger might help me, I am actually feeling proud. I am proud to be so clear on what is not acceptable behavior to me. I am proud that I am so clear on my convictions about Fat Acceptance, that I am willing to let go of something that I thought I would never let go of, my relationship with my beautiful, sister. I am happy that she has a husband that loves her so very dearly because I actually feel sad for her and want her to be supported as she clearly sees that I am willing to walk away over this.

I know nothing is forever. Maybe i will soften about my boundaries with her, even if she doesn't compromise on learning about FA, maybe not.

I have spent my life second guessing myself, always buying into other's judgement of me and turning it inward as self hatred and shame. All the years in therapy couldn't help me see what the Fat Acceptance Community has shown me in a few months.

I can stand up to family members who judge what I do, listen to them, disagree with them, and be certain about where I stand.

Yay Me!!



Friday, October 2, 2009


this is a repost of something very important... go here for the original post which is copied below... think about supporting this effort... here is the link to the original

Fat Girls Float – The Movie!
My very dear friend Kira Nerusskaya has been filming a documentary about the lives of women of size for as long as I have known her, at least four years. Kira is a size activist, she testified at the Massachusetts state senate against anti-discrimination in the work place for height and weight in 2008.
FAT GIRLS FLOAT is an independent documentary in which a 300lb. filmmaker Kira Nerusskaya, takes the audience on a journey through international fat subculture, giving fat women from four counties an opportunity to have their say. Despite many glares, glances, and gloating from media, family members, medical communities and the public-at-large; fat women from four countries (England, France, Russia, and the United States) tell their tales of sorrow and success, wow and woe; discussing size discrimination, political activism (fat and size acceptance), and social networking communities. These fat women show how they need to rise above what the world thinks of them and point out their ability to overcome society’s condemnation through compassionate perseverance. In essence, fat girls float because they do not let their weight ‘weigh’ them down.
Kira is dedicated and courageous in attempting to produce a film on her own with no corporate or foundation grants. She has spent her own money, while still holding down a full time job, to travel to four different countries all to humanize and lovingly give voice to large women.
Please take the time to read her message below, watch the trailer and consider making a donation. And yes, I am absolutely honored to be in the trailer for what is sure to be an amazing film.
Hello Superstars–
I wanted to ask you if you blog–please blog about this– link it, and send it out to every one you know!
I have just began a fund raising campaign–so I am asking your help– please send this around, post it on forums,blog it , link it, send out to your friends on Facebook, etc. I have less than 90 days to raise $5,000 USD with the help of Kickstarter.
I was invited through a friend to become part of Kickstarter. It’s basically a social networking site for art projects. They let you post your project and fund raise. I am asking for the big 5g’s, and like some fat admirer’s opinions—the more the better! The site is not public yet and it required an invite from the creators, or from someone who has a project on the site. As of September 15th any project launched will have to give 5% of their amount raised to the website. NOT me. I was invited and am launching before the due date, so I feel doubly lucky and honored.
This is my first attempt at fundraising. Yet as we all know, time and money are necessary for the completion of any project. I have been working on my own time and my own dime, with about a year of down time due to lack of special equipment. Now that that’s been changed, I need some special features, animation, and help to get to the next stage of post-production, and to complete what I set out to do in 2006—let the world hear what we are like, and who we are from our own voices. And there are a few more voices I would like to add to the chorus of floaters.
This project was conceived by my being in the many communities of the fat/BBW world. I am one of you! I hope you feel I represent you well, and I hope you will embrace this endeavor. So many political and social movements throughout history have started as grassroots projects—and have gone on to change the law, social constructs within society, and the world. I can’t imagine Dr. King or Gandhi giving up-as this is all about perseverance! I know and believe in my heart that we are more powerful together than any one of us is alone. And it’s lonely trying to keep momentum; finally having some footage and trailers moves the project in a new direction.
I would feel really honored if you can join me in a $5.00 pledge, especially those whom I have supported over the years; I really need you now. I have 90 days to raise this amount. If I raise the set goal amount—I get funded and get to keep the money and keep working! If I do not meet the mark, everyone keeps their pledge and nothing happens. So I really need to make the goal! Every dollar counts! If everyone from the various bbw/fat communities gave a dollar—well, we’d have it done in a day!
Knowing that unless you can show you have a built-in audience as well have some serious experience, first time film makers have it rough in trying to get funding, especially in this economy. I have applied for funding through NYSCA, IFP, UK’s CHANNEL 4, The GOOD PITCH, and my Sheffield Doc Fest Meet the Funders submission is pending.
I was full of trepidations to ignite fundraising at the moment, as I wanted to lay low and find out the Sheffield outcome before setting off to reload a new website and look for additional funding and grant writing—which is what I have spent the better part of this year doing. But, this opportunity literally fell in my lap—and I am choosing to CARPE DIEM! It is better to move ahead slowly than stand still!
I also want to take the opportunity to once-again thank everyone who let me come in and film at their event, and to those who sat down to speak with me on film. You were and are brave! On my first shoot, one of my first interviews was with Brie Brown and she stated, “Kira, this is like a love letter to all of your fat sisters.” And then we both started to cry. Then I yelled and laughed at her for making me cry and she pointed and laughed at me for doing the same.
It’s that sense of community and love that I have enjoyed for the last 15 years as part of this community—that despite our ups and downs with media, with each other, and with ourselves—that give me courage to forge ahead and fight the good fight. I know the tides might be changing and in some way the shackles may be loosened, but I think there is a long journey still ahead to change the thoughts of people and to lift the negative connotations of fat and fat people. I want to do that, I know you want to do that, and I need your help to do that. I wanted to contribute to our community, and I thought this was a good avenue to pursue—not really knowing just how tough it would be.
Each amount donated has a special gift that comes along with it (now I really sound like I’m fundraising for public television). All the details are on the website page which I am linking below. So, find me on Kickstarter: Kickstarter: Get in the pool with Fat Girls Float.
In closing I ask if you can send this to everyone you know, link it, post it, and blog it, or shout it from the rooftop, I’d be very grateful and then some.
Hit me up on You Tube at
I hope you enjoy the trailer (s) and its message, and I hope you join me in showing the world that FAT GIRLS FLOAT.
Warm regards from my bikini,
ps. please subscribe/add/favorite/comment on the trailers, and add me on facebook!

Imagine there's no Fat Hate....

My Fiend Eszter posted this on the MoreofME to love site and for whatever reason it inspired me to write this...

sing it in your head to the tune of John Lennon's "Imagine"

Imagine there's no Fat Hate
every body's fine
No hateful comments
none of us do cry
Imagine all the people
loving everyone

Imagine all the doctors
Being fair and true
No greedy agendas
All they see is You
Imagine all the patients
getting what they need

You may say I'm a dreamer
But you all know the truth
I hope someday the world get's "it"
And Health with be number one

Imagine no Fat Hatred
I wonder if we can
No need to shame children
to think that they are bad
Imagine all the bodies
Sharing all the World

You may think we are dreamers
But we're not the only ones
I hope someday everyone gets it
And we all can live as one.