Thursday, November 18, 2010

shameless solicitation for fatty love

I was inspired by this post about what FA is not and I wrote the followng comment on that blog.. I am posting my comment here because I could use some fatty love from the sphere.


While I agree with everything in this post, I am saddened and angered with the realization that most people refuse to even consider the validity of my FA/HAES beliefs.

I wish there was a non virtual "island of misfit toys" for my fellow fatties with health and mobility issues. The internet community of FA/HAES folks is wonderful and I appreciate all my friends and associates I connect with virtually. IRL, I am lonely.

I have very limited mobility and very limited pulmonary function. I am very fat. I deal with chronic pain and numbness from my shins to my toes that are consequences of emergency surgery three years ago which was unrelated to my weight. Walking is difficult. The thought of all the venomous stigma hurled at my beautiful fat body on a mobility scooter is frightening and I am not ready to confront those demons.

When folks who don't know me look at me, they think I ate myself into disability. They think I am deluded when I use the phase unrelated to my weight.

There is no-one in my family life, save for my brother, who does not constantly confront and blame me about not doing enough for my health. I do have to give credit to my mother for trying though.

And I am so very in sync with this post that I have found a little peace and happiness knowing that there is nothing wrong with my choices.

I know that trying to explain the logic of my choices (about food, health FA, HAES, etc) to most, especially family, is a waste of time and impossible. Some family members see me as a heroin addict on the street that needs an intervention. They refuse to have a civil conversation about my beliefs. They refuse to stop telling me why my thinking and beliefs are wrong. They cannot help themselves from trying to get me to see my fat, my choices, my beliefs are wrong, selfish and insist that I make some sort of commitment to action in line with their beliefs.

Sooooo I had to set boundaries with them. I told them for my mental health and peace of mind, I will no longer discuss these issues with them and I will not accept any comments from them on issues of health, weight, fitness, food.

I have had to choose between these beliefs and very valuable personal relationships. I let my sister go with love. I do not speak to a very close long time family friend anymore, I have a very shallow and arms length relationship with my father and step mother.

I am being true to myself and my beliefs by giving up these relationships. I miss my sister.

Sorry to drift a little here, but your post brought this stuff to the surface for me and I had to write.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another Family Gathering

I have been really down on myself and struggling in a depression. I have had much better days. I have been in this funk for a long time and I have no idea how, when, or if a shift into a better space is gonna come.

One of the places for me that is tough is visiting with my parents. I have hard boundaries with them about discussing my weight, health, & exercise. My last few visits with them, I have had to defend the boundaries. Just a little bit with my stepmom who always pokes at the electric fence that are these boundaries. She is coming from place of concern and in this funk of mine, I am so tempted to buy back into the fantasy of losing weight making my life better.

So basically, when I do see my parents, there is always a moment of uncomfortability in wondering when my stepmom is going to violate the boundary and I am going to have to defend it. Sometimes, it is as simple as just changing the subject. Sometimes it is just as simple as saying I don't want to talk about it. I feel uncomfortable for little bit, but then we get on to the task of visiting with each other. By the way, I enjoy visiting with them. We share the same politics and that is mostly where we spend our time connecting.

Today, there was a family gathering for the Jewish Holiday. I arrived first (which I rarely do) and the greeting from my parents for so overtly loving it took me by surprise. My father said "You are so beautiful" My stepmom gave me a lovely hug and a heartfelt greeting. There was no mention of my weight. We just sat down and started visiting.

Shortly after, other siblings and their kids started arriving and I was very conscience of how nice it was to be with my family, be part of my family, and see all my nephews, my niece, my sister and my three brothers along with all their spouses.

The den where we were hanging out in has two chairs and a couch. The couch is high up and easy for me to get out of. One of the chairs is low to the floor and not as easy for me. I found myself in this chair and as soon as I sat down, I signaled to my brother that I might need his help to get up. A few minutes later I positioned myself to get up and as I was standing up, I started to stumble back toward the chair but I caught my balance. As I started to stumble, my stepmother let out a shriek of panic that stopped as soon as I caught my balance and I looked at her and exclaimed that I am alright.

A little while after that my stepmother was moving around the room and I asked her to hand me my cell which I had left on the table next to the low chair. As she handed it to me she said something to the effect of …"I look forward to when you can just jump up and get the phone yourself." I took my phone and ignored her comment. On my way out at the end of the evening, we said our goodbyes and she said to me, "I know you know so I m not going to say anything" which was her way of poking at the no weight talk boundaries as I was leaving.

I think the reason that I do not go ballistic apeshit with her when she "pokes at my fence" is because there is still a part of me that thinks I should lose weight. A part that equates weighing less with happier and more comfortable.

I know that losing weight is and has always been a no win for me. So I don't go toe to toe with my stepmother about her comments because I want to have a relationship with my parents.

It is just tough because I am depressed, I am uncomfortable, I am unmotivated and when I think about what my next steps might be to improve my situation, I find myself unwilling to do anything.

I cannot talk to the parents about this because they are incapable a saying anything and all they can do is scream obesity boooga boooga at me.

I do have a few friends and my brother who I can and do talk to about this stuff so I am grateful for that.

I was glad to hang with the family today, even with stepmoms little pokes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

HUGE - FAT HATE- Self Policing ON Facebook?

very interesting… the facebook page for huge had an entry today about the actor who plays lan. The comments were ll positive except one and that hateful comment was shunned by the rest of the thread. I never saw that before…. how about that? to top it off, the hateful comment was removed not sure by whom....

This strikes me as awesome

here it is

Friday, July 23, 2010

Save, Repair, Your Favorite Pair of Jeans

Hey everyone,,,, just a quick post about something I just saw featured on a local news show called LX New York

They featured a company that repairs denim jeans. I know over the years I have thrown away perfectly good jeans because only the area between the thighs had worn away. This company has you go online and mark up a diagram of your jeans where you want them repaired. You then mail them your jeans and they send you an quote to repair them. They also have a service where they can convert regular jeans into maternity jeans and then turn them back after the baby comes.

They are here in NY but they also do this service thru the mail.

The company is called Denim Therapy and I figured that there may be some in our community that will be happy to know about them.



Saturday, July 10, 2010

NO NEW KNEES FOR YOU!! unless I can amputate your stomach first

Hello Friends,

My mom and I are hanging out with an old family friend tomorrow who lives in Florida, She and my mom are both in their mid 60's.

This friend, who for the purpose of this post I shall call judy, weighs between 300 and 400 pounds. She also has arthritic knees and while I am not 100 % up on the details of her situation, I will describe them as I understand them. I will get very clear on the details tomorrow as we have plans to hang out all afternoon.

Here is the deal. The doctors wanted her to loose weight before they replace her knees, So they advised her to have the lap band procedure. She did this about two years ago. If she lost any weight, she gained in back. So the knees are still not replaced and she lives with horrible pain.

I assume they went to adjust the lap band to force it to work and get her to loose weight and guess what? They cannot find the device. I never heard of that before. It is not around her stomach and they cannot locate it. So guess what the docs are gonna do now. After the lap band failed. They are still not going to do the operation to replace her knees because surgery is too risky at her weight. What they are going to do is amputate her stomach with a full gastric bypass and while they are in there, they hope to find the dislodged lap band device. Apparently the risks of this surgery is acceptable. It just seems so very wrong that the Doctors are willing to risk her life this way.

I feel horrible for her. Worse is that in the few times that I have spoke about fat acceptance with her, she has been completely unreachable.

I am going to try to reach her again tomorrow. Surely folks in our community can understand the injustice of doctors refusing to provide the pain relieving knee replacements but encouraging the life threatening stomach amputation. Further, we have the insight to understand how someone like my mother's friend Judy could agree with the doctors about the bypass surgery before the knee surgery.

I anticipate my discussions with Judy falling on deaf ears tomorrow. I am sick with sadness about this.

Please friends, send me your good vibes to my brain so what I say tomorrow to her has value.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gratitude for the Sphere

I am very grateful that there are so many smart activist voices out there discussing Size Acceptance. I myself have been not only been under the radar, but almost completely "off grid" when it comes to following the sphere and watching the different developments and issues here.

Long story short on my absence has been a crisis of confidence about my health choices and a really difficult battle with my own "Bad Fattie Guilt". I probably will blog about it more but right now I just want to say thank you to all the voices on the sphere waiting for me in my special inbox dedicated to the sphere.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

MAN UP!! -- Bias, Hatred, and Prejudice, Oh My!!

Dr Puhl from Yale did a blog post about the study showing how political candidates are judged when the only variable is their weight. As most of us would expect, the women got the worse reaction for being heavy. The surprising data out of this research is that people have a more favorable opinion of heavy male politicians that thin male politicians.

This got me thinking again about how the male perspective is underrepresented on the sphere. It also got me thinking about how my perspective about this may be unique to me.

Having been around our online community for almost two years now, I am totally tuned into the fact about women having it harder on an overall basis than men do when it comes to weight bias and fat hatred. I get it. Heck, until I got involved in the community I had no understanding about privilege even though I possess it in many ways solely for being white, hetero, and male.

Yet, I cannot help feel that my experience is diminished because as a man I do not have it nearly as bad as a women do in terms of Fat Hate. It gets me asking myself questions like, "What's wrong with me." "Am I one of the only guys that feels the profound sense of oppression for being 400 pounds?"

On top of this I also feel that in terms of good vs. bad fatty, I land squarely in the bad column which I have posted about in the past and will post more about in the future.

I think that what it may boil down to is that I am still working through the powerful programming that taught me I was bad, lazy, unworthy, pitiful, disgusting etc, It still has a choke hold on me. I am just lucky to have two fingers between my neck and that choke hold thanks to the Fat Acceptance community. I am constantly questioning myself. Sadly, the foundation of my self doubt are all those years of the hateful, biased, moral panic induced blitzkrieg designed by a variety of forces all serving their own self interests. Worse yet, not being honest to themselves when they frame their greed based motives as genuine concern for my well being. ughh!

So I am the subject of a mindfuck so comprehensive, so intense, so huge that I struggle to not beat myself up all the time for not doing enough to move from the bad fatty column to the good fatty column.

the kicker is, that even if I found my way into the good fatty column, I'd still be living in a society that hates me.

I think that recognizing that this is a battle that I cannot win overnight. I have to take it a little at a time.

It feels really big to me and I am struggling with all of this right now. Part of me thinks that I am some sort of weakling, somehow too soft, too whiney, to defective because, heck, men don't have it as bad as women. I don't see any other guys on the sphere talking about how hard this stuff is.

I'm lucky in that I can open up about this stuff and seek out support, advice, and even just a hello when I need it. I have to say that with the exception of a little tough love in the beginning about my lack of understanding about privilege, I have got nothing but good luvin from the community for which I am very grateful.

I so sincerely wanna find my place, my peace with my Fat Acceptance. It has been a difficult journey for me. We all have it hard. the girls and the boys.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A trip to the CARDIOLOGIST

I have an appointment with a cardiologist on wednesday. My pulmonologist is sending me to him because I have been short of breath for several months now and there hasn't any improvement there. There also hasn't been any deterioration either. He did an echo cardiogram and told me that there was nothing abnormal there. I think he is practicing a little defensive medicine.

My lipids were fine a year ago and I really do not think I have any heart stuff going on. I have to be honest, I am a little concerned about the cardiologist being a fat hater. Every doctor that I have met through this hospital has been fair and some have been actually remarkably understanding about my fat.

My pulmonologist sent me for am echo cardiogram which did not show anything abnormal.

I think that my breathing troubles are about my lack of movement. I joined the Y and have been to one water aerobics class. I would like to get the these classes more often. I think that I can recondition myself to better breathing.

I just want the cardiologist to be fair. If he is not, I will have to go see another one. I actually would like to get confirmation that there is nothing going on with my heart. I hope I get a sane enough doctor who can help me find out if that is in fact the case.

Is there anyone out there that is willing to share via comments or via links any experiences with cardio docs from a HAES perspective and does anyone knows what medical tests/procedures can confirm that my heart is in fact healthy, please comment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Citizen Fat

It really feels like there is a huge uptick in the amount of media out there sharing some very important Fat Acceptance coverage that is either sympathetic and/or fairly communicated.

At the same time I watched on one of the lists I follow the description of an attack on a health professional for raising some questions about claims being made about the benefit of weight loss surgery. These questions, asking for data and references to source material for the claims being made. Instead of addressing the questions about the data, the WLS advocates attacked the person for asking the questions.

One of the most dynamic takes on the scapegoating and fat hatred that I have seen, appeared on Marianne Kirby's blog, The Rotund (read through the comments too) It really touched on so many important points and then the comments raised more.

Then via the NAAFA list I was alerted to this about the corn lobby producing commercials about the virtue of high fructose corn syrup.

Just being plugged in enough to recognize an uptick in the coverage leads me to think a little about my own progress. I haven't found a place with my food yet that feels right, but I have made some progress in that I can recognize what feels better. I haven't found my way to regular movement that feels good, but I have found my way to drum circles and the pool at the Y. I am hesitant to think about being out there as an activist because of guilt about my disability and other various shame points that are a big part of my story, but when I had the opportunity I went right up to one of the outspoken fat haters who gets lats of media and called her on the lack of logic to some of her rantings.

So I guess what I want to say is that I am growing as an informed citizen of the Fat Acceptance community and I am grateful for the many sources of education that come my way from being plugged into the various lists and feeds I belong to.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dignity, Ryan Seacrest, Oprah, & Jamie Oliver

I just finished watching Oprah who had on Jamie Oliver to promote his new show the "Food Revolution" which goes on tv tonight.

They showed a clip where a double size casket was shown. Oprah mentioned that these oversized caskets are a booming business. During the clip they spoke about how there is little chance for dignity when someone is buried in one of these caskets.

Earlier in the show, a picture of a 11 year old Ryan Seacrest was shown as Ryan told Oprah how he was ashamed to go in the pool without a tee shirt on. The photo they showed was of a normal kid. Seriously, the fact that this photo was considered something to be ashamed of was in and of itself sad.

They spoke about dignity. Shame on them. Ryan Seacrest letting kids think that being ashamed of their bodies when they swim is normal. If Ryan Seacrest thinks it, then it must be true. And what a shame, because swimming is great, fun, healthy movement.

They spoke about dignity. Shame on them. How many kids do you think will be teased and shamed about needing a huge casket that requires a forklift when they die after this show is broadcast.

You know, I did notice that when Oprah asked Jamie Oliver about how a family he worked with was doing he said this, "Well, Ya know, ultimately the family they're losing weight, I mean Justin whose 12 years old when I met him has lost 20, 30 pounds which is great but you've got to remember I am not doing a diet show. This is about real food. This is about health. There are just as manny unhealthy skinny people. We can't just label it as obesity. It is about what goes in us, medicating ourselves through food."

He said this in front of a giant casket that Oprah's producers arranged to have wheeled out onto the stage.

Shame on them. I guess it is a win when at least he says something like there are unhealthy skinny people. The town his show is centered around wasn't chosen because it was the unhealthiest town in the county. It was chosen because Huntington, West Virginia was listed by the CDC as one of the most obese cities in america.

So I think Mr. Oliver is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says "We can't just label it as obesity" when his show is framed around the most obese city in America.

So I am upset. Because I agree with the nutritional stuff and the cooking and the variety of fresh in season produce that he is teaching about. I am upset because all this good information is on network tv because of the moral panic about obesity. This show is not on the air because there is an overwhelming concern about improving the health of all kids. It is about war on the obesity..

I think that this show will have a greater effect on increasing the moral panic about obesity than it will in increasing the quality of the nutrition in schools and on the kitchen tables of America. There will be more teasing, bullying, self hatred and of fat kids and adults than heathy eating.

So one of the things that bugs me about a lot of the blogging in out Size Acceptance Community is that most of what we do is point out the problems, identify with the angst. We are very light on solutions.

So I will make one suggestion here. If you have any contact with teachers this weekend, please try to educate them a little about stigma and bullying and teasing. See if we can get a little empathy about the path a young fat person has to walk in school. See if a teacher can let a fat kind know that they can make efforts to improve their health that have nothing to do with decreasing their weight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Redefining what it means to take care of my health

I have been lurking around the size acceptance blogging community for several weeks now. I have actually been having a hard time with pain management, side effects from meds, which has decreased the amount of movement I do considerably. So I have been feeling guilty for not trying hard enough.

I really think the guilt is sort of an powerful echo of how I used to feel about myself and the amount of effort I put into not being fat.

With the Health at Every Size movement, I not find myself feeling guilty about not putting in enough effort towards not being unhealthy, particularly with my movement.

Today was a good day. I made it to a water aerobics class at the Y. I was happy to get there, and grateful to know that while I had to endure some pain to get there, I know that the movement will help me with the pain on all sorts of levels.

While I am not a scientist or an academic, so I cannot tell you how it will help me, I do know that I enjoyed the movement.

So I finally got some enjoyable movement in and I feel good about it. I also feel relief from the guilt of not doing enough.

I'd really like to let go of that punitive self perspective about how I take care of myself. It's like a kind of PTSD, this guilt. Like all my life I have been yelled at, hated on, and told I was wrong for being fat. I think that I am somewhat transferring that guilt (or maybe just holding on to it) to my being engaged about my health.

So I guess I need to re define what being engaged with my health to a supportive perspective even if I am using an unconventional timeline to take actions like the class at the Y that I got to today.

Could it be that simply being plugged into Size Acceptance/HAES by lurking around the internet is actually an acceptable amount of engagement about my health?

Dare I claim that the velocity that I move from self hating fatty to engaged advocate for my own happiness be okay just as it is?

I gotta say I like the way that sounds.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is Michelle Obama endorsing Child Abuse?

Okay, I think we can all agree that our First Lady, Michele Obama is a smart woman.

Could it be that Michelle Obama, in all the preparation for her "cause" never once was briefed on the negative effects of stigma on fat children. With all her resources and bright minds that must surround her, is it possible that this issue was never brought up? Could it be that no one ever put this information in front of her for her consideration? I just can't imagine that was the case. I suspect that because she has made some public comments that her cause is is not about the number on the scale that there had to be some discussion about this negative impact on many children in the United States.

Assuming that the information about stigma was considered by the First Lady, I tried to think about what her thinking and decision making looked like which led to the current program she is promoting.

One scenario is similar to something Paul Campos said after a panel he did on NRP where he pondered if there was a noble lie strategy being executed to get people engaged in her "cause". So I wonder if in a similar way that Mrs. Obama understood that her program would be the source of harm for many fat children but chose to ignore it and not speak of it, and allow it to happen as collateral damage in the pursuit of the "elimination of childhood obeisity in a generation".

One of the public comments made by Kevin Smith during the Southwest episode was he saw the face of his daughter in the face of the fat women who was humiliated by an employee of Southwest.

I wonder if Mrs. Obama could see the face of her children in the faces of all the fat children who will be almost certainly the subject of cruelty, bullying and other injuries as the result of her "cause". I wonder if she could allow this program to move forward with that knowledge.

Even if the number of kids that would be the target of stigma was 1% of all kids (which while I have no science to back me up, this # has got to be an underestimate) could she actually have made a conscience choice to let that harm happen to that 1% of kids? To chose to let it happen to any kid?

Is there any goal that could be worth creating that much hurt?

If she knows about that facts that this harm will happen, and yet she choses to go forward with her program without specifically addressing this, what does that say about her morality. Isn't choosing to harm vs choosing not to harm a moral choice?

Could she in fact be doing this to children intentionally? Even if she is actually not aware of this harmful aspect of her program, would that relieve her of the responsibility she has for the harm her program causes?

So after all of that, I wonder what population would be best to target with a noble truth strategy about the harm on its way to our nations fat children and what can be done to prepare children to have the coping skills to work through all this harmful stigma? Would it be the therapists that some of them will be lucky enough to be treated by? Could school psychologists be given some sort of tools to help them help affected kids? School nurses? Is there some sort of conference that could be targeted to help raise the awareness of this aspect of Michele Obama's initiative?

With all the hate noise out there, how can we avoid having that noise drown out this very important noble truth.

Okay, just some of my thoughts. What are yours?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Thoughts about the ABC Nightline taping

I have been thinking a lot about my experience at the Nightline taping.

I posted on my blog about this exchange and got great feedback via the comments section on my blog and on my favorite lists, ASDAH and FAT STUDIES.

one of the fears I had about the activism part of my FA experience was being attacked and humiliated in public about my FA stance.

over the past year when i would read the comments on the mainstream blogs and see such hatred for people who are fat I would quiver when thinking about having attack and hatred comments like those directed right at me. it made me frightened about going public with my FATNESS.

on Friday when I went over to Meme, there were no cameras. I just wanted to ask her face to face, in a civil way, what she thought about diets not working and see if i could find a place to meet with her and her concerns.

then moments later the nightline cameras and the boom guy with the mike appeared and I held my shit together with this person who is known for spewing hatred upon us while I questioned the logic of what she as saying.

as most of us know, just because the news folks tape it doesn't mean it makes it to the broadcast or even onto the website.

this was a transformative moment in my FA journey. I don't know if I would have walked up to her if the cameras were already there. I am glad they weren't because my thoughts would have been fogged by my concern about not hurting the FA community image on camera.

I still don't know if the footage will make it onto the ABC NIGHTLINE website. It would be cool if it did and it was favorable to our movement, (not edited to make the FA position look bad)

The real victory for me here is a personal one. It was in that moment that I stood my ground publicly against the stigma and oppression that has been a part of my entire life experience.

I also want to take a moment to thank my friend, Golda Portensky for taking a photo of that moment for me as I think that moment is going to be one that I never forget and having a photo of it is "just too cool for school" Thanks Golda.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I debated Meme Roth today!! On TV (sort of)

Tonight was a good FA night for me. I went to the taping of an ABC Nightline sponsored debate. The title of the segment was a bit over the top, "Is it okay to be fat.?"

So Marianne Kirby and Crystal Renn were seated together to the left of moderator Ju Ju Chang. Meme Roth and a women who runs some sort of diet counseling service, her credential being that she has lost and kept weight off for 7 years. (That is all I found out about her. I may be unaware of other credentials she had. She was very passionate about folks trying to loose the weight because of all the health problems they cause.)

I was very apprehensive when I saw the first notice of this event. I didn't want to risk watching the folks that I came to support be ambushed. I was a little fearful that might happen. A producer from ABC contacted me directly through because of the SizeAcceptanceSalon meetup group I organized. After getting an email confirmation from her that I could sit out of camera's shot I decided to go.

Of note here is that I found the moderator fair and unbiased. Also interesting was that all the folks on the panel did not have professional credentials. They were there because their life experience is connected to Fat. We did not have any scientists there for the debate. The one exception to that is a colleague of Ju Ju Chang, a pediatrician was in the audience.

I thought both Meme and Marianne did a good job of expressing their opinions. I got to learn a little bit more about Meme's motivations.

The crux of Meme's argument was the impact on her insurance premiums because of fatty's eating themselves into very expensive health problems. I really wish I had the command of the studies that Linda Bacon or Marylyn Wann had because the studies that she and the Pediatrician pointed to could have been summarily crushed by the kind of deconstruction seen in Dr. Bacon's book.

As the debate went on I noticed how most of what was being expressed was more about the personal experience of the speaker than any actual scientific support of either position.

Every time Meme or the other women spoke about working on getting folks to lose weight, I thought to myself, why doesn't someone mention that diets don't work 95% of the time. Well when question time came I asked the question, I asked Meme if her concern was about health care costs, why would she want to support an intervention with a 95% failure rate. Meme clearly articulated that she has a real problem with people choosing to be victims, that our country accepts a defeatist attitude about this. That everyone should try even though 95% will fail.

The moderator did not allow much time to ask a follow up question about Ms. Roth's flawed thinking about her healthcare costs which would have a 95% statistical likelihood to increase healthcare costs.

But the real fun came after the debate. People were moving around and starting up little conversations with each other. I said hello to a few good friends, I shook Marianne's hand and thanked her. I looked over to Meme Roth and saw her sitting there talking to only one person and I decided to go right up to her and ask her a few questions. What I didn't realize was that the camera men were right behind me.

I shook Meme's hand and introduced myself to her. I told her I have been involved on the Fat Acceptance movement for a little over a year now and then i asked her,why does she think she is so vilified by the Fat Acceptance community. She coyly answered that she is not a part of that community so she couldn't tell me. So then I asked her what is her major issue with the Fat Acceptance movement. She went back into the argument that it is unfair that her insurance premiums and taxes go up for irresponsible behaviors of others.

I then challenged her on her support of dieting in the face of all the evidence that it has a 95% failure rate and supporting anything with a 95% failure rate is illogical. Then Ju Ju Chan came and sat down while Meme spoke about her need to have everyone keep on trying to be one of those 5 out of 100 folks that does keep the weight off .

The way she framed it was on a moral basis. She spoke of the country's defeatism and how it can't be okay for people to stop trying. Meme tried to get me to talk about how many calories I eat and I told her I am not going to discuss that with her and went back to the failure rates. The women next to her (the one with the weight loss business who was on the panel becasue she lost over 100 pounds) said we cant ignore our health. I asked her about her business. I asked her if her success rate with her clients is higher than 5% and she immediately said yes. Then I asked her if she has 5 years of data to support that. She said she doesn't have five years of data. I told her that she can't claim any success yet if she doesn't have conclusive data.

After my little exchange with them, I shook Meme's Hand and thanked her for her time and I walked away. Guess what, a very passionate women who was watching me talk with Meme came right up to me to let me know she has got the solution to my fatness and handed me a cd and her business card. I found out afterwards she did that to several people. I can just picture her talking with business coach and planning to hit the nightline taping and go get 5 new clients for her weight loss business.

I wish I got in her face about the ridiculousness of her offer and the timing of it too. I took her cd and threw it out when I left the building.

Anyway, I went right up to Meme Roth tonight and called her on her ridiculousness in front of cameras from Nightline. This in and of itself is a victory for me. It would be so wicked cool if the footage makes it to the nightline website.

I have said to many of my FA friends, I just want to be happy, life a full and rich life. I am not interested in activism. I still am not sure about that aspect of my FA journey.

I can definitely say it was really cool to stand in front of Meme Roth and question her about the logic of her position on dieting.



Monday, January 11, 2010

I am not my Brother's keeper

The fat acceptance and health at every size movement has positively affected my life. I have let go of the "dream" of being thin. I have met a bunch of wonderful people who generously welcomed me to this community and helped me understand this new paradigm about weight and health. I have had cathartic changes in the way I conceive of my worthiness which used to be smothered my my concepts around weight and fatness.

With the exception of my birth mother and one of my brothers, I have discovered that discussing my experience with fat acceptance is futile because they are so steeped in the cultural fear and hatred of fat.

My Mother still gets concerned when I order a big portion of food and makes a comment or two. When I address her comments with whatever feels right for me at the time, she listens and honors my boundaries. I know she doesn't quite understand what this FA stuff is, but she does make an effort.

My youngest brother is a prince. He reads my blog, does his own research, asks questions in the spirit of wanting to understand. My brother doesn't expect me to change. He wants me to be happy. He is concerned about the risks to my health, but he gets it. I love him so much. His empathy and his love and warmth are invaluable.

I live in New York City. He lives with his family in Hartford, CT. I don't get to see him, his wife, and my two delicious nephews as often as I'd like to. This past Sunday I went up to Hartford for a visit. As we ate lunch he told me about his New Years Resolution to do something about his weight and health. He said that as the year came to an end and he was weighing more than 200 pounds, it was time to do something about it.

He actually said that he is starving himself. His wife quickly corrected him and said that he wasn't. However, as I listened to him explain what he is doing I discovered that was exactly what he is doing. In an instant I knew how things were going to turn out. He may keep this effort up for some time. He may only last a few more days. The point is that the organism that is my brother will eventually win in my brothers battle with his set point. He told me about cutting out all cookies and sugar snacks and that he is stopping eating just before he is feeling full. He told me he struggles in the evening with hunger, but in the morning when he wakes, the hunger as passed. He said he lost 5 pounds in the first week, He was happy to report about using his treadmill in the morning and how great that feels.

I started to talk to him about the set point stuff. I wanted to ask him to look back over his history and acknowledge that every start he has made towards fitness has ended with defeat. I wanted to point out to him that breaking the 200 pound mark is indicative of the progressive effects of yo-yoing. I wanted to suggest to him that he make his entire focus about his fitness and let his weight find the place that is belongs. I want him to understand how much harder he is making it for himself by deliberately staying in a state of hunger. I hoped that he could see that forcing his body to lose weight will marshall all his biological systems to get him to put the weight back on. I want him to see how much higher his chances for success are if he keeps his focus on the fitness and eats when he feels hungry and stops eating when he feels satisfied. To hell with the scale.

But I had to consider that my brother doesn't have any expectations of me changing my behavior. He supports me in my pursuit of happiness. When he asks questions, they are in the spirit of getting a clear understanding of what I am thinking. So I decided to let it be. My brother will find what is best for him.

My brother is a great guy. He is a wonderful husband and father. His boys, (my nephews) are too delicious for words. He is also the person on earth that knows me better that anyone. So if he wants to diet and exercise himself to smaller waist, then that is his right. While his up and down weight cycling is undeniable, he is doing just fine. He feels great (both physically and mentally) when he is in the rhythm of working out. Yes, he eventually feels bad when he stops, but he handles it.

I can't know what is best for my brother. I do suspect that a modification to his approach here that is more in sync with HAES, has a better chance of lasting longer. I also know that I am not his keeper.

I want nothing but happiness for him, which is the same thing that he wants for me. Thanks to this movement I now know that my happiness is not contingent on what I weigh.