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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Attention Fat Activists

posted by on December 8 at 11:29 AM

The great “Dan Savage is an asshole—but just how big an asshole?” debate on fat-acceptance blogs appears to be winding down. (I am an asshole, you see, for suggesting that weight has any relationship to diet or lifestyle.) And not a moment too soon—because the fat-acceptance crowd has a new arch enemy: New York Times television critic Ginia Bellafante.

Bellafante wrote up a BBC documentary about obesity in today’s NYT. It would appear that Ms. Bellafante is ignorant of “natural setpoint weight ranges,” and labors under the mistaken belief that a given person’s diet—that’s diet, not dieting—somehow correlates with the size of a given person’s ass.

The film to be shown this weekend, “476-Lb. Teenager,” illustrates life on the other extreme of the scale. A portrait of a young woman named Bethany, it depicts her fight to lose what is, in essence, her title as Britain’s fattest teenager. “Every day is a struggle,” she says. “Every day you wish you could just stay in bed and press the pause button.”

Bethany started her descent into obesity at about 8, when she began overeating to squelch psychological discomfort—discomfort the film does a subtle job of attributing to a mother who appears as removed and unfeeling as any imagined by the Brothers Grimm.

The documentary accords Bethany, who ultimately loses about 100 pounds with the help of stomach-reducing surgery, a dignity that is commendable but vaguely obstructionist. It rises above the one question the viewer most wants answered: How does anyone wind up at 476 pounds? Literally, how—in numbers of pizzas and Snickers bars and shell steaks and pints of pistachio ice cream. Deeply invested in the emotional repercussions of Bethany’s condition, the filmmakers show little interest in her complicity in developing it.

Oooooo… surgery and Snickers bars and complicity. Complicity! As if being fat is a crime! Those are fighting words! Go get her, fat activists.

RSS icon Comments


why is it so hard for people to get you are what you eat? eat junk, with no healthy calories and lots of sugars ect and get fat! eat healthy and be healthy! it's simple, but maybe not simple enough for some! lol

Posted by Laura | December 8, 2007 11:32 AM

tru dat, it may be hard for some, and some probably do have major genetic predisposition (less than the fat apologists claim, i would think), but if you are a health weight at one point and then spiral out of control what the hell do you think is the cause? kitchen gnomes sneaking into your bedroom with sticks of butter and Jif peanut butter? i doubt it

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 11:41 AM

yeah, i guess i don't understand what the outrage is here. seems pretty clear cut to me. healthy eating habits + regular exercise = healthy body. eating shit + a sedentary lifestyle = overweight/obese. there are some who have a lower metabolism than others which makes it harder for them than others to lose; but is it that hard to understand? i don't get the issue here.

Posted by JasonC | December 8, 2007 11:53 AM

In 1994, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and was horrified to find out I weighted 288 pounds. You know who else weighed 288? Those 700 pound people on talk shows who can't leave their houses -- they all hit 288 at some point and just kept going. 15 months later, I was down to 188, thanks to some dieting. These days, I hover around 210, not bad for someone who is six foot three.

Point is, nobody's gonna take the fork out of your mouth for you.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 8, 2007 12:16 PM

It's easy to figure out why so many people are fat today. Imagine a map of your neighborhood that shows places where you can obtain calories. Each place will be represented by a circle; the more calories - the larger the circle. Include your home, grocerey stores, delis, all the obvious ones, and some not-so-obivious, too, like gas stations. Once the map is finished, look at the size of the circles. Huge circles everywhere! There are so many and they are so big they overlap! Now imagine the same map 500 years ago. Much smaller circles much futher apart - very little overlapping, if at all. Now imagine the map 5000 years ago. Very few circles at all. Our bodies evolved to allow us to go long distances to find calories. But now we can get hundreds of thousands in easy walking distance. We are drowning in calories - so who should be surprised that there are so many fat people?

Posted by crazycatguy | December 8, 2007 12:27 PM

I think a good idea would be a grocery store the size of Wall-Mart but full of rabid Pitbulls; you have to run through it to buy your food.

Within 2 years there wouldn't be a single fat person in the entire USA, everyone would be getting too much exercise.

Posted by Colton | December 8, 2007 12:34 PM

If for any reason there was a war in which all the world's food supplies were halted, Americans would survive the longest.

Survival of the fattest, bitches.

Posted by JACKSON POLLOCK | December 8, 2007 12:47 PM

oh dan, people will always hate you, just because you aren't making excuses for them and slobbering all over them. i've seen it on the "feminist" blogs: you are a "misogynist" because you joke about finding pussies unappealing and how men aren't to blame for everything. never mind that you are gay (legitimately not into pussies) and an advocate for women's and lesbian's rights--you are a woman hater!!! you are the enemy!!

Posted by ellarosa | December 8, 2007 12:55 PM

@6 you are forgetting the kitchen gnomes

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 12:55 PM

@9 In my household I keep an elite squad of Sock Gnomes, these help to keep my Kitchen Gnome population in check.

Although I worry about the current state of 3rd world sweatshops because of my constant need to buy cheap socks to feed them :-/

Posted by Colton | December 8, 2007 1:05 PM

I really have little sympathy for fat acceptance folks on some level. If it's a choice between "accepting" friends and family that are packing on the pounds versus telling them that what they are doing is unhealthy, then shit yeah I'm not accepting their "fatness".

But again, obesity is often a class issue. Look at maps of regions in the US with the highest obesity rates and where are they located? Poor southeastern states. Look at the food that's the cheapest per calorie? Fatty, sugary foods. And who has the time and money to go off to the gym to work out and get physical exercise? Certainly not people working ten-hour shifts while taking care of their children.

So Dan, keep in mind that some of this attitude might just be latent classism...

Posted by bma | December 8, 2007 1:09 PM

True - some people have a genetic disposition to be larger than "average", and certainly larger than is considered ideal in our gym-toned, siz-pack ab, waxed and tweezed, cosmetic surgery and hair care product society of physical perfection.

True - some people (perhaps most) of those who are larger do contribute to that state of being through past or current eating and exercise habits, sometimes (frequently?) due to reasons that are either based in emotional abuse endured and/or a class based struggle.

True - recognizing the first of the above truths doesn't require denying the second.

True - being an judgmental sanctimonious asshole about any of the above truths is a choice, as much or more so than individual dietary decisions, and one that betrays narcissism, and a sad lack of any empathy or consideration for others. Disappointing, and unfortunately all to common, as it originates from those who certainly have their own failings and issues, are also imperfect, and certainly would not appreciate the same view of their imperfections.

Posted by Tom | December 8, 2007 1:23 PM

I would like to take this time to remind everyone that size 0 is in fact a part of the range of normal human development. it might be an outlier, but it is fucking possible without eating 600 Cal/day or wrapping yourself in saran wrap in a sauna. /PSA

Posted by clausti | December 8, 2007 1:38 PM

@13, yeah a small minority of people have real trouble maintaining weight, seems terrible from an evolutionary standpoint. having to eat three times as much and still being smaller than everyone else

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 1:47 PM


Posted by matt | December 8, 2007 1:48 PM

I'm sorry I called you "fat fat fat".

Posted by matt | December 8, 2007 1:50 PM

I feel horrible for this girl. It is SO hard to lose weight.

Posted by Amelia | December 8, 2007 1:53 PM

Why is it so hard to get that sometimes there are no easy answers and that everybody who is older than two understands that you are what you eat?

Why doesn't a schizo person just take his meds and get better or think positive thoughts and get well?
The funny thing is that slog hates closed conservative minds except when it comes to fat. I swear you all sound like right wing conservative Chrisitans who have the answer to everything.
If the answers were easy and worked everybody would be thin.
The question is why doesn't America just do it then and why are kids committing suicide because they are fat and why are people dying from eating disorders?
Do you think maybe it could be a little more complicated than just eat less or you are what you eat?

And all you fatties who think they are just going to join a gym and get thin are just as nuts as any fat phobic American. If it's so easy why haven't you done it?

Fat phobes should not give fat people advice!

Ok, this reminds me of the Pitt Bull threads which I found hysterical! Now, I have fallen into the whole being bugged over something dumb!! I'm sure Dan is snickering every time he reads one of these defensive fat posters like me.

Most Americans I see are on the larger side anyway. Today people make a big deal about size 0 but I think they are making sizes way bigger than they were 20 years ago. I weigh about 135 and I wear a size 6.
20 years ago at 135 I think would have worn a size 10. So maybe you skinny people are not so skinny after all...
You're all FAT, so there LOL....

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 2:15 PM
the filmmakers show little interest in her complicity in developing it.

No fucking way, really? Why wouldn't those filmmakers choose to harangue a teenage girl over her food "choices" that started when she was 8 years old due to her psychological issues and her unloving mother

How dare they!

And, by the way, Dan, it's posts like these that make the fat activists think that you hate fat people -- because you do.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2007 2:42 PM

Laura, LOL is right.

Do you really think that fat people are all couch potatoes and junk-food junkies? And that think people are that way because they eat healthy food? That's absurd.

I eat well. I exercise. And I'm overweight, according to the BMI charts.

And i know lots of slender people who eat like pigs and sit on their butts.

I have no objection if you find my weight aesthetically displeasing. That's your right. But your smugness and ignorance is pretty unattractive.

I do agree with this:

>eat healthy and be healthy!

Amen. I do and I am. I'm just not thin. Sorry that bugs you. :-(

"healthy eating habits + regular exercise = healthy body. eating shit + a sedentary lifestyle = overweight/obese."

Jason, I agree with the first part. But then you confuse aesthetics with health, and you just look ignorant.

All my numbers - cholesterol, blood glucose, BP. resting heart rate, are excellent -- except BMI.

Bu I don't see the same venom being spewed at folks with high cholesterol or high BP.

Go figure.

>I really have little sympathy for fat acceptance folks on some level. If it's a choice between "accepting" friends and family that are packing on the pounds versus telling them that what they are doing is unhealthy, then shit yeah I'm not accepting their "fatness".

BWAHAHAHA! Do you really think that your fat friends and relatives don't **know** they are fat? They don't need you to tell them anything. What **is** toxic is your need to tell them they are fat.

I challenge some of the posters here to figure out why they are having such a venomous reaction to fat people. If it's about health, then why not go after people who don't exercise? Or have high cholesterol? Or high blood glucose?

I think Dan's original response would have been a good spring board for discussion. I think the sarcastic follow-up pretty much undermined any hope of dialog. And some of the posts here make me really sad.

Such venom over someone's BMI? Scary and sad.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 3:16 PM

Fat people saw the "I'm a victim!" trend catch on in our society years ago and decided to get on board. It's not McDonald's fault, it's not your mother's fault, it's your own fault. Most of my father's side of the family is overweight. I got up to 138 once and put the kabosh on that immediately. It would have been easy to just let myself go and shrug it off as being a victim of the fast-food industry, but I chose not to and stopped the bad eating/exercise habits immediately. No sympathy for the obese here.

Posted by BMI 18.8 | December 8, 2007 3:16 PM

don't worry about what Dan thinks especially what he thinks of you.
If you are happy with how you are nothing else matters.
I don't believe Dan hates people based on their body size and if he does that is his shallow problem so who cares?
He has a personal prefance not to get fat or be with somebody that is fat and that is his right.
I'm a Christian and Dan bashes them everyday... I still like Dan so far because he makes some good points and it's greatly entertaining to see him get into ridiculous situations over things he says or insinuates. Hmmm I have a husband and a cousin who does the same thing.
Don't take him too seriously on this fat thing.
I KNOW it's no fun to be disliked for some kind of physical thing. I have lived that my whole life but until you get a sense of humor over it you probably will never be at peace.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 3:20 PM

Why don't we just require psychological testing to determine whether or not people can have food. You know, to protect people with psychological issues from harming themselves and their health by overeating or making poor food choices.

Oh wait, then there'd be less money to be made. Less gym membership money, less weight loss surgery money, less healthcare and medication money, less junk/fast food money, etc.

Posted by Hmm | December 8, 2007 3:20 PM

I just don't get the hatred.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the most vehement fattie haters commenting here on SLOG secretly get off to fat people porn.

Y'know, that whole thing about protesting too much and such...

Posted by seriously | December 8, 2007 3:23 PM

seriously @24, i think some of it is in response to the "i'm a victim/you're shallow for not wanting to fuck me/it's all genetic" folks. there would still be fat non-sympathizers if we didn't hear this screed from the overwieghties, but fewer of them, i think.

Posted by ellarosa | December 8, 2007 3:35 PM

I don't see anyone just straight out saying "I'm a victim/you're shallow../it's all genetic"

What I see more folks saying: "I'm fat, I'm healthy, I'm active, I don't give a flying fuck if you find me attractive or not because there are people out there who do, and people hating on fatties and making assumptions about their behavior and character, despite evidence to the contrary, are assholes"

I find it interesting that people who write about this so thoughtfully sound like whiners just because they are challenging peoples biases.

Posted by seriously | December 8, 2007 3:53 PM

Choices, people, choices. It's like smoking cigarettes, drinking booze, bungee cord jumping, etc. You want your freedom, you've got it. If you put high-fructose corn syrup into your body, accept that it's a synthetic compound that we humans just can't metabolize well and it'll manifest itself as that spare tire around your waist. Read labels: HFC is in nearly everything, even products you wouldn't think of as being "sugary" (bread, frozen vegetables). Healthful foods cost a bundle; that's the real tragedy here, not the fact that you're overweight and defensive about it.

Posted by Senor Wences | December 8, 2007 3:59 PM

Seriously, thanks for 26.

I've found that no matter how rational one is, no matter how calm and polite and logical, any comments that go against the conventional wisdom about obesity and health are dismissed as irrational, defensive or whining.

MJ - a bit off-topic, but you are so right about sizes. Although I've been the same weight and size for years, I've gone from an 18 to a 14. Some of that is weight training. But most of it is vanity sizing.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 4:05 PM

well excuse me, seriously @ 26, but this is exactly the shit my overweight mother said to me and others, and that's maybe clouded my perception. i made a point not to overeat/badly eat/lay on the couch when not working, like she did, so that it wouldn't happen to me, and i'm pretty thin--maybe i was just lucky, but probably not. i also have overweight friends and co-workers whom i like just fine and can even see their beauty. they have a hard row to hoe, and i feel for them. and they don't whine.

Posted by ellarosa | December 8, 2007 4:31 PM

Dan's feeding the piranhas again...


Posted by Irena | December 8, 2007 4:59 PM

>i made a point not to overeat/badly eat/lay on >the couch when not working, like she did, so >that it wouldn't happen to me, and i'm pretty >thin--maybe i was just lucky, but probably not

Is it possible that it's both?
And is it possible your mother was right?

Why does it have to be **shit**?

Now, you can't follow me around all day. I could be lying. I could be a couch potato. But maybe, just maybe, it's possible to eat well, work out regularly and be fat.

Senor Wences, I agree with you about reading labels. I imagine I'd weigh 50lbs more than I do if I didn't avoid HFCS and trans fats.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 5:05 PM

I lost a bunch of weight last year and I could be fat again in two weeks if I ate like a normal person. I freak people out because I eat next to nothing and drink too much coffee because it fills me up.
I still need to lose ten pounds and to some people I probably could lose even more than that but ten is all I'm going for.
You can be chubby and eat very little. I know because I have lived that.

That is why I'm a bit defensive of how people look. We do not know why somebody is overweight and condescending advice just really sends me spinning.
I have to get off here and do a million things other than read slog.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 5:20 PM


Why does everyone assume that I'm fat because I dare to defend fat people?

Look, I'm not fat, but as a social outcast in my formative years, most of my best childhood friends were fat. They were fat kids and now they're fat adults. You certainly could blame their parents for not intervening when it mattered, but now those adults are struggling with their weight issues and will probably never manage any long-lasting weight loss.

I also have some experience with weight gain/loss. As an adult, due to stress and depression, I gained about 20 pounds. Once I decided to do something about it, the weight came off fast. I then decided to try to lose an additional 10 pounds. (I may not be fat, but I don't necessarily look great in a bikini.) It took a year to lose the weight and a few months to regain it. From my own personal experience, I completely buy the set point argument.

Considering how difficult it is to live below your set point (it requires a life-long low calorie diet), I think it's unreasonable to expect fat people to comply with it. Most of them will fail and will only gain more weight. That's much more dangerous than just maintaining their set point weight while getting some moderate exercise.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2007 6:40 PM

And as to Dan's fat phobia:

He has repeatedly written Slog posts on the subject. He can't let it go despite the fact that fat people obviously don't want his "help" and despite the fact that he has no medical background/any fucking idea what he's talking about.

If the accusations of fat phobia hurt him so, then he should just drop it. If he refuses to drop the issue, then he should just own up to his hatred of fatties, along with his ownership of hatred of religious fundamentalists, Republicans, smokers, and pitt bulls.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2007 6:43 PM

@33 Ya, I presumed you were fat or were fat because you are very passionate on the subject. Now you just sound like one of those slog people who love to spend time telling Dan what a jerk he is.
I was the fat, uncoordinated kid my whole life so I do know what it is like.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 6:56 PM

@34 So there is Issur, Ecce and now keshmeshi...
I'm outta here you are a waste of time.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 7:00 PM


I see, so I'm like Ecce and Issur because I disagree with Dan on this one subject. Right.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2007 7:41 PM

No, because you said the whole Pitt bull Fundamentalist etc... thing.
To be honest I'm tired and whatever your issue is with Dan is yours.
I disagree with Dan on many issues but I like him most of the time.
Like I said I'm tired and on here way too much so I have to shut up!!
Have a good night keshmeshi and don't worry too much about us fat girls. I'm not really fat anymore but once fat you are always fat in your head.
I have a very large, 6 ft tall daughter who in my opinion is drop dead gorgeous.
If you ask her if she thinks she is pretty she will say of course! She fits no American Cheer leading popular girl status but she herself thinks she is gorgeous and she is.
I'm so glad I raised her to understand her identity does not depend on her weight!
She's the best little drummer in the world too, good rock drummer.
She could drop any of these chubby haters flat in a few seconds! She is strong and kind of macha... Nobody will ever mess with her and she could care less what people think of her : ) How she came from me I don't know.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 8:01 PM

I usually eat fairly healthy (hey, no mcdonalds, everything except restaurant food cooked vegetarian from raw foodstuffs, no sugary sodas. how many skinny ppl could claim the same?) but I burn precisely 1188 calories per day without exercising. that's it. I don't need to eat junk to gain weight, I can gain weight just from eating standard portions of health food.

I've lost thirty pounds these past three years and my method? For three months at the start of each year I did the following: I exercised half an hour - an hour a day (and calorically that wasn't helpful; half an hour of walking will burn 150 calories, half an hour of biking will barely burn more) and cut 400 calories a day. This meant I was eating 800 calories a day. Anything more than that and I couldn't even lose a pound a week (I lost the weight by losing a chunk of it over a three month period and then spending the rest of that year maintaining that weight so my "set point" would be lower each time I worked on dieting. just about that time of year again too)

How many of you could manage to live on 800 calories a day for three months? it's HARD. And yeah, I wish I hadn't gained so much weight as a kid. I don't blame anyone else, my parents tried their best, but it's hard to convince a stupid kid that no, they can't eat as much as everyone else their age because they lost on the genetic lottery. I wasn't eating crap as a kid, I was just gaining weight eating a quantity of food that would have seemed like starvation to most other teenagers.

Not all skinny people starved their way there. And not all fat people stuffed their way there. Get a grip, people.

Posted by lynn | December 8, 2007 8:28 PM

I'm with you 110% Dan. These women want someone to complain about...they beg for it. You have a lot of free time in your life if you're eating fast food and never moving.

Also, moooo.

Posted by Rachel | December 8, 2007 8:30 PM

to assume that fat activists need you to tell them who to go after, dan, so beautifully displays the arrogance to which we are all accustomed.

it's not that you hate fat people, you just underestimate them. constantly.

Posted by christ! | December 8, 2007 9:06 PM

Yes we are fat, unnactractive, not healthy and we are sexlessly headed to an early grave. We are all fat because of our addiction to wal-mart and mcdonalds and we are highly influential. I'll give you that ok?

But cut it with the social-darwinist, "you lazy fat-ass" bullshit. We don't need you skinny/formerly fat/generally self-important control freaks to remind us what we already know. It's our lives and while it may make the statistics look bad, you don't have the right to tell us what to do, especially when we know and are already fucking trying! All these posts are is ego masturbation at the expense of what little self-esteem fat people already have.

It is especially odd considering how supposedly liberal and open minded SLOG is supposed to be. S&M is great, but god forbid people be fat, and if they are we won't let them forget about it and we'll tell them exactly what they should do.

Frankly, you can debate the statistics all you want as well as national policy and ideas about the root of the epidemic. Just cut it with the holier than thou admonition and condemnation. Christ, we know were fucked, we feel bad, we want to and try to do what we can about it Happy yet?!

Posted by Brandon H | December 8, 2007 10:26 PM

I really struggled on whether to respond at all to this thread. Dan is awesome and totally within his rights to have whatever opinion he wants on obesity, and articulates himself well and respectfully on the subject, and while I'm a fat guy I have no sense of kinship with the "fat power" crowd. And I'm aware that any push back on my part will be reflexively branded by some as being "defensive."


(1) I find the lack of compassion towards fat people exhibited by this otherwise progressive crowd *stunning*. Even if you accept that it's entirely our fault and that we're all just willfully fat, the venom and cruelty contained in the last couple of threads is amazing. Do you tell the woman with the unplanned pregnancy "that's what you get for fucking, dumbass!" Ditto the guy who got AIDS from unprotected sex? How about the person with a drug addiction?

(2) It's not entirely our fault and we're not all just willfully fat. The people who say "just go exercise and eat less" don't understand nutrition or physiology. Go read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. There are people who gain weight on 1300kcal/d diets and there are people who lose weight on 5000kcal/d. Obesity has become a bigger and bigger problem as the American diet has switched further and further towards simple starches and artificial sweeteners. Try eating for $10/d or less and avoiding corn syrup. Who's the largest funder of nutritional research in the United States? GENERAL MILLS.

None of this is to excuse the fact that being overweight is unhealthy and reduces your social options. Believe me, every single fat person in America knows this, as we are reminded of it roughly 100 times a week. It would be nice if one of those times *wasn't* from our progressive "friends" on the SLOG.

Posted by Big Sven | December 8, 2007 11:39 PM

@1 It's not that simple actually. I'm 42 and I've weighed about 130 lbs since I was 18. I don't exercise beyond doing some yard work. I could eat a quart of ice cream and half a pie every night and never gain more than a couple of pounds. In fact when I was a bachelor, I often did just that.

It's unlikely that I will ever put on more than 10 or 15 pounds; it is absolutely impossible for me to ever gain several hundred pounds. There is obviously some sort of biological force at play.

Posted by booji boy | December 8, 2007 11:48 PM

@44- I would wager any amount that you're absolutely wrong about that. Care to test your theory?

Posted by Chris in Tampa | December 9, 2007 12:19 AM

@45 - you're actually doubting that people have different metabolisms?? I have a friend who's as skinny as a twig. He's actually afraid to exercise for fear of losing more weight. He eats mostly fast food, and spoonfuls of cheap, nasty peanut butter, and pop tarts. I shudder often, when I see what he eats, and yet I'll be the one hovering close to 200 lbs for the rest of my life. I did the crazy restrictive diet/obsessive exercise thing once, and lost 50 lbs, but I'd never do it again. I would happily bet you $5000 dollars that me and my friend could eat the exact same food, and go in opposite directions weightwise. Easy money.

Posted by Lythea | December 9, 2007 3:16 AM


Well, I can't tell you what Chris in Tampa was responding to, but this quote

"it is absolutely impossible for me to ever gain several hundred pounds"

is utter bullshit, and you certainly know it. Eat enough, move around too little, and you'll gain several hundred pounds, just like anyone else. And again, while I don't know what CIT was thinking, I seriously doubt that anyone here argues that people have different metabolisms--but nice try at obfuscation. Care to stick to the subject at hand?

Posted by THobbes | December 9, 2007 9:32 AM


"If you are happy with how you are nothing else matters."

That's exactly what's wrong with America. I'm fat. I got there because I drive through mcdonald's instead of spending 20 minutes cooking dinner. And when I get coffee in the morning, I sometimes get a scone. Okay, often.

So yeah, I'm fat.

It's not my class, it's not little calorie circles around my neighborhood, it's ME. I choose to eat the donuts. I choose to drive that three blocks to the store instead of walking. I'm the reason I'm fat.

It's not a class issue, it's not a race issue, it's because I stuff too much goddamned fatty food in my mouth.

And guess what? "If you are happy with how you are nothing else matters." That's the voice of a LOSER.

Of COURSe other things matter. Your family. Your friends. Your ability to fit in a movie seat. An airline seat. Instead of expecting everyone around you to accommodate our fat, fat lifestyle, it's time we take responsibility and stop putting it on everyone else.

It's abuse, plain and simple, to coerce our friends and guilt our family into this bizarre "loving us unconditionally" agreement when we don't even RETURN THE SAME RESPECT TO OURSELVES.

So the next time you're at Tully's and that little Top Pot donut calls out to you and you just can't resist stuffing your "feelings", your "class warfare struggles", your "male oppression", your "heterocentrist angst", just remember that it's one more chain linking you to the couch that you'll eventually die on sitting eating KFC in your living while watching Tyra Banks.

Posted by Brad in Seattle | December 9, 2007 5:44 PM

Brad@48- honest to god, speaking as someone who is both fat and seeing a psychologist- please, please think about getting counseling. Your comment reflects an awesome amount of self-loathing. I've been there, and only a professional can help. Good luck.

Posted by Big Sven | December 9, 2007 6:26 PM

Actually, "Big Sven", I don't have any self loathing, have already been through some great counseling, and/but thanks for thinking of me.

On closer introspection, however, now I realized I better book a session with your doc PRONTO. I've got secret, hidden, way-down-in-the-emotional-basement problems! THAT must be it! It's not cuz I got tired of feeling tired, having boob sweat or being uncomfortable getting around.

That the best you can do? I suggest you print out my post, take it with you to your next session and you can either "tsk tsk" with your doc at my wildly out-of-control loathing, or maybe you can do your own homework assignment: soul-searching as to why someone who is fat and speaks their mind - and their truth - about being fat bothers YOU so much. If you've got issues, and I assume you do, because the worst kind of person to get any rational perspective from is the person IN counseling, but I'll cut you some slack. Off my belt. Which I don't need to be as large any more.

Admitting to stuffing a donut in my mouth with my coffee isn't shameful. Covering up responsibility by saying I need therapy, however, is. The first step, admitting you have a problem, ya know?

So, I admit it. I overeat for a couple reasons. I'm lazy. I don't like to cook. I forget to eat and end up really hungry around 4:30 PM. I sometimes sneak a Dicks burger before dinner with my bf. And I'd get a cheeseburger, not just a burger. Sometimes a bowl of mashed potatoes sounds so goddamned GOOD. Cuz I had this craving. Starchy foods are my enemy.

Then I realied what the craving was about, how out of whack my body's nutrition was, and that I was screwing with a complex machine by feeding it junk and expecting good performance, how in my 30's my body doesn't perform as well as my teens, how there are certain things you have to be rational and reasonable about. Garbage in = garbage out.

So now I work out with a trainer two times a week and do cardio three times a week. I'm not one of those big "gym heads" and am always respectful to the other large people around the gym because we're all going through the same thing. But there's nothing worse than hanging out with the "love your body at any cost and at the expense of everything" who are just delusional victims of the Fast Food Industrial Complex. Because it's all a lie. Fat does not equal "happy" any more than anorexic equals happy.

So please, don't put YOUR OWN hangups on ME, "Big Sven." I'm quite happy, feeling GREAT as I lose weight (what do I know, right?), as I stop wheezing after walking up a flight of stairs (what do trainers know, right?), as my blood sugar is in control (what do doctors know, right?), as my cholestoral is closer to normal (what do my arteries know, right?) , as my body fat index edges lower and lower from "obese" (what do thousands of doctors around the world know, right?), as my asthma is less severe (what do my lungs know, right?), and my nutrionist helped me find out how/when/why I need to eat what I need to eat (what does my stomach know, right?), and I've got plenty of energy (what does my brain know, right) and whatever the opposite of "self-loathing" is that doesn't make me sound too or stuck on myself.

But what do I know, right? I'm just full of the worst kind of self-loathing - the kind that comes from feeling fopeful, healthy, fit, happy, boob-sweat-free on hot days, mentally in tune and in charge of my body and accepting responsibility for my actions that got me to where I was.

Posted by Brad in Seattle | December 9, 2007 7:30 PM

There are some deeply irrational responses here. No names, no pack drill, but I am starting to think that the words "Fat Activist" are synonymous with the words "Grade-A Ding Dong".

Am I prejudiced against fat people? I didn't think I was, but I am getting there.

Posted by Alex | December 9, 2007 10:47 PM


One of the subjects at hand is why some people end up fatter than others. And I am one of the ones here arguing that people have metabolisms that work at different paces. And I honestly don't understand how you can think the same number of calories has the same effect on everyone. I envy the guy I know who can eat a pint of ice cream every night, not exercise, and be skinnier than he wants to be, and I'm aware that my system will never be able to deal with that many calories, even if I start running marathons. Also, you claim to be responding to me, but you're quoting someone else's post, the post that CIT was responding to as well. You're confused, and angry at someone, and I'm not sure who.

Posted by Lythea | December 10, 2007 2:12 AM


Did everyone on planet slog simultaneously get sand in their vaginas?
When does the spin-off series begin? Whatta maelstorm!

Posted by fred | December 10, 2007 7:06 AM

>Am I prejudiced against fat people?
>I didn't think I was, but I am getting there.

Seriously? Comments on a blog are enough to make you prejudiced against all fat people?

Deeply irrational, indeed.

Posted by Lacy | December 10, 2007 9:44 AM

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