Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Why Are Doctors Trying to Guess Fat Patients’ Weight?

WTF are you doingI refuse to be weighed in at the doctor’s office.  There is no medical reason to weigh me in – I haven’t had unexplained weight changes, I don’t need medicine that is prescribed per body weight, so I don’t need to be weighed.

While I don’t think that weighing people is a medical intervention, the doctor does and therefore, like any medical intervention, I’m well within my right to refuse. If they had a good reason (ie: we have to dose this medication by weight) I would consider it. But since they just want to weigh me so that the can suggest that I try to change my weight – which is asking me to do something that nobody can prove is possible, for a reason that nobody can prove is valid, I’m out. For years this has been no problem, they say “step on the scale” and I, politely and firmly, say “no thank you” while I keep walking, slowing slightly to let them catch up after I pass them so that they can lead me to the exam room.

But recently something weird has started happening. When I refuse to be weighed the person asks me something like “do my mind if I make my best guess.” The first time it happened I was so surprised that I said the first thing that came into my head which was “This is not the State Fair…no you may not guess my weight.” She was taken aback and she immediately dropped it.

It was so weird that I did some digging. It turns out that insurance companies and Medicare have started to pay for something called “Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity” In order to charge you, you must have a BMI over 30. BMI (Body Mass Index) is nothing more than a ratio of weight and height. Though it’s become misused as one, it’s not – and never has been –  a health measurement of any kind. It’s just your weight in pounds, times 703, divided by your height in inches squared.

Here’s where the guessing comes in. In order for doctors to get paid for “obesity counseling” they have to have your BMI on file. So if you refuse to be weighed, they simply guess the weight that they need to get paid.

Obviously this is crap, and not just because guessing people’s weight like you’re guessing  the number of jelly beans in a jar is exactly as medically relevant as it sounds. But more to the point, these doctors don’t have any idea how to create long-term weight loss. There isn’t a single study of any intervention that they could prescribe, that has been shown to lead to long-term weight loss for more than a tiny fraction of participants, and that weight loss is often less than 10 pounds. Once again, they would be better off just giving all fat people ponies (with the possible exception of those who are allergic.)

So what do we do? Every fat person gets to decide how to deal with this each time it happens. We shouldn’t have to deal with it at all, and we get to do whatever we have to do to get the medical care we need. That may include educating our doctors, lying to them, or placating them by letting them make up a weight to make a bullshit math calculation that they will use to get paid for giving us information that is useless at best, and most likely harmful.

Here’s some scripting that you might use. By way of a disclaimer, we have the right to refuse treatment, but doctors in most cases have the right to refuse us as patients. Unfortunately, there can definitely be consequences to fighting for our rights to be treated without weight stigma, so we have to take that into account when we decide how to respond.

Here are some options:

Per my rights to refuse a medical intervention, I refuse to be weighed, I refuse to allow you to guess my weight, I refuse to have a BMI calculation made, and I refuse any type of obesity counseling. Let’s focus on what I came in here for.

No, you may not guess my weight. Please just write “patient refused to be weighed and refused to allow me to guess their weight.” I’m happy to sign something if you need me to.

You can try asking them “why do you want to weight me?” or “Is this so you can bill my insurance for obesity counseling?” if they say yes, consider saying something like “I’ll submit to this if you can show me a study where this counseling has led to significant long-term weight loss for a majority of participants.” (Remember, no such study exists, so this might take awhile.)

Just continue to say “No thank you,” while walking past the scale.

If you decline, or don’t receive, “obesity counseling” it might be interesting to check and see if your doctor charged your insurance for it, and if they do then promptly report them.

Again, this shouldn’t be happening. People of all sizes should be able to receive competent, unbiased medical care. Nobody should have to prep for a doctor’s appointment like they are memorizing lines for a (literally life or death) audition. Unfortunately, that’s not something that fat people can always access, so we have to do way more to get even close to the same level of care. Fatphobia kills, fat activism is the cure for fatphobia.

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Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Lizzo & Mod Cloth Love

Lizzo, “I think representation is my legacy,” she says, “and I think that everyone deserves to stand out. I think that everyone is beautiful, and everyone deserves to find their beauty… you’re worthy and capable of self-love, and it’s okay to be discovering that for your whole life.”

Mod Cloth recently interviewed Lizzo and you should really read it (it’s brief) but also click here to see her in a gorgeous rainbow maxi dress!

My love for Mod Cloth has been dotted with much disappointment, confusion, and occasional rage. Why do I keep coming back? Well, because they have items that suit my style, are quirky or just to find perfect thing to go with another thing that I already have. Often I cannot afford their clothes, but I love a good sale and I do occasionally treat myself to something nice. I was a sucker for their “Stylish Surprise” offers where you’d select, say, dresses and only your size and pay a flat rate ($15) and the dress you’d get would be randomly picked by them. This was so fun and exciting until I got TWO the exact same dress at once. Like, seriously?! C’mon!!! Though others have been splendid and now cherished items. Hit or miss!

I know the history of Mod Cloth and how they have relied and used fat community (at least locally for me, SF Bay Area) to further their own profits only to dump us in a hot minute. I know folks who were directly involved in those happenings at the start and it was heartbreaking to hear the personal stories behind all of that. And yes, Mod Cloth was acquired by Walmart not long ago and that is off putting to say the least. I have seen no changes since that happened, though. I still see the same designers and fun items coming in and while I rarely buy things, it is always a delight to add things to my wishlist.

Lizzo is that hidden gem of an artist that makes me pinch myself every time I watch one of her videos on YouTube. She is everything I have wanted to see in the world of music and more. She is a stunning person and a gorgeous black woman! Her style in fashion and vocals is fabulous! I draw much inspiration from her and love how strongly she feels about representation. Lizzo is also a fat woman with no fucking qualms about her body size! Even if her music isn’t for you (though that is hard for me to believe), her message and her personality are what we really need to see more of in this world, dammit!

I hope more fat women share themselves confidently with the world. Representation is so fucking vital! I hope more retailers, clothing or not, expand their offerings to accommodate and attract fat customers. I want to see an end to fat shaming in my lifetime…and I think it’s possible!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

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And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com



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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Hello world!

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Why I write so much about immortality, significance, and injustice.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been more active on Twitter than here. But I miss being here. I want to round up my notes and do a little explaining.

What follows are links to threads that seem relevant:

Where I linked Terror Management Theory to diet culture (more) explicitly (than before.) This was the rough draft of the article that later appeared in The Atlantic.

Where I shared my (sketchy and preliminary) thoughts about
neoreaction, politics in the US, and more Terror Management Theory. There was also a Metafilter thread about it, and people said nice things, which is particularly nice for reasons I don’t have the words for…yet. (You know me, it’s only a matter of time.)

After the van attack here in Toronto, before we knew the motive.

And a follow-up.

There are probably one or two more, but they are submerged in the sands of Twitter and it will take some digging to find them.

So, if you’re wondering what the endgame of all of this tweeting about significance and immortality is for me, it’s this: it is my personal believe that no one can do anything that will mark them with lasting significance.

No book, no building, no work of art, no hospital wing with their name on it, no great fortune, not even the destruction of the entire planet will leave a legacy that marks out an individual person as significant on a truly cosmic scale.

Certainly, no amount of hierarchy-building or climbing will do it. (I could go into why, but instead, refer to this standalone tweet.)

Now, the explanation.

Many of my young years were wasted by the idea that certain bodies are inherently superior to other bodies. I gave over years of my life to shame because my body was supposed to be bad and undeserving of its basic needs and existence, and as a result, I missed time and life experiences that will never be returned to me.

And I know this is true for many, many people who live caught up in the same hierarchy, under the same system of ideas that certain bodies and certain people are worth less than others, and many, many people have had smaller or larger fractions of their lives wasted more or less violently, as a result.

This bothers me. Which is why I started this website, and why I chose this career.

People who cannot admit their own insignificance or mortality seem to think that spoiling other people’s time by shaming or oppressing them will somehow add to their lives, and while it does succeed in creating misery and even shortening some people’s lives, it doesn’t make the perpetrator immortal or even significant. It’s a fool’s errand, a waste of one’s time, and involves the wasting of other people’s time without their consent.

Life is fragile, short, and precious. The best any of us can do is make our time good and meaningful. We do that by creating things, feeling and experiencing things, and bonding with other people in a way that acknowledges their inherent and unchanging value.

If I can clear obsession with food and shame about having a body out of people’s way so they can get down to living, then I have done a good job. If I can help chip away at some of the structures that unjustly limit people’s use of their finite and precious lives, even better.

In some form or another, I have been writing about this stuff for six years, and thinking about it for twenty-five. I figure why stop now.

As always, the after-party happens in comments. Bring snacks.


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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Is It Wrong To Shame Shamers?

DefendThose who mistreat us often try to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions by trying to create a false equivalence between their mistreatment of us, and our speaking out against that mistreatment. So when someone says “Stop oppressing me. You are harming me.” the bigot will try to respond with something like  “Why are you shaming me? What about my beliefs? Where’s your tolerance, huh?”

This is patently ridiculous, but it can still trip up otherwise rational critical thinkers because they DO want to be tolerant, and they DO want to be better people than their bigots. So let me be perfectly clear – “I want to oppress you”  and “I don’t want to be oppressed”  are not two reasonable sides of the same coin. They are not both legitimate viewpoints. Trying to oppress someone is not a viewpoint, it’s an act that harms someone.

Do not let some troll tell you that calling out bullies makes you a bully. Calling out people for harming others is not remotely the same as perpetuating shame, stigma, bigotry, bullying or oppression. Calling out bullies makes you a hero.

This comes up in professional situations as well. I’m commonly asked how to call out fat oppression that happens at conferences, online spaces etc. without shaming the person doing the oppressing. While I’m often willing to give the benefit of the doubt that the person doing the harm is doing it unintentionally, I believe that our primary concern MUST be the well being of the people they are harming, and not the feelings of the person doing the harming.

So the first time I see someone engaging in oppressive behavior – if it’s not blatant and I feel they should get the benefit of the doubt – I’ll take that person aside or shoot them a private e-mail. But if their behavior doesn’t stop, then neither will mine, because they are harming people and I’m not going to sit idly by while that happens. So I’ll continue to insist that they stop harming people, I may enlist other people to do the same, I may start a petition or a letter-writing campaign. The difference between activism and bullying is intent  – bullies intend to harm people. Activists intend to stop bullies from harming others.

This is summed up pretty neatly in something called The Paradox of Tolerance, coined by philosopher Karl Popper in 1945:

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

There is a beautiful article by Parker Malloy that further explains the concept and shows how it applies to the current situation in the US.

Basically, the assertion that we have to tolerate people who are actively trying to harm us is best stated as “Please participate in your own (and other people’s) opression by allowing me to oppress you (other people) with absolutely no pushback.” That’s bullshit and you don’t have to prove your tolerance by allowing someone to harm you or others. People are allowed to believe whatever they want. But when they try to turn their personal beliefs into actions that harm you, you have every right to speak up and fight back.

If you’d like some help dealing with trolls – you can check out the Complete Guide to Dealing with Online Trolls.

If you value my work, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time contribution or by becoming a member.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

 Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 



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Ketogenic Diets and Lipedema: Apply Caution

Sculpture by Madeleine-Marie Gautier
Be smart; do your research before jumping on the ketogenic bandwagon
One of the biggest trends in lipedema treatment world right now is the ketogenic diet. Folks in lipedema communities are all a-flutter over it, considering it practically a cure. There are tons of sessions about ketogenic diets at the lipedema conferences and it's being heavily promoted on lipedema websites and support groups.

I have decidedly mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm a big believer in people being in charge of their own healthcare, and if this is something they want to try, it's okay with me. It's good to consider different therapeutic modalities. On the other hand, it bothers me to see people promoting it so strongly online, as if it is a proven therapy, as if it is a cure. It's NOT.

In fact, we have little actual evidence about ketogenic diets for lipedema, mostly just the word of a few doctors and therapists who believe it is "the answer." We have the stories of some people who are in the honeymoon phase of weight loss on the diet. We have no long-term evidence that it helps lipedema.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that promotes a high fat intake and a moderate protein intake, while keeping carbohydrate intake to a bare minimum (no more than 50g per day). In other words, you can have plenty of meats, fats, and low-carb vegetables, but grains, fruits, and higher-carb veggies are not allowed. You can have lots of bacon, steak, and nuts but no rice, bread, pasta, peas, corn, apples, grapes, pears, or bananas, etc.

It's a nutritional plan designed to trigger ketosis in your body. Your body uses glucose for energy, which is largely created from the carbs you eat and then stored as glycogen. If you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body uses up its stores of glycogen, runs out of energy, and needs to find a replacement. So it turns to its stores of body fat and starts consuming them. The by-product of this process is ketones.

Ketosis (ketones in your system) results from the burning of fat for energy when the intake of other energy (carbohydrates) is too low to supply the body's needs. To see if you are spilling ketones in your urine, you can buy testing strips from most pharmacies. You pee on them and they will tell you if you are in ketosis and if so, how much. The aim of the diet is to get you into major ketosis territory so your body will hopefully burn up the lipedemic fat.

Ketogenic diets do very well at producing a quick and very strong initial weight loss. Much of it is water weight but muscle and fat is also burned, leading to more weight loss, at least for a while. Some people report feeling marvelous on it, while others report feeling terrible (the "keto flu"). Sometimes this effect is temporary (the first few weeks) and sometimes it never resolves.

Reservations About Ketogenic Diets

When looked at historically, it can be seen that dietary approaches rotate in popularity. Vegetarian, vegan, alkaline, low-fat, low-carb, no grain, no carb, Paleo, eating "clean" ─ all are dieting/weight loss trends that have cycled in and out of popularity over the years. None show any better long-term results than the others.

If you lower calories, your body will initially lose weight for a while, and then it will slowly adapt its metabolism to the new lower intake and the weight loss slows down and stops, then starts reversing. Sometimes you can overcome these plateaus for a while but nearly always the weight eventually returns, often with friends. There are a few people who manage to sustain large weight losses over many years, but they are statistical outliers, and many do it at the price of eating-disordered behaviors around caloric intake and exercise.

Remember that there is NO research proving improvement of lipedema with a ketogenic diet. Nor is there any research proving long-term permanent weight loss with ketogenic diets. The current push for ketogenic diets is the lipedema and medical community pretending to be size-friendly and pro-health but still exhibiting an underlying diet and weight loss mentality. The paradigm is just too ingrained in them to let it go:

  • Sure, we know that lipedema is really not your fault ─ but don't you dare let up on your relentless focus on dieting and exercise or you'll blow up like a balloon! 
  • Sure, it's not just a matter of restricting calories ─ but you really should restrict certain toxic foods. If you don't, you'll make your lipedema worse and you'll end up in a wheelchair!

Caregivers and far too many patients are still stuck in the same old guilt/shame/scare/restrict dieting mode, even if they no longer call it a diet. They may call it a "lifestyle change" but it really is just another diet. 

For a while it was an anti-inflammatory diet that was supposed to lessen the effect of lipedema. Now that has started to go out of fashion and it's all about the ketogenic diet. Pretty soon the ketogenic diet will go out of fashion too and something new will be "the" fix. But whatever the latest trendy approach, it's all still dieting, bottom line.

That's not to say that you should just "let yourself go." There's nothing wrong with focusing on healthy habits and nutrient-dense foods. No one is saying that people with lipedema should pay no attention to their health. You don't want to exacerbate the lipedema. But we do need to be cautious not to let that care become part of the Diet Fixation that is so prevalent in our society.

Be especially leery of nutritional approaches that take out entire food groups, that are highly restrictive in intake, that cast foods into "good" and "bad" categories. Foods aren't moral or immoral; they have no value judgment. Some are healthier for you than others, some work better with your particular body than others, but everyone is an individual. Sweeping dietary restrictions don't generally work very well for groups. Moderation and variety seems to be the best keys.

Remember the profit motive of this latest trendy diet. Although the "keto experts" are well-meaning, the patient often ends up paying hefty amounts for advice. And the so-called experts usually spin their approach into a whole cottage industry that makes them all kinds of money. Keto lifestyle coaches abound online these days and have many "packages" available for lifestyle advice. All of it is for a profit. It colors everything they say. Even caregivers who consider themselves neutral often have financial interests in the weight loss industry that influence their views. View everything with a giant grain of salt.

Look beyond the salesmanship, the scare tactics, and the short-term personal testimonials. Ask what real evidence we have on ketogenic diets. Keep asking about this on lipedema groups promoting ketogenic diets and listen to the deafening silence or culture of denial. It's very revealing.

What Does the Research Say?

Bottom line, there does not seem to be any studies on ketogenic diets and lipedema. 

All the claims online about how effective ketogenic diets are for lipedema seem to come from anecdotal stories. A few isolated case reports exist, which are essentially anecdotal evidence too. Although we should not dismiss anecdotal evidence out of hand, neither should we consider such a therapy proven. It's not proven at all.

The ketogenic diet does have some uses in fields other than lipedema. It's important not to dismiss it completely. It was first used in 1920 to help people with epilepsy. It has been shown to be extremely helpful in children and adults who experience chronic severe seizures ─ but perhaps at a price. There seems to be some cognitive decline in young children on a ketogenic diet, but whether that's worsened because of the repeated seizures or whether a combination of repeated seizures and a ketogenic diet makes things worse is unknown.

The ketogenic diet has also been shown in some limited research to be helpful against certain types of brain tumors (glioblastoma). It's not a cure, but it may help at least delay progression. However, although there is lots of speculation and pressure for its use with other cancers, there is no conclusive proof of its utility on other cancers at this time.

A low-to-moderate carbohydrate diet has been shown to improve certain cardiac risk factors in newly diagnosed diabetics, but follow-up is generally only about a year, not long enough to judge its long-term usefulness. Still, it may well lower insulin levels long-term, so that is potentially a benefit to some.

However, while ketogenic diets typically improve triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and blood sugar temporarily, some data suggests they may worsen LDL cholesterol. Whether that is truly risky or not is unclear.

Furthermore, many people report significant G.I. issues like nausea, vomiting, and constipation with a ketogenic diet. Other potential risks may include kidney stones or other kidney problems, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, muscle loss, leg cramps, and decreased bone density. Bad breath, fatigue, and sleep problems have also been reported. While a ketogenic diet is probably not super-risky, neither is it without harm in the literature. Many dieticians recommend against it.

Ketogenic diets get good buzz because there are often significant drops in weight in the first few weeks of the diet. This is largely due to fluid loss, not fat loss. Since women with lipedema often retain serious fluid in their bodies, they can experience really big drops in weight ─ at first. But will it last? As two dietitians note in an article on the keto diet:
"As you limit carbohydrates, your body produces less insulin, and glycogen stores (how carbs are stored) in the muscles and liver are depleted. For every 1 gram of glycogen that's depleted, you lose about 3 grams of water." This causes the kidneys to flush out more water, and along with it, electrolytes your body needs like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. "Imbalanced electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, cognitive distortions, and lack of body temperature control," Turoff says...
"I wish people knew that the weight loss they will initially experience on this diet is largely due to water loss," Brown says. That means you're most likely not actually losing fat in the first couple of weeks, but instead losing water that will come back in the form of glycogen stores if and when you start eating carbs again.
As far as weight loss goes, a meta-analysis of a number of studies found that ketogenic diets resulted in greater weight loss than low-fat diets ─ but a review of this meta-analysis noted that the difference was only about 1 kg (2.2 pounds), and once the participants reached the 24 month mark, any significant difference between groups disappeared. Not exactly impressive results.

This is typical of nearly all weight loss research. There is an initial period of significant weight loss, lasting anywhere from a few months to around 1-2 years, and then the weight is slowly regained. Often the person regains to a higher weight than their starting weight. The question becomes whether people are better off for having lost the weight and regained it, or if they would have been better off being stable at a higher weight.

Reviews note over and over that a ketogenic diet is generally quite difficult to sustain long-term. Many "long-term" ketogenic studies actually only last 6 months to a year. Drop-out rates are extremely high because it is such a hard diet to follow, and this makes it difficult to interpret what data there is.

Conclusion

One of the trendiest things in lipedema care these days is the ketogenic diet. It is routinely being promoted as a "must try" fix. Physically, it rewards participants with a large quick weight loss, and emotionally, it gives a feeling of control over the uncontrollable. People are glad to at least be doing something in hopes that it will help. It's understandable that it's so appealing to many and has caught on so quickly. But the reality is that it's just another unproven diet fad, cycling around for another turn on the Diet Wheel of Frustration.

That's not to say that the ketogenic diet is never useful. Clearly, it has been very useful in those with serious seizure disorders. But for lipedema? That is completely unproven at this point.

But I'm not going to tell you to not do this diet. You control your own body and your own healthcare decisions. I'm not the Diet Mafia. If you want to do the ketogenic diet, go right ahead. My advice if you try it is to avoid extremism, consult a dietitian so you do it more wisely, take supplements, drink lots of water, and stay flexible. Give it your best shot but don't feel bad if you find it difficult to sustain this diet or if you don't get the long-term results you were hoping for. Lots of other people have had similar issues.

Many people try the ketogenic diet for a while, lose fairly significant amounts of weight pretty quickly, sometimes even from the legs ─ then find the weight comes back no matter what they do. Or they simply cannot live with the extremes of the diet and stop following it after a while because it is so difficult to sustain long-term.

That was pretty much my experience with the ketogenic diet, years ago as a young adult when I was still riding the diet merry-go-round. I lost 50 lbs. on it in six months, but in the end began gaining weight uncontrollably even while still on the diet. Eventually I found it to be simply unsustainable and stopped. I found that after my ketogenic diet, I actually had more lipedemic fat (though I didn't know what to call it then) than when I started, particularly around my belly. That really turned me off of it. It had good initial results but they didn't last any better than any other diet or "lifestyle change" I did. In fact, it made things worse in the long run.

That was my last really big diet. After that, I turned to the Health At Every Size approach and stopped yo-yo dieting. I found I was so much healthier in my food choices, my lab numbers improved, my weight stabilized, and I just FELT so much better, both physically and emotionally. I tried to emphasize more exercise and eat moderately but didn't guilt myself too much about it. Everything in moderation ─ including moderation ─ became my motto.

Some people swear by the ketogenic diet, and if it works long-term for you, more power to you. But stop promoting it as if it has been proven to be a cure for lipedema. It hasn't. It hasn't been shown to result in long-term weight loss either. You can mention to others that you are trying it, you can talk about the pluses and minuses, you can share your experience with it, but please refrain from making unproven claims and stop pressuring other people to try it.




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Monday, 4 June 2018

Yes, Fat People Have the Right to Exist

know fat chicks

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Fat people have a right to exist in our fat bodies.  We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and those rights are inalienable – they are not size, health, or healthy habit dependent.  Those rights include not living under ceaseless institutional stigma, bullying and oppression, or being made combatants in a war waged upon us by our government, which is also trying to recruit our friends, family, co-workers, companies and anyone else they can get to engage in combat against us for how we look.

You cannot have a war on obesity without having a war against obese people.  You cannot have a war on childhood obesity without having a war on fat kids.  Wars have casualties.  So when you use words like “war” and “eradicate”, when you say that you want to eliminate obesity and suggest that fat people should do extremely dangerous things like have our stomachs amputatedor eating 500 calories a day and getting injected with  urine, all in the pursuit of thinness, it starts to sound like “eliminate obesity” means that they want us either thin or dead, and they don’t much care which.

The research about weight and health upon which this goal of eradicating fat people for the good of society is built does not meet the basic criteria for competent research.

The methods used to calculate the “cost” of obese people are at best incredibly poorly done and, at worst biased and profit-driven,

Even if the studies did meet basic requirements for competent research, it is not ok to choose a group of people who are identifiable by a single visible physical characteristic, attempt to calculate their cost on society, and based on those numbers suggest that they should be eradicated to make things cheaper for everyone else.

If you are fat, you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without shame, stigma, bullying or oppression, in the body you have now.  It doesn’t matter why you’re fat, what the “consequences” of being fat might be, or if it’s possible to become thin. You have the right to stand up and say that the war being fought against you is not only based on faulty intel, but is unjust in every way. Those are basic civil rights. LIke every fight for civil right (none of which should be necessary) you have the right to fight back, to say that if they want a war, you will damn well give them one.

UPCOMING WEBINAR  – Size Acceptance and Eating Disorders – A Critical, Crucial, Core Conversation.
June 5th, 11am Pacific

If you’re interested in the use of the Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size paradigms in Eating Disorder treatment, then check out my webinar with EDRDPro. The webinar is June 5th from 11am-12pm Pacific time, and there are CEUs for RDs!
Get all the details here (scroll down to find me)
If you’re ready to register, click here!

If you value my work, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time contribution or by becoming a member.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

 Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

 

 

 



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