Friday, 7 August 2020

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – IS THIS A DIET?

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – IS THIS A DIET?



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Canadian Doctors Admit Utter Failure of Weight Loss Interventions, Then Double Down

APANEL~1A Canadian panel has released new guidelines for “obesity management” that seem to be based on the adage “admit what you can’t deny, deny what you can’t admit,” while co-opting the language of fat activism in an attempt to keep their profession profitable.

Let’s start with them admitting what they can’t deny.  As the paper’s lead author told The Guardian:

“The common medical advice to eat less and exercise more doesn’t really help most patients…whenever people decrease their calories, they activate a bunch of hormones and neurochemicals within their brain, within their gut, that drive the weight to come back on. So we’re failing people all the time when we say go on a diet so they can lose a little bit of weight, [because they often] regain all of it, if not more,”

This is something fat activists have been saying for literally decades, but I guess thanks to the “experts” who have been harming fat people and profiting off of this idea for those same decades for finally catching on? Still, this is a victory for fat activists.

That’s the “good” news, but here’s the bad news. Instead of just admitting that bodies come in lots of sizes, Obesity Canada and the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons (the group who drafted the guidelines and who, it should be pointed out, all have a tremendous financial motive to say this) are pushing the idea that being fat is “a complex chronic illness” that needs to be treated with a “variety of methods” including dangerous (and expensive!) and often completely ineffective diet drugs and surgeries.

If you want to know how absolutely ridiculous this is, take a look at their new “definition” of “obesity”

“It’s not about the amount of body fat, it’s not about where the body fat is. It’s not about the type of body fat,” said Arya Sharma, scientific director of Obesity Canada and one of the more than 60 authors. “It’s just a very, very simple question. And that is: Does this person’s body fat or excess body fat affect their health? If it does, we’ve got obesity. If it doesn’t, we just have a large person with a lot of body fat.”

This is anything but a very, very simple question. Since fat people get the same health issues that thin people do, the assumption that body size is what is affecting health is the root of the problem and, it must be pointed out, the root of the profit. (Especially considering the health effects of constant stigma as well as the treatment disparities caused by medical fatphobia.) But of course we are talking about a world in which being “Board Certified in Obesity Medicine” is a thing. so a LOT of people have a stake in maintaining “fatness” as a profit center.

To put this into sharper relief: if a thin person in Canada develops a health condition they are simply a thin person with a health condition. But if a fat person in Canada develops that exact same health condition, they now have two health conditions and one of them is the size of their body – which is the same size as it was the day before.

This does not smack of scientific rigor. It does sound like a desperate attempt to keep a branch of medicine (that has only succeeded in harming fat people) alive and profitable. They still seem to be recommending “counseling” interventions that have been shown to be no more effective than just giving every fat person (or, I guess now every fat person with a health issue) a pony as well as interventions that can and do kill fat people.

In fact, Dr. Sharma (who, full disclosure, has positively shared my work on a number of occasions despite our disagreements) told The Globe and Mail:

“There’s this idea that if you’re using medication or using surgery, then you’re somehow cheating,” he said. Yet he noted no one would think someone is cheating or “taking the easy way out” if they took insulin for diabetes or received a kidney transplant if they had chronic kidney disease.

It’s not about the easy way out – it’s about risking our lives and quality of life for no reaon. Since evidence-based interventions for the actual health conditions that fat people (and thin people) get already exist, these body size manipulation interventions are completely unnecessary and serve only to create profit for healthcare professionals and harm fat people (including not just being blamed for intervention failure, but also risking our lives and quality of life.) I imagine they’ll also be using this as a loophole to sell these interventions as a solution for cultural weight stigma, but that remains to be seen.

Now, do I think every doctor who believes this is driven only by craven self-interest? Not necessarily. It’s possible that they are so high on their own supply of fatphobia that this seems reasonable to them, but that doesn’t make it any less harmful or wrong. The important thing here is that this will result in the continued unnecessary harm to fat people, despite good research that weight-neutral healthcare can be effective without the risks.

While there is some value here, both in finally admitting that the typical “eat less, exercise more” recommendation is, and always has been, useless, as well as at least claiming that they want to reduce the stigma fat people face, the result could actually cause more problems for fat people.

First, I note that they were not in a hurry to take responsibility and apologize for all the fat people who have been harmed by doctors’ insistence – despite a complete lack of evidence- that this is a successful intervention and those fat patients who failed (which was nearly all of them) were to blame/liars/lazy/weak-willed etc.. Intead choosing to simply move forward to subjecting fat people to more dangerous (though often no more successful) interventions. The organizations behind these interventions have long been trying to increase “access” to dangerous and expensive surgeries and drugs and so they will no doubt use these guidelines to try to do that, putting more fat people’s lives at risk while driving the very profitable interventions that they sell.

So how can we use this? Well, in doctor’s appointments we can point out that even experts have now been honest that diets don’t work, and then when they recommend these dangerous interventions we can pivot and ask for the same interventions that a thin person would be given.

In the meantime, we must keep fighting for a world where the diversity of body sizes is respected and affirmed in healthcare and the world at large.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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



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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

CNN Report: Medical Fatphobia Could Undermine Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccine

Weight stigma in medical care kills fat people and then blames us for our own deaths.A CNN article (that I will not link to here because it is such a dumpster fire of fatphobia) explains that fat people are often left out of drug trials, including for vaccines, and that we’ve known since at least 1985 that the vaccines produced through these trials can be less effective for fat people.

The article’s conclusion (as evidenced by its headline): The existence of fat people will undermine the effectiveness of a vaccine for COVID-19.

This is just blatant fatphobia. They’ve known for 35 years that the current process of creating vaccines puts fat people’s lives more at risk, but have done nothing to solve that problem. Now, when it could affect the lives of thin people, they are trying to pile the blame on fat people for existing.

The article notes that vaccines are also less effective on older people and so a protocol was developed to solve that problem. For fat people – nothing but a transfer of blame.

Fuck that. Fuck a bunch of that. Fuck all of that.

Medical weight stigma kills fat people and then blames us for our deaths. I’ve talked about it here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Now they are trying to blame us for the deaths of others because the vaccines they create fail us. Fatphobia is the problem, not fat people. They know we exist, they should start treating us with equality instead of with blatant disregard for our lives including a general policy that killing us is completely acceptable, including if it’s just easier or more profitable.

The focus should be on creating a vaccine that works for people of all sizes, not making a thin people vaccine and then blaming fat people for its failure.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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

 



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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Fat Bias In Treatment

Researchers are looking at data on N1H1 flu to see how COVID-19 might go. For example, reviewing how fat people fare.

Results: We identified 22 articles enrolling 25,189 laboratory confirmed patients. The pooled estimates indicated obesity significantly increased the risk of fatal and critical complications of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection (for fatal, OR = 1.81, 95% CI: 1.23-2.65; for critical complications, OR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.13-2.47). However, we found significant interaction between early antiviral treatment and obesity (β = -0.28). After adjustment for early antiviral treatment, relationship between obesity and poor outcomes disappeared (OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.94-1.39).

Gee. Fat people didn’t get the same disease treatments as thin people, and didn’t recover as well thin people who were aggressively treated. It’s almost as if not treating diseases in fat people is a problem.

It’s unreasonable to wait for people to lose weight before treating diseases.



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Friday, 31 July 2020

Yoga revisited

I never really stopped stretching, but now I’m starting to do a few yoga poses again.  I stand in a “warrior” pose and marvel at how my mat holds my feet still, and I remember being able to have my feet further apart without any of the balance wobbling I’m doing.

I remind myself I used to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and when I started again it was 3 minutes, so quit worrying about “used to do” and just do.

So. A few standing poses. I’m aware of my balance. A few floor poses. I’m aware of my back. A few twists.  I feel looser. Getting off the floor is harder but doable.

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MegaYoga by Megan Garcia

I often refer to the book MegaYoga by Megan Garcia when I’m unsure about how to position my feet and so forth.

This is written as I am rebuilding strength and stamina after a pulmonary embolism and other issues that made me persistently short of breath. 

 



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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Dennis the Menace Becomes Dennis the Fatphobe

Bethany Snyder of Big Fit Deal let me know about this bullshit Dennis the Menace Comic:

Dennis the Fatphobe
One panel cartoon with a fat person lying on a blanket at the beach, two boys and an adult are walking behind him, one of the boys is talking. Caption “Why do I hafta be quiet? All i said was ‘beached whale.” I coulda been talkin’ about anybody” Source: https://www.comicskingdom.com/dennis-the-menace/archive

There is so much bullshit here. It’s a single panel comic strip created for a family audience in mainstream media that is literally nothing but a cheap fat joke. Think of all the people in the chain of creation and approval of this who agreed that this was something that should be published. 

Imagine if you had one panel to put a message out into the world and you decided that your best option was to add to the stigmatization of fat people by creating a cartoon that rests entirely on the idea that it’s funny to shame a fat person for simply existing in the world (in the same way that the thinner people in the comic are doing.)

And skip me with the “can’t you take a joke?” bullshit. I know that fat-shaming is the problem and I am not.  That doesn’t make it ok to stigmatize me or people who look like me. I think it’s a bigger problem that we as a society are comfortable

When we suggest that some fat shaming is ok because some people think it’s funny, then we set ourselves up to constantly have to argue about where the line is between fat shaming that’s “hilarious” and fat shaming that is hurtful. The fact that something is not the most egregious type of fat-shaming doesn’t mean that it doesn’t support a culture where fat-shaming (including the most egregious kind) is ok. I think it’s far better to say that fat shaming is not ok in any guise and that people who want to be funny should have to do better than relying on cheap stereotypes, shaming, and bigotry

Fat people’s bodies are not punchlines, and we deserve to exist in the world – including at the beach – without shame, stigma, or bullying. That King Features would make that simple thing more difficult by perpetuating fatphobia under the guise of humor in a family cartoon is shameful.

Activism Opportunity:

You can let them know how you feel about the 7/23/20 Dennis the Menace Comic using their feedback form or e-mailing them directly:

http://kingfeatures.com/contact-us/marketing/

KingFeatures@dkcnews.com

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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



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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Review: The Relentless Moon

The newest Lady Astronaut book from Mary Robinette Kowal is fun. It features a 50ish woman, Nicole Wargin, who finds and defeats bad guys in an alternate world where the space race started in the 1950s; by the early 60s, there’s a moon base and a mission to Mars.

Nicole is an ex-WASP who admits she was probably only accepted to astronaut training because her husband, Kenneth Wargin, was a senator. To the surprise of everyone else, she excelled. By The Relentless Moon Kenneth is governor; Nicole wants more time with him, but is happy to live in the moon base 3 weeks a month since her arthritic toes like less gravity and no heels. That said, Nicole is frustrated that she doesn’t get to pilot the “big rockets”, just the on-moon “puddle jumpers”.

This world is like ours in the early 1960s, with sexism, racial segregation, and protests.  Add in rapid global warming, food shortages, and an expensive space race, and Earth isn’t exactly a quiet place to be. Both the civilian government and the space organization – including Kenneth, Nicole and her coworkers – must deal with protests, riots, and sabotage.

The Relentless Moon is set on Earth and the moon in parallel with the Mars mission in the prior book, The Fated SkyThe Calculating Stars is the first book in the series.  Amazon has a page with all three books.

I loved this book, but I also have some content warnings.  If you are a completely “no spoilers” person, stop reading.

LadyAstronaut

First: Eating disorders. In particular the narrator forgets to eat, doesn’t want to eat, and deals with resulting dizziness, muscle weakness, and fainting.  She is supported in her recovery and her symptoms are treated.  I came out of this book with a new awareness that forgetting to eat is not a virtue.

Second: A polio outbreak occurs at the moon base. (Polio vaccine development was delayed in this history due to the event that kicks off The Calculating Stars.) It’s noted that polio has an incubation period of up to 10 days, most people who have it are asymptomatic, and it can affect patients who’ve recovered years later – does that sound familiar? A recap of how polio spreads and how they wouldn’t know who had it for up to 2 weeks had me trying to back up through the couch, if that makes sense.

Third: Intentional weight loss to join the space org is discussed.



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Friday, 17 July 2020

Foraging for Cottagecore

Cottagecore (also Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centred on ideas around a more simple life and harmony with nature. A quick look at some pinterest images with this tag and you’ll soon find yourself lost in hazy forests and country scenes, evoking Little House on the Prairie and forest fairy vibes. I grew up with Holly Hobby and watching Little House and often pretended to be Laura Ingles when playing as a child. I was already on my own edwardian vibe when I started to see and hear little things about cottagecore popping up in some of the groups I’m in on Facebook. And Gah! Half this stuff looks like the Gunne Sax dresses my mother and her sisters all had in the 70’s (that I used to play dress up with in her closet as a child). Of course she was my size then and thus couldn’t wear them, just as I can’t now, though I would LOVE to get my hands on some. 

Plus size cottage core fashion items are so difficult to find. There isn’t any single retailer offering these styles or items in plus sizes that I have been able to find. So, I’ve been tracking down pieces one by one. I’m a 26/28 in most things (54″ bust, 62″ hips, big B-belly, mostly pear-shaped). While I have had some luck in random places, such as the cream cotton and lace tiered steampunk skirt I got for $15 on HipsAndCurves, they were one-offs and not reliable enough to share. That is until today when a brand I used to shop popped into my head. You may or may not have heard of them, but when I was searching eBay for ivory peasant tops “dirndl” tops popped up in the search (thought not in my size of course) and that is when it hit me! Ulla Popken! I had bought one of their full dirndl dresses with the apron and everything years ago, but it was too big and at the time too expensive for me so I had to return it. I don’t think I’ve given that brand much thought since, though I know I kept something else from that order but memory escapes me at the moment.


So I go over to their site and sick of my endless searching I go to the clothing tab, then look at their list of “Collections” and immediately see, “Oktoberfest“! Yep, talk about nail on the head, the dirndl dresses were there in fun colors, but also some plain white dirndl tops! Not remembering their size range I click to see, sizes from 12 – 32 for the dirndl top I wanted. Some items go up to 42! That is rare, and while they do not offer everything in the upper size range, to even have them at these prices is pretty awesome, I think. They also have a boho collection and a fantastic amount of clothing in their “Sustainable” collection, even swimwear! Yeah! They have cute stuff at decent prices, too! I got a bit swept up in the moment, to be honest, and started really digging around. Now most of my searches have been around white and ivory items, but I can assure you that this is a brand that is not afraid of color.


I cannot comment on the construction or quality of their entire line, but I can say that what I have seen and received in my own life has been good quality, not luxury level, but great for working class folks, in my opinion. Like you know it won’t fall apart after two washes? Ha-ha! They even have an “Influencer” collection, it’s all worth taking a look. I was particularly taken with their lounge and sleep items, nightgowns in 2-packs, undies in 5 packs (in either cotton or microfiber), front closing comfort bras in 2-packs…this stuff is rare AND affordable! I highly recommend checking it out if any of these things are of interest to you. They are having a sale with a coupon code right now but I don’t know how long it will last but it’s at the top of the page, so if that is a motivator, get to it!


My issue now is choosing something to purchase! Ha-ha! I know, first-world problem, but I had intended to only buy second hand this year, so I want to be sure I’m buying for the right reasons as well. Sometime in April I got on this whole Edwardian thing after rereading some old favorites of that era and discovering a guide to Edwardian hair care online, I bought some silk satin ribbons for my hair and went at it with true dedication. It was just what I needed as I had lived with my hair in a constant bun for over a month by that point, only taking it out and brushing before washing. I get obsessive and go down rabbit holes and this one pulled me out of a scary anxiety-fueled funk. I was braiding my hair and brushing it twice a day and going to bed with it long and flowing (it’s down to my ass at this point). I would use the ribbons to braid through or simply to secure whatever random hair style I chose for the day, starting with more period accurate ones to just whatever I could manage.
This is also why I am starting my searches with ivory/cream/white colored garments.Those are WAY out of my comfort zone, but I figured if I’m going to be home anyway and these are truly just for me (I really don’t see wearing any of it to work, can you imagine?! Ha!), why the hell shouldn’t I have some fantasy outfit to fritter away my days in?! If it feels good, fucking do it! I had grown so hopeless in my hunting that yesterday I spent a decent chunk of time looking for lightweight linen by the yard in the hopes of one day sewing my own skirts and such. This Ulla Popken realization has saved me from that, at least temporarily (I’m very much a beginner, but also my sewing machine is in need of repair before it’s functioning again). I have this vision of gauzy ivory layers, with a generous apron, all soft and lovely. I have a small garden and am starting to really enjoy being amongst my little plot of greenery (don’t ask about my fern, I am obsessed and so proud!).


Honestly, I’ve been watching a lot of Miyazaki films, as well, which only makes me love these styles of dresses all the more. I feel like I AM Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle at times! Ha! Or Kiki, that week I wore a red silk bow on my head. I haven’t been able to watch the things that I used to love, like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. I have full seasons of both on my DVR that I just can’t bring myself to watch yet. But along with the fanciful fashion fantasies, I’ve also been obsessed with baking competition shows, which is nothing new for me, but it’s all be renewed with that show “Crazy Delicious” (troubling name, but a fun watch…Fat woman host in a gorgeous costume, but her standup is problematic af so I won’t recommend at all). Which then finally led me to diving head first into the Great British Baking Show because OBVIOUSLY I knew I would be obsessed the moment I sat down to watch it, so I put it off for years. Yes, I know, it’s awesome and I enjoy it immensely. But now I’m in my kitchen in 90+ degree heat baking layer cakes with Nutella buttercream! Ha-ha!

Oh yes, I have fully domesticated myself during this CoVid19 shutdown. I bought two basic/cotton aprons and one had an odd tag on the front that made no sense so I tore it off and tried my hand at some embroidery for the first time in many years. I’m quite pleased with the result for a first try! I had started a crochet wrap for myself at the start of the shutdown but haven’t picked it up again since April. Oh well. I’ve done some doodling and lots of cooking and to be honest I’m quite sick of eating as a general and seemingly constant thing I have to think/worry/clean/do for. UGH! But that aside, I have enjoyed the challenge and creativity that baking has always held for me. At least once a week I threaten to marry myself a la Elizabeth the first. What?! I’m fucking awesome and if I’m doing all this I’m doing it for myself, thanks. Although the puggo gets some benefit since I usually give him bits of whatever fruit or veg I’m chopping up. Ha!


I’ve been mostly a homebody for many years anyway and while some things won’t change, I’m still contacting my local leadership to defund the police (yes, I’m an abolitionist but my local mayor is a fucking bootlicker who refuses to listen to the community) and emailing the prosecutors for Breona Taylor’s muder case and calling my representative in congress nearly every day, BLACK LIVES MATTER and I have not ceased my support, before or after George Floyd was murdered. This is a lifelong thing for me and one I don’t always feel the need to shout or get in folks’ faces about it because of that. The things I can do and change for myself in the day to day to help my mental health have had to become slightly more at the forefront of my day to day life. It all just feels like day to day, one blending into the next, none feel real and yet it’s all too real and surreal and this is life right now and I’m mostly okay with it. My mental health did take a very steep dive a few weeks ago that forced me to step back from some things that I would have loved to participate in or organize, I know I would not have been able to “show up” for those things in a way that felt right. I’m fine now, but taking it day by day because shit happens and I barely slept 3-4 hours a night for a week solid and that takes its toll. I’m still me, just slightly more kind to myself, I think/hope. I’m a chamomile drinker now! Who’d a thunk it! Ha-ha!


What have you been keeping yourself occupied with? Any new obsessions? Leads on fun finds or projects? A recipe I must try? Lay it all on me, friends! Or, maybe you’re just feeling a bit lonely? That’s okay, too. Email me or leave a comment below and I’ll happily provide an unbiased ear/shoulder/venting space. I do hope you’re well and staying safe and at home as much as possible. I started to wear a face shield instead of my face mask on my daily dog walks. I still carry a mask just in case, but since I’m outside and there’s very few people around my neighborhood usually, it’s a great way to have a protective layer without having a sweaty face. Ha! It has helped a lot. Have you figured out ways to stay safe and comfortable? I have only left the house once a week for work (post office and then visit to the empty office so very low exposure if any).

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

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!)

Donate to this blog here: https://ift.tt/2zKvPnQ

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://ift.tt/1NpWevR

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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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Drew Barrymore Weaponizes Her Internalized Fatphobia

Drew Barrymore TwitterBefore we get to the post today, I have some exciting news. The Mighty, a fat-positive digital health community, has chosen 50 of their contributors to be designated as “Super Contributors” and I’m honored to be one of them!

Here’s my first piece as a Super Contributor:

Drew Barrymore is talented and accomplished by any standard — an actress since the age of 6, and a director and producer who owns her own production company. But as a woman who is not naturally a size zero in an industry that relentlessly holds women to a nearly impossible standard of beauty (rooted in extreme thinness, whiteness, ageism and ableism) her weight has been a topic of conversation for nearly as long as she has.

Throughout her career, Barrymore has had the experience that research tells us nearly everyone who attempts weight loss will have — losing weight for a while, then gaining it back again. Lather, rinse, repeat. This process, technically called “weight cycling” (often called yo-yo dieting) has seen her repeatedly gain and lose weight, with her messaging fluctuating with her weight as well — from co-opting the language of Size Acceptance activism at the higher points on her weight cycle, to embracing the language of diet culture during the lows. For example:

Read the full piece here! 

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Monday, 13 July 2020

The Problem With A Fat Person Saying That Fat Jokes Are Hilarious

being fat doesn't justify fatphobiaI was asked to comment on a conversation on social media where someone had posted a fat-shaming meme. By the time I got there, the comment section was an absolute cesspool of fatphobia. So I commented:

Imagine having a picture taken to commemorate a lovely day of existing in the world, only to have a bunch of randos on [social media] decide to use it as an excuse to be rude and make sure that every fat person who sees this knows that they view our bodies as punchlines. Fat people have the right to exist in the world – yes, even in pictures while standing beside horses – without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression. Shame on everyone who is using this picture as an excuse to engage in fat-shaming.

Almost immediately, I received this response:

I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious. Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.

Let’s take this in two parts:

“I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious.”

It is incredibly common for fat people to jump in and support fat-shaming. This can happen for a lot of reasons – their own internalized fatphobia, their desire to get some approval (and possibly better treatment) from thin people by participating in their own oppression, because their various privileges protect them from a lot of the harm of fatphobia etc. How offended someone is personally by fatphobia is their business, but the reaction they have doesn’t happen in a vacuum and people need to take responsibility for supporting harmful, stigmatizing ideas.

“Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.”

This is the part where people suggest that if you’re ok with yourself, regardless of how oppressed you are in the world, you will cheerfully accept additional oppression. This is particularly common if the oppression is in the form of a “joke.”

Except no, that’s not how self-acceptance works. I know that fat-shaming is the problem and not my body.  That doesn’t make it ok to stigmatize me or people who look like me. I think it’s a bigger problem that we as a society are comfortable telling groups of people they need to “toughen up” and become better at being stigmatized and made fun of without complaint so that other people can laugh at our expense without having to feel bad or have their bullying behavior pointed out.

Regardless of how one person’s level of indifference, internalized oppression and/or privilege allows them to tolerate stigma against a group that they are in, justifying and defending the behaviors that harm people (especially people with less privilege) in the group is not an appropriate response.

Being fat does not justify perpetuating fatphobia.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Disabled or not?

A person with a disability is defined as: A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or A person with a record of such a physical or mental impairment; or A person who is regarded as having such an impairment. – NW ADA Center

“Disabled” is still a term I wrestle with. I have a disabled parking permit because I use a cane to walk and often can’t walk more than 200 feet. I use a mobility scooter at big box stores or events. But I’m not considered disabled by the US Social Security Administration, because I can do work that I did before (software testing, which physically means “park self in front of computer”) (just not at the pace and hours expected by Amazon of a senior person) (which really the US tech industry assumption that everyone has 60 to 80 hours a week to dedicate to work is a serious problem that I’m pretty sick of, and has me considering other, part-time options).

So yeah, I’m disabled, but I’m not.

I looked up the Social Security info because my primary care ARNP suggested it.  I still don’t think I would probably qualify – from what I’ve heard, it’s a pretty onerous process.

ACK

Cathy yelling “ACK!” Cartoon by Cathy Guisewite

In the mean time, I went from feeling a bit chuffed that I handled the walking at the primary care office fine while wearing a multilayer cloth mask, to … having an asthma attack walking down the hallway at another appointment in the hospital medical offices.

(I am a grownup, so I didn’t actually YELL “ACK!” out loud. Just, you know, THOUGHT IT really loud.)

I did take a minute away from other people to use my inhaler, which of course required removing my mask. But the inhaler helped my lungs relax.  I continued walking.  Slowly.

One step forward, one step back.  Walking is aerobic and improves my blood pressure; aerobic exercise is an asthma trigger. Strength training reduces/removes knee pain; strength training can be boring.

That’s kind of life, I know.

 



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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

The “I’m Fat, But I’m Not That Fat” Fallacy

Our belief in size equality cannot stop at an arbitrary size. If we aren't here for the fattest bodies, then we're not here at all.I saw a post today in which someone suggested that they deserved to be accommodated by a clothing line saying: “It’s ridic that they don’t make my size. I’m fat, but I mean, I’m not THAT fat.” This is something that happens everywhere, but I see it a lot in so-called “Body Positive” spaces that are not specifically fat-positive.

One of the issues with this type of “body positivity” is that it not only co-opts the work of radical fat activists, but it then pushes those activists out with limitations like “it’s ok to be fat as long as (you’re “healthy”/”able-bodied”/not “that fat” etc.) which makes the so-called “body positivity” healthist, ableist, and fatphobic.

For today, let’s tackle the “I’m fat but I’m not that fat” fallacy. Somtimes “that fat” is a certain number of pounds, or a certain clothing size, or a comparison to someone else.

This comes from internalized fatphobia – the person is trying to hold on to the thinner = better paradigm by placing themselves above those who are fatter than they are. (For people who experience body changes over time this can often set them up for a really difficult time when they cross their imaginary threshhold for “that fat.” )

I have compassion for people dealing with internalized fatphobia – we live in a society that is rife with systemic weight stigma so it’s not suprising that fat people internalized that fat hatred and turn it against themselves.

However, this “not that fat” thing isn’t just about having internalized fatphobia, it’s also about weaponizing internalized fatphobia to harm those with even less privilege, and so in cases like this my first concern has to be for the people being harmed.

Let’s get clear: suggesting that one deserves better treatment because one is not “that fat” (by whatever definition one is using) is bullshit. It’s completely bullshit. It’s indefensible bullshit.

What it’s actually saying is, “I deserve equality with thin people, but those who are fatter than me don’t.” What the person whose post I saw today was saying was “I deseve clothes, but people fatter than me don’t” It bears repeating – that’s bullshit.

Anytime we’re suggesting that our body is better than someone else’s, we’re headed down a bad road. Whether we’re talking about clothes, medical care, seats on a plane, or any other aspect of life, people of all sizes deserve equality. Our belief in size equality cannot stop with our size, or an arbitrary size. If we aren’t here for the fattest bodies, then we’re not here at all – and that goes for all marginalized bodies, BIPOC, trans, disabled, older, sick, et al.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

 



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Sunday, 28 June 2020

On FSNZ20 – the Press Release

FSCNZ20 logo -revised date

MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealand conference exploring fatness in society goes global

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a Fat Studies conference – an emerging field that confronts mainstream ideas about fatness – to go online.

The third Fat Studies New Zealand conference was scheduled to take place on the Auckland campus of Massey University on June 18-19, 2020. Instead the conference will now be hosted online during a three-week period, starting June 18.

The previous fat studies conferences have been well received and established New Zealand as a global leader in fat studies scholarship, says conference organiser Dr Cat Pausé, a senior lecturer at Massey’s Institute of Education and well-known New Zealand-based fat studies scholar and activist.

“The purpose of this year’s conference, Fat Studies: Past, Present, Futures, is to reflect on the history of the relatively new discipline, consider the present state of the scholarship, and imagine what the future might hold,” Dr Pausé says.

Dees photo of me 2020 cropped

Professor Esther Rothblum

The keynote speakers are Professor Esther Rothblum, editor-at-large of the Fat Studies journal and Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Renee Taylor is currently in New Zealand as an inaugural Edmund Hilary Fellow.

Renee Taylor’s keynote is entitled, “Fat black futures: Visioning a world beyond fatphobia and anti-blackness”. She notes, “as we seem to be moving into a greater collective awareness regarding the systems and structures of oppression it feels prescient that we address the experiences of fat people, as fatness intersects with nearly every axis of marginalization.

“There is much to be illuminated in this season and I believe this event is part of that essential light. The Fat Studies conference is a necessary endeavour and I am excited for what it will deepen in all of our pursuits for justice.”

Sonya-3

Sonya Renee Taylor

 

Another thirty speakers from ten countries will round out the three-week programme. Each week, a keynote and a set of panels will be available on the password protected site. Social media events across Facebook, Twitter, and Zoom will allow opportunities for the more than 300+ attendees to engage in real time discussion and networking.

Topics scholars will discuss include weight stigma and discrimination in Australia, the genetification of fatness, public health ethics and weight stigma, and embracing fatness as self-care in the era of Trump.

Professor Rothblum says hosting the conference online has made it accessible to delegates and speakers who would not be able to attend because of the COVID-19 and travel restrictions.

“Putting on this important conference virtually allows fat people and their allies around the globe to participate. The field of fat studies critically examines society attitudes about body weight and appearance, and advocates equality for all people with respect to body size.

“Fat studies scholars ask why we oppress people who are fat and who benefits from that oppression. At a time when many of us are sheltering in place, it is delightful that we can get together virtually and throw our weight around,” Professor Rothblum says.

 

Registration remains open until 1 July 2020 www.fsnz.online

For additional background:

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Corporate Wellness – Fighting Back Against Fatphobia

A few months ago Jen Arnold and I taped an episode of her podcast “Redesigning Wellness” We talked about how we can fight fatphobia within corporate wellness culture. It was a fun interview and I’m grateful to Jen for inviting me!

You can listen here!

I also recommend the episode with Dr. Ella Washington – Fighting Racism in the Workplace

If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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 – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

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

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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