Thursday, 30 April 2020

Ways We Accidentally Continue To Participate In Diet Culture

LIVING~1Living in a fatphobic society means that liberating ourselves isn’t a one-time deal. We have to keep fighting back against the negative messages that we receive, and we have to dig deep to find the things that we’ve been sold by diet culture that we are still hanging on to, and then we have to work to let them go.

Complimenting Weight Loss 

If we compliment people on their weight loss we do a couple things to support diet culture:

  1. We confirm the mistaken and harmful belief that a thin(ner) body is better than a fat(ter)
  2. We set up someone for a bigger fall. When (as almost everyone does) they gain their weight back, they’ll have the memory of all the people (including us) who told them that they looked better thinner, which is likely to set them up for more weight cycling.

It can be rough when someone who is still fully entrenched in diet culture is looking at us expectantly for our congrats. There are weight-neutral ways to respond to weight loss, I blogged about some options here.

Supporting Inequality

We can become conditioned to the idea that fat people shouldn’t expect the same things/experiences/treatment that thin people get. Whether that means supporting the idea that fat people should pay twice as much for the same plane trip, or more for clothing, or spa services, or healthcare, or that we shouldn’t expect seats or rides to accommodate us etc.

You’ll see this sometimes in discussions when someone says “I’m fat and I think that I should have to pay for two seats on the plane.” Assuming that they aren’t a troll pretending to be a fat person and are, in fact fat, I’m willing to protect that person’s option to pay twice as much – and I’m sure that the airline will accept their extra money – but I won’t support their desire to contribute to the oppression of fat people. Internalized fatphobia sucks and my goal is to help people get out from under it, but if they are weaponizing their internalized fatphobia than my focus has to be on their victims first.

Our Size But No Bigger 

Sometimes we can become ok with the size we are, but still hold onto stereotypes and bigotry about those bigger than us. Often this becomes sheer hypocrisy – like if we believe that we should have access to, say, a blood pressure cuff that actually fits us, but we don’t think it’s “reasonable” for someone however-many-pounds heavier than us to have access to the same thing. Or if we are still promoting weightloss (including and especially dangerous drugs and surgeries) for people who are larger than us. This, again, amounts to weaponizing our internalized fatphobia. If we’re not here for the fattest and most marginalized bodies, then we’re not here at all, and we have personal work to do.

Blaming Fat Bodies

Fat people are told that being fat is to blame for…well…basically everything in our lives. Whether we’re unhappily single, struggling to make it in the job we love, or have a severed limb, we are told to blame our fat. In fact, the problem was fatphobia all along. And fatphobia is not our fault, even if it becomes our problem. (Sometimes we can have let go of this for ourselves, but still be holding onto it for bodies larger than ours.) Fat bodies are never, ever, ever the problem – the problem is a world that doesn’t accept,  affirm, and accomodate bodies of all sizes. We can get better at this by practicing putting the problem where it belongs.

Hanging Onto Healthism/Ableism

Even as we leave our own fatphobia behind, we can still hold onto healthism. This can sound like “It’s ok to be fat as long as… you’re healthy/meet some idea of able-bodiedness etc. or it can sound like “I’m fat but not, like unhealthily fat…” etc. Anytime we suggest that health is an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or a requirement to be allowed to exist without shame/stigma/bullying/oppression, we are making a mistake.

We live in a society that is full of fatphobia, built on a scaffolding of weight stigma so if we are dealing with some, or all, of these issues that’s not exactly a galloping shock. The idea here isn’t to become stuck in guilt, it’s to recognize the issues so that we can fix them for the good of us, and everyone else.

Was 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!)

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, 29 April 2020

Rx to Swallow Balloons (Still) Kills Fat People, FDA (Still) Doesn’t Care

Diet Culture wants us thin or dead and doesn't seem to care much which.In September of 2017 I wrote a blog post called “RX to Swallow Balloons is Killing Fat People.” (It was a follow up to a blog post I had written a few months prior called “They Want Fat People to Swallow Balloons Now.”)

In that post I explained:

The FDA reports that five people died within a month of having the procedure, and three of the victims died within just three days. According to a safety alert from the FDA, they also received reports of two additional deaths — one from gastric perforation, the other from esophageal perforation.

At that time I pointed out that the FDA statement said:

“The FDA continues to work with Apollo Endo-Surgery and ReShape Medical Inc. to better understand the issue of unanticipated death, and to monitor the potential complications of acute pancreatitis and spontaneous over-inflation. Additionally, as part of the ongoing, FDA-mandated post-approval studies for these devices, we will obtain more information to help assess the continued safety and effectiveness of these approved medical devices.”

and that:

Note that they aren’t going to ban the practice (thus ending the unanticipated deaths), but rather they hope to better understand the unanticipated deaths. I would point out that, based on the manufacturer’s own warning labels, they knew the risk of these deaths before they happened. Even if we are OK with them feigning ignorance on that, at this point future deaths should be considered “anticipated”

And what were they risking death for?

The average participant lost 21.8 pounds in the six months they spent having adverse events (that, luckily, didn’t kill them) from a silicon balloon floating around their stomachs.  The control group lost 7 pounds.

Six months later, our balloon swallowers had regained 5.6 pounds (25.69%) of the weight that they lost in the first 6 months which puts them right on track to have gained back all of their weigh (with some regaining more than they lost) within 5 years. The control group had regained .7 pounds (10%,) also on track for the weight regain that the long-term studies of weight loss tell us to expect. Of course, like almost all weight loss studies, at this point they simply stopped following the subjects.

Now the “Post Approval Studies (PAS) are completed and the FDA has released another statement.

Here’s my favorite line (sarcasm meter is an 11 out of 10)

There were no deaths reported in the Orbera and ReShape post-approval studies; however, it should be noted that neither of the studies were powered to detect rare events such as death.

My question here, I think, is WHY THE FUCKING HELL NOT?!!!!! I’m thinking that so-called healthcare treatments that are known to kill people should have to design post-approval studies that ARE powered to detect deaths – but since I’m not a former pharmaceutical company executive it’s unlikely I’ll get a position on the FDA powerful enough to call for that.

Even so, the FDA has received reports of 18 deaths worldwide. That’s 18 too many since nobody needed to swallow a balloon, and I shudder to think how many simply weren’t reported (especially considering the medical establishment is prone to blaming fat people’s deaths on our bodies whenever we die at their hands.)

Still, unsurprisingly, these balloons continue to kill fat people but apparently it’s ok because the FDA recommends that healthcare practitioners:

Instruct patients about the symptoms of potentially life-threatening complications such as balloon deflation, gastrointestinal obstruction, ulceration, and gastric and esophageal perforation and advise them when to seek medical attention.

There are two things coming together here – the complete devaluation of the lives of fat people, combined with the vast overinflation of the “dangers” of being fat.

We’ll start with the latter. We know that the research on weight and health is embarrassingly shoddy at best and created to support diet industry profits at worst. We know that claims of the “dangers” of being fat are often ridiculously overblown. We also know that anentire medical “specialty” has been built around the idea that it’s worth risking fat people’s lives to make us thin.

Which brings us to the devaluation of the lives of fat people. What we see displayed in all its horror here is the idea that being fat is so bad, that it’s better to be dead. Even if someone believes that being fat will lead to health conditions, they are still suggesting that it’s better to be dead now than to have health issues (that people of all sizes get) later.  That’s how they justify calling it “healthcare” to try to convince us to risk our lives by swallowing balloons, taking dangerous drugs, or having surgery to mutilate our perfectly healthy digestive systems.

Those arguing for this “better dead than fat” medical paradigm typically ignore the fact that our lives (and very possibly our health outcomes) would improve vastly by ending fatphobia and weight stigma (in particular in healthcare where healthcare practitioners’ inability to see anything but our size can be deadly to fat people) and moving to a paradigm that actually supports our health, rather than our current system which wants us thin or dead and doesn’t seem to care much which.

Was 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!)

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, 27 April 2020

You Can Help Make California’s Crisis Care Guidelines Inclusive – Here’s How!

NoBodyIsDisposable
Picture by Doug Spearman

Here is an important message, and call to action, from the #NoBodyIsDisposable coalition. Please consider taking the actions below and/or sharing this information and boosting the signal:

California for All!

On Sunday, April 19, the California Health & Human Services Agency issued guidelines for the rationing of medical care and treatment. The state missed an opportunity to work with community, including disabled persons, fat people, older adults, people of color, LGBTQ+ persons, and their families.

Thanks to a rapid community response, California has agreed to revise the guidelines!

Thank you to many #NoBodyIsDisposable Coalition partners who signed on to this letter detailing our concerns. We were excited to contribute our expertise to this letter, led by the national disability rights organization, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF).

Help make sure California’s revisions to the Crisis Care Guidelines live up to their commitment to being a “California for All.”

ACT NOW!

Share your Solidarity Selfie & tell state leadership what’s most important in these revised guidelines — that the lives of people of color, fat people, older adults, and disabled people are valuable and they deserve care.

Sample Tweets/Messaging
(easily adaptable for Facebook and Instagram)

remember to use the #NoBodyIsDisposable hashtag and tag state leaders

Use one of the templates below, or create your own

CA needs #CrisisCare guidelines that include people like {ME/LOVED ONE}. TY @CAGovernor @CDPHDirector TY for revising so PoC, fat people, older adults & disabled people are cared for. #CaliforniaForAll requires medical care for all. #NoBodyisDisposable #DontRationOurCare

TY @CAGovernor @CDPHDirector for revising CA’s #CrisisCare guidelines to include people like {ME/LOVED ONE}. #CaliforniaForAll requires medical care for all. POC, fat people, older adults & disabled folks must be part of the process #NoBodyisDisposable #DontRationOurCare
Who to reach out to:

Key decision-makers:

CHHS
Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of HHS
Twitter: @CHHSAgency
Mission: CHHS oversees departments providing health care, social, mental health, alcohol and drug treatment, income assistance and public health services.

Office of the Governor of California Gavin Newsom
Twitter: @CAGovernor, @GavinNewsom
General number: 916-445-2841

Sonia Y. Angell, MD, MPH State Public Health Officer & Director
Twitter: @DrSoniaAngell
Official: @CDPHDirector
Email: sonia.angell@cdph.ca.gov
Phone: 916-558-1700

Other stakeholders & influencers:

Official Press Office for California Governor Newsom
Twitter: @GovPressOffice

California Department of Rehabilitation
Twitter: @CaliforniaDOR
CA Department of Rehabilitation provides counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and independent living services to all Californians with disabilities.

California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
Twitter: @CaliforniaDDS
The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) serves individuals who have developmental disabilities.
https://facebook.com/CaliforniaDDS

California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
Twitter: @CalSCDD
The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities ensures that people with developmental disabilities receive the services and supports they need.

OFFICIAL ACCOUNT for CA Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
Twitter: @Cal_OES

California Department of Aging
Twitter: @CalAging

Kim McCoy Wade
Twitter: @kimwadedc

California Public Health
Twitter: @CAPublicHealth

Mark S. Ghilarducci
Twitter: @CalOES_Dir
Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom

Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Twitter:@JenSiebelNewsom
First Partner of California. Filmmaker
We are fighting for our lives, and are so grateful you are here with us. Please keep spreading the word. This is far from over.

In solidarity,
The #NoBodyIsDisposable Coalition
FLARE (Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights & Education)
Fat Rose

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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Sunday, 26 April 2020

Quarantine Comedy Weekly Roundup

Regular readers will know that my foray into standup comedy (unapologetically fat performers FTW!) was brought to an abrupt halt by the lockdown. So I’ve been doing little bits of comedy from home – I’m calling it my One-woman Open Mic!

You can check out all of them (starting with this week’s!) below.
If you want to pick and choose you can see the playlist here!
If you want to be the first to see them, you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel!

 

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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Friday, 24 April 2020

Dealing with Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders In Quarantine

Dealing with Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders In QuarantineThis quarantine can be incredibly difficult for those dealing with disordered eating and eating disorders. Challenges can include dealing with insecurity around food availability, being triggered by fatphobic memes, being separated from typical support and treatment networks, and more. This can be worse for those who are quarantined with people who exacerbate the issue instead of providing support that would be helpful.  So I’ve put together some resources that may help. Thanks to Andrea for the suggestion to blog about this.

NEDA  – The National Eating Disorders Association(for which I’m an Official Ambassador) has a page of resources including a video series, a helpline, virtual support groups, a specific COVID-19 forum and more. They have struggled in the past with fatphobia but have made massive strides recently in solving that issue and in being more inclusive of marginalized communities in their work.
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/covid-19-resources-page

The Emily Program has a great article here:
Advice for those struggling with an eating disorder during COVID-19

The Instagram @COVID19EatingSupport is offering Health at Every Size based, fat positive live meal support every few hours.

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) has a search tool where you can search for a Health at Every Size based practitioner if you need one.

Reach out, get support, you deserve it! If you have fat-positive resources, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Was 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!)

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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Thursday, 23 April 2020

When Good Friends Share Bad Memes – Dealing With Fatphobia

These Coronavirus Weight-Gain Memes Need To Stop Right F_cking NowThanks to everyone for the blog topic suggestions I’m writing away based on your great thoughts! Today’s blog comes from a conversation with Justine Sutton aka Queen Justine!

We know that all the COVID-19 related fatphobic memes are complete bullshit, and I blogged about some response options. Justine suggested that I write a bit more about options for when the person posting the meme is a good friend.

This can definitely change things – whether it’s a friend or family member who you want to keep a relationship with, or someone in a situation of power/privilege who you can’t safely afford to upset.

So I want to talk about options, and then some ways to respond to their responses. Before I do that I want to just remind everyone that we are not the problem – fatphobia is. And we are under no obligation to say anything. We can just make a note of the fact that this is a person who isn’t emotionally safe or us to be around and keep that information for later use.

The options that I wrote about earlier are all still good here, but when it’s a friend it may be an option to give the benefit of the doubt and/or be more vulnerable either on a public post or in private communication:

I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but this is really hurtful to fat people like me and also to people dealing with eating disorders. I just wanted to let you know because I know you would never want to do that.

or

I want you to know that the meme you posted really hurt my feelings. When you suggest that looking more like me is something that you fear and think is a bad thing, it’s really hurtful.

or

As someone who has dealt with an eating disorder, I wanted you to know how triggering this is for me and people like me. I know it might seem funny if it’s never been life or death for you, but for me it’s just awful to see stuff like this.

This can also be an excellent opportunity to fight fatphobia with confusion, which I explained here!

Now let’s talk about some possible responses that we might get. Before I do that, I want to remind everyone that when we take the time to point out someone’s fatphobia, we are doing them a courtesy. The only appropriate response is to thank us and fix the problem. Unfortunately the typical defensiveness that we are likely to experience can hurt even more when it comes from a friend, which is something to think about before we decide to engage.

Finally, it can help to remember that we can never control the response we get to doing people the courtesy of pointing out their harmful behavior. We can choose to use our time and energy to give someone the opportunity to become a better human being, but we aren’t obligated to do so, and we aren’t responsible for whether or not they take the opportunity.

“Can’t you take a joke?”

This is some classic defensive bullshit.

I can – what I’m asking is why you want to make a joke at my expense?

The problem isn’t that I can’t take a joke. The problem is that someone who is supposed to be my friend is telling me that I should get better at being stigmatized and made fun of without complaint, so that you can have a laugh at my expense without having to feel bad about it. Does that really sound right to you?

“You’re overthinking this”

I think that you are underthinking it, probably because it’s hard to grapple with the fact that something you’ve done is hurtful. That’s understandable but it doesn’t change the fact that you hurt me.

Well, I’m the one who has been hurt so it makes sense that my response would be more thought out.

“You need to look into yourself and see why you are responding this way and making yourself into a victim”

I’m responding this way becaues you did something that was hurtful to me. That’s completely valid.

It sounds like you are saying that you think I need to get better at allowing people to mistreat me.  I absolutely disagree. I’m interested in improving my ability to insist people in my life treat me well.

That just sounds like victim blaming and gaslighting to me. I think that when someone is harmed, the person who did the harm is responsible for their behavior.

“If you insist on acting like this, you’re going to lose friends”

If people are willing to make jokes at my expense, even after I’ve explained that they are hurtful, then they weren’t my friends to begin with.

No, other people will lose me as a friend. I’m going to gain the self-esteem that comes from setting boundaries and not allowing people to mistreat me.

If they refuse to take this opportunity to become less of a fatphobe, you’ll have to decide what you want to do next. Those options including everything from deciding to ignore it for the sake of the relationship, blocking/hiding/unfriending on social media so that you don’t see more, setting some boundaries, or deciding that this person no longer gets to be in your life.

No matter what you decide, remember that you aren’t the problem and this shouldn’t be happening.

Was 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!)

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, 22 April 2020

WTF Weight Watchers

I hope everyone who is reading this is doing as well as possible given what’s going on. I want to be honest that I’m struggling a bit about what to blog about recently (with everything else that’s going on, I’m just not sure what the most helpful thing for me to write about is…) so if there’s something you’d like me to blog about it would be awesome if you would either leave it in the comments, or e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org.

I’ve been doing some other writing that I’m excited to share with you when it’s published, and I’ve also been doing some fun video stuff. As I wrote about here before, I had started dabbling in Stand-up Comedy before coronavirus sent me home to stay for a while. So I decided to do some quick bits of comedy (kind of a one-woman open mic) from home.

You can see the ones I’ve done so far here, starting with my bit about Weight Watchers. (It would also be super awesome if you wanted to subscribe to my YouTube Channel)

 

I was also honored to be highlighted in a series by the Olympic Channel called “Body+” You can see all of the athlete’s videos (including mine!) here

Finally, I did an interview with Jessica Richman, the CEO of The Visible Collective which advises companies on how to better serve fat customers. We talked about how fitness companies can be more inclusive of fat people. You can check that out here!

Was 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!)

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

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 – register on the member page)
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. 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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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Webinar – Know Your Rights in Health Care During COVID-19 For Fat, Disabled, and Trans People

Webinar Know Your RightsI’m hearing a lot of people who are very concerned about experiencing fatphobia, ableism, and/or transphobia if they require healthcare for COVID-19. Of course, nobody should have to fight to get equal healthcare treatment. Sadly, this is another situation that isn’t our fault but becomes our problem.

Advocates from #NoBodyIsDisposable, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) and Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) are offering a free webinar to help people know and understand their rights.

The webinar is April 15 at 12:30Pacific/3:30 Eastern

The webinar is free, you just need to pre-register, and real-time captioning will be provided.

The organizers point out:

People with marginalized bodies face historic and present discrimination in health care. Laws like the ADA and the Affordable Care Act prohibit such discrimination. But the COVID-19 crisis is heightening the risk of discrimination in health care. States, hospitals, and professional organizations have developed policies about who should receive treatment when there are not enough resources to treat everyone who needs medical care. Many of these policies could result in a denial of care of disabled people, trans people, and higher weight people. And many hospitals are failing to ensure the reasonable accommodations people need to access care, such as effective communication or allowing a support person.

We deserve and can get medical care like everybody else.
No one can deny you emergency care (like a ventilator) because you are Disabled, Fat, or Trans

If you have questions or want more details please check out the website here! 

Was 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!)

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

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 – register on the member page)
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. 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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Thinking About So-Called “Thoughtful Portions ™”

We’ve been in quarantine for almost a month now. Julianne is in a high-risk group because of her asthma and we are both concerned that our care would be compromised by fatphobia if we were to get sick, so we’ve tried to minimize even the number of interactions we have with people bringing things to the house. Thus, we’ve been cooking every meal. We bought some freezer meals to have quick and easy options.  As I was turning the box around looking for instructions I found this.

IMG_0430[1]
A picture of directions from a box of food. It says “THOUGHTFUL PORTION ™ 1 Portion = 1/7 tray
First of all, a portion is 1/7 of the tray? This is a rectangular casserole – does this thing come with a compass and a protractor? I imagine they are manipulating this to try to get the nutrition information to read a certain way, but it’s clearly ridiculous. That they trademarked “thoughtful portion” is even more ridiculous.

But that’s ok because, in truth, the entire premise is bonkers. Eating the amount of food prescribed by the box regardless of any of the many, many factors that might contribute to the amount of food that you want/need is the OPPOSITE of thoughtful. This is a thoughtless portion.

This is what diet culture does. It teaches us that we can’t trust our hunger and fullness queues – that the frozen food box knows more than our bodies do about what and how much we should eat. We are taught that food should be a tool we use to manipulate our body size (as if that’s actually possible,) and that none of the many processes that our body has to communicate its needs are valuable, helpful, or reliable. This is bullshit. Just eat the damn casserole. Or don’t. Your call.

Was 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!)

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

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 – register on the member page)
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. 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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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Responses to COVID-19 Fatphobia

You know what sucks - learning that we're in the middle of a deadly pandemic and your biggest worry is that you might end up looking more like me.Sorry to have been away, I have a recurring neck issue that… recurred. Usually I knock it down with ice/traction/anti-inflammatories/PT. The physical therapy is a super important part of that and isn’t an option right now. Unfortunately, typing for an extended period of time really exacerbates it, hence the lack of blog posts. But I’m doing everything I can at home and it’s starting to feel better and so I’m back! Thanks to all the readers who checked up on me, I can’t tell you what it meant to me!

The anti-fat posts and memes that are going around (often under the guise of a “joke”) are absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to deal with them and so I thought I’d put together some responses that you can cut and paste.

Before we get to that I want to be clear that this is absolute horseshit. When you point this out, people are likely to get defensive and double down on the harm by trying to victim blame you. That’s also horseshit. And, of course  Someone saying that it’s a joke doesn’t make the situation any more acceptable, since we shouldn’t be expected to be ok with “jokes” made at our expense.

You aren’t obligated to educate people and you aren’t obligate to keep educating them while they keep harming you. So you can choose just to ignore stuff, you can also choose to leave the first comment and then disengage at any time. You are not the problem – fatphobia is.

As always, feel free to reword, mix and match etc.

Educational Options

If it’s happening on social media, one option is just to leave a reaction/emoji that captures your feeling – crying, rage, etc. It’s subtle and doesn’t leave room for much pushback.

This post is harmful. It’s fatphobic and also harmful to people who are trying to deal with eating disorders on top of the rest of the stress.

I wish that we could find ways to support each other that aren’t fat-shaming and triggering for people with eating disorders. This situation is difficult enough!

Pointed Response

Honestly, fat-shaming/food-shaming like this is really hurtful. I wish people wouldn’t do this.

You may not be thinking about it, but things like this are really hurtful. I know that everyone is trying to deal with their stress, but it would be great if you could find a way to do it that isn’t fatphobic.

Full On Snark 

You know what sucks – being in the middle of a deadly pandemic and learning that your biggest worry is that you might end up looking more like me.

Fuck this fat-shaming bullshit.

I hope everyone who is reading this is doing as well as possible and I hope that you don’t come across too much fat-shaming bullshit as you deal with everything else that’s going on!

Was 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!)

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

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 – register on the member page)
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. 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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