Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Why I Resigned As A NEDA Ambassador

I’ve been an Official Ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association since January of 2019. While I will continue to work to make sure NEDA makes good on their commitments to intersectional justice within Eating Disorders community, I’m very sad to say that based on their current actions I cannot in good faith continue as an Official Ambassador. Before I write more about that, I want to thank the staff I worked with who are genuinely committed to intersectional justice and are left without the support they need and deserve…Thank you for all you do, I’ll miss working with you.

Below are the resignation letter I sent to the leadership of the organization on Monday, as well as a video of my talk at the NEDA virtual walk on Saturday.

If you want to give feedback to NEDA (for example asking that they reinstate Chevese Turner and that they provide a detailed outline of specifically how NEDA will create systemic internal changes so that they can truly serve the entire diverse eating disorders community) you can send it to Susan Vibbert (susanvibbert at gmail dot com) She is a board member I met at the NEDA Gala last year and she has agreed to forward these communications to the NEDA board. You are also welcome to leave comments below and/or e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org and I’ll get your feedback to her.

My Resignation Letter

I write to you today with a heavy heart. For nearly two years, I have been honored to serve as an Official NEDA Ambassador, donating my time, writing and speaking, online spaces, and funds to support what I believed was a renewed mission of supporting all individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

The abrupt firing of Chevese Turner without any transparency was deeply concerning to me and to many members of the eating disorders community. The absence of any messaging coming from NEDA about the situation continues to raise even more concerns. The failure over the past two weeks to respond to hundreds of public requests, for both transparency around the decision and clear commitments to continue the work that she was leading for intersectionality within the community, adds to the issues. Allowing people who claim to have “inside info” about the situation to act as the de facto voice of NEDA, posting racist and fatphobic screeds on your own Facebook page is inexcusable.

Many of us watched for years as NEDA centered the voices, stories, and needs of thin, cis, white, younger women to the near exclusion of all others, ignoring those of us asking for change. In fact, my first involvement with NEDA happened when they partnered with an “anti-obesity” organization and then defended their choice to me as a “compromise.” (I started a petition and letter writing campaign, and a few days later they ended the partnership, but it was clear to me that it was about optics and not harm reduction.)

Your merger with BEDA and Chevese was a second chance that I, and many other people, were giving NEDA to do the right thing. Chevese being fired with no transparency and no communication about ongoing commitments to intersectionality has been a clear message that NEDA is actively failing to become the inclusive, intersectional organization we know it could be, and that the community needs it to be.

Choosing to move forward with Weight Stigma Awareness Week is especially troubling. That you would take ownership of a fat woman’s project, fire the fat woman abruptly with no comment, and then claim credit for raising awareness of weight stigma as if nothing happened, is truly beyond the pale. Sadly NEDA has given me no reason to believe that you aren’t abandoning the pursuit of intersectional justice within eating disorders treatment and advocacy in everything but appearances, perhaps hoping to ride out the backlash and settle back into the comfort of focusing on the thin, white, cis, girls and young women while giving only lip service to others in the community.

While I am committed to doing whatever I can to help NEDA pursue a mission that includes all individuals and families affected by eating disorders, I am heartbroken to say that I can no longer be an official ambassador for NEDA. I can’t and won’t lend my face, body, labor, or reputation as an ambassador since it indicates a tacit approval of the current situation, and an inclusivity that isn’t currently being practiced, while holding a position that doesn’t have any authority to create change.

I am resigning as an Official NEDA Ambassador effective immediately, and I ask that I be removed from the Ambassador page of the website.

If I may offer one piece of advice, in our conversation Claire said that perhaps NEDA’s PR in this situation had been “a little too much by the book.” I don’t know what PR book you’re using, but I would recommend burning it, because this strategy is nothing short of disastrous. If the hope is that you can ride out the backlash and go back to business as usual, then I would urge you to reconsider. The backlash will be loud and it will be sustained, because people’s lives hang in the balance.

I implore NEDA to do better – reinstate Chevese, recommit clearly and publicly to centering the voices, stories, and needs of People of Color, Trans and Non-Binary people, Higher Weight people, and other marginalized populations, and then prove those commitments in your actions, and the allocation of your resources.

I continue to hope that NEDA becomes the organization that the diverse community of people who are affected by eating disorders desperately needs it to be, and I will continue to work toward that goal.

Sincerely,

Ragen Chastain

Talk from the virtual NEDA walk:

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 Holidays

Halloween candy and costumes, family gatherings, work parties, New Years bashes, New Years Resolution, and a ton of diet ads… whether we celebrate the holidays or not, the holiday season can be a perfect storm of fatphobia and diet culture. This year the pandemic adds another layer of stress. All that diet culture can really get you down. In this workshop we’ll talk about tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deal and have a happy holiday season on our own terms.

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, 29 September 2020

How A PhD Got Duped By Diet Culture

An article came across my inbox called “The Habits of Successful Weight Losers.” It piqued my interest because the truth is there isn’t a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people succeed at long-term, significant weight loss (this has been shown in literature reviews starting in at least 1999 and was recently acknowledged by Canadian Healthcare professionals. (Note: The article is not linked here due its potentially triggering nature, it’s also one of many of it kind so the points made here address this mistake generally.)

I clicked to read the article, curious if it would make the most common mistake of only looking at short-term weight loss (most people succeed at losing weight short term, but gain it all back within two to five years, a huge number of studies simply look at weight loss during the first year and then claim success) or if it would make the less common, but potentially more harmful National Weight Control Registry mistake.

It turns out that it was the latter. I often use the National Weight Control Registry in talks I give to general audiences, health professionals, and university students, faculty and staff to show how easy it is to be duped by diet culture and the poor “science” that backs it up. In this case the person making this mistake is a celebrated personal trainer, fitness speaker and writer, and PhD who has actually written a book written on this premise, so it’s no surprise that so many people with less training in understanding and analyzing research do make the same mistake.

I wrote about this for The Mighty, and you can 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:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

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!



via Dances With Fat https://ift.tt/33bbeJH

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Life Without Ibuprofen

I became aware of ibuprofen in high school, as a reliever for period pain. I used it with happy abandon for assorted cramps and pulled muscles. When my knees started hurting, I used ibuprofen. Headaches weren’t much helped by ibuprofen, but that’s what acetaminophen is for.

Eventually I had knee issues that ibuprofen didn’t handle, I added physical therapy exercises to ibuprofen. I didn’t stop taking it.

Enter blood thinners, to avoid another blood clot in my lungs.

You know what’s bad when you’re on blood thinners? Any other blood thinners. Like aspirin or naproxen or ibuprofen.

Seriously, that’s why older folks are often advised to take a low dose of aspirin a day – it’s a mild blood thinner, to avoid unneeded blood clots. But if you’re on specific medicine to make your clot less, then meds that adjust your clotting are bad.

Which means: I no longer take ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin. I can take acetominophen, but carefully, since my blood thinner med keeps my liver too busy to clear things like alcohol as fast as usual. Acetominophen goes through the liver, too, so I’m mindful about it. And, y’know, acetominophen didn’t really help with cramps anyway.

So here I am, in my mid-fifties, having to face arthritis, pulled muscles, and other ills without ibuprofen or naproxen. What to do?

  • I am more focused on strength training to support my knees and back.
  • I am more regular in stretching to prevent muscle cramps.
  • I am dealing with things like “sore neck and shoulder from sleeping wrong” with slow stretches and patience.

….and, if needed, I can drink. I just need to be aware it has stronger and more lasting effects than it used to have. :)



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Friday, 11 September 2020

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – MY NEW HERO



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Kaiser Permanente – Hiding Discrimination?

In June, as COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm healthcare resources, many states were working to produce guidelines for rationing care in public and private hospitals and healthcare facilities in the event of shortages of equipment and staff. Unfortunately many of these policies have a chilling discriminatory effect. 

The California Care Rationing Coalition, a broad-based coalition from the disability, aging, anti-racism, and fat-rights communities, worked with the California Governor’s office and leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services  and successfully changed the state’s rationing protocols to help eliminate discrimination, creating a model for other states

The new guidelines state that healthcare decisions, including rationing of resources, cannot be based on age, race, disability (including weight-related disabilities and chronic medical conditions), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity (including national origin and language spoken), ability to pay, weight/size, socioeconomic status, insurance status, perceived self-worth, perceived quality of life, immigration status, incarceration status, homelessness, or past or future use of resources. 

“Why Are You Hiding?”

The new guidelines were a massive step in the right direction, but there’s more work to do. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell if hospitals are following the guidelines because they are currently keeping their policies secret.

That creates a situation where, despite the hard-won non-discriminatory guidelines, people of color, disabled people, Fat people, seniors and others who are covered may still be facing discrimination in COVID-19 treatment, including refusal of care. Even if they are able to choose which facility to go to, they have no way of knowing whether or not they are likely to face discrimination.

We are demanding that healthcare facilities, starting with California-based giant Kaiser Permanente, provide transparency in their compliance with CA State guidelines, including publicly disclosing their rationing policies.

ACTIVISM OPPORTUNITY!
You can help by posting to social media demanding that Kaiser publicly disclose their rationing policies, and inviting their friends to join in using the hashtags #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

Here’s an example:
Kaiser Permanente – Why are you hiding your policy? What is your policy? We need to know! We are worried about people of color, disabled people, higher weight people, and seniors being refused treatment during COVID-19. Publicly disclose your COVID care and rationing policies. @aboutKP @KPOCThrive @KPSCALnews @KPMemberService @KPSanDiego @kpeastbayarea @KPGreaterSac @JMillerPhipps #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

For more info on the campaign, sample social media posts, and articles to share check out:
https://nobodyisdisposable.org/stop-care-rationing/

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:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

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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Friday, 4 September 2020