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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